Vietnam Veterans Of America

Memorial Chapter #165

Minutes of 7 May 2024

General Meeting called to order at: 18:10 (6:10pm)

Pledge of Allegiance by:

Invocation by & Moment of silence for POW/MIA by:

Roll Call of officers:                                                           term expires

          David Orona, Pres                                     P                 2025

          Donna Trecker, VP                                   P                 2025

          Tom Grinstad, Secretary / Treasurer      P                 2025

          David Loomis, B of D                                A                 2025

          Lonnie Rose, B of D                                  P                 2025

          Sam Houston, B of D                                P                 2025

          Charles Muggy, B of D                             P                 2025

          Duane Holliday, B of D                             P                 2025

          Dan Norvelle, B of D                                P                 2025

Guests: Robin Pavesi, Liz Witowski

New members present: none

Secretary’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Treasurer’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Membership Update: VVA-401, AVVA-127

Old Business:

  1. Bottle Auction will occur Friday 7 June, at VFW Post 1585. Meal served by Auxiliary at 18:00 (6pm) followed by the auction. Bring two bottles, one joke, the other real. All wrapped up nicely to encourage bidding. Highest bid gets the bottle.
  2. The Whatcom Co. Stand Down happened on Friday, 3 May. An unofficial count put the clients at 20 – 25 vets. Rather a poor showing. Not much publicity prior to the event.
  3. Doc gave a short rundown on the car show preparations. We need more volunteers and raffle prizes. Tee shirts went to print today. Next meeting 16 May at 15:00 (3:00pm) at VFW basement.

4. The Whatcom Memorial Day Parade will happen on Saturday 25 May, beginning at noon. We sill get the pre-parade marshalling space notice a few days prior to the event. Please show up to take a leisurely stroll through the town.

New Business:

  1. Memorial Day Weekend Avenue of Flags 25-27 May at Greenacres Memorial Park. Parade on Saturday 25 May. Allied Veterans Council holds its ceremony Monday 27 at Greenacres starting at noon. Our picnic will be at 16:00 (4pm) at Hovander Park in Ferndale. We need about four more folks to help with furniture moving to and from site. Meet at the VFW at 13:00 (1pm) to load up.
  2. National Leadership Conference in Reno, NV from 20-24 August at the Silver Legacy Casino.
  3. Doc presented a plaque to Melanie Flink, who is completing Randy’s car. She announced the celebration of life for Randy Turnbull at Amer. Legion Post 7 Sunday, 7 July at noon.
  4. Liz Witkowski took the floor to talk about veterans’ benefits that we all may not be aware of. She talked about the PACT Act and changes. We are presumptive for a number of conditions due to service in SE Asia from 1962-1980. This includes hypertension. She says to file for hypertension or high blood pressure as well. You may be eligible for 2ndary conditions resulting from the primary. This may include widow’s benefits. For example, prostate cancer may be considered as primary, but incontinence or bladder issues may be 2ndary and covered by VA. And it is possible that these conditions may be worth more than the primary claim.

She then moved on to Aide in Attendance a program for combat veterans for income aid to stay in your home or assisted living. Special Monthly Compensation is available for some conditions.

DIC is for surviving spouse. If a presumptive is listed on your death certificate as a cause of death, your surviving spouse maybe eligible for additional monthly benefit.

Caregiver Program is administered by the Veterans Health Administration. Liz has the info, and she will help you apply. This also helps you stay in your home.

She also works to administer the county veterans’ assistance fund.

This has a whole host of programs for low-income veterans giving help up to $3,800/month. This year they have a budget of about $200,000 to help these folks. This includes direct financial assistance. Temporary assistance – not ongoing assistance. Household repair grants are available up to $3,000. Help with medical bills can be had – again not ongoing support. Up to $5,000 for restorative dental. Some help for burial expenses is available.

Her contact information: 509 Girard Street Bellingham 360 778 6050/ fax 360 778 6001. Steve announced that due to absences the induction of AVVA officers will occur at the July meeting, which looks to be 2 July.

50/50 Raffle: No raffle this month

Donations: $101

Good of the Order: VFW Post 1585 serves breakfast on Sunday 26 May from 8:00-10:00. Please support them.

Motion to Adjourn: at 18:46

Minutes of 2 April 2024

General Meeting called to order at: 18:01 by V.P. Donna Trecker

Pledge of Allegiance by: the very same Donna

Invocation by & Moment of silence for POW/MIA by: Again, it was Donna doing the work.

Roll Call of officers:                                                           term expires

          Vacant, Pres                                              A                 2025

          Donna Trecker, VP                                   P                 2025

          Tom Grinstad, Secretary / Treasurer      P                 2025

          David Loomis, B of D                                P                 2025

          Lonnie Rose, B of D                                  A                 2025

          Sam Houston, B of D                                P                 2025

          Charles Muggy, B of D                             P                 2025

          Duane Holliday, B of D                             P                 2025

          Dan Norvelle, B of D                                A                 2025

Guests: Robin Pavesi, Steve Rosetti

New members present:

Secretary’s report: A splendid effort was moved, 2nd & approved

Treasurer’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Membership Update: VVA 403, AVVA 126 Prior to any other business, we had to fill the vacancy at the presidential slot. Donna called for nominations. David Orona was nominated, seconded and elected unanimously by the attendees. Results of the election will be forwarded to national.

Old Business:

  1. Leah Rosetti from the DAR presented certificates to Lee Jung Hae, Dave Orona and Chuck Hodges.
  2. Doc gave a short update on the car show.
  3. State VVA Council meeting is 27 April, in Toppenish – David O and Donna will attend.
  4. Skagit stand down occurs 19-20 April at the Skagit fairgrounds in Mt. Vernon. Chuck will attend to garner ideas for our stand down.
  5. Whatcom Stand down occurs 3 May at Amer. Legion Post 7 at W. Bakerview Road, Bellingham. We will need volunteers.
  6. Steve Jordan solicited volunteers for AVVA officers. Elections to be held next month.

Doug H. reported disbursements of veterans’ tax portion $684,000. He generally gave breakdown of where the money went. A member of Whatcom Co. Veterans Advisory Council, gave a brief explanation of the board, functions, and expenditures. This is one a few counties that has such a council. Day to day services funnel through the Opportunity Council.

New Business:

  1. Any bottle auction this year? David L will check with VFW re: food, common meeting, etc.
  2. Whatcom Memorial Day Parade, $2,000 contribution? An unscheduled board meeting to convene after this meeting. John F. talked in favor of support.
  3. Memorial Day Picnic reserved at Hovander 16:00. Need to get organized. Who will speak?
  4. Glenda spoke about getting volunteers to sit with one of our members giving respite to partner (caregiver). She will organize a chart for the volunteers.
  5. Ad hoc board of directors meeting right after this meeting.

50/50 Raffle: won by Doc, donated to chapter $110.

Donations: $125

Good of the Order: Ande Mitchelle provided a description of the Skagit Stand Down which provides services and supplies to veterans.

Motion to Adjourn:  adjourned at 18:58

Minutes of 5 March 2024

General Meeting called to order at: 18:10 (6:10 pm) by President Richard Carpenter

Pledge of Allegiance by: V.P. Donna Trecker

Invocation by & Moment of silence for POW/MIA by: Lonnie Rose

Roll Call of officers and Directors:                         term expires

          Richard Carpenter, Pres                          P                 2025

          Donna Trecker, VP                                   P                 2025

          Tom Grinstad, Secretary / Treasurer      P                 2025

          David Loomis, B of D                                P                 2025

          Lonnie Rose, B of D                                  P                 2025

          Sam Houston, B of D                                P                 2025

          Charles Muggy, B of D                             P                 2025

          Duane Holliday, B of D                             P                 2025

          Dan Norvelle, B of D                                P                 2025

Guests: Bonnie Porten, Chuck Anderson

Secretary’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Treasurer’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Membership Update: VVA 402, AVVA 125

Old Business:

  1. Doc Holliday called for car show volunteers, trophy sponsors raffle donations etc. This is the chief chapter fund raiser for the year. Please participate.
  2. Darlene presented certificates to Lee Sung Jou and Kwan Ku Kim.
  3. Whatcom County stand down occurs 3 May.
  4. Skagit Co. stand down 19-20 April at Skagit Fairgrounds

New Business:

  1. Memorial Day Parade needs volunteers. Call John Ferdon 360 318 7521. Tom called for marchers to show up and walk with him.
  2. Doug Hudson queries what the 2% tax for veterans goes to. Suggests BoD give report to membership. He questions why not use the annex building for a veterans’ center.
  3. VFW considering legal action against United Veterans of Whatcom County, for unauthorized use of the VFW name on promotional materials. The VVA’s name has also been included on the flyer, without permission. Chapter 165 has not endorsed the proposed re-use of the annex building. As a chapter, we should not appear to endorse this proposal. As individuals we are all free to support and / or donate such an effort.
  4. President Richard Carpenter resigns his position as of this evening citing personal reasons. V. P. Donna Trecker will preside until a new president is elected for the term (one year).
  5. AVVA Steve asked for volunteers for leadership positions. Elections will be held next meeting.

WA State Dept. of Veterans Affairs runs four veterans’ homes in the state. New conditions for residency in the soldiers’ homes apply, so check it out. Total disability is no longer required.

50/50 Raffle: Not held this meeting

Donations: $123  

Good of the Order: VFW Post 1585 auxiliary hosts a fund raiser on 21 March 15:00 (3:00 pm). Spaghetti dinner will be served at 18:00 (6:00). They also host a breakfast on 31 March 8-10 am. Cost $10.00, $5.00 kids

Motion to Adjourn:  made at 18:40 must be the shortest meeting on record. Thank you, Richard Carpenter, for your efforts to herd this bunch of cats.

Minutes of 5 December 2023

General Meeting called to order at: 18:20 by President Richard Carpenter

Pledge of Allegiance by: V.P. Donna Trecker

Invocation by & Moment of silence for POW/MIA by: Chaplain Lonnie Rose

Roll Call of officers:                                                           term expires

          Richard Carpenter, Pres                          P                 2025

          Donna Trecker, VP                                   P                 2025

          Tom Grinstad, Secretary / Treasurer      P                 2025

          David Loomis, B of D                                P                 2025

          Lonnie Rose, B of D                                  P                 2025

          Sam Houston, B of D                                P                 2025

          Charles Muggy, B of D                             P                 2025

          Duane Holliday, B of D                             P                 2025

          Dan Norvelle, B of D                                A                 2025

Guests: Ana Clark

New members present: Melenie Flink, Dong Choi, John King, Darrell Wade

Secretary’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Treasurer’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Membership Update: VVA – 404, AVVA – 121

Old Business:

  1. Darlene Carlson presented DAR Certificates to the Vietnam veterans who were not present at last month’s meeting.

2. Celebration of Life for Randy Turnbull is scheduled for 7 July at American Legion Post 7. All are invited to attend.

New Business:

  1. Doc presented a $750 check from the Whatcom County Cruisers.
  2. Moved, 2nd and approved $100 donation to Seaplane Museum.
  3. Suggestion that the chapter provide a sympathy card to the surviving family members of chapter members who died.
  4. Suggestion to provide Randy Turnbull’s daughter to finish his car. It will be taken up by the Board of Directors.
  5. William Moore talked about the value of mentors for veterans who are having problems with alcohol/drug abuse that lands them in the criminal justice system. Veteran’s Treatment Court.
  6. The offer of the rifle donation by Curt Wolters for a raffle was postponed pending discussion with the VFW post to discover potential pitfalls.
  7. Malcolm gave a short update on the Annex project. Next week they are heading to Skagit to see specs for a vets’ center. Possible support from granges.
  8. Ana Clark gave a short rundown on the veterans’ programs that the Opportunity Council supports. Questions were varied and pointed.
  9. Whatcom County will have a standown in the springtime. This is where items such as hats, socks and gloves are distributed. Ande Mitchelle related his experience with the Skagit standown.
  10. Lonnie Rose is searching for a replacement for him as chaplain. He will miss many upcoming meetings due to travel etc.
  11. Steve mentioned Mending Waters program in Montana.

12. Larry moved to provide food baskets to veterans. BoD can meet electronically to discuss and vote. Tom asked if we use the Opportunity Council to identify recipients and determine amounts.

50/50 Raffle: Shay Loomis won $38

Good of the Order: National Conference is in New Orleans in 2024.

We collect used ink cartridges – bring them in.

Next meeting is 2 January 2024 same place, same time.Motion to Adjourn: 19:20

Minutes of 7 November 2023               

General Meeting called to order at: 18:20 (6:20pm) by President Richard Carpenter

Pledge of Allegiance by: V.P. Donna Trecker

Invocation by & Moment of silence for POW/MIA by: Chaplain Lonnie Rose

Roll Call of officers:                                                           term expires

          Richard Carpenter, Pres                          P                 2025

          Donna Trecker, VP                                   P                 2025

          Tom Grinstad, Secretary / Treasurer      P                 2025

          David Loomis, B of D                                P                 2025

          Lonnie Rose, B of D                                  P                 2025

          Sam Houston, B of D                                P                 2025

          Charles Muggy, B of D                             P                 2025

          Duane Holliday, B of D                             P                 2025

          Dan Norvelle, B of D                                P                 2025

Guests: Travis Meginniss

New members present: Robert Johnson, Tom Boyhan (?)

Secretary’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Treasurer’s report: Moved, 2nd & approved

Membership Update: VVA-401, AVVA-121 per David Loomis

Old Business:

  1. Ron Wilson, Larry Montgomery and Sam Houston built a wheelchair ramp for Randy Turnbull. All materials were donated by Home Depot. Remember this when shopping for home improvements.
  2. DAR presented certificates of recognition to all members who supplied their name. A group photo was taken of the whole bunch. Welcome Home Veterans.
  3. Be aware that scammers are trying to hit members of the chapter. The secretary has several spam emails per day.

Steve Jordan reported that AVVA is registered with the state. The national application must be renewed, some signatures were out of date. He expects this to be resolved this month.

New Business:

  1. Board of Directors meeting held 31 October. Several items discussed.
  2. Moved seconded and approved to pay VFW for use of the hall. Treasurer will cut the check.
  3. Discretionary funds up to specified limit were approved with one dissenting vote. Moved second approved.
  4. Member Randy Turnbull is in poor health. A way to contact him for visitation has been emailed to membership.
  5. State President Francisco Ivarra reported:
  6. He made a presentation to the DAR last Saturday night.
  7. The VVA is a “last person standing” organization, but we aren’t going anywhere. We will still be active working for veterans.
  8. Nationally the membership is increasing, while veteran population is decreasing.
  9. The VVA has advocated for Korean (ROK) veterans to be covered by the VA, with Korea footing the bill. This is SB 2648.
  10. The next VVA national convention is to be held in New Orleans in 2024.
  11. The state of Washington is the leader in obtaining benefits for veterans. Our VSO team is tops.
  12. Locally, we now have a VSO officer, Shawn Dalgarn, in the Vets’ Center, 3800 Byron Ave, Suite 124. Phone 360 733 9229.

A motion to support the Naval Seaplane Museum in Oak Harbor was tabled to next month for a decision.

50/50 Raffle: won by someone unidentified

Good of the Order: Remember so donate used ink cartridges to the chapter.

11 November is Veterans’ Day, find a celebration and join in.

A donated Mauser rifle is going to be raffled off.

Next meeting is 5 December 2023. A big spread in honor of the wives and significant others of the membership. Please attend.

Motion to Adjourn: Came at 19:25 (7:25 pm)

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