List current and future events
The very first thing to note is that we are scheduled to have our June monthly meeting this coming Tues, 6/7/2011 with dinner starting at 6 (1800) followed by our meeting at 7 (1900). Dinner will be from what we have left from our BBQ picnic on Memorial Day. For those who missed it — it was great and you can still enjoy the fruits of Kenny Payne’s and Co. labors from the BBQ.
This meeting will be important to attend since we have a major car show we are hosting for the first time in our Chapter’s history —- see the attached!!!!! Tom Modica and Dale Boe are spearheading the project — but they will need some help. That’s one of the reasons we need to have all hands on deck to assist where needed —- particularly since we are not having a meeting in July because the first Tue of the month is the day after the 4th of July and it was felt attendance may be lacking as a result. However, those assisting Tom and Dale will most likely get together before the Car Show’s July 24th date. So please come next Tues. to our meeting.
This note is long over due — but I want to acknowledge several things that occurred last month that need recognition.
Appreciate the effort Sears Taylor brought to the table in organizing and evaluating the scholarship recipients who were awarded their respective scholarships at the last meeting. He presented a good format for future evaluations.
The Coffee/Rest Stop weekend (5/20 – 5/22) was moderately successful — brought in $500. But what’s more important was those of you from the Chapter who volunteered their time to stand the 4 hour “watches” to provide comfort to those people passing through and collecting the donations you did. A list of those who participated is attached and I thank you all who helped out. We’ll be discussing future events like this but will need more volunteer participation.
One particular note of recognition on the Coffee Stop was a volunteer who came to us from the American Legion in Sedro Woolley, Loren O’Neal. We were in a bind to get the 10-2 and 2-6 night shift covered and Loren stepped up to fill the gap. Thank you Loren and to you Gerald Hulpert who talked to Loren about our blight.
The Memorial Day Service and Picnic was a great success. Thanks goes to Ron Hewitt who organized the service and to Kenny Payne who handled the BBQ with the help of Mike Nymeon, Dale Boe, Mike Novotney and several others I may be leaving out — sorry. Also, thanks to Gary Lysne for the stage / podium setup for the service. Last and not least of all our famous pinch – hitter, Randy Elmore, who provided the missing flag carrier for our color guard, the wreath bearer for the serviceman who didn’t show up and for all he did in setting up the chairs for the service. Thank you all who helped and enjoyed the time with fellow vets and family.
Once again, open up the attached file related to our Car Show — we’ll have posters at the meeting to have plastered where appropriate to notify the community about our event. Then be sure to be at our next meeting to review plans for the rest of the summer.
President VVA 165
1706 Front St.
Lynden, WA 98264
Gold Star Mother Serves
Those that Bore The Battle
In our nation history so many young men and women have given their lives fighting in our wars and conflicts. We can stand by and just keep their memories alive or we can make lives of returning veterans better. In October 2004 two men from the U.S Army sat in Doris Kent’s living room in Bellingham, Wa. They were there to inform her that her son Cpl. Jonathan Santos was killed in Karabilah, Iraq by a suicide bomber. Cpl. Santos was assigned to the 9th Psy Op Bn, 4th Psy Op Grp, Airborne. There was one survivor in Cpl. Santos vehicle that suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. The young solider was just 21 when the attack happen and will never be able to work or go to school. He can walk and talk but has no stort term memory. He will require assistance for the rest of life.
The military was a big part of Doris and Jonathan life. Doris was born at the US Naval
Hospital in San Diego Ca and Jonathan was born at Ft Knox Ky. His father SSgt Leslie
Santos U.S.Army is active duty and currently station at Fairchild AFB Spokane, Wa.
Doris and SSgt Santos had three children together before divorcing in 1995. Doris
has one son PFC Jared Santos serving with the 92nd ENG BN Ft. St. Stewart, GA and
Justin Santos is a freshman at University of Washington. In 1996 she married Chris Kent and make Bellingham their home.
Vietnam also played a important part of Doris’s life. Her father retired from the U.S. Navy and her brother Joe, was drafted into the U.S. Army. Both fought in the Vietnam
War, both exposed to Agent Orange, both died at the age 52. From the day Jonathan
was killed, she has shared with everyone who would listen, that the way to honor Jonathan and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, is to take care of their buddies when they get home.
Doris developed a program called the “The Veteran Navigator Program” where she trains veterans to do outreach to other veterans so they may access all the benefits they are entitled to.
As a Gold Star Mother, she has reached out to other Gold Star families and recently completed training with TAPS ( Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) as Peer Mentor reaching out to other Gold Star families for support and information. Doris states “ We all would never wish on anyone; yet in our grief, we find comfort in the company of others who have experience the deaths of our loved ones who served in our Armed Force.”
As a Associate Member of the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 165, Doris is on the fast track to become Accredited Veteran Service Officer. A great deal of her time is being spent at the VA Vet Center in Bellingham with other VVA trained accredited service officers learning about the claim process and is taking courses that will make her more knowledgeable person in dealing with the Veterans Administration regulation. Her accreditation will be completed in the fall of 2011. She is a new breed of service officer with a vested interest that no veteran will have to go it alone in attaining what he or she has earned while serving our country.
Please note any of the text can be changed without my permission.