Entries for July, 2015

Children of Vietnam Thanking Our Chapter For Their Support

Children of Vietnam

Fifth Annual VVA165 Car Show

Over 100 vintage models from every decade will be on display at Sunset Square shopping center on Sunday, July 19th between 10 AM and 2 PM. Trophies will be given out for a variety of categories, including the best car for each of nine decades. The show is free, so bring the family .

The Car Show is a fund raising activity for the Ron Davenport Memorial Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. The proceeds from the show go to a variety of scholarships and the Children of Vietnam charity organization.

Come enjoy the spectacle of one of the area’s best car shows at Sunset Square Shopping Center, located near Interstate 5 and Sunset Drive in Bellingham. Help support Vietnam Veterans with your attendance.

Minutes of Meeting July 7, 2015

General Meeting called to order at @ 6:55 PM by President Gene Goldsmith

Pledge of Allegiance

Invocation by Tom Darling

Moment of silence for POW/MIA

Roll Call of officers

Gene Goldsmith, Pres                     Present

Dave Loomis, VP                              Present

Gary Lysne, 2nd VP                          Present

Bill Cox, Secretary                            Present

Ken Richardson, Treasurer              Excused

Jim Pace, B of D                               Present      Fiscal 2016

Tom Darling, B of D                         Present      Fiscal 2015

Richard Martinez, B of D                 Present      Fiscal 2015

John Bradshaw, B of D                    Excused      Fiscal 2016

Tom Modica, B of D                        Present      Fiscal 2017

Greg Bremer, B of D                        Present      Fiscal 2016

Steve White, B of D                         Emeritus deceased

Guests and their acknowledgement

Isabel Goldsmith

Jose Sonora

New members present

George Douglas


Secretary’s May and June minutes were reviewed prior to the meeting by the membership. Minutes were approved as drafted.

Treasurer’s June report was read by Gene Goldsmith. The report was approved as read.

Membership Update was given by Jim Pace. The chapter currently has 252 members. This gives the chapter ten votes now on state voting matters.


Old Business


Vietnam Experience Books are available for sale. If interested in buying a book, see Gene Goldsmith.

The Car Show was discussed by Tom Modica.  Tom distributed a signup sheet with a listing of jobs needed at the car show and requested that volunteers sign up. Various assignments were discussed. There will be a total of four $100 trophies and nine $75 trophies. The car show location will be the K-Mart parking lot off of Sunset on July 19 between 10 AM and 2 pm. Ed Simmers will be doing CD’s for sale again this year. Bill Bowen will be the master of ceremonies for the raffle and awards presentation. He wants quality items for the raffle. He has solicited 11 items and challenged each member to beat his total. Bill Cox handed out tax receipts that can be given to donors. Dave Loomis and Randy Turnbull will be judges for the various car award categories. Gene Goldsmith will handle all money.

The National Council meeting will be held July 21 through 25 in Springfield, Illinois. Gary Lysne, Gene Goldsmith, Jim Pace and Bill Bowen will attend. Jim Pace is running to be re-elected as a National Director At Large.

The Region 8 and 9 Conference was held in Reno on June 27, 2015. Per Jim Pace little of importance was discussed.

A Picnic Honoring WW II Veterans was discussed by Gene Goldsmith. It will be held on August 17, 2015 at the Lairmont Manor (405 Fieldston Manor, Bellingham) between 12 noon and 3 PM. Lunch will be served. A motion was made to have the chapter be a $250 sponsor of the picnic. Motion seconded and motion passed.


New Business


Snack Night will be on July 10th at the VFW at 6PM. Ken Payne will do the food. It is very important for chapter members to attend and support snack night. Ken will need help at this event.

The Oath of Office was administered by Gene Goldsmith to the newly elected chapter 2nd Vice President Gary Lysne.



Next meeting is September 1st, 2015.  Dinner will be at 6PM and the meeting at 7PM.


Good of the Order


First, Tom Modica attended the burial service for Rainier Ramos at Arlington National Cemetery. What follows is Tom’s description of the service.

“The ceremony was very well done. What was listed as a short ceremony in the chapel, lasted 65 minutes. It was a full mass for the dead. Probably, Catholic or Episcopalian, as there was a lot of up and down. Then we drove 1.5 miles to the burial site. There was one coffin for the three crewmen. The coffin was not buried at this time as the grave diggers would dig the actual site later that day. There will be a larger grave marker with three names. There was a rider less horse with boots backwards in the stirrups. A caisson with flag draped coffin pulled by six matching horses. Also a military marching band, about 25 members. A 21 gun salute. There were 3 or 4 general officers in attendance and supposedly a 3 or 4 star in civvies.

One of the chaplains was a helicopter pilot who flew with Rainier. About 35-40 Blue Ghosts were in attendance. Everyone calls Rainier ‘Ray’. Half dozen of the Blue Ghosts recognized me from the Northern Light article and thanked the chapter for thinking and caring about Ray. Originally, I was going to place my POW/MIA bracelet on the coffin for burial. I asked Peter Ramos Sr. if he wanted the bracelet and he nodded. He took a moment to read the inscription and asked if I had worn the bracelet all of this time. I said yes, from 1991. He teared up.

A woman from the National League of Families was present. She was younger, so not from the Vietnam generation.

Someone from the Blue Ghosts must have some pull. They received permission for a fly over. Six Black Hawks flew over, quite a racket. Given the no fly zone over D.C., it was quite a feat to organize.

There were two professional photographers shooting and filming. I will ask Peter if we can get copies.

There have been rumors that they were flying around joy riding. January 8th was 3.5 weeks before Tet. They were searching the area for NVA troops. (ASA was telling everyone that something was happening.) The pilot who was speaking said the NVA had great discipline. He was flying through a wide valley and saw nothing. He then spotted some movement and dropped a smoke grenade. When the NVA knew they were spotted, the whole valley lit up with fire.”This completes Tom’s description of the funeral service.

Second, Ed Simmers invited all chapter members to his 70th birthday party to be held July 25th at the VFW between the hours of 8 PM and 11 PM. The Lost Highway Band will perform.

Third, Kirk Lyon discussed options regarding the disposition of the Scholarship Fund when our chapter members become too old to administer it. Gene Goldsmith said that he will call a Board of Directors meeting prior to the next chapter meeting in order to discuss various alternatives that can be presented to the chapter.

Fourth, Randy Elmore discussed a guitar that he was given for the benefit of the chapter. He said that it was probably worth between $500 and $800. Various proposals were discussed by the chapter as to how and when to best raffle the guitar in order to maximize revenue.

Fifth, Randy Elmore discussed the Children of Vietnam charity to which the chapter contributes. He brought a picture of five of the children that the chapter partially supports in which they are holding a sign thanking our chapter for our contributions.

Sixth, Ken Payne reviewed some VFW discussions taking place that would possibly move the VFW downstairs kitchen – upstairs. No plans or specifics are available at this time so further chapter discussion was deferred. Ray Radke mentioned that there is approximately $20,000 in a VFW restricted fund to finance improvements in the existing downstairs kitchen. There are also additional funds pledged once work starts on remodeling the downstairs kitchen. However, the fire marshal has not been pursuing his requested changes with the VFW so that not much has been recently done.


Motion to adjourn meeting at 8:00 PM. Motion seconded and passed. The meeting was adjourned by Gene Goldsmith.