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Boo Coo News - Vietnam Veterans of America  · PDF file Boo Coo News Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 JULY 2016 WELCOME HOME! VETERANS SUPPORT CENTER 18025 E. 15

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  • 1,619 American Still Missing in Southeast Asia 49 from Michigan

    Boo Coo News Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 JULY 2016



    48035-2403 586-776-9810 PHONE

    586-776-9683 FAX

    GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS 7 p.m. second Wednesday of the month at American Legion Post 4,

    401 N. Groesbeck Highway, south of Elizabeth Road

    Boo Coo News deadline: previous month’s meeting.

    To submit items, photos, supporter ad copy: email, mail or deliver to

    the Veterans Support Center


    A t the June board meeting, a motion was made to go to an "electronic" Boo Coo News newsletter. As this impacts the entire membership, the motion was brought to the floor at the general membership meeting for discussion. There were many differing thoughts about going to the

    electronic version but, in the end, the majority of the membership in attendance voted to approve the motion. What does this mean to the membership? Beginning with the August issue of the Boo Coo News we will no longer be mailing out printed copies of the newsletter. We will instead be getting the newsletter into the hands of the membership in two different ways: one, when the approved proof copy has been received by the president it will immediately be sent out using our mass email distribution list similar to the way we send out other forms of notifications. This currently reaches just over 300 members of the chapter. Secondly, the newsletter is posted and immediately becomes available for viewing on our chapter website, This allows you to have access to the newsletter earlier than waiting for your printed copy in the mail.

    This decision is not made lightly. We recognize that many members like getting the printed copy, and some are going to be disappointed in losing this familiar friend. However, from a business perspective we are spending over $8,000 a year on printing and mailing out the newsletter. This is in spite of having the advantage of the reduced bulk-mailing rate. If we still used the old full-fee stamp method we'd be spending three times the mailing costs. We get many newsletters returned to us for bad addresses, snowbird situations and member moves that are not reported to us in a timely manner. For every newsletter returned to us, we pay over 70 cents in addition to the original bulk rate fee we already paid. Many members tell us that they don't even read the newsletter. That says that it’s time we looked at a different process. You will receive the newsletter much earlier than in the past. This eliminates the problems with trying to meet a deadline every month, which sometimes gets the newsletter into your hands late. There are several steps involved with getting the newsletter into print, and a delay in any of these can result in late publication in spite of our best efforts. The newsletter will be sent out via email as a .pdf document, which anyone with a computer can access, open and print out if desired. Viewed on a computer screen the type will be larger, making it easier to read. And the pictures will be able to be viewed in color, making them more interesting and appealing, with more clarity. Currently every picture has to be converted to black and white, introducing another time delay into the process. The same advantages will be realized by those of you who choose to go to the website.

    We realize that there are those of you who will say "but I don't have a computer, what do I do"? We're not sure how many people this truly impacts, but most everyone either has access to a computer or can find someone in the family who does. If you're computer-literate but simply don't own a computer, go to a local library and someone will assist you. In this era of electronic messaging, smart phones, etc. there are avenues. We will be having some printed copies available at the vet center for people to pick up. We need to have some printed copies for the VA Hospital visit and for visitors to the vet center. What is the right number to have printed? We'll figure that out over the next couple of months. We hope that you understand the rationale behind this decision and will attempt to work through this transition with an open mind. All of us realize that our social security checks, VA compensation checks and, in most cases, our paychecks went to direct deposit at some point in our careers. We were all concerned when that was put into practice but we all got through it. This process will not be any different and we appreciate your cooperation as we work through the new electronic Boo Coo News.

    If you are not on the chapter email distribution list, this would be a good time to provide your email address to the president's office so that you will be on the list.

  • President’s Message # Brian Bobek

    W elcome to summer. As I write this column, it's flirting with 90 outside with the usual humidity that makes this Michigan. But even this will pale in comparison to the

    upcoming VVA Leadership Conference that will be taking place in Arizona next month. The only salvation will be that it will be "dry" heat. Right! I want to give everyone an update on the new Michigan Vietnam POW/MIA Memorial that will be unveiled at the September vigil at Resurrection Cemetery. A couple of months ago I showed an artist's concept sketch of what the memorial was going to look like at the general membership meeting. Based on some feedback from some of the membership I requested some subtle changes be made to their drawing. For those of you who saw the presentation, you may recall that there were two figures on the memorial that really depicted scenes from the current wars in the Middle East, not our war in Vietnam. I went back to the granite company and asked them to research their archives and see if they could find artwork that reflected Vietnam. They came back with just what I requested. The memorial will now definitely have a Vietnam theme to it. They provided a full size drawing of what the memorial will look like in its finished state. This was reviewed by the board and we have given the go-ahead based on their concept. I also signed off on the 49 tiles that will represent our Michigan servicemen

    still missing in action. If I'm being evasive in describing what the final memorial will look like, I can assure you it's intentional. I certainly want everyone to come out to the vigil on September 16 and see for themselves. What's an unveiling if you know what we're going to unveil? Resurrection will soon begin preparing the area for the memorial and we are assured that it will be in place for the vigil. This will be a "monumental" event in the history of our chapter (no pun intended.) A date has been picked for the long-anticipated slow-pitch softball game being sponsored by American House. Bob Gillette has selected September 10, the day before Patriot's Day, for the game between American House staff and the amputee warriors baseball team being brought into town for this unique event. I think I have been successful in keeping chapter members out of the actual game by promising Bob the services of our honor guard for the opening ceremonies, along with a singer for the national anthem. However, if you're disappointed that you can't "cleat up" for the game, I'm sure your participation can be arranged. The game will be held at the new Jimmy John's Stadium in Utica. Times and other details are yet to be released, but I will keep you posted.

    Continued on page 3

    VVA CHAPTER 154 EXECUTIVE BOARD President Brian Bobek 586-524-3806 1st VP Gary Purcell 586-243-6293 2nd VP Steve Bago 586-419-2212 Secretary Mike Schneider 586-567-0731 Treasurer Mike Jacobi 586-504-0781

    Board of Directors Terms Expiring 2017 Leo Lalonde 586-838-9851 Larry May 586-791-8116 Donn Sinclair 586-243-0222 Gary Stephens 586-747-8149 Robert Steward 586-504-0781 Terms Expiring 2018 Greg Bowman 586-650-1800 Gil Claunch 586-854-7842 Dave Schoenherr 586-940-2568 Jim Watts 586-524-9705 Ron Squires 586-747-8881

    Boo Coo News Publisher - The Board of Directors Boo Coo News Editor - Brian Bobek

    Typesetter - Linda May

    Thank you to our sponsors!

    TRUSTEES Gary Sox (2017) Tim Ignash (2018) Tom Puruleski (2019)

    VVA STATE DELEGATES Brian Bobek Alt. Delegates Steve Bago, Chris Franklin, Mike Schneider


    FUNCTIONAL COMMITTEES Agent Orange George Sawyer Honor Guard Jim Watts Food Pantry Gil Claunch Freedom Hill & Eastpointe Memorials Dave Porter Hospitalized Vets Tom Duff Lottery Jim Auito Membership Larry May Merchandise Tim Ignash Michigan Traveling Memorial Dave Schoenherr Nominations Tom Puruleski, Doug Zieger, Leo Miller Operation Christmas TBA POW/MIA Tom Duff Scholarship Woody Horne Speaker’s Bureau Ed Zysk Welcome Home TBA

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News JULY 2016 Page 2

  • PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE continued from page 2

    We are investigating the possibility of changing the sign in front of the vet center so that it focuses more on the "Veterans Support Center" and less on Chapter 154. We've heard many statements that people think that we're only here for the Vietnam vets, so we need to make it clear that the center is, first and foremost, a center for ALL veterans where we just happen to have our offices. Elsewhere in this newsletter are articles about many other things that are going on within the chapter so I'm not going to be redundant in going through those items here. As you may be aware, we lost our VVA service officer recently. This means that the Monday and Wednesday walk-in services we were