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    Boo Coo NewsVietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Mount Clemens, Michigan

    APRIL 2015



    18025 E. 15 MILE ROAD

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP MI 48035-2403

    586-776-9810 PHONE

    586-776-9683 FAX

    MONDAY - FRIDAY 10 A.M. - 4 P.M.



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    # Donn Sinclair, Open House Committee 

    The chapter open house is scheduled for Saturday, April

    25. Gary Purcell is arranging for parking at the nearby

    school and with American House for a shuttle

    bus. There will be very limited parking available in our

    parking lot. The shuttle will be available and is equipped

    with a wheelchair lift. A handicap plate or sticker will not

    allow parking in the chapter parking lot. If there are special

    circumstances, contact Gary Purcell. He will decide any exceptions. Please don’t

    expect access the day of the event, you will be turned away.


    Since many of our members are “snowbirding” at this stage of life, please let us

    know when you are going to be away from your home so we can suspend your

    Boo Coo News until you return. What happens under the nonprofit mailing

    process we are using, we pay a greatly discounted mailing rate which reduces our

    costs of getting the newsletters out to the membership. When you are away, mail

    like your newsletter doesn’t get forwarded. It gets returned to us and we have to

    pay the full first-class postage on every returned newsletter. That means we’re

    paying for mailing costs twice. It only takes a call to the vet center to suspend your

    newsletter while you’re vacationing, and a call again when you’re home and want

    to resume receiving your newsletter. Please help the chapter minimize this

    unnecessary cost by letting us know when you plan to be away. Thank you for your

    cooperation. (Boo Coo News is posted on the chapter website, so you may read any

    issues that don’t come in the mail.)


    # Donn Sinclair, Car Show Chairman

    The sun’s out, the snow’s melting. Time to head for the garage, pull off the

    cover and get ready for cruising season. Our chapter car show will be at

    Gibraltar Mount Clemens, Saturday, August 22. Entry and award sponsor

    forms are available at the vet center. Donations for our raffle table are greatly

    appreciated. Drop them at the vet center, or give me a call. I’ll be glad to pick them

    up. As in the past, trophy and award sponsors are critical to the bottom line. The

    more trophies sponsored, the fewer we need to buy, more money for the chapter.

    It’s always a good time. Circle the date on your calendar.


    Another reminder for the 2015 golf outing. It will again be held at Hickory

    Hollow Golf Course, North Avenue at 22 Mile Road. The date is confirmed for

    August 29 with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. We need golfers, hole sponsors, and

    donations of items for the raffle. Forms will be available soon to allow you to solicit

    for individual and business support. Contact Dave Schoenherr or Mike Schneider

    for more info.

  • Boo Coo News PublisherThe Board of DirectorsBoo Coo News Editor

    Brian BobekTypesetting ~ Linda May

    Thank you! to all of our advertisers.

    President’s Message

    The months of March and April have been consumed with work around the new building and all the various civic activities, fundraisers,

    planning meetings, etc. that have been going on. It's been a grueling pace for everyone, as is attested to by some short tempers, so

    thankfully we should be starting to see a little break in the action. The times may be trying, but we have to remember we're all here for

    the same reason, and maintain a positive attitude to keep things moving forward.

    The building has undergone an impressive transformation over the last couple of months. Anyone who has not stopped by to see what's

    going on should do so. A lot of the favorable comments have centered on the display area that Gary Stephens has been diligently

    working on. We've uncovered stuff from the “Chapter 154” archives that a lot of us have never seen. Now we have the area to create what I

    hope will attest to our legacy in future years. I received an email from a man in Rochester that said he wanted to know if his teenage sons

    could meet with a few Vietnam vets and hear about weapons, tactics, uniforms, etc. and have a chance to hear about experiences in Vietnam.

    I suggested to the man that he bring his sons over to the vet center, tour through our exhibits, and talk with some of the vets around the

    office. I guess where I'm going with this is that this is a remarkable opportunity for all of you to do something similar; bring people

    (youngsters or adults alike) over to the vet center and use our display area as a teaching tool. As you all talk about, there have been so many

    misconceptions spread about our war, and here is a tremendous tool for you to “set the record straight.” It's our obligation to make sure

    future generations don't continue to view us as we have been so negatively portrayed.

    Several events of importance are coming up during April and May. First on the agenda is the Agent Orange Town Hall meeting that will be

    held at the American House on Common Road, just east of Groesbeck. The date is April 18 and the time is noon. There will be presentations

    being made about the effects of Agent Orange on our children and grandchildren. There is substantial information that directly associates

    many diseases in our children with our exposure to Agent Orange, so please plan on attending to hear all the details. This will be a major

    issue with Vietnam veterans going forward.

    April 25 will be the dedication ceremonies for the new vet center. We are getting invitations out in the mail to some of the key people

    in the county and Clinton Township, and a good turnout of members would certainly be a show of force about our commitment to the

    veterans of Macomb County. The start of the ceremony will be at 11 a.m. that day. In case the weather is uncooperative, Gary Purcell is lining

    up tents and chairs for attendees. As parking is a problem at the vet center for this type of event, we are asking people to park at the Jonas

    Salk school just west of the vet center. We will be providing a shuttle bus from the lot to the building and ask your cooperation in using the

    school parking lot.

    Lastly, Clinton Township is bringing in the ½ scale replica Vietnam memorial wall over the Memorial Day weekend. I have committed

    the chapter to assist wherever possible so that the event is handled in a dignified manner. We are asking for volunteers to help set up the

    wall on May 21 and tear down on May 25, to work as wall escorts for those people who may need assistance, security for the wall while it is

    here, and to read the names of the 2,654 Michigan servicemen whose names appear on the memorial. Additionally, there will be a veteran's

    hospitality tent set up and we may be asked to staff that as well. Anyone wishing to throw their name in for any of these volunteer duties

    should contact me directly. Your participation will guarantee this event is successful and handled professionally.

    A busy spring for all of us, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at any, or all, of the listed events. Let's put our best foot

    forward and represent Chapter 154.

    Brian Bobek

    20th Engineering Brigade (Combat) Vietnam, 1967-68


    President Brian Bobek 586-524-38061st VP Gary Purcell 586-243-62932nd VP Steve Bago 586-419-2212Secretary Mike Schneider 586-567-0731Treasurer Mike Jacobi 586-504-0781

    BOARD OF DIRECTORSMike Gardner (2015) 586-615-1509Larry May (2015) 586-790-0008Chris Scalise (2015) 810-278-1907Donn Sinclair (2015) 586-243-0222Gary Stephens (2015) 586-747-8149Greg Bowman (2016) 586-850-1800Gil Claunch (2016) 586-854-7842Ron Drdul (2016) 586-899-7112Dave Schoenherr (2016) 586-940-2568Jim Watts (2016) 586-524-9705

    TRUSTEESFred Warner (2015), Mike Gardner (2016), Gary Sox (2017)

    2011-2012 STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRSCommunity Service Mike GardnerConstitution/By-Laws Donn SinclairETABO Chris ScaliseFinance Mike JacobiGovernment Affairs Ron DrdulMembership Larry MayMinority Affairs Steve BagoNominating Committee Gary Sox, Bob Steward, Mike BilykPublic Affairs Brian BobekVeterans Affairs Gary StephensVeterans Benefits Brian BobekWomen Veterans Jim WattsPOW/MIA Tom DuffAgent Orange/Dioxin George SawyerIncarcerated Veterans Dave SchoenherrVeteran’s Health Care Gil ClaunchState Delegates Mike Gardner, Brian Bobek, Mike Schneider

    SPECIAL & AD HOC COMMITTEESAVVA Rep Patrick BozziColor Guard Jim WattsFood Bank Gil ClaunchHospitalized Vets Tom DuffLottery Jim AuitoMerchandise Tim IgnashMichigan Memorial Dave SchoenherrScholarship Woody HorneSpeakers Bureau Ed ZyskWebmaster Larry SaugerWelcome Home Mitch ArgyrisOperation Christmas Gary Purcell chairman; Ron Drdul dance; Gil Claunch food; Peggy&Terri toys

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 2

  • Jim Watts Commander

    Steve Bago Vice Commander

    John Mohan Treasurer

    Gary Stephens Armorer

    Ted Szymanski Armorer/Property Officer

    Ron Drdul Chaplain

    Glen Cash Assistant Chaplain

    This T-6 Texan will soon beadded to the air park displayat the Selfridge MilitaryMuseum at Selfridge AirNational Guard Base. Thesingle-engine trainer wasflown by the Michigan AirNational Guard from 1946until 1955. It is painted incolors appropriate to that era.All of the more than 30 aircrafton display at the museumwere either operated by theMichigan ANG or by anothermilitary unit at a base in thestate of Michigan.

    # HONOR GUARD REPORT- Jim Watts, Commander

    Since my last report out on February 11, 2015 the honor guard has conductedthe following details:

    Total of 8 Funerals5 Army, 1 Navy, 1 USAF, 1 USMC4 WWII, 2 Korea, 1 Vietnam, 1 two-war veteran (WWII & Korea)

    Lynn Ryan Jr. Navy WWII & KoreaJerome Gwisadalla USAF KoreaGary Geister Army VietnamWalter Schmidt Army WWIIJohn Zawaiski Army WWIIRaymond Bliemeister Army KoreaJohn Bohach Army WWIIMorley Ireland USMC WWII

    Other Details & Functions

    Honor guard also participated in:• Flag detail for Safari Club International Novi Chapter, MGM in Detroit• Flag detail for Safari Club International Detroit Chapter, Sterling Inn

    Color Guard Honors Wounded Warrior

    For the last several years, the Chapter 154 color guard has been presenting our national and service flags at the openingceremony for the annual Novi Chapter Safari Club International Wild Game Dinner and Fundraiser event at the MGMGrand in Detroit. At this event the SCI honors a wounded warrior from our most recent conflicts, and this year was no

    exception. We had the honor sitting with Sgt. Mitch Underwood who lost one of his legs to an IED in Iraq in 2011. He attendedthe event with his wife, and sat at the table of honor accompanied by our honor guard. Following the presentation of flags,President Brian Bobek was called to the stage to present one of our medals to Sgt. Underwood. It's always a very movingceremony, and brings the crowd to their feet to acknowledge one of our soldiers who have made a significant sacrifice tomaintain the freedoms we enjoy in this country. We thank SCI Novi for, once again, requesting that Chapter 154 participate inthis event, and we salute Sgt. Underwood for his service to country.

    Selfridge Military Air Museum launches 2015 season

    The museum’s general public hours are noon-4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus Independence Dayand Memorial Day, April 4 – Oct. 31. The Museum and Air Park can also be opened by appointment atother times throughout the year. More than $7 million worth of aircraft displays await visitors to the

    museum. Highlights in the air park include a C-130 Hercules and a P-3 Orion. Indoor displays include a full-scale historically accurate replica of a World War I fighter plane, the SPAD XIII;a ¾-scale historically accurate replica of the Wright Brothers first aircraft, the Wright Flyer;” an interactivecutaway and motorized World War II aircraft engine; an interactive Air Traffic Control radar display; anextensive display of original aviation art produced by noted aviation artists; a Korean War era "Jeep", and fouraircraft cockpit trainers: a modern F-16 "Fighting Falcon," a Vietnam-era A-7 “Corsair II,” a World War II LINKtrainer that guests can actually sit inside, and a functional LINK trainer that can be operated only byappointment and by qualified individuals. Museum displays show a wide variety of military memorabilia including weapons, aircraft engines, militaryuniforms, military aircraft models, and photographs spanning the almost 100-year history of the Base. TheSelfridge Military Air Museum is a private nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers and receives nofederal or state funding for the operation and maintenance of its facilities and displays. Admission is $4 perguest over the age of 12 and $3 for children between 4 and 12 years of age with a minimum donation of $25 forall by-appointment tours. See Selfridge Military Air Museum, 27333 C St., Bldg.1011, Selfridge ANGB MI 48045, 586-239-5035, [email protected]

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 3


    18025 E. 15 MILE ROAD

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP MI 48035-2403


    10 A.M. TO 4 P.M. MONDAY - FRIDAY ! 586-776-9810





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    SICK CALL & CONDOLENCESContact Ron Drdul [email protected] or 586-899-7112If you know of a death or illness of a chapter member or their family, please

    notify Ron Drdul so that we may get the information in the Boo Coo News in a

    timely manner. All of the kind thoughts and prayers offered up by our

    membership are truly appreciated by these folks, and apparently are working

    to help them through their tough times. Keep ‘em coming.

    Sick Call

    • Chapter member Glenn Williams underwent major back surgery

    recently. Glenn has had a lot of pain to deal with the last few years

    and this was a very complex surgery.

    • Chapter and color guard member, Roger Krzeminski recently went

    in for a third installment of chemo. After they drew blood, the blood

    counts came back low for the white and red blood cells. Rather than

    risk infections when they get this low, they choose to give a shot

    (Neupogen) which boosts the making of the cells that are being

    killed by the chemo.

    • Chapter member Dave Porter was recently at the VA Hospital in Ann

    Arbor where he underwent surgery for cancer.

    Many other members are still struggling with their ailments, and your

    continued prayers and words of encouragement are greatly appreciated by

    all of them.

    Hospital Report

    Submitted by Tom Duff

    On March 11, Carol Gernand, Pete

    Gernand, Joe Spencer, Gil Claunch, Judy

    Haag, John Hages, Carlene Cremin, Don

    Cremin, Linda Baisden, Harry Wisniewski and

    I went to the VA Hospital. We went to wards

    A-4 north and A-3 north, the substance abuse

    ward and the dialysis ward. We visited with

    59 vets. We passed out personal items bags,

    magazines, crossword puzzle books, Boo Coo

    Newsletters, blankets, lap robes, bananas,

    pretzels, potato chips, Hostess products. We

    passed out handmade placemats donated by

    school children. We had a great time and most

    of all we let at least 59 vets know that we care

    and they are not forgotten.

    VA Eliminates Net Worth as Health Care Eligibility Factor

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more

    veterans having access to the health care benefits. VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care

    programs and copayment responsibilities. This change makes VA health care benefits more accessible to lower-income veterans and

    brings VA policies in line with Secretary Robert A. McDonald’s MyVA initiative which reorients VA around veterans’ needs. Instead of

    combining the sum of veterans’ income with their assets to determine eligibility for medical care and copayment obligations, VA will now

    only consider a veteran’s gross household income and deductible expenses from the previous year. Elimination of the consideration of net

    worth for VA health care enrollment means that certain lower-income, non-service-connected veterans will have less out-of- pocket costs.

    Over a 5-year period, it is estimated that 190,000 veterans will become eligible for reduced costs of their health care services.

    In March 2014, VA eliminated the annual requirement for updated financial information. VA now uses information from the Internal

    Revenue Service and Social Security Administration to automatically match individual veterans’ income information which reduces the

    burden on veterans to keep their healthcare eligibility up to date. That change better aligned VA’s health care financial assessment program

    with other federal health care organizations. Veterans may submit updated income information at, or by visiting

    their nearby VA health care facility. For more information, visit or call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 4

  • Mac & Cheese Event a Success

    On Friday, February 27, our friends at American House held amacaroni and cheese fundraiser event to benefit Chapter154. Twelve brave chefs came prepared to offer their unique

    recipe for mac & cheese. Included in the serving line were severalchapter members: Don & Carlene Cremin, Dave Schoenherr, GilClaunch, Associate member Jennifer Hissong, and Ron Squires(who actually admitted that it was his wife that made their dish). Personally, I was only able to get through six samples, but otherswere far more aggressive and got through more of the dishes. Quite a few chapter members were in attendance, all voting fortheir favorite. The final winner was our own Associate member,Jennifer Hissong. American House also ran a 50/50 raffle and silentauction, as well as providing entertainment for the evening. Inaddition, Fran Marable from American House had another surprisefor us. Her husband and son participated in one of those "polarplunge" events where crazy people jump through a hole in the iceas a demented way of raising money for worthwhile causes. Theypresented money that was pledged by many people, and that wasgiven to our chapter as well. It was a great event, a lot of fun for everyone, and resulted in anice contribution to our chapter. We thank the fine folks atAmerican House for their continued support of our chapter. Theyare always there for us. There will be another event in the nearfuture, a chili cook-off. When the notice comes out, please join us inparticipating in these fundraisers. We certainly benefit from them,and you get a chance to sample some cooking from our chapter'sfinest chefs.

    ASSOCIATES OF VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA The Mission and Vision of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. is to advance the work ofVietnam Veterans of America, Inc. through cooperative projects and/or programs, to facilitate, enhance and

    improve communication with our members and the general public and to continue legislative efforts to

    ensure the rights of and benefits for all veterans and their families. Associates of Vietnam Veterans of

    America, Inc., are dedicated to the aggressive advancement of realistic goals with integrity and in the spirit

    of unity that reflects our commitment of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., all veterans, their families and


    JOIN THE ASSOCIATES! We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. AT THE VET CENTER

    Minutes of March 18, 2015 AVVA Meeting

    Meeting opened at 7 p.m. with the Pledge and a moment of silence.

    Mitch Malek, was present to offer us Barbie Dolls that could beused as a fundraiser. He presented a list of the dolls and theirapproximate worth. He asked that if we took them, we provide himwith a donation letter for his taxes. Their approximate value was alittle over $2,600. A discussion was held and it was decided thatwe did not want to take this project on. The chapter open house (grand opening) will be held onSaturday, April 25. The associates have been asked to help in thefood area. Phyllis passed around a paper to sign up for bakingeither cookies or brownies. Brian spoke about The Wall That Heals coming to the ClintonTownship Library on Memorial Weekend. The chapter has beenasked to help in several areas. Setup of the wall will be May 21and it will remain open 24/7 that weekend. Tear-down will be onthe 25th. An email has been sent out by Brian listing the differentareas where help will be needed. The Memorial Day BBQ at Freedom Hill was touched on. Phylliswill talk to Jim Watts, to see what the Honor Guard would like us todo. It will be further discussed at the next meeting. Karen Macksaid Resurrection Cemetery will again provide lunch to the HonorGuard and other chapter and associate members who attend theceremony at the cemetery. The following events were talked about: The rib and karaokeevening on March 19 to be held at the Native American chapter(American Indian Veterans of Michigan Inc.) This is not afundraiser, but rather a fun evening for chapter and associatemembers of both groups. Bring a dish to pass and a nonalcoholicbeverage. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans at the Bruce Post onMarch 28 at 3 p.m.; the chapter is helping with the food. March30, the Native American chapter is hosting a Welcome HomeVietnam Veterans at their site (South Eastern Michigan IndiansInc.). This will start at 2 p.m. and is a spaghetti dinner. AmericanHouse is holding a chili cook off on March 25; this is not afundraiser for our chapter, but we are encouraged to attend.American House is very good to our chapter. Operation ChristmasDinner Dance, December 5 at Fern Hill (new venue) this year,August 22 chapter car show and August 29 chapter golf outing. Please try and help where you can and where it is needed. Elections will be held next month, Pat Drdul and Cathy Cook willcount the ballots. Brian spoke on the Agent Orange Town Hallmeeting to be held on April 18 at the American House on CommonRoad. It is important to get the word out on this event and attend ifyou can. The next meeting will be held on April 15. Meetingadjourned at 7:45.

    Respectfully submitted, Margaret Schoenherr, Acting Secretary

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 5

  • Minutes of General Membership Meeting 3/11/15 ~ Submitted by Mike Schneider

    Meeting called to order by President Brian Bobek at 1900 hours. Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of silence observed. Readingof motions passed at the last board meeting were read and approved by membership. Previous month's minutes from Boo Coo Newswere approved. Treasurer's report given by Mike Jacobi, general account was down this month due to upgrading new facility but all

    funds are doing fine. Motion by Mitch A, seconded by Jim W to accept audited report.

    COMMITTEES:POW/MIA, hospital and honor guard tofollow. No merchandise or state councilreports.

    Speakers Bureau

    We have contacted schools and hope tostart visiting in April.


    Forms must be turned so awards can begiven in June.

    Food Pantry

    We took care of 52 families in Februarytotaling 141 people. Forgotten Harveststill bring food to help us feed thehungry.

    Traveling Memorial

    We were at the Bruce Post VFW forwelcome home day. Thanks again tothem for sponsoring a day for us.Donation money given to the chapterfrom our travels. Thanks to all whohelp.

    Agent Orange

    New claim forms must be filled outcompletely. Get help from your serviceofficer to do them properly. You canobtain you high school from your localschool board if you did not graduate.You can get a referral from the VA to seea chiropractor for service-connecteddisabilities.


    Third round of nominations were heldat their March meeting. JenniferHissong won first prize at themac-and-cheese cookoff at AmericanHouse. Way to go Jennifer.

    Car Show

    The car show will be August 22 atGibraltar. Trophy and prize formsavailable at the vet center. Sponsors arethe key to the success of the car show,so everyone was encouraged to solicitsponsors.


    The Agent Orange seminar will be on April 18 at American House on Common Rd from noonuntil 2 p.m. or later, depending on audience participation. Our government seems to want tofocus on children and grandchildren of the Vietnamese but not our own. There are bills in theHouse and Senate asking for the same kind of interest for our offspring. The only thing theyrecognize for male veterans offspring is spina bifida as compared to 15 ailments attributed tofemale vets. A motion was made by George S, seconded by Chris F to place an ad in the MacombDaily about the seminar, passed by the membership.

    Gary Purcell will chair the dedication and open house committee for the new vet centerscheduled at 11 a.m. on April 25. "The Wall That Heals" will be at the Clinton Twp. Librarybeginning May 21. The chapter will be involved throughout the weekend, more info to follow.The Native American Veterans received a grant from the Michigan Department of Health for astop smoking program. There are forms at the vet center you can fill out and the information isstrictly confidential. A night of barbecue, as well as a welcome home night, were also sponsoredat their place in Center Line. Thanks guys and gals for your hard work. We are still seeking grantmoney to update lighting and will ask DTE to evaluate our electric use throughout the facility.Harry W donated $50 to the color guard and challenged others to match it. Thanks Harry.


    Fundraiser held at El Charro Restaurant on 3/16. O'Reilly Auto Parts offers a 10% discount toveterans. Macomb County Master Gardener program will recommend landscape ideas for the vetcenter. United Lawnscape was contacted about a yearly contract for snow removal/lawn service,more to follow. If you have memorabilia that you wish to donate or loan for display at the vetcenter, see Gary Stephens. He has done an excellent job of making this area quite an attraction.Great job Gary. Member of the Year forms must be in by April 15. Thank you Associate for thecake and coffee at the meeting for a welcome home to all.

    50/50 ticket #884198 was won by Joe R. Motion to adjourn by Ron D, seconded by John B.

    Results of nominations and acceptances, third and final round. Elections April 8.

    President: Brian Bobek1st Vice-president: Gary Purcell

    Steve BagoSecond Vice-president: Woody Horne

    Ron DrdulThomas Budzinski (Stone)

    Secretary: Mike SchneiderTreasurer: Mike JacobiBoard of Directors: Gary Stephens, Terry Dickinson, Leo Miller, Donn Sinclair, Bob

    Steward, Ron Squires, Larry May, Joe Spencer, George Chicklas, LeoLalonde, John Willey

    Trustee: John Hages, Tim IgnashNominating Committee: Mike Bilyk, Gary SoxState Delegate: Brian Bobek, Mike Schneider, Chris Franklin, Dave Porter

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 6

  • POW/MIAWelcome Home!

    1,629 Missing49 Michigan

    •“I was prepared to be wounded --- prepared to be captured ---

    even prepared to be killed. I was not prepared to be abandoned

    by my country.” Former POW U.S. Navy Captain Eugene “Red”


    •A man is not dead until he is forgotten. We will never forget.

    Welcome Home!

    •“When one member of the armed forces is not worth the effort

    to be found, then we have lost our honor.” ~~ VVNW

    Support your POW/MIAs. Fly your POW/MIA flag. Display a

    POW/MIA decal. If you need a POW/MIA decal for your car,

    truck or bike, or certificate of appreciation for flying a flag,

    see Tom Duff. If a company or homeowner is flying a

    POW/MIA flag, let Tom Duff know so we can give them a


    POW/MIA Reports

    Submitted by Tom Duff















    POW/MIA Report


    1st Lt. James F. Gatlin, Jr., U.S. Army Air Force. Lost 12/23/1944 in Germany. He was accounted for 1/9/2015. He was buried

    with full military honors.

    1st Lt. William Bernier from Montana; 1st Lt. Bryant Poulsen from Utah; 1st Lt. Herbert Young from Arizona; Tech Sgt. Charles

    Johnston from Pennsylvania; Tech Sgt. Hugh Moore from Maryland; Staff Sgt. John Copeland from Kansas; Staff Sgt. Charles

    Jones from Georgia; Sgt. Charles Gardner from California. Lost April 10, 1944 in New Guinea.


    Cpl. C.G. Bolden, U.S. Army. Lost 1/5/1951 in North Korea. He was accounted for 1/16/2015. He will be buried with full

    military honors.

    Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Strum, U.S. Army. Lost 11/4/1950 in North Korea. He was accounted for 1/13/2015. He will be buried

    with full military honors.


    Capt. David Chorlins, U.S. Air Force. Lost 1/11/1970 in Laos. He was accounted for 1/17/2015. He will be buried with full

    military honors.

    Sgt. 1st Class James W. Holt, U.S. Army. Lost 2/7/1968 in Vietnam. He was accounted for 1/10/2015. He will be buried with full

    military honors.

    1,629 missing from the Vietnam War; 49 from Michigan

    From the National League of POW MIA Families: ONGOING POW/MIA REORGANIZATION: In response to growing concerns over

    direction, a veteran service organization and League letter was sent to former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on December 11,

    2014, laying out very serious concerns over lost momentum and lack of confidence in the ongoing reorganization effort. The

    former Secretary again responded to our concerns, but it was not until January 9, 2015, that specific decisions were announced.

    While Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth will continue to be the senior DoD official directly responsible,

    RADM Michael T. Franken, USN, was named Interim Director of the new Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and former JPAC

    Commander Maj Gen Kelly K. McKeague, USAF, was named the Interim Deputy Director. In addition, and as promised, LTG Michael

    Linnington, USA, currently serving as Military Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, was named

    as special advisor to USDP Wormuth. The Personnel Accounting Consolidation Task Force was terminated, as were the

    PACT-directed Working Groups. The Clearing, a private consulting firm retained by the PACT Director, is continuing to provide

    assistance, though now to newly organized and directed functional task forces. Despite former Secretary Hagel’s admonition to be

    fully transparent, Working Group recommendations were not released publicly; therefore the League is unable to provide insights

    on the usefulness of their efforts. The League, VSOs and other groups received pledges from senior DoD officials that secrecy was

    over, there would be full transparency and a real working partnership would be established with the families, in particular.

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 7

  • Member Spotlight

    Feature Writer Leo Lalonde

    A few people call him, “James.” Most call him, “Jim,” butmany fellow Vietnam Veterans call him, “Chapter 154'slottery man.” And for good reason.

    Auito has been active in Chapter 154for the past five years and has been incharge of selling lottery tickets for thepast four years. He and his twoassistants, John Steinacker and TerryDickinson, oversee the selling of 1,000“Daily 3" lottery tickets every othermonth by 34 volunteer ticket-sellers. The first month is for selling ticketsand the next month is for the drawings.

    Auito checks the “Daily 3" eveningdraw each day and writes out threechecks every night. The owner of thewinning ticket gets $50. The personswith the number before and after thewinning ticket each get $10.

    Wednesday’s winner gets the big money award of $125 whilethe seller of the winning ticket gets $50.

    Asked if supervising the chapter's lottery operation is “almost afull time job,” Auito answers, “It can be hectic.”

    Born in Detroit and raised in Warren, Auito graduated from EastDetroit High School in 1966. He met his wife, Deborah, in 1970and they married in 1971. They have one son, Jimmy II, born in1972. He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Tyler, a 7-year-old boy and his sister, Arianna, 18 months.

    Auito's military career began in August 1967, when he wasdrafted. He did basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. and completedAIT at Fort Meade, MD. His MOS was 64B20, driving heavy 5-tontrucks. Upon arriving in Vietnam, he was assigned to the 585thTransportation Company, which was part of the 39th Battalion,26th Group, First Logistical Command.

    “Basically, we drove to DaNang, picked up ammo and drove it tothe boonies,” Auito said. “We often worked seven days a week,14 hours a day.” He was in country for 14 months, dischargingfrom Fort Lewis, WA in March 1969.

    Auito worked for ten years after his discharge for ChryslerTransport, until he was laid off in 1982. He then started his ownbusiness, J & R Modernization, where he worked on aluminumsiding, construction, windows, trim, gutters, etc. He worked inthis business until he retired in 2008. He turned the businessover to his son.

    Auito can be seen almost every day at the chapter's vetcenter. To him, “being in the chapter is all about camaraderie,”Auito said. “I love the brotherhood here. It's all about relaxingand getting away from the outside.”

    Thank You & Acknowledgments

    Below is a listing of companies and individuals who steppedup to the plate to assist in the process of moving andgetting all of the various elements completed to allow us to

    begin operations at the new facility. In most cases, thecompanies listed provided materials at their cost, sometimes atno cost, and additionally provided labor for free. The individualslisted, whether chapter members or not, put in countless hoursto get things shaped up, all at no cost to the chapter. This movewould have been much more difficult and costly without theselfless efforts of these fine folks. Please join me inacknowledging all those who worked so hard.

    Allied Signs Inc - Dominic Palazzolo (new front sign)

    Colville Electric - Jim Colville (everything electrical)

    DAK Construction - Doug Mathew (carpentry)

    Dilisio Contracting Co - Joe Dilisio (pavement work)

    Fire & Ice Mechanical - Don Dezio (new HVAC units)

    Gold ‘n Stones - Wallace Kotlarz (cameras)

    Kramer & Murray, Attorneys - Michael J Murray (legal

    representation during acquisition)

    LaSalle Sales - Chuck DeSlippe (carpentry/drywall)

    Network One Inc - Tony Camilli (video surveillance system)

    P&K Power Klean - Dave Redlowski (carpet cleaning)

    Rocket Enterprises (moving of flagpole and installation)

    Rose Moving Co – Arnie Stefani (move of office furniture to

    new building)

    Signorello Cement Co - Mike Signorello (pavement)

    Jim Auito - (Construction)

    Bobby Steward (Construction)

    Frank Blowers - (Appraisal)

    Bob Bowman - (Painting/Construction)

    Dennis Bowman - (Painting)

    Greg Bowman - (Site Manager)

    Larry Bowman - (Paint/Painting)

    Mike Bowman - (Electrician)

    Gil Claunch - (Telephone/Computer Installation)

    Pat Clinton - (Plumbing)

    Tim Ignash - (Construction)

    Kevin Kalich - (Drywall Finishing)

    Gary Purcell - (Moving & Clean Up)

    Mike Schneider - (Construction & spiritual guidance)

    Dave Schoenherr - (Construction)

    Joe Spencer - (Construction)

    Ron Squires - (Construction)

    John Steinacker - (Construction)

    Gary Stephens - (Museum Curator)

    Lastly, Brian Bobek, who mainly stayed out of the way of theguys who knew far more about what they were doing thanhimself.

    There were so many people that bellied up to the bar that youmay have been overlooked. For that I sincerely apologize, butknow that your efforts were, and are, certainly appreciated.

    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 8


    Nominating forms must be turned in by April 15

    Member of the Year will be announced at the May general membership meeting

    Nominee’s Name:


    I believe this person should be selected as Member of the Year because:

    (add additional sheets if necessary)













    Completed forms should be submitted to:

    Gary Stephens

    c/o Veterans Support Center

    18025 15 Mile Road, Clinton Twp., MI 48035 (mail)

    Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (drop off)

    Thank you for your help and support

    Member(s) of the Year Nominations

    The annual Member of the Year

    nominations are continuing. Forms

    may be picked up at the Vet Center.

    This is an opportunity for members to

    nominate someone who consistently

    goes beyond the call of duty in some

    facet of service to this chapter.

    Persons previously receiving this

    award are not eligible to be nominated


    We may make awards to more than

    one chapter member at the discretion

    of the committee. If you feel strongly

    that someone deserves this

    recognition, please fill out an

    application and drop/mail it back to

    the Vet Center to the attention of Gary

    Stephens. Note that you have until

    April 15 to get the application back.

    The committee will review your

    nominee, and the awardee(s) will be

    named at the May general membership

    meeting. Time is getting short, so act


    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 9

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    Clinton Twp.

    Buy Direct • Quality Granite &

    Bronze Cemetery Monuments •

    War & Civic Memorials • Rock

    Engraving & Cremation Urns •

    Free Local Delivery


    Company of

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    Re/Max Suburban Inc. “Since 1987"

    Residential & Commercial Real EstatePrivate Sales – Short Sales –

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    Ray Nadolski Realtor and Chapter 154 member

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    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 - Boo Coo News APRIL 2015 - Page 10

  • Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

    April 2015


    2ServiceOfficerAl Anon

    3April 3-4memorial atLaingsburg

    Good Friday


    5 6Passoverbegins

    7Service Officer


    8Hospital visitChaptermeetingELECTIONS

    9ServiceOfficerAl Anon




    13 14Serviceofficer

    Honor guardmeeting

    15AssociatesMeeting 7pm

    tax day

    16ServiceOfficerAl Anon

    17 18Agent OrangeTown Hall atAmericanHouse

    19 22 21ServiceOfficer


    Earth Day

    23ServiceOfficerAl Anon

    24 25Dedication ofnew vetcenter

    26 27 28ServiceOfficer

    29 memorial atJohn Glenn HSWestland

    30 LOOKINGAHEAD May21-25 helpneeded withThe Wall ThatHeals

    Aug.22 car show

    Aug. 29 golfouting


    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154

    18025 E. 15 Mile Road

    Clinton Township MI 48035-2403

    1,629 stillunaccounted for; 49 from Michigan

    OPEN to read the GOOD NEWS about Chapter 154



    APRIL 2015 issue of BOO COO NEWS

    Veterans Support Center

    18025 E. 15 MILE ROAD ~ CLINTON TOWNSHIP MI 48035-2403 (586) 776-9810 ~ (586) 776-9683 fax

    Hours of Operation Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    All Volunteer-RunChapter Business Center

    Veterans Food PantryEmployment Assistance

    Veterans Benefits Service OfficerFree Counseling


    CamaraderieDrop In & Hang Out & Help Out