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Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 776 - Sep. 2010 News

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Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 776 - Bettendorf, Iowa - September 2010 Newsletter

Text of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 776 - Sep. 2010 News


Service Officers Clarke Barnes309 944-3674

Roger Granbois, Greg Paulline, John Lavelle, and Jett Bork marched in the Bettendorf 4th of July parade.

Ed Gaudet563 343-9456

David Woods563 391-3702

Service Coordinators R.Ernest Ledjte563 785-6182

Tom Lemons563 359-3201

Honor Guard Jett Bork563 528-0636

Edward J. GaudetVietnam Veterans of America Commendation MedalOfcers and Board of Directors650-3055 391-9621 391-7776 355-4213 650-4958 Dir. Mike DeGeeter Dir. Ed Gaudet Dir. Ed Gilmore Dir. Art Heyderman Dir. Larry Witt 391-8427 659-5421 792-2415 359-4186 388-7179

NEXT MEETING September 22, 2010 Bettendorf Public Library 7:00 P.M.President Greg Paulline Vice-President Marlene Marolf Treasurer Harold Hansen Secretary John Lavelle Web Master Roger Granbois

Membership Meeting Minutes for August 2010President Greg Paulline called the meeting to order at 1900 hours. A pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence for all POW/MIA and all those still serving our country in uniform was observed by the membership. Present were President Greg Paulline, Secretary John Lavelle, and Treasurer Harold Hansen. A short introduction of all members and visitors to our meeting followed. The meeting began with a short presentation by Iowa State VVA Council President Roy Hutchison. Roy came to the meeting to present Ed Gaudet with the Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal. The medal has the following purpose. The Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal is the Corporations highest award, and it is awarded for outstanding, exemplary service to veterans, and the community. The purpose of the award is to recognize those members, Associate or Individual, who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to ideals, mission, and goals of the Corporation through their work. Ed Gaudets work in serving our nations veterans and his particular concern for the Vietnam veteran were cited as the reason for this well deserved national award. The chapter had cake and coffee, thanks to Teri Paulline, to celebrate this award for Ed Gaudet. State Council President Hutchison also used this time to tell a little bit about the current state of the Iowa State Council. As has been the case in recent years, there are financial difficulties in Des Moines with the council. The VFW has closed their office in Des Moines and now more veterans are coming to the VVA office for their VSO services. There have been recent personnel changes in the office and there is an effort to find a replacement for the current telemarketing group to increase funding needed for the VSO office in Des Moines and the state council office. The minutes of the July meeting were accepted as published in the newsletter. Membership chair Larry Witt informed the members that we have again added members and now have 143 members in our chapter. Welcome to our newest VVA member, Dale Aikens. Honor Flight will conduct the 10th and 11th flights on September 7th and 8th and were very thankful for the donation of the local Quad City area and Clinton area HyVee to pay for a complete flight. The chapter honor guard was present at the HyVee announcement. Two more Honor Flights are scheduled for November. The chapter helped to fly an Iowa National Guard soldier home after his father was seriously injured in an accident. Unfortunately, the airline delays caused the soldiers arrival to come after the father succumbed to these injuries. The soldier, Sgt. Cory Thomas was not able to get back before his father died. Col. Hapgood, community service officer for the Iowa National Guard was thankful of the chapters efforts to assist Sgt. Thomas and wishes to acknowledge those efforts in a press release. David Woods and Ed Guadet told the membership that this last quarter $155,000 more than in 2009 was awarded to 300 veterans from the VA for comp and pen claims. Member Ed Gilmore has received a prosthetic leg and will begin physical therapy soon. A ramp at his home is yet to be constructed, but is in the works. Patrick Kobelenske told the members that if anyone is in need of school supplies they should contact him at the ING Brady Street Armory. Lyle Peterson and Larry Witt visited Cathy Jordan at the Humility of Mary Homeless Shelter on 5th and Vine. The chapter voted to donate $600 to cover the cost of two veterans beds for two months. They are in need of crossword puzzle books and toiletry items. Jett Bork said that he could get them a supply of soap. Also, at the next meeting anyone can bring a plastic bag with clean clothing donations and he will get these items delivered to the homeless shelter. The shelter claims an 85% success ratio with helping veterans get jobs and housing. Patrick Kobelenske has been very busy assisting family members of the ING troops that have been deployed and that it is not an easy task for these young families. There have been two suicides within the dependents so far. The chapter donated $200 to Sarah Oliver and the Homeless Outreach program, members are asked to bring can goods to the next meeting to help with the food pantry. Retired Bettendorf Police Officer, Tom Lemons has been (continued on next page)

(Minutes continued from previous page) helping as a Veterans Service Representative at the Iowa City VA Hospital, thanks Tom for your continued service to America. The chapter will serve a lunch at the Stand Down on September 18th. Time to arrive for those members who will be assisting is 10:00 A.M. The chapter will provide brats and hot dogs as well as the condiments and buns for this annual event, Roger Granbois will perform this service. Paul Frenchy Eaves will be in charge of security at Stand Down and is in need of volunteers, contact him at (309) 235-3574. Submitted by John P. Lavelle, chapter secretary.

THE GREATEST GENERATION REDUXWhen the war is unpopular, When the struggle is not supported, The truly brave still standout. SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

I have always felt a little bitter by the title of Tom Brokaws book, The Greatest Generation. Bitter because I was a member of a generation that fought in an unpopular war, bitter because when I returned from that war I had to almost hide the fact that I had taken part in it, not because of anything I had done, but because the medias presentation of that war left us in a light that was far less than flattering. Vietnam war veterans have been fighting that image for decades. I know now what made that generation that endured World War II the greatest. It wasnt all about those who were in the line of fire. It was those who bore the burden at home. We as a nation were at war and those at home had to bear the economic burden as well as the trauma of the war. We are at war today. Our economy has suffered and people are upset about it, we have tea parties ranting about change and the two major parties want to place the blame on each other. It is time for America to quit whining and become a power again, or prepare to become a dying nation of crybabies. Suck it up America! Get the job done. We have young men and women who love this country and are willing to pay the ultimate price for our survival. Back during World War II we had great military leaders and young men and women who were willing to pay the price for freedom. We still have that, what we dont have in this country today are those who are at home who are willing to bear that burden. We want quick and easy solutions to change the economy and make life easy. During a war life is not easy, not for the troops in the field or the people at home. The challenge now is to become like that greatest generation. Those who are in the front lines are still like the men and women who fought before them and are being led by the same quality of men and women who fought to preserve our nation. The difference is in those who sit back at home and choose to be smug skeptical critics, rising above the brave men and women who truly are the greatest of their generation. Each generation is faced with its particular challenge and this generation is now facing a great challenge. Those in uniform are following a long tradition of standing tall when called upon. Let all Americans learn from that and stand tall behind them. God Bless America. God keep her safe. John Lavelle Editorial

Edward J. GaudetChapter #776 Bettendorf, Iowa Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal RecipientOn August 25, 2010 Edward J. Gaudet received the Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal from Iowa State Council President Roy Hutchison. Chapter President Greg Paulline obtained the award while attending the Leadership conference in Orlando, Florida and contacted the state council president who was more than willing to travel to Bettendorf, Iowa to present the award to Ed. Ed Gaudet served in the US Army from 1962-1966 He was a Combat Medic and served in this position in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966 with the 1st Infantry Division. Ed received the Combat Medic Badge for his service, and says this is still what makes him the proudest. Ed has lived and breathed veterans and veterans assistance for more than 20 years. He gives his time daily and has upheld the VVAs mission of Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another. Ed exemplifies what a Veteran should be and he is extremely deserving of the Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal. Ed was a charter member of Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois in 1986. He served as Vice President and President of Chapter 299 as well serving on the Board of Directors for 6 years. He also served as the Chapter Illinois State Representative for Chapter 299. In 1996 Ed was the founding member of Chapter 776 and its first President. Ed has served as president two separate terms since it began. He has been on the Board