20 January 2011

20 January 2011


Call to order: 18:00

Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence for POW/MIAs.

Prayer was offered returning chapter chaplain, Jim Kelly

Special note was taken of the losses suffered by Marine 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, the Darkhorse Battalion, based at Camp Pendleton.  It was reported they lost 12 marines in 4 days:

Justin Alben, 23 Brett Linley, 29 Matthew Weikert, 29
Justus Bartett, 27 Dave Santos, 21 Chase Stanley, 21
Jesse Reed, 26 Matthew Johnson, 21 Zachary Fisher, 24
Brandon King, 23 Christopher Goeke, 23 Sheldon Tate, 27

Editor’s note: Some research since the meeting found Darkhorse 3/5 losses, often put at 9 marines, have been called a hoax and a scam, or that scams have been associated with the story of their losses.  The best evidence is that the Darkhorse arrived in Helmund Province, Afghanistan, in October 2010 and immediately began taking losses.  According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 members of the battalion were killed in the October-November timeframe.  The thirteenth, 21-year old Randy Braggs, was killed on November 6.  

Roll call: all officers present except Kenny Williams, total attendance 48 including visitors (per sign in sheets).

Birthday List for December and January:

Mary Beck Michael Raya Bob Sperry Tom Hildebrand
Troy Stormoen Ron Coleman Ron Rainhardt Jim Kelly
Ron Rolen Kate Roman Johnny Martinez

Approval of minutes, distributed before the meeting: approval of the August minutes was moved to the end of the meeting.  Dennis Espinoza moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Ron Coleman (unanimous).

Treasurer’s report: presented by Rick Shuster, copies distributed before the meeting.  Bob Marshall moved to approve the report, seconded by Dennis Espinoza (unanimous).  Petty Cash report: presented by Bob Marshall, distributed before the meeting.

Introductions: The following guests were introduced:

Bill Elander, LTC USAF and former Vietnam POW who spent 1 year at the Hanoi Hilton.  Bob Marshall moved to make him a lifetime member of VVA, second Dennis Espinoza, by acclimation.

Chuck Gresham and Virginia Green, retired Vietnam vets.

Special presentation:

Linda Haigh, veteran’s advocate, presented the Free Dental Care for Vets program, a program of pro bono dental care for needy vets.  She is supported and helped by Washoe Republican Women, and has recruited 17 dentists into the program.  The dentists adopt their patients for life.  Her purpose in addressing the chapter was to
1. Explain the program.  The program is available to honorably discharged vets with
incomes below $1100/mo.  Vets must commit to a complete course of care.  Dentists
adopt the vets for life.
2. Their current outreach for additional dentists.  More are needed to serve the current wait list of approximately 65 veterans.
3. Call for help w/ transportation.
4. Call for funding help w/ dental lab costs.  Thus far, labs do not participate in this program
and additional efforts are required to defray their costs.


National Board Meeting: Report by Terry Hubert:
Convention committee update: convention will be the largest to date and will elect a new slate for national office.
-The Silver Legacy will discount the AVVA luncheon.
-The golf tournament is cancelled
-A Welcome Home party is scheduled for Tuesday night- Lacy J. Dalton will sing.
-Chapters 989, 388 and the State Council will have free tables.
-The Silver Legacy will do a concert Thursday or Friday night, featuring Johnny Rivers.
-The convention will support a local charity: Veterans Guest House.
-Regions 8/9 will hold a pre-convention meeting June 10-12 at Silver Legacy.  A big turnout is
expected because this year will be a contested election.
-Bleachers will be at the back of the convention for non-delegates.

Bob Marshall reported a rumor that State Council intended to take away hosting of the convention.  He called for clarification (hopefully by the February meeting).

Outreach Committee Report presented by Ron Coleman.  He recognized the Purple Heart outreach committee on the basis of a more positive outreach, better retention, and a strong slate of activities.  He promised next meeting to provide details on outreach committee activities.

Minority Committee report presented by new minority chair Bob Primeaux.  He reported on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between VA and Bureau of Indian Affairs.  He called reservations around the nation and discovered they did not know about the MOU.  The chairman reported on his personal experience on his own reservation.  A set of 11 recommendations were sent to Leo Nalan of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Bob stated he intends to go to VA head Gen. Shinsecki with these recommendations, and is preparing a resolution for the National Convention calling for help for Indian veterans, and will ask for chapter support.  Member Bill Thomas reviewed the MOU and stated the VA made promises to the Bureau of Indian Affairs but have not acted upon them.

Jeff Gunderson pointed out our commitment is to reach out to all Vietnam veterans.

Greg Montalvo outlined the process for bringing a resolution to the national committee.

Motions were tabled at this time.


Vet’s Garden Report presented by Dave Billau.  The garden produced fairly well this year.  He reported on a meeting he attended in Yerington where he learned that food prices tripled since last year and are expected to go up 117% this year, due to crop failures and natural disasters world-wide.  He reported on “hoop house” technology as an economical greenhouse and stated he is prepared to offer advice and expertise to anyone who wants to build one.  Dave also said he will give vegetable seeds to those who need them.


Old Business

Vietnam memorial in Fernley: Butch Babb reported he is still trying to get 2 tanks.

Chapter 388 Website: nothing to report.

Election Committee:  Bob Primeaux nominated Dennis Espinoza to chair the election committee, seconded by Ron Coleman (unanimous).  Dennis asked for 2 volunteers, and Leonard Munoz, and Bill Todd stepped forward to complete the committee.

Preparedness committee (Dennis Espinoza, David Billau): we’ve been asked to take over Poker night at CHC, changed from Bingo.  Tabled until next meeting.


Good of the Chapter

Traveling Vietnam Wall: will be in Hawthorne in May for Armed Forces Week.

Grace Bird is doing a car show and needs volunteers to help disabled vets get to and from the show.

Veterans Guest House Radiothon this year will be on March 6 at the Atlantis.

Ann Mueller, American Legion Sparks, wants to run the veterans info booth at Reno Rodeo in June and asked for volunteers and a list of phone numbers.  The rodeo runs 10 days.

Jon Hanson, National Service Officer with Disabled American Veterans, commented on Bob Primeaux’s efforts on behalf of Native American vets and stated DAV hopes to put together their own version of the same resolution.

Meeting adjourned at 19:37.