Minutes, 17 May 2012

Minutes, 17 May 2012


Call to Order was at 18:04, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Prayer.  Chaplain Jim Kelley offered the invocation, followed by a silent prayer for his wife, and a moment of silence for POWs and MIAs.

Roll Call.  All officers present.  Total members, AVVA, and guests: 23 presentGuests and new members included Bob Martin, prospective new member, attending his second meeting.  Rudy Henderson joined the chapter and was welcomed tonight.  Dennis Romeo, a prospective new member, was welcomed.

Minutes.  Minutes for the meeting of 19 April were distributed to the membership electronically and was made available at the meeting.

Motion.  Fred Conner moved to accept the April minutes, seconded by Norm Graham (unanimous).

Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Bob Marshall presented the treasurer’s report.

Motion.  Greg Montalvo moved to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Eric Hobson (unanimous).

Petty Cash.  Treasurer Bob Marshall and President Gary Fink presented the petty cash report.  Mike Miller explained an expenditure for picture frames.

President’s Report.  President Gary Fink began by thanking the chapter for electing him (applause) and thanking Vice President Bob Sperry for his past service as president (more applause).  The president addressed the hard feelings the chapter experienced last year and noted the national VVA convention in Reno last year also took time away from chapter business.  The president expressed his hopes for a revitalized year ahead for the chapter.  The president called for new procedures for the “Good of the Chapter” section of the agenda:
1. Let Gary know a week in advance of items you wish to include.
2. Please follow the printed agenda during the meeting.
3. Please follow Robert’s Rules to be recognized when presenting.
The president announced two outreaches are scheduled and reminded the chapter we have access to the Bunker’s patio.  The president noted the chapter helps the Reno community when we help organizations like “We Care.”

Outreach Committee.  Jim Hanson reported an outreach is scheduled for 26 May at the Kietzke Walmart.  Jim reported he needed a few more volunteers and circulated a sign-up sheet.  An outreach for VGH is scheduled for Fernley on 23 June.  Jim stated it is all set up.

Barbecue.  Jim Hanson suggested using the next meeting to host a barbecue using the Bunker’s patio.  Greg Montalvo supported the idea, and suggested 5:30 – 8:30.  Darrol Brown asked if Jim’s suggestion was a motion out of committee.

Motion.  Rick Shuster proposed the June 21 chapter meeting begin at 5:30 with a short meeting followed by a barbecue, seconded by Jim Hanson (unanimous).

Discussion.  Greg Montalvo suggestion a discussion of organization for the barbecue.  Jim Hanson described ideas a potluck.

Horticulture Committee.  No formal report.  Jim Hanson stated Ron Coleman, Larry Runyon, are doing a fine job.  Norm Graham reported the garden now has a drip system.

Vietnam Memorial.  Rick Shuster reported the recent monument dedication was a moving ceremony with some 300 people in attendance.  The Ghost Riders and the Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition asked if we could join in for a free standing monument in the cemetery for Vietnam Vets.  Rick Shuster stated he got a KIA flag for the chapter at the ceremony.  Rick reported no change in the land issue but continues to believe the issue will be resolved at some point in the future.

Chapter 388 Report.  Darrol Brown reported the chapter held their Spring Social 3 weeks ago, and a recent 6-hour outreach at the Raley’s in Gardnerville-Minden raised $2,000.  Darrol Brown and Terry Hubert recently with to Washington DC and met with Nevada’s congressional representatives.  Darrol reported VVA National joined a lawsuit with an amicus curiae brief in


The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Carmen Cardona, Appellant, v Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


Ms. Cardona, a Massachusetts resident in a legal same-sex marriage, is denied spousal rights by the VA.  This case and National’s action in support of the lawsuit is causing significant rifts within Vietnam Veterans of America with a number of chapters in southern states threatening to withdraw from the organization. To read the brief, see VVA National website:

Click to access 101234333_12%20(2012-04-25%20Nat_l%20Veterans%20Amici%20Curiae).pdf

Old Business.

Traveling Vietnam Wall.  A sign up was circulated for voluntary security guards to guard the wall from October 25 – October 28 at Mills Park in Carson City.

We Care Volunteers.  Norm Graham reported on giving a $200 Walmart card and informed Amber Dawson she would get another one each quarter.  Norm reported he and his family donated cupcakes and Gary Fink reported Gary Nicholes bought the volunteers a cooler out of his own pocket (applause).  Norm Graham reported the night he met with Amber, We Care Volunteers fed more than 300 people.  Several other members reported on their participation.

Liability Insurance.  Bob Marshall reported he sent in the application and spoke to the agent.  He will report results at the next meeting.

Surplus Equipment.  Darrol Brown reported he spoke with Voc Rehab and stated they have surplus office equipment they would like to donate to a qualified veterans organization.

New Business.
Appointed Positions.  President Gary Fink announced the chapter had two appointed positions to fill; Parliamentarian and Parade Committee Chair.  John Sheets accepted the post of parliamentarian and Jim Hanson was appointed chair of the Parade Committee, with assistance offered by Greg Montalvo and Dennis Romeo.

Installation of New Officers.  Board Chairman Rick Shuster noted committee chairs need to be sworn in.  State President Darrol Brown stated he had never seen it.  Swearing in is only a ceremony.  Darrol stated he would be happy to officiate, and swore in chapter officers and board members.

Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition.  Sign up for their Poker Run benefitting the Veterans Guest House is on their website.  The run terminates at the Silverado Casino in Fernley.  The chapter’s contribution to VGH is to be determined.

May birthdays: Tom Brocamonte Dennis Espinoza Lee Hamrick Jim Hanson

Good of the Chapter.
Eric Hobson: The member stated he is a purist on the punctuation of the Pledge of Allegiance and pointed out an error in the chapter’s recitation.  President Gary Fink researched this point and provided the following commentary:

The last two lines of the Pledge of Allegiance from 1954 to Present are: “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Eric said we paused after nation, there is no comma there, therefore we should not pause. He is correct, I asked two people to recite it and they both paused after nation. Congress passed a bill in 1954 to add “under God” and President Eisenhower signed the bill. It would most likely take an act of Congress to put a comma after nation since everyone seems to pause after the word nation. 

Jim Kelley: The chapter chaplain reported Kenny Williams is in the hospital.  Chaplain Kelley asked to be informed of members who are ill or hospitalized.  President Gary Fink announced the chaplain’s phone number is on the website.

Mike Miller: The member announced the Marine Corps League is holding a fundraiser at the Kietzke Wal-Mart on 19 May from 10:00 – 4:00.

Rick Shuster: Cigar Lions of Reno provides computers and free training to children ages 8 to 18 and are giving away 65 computers this weekend.

Tod Brill: For next month’s agenda: Get Out the Vet Vote needs volunteers to transport veterans to the polls.

Darrol Brown: Announced this was his last meeting as State Council President and said it had been a pleasure (applause).

Jim Hanson: Adopt a Vet: Linda Haigh wants to speak at the next meeting seeking financial support for her program.

Motion.  Eric Hobson moved to adjourn, seconded by Norm Graham (unanimous).

Adjourn at 19:27.