Minutes – February 20, 2014

Sierra Nevada Chapter #989

Vietnam Veterans of America

P.O. Box 20921

Reno, NV. 89515-0921


20 February 2014


Call to Order.  Tonight’s meeting was called to order at 17:56.  The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by an invocation by chapter Chaplain Jim Kelley, and a moment of silence for POWs/MIAs.  Chapter president John Sheets called for an additional moment of silence in memory of Dennis Espinosa, one of the founding members of the chapter who recently passed away.  Sympathy cards for Dennis circulated throughout the meeting.


Roll Call.  All officers were present:

President: John Sheets
Vice President: Ron Reinhardt
Secretary: Michial Nolan
Treasurer: Gary Fink
Sergeant at Arms: Norm Graham
Members in attendance: 33
Guests: 12

Guest Speakers.
Roger Varela, representing Gold Star Families of Nevada, introduced Capt. David Robinson, Norm Allen, Richard Cable, Tanja Brown, and Jesse Gutierrez, members of the Gold Star Families Board of Directors.  They announced a concert to be held August 9, 2014 honoring fallen Nevada soldiers (see handout).

Karen Bowman, granddaughter of the WWII navy veteran who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.  The chapter Honor Guard organized and participated in a ceremony honoring his birthday and national service.  Ms. Bowman read a letter addressed to the chapter, honor guard, and Roger Sanchez, receiving a standing ovation from the chapter.

Rick Arnold, president of Chapter 388, announced the celebration of Vietnam Veterans day on 29 March, 2014.  A celebration will be held in Carson City’s Mills Park, beginning at noon with a ceremony at 17:00.  Static displays of Vietnam era military vehicles and aircraft will be augmented by a UH1 Huey offering rides to Vietnam veterans.  Rick brought flyers to be distributed to public places throughout the area.

Tim Tetz, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, spoke about the Vietnam museum being added to the Washington DC memorial.  He stated there are 72-73 names on the wall from Northern Nevada, and he currently heads a project to gather pictures of each for an active display at the museum.  Tim currently has pictures of all but 16 from the Reno-Sparks area.  Eric Hobson requested a list of those names, which Tim stated he could provide.  Roger Varela stated he has military photos dating to 1864 that he would be willing to share.  Tim also announced an annual Mother’s Day ceremony for Agent Orange and other late casualties.

Minutes.  President John Sheets called for acceptance of the Secretary’s report.
Motion. To accept the minutes as written: moved by Rick Shuster, seconded by Butch Babb (unanimous).


Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Gary Fink presented the Treasurer’s report.
Motion.  Eric Hobson moved to accept the treasurer’s report, seconded by Pat Moran (unanimous).

President’s Report.  President John Sheets presented the President’s Report.  John reported two of the scooter raffle scholarships have been presented to date:
Ashley Walker, UNR student and marine corps veteran with two tours of Iraq.
WNCC chose to split their $1000 scholarship into two $500 scholarships:
Rich Vlach, a welder, and
Joseph Ulton, information technologies specialist.
TMCC has yet to name the winner.

Board of Director’s Report.  Board chair Rick Shuster presented the Board’s report.  Rick followed up on work by the finance and governance committees, and a commitment to expand the outreach and minority committees.  John Sheets stated Ron Coleman will establish the minority committee.  John called for volunteers to staff the committee.  Rick recapped the status of the remaining scooter, which is now on Craig’s list.  Rick and VP Ron Reinhardt attended the Nevada State Council meeting in Mesquite, NV, driving both ways.  Rick stated it was a lengthy program that nevertheless concluded 2 hours early.  Rick presented on Agent Orange Awareness and was named to chair Agent Orange in Nevada.  Rick distributed 4 VVA National Agent Orange information packets to interested chapter members.

Committee Reports.

Outreach Committee.  Dave Billau reported on the Outreach Committee’s activities.  Last week’s outreach at the Kietzke Walmart netted $510 by noon.  Dave called for recognition of the volunteers and extolled the virtues of participating in outreaches.

Petty Cash.  President John Sheets presented the Petty Cash report.

Northwest Veterans Coalition.  William Drummond presented the Northwest Veterans Coalition Report.  Bill reported on plans for memorials for Dennis Espinosa and Brent Butler.  Victor Sperry and the Sperry family contacted Bill about services for former President Bob Sperry, but the memorial remains on hold because Bob’s widow isn’t ready yet.  The Patriot Guard motorcycle unit escorts groups to the Fernley cemetery on the last Thursday of every month, departing at 2:00pm from the Alamo Truck Center at I-80 and Greg.  Bill stated all groups are welcome, with ceremonies at the cemetery at 3:00pm.

Parade Committee.  Roger Sanchez presented the Parade Committee report.  Roger reported no parades are currently scheduled but he called for more Honor Guard members to step forward.  Gary Fink presented Roger with an Agent Orange flag.  Roger presented the flag to Rick Shuster, who displayed it to the chapter.  Guest William Schaeffer asked about the Agent Orange history with Chapter 989, stating his former chapter had Agent Orange T-shirts.

Stand Down Committee.  Vice President Ron Reinhardt stated it is too early in the year to report on Stand Down committee activities and plans.

Veterans Guest House.  Monk Mann presented the Veterans Guest House report.  Monk announced the Radiothon will be held on Friday, 14 March, from noon to 18:00.  Veterans Guest House is seeking volunteers and a sign-up list was circulated.  The event will be held at the Atlantis Hotel with radio station KOH broadcasting from the Atrium.  Monk also announced that PJ’s Saloon on Wells would donate 20% of qualified dinner tabs to the Guest House.  Patrons will need a coupon found on the VVA 989 website.

Banquet Committee.  John Dickinson presented the Banquet Committee report.  John distributed VVA sample calendars, proposed as potential outreach fundraisers.  Gov. Sandoval announced at the UNR Veterans lunch today that this is the Year of the Veteran in Nevada.  John reported on tentative plans for a chili cook-off for this summer, to be revisited at the next meeting.  John reminded the chapter of the Chapter Breakfast, at Gold and Silver on 7 March, 10:00 – 12:00.  He stated a banquet room is reserved for the event.  John reminded the chapter that elections are coming and positions of Secretary and Treasurer are open.  Incumbents intend to run for the remaining positions.  John announced the website is not able to take donations by credit cards, with a $9.41 profit on a $10 contribution.

Old Business.

The chapter recognized David Robinson, Capt. USA, for his service.  Capt. Robinson is CO of recruiting in Northern Nevada, and offered his thanks back to the chapter.

New Business.
Next outreach will be 15 March at the Kietzke Walmart.  Those interested please see Dave Billau.

Good of the Order.
Gary Fink announced he has 10” Iron-on VVA patches available for $21, including Life Member patches.

Linda Dickinson announced pins for wreath laying volunteers were donated by Jay Jamison.

Fernley American Legion #37 Commander Darris Daniel reported on the flag retirement facility at the Fernley Veterans Cemetery and invited members to contact him to attend ceremonies or to arrange for flag retirement.

Vice President Ron Reinhardt announced a disabled vet needs help moving from a 2nd floor apt.  Ron was seeking volunteers for a moving party on 1 March.  Contact Ron for details.

Motion: Eric Hobson moved to adjourn, seconded by Butch Babb (unanimous).  Meeting adjourned at 19:14.