West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley

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North Alabama Veterans & Fraternal Organizations Coalition Meeting Minutes

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North Alabama Veterans & Fraternal Organizations Coalition
18 October 2006
Minutes of meeting - prepared by Valerie Coffey

Location: Knights of Columbus
Joe Fitzgerald, President, presiding

Call to Order:

  • Pledge of Allegiance -- Bill Hogan
  • Invocation -- Bob Wilke
  • Secretary's Report - accepted
  • Treasurer's Report - no report 

Committee Reports:

  • VP Finance - Bill Meiers.  The upcoming fundraiser is postponed because of the focus on the Veterans' Day Parade.  We don't want to compete for resources.  When we start the fundraiser, we want to emphasize the "individual sponsorships" so our community can take ownership and show support to our military.
  • - The three focus areas of the fund raising program are:
      • Personal and family sponsors - there will be bronze, silver, and gold sponsor levels ranging from $10 to $50.  Names of all sponsors will be displayed on a placard at OCB 3 and the WHT.  Each sponsorship level will purchase a teddy bear, decorations, a gift for the spouse, and/or game support.
      • Public sponsors - we will appeal to the public for donations using full page ads in the Huntsville Times, regional newspapers, and press releases.
      • Corporate sponsors - Dick Snow will solicit grants and donations from corporations and organizations (ASMDA, AUSA, AADA, etc).
  • VP Military Affairs - John Perry.  On Friday 20 Oct at 1100, the City of Madison will host "Candy Lift 2006."  Spangler Candy Company donated 130 pounds of DumDum Lollipops to our Soldiers for giving to Iraqi kids while on patrol.  Immediately after the ceremony we will take the candy to the post office for shipping.  This candy will support our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the children in Iraq.
  • VP Membership - Chuck Park.  No report.

Special Reports:

  • Knights of Columbus (host comments) - George Jobcznski.  On 19 November the Knights of Columbus will host a pancake breakfast to benefit the Veterans Museum.  The cost is $4 for all you can eat (pancakes, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, toast, coffee, juice).  The hours are 0800-1115.
  • WWII Memorial Veteran Recognition Project - Judy Carney.  Over 16 million American men and women served in World War II.  The WW II Memorial has started a project to recognize these men and women by asking people to submit their names, stories and a picture to the WWII Memorial Website (WHAT IS THE WEB ADDRESS?).  Currently, approximately 3,000 Alabamians are registered.  Mrs. Carney is leading an effort to get more Alabamians registered.  Many WW II veterans do not have the ability to register themselves, so starting in Madison County at the Tut Fann Veterans Home, Mrs. Carney and some volunteers will have a party, during which they will interview and register the veterans at that home.  Mrs. Carney plans to get the community involved to continue the effort to other assisted living homes, senior centers, and communities.  Every day 1,500 WW II veterans are dying.  This information is slipping out of our hands, and we are losing a rich part of our history. 
  • WWII Veterans Memorial Honor Program - Melinda Gorham/Joe Fitzgerald.  The Huntsville Times is spearheading a project to honor our WWII veterans, by providing an all expense trip paid to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.  The plan is to invite these veterans to fly to DC on a chartered plane, spend the night in a hotel, and then visit the memorial and hold a ceremony, and then fly the veterans home.   This will be an overnight trip, and medical personnel and personnel escorts/family members will be included in the trip.  The trip will be around Apr-Jun 2007.  All WWII veterans in North Alabama will be included.  The Veterans Coalition will be the single point of contact for The Huntsville Times, but will only be a conduit for the member organizations.
  • Veterans Day Events -
  • - Dinner at VBCC North Hall on 10 Nov at 1730. Tables are sold for $1500 and $1000. Individual reservations are $60 per person. The Madison County Heritage Commission will be inducting 9 members into the Hall of Heroes, and 17 people will receive Purple Hearts. AUSA and the Veterans Coalition will present a shadow box to LT Love's parents.
  • - Breakfast at VBCC North Hall (11 Nov) at 0900.
  • - Pre-Parade event honoring all veterans at 1030. There will be HS color guards and HS chorus. POC is Tom Brown with 19th AL.
  • - Parade starts at the VBCC at 1100, loops around to the Veterans Memorial Park, and then ends back at the VBCC. There will be a two reviewing stands, one at the VBCC and one at the Veterans Park. There will be approximately 150 entries in the parade. Please register in advance on line. Parade order information will be issued on parade day. Arrive for the parade around 0830.
  • - Veterans Memorial Park program starts at 1100. The Redstone Rocketeers will perform, and the 19th Alabama will put on a program and there will be static displays. Coordinate with Tom Brown for this event.
  • Operation Christmas Bear 3 - Bill Meiers.  This will be at the Cahaba Shrine 1300-1600 on 9 December.  The key areas of responsibility are filled.  The OPORD will be sent out via email in the next 10 days.  If your organization cannot fulfill a responsibility as listed in the OPORD, contact Bill Meiers asap.  Attendees should register with the ACS at 256-876-5397. 
  • Military Loan Practices - Tom Brown.  Congress passed a law so that active duty military cannot use pay day loan companies.  COL (R) Brown is leading an effort to get the Alabama legislature to pass a similar law to protect our Reserve and National Guard military, and our law enforcement personnel.

Other Committee Reports:

  • Nominating Committee Appointment - Nominating committee has been appointed.  They will report their recommendations to the Veterans Coalition at the next meeting.  The committee members are:  Bob Wilke (Chair), David Carney, B?, John Perry, and Bill Hogan.  Positions to fill are President, Vice President, Treasurer, VP Finance, Secretary, VP Military Affairs, and VP Membership.
  • Annual Master Plan for 2006
  • Blue Star Banner Program
  • - 21 Oct - 128th MP Company ceremony at Lockheed Martin Auditorium at 1000 (175 Soldiers)
  • - 28 Oct - 1169th Engineer Company ceremony at NG Armory on Green Cove Road at 1300 (85 Soldiers)
  • - Past - On 14 Oct - 152nd MP Company ceremony at Goose Pond Resort in Scottsboro at 1000 (175 Soldiers)

Roundtable Reports:

  • 8th AFHS - Bill Varnedoe.  Attended 8th AF reunion.  On 25-27 Oct there will be a B17 and a B24 at the Meridianville airport.
  • American Legion Post 229 - Carl Dow.  No report.
  • Cahaba Shrine - Bill Hogan.  No report. 
  • Disabled Veterans (DAV) - Hollis Bridges.  DAV's facility burned.  They are looking for a new location.  This is a 501c3, so any space donated could be a charitable contribution for a tax exemption.  They need at least two office spaces and six parking spaces.  The veterans community helped Eric (what is his last name?) with bills, and VA paperwork.  He qualified for 100% disability and VA medical care.
  • Jewish War Veterans - Bill ?.  No report.
  • Korean War Veterans - Bob Mixon.  No report.
  • Military Officers Association (MOAA) - Steve Crawley.  No report.
  • Warrant Officers Association - Max Bennett.  Completed Habitat for Humanity shed.  Now doing community projects for CASA, specifically to build wheelchair ramps.   WOA, along with MOAA and AUSA, lobbies Congress for military friendly legislation.
  • SMDWG & MDIA - Bob Wilke.  No report.
  • West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley - Valerie Coffey.  No report.
  • United States Army Reserve - John Perry.  No report.
  • MOWW -- Tom Brown.  Thanks to the WOA for their generous gift.  Working with Space and Rocket Center to develop leadership programs for HS sophomores and juniors.
  • Veterans Museum - Randy Witherow.  Pancake breakfast at the Knights of Columbus on 19 Nov.

Master Calendar of events:

  • 20 Oct - Operation Candy Lift 2006 at Madison City Hall at 1100
  • 21 Oct -- 128th MP Company Blue Star ceremony at Lockheed Martin Auditorium at 1000 (175 Soldiers)
  • 28 Oct --1169th Engineer Company Blue Star ceremony at NG Armory on Green Cove Road at 1300 (85 Soldiers)
  • 10 Nov -- Veterans Day Dinner at VBCC North Hall at 1730
  • 11 Nov - Veterans Day Breakfast at VBCC North Hall at 0900
  • 11 Nov - Veterans Day kick off events at Veterans Park at 0940
  • 11 Nov - Veterans Day parade at VBCC at 1100
  • 9 Dec - Operation Christmas Bear 3 at Cahaba Shrine at 1300-1700
  • TBD Jan 07 - Veterans Coalition Awards Ceremony

Adjourn:  Next meeting will be at American Legion Post 237 on 15 November.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 September 2007 05:30  

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