August 2015 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day February 25, 2016 22:23

Next Meeting: August 24 at 7:00 P.M._______________________________________Issue: August 2015

Published Monthly – Distributed to all members of VVA and AVVA

Chapter 885*

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, North Carolina

Tel: 910-762-4288

Editor: Mike O’Day (email: mod199th@yahoo.com)

Publisher: Mack Mitchell

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

President: Mack Mitchell

1st Vice president: Tony Mortillaro

2nd Vice President: Charlie Garner Jr.

Treasurer: Bob Doleman

Secretary: Les Heller

Service Officer: Tony Musolino

Sergeant at Arms: John Mitchell

Chaplain: Abdul Shareef

AVVA Chapter Representative: Deborah Musolino

 

*Chapter 885 is a member of the New Hanover County Veterans Council.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

This is the first edition of the Chapter’s newsletter and we hope you like it. Going forward if you have any ideas about things you would like to see in the newsletter let us know and conversely if there are things you don’t like let us know that too.

We have been busy this year as many of you know. In April we held a four day program to honor Veterans and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. The individual events were well attended and your support was appreciated. We have had a number of successful fund raisers and we are bringing the Chapter a little further into the electronic age. This Newsletter will be part of our electronic footprint; we replaced our defunct Website with a new site at www.vva.chapter885.org and we will be doing the same with our Facebook page. Thank you Beverly Cimino for you efforts on the website. Additionally, we are working to secure a new and larger space to house our Chapter as we are bursting at the seams now, going forward we will keep you informed about the process.

At our Service Officer’s suggestion we will be hosting a Town Hall in September on Veteran’s benefits. We are hoping to spread the word to those veterans in the community that are not aware of what is out there for them and we hope to be able to get them started on getting the help and/or benefits that they need and are entitled to.

Thank you for your continued support and I hope to see you all at future meetings and/or Chapter events.

CHAPLAIN’S REPORT

Tom Davis and wife are recovering from back surgery and broken legs respectively. We wish them continued wellness and great fun on their future travel plans.  Jack Clayton’s wife is having some serious diabetes problems. We pray for her betterment and strength and support for Jack who has bounced back from recent surgery himself. Charlie Garner is doing much better and enjoying some travel and spending some time with family, we pray for his continued improvement. It is my understanding that AVVA member Vikki has a driver assistant and making progress in her ability to get around.  We wish the best for all of our members on the comeback and recovery trail. We continue to keep you in our prayers.

SERVICE OFFICER’S COMMENTS

Important Information on 2015 Income Tax Filing Requirements

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans including all military members (active duty, retired, Selected Reserve, or Retired Reserve) and their eligible family members must have health care coverage that meets a minimum standard called minimum essential coverage or pay a fee. Your TRICARE coverage meets the minimum essential coverage requirement under the ACA.

 

Beginning in January 2016, Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) will provide IRS Form 1095-C to all U.S. military members, and IRS Form 1095-B to all retirees, annuitants, former spouses and all other individuals having TRICARE coverage during all or any portion of tax year 2015. IRS Form 1095 documents that you (and your family members, if applicable) have the minimum essential coverage.

 

These forms will document the information that DFAS will provide to the IRS on yourself and your authorized family members. The forms will be required to be reported with your 2015 federal tax return. DFAS will provide you with IRS Form 1095 series forms no later than Jan. 31, 2016.

You can find more information about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on your federal income tax at: http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act.

 

You can act now to make sure your forms remain secure once they are available using MyPay. MyPay is the quickest way to get your 2015 IRS Form 1095. Once it becomes available in MyPay in late January 2016, you will have the option to view, print or save your 1095 in PDF format. This will save you time in comparison to the U.S. Postal Service which can take approximately 7-10 business days for delivery.

 

In your 2015 tax filing you will have to prove health care coverage under the ACA; arrange for it now on MyPay. Log into MyPay and from the main menu select “turn on/off hard copy of IRS form 1095.” Answer “yes” to switch from “electronic and hard copy” to “electronic only,” for faster and safer electronic delivery. Click the following link to log into your MyPay account: https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx.

 

If you have any questions about logging into MyPay and/or making changes to your electronic elections in MyPay, contact the DFAS Customer Care Center at 1-888-DFAS411 or 1-888-332-7411 option 5.

 

Please periodically check our Chapter website (www.vvachapter885.org) and the state website (www.vva-nc.org) for any updates from Tony.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Chapter Fund Raisers

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, the Chapter will have a fund raiser at the Leland Founders Day Celebration at Brunswick Forest from 3:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Founder’s day will have carnival rides, food vendors as well as arts and crafts vendors. The day will kick off with a patriotic feature with the All Veteran Parachute Team and conclude with a fireworks display. Sounds like it will be a fun time for all. It would be great if you can spare some time and support the Chapter by volunteering at our booth.

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the Chapter will have a fund raiser at the Battleship North Carolina Car Show. As always if you can volunteer time between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., come out and support us.

Fund raisers get added to the calendar pretty quickly. To stay abreast of what is going on please refer to the Chapter website or stop in the office and check the sign-up sheets.

Purple Heart Dinner

This year’s dinner is on Sunday, August 2, 2015 at 5:00 P.M. The event will be at the Wilmington Convention Center at a cost of $25 per person. The dinner is open to the public, not just veterans or Purple Heart recipients. For information on obtaining tickets contact: Crystal Treanor at 910-624-8664 or Bill Ebersbach at 910-524-0077.

Town Hall

 

The Chapter will host a Town Hall on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Elks Lodge at 5102 Oleander Drive. The focus of the town hall will be on Veteran’s benefits. We are hoping to spread the word to those veterans in the community that are not aware of what is out there for them and we hope to be able to get them started on getting the help and/or benefits that they need and are entitled to. More details will be posted on our web page as they become available.

 

Golf Outing

 

September 19, 2015, the first annual Cape Fear Chapter 636 Members of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Golf Classic will take place at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course beginning with a continental breakfast at 8:00 A.M. The cost is $80 per golfer and includes golf (starting at 9:00 A.M., with a shotgun start), cart, breakfast, lunch (at the American Legion Post following play), beverages on the course and some prizes. The event is open to the public and is to support Chapter 636’s educational fund. If you do not play golf, but would like to donate $10, join the MOPH Chapter members for lunch at the Legion Post and help support the Cape Fear Purple Heart Education Fund.

Phoenix Mission’s 2015 Annual Veteran’s Christmas Party and Outreach Service

The Christmas party will be on Sunday, December 13, 2015 from 2:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. at the Elks Lodge at 5102 Oleander Drive. The party is free to all Veterans and their families and will include a “southern style” dinner, music, 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. RSVP for reservations to: Beverly @ phoenixmission@aol.com by Sunday, December 6, 2015.

The Mission is now collecting the following new items for distribution to homeless and Veterans in need: deodorant, winter hats/beenies, men’s socks, winter gloves, individual bar soap, individually wrapped toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper, new sweat pants (any size and color), any “pop top” canned goods, chap stick, and Walmart gift cards (any denomination appreciated.” The Mission will also be accepting new or gently used winter jackets.

AVVA

The following contribution is from Deborah Musolino.

On Wednesday, June 17th AVVA member Beverly Cimino and I visited the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Kinston, NC.  The visit was organized by our AVVA State President Pamela Bossardet.  Representatives from other Chapters came from different parts of the State.

The purpose of the visit was to show our support to our older veterans to let them know they are not forgotten.  The facility was asked what we could contribute.  We were told they really enjoyed BINGO prizes so Beverly donated lap blankets from her PHOENIX MISSION and our AVVA donated puzzle books.
After meeting in the BINGO room we broke up into smaller groups and visited many rooms speaking personally to each veteran.  We even were invited to the dementia ward. Initially most veterans were withdrawn but when asked about their branch of service, when and where they served, their faces lit up and they began to talk.

After we left the Veterans Home we were invited to tour the newly opened GI JOE MILITARY LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM, located at 211 Heritage Street, Kinston.  Eric Cantu from the Kinston VVA Chapter owns and operates the museum.  I can truly say he has done an OUTSTANDING job displaying military memorabilia. It is a must see when visiting Kinston.

Our next AVVA State visit will be at a later date to the new Fisher House at Ft. Bragg.  I will let you know when the date is announced.

Humor in Uniform

It is our hope that this will be an ongoing feature of each month’s newsletter. However, in order to do that we need stories, your stories. If you have an amusing story (short or long) that you feel comfortable sharing we are sure your buddies would love to hear it too. If you do not want your name used in the story your wish will be accommodated. Please email any stories to: Mike O’Day at mod199th@Yahoo.com. If you do not have access to email then send the story by mail to the Chapter to Mike’s attention.

The Bugle Blared

It was November 1969 when the Echo Recon Platoon of the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Infantry of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade was out on patrol. Echo was based at Fire Support Base (FSB) Mace at the foot of Signal Mountain. Echo had been making their way through the jungle in search of Charlie all day and had finally settled into their night ambush position near a small clearing at the intersection of two trails.

It was nearing midnight when they heard something maybe 50 meters away that gave them all a scare. They could not believe what they had heard, it sounded like a bugle. They thought Charlie was announcing a human wave attack similar to what the enemy did in WWII and Korea. Echo’s platoon leader, a Lieutenant (LT), immediately called it in to Battalion Headquarters at FSB Mace. I (the artillery liaison sergeant) was in the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) when the call came in and when the Battalion Commander, a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC), heard the call he could not believe it and neither could anyone else. In a back and forth conversation the LTC asked the LT if the bugle calls were still going on, they were. The LTC asked the LT to key the mike the next time there was a bugle call and the LT did so. Immediately, I recognized what the sound was and started laughing my a.. off. The LTC turned to me and said: what’s so funny Sergeant O’Day? I had a hard time getting the answer out but I finally did and said: sir that is an elephant making that noise, sir. The LTC then cracked up too.

At first Echo was relieved with the news that it wasn’t Charlie but an elephant. However, they soon came to the realization that they could be in a world of hurt if the elephant triggered one of their claymores and started charging around, it wouldn’t be too good for anyone in the path of the elephant. So, the entire platoon was awake the rest of the night with their weapons trained in the direction of the sound of the elephant in the hopes that nothing happened. Fortunately the only thing that did happen that night was that an entire platoon got their heart rates elevated and lost a night’s sleep.

You just never knew what you would encounter in the jungles of Vietnam.

EDITOR’S COMMENTS

Fund Raisers

I would like to make a comment about Chapter fund raisers: they are the life’s blood of the Chapter. Without our fund raisers we don’t generate the income needed to cover our expenses. Unfortunately, we are not getting the support from the members that we need. Presently you see the same faces, a core of maybe 10 people, at best, and I salute them for the time and effort they put in but they need help. Ten members out of 160+, seriously people we can do better than this.

I believe that many of you have a misconception about fund raisers, I know I did. It is not hard to do, in fact we usually have a lot of fun doing it and at a recent fund raiser one individual came up to us and said that we were having way too much fun, and we were. We spend a lot of time people watching and also ragging on each other telling lies and trading good natured insults about one’s branch of service. It can also be quite rewarding when someone comes up to you and shakes your hand and thanks you for your service. We also hear many stories of someone’s dad, brother, uncle, grand-father and believe it or not great-grand-father, all of whom served in Vietnam. That last one made me realize just how old all of us are getting. On occasion someone will tell us they are having trouble getting medical help and we then tell them about our Service Officer and advise them to come in and see Tony and maybe the problem can be resolved. The fund raisers also give us added exposure to the public which, on occasion, results in the Chapter getting a new member.

Folks, it is not hard to do and it is understandable if you are uncomfortable doing it. But hey give it a chance you might like it, so come out and spend a morning or an afternoon; you don’t have to stay all day. You don’t have to make every event, try one for a start and if even half of you take this message to heart and decide to come out and join us once in a while it will be greatly appreciated. Come on we can all take a few hours out of the year to benefit the Chapter. I think we have a pretty good Chapter and would like to see it stay that way but your help is needed.

THIS MONTH’S BIRTHDAYS

This will be an ongoing feature of each month’s newsletter. We would like to include wedding anniversaries as well but to do that your anniversary date is needed along with your spouse’s first name. Please send the information to your editor, Mike O’Day.

August’s Birthdays:

Happy birthday everyone.

Malcalm Ballard 8th                                        Rollen Corbett                   13th

Edward Covan                   19th                                      Eddie Davis                        13th

William Doran                   21st                                      Charlie Futrell                    31st

Julian Greenwood            1st                                         David Johnson                   25th

Donald McFee                   7th                                        Donald Nixon                    8th

Floyd Palmer                      31st                                      Robert Penwell                 4th

John Reed                          20th                                      William Sidberry 29th

Dan Tato                            7th                                        O. T. Thompson                25th

OTHER NEWS

Email addresses

 

If you received this newsletter via regular mail it means that we do not have an email address for you. If you have an email address please contact the Chapter secretary, Les Heller and give it to him. We would like to send the newsletter to as many people with email addresses as possible thereby reducing our postage costs.

 

Engraved Memorial Bricks

 

The Chapter continues to sell the Memorial Bricks first offered as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. The bricks will outline the walkway to the Veteran’s Memorial area at Hugh MacRae Park in Wilmington.  Bricks cost $100 each; please contact the office at: (910) 762-4288 for information on how to purchase the Bricks.

 

Chapter 885 Communication Plan

The following contribution is from Rich Hosier.

A couple of months ago our President Mack Mitchell asked if I would develop a plan for enhancing our communication processes for the membership.

First I established the Plan Purpose: “Establish on-going communication/media plans to encourage new member recruitment, provide information for current members and inform the public of VVA Chapter 885 activities.”

My most immediate goal was to re-establish the Chapter web site. Fortunately I had Beverly Cimino to assist in this endeavor and I am proud to tell you our site is up and running. It’s certainly not completed but we now have a site that is active and informative. We will continue to add to the content and improve where appropriate. I encourage everyone to visit the site (www.vvaChapter885.org) and give us your feedback.

Among the other things we are currently working on is an up to date email list of our membership. We also are going to have a Facebook page and of course, this newsletter which is being edited by member Michael O’Day. We encourage members to contribute articles and information for this newsletter.

We are putting together a phone tree to provided alerts to members who do not have email and member Claude MacDonald has agreed to provide leadership in this endeavor.

We are discussing how best to seek input from the membership and one idea is a questionnaire sent to all members; also we are beginning to reach out to other organizations to develop relationships with like-minded groups. This should improve our visibility to the public and hopefully will be viewed by veterans who will want to join our Chapter.

These are exciting times for our Chapter with our continued growth along with participation in a number of events i.e. parades, manning our booth at fairs/events and providing outreach to those who may not be as fortunate as us.

I thank the Board for their support and once again encourage all of you to give us your thoughts and ideas to make our Chapter the best in the State!

VVA National Convention

The national convention took place July 21 through 25, in Springfield, Illinois. Claude MacDonald and Tony Musolino were the Chapter’s delegates while Debbie Musolino served as the AVVA representative. This edition of the newsletter was finalized before comments from the above three could be obtained. However, their comments will be in September’s edition of the Newsletter.

Grill

The Chapter recently purchased a grill for future use by the Chapter. The grill is the same one that was used for the cook-out, in April, as part of the 50th anniversary commemorating the start of the Vietnam War and was also used for the May cook-out for the nurses at the VA facility. The grill will also be available for rental by individuals or groups at a cost of $55 per day or $75 for two days. Please contact the office (910-762-4288) for availability.

Williston High School Reunion  

Over the 4th of July weekend hundreds of graduates of Williston High School, Wilmington’s all black high school gathered to celebrate the schools 100 year history; a number of Chapter 885 members are graduates of that school. Among those that gathered were a two star general and a three star general. The three star lives in Wilmington and he was informed about our Chapter and hopefully will join us adding a little “star power” to the Chapter. Mack Mitchell took the opportunity and set up a booth and sold quite a bit of merchandise raising a few dollars for the Chapter, well done.

Recent Fundraisers

Over the last couple of months we have had a number of fund raisers at: Harris Teeters, Lumina Commons; Harris Teeter, Mayfair; Piggly Wiggly, Leland; and the Blueberry Festival in Burgaw. While we battled the heat at Harris Teeter in Mayfair and at the Blueberry Festival and the rain at Piggly Wiggly we were able to raise quite a bit of money for the Chapter and it was time well spent plus we had some fun doing it.

Veterans Discount Program

Tammy Beasley, the New Hanover County (NHC) Register of Deeds, recently announced her office is launching a new Veterans Discount Program and needs local businesses to help.

The registrar for NHC said they will be giving veterans who have recorded their DD 214 in NHC a “Thank you for your service” photo ID card. The card will allow veterans to get discounts at participating businesses in NHC. “They will be able to go into a business and show them the card and the business will recognize it right away and give them their discount,” said Beasley. She said the goal is to make it simple and easy for veterans to get the discounts they deserve.

The new program is intended to both honor veterans and encourage them to record their DD 214 (discharge papers) in New Hanover County. Veterans won’t be able to get the discount card until their DD 214 is recorded in New Hanover County. If they have lost it, the Register of Deeds office will work with Veterans Services to help them find the documentation and record it. If they already recorded their DD 214, they will be able to come in and get their photo ID made starting in September.

Once the DD 214 is recorded, Beasley said no one except for immediate family will be able to look at it for 80 years. It has important information, including a veteran’s social security number, branch and how many years they served. “History for New Hanover County is here. Birth, marriage, death, the military and so much more,” Beasley explained. “Two hundred years down the line, if you want to search your family, you will be able to come and search and find out where they served our country.”

Participating businesses will be given a sign they can display if they want. The participating businesses will also be listed on the Register of Deeds website, and a list will be given to all veterans who come into the Register of Deeds office to get their photo ID made.

When the website goes live in a few weeks, businesses will be able to sign up themselves. Until then, anyone who wishes to participate should call Tammy Beasley, Registrar, at 910-798-7736 or email her at tbeasley@nhcgov.com.

Veterans will be able to start using the cards on Veterans Day, November 11.

Beasley said they will start taking photos and handing out the photo ID cards in September.

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day February 25, 2016 22:23
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V V A Chaper 885

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 248401

Office Hours:

Tuesday - Thrusday 9:00am to 1:00pm

910-762-4288


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