November 2015 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day February 25, 2016 22:39

Next Meeting: November 23 at 7:00 P.M.                                                                        Issue: November 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:

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

Sergeant at Arms: John Mitchell

Service Officer: Tony Musolino

Chaplain: Abdul Shareef

AVVA Chapter Representative: Deborah Musolino

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



Thank you to all of you who supported the Chapter by attending the fish fry on October 16. A great time was had by all and if you missed it the Chapter is giving you another opportunity to attend another fellowship event for Chapter members. After an absence of two years we are bringing back the Chapter Christmas Party. The party will be on December 5, 2015 from 2:00 to 7:00 PM at the Holiday Inn Express. The Holiday Inn Express is located at 160 Van Campen Blvd (the same street as the Cracker Barrel Restaurant), Wilmington, NC.

There is a sign-up sheet in the office for attendance and a head count is necessary. As we did for the Fish Fry the Chapter will provide the main course(s) and if you would like to bring a covered dish or desert to share with your friends that will be greatly appreciated. We will have a sign-up sheet for the extra goodies in the office if you are so inclined.

If anyone has any questions you can either call at 910-762-4288 or email us at

I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible as I am sure we will all have a great time.


Wishing the best for our Chapter and members. May the Creator grant us an abundance of all that is good. Touch the souls of those not well at this time. Grant them energy and wellness in body, mind, and spirit.

Special prayers and reaching out for Jack Clayton’s wife, Bonnie, who is receiving dialysis treatment.

Keep goodness on the rise.



Suspected Fraud/Identity Theft/Non-Receipt Claims


If a Veteran suspects that his/her bank account was changed without consent or knowledge, or the payments were posted to a debit card that was never applied for, then the Veteran should follow these procedures:


The following steps must be completed:

  1. Identify the missing payment(s).
  2. Contact the local police department to file a report of attempted identity theft.
  3. Mail a copy of the police report to the Support Services Division at the Winston-Salem Regional Office.*

Winston-Salem Regional Office

ATTN: Support Services Division

251 N Main Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27155

  1. If the Veteran is unable to obtain a police report, then he/she should contact the Winston-Salem Regional Office Finance Department at (336) 251-6832 or (336) 251-6959 to have an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation initiated. Or they can have the police department provide a written statement that a police report will not be issued for their case. This can be mailed to the address above.
  2. SSD will send a report (to include tracer and police report [if applicable]) to the Salt Lake City Fraud Team for completion of the payment action.


Include the following information for each suspected fraud case:

  1. Veteran’s Name, SSN, and File Number
  2. Date and amount of missing payment (Note:  the Office of Inspector General must have this information)
  3. Correct bank account number
  4. Correct routing number
  5. Fraudulent bank account number (if known)
  6. Fraudulent routing number (if known)


*If the Veteran also claims hardship due to the suspected fraud, then he/she in conjunction with the above procedures should complete VA Form 5655, Financial Status Report (FSR) and submit to the Support Services Division.   The SSD Chief or Finance Officer will review the FSR and make a decision on the hardship claim.


2016 Medicare Premiums


For seven in 10 Medicare beneficiaries 2016 will be much like 2015. They will pay $104.90 per month for their Medicare Part B premium just as they did in 2015 (due to the hold harmless provision*). But 2016 might not be anything like 2015 for some 30% of Medicare beneficiaries, roughly 7 million or so Americans.  That’s because premiums for individuals could increase a jaw-dropping 52% to $159.30 per month ($318.60 for married couples).  And for individuals whose incomes exceed certain thresholds, premiums could rise to anywhere from $223.00 per month up to $509.80 (or $446 to $1,019.60 for married couples), depending on their incomes.

The 30% includes people who don’t have their Medicare premiums deducted from their Social Security benefits (because they aren’t collecting Social Security benefits yet) and people who enroll in 2016. It also includes individuals with annual incomes over $85,000, or joint filers, who are not protected by the hold harmless provision, will pay the higher base amount plus a high income surcharge.

*           A legal statement prohibiting an increase to Medicare B premiums for the vast majority of American citizens. The Medicare hold harmless provision ensures that Medicare B premiums cannot rise more than the previous year’s cost of living increase in Social Security benefits.


The Chapter has the following fund raisers scheduled:

Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Sam’s Club;

Sunday, November 8, 2015, at the Battleship Half Marathon, at 8:00 A.M.;

Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Piggly Wiggly, in Leland;

Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, 2015, with set-up on the 20th, at Riverfest.

As always if you can volunteer time between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., come out and support us. If you can’t do a full day come out for just the morning or the afternoon. As we used to say “try it you might like it” and we always manage to have lots of laughs.


Debbie Musolino is still recovering from knee replacement and we wish her a speedy recovery. Debbie will have more for us next month but for this month she wants everyone to remember about the $100 Life Membership opportunity for AVVA members.


Slippery Sheets

He was stationed in Korea. He had just gotten his own room for the first time in over a year so he pushed the beds together, bought some satin sheets and a mink blanket to be comfy in. With his new found freedom he took a shower and walked out of the shower naked after toweling off. Now it was the odd time of the year when it wasn’t hot enough to have the AC unit in the barracks turned on so you needed to open up a window to get some air circulation in your room. He lived on the back side of the barracks on the second floor and he had his window wide open. His bed was pushed up against the wall and he decided he wanted to see what satin sheets and a mink blanket would feel like on his naked body so he got a running start and jumped on his bed. He slid straight out of his second story window and landed on the soft grass below. Now the Military Intelligence barracks’ bus stop was right in viewing area of his landing area. So all they saw was a naked dude flop out of the window and land flat on his butt in the soft grass/mud mix and get up and run up the fire escape back to his room.



We have two significant holidays this month, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, two days that represent people that shaped this great nation of ours.

Veteran’s Day was originally called Armistice Day signifying the end of World War I which was called the War to end all Wars and we know how that turned out. On June 1, 1954 the day was officially changed to Veterans Day, a day to honor Veterans of all wars.

Thanksgiving traces back to the harvest celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. I think it is a safe bet that the celebration in 1621 was a lot different than how we celebrate today with our big family feasts, parades and football. Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday since 1863.

Parades are a common theme to both days. As you watch the parades stop and give thanks: to all of the Veterans who fought to keep this country free; and give thanks for all of the many blessings that we enjoy in our country.

The Flag

This month you will probably see more flags flying than you usually do. One of my pet peeves is the improper display of the American Flag so I am sharing a little flag etiquette with all you all. It seems that I am not the only one who gets irked by the improper display of the Flag as the below information was provided by Betty, Mrs. Tony Mortillaro. She provided us with a cutout of an article published earlier this year in the Star News.

  1. Veterans of the U.S. Military are authorized to stand and salute when the flag is passing by, as during a parade, when Taps is being played during a funeral, when the flag is raised or lowered and when the national anthem is played, even if he or she is not in uniform. Civilians may place their right hand over their heart.
  2. When the flag is displayed horizontally on a wall, the Union (blue field) must be at the upper left which means the flag must be turned over to show the opposite field.
  3. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be displayed with the Union at the bottom, it should never be used as a receptacle or have anything attached to it.
  4. The flag is to be displayed at half-staff only on specifically designated days or on days decreed by the President of the United States. No other person has the authority to order flying the flag at half-staff.
  5. Any flag that has become worn or damaged because of being displayed is to be retired respectfully. Damage means fading of the colors or fraying of the edges due to wind effects. The retirement is done as part of a ceremony that includes destruction by fire. Veterans organizations and Scout Troops provide these ceremonies.

If you have a worn flag, you may leave the flag anytime during the year at the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center in Southport, VFW Post 104900 in Oak Island or at the American legion Post 10 in Wilmington.


Happy Birthday to all.

Steve Brogden                   18th                                     Frederic Muster                20th

Kenneth Knuebel               21st                                     Thomas Davis                    22nd

Kenneth Lafar                    26th                                      Richard Killian                    27th

Edwin Gilchrist                  27th


Last Month’s Fish Fry


October 16 was a beautiful day both weather wise and fellowship wise. Approximately 60 VVA and AVVA members enjoyed a sumptuous feast prepared by Claude McDonald, Lonnie Davenport, and Richard Walker and friend. Thanks guys you did a great and often times thankless job but in this case thank you very much.


Thanks also go to Mack Mitchell and his wife Althea who secured the space for us and did a lot of the schlepping around with food items and supplies and setting out the flags. Thanks also go to the ladies of the AVVA who set up the kitchen and arranged all of the other donated foods. Thanks also go to all of the members who brought a dish or dessert to be shared with everyone else.


Tony Mortillaro, thank you for decking out your truck with the two flags and positioning it where all could see, it made it a lot easier to find the place for those of us who were not familiar with the area.


Not only did we have a great time with good food we may also have picked up a couple of new members. Two gentlemen saw the flags and inquired what was going on and we chatted for a while and they both expressed interest in joining the Chapter.


All in all a very successful day, just a shame more members did not join us they missed a great deal. It would be great if we can do it again next year.


Facebook Page


The Chapter has a new Facebook page. To follow us on Facebook go to VVA Chapter 885 hit like and continue to check in to see what is going on at the Chapter. The Facebook page is linked to the website as well as the website being linked to Facebook.



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.

Life Membership Offers

VVA National has offered to lower the payment for Life Time Membership beginning August 1 through December 31, 2015. The cost to become a Life Time Member will be $100. AVVA National has also offered Life Membership at a cost of $100, to begin starting November 1 through December 31, 2015. You may wish to consider becoming a life member.

Recent Fundraisers

We were rained out of our only scheduled October fund raiser, Riverfest. As a result our Chapter funds are getting a little low so let’s all pitch in at the November fund raisers to help make them a success.

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 (original or certified copy) 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

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. is the source of info for the participating businesses in the New Hanover County veterans ID program.


Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day February 25, 2016 22:39
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801 Princess Street

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