March 2016 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day March 2, 2016 05:16

Next Meeting: March 28, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.                                                                   Issue: March 2016

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: Michael O’Day

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.


It is hard to believe that it is March already. With the coming of March means that spring is only a few weeks away. Spring suggests rebirth of the earth, essentially a new beginning. For Chapter 885 it is also a new beginning, the beginning of our fiscal year. With the added space that we acquired our fixed costs will be going up so we need to step up our game in fund raising; anyone who has a suggestion for fund raising please see me, Tony Mortillaro or Charley Garner. We have our first fund raiser on March 5, 2016 at Piggly Wiggly’s in Leland, I hope to see many of you there supporting the Chapter.


VVA 885 is rolling into March full of energy and high spirits as it continues to address programs to help improve the lives of our veterans and their families. We encourage our members to give of your time and volunteer when your busy schedule allows you to do so. Everyone is important and so are your suggestions for Chapter consideration.

Share your positive ideas with our veteran brothers and sisters that you know who may be in distress. Let’s keep our eyes open for Iraq and Afghanistan vets and encourage them to visit our Chapter for assistance and benefits support.

Keep abreast and informed of those who may be sick and having medical problems and/or concerns that we as a Chapter can aid or help better their situation.

If you know of a death or illness of a chapter member or their family, please notify our Chaplain, Abdul Shareef, and/or the office so that we may provide support to the family and get the information to Chapter members in a timely manner.


For those interested in becoming a VSO and getting certified by the VA, training classes will begin this month. If you are interested in becoming a VSO and have not previously indicated this please see either me (Tony) or Tiney.



March 5, 2016 – Piggly Wiggly in Leland

April 9, &10, 2016 – Azalea Festival

May 20, 2016 – Rims on the River

June 18, 2016 – Blueberry Festival


March 12, 2016 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade

April 9, 2016 – Azalea Festival Parade

Minority Affairs

April 2, 2016 – Juneteenth presents Fun in the Sun – Family Affair at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater located at 1941 Amphitheatre Dr., Wilmington, NC 28401. Cost is $25. For more information call:     910-612-0983, 910-617-0649, or 910-880-9414.

April 18, 2016, Abdul Shareef (Chaplain) will give the invocation at the New Hanover Commissioners meeting at 9 AM at the Old Courthouse.

June 18, 2016 – Juneteenth Festival. Juneteenth commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation and the reunification of families.


Debbie Musolino’s term as the AVVA Chapter representative comes to an end in April, 2016. Debbie will not be seeking reelection as she will be running for a state-wide position. Therefore, we will need one of the AVVA members to step up and run for AVVA Chapter representative; the term is a two year commitment.


A couple of months ago the Marines were picked on in the Newsletter, this month is the Air Force’s turn.

  1. We were an Air Force family, but our son could not grasp that fact. Anytime someone asked what his father did, he’d say, “He’s in the Army.” I told him umpteen times, “Stop telling people I’m in the Army.” It finally seemed to hit home because on the admittance form for kindergarten, under “father’s profession,” the teacher wrote, “He doesn’t know what his father does, but he’s not in the Army.”
  1. Our drill instructor was at the end of his rope: An Airman’s ineptitude was driving him crazy. Getting in the airman’s face, he demanded, “Whoever told you to join the Air Force?” Snapping to attention, the airman proclaimed, “The Navy recruiter, Sir.”
  1. Just after my father, who was a career Air Force NCO, passed away, all my brothers and sisters returned home to be with Mom. As we reminisced about my Dad, we found ourselves floating from sorrow to laughter as we brought up fond memories of our nomadic military lifestyle. One morning we were discussing what music should be played at the funeral and several hymns were suggested. “But, Mom,” my older sister said, “since Daddy was in the Air Force, shouldn’t we request the Air Force song? “No dear,” my mother said with a smile. “We are not playing a song with the words “Off we go into the wild blue yonder at your father’s funeral.
  1. During my Air Force basic training, I cracked the frames of my eyeglasses. After taping them, I applied for new frames. I didn’t get them, so I applied again at each base to which I was sent. After four years, and just before my discharge, I received nine sets of frames – all marked “Rush.”


What follows was copied from the “Military Salute Project website.” It is a letter written by a Marine in Iraq and it is dated July 10, 2011. If you have never been thanked for your sacrifices made during your service in Vietnam, this Marine does it in outstanding, heartfelt style and I just had to share it with you.

A Thank You to Vietnam Vets from a Marine in Iraq

A guy gets time to think over here and I was thinking about all the support we get from home. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. We get care packages at times faster than we can use them. There are boxes and boxes of toiletries and snacks lining the center of every tent; the generosity has been amazing. So, I was pondering the question: “Why do we have so much support?”

In my opinion, it all came down to one thing: Vietnam Veterans. I think we learned a lesson, as a nation, that no matter what, you have to support the troops who are on the line, who are risking everything. We treated them so poorly back then. When they returned was even worse. The stories are nightmarish of what our returning warriors were subjected to. It is a national scar, a blemish on our country, an embarrassment to all of us.

After Vietnam, it had time to sink in. The guilt in our collective consciousness grew. It shamed us. However, we learned from our mistake. Somewhere during the late 1970’s and on into the 80’s, we realized that we can’t treat our warriors that way. So … starting during the Gulf War, when the first real opportunity arose to stand up and support the troops, we did. We did it to support our friends and family going off to war. But we also did it to right the wrongs from the Vietnam era. We treat our troops today like the heroes they were, and are, acknowledge and celebrate their sacrifice, and rejoice at their homecoming … instead of spitting on them.

And that support continues today for those of us in Iraq. Our country knows that it must support us and it does. The lesson was learned in Vietnam and we are all better because of it.

Everyone who has gone before is a hero. They are celebrated in my heart. I think admirably of all those who have gone before me. From those who fought to establish this country in the late 1770’s to those I serve with in Iraq. They have all sacrificed to ensure our freedom. But when I get back home, I’m going to make it a personal mission to specifically thank every Vietnam Vet I encounter for THEIR sacrifice. Because if nothing else good came from that terrible war, one thing did. It was the lesson learned on how we treat our warriors. We as a country learned from our mistake and now we treat our warriors as heroes, as we should have all along. I am the beneficiary of their sacrifice. Not only for the freedom they, like veterans from other wars, ensured, but for how well our country now treats my fellow Marines and I. We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice.

Semper Fidelis.

Major Brian P. Bresnahan

United States Marine Corps


Happy Birthday to all.

Wanda Palmer                  3rd                         Daniel Matthews              7th

Althea Mitchell                  10th                       Claude Mc Donald            12th

Mack Mitchell                   12th                       Robert Cooke                    13th

Don Betz                             13th                       Marvin White                    14th

Terry McGrath                   16th                       Wilson Grady                     21st

Robert Doleman               23rd                       Joel Bell                              28th

Leroy Dukes                       28th

If you do not see your birthday mentioned here please get in touch with the Chapter Secretary, Mike,O’Day.


The Chapter has a new Web Page

The web page has been redesigned. The web address has remained the same – but it has an entirely new look. It has greater capacity to allow us to retain more items and or pictures and also allows us to archive back issues of the Newsletter. You are encouraged to visit the website and to register your email on the site as the site will automatically email you with any additions to the web page. Please be a little patient as the Chapter’s secretary has to get up to speed on how to post items to the web site.

Chapter Elections

The Chapter elections for 2016’s slate of officers will be held in April, it is not too early to start thinking about taking a more active role in the running of the Chapter. Some of our officers may be stepping down this year and others will be up for re-election. It is easy to sit back and criticize about what is going on in the Chapter, here is your opportunity to make sure your voice is heard and to help steer the ship.


The Chapter has purchased a used enclosed trailer in great condition. The trailer has the VVA logo on it. The trailer will be used to haul all of our merchandise and equipment to our various fund raisers. It will also allow us to store the merchandise and equipment in the trailer thereby eliminating the need to haul everything in and out of the office each time we have a fund raiser.

Lifetime Membership Fees

The sale on lifetime memberships, at the end of last year, was not a one shot deal. VVA National has made it permanent, lifetime memberships are now $100.

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 has purchased a grill for our future use. 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.


According to a January 4 posting by TRICARE staff, military pharmacies and TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery will remain the lowest cost pharmacy option for TRICARE beneficiaries when some TRICARE pharmacy copays change in 2016. On Feb 1, 2016, most copays for prescription drugs at Home Delivery and retail network pharmacies will increase slightly. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires TRICARE to change its prescription copays. All drugs at military pharmacies and generic drugs through Home Delivery are still available at no cost to beneficiaries. Copays for brand-name drugs through Home Delivery increase from $16 to $20, for up to a 90-day supply. At retail pharmacies, generic drug copays go from $8 to $10, and brand name drug copays go from $20 to $24, for up to a 30-day supply. Copays for non-formulary drugs and for drugs at non-network pharmacies will also change.

Beneficiaries can save up to $208 in 2016 for each brand name prescription drug they switch from retail pharmacy to Home Delivery. Home Delivery offers safe and convenient delivery of your prescription drugs right to your mailbox. To see the new TRICARE pharmacy copays, learn more about the TRICARE Pharmacy benefit, or move your prescription to Home Delivery, visit

Concealed Carry Permits

According to the Virginia Attorney General (who has the owner to null reciprocal deals with other states), concealed carry permits from 25 states are revoked and will no longer be recognized in Virginia. Essentially concealed carry reciprocity agreements are being severed with states deemed to have “weaker” concealed carry requirements as compared to Virginia. The affected states are:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Virginia’s action becomes effective February 1, 2016 – therefore before you travel to the State of Virginia make sure you leave your concealed (or any) weapon home.

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.

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.

On the website businesses will be able to sign up themselves. Anyone encountering difficulties with the website and who wishes to participate should call Tammy Beasley, Registrar, at 910-798-7736 or email her at

Veterans were able to start using the cards on Veterans Day, November 11, 2015. is the source of info for the participating businesses in the New Hanover County veterans ID program.

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day March 2, 2016 05:16
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