September 2016 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day September 4, 2016 20:24

Next Meeting:  September 26, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.                                                           Issue: September 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:

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

President:  Don Betz

1st Vice president:  Larry Farmer

2nd Vice President:  K. C. Jones

Treasurer:  Bob Doleman

Secretary:  Michael O’Day

Sergeant at Arms:  Thurmond Bethea

Service Officer:  Tony Musolino

Chaplain:  Abdul Shareef

AVVA Chapter Representative: Mary Skov

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


As we move into September it will be a huge month for our Chapter with fundraising activities, events and our first golf tournament!  We need a lot of assistance on Saturday, September 17th to make this all come together for the Chapter. We have added two additional members recently and renewed a couple, so please keep working on building our membership! Mike does a great job of letting us all know about our fellow members so be sure to give someone a call when the need arises! I often hear, when speaking with others that the Vietnam Veterans care a lot about people in our community either through their churches or their other member organizations.  Keep in mind that as we assist and help other veterans we are reaching out and helping families as well. We know we can make a difference so let’s put our best effort into September 17th! See you at the 19th hole!


September is approaching, for this area it is a time of hurricanes, tropical storms etc. Don’t wait and do last minute preps, get ready now. It has been a while since we have had a hurricane and we may be in for a rough season although we are always hoping for the good.

Say a prayer for the loss of life and those affected by the flooding in Baton Rouge, the earthquake in Italy and the power of nature’s natural phenomenal forces.

Remember our members and family who may not be doing well at this time.  Visit or make a phone call.

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another”

Abdul Rahman Shareef, Chaplain

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.


 Do you or a family member need a wheelchair accessible van? The MagicMobility Wheelchair Van Assistance Program is a nationwide program that receives donated adapted vehicles and distributes them, free of charge, to needy individuals. MagicMobility is focused on helping disabled veterans, as a small token of appreciation for their dedicated service and sacrifices for our country. If you would like to donate a van, MagicMobility van donation program provides a wonderful legacy for the donor, as well as the best IRS tax deduction for a vehicle donation, since the vans are not sold, but are instead transferred to a needy recipient. MagicMobility also has a site for donations to disability programs and individual campaigns. If you know someone who has a wheelchair or scooter adapted van to donate, or is in need of one, please contact MagicMobility.

Increase in Disabled Veteran Compensation

Disabled veterans are eligible to receive an increase in their benefits for 2017. As directed by the Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016, the change affects the annual rates of VA disability compensation, dependency compensation for surviving children and spouses, and medical clothing allowances for veterans, among other benefits. It will not affect adjustments for military retirement pay, which are calculated through other methods. The amount of the increase will be in line with the increase provided under Title II of the Social Security Act. The precise amount of the adjustment, which will take effect on December 1st, has not yet been announced.


Fund Raisers

September 10th                                Piggly Wiggly, Leland

September 17th                                Golf Tourney,

Olde Point Golf & CC, Hampstead

September 24th                                Car Show at the Battleship

September 24th & 25th                    Spot Festival, Hampstead

October 8th & 9th                              Riverfest

October 15th and 16th                     Autumn at Topsail

November 5th                                   Sam’s Club

November 6th                                   Marathon at the Battleship

Other Events

October 22nd, Fish Fry                     Leland

November 11, 2016                        Veterans Day at the Cemetery on Market St.

If you did not notice it above, we are having our first ever fundraiser at Piggly Wiggly in Burgaw on the 10th.  Why don’t you come out and join us, support the Chapter and have a few laughs?


Nothing to report this month.


It was a dark, stormy night.  The Marine was on his first assignment, and it was guard duty.  A general stepped out taking his dog for a walk.  The nervous young Private snapped to attention, made a perfect salute, and snapped out “Sir, Good Evening, Sir!  The General, out for some relaxation, returned the salute and said “Good evening Marine, nice night, isn’t it?”

Well it wasn’t a nice night, but the Private wasn’t going to disagree with the General, so he saluted again and replied “Sir, Yes Sir!”  The General continued, “You know there’s something about a stormy night that I find soothing, it’s really relaxing.  Don’t you agree?”  The Private didn’t agree, but then the Private was just a Private, and responded “Sir, Yes Sir!”

The General, pointing at the dog, said “This is a Golden Retriever, the best type of dog to train.”  The Private glanced at the dog, saluted yet again and said “Sir, Yes Sir!” The General continued, “I got this dog for my wife.”  The Private simply said “Good trade Sir!”


A lot of things are going on in my life right now and I kind of put the Newsletter on the back burner.  It was late in the afternoon on the 31st when I realized it was the 31st and I said “oh bleep, I have to write the Newsletter.”  Everything but the editorial came together pretty easily and then I realized I had no idea what to write about.

As I was thinking and before you say it – that can be dangerous.  I remembered that in the last 10 days I had gone to a restaurant with my father-in-law and when I went to pay the bill, somebody had already paid it and a few days later I was picking up some take out and was told there was a veteran’s discount of 15%; in both instances I was wearing my Chapter shirt.  I mention these two instances not to gloat about my good fortune but to make a comment – the people in the Wilmington area are aware of and appreciative of their veterans.

In the Wilmington area there are approximately 18,000 veterans and countless thousands of family members of veterans, so we cast a pretty wide net.  How many times have you been out, for whatever reason and someone realizes that you are a veteran and thanks you for your service and sacrifice for our country?  It just doesn’t happen at fundraisers when we are all standing there in our green shirts, it happens all of the time.  As a transplanted New Yorker this is still hard for me to get used to.  In New York I could have walked around in a full dress uniform with lots of shiny medals and no one would bat an eye let alone say thank you. My point in all of this is be glad that you live in an area like Wilmington where we are appreciated and be proud of your service in the armed forces and continue serving your country by helping out other veterans whenever you can.


Donald Highsmith                            1st

Rob Moore                                       1st

Lonnie Davenport                            2nd

Blaine Love                                       4th

James Fore                                        7th

Danial Fortini                                    7th

Virgil Liner                                         12th

James Bryant                                    12th

Les Heller                                          13th

Jerry Autry                                         16th

Richard Needham                            17th

Len Schilling                                      17th

Eleanor Covan                                  18th

Albert Grantham                              20th

Darryl Clark                                       20th

William Frye                                      21st

Ronnie Williams                              21st

James White                                     21st

William Ebersbach                           28th

Happy Birthday to all.

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


Fund raisers

We only had one fund raiser in August and that was at Sam’s Club on the 13th.  The 13th was no different than most of the other summer days, it was hot and it took its toll on some of the members.  Fortunately, no one was seriously affected and those of us that were there managed to survive by staying hydrated and ducking inside where it was air conditioned for a few minutes at a time.   One thing that helped us cope was that we had a record turnout of volunteers – 21 people; so thank you to all of you who showed up.  We managed to raise a few buck for the Chapter and we surely had a lot of laughs.

Why do we have fundraisers?

Often when we are having a fundraiser someone will ask us why we do it and when we solicit a store where we can do a fund raiser we get asked what do we do on the fund raiser.  Hopefully, the below information will explain all that.

When VVA 885 conducts a fundraiser we typically set up a 10 x 10 foot tent outside the building with tables and banners indicating our Organization.  On the tables will be items displayed for sale:  T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, coffee, challenge coins, key chains, dog tags and money clips.  Along with these items, we have a bucket for unsolicited donations.

One of our main goals for these events is to raise funds for our Chapter, as VVA 885 is a non-profit Veterans Organization organized under IRC 501 (c) (19).  100% of all money raised will be in support of local veterans.  We receive no money other than what we raise via fundraisers, and no member of the Chapter receives any monetary compensation.

We also view fundraisers as an opportunity to outreach.  In addition to some Chapter members attending to sales behind the tables, we have several members interacting with the public.  We hand out orange and black poppies (at no obligation to anyone), with the orange poppies symbolizing Agent Orange and its devastating effects, and the black ones representing prisoners of war (POWs) and those missing in action (MIAs).  Providing these poppies will sometimes trigger a response in individuals who want to tell us about themselves, friends, and/or relatives.  Through these conversations we may learn of a Veteran in need of help and we are able to offer suggestions on how to get help, invite them to visit our Chapter and speak with our Service Officer to insure that we get them the help that is needed.

Golf Tournament

After months of planning and scrounging for sponsors our Golf Tournament is just a couple of weeks away.  The tournament is on the 17th, at Olde Point Golf & CC.  We still are looking for more golfers to join us and have some fun so If you or someone that you know are planning on playing please get your applications in as soon as possible.  We are limited to 120 golfers and it will be first entered first served; would not want you to miss out on an opportunity to play, have some fun and have a chance at some wonderful prizes.

You don’t have to be a golfer to come to the tournament.  You are welcome to come and help out or just to watch and kibitz and you can certainly participate in the various raffles: prizes, 50/50 and the silent auction for Daytona 500 tickets.  We hope to see you there.

Important VA Telephone Numbers in NC

The below information comes to us courtesy of American Legion Post 68, Leland and indirectly from Post 543.  Members of Post 543 attended a Congressional Liaison/VSO informational meeting at the Fayetteville Veteran’s Hospital, hosted by Director Elizabeth Goolsby in June 2016. The below information was disseminated by Ms. Goolsby.

For issues regarding veteran travel reimbursement regarding healthcare appointments: Ira Shaw – Travel Office., 910-475-6040 Extension # 6016 for questions regarding eligibility Extension # 6046 for travel reimbursement problems.  Requests for incurred travel reimbursement must be made within 30 days of the appointment.  Evidence that the appointment was attended must be provided.  Be advised that the Travel Office may pay incurred travel expenses if a veteran’s appointment was cancelled by the VA Clinic, where the veteran was not duly notified of the cancellation.

For billing questions regarding copay and pharmacy issues: 866-290-9438.

In order to receive VA reimbursement benefits, a veteran is required to notify the VA within 72 hours of admission into a non-VA hospital Emergency Room, or Urgent Care Center.  That call should go to: 800-771-6106, Extension # 7002.

If a veteran is being harassed by debt collectors related to VA non-payment of billing for Choice or HealthNet, call: 877-881-7618.

For ambulance bills, referrals, emergency care, Choice, etc., where the veteran feels that the VA should cover the cost, contact: Jeff Jarvis – Care in the Community.  Email address is Care in the Community Customer Service Representatives working under the direction of Mr. Jarvis are as follows, by area of service:

Ms. Andrea Roberts- FVAMC for Goldsboro and Hamlet area.  Email address is and the telephone number is 910-488-2120 Ext. 5798.

Mr. Jesse Wrenn – FVAMC for Goldsboro and Hamlet areas. Email address is and the telephone number is 910-488-2120 Ext. 7621.

Mr. Lineal Hyman – Fayetteville, Robeson, and Sanford areas. Email address is and the telephone number is 910-475-6272.

Ms. Arianna Rodriquez – Fayetteville, Robeson, and Sanford areas. Email address is and the telephone number is 910-475-6271.

Ms. Tanya Valdez – Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Brunswick areas.  Email address is and the telephone number is 910-488-2120 Ext. 5863.

Ms. Viola Saunders – Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Brunswick areas. Email address is  and the telephone number is 910-488-2120 Ext. 5882.

Chapter 885 Membership

As of July 31st, the Chapter has 175 members of which 146 are life members.  Since then we have added at least two new members.

Fraud Alert

On August 9, 2016, several Veterans received calls that appeared to be from the VA and originated from the telephone number of a BVA attorney (202 area code). When answered, a recorded message indicated that someone at the phone number dialed was being investigated as part of a Veterans Administration claim. The recording said to push “1” to continue.  When attempting to redial the number, callers reached a recorded message that said the number has been disconnected or is no longer in service.

The initial investigation has determined that these calls were made by an unknown party and the issue has been referred for further investigation and action.  If you know of someone who received a call of this type, then advise them that the call did not originate at VA and refer them to the Office of the Inspector General to submit a report ( or 800-488-8244).


Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day September 4, 2016 20:24


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V V A Chaper 885

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 248401

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


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