April 2017 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day April 10, 2017 17:36

Next Meeting:  Monday, April 24 at 7:00 P.M.                                                                   Issue: April 2017

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)

“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: James Bryant

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


VVA Chapter 885 is off and running in the new fiscal year with March already behind us and our members handling the necessary business with fund raising activities and a parade!  We even had a high school band perform for us in Leland! So while our members go about the business at hand, we have some fun in the process.  Each Tuesday and Thursday we have the opportunity to have coffee and our individual favorite breakfast and talk about current events and share some old war stories as well.

April brings another Parade as the Azalea Festival honors all veterans by having us lead off the annual parade event down 3rd street. Chapter members will be at the riverfront on both days as we continue to be active and visible in the community.  Members have also been visiting veterans in assisted care facilities with the AVVA providing hats.  As a result of those visits we are thinking about securing green socks with VVA 885 on them to leave with those veterans.

We continue to reach out for new members in our quest to become the largest chapter in the state!

Spring is in the air, so come on out and join in the fun of being engaged with your fellow veterans!




As we move forward into a new quarter for 2017, we pray VVA 885 will continue to grow strong, healthy and productive in all areas of desired activity. Let’s stay strong in focus and good intentions. As always growth brings new and greater challenges. As veterans we know challenges are sought and welcomed. In the end the acceptance and achievement makes us stronger and prepares us for the next one. Continue to be active and assist whenever we can.

Two very important words in all languages are thank you and welcome.

Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.

Abdul Rahman Shareef

VVA 885 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.


The VA has established a presumptive service connection for Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

Presently, these conditions are the only ones for which there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to support the creation of presumptions; however, VA will continue to review relevant information as it becomes available.

Veterans who are experiencing other health conditions that they think may be related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are encouraged to contact their primary care provider and to file a claim.

In accordance with the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law, VA provides cost-free health care for certain conditions to Veterans who served at least 30 days of active duty at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987.

Qualifying health conditions include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Female infertility
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effect

Veterans eligible for health care under the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law may enroll in VA health care and receive medical services for the 15 covered health conditions at no cost (including copayments).

Family members of Veterans who also resided at Camp Lejeune during the qualifying period are eligible for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the 15 covered health conditions. VA can only pay treatment costs that remain after payment from your other health plans.


Fund Raisers

April 8,9                              Azalea Festival

April 29                               Sam’s Club

May 6                                  Piggly Wiggly, Burgaw

May 20                                Rims on the River

June 3                                  Harris Teeter, Lumina Commons

June 10                               Harris Teeter, Waterford in Leland

June 17                               Blueberry Festival

June 24                               Harris Teeter, Ogden

July 8                                   Harris Teeter, Mayfair

July 15                                 Harris Teeter, Oak Landing

July 29                                 Piggly Wiggly, Leland

August 5                             Harris Teeter, Hanover Center

August 12                           Piggly Wiggly, Burgaw

September 9                      Sam’s Club

September 16                    Golf Tournament

September 23                    Car Show at the Battleship

September 23,24              Spot Festival

October 7,8                       Riverfest

October 21,22                   Autumn at Topsail

November 4                       Sam’s Club


April 8                                  Azalea Festival Parade


June                                     Nursing Home Visits (dates and homes to be determined)

September 30                    Chapter Fish Fry

Nov 11th                              Veterans Day at the Cemetery, Market St. Wilmington, NC


AVVA is shaking things up.  First they, with the help of VVA 2nd VP KC. Jones, initiated visits to nursing homes and now they are conducting fund raisers.

On March 7, the nursing homes Autumn Care

and Britt Haven were visited by VVA and AVVA

Members.  The visitations had an effect on all. The residents were very glad for the visit and the hats and the Chapter members were moved by the reaction of the residents.

On March 30th the AVVA hosted a BBQ luncheon at the Chapter as a fund raiser.  James Bryant put this together in a matter of weeks and over 150 lunches were served.  Well done James.


During training exercises, the lieutenant who was driving down a muddy back road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced colonel at the wheel.

“Your jeep stuck, sir?” asked the lieutenant as he pulled alongside.

“Nope, replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys, yours is.”


Spring has finally sprung and the cold weather, hopefully, is finally behind us.  Spring brings a rebirth by Mother Nature.  The trees are budding and the flowers are starting to bloom, so too there should be a rebirth for all of us.  Get rid of those sour attitudes, talk to or visit with those friends that you haven’t been with in quite a while.  Get out there and meet new people or try a new activity.  Life is too short and we only go around once.  Go out and enjoy yourselves.


Jesse Thomas                    3rd

Owen Martin                     4th

Robert Penwell                 8th

Judy Williams                     11th

Artie Johnson                    12th

Margaret Colman             12th

David Strohpaul                13th

David Mercer                     13th

Winston Robotham          17th

Thomas Robinson             18th

Neal Keller                         19th 

Eddie Sellers                      20th

Joseph Sipala                     20th

Bernard Brunson               27th

Happy Birthday to all.

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


Golf Tournament

Our second annual golf tournament will be held on September 16, 2017 at Olde Point Golf & Country Club.  Once again Jeff Gordon Chevrolet will be sponsoring prizes: a hole in one package with prizes at each par 3 with a 2017 Chevy Silverado as the top prize; two tickets to the 2018 Coca Cola 600 stock car race; and a chance to win $1,000,000 yes that’s right, $1,000,000 with a shot at a hole-in-one.

We are reaching out to various businesses to see if they will act as sponsors of the tournament.  Last year we had 31 companies and or individuals, including some Chapter members that sponsored a hole at $100 each.  This year we would like to more than double that number and you can help.  If you know of a company that we should talk to please let Mike O’Day or Curt Farrison know and if you would like to sponsor a hole yourself please do so and thank you.

If you would like to participate in the planning of the tournament as a member of the golf committee please contact either Curt or Mike.

PX Privileges

This was in the last couple Newsletter’s and will continue to run through November when the program goes live.

According to Stars and Stripes, after two years of study and debate, the Department of Defense has made a policy change, effective November 2017, to allow 16 million honorably discharged veterans to shop online for discounted military exchange products.

The entire article can be read on the Chapter’s website at vvachapter885.org.

 Trip to Washington DC

The Juneteenth Committee of Wilmington, NC is sponsoring a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.  The group will leave Sunday morning, May 21, 2017 at 3:00 AM and return Tuesday night, May 23 around 9:00PM.

Costs for the trip run from $200 to $380 per person depending upon how many people share a room.

Contact information: Evelyn Fennell at 910-233-1825 or 910-791-3529 or Marsha Graham-Ali at 910-371-1610

March’s Fundraisers

In March we had two fundraisers: Piggly Wiggly in Leland and Food Lion on Military Cutoff.  Despite a rainy day, we did very well at Piggly Wiggly.  We also had the pleasure of the New Brunswick High School Marching Band playing the National Anthem for us.  You just never know what is going to happen at one of our fund raisers.

We did not do quite so well at Food Lion and that was because it was the same day as the Wrightsville Beach Marathon.  Traffic on the roads was backed up until after noon limiting traffic flow in to Food Lion.  While our income on the day was limited we did meet some interesting people and may pick up a new member or two as we handed out 4 or 5 applications.

Organ Donor Program

At our Chapter meeting on March 27, we had a presentation by Duane Cooper on the subject of Organ Donation.  On a subject that can be very touchy for many people and for many reasons, Duane gave a very informative presentation on organ donation and on his organization, Carolina Donor Services.  If you would like to find out more about the subject or the organization please go to the website carolinadonorservices.com.

Azalea Festival Parade

The Chapter is again participating in the Azalea Festival Parade which this year is on Saturday, April 8.  Once again Tony Mortillaro’s 1950 Chevy truck will lead the way followed by the troop carrier and the Chapter’s trailer.  Come on out and join us and show your colors.

The parade this year is honoring veterans and veterans will be at the front of the parade.  When the parade gets to the reviewing stand a 30 foot American Flag banner will be unfurled.  Volunteers are needed to handle the flag, if you are so inclined please be at the reviewing stand at 7:30 AM for some practice.  Those volunteers will remain there until the parade reaches there and they will then have the unfurling ceremony.  Once that is done they can then join in the parade.

Membership Totals

Our numbers continue to grow. President, Don Betz, challenged the members to grow the membership to 200 when he was elected.  We have met that challenge as the membership total now stands at 202 and growing.  Our next challenge is to become the largest Chapter in the state of North Carolina and we are only about 15 – 20 members short of meeting that challenge. We may be even a little closer than that as we have given out about 10 membership forms in the last 10 days. Keep up the good work everybody in bringing in those new members.

Porters Neck Golf Tournament

The folks at Porters Neck Country Club are holding a golf tournament on Tuesday, May 2 and we are invited.  The tournament is limited to select Veterans and First Responders on a first come first served basis.  The cost is $60 and in addition to a round of golf the price entitles you to a visitors pass that same day to a practice round at the Wells Fargo Championship which is being played across the street at Eagles Nest. For more information on this please contact Robert Loper at (910)686-1177 or via email at headpro@portersneckcountryclub.com

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again the Chapter participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The parade route was a little different this year as it went down Front St. and then on Water St.  Front St. is very narrow and it made for a more intimate setting than say the MLK or Azalea Festival parades.  You could almost reach out and touch the viewers.  In speaking with some of our members, that haven’t ridden in one of the parades for a while or it may have been their first time, they were moved by the reception given to us as we came into their viewing area.

If you haven’t taken part in one of the parades recently come on out for the Azalea Festival parade on April 8.


Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day April 10, 2017 17:36


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V V A Chaper 885

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 248401

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