June 2017 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day June 18, 2017 18:23

Next Meeting:  Monday, June 26, 2017  at 7:00 P.M.                                                              Issue: June 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:  Tony Mortillaro

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.


As we all reflect on Memorial Day, I want to thank so many of our Chapter members for assisting with the event by either handling the music, reading the names of the fallen, helping with tents or chairs, taking pictures and even raising the flag at the very end!  Our members were there the whole time and it was very hot!  Another hot spot was the deck of the battleship!  Fortunately a much shorter program!  45 minutes this year!  As I was leaving through the gift shop I saw a fellow veteran with a faded green Vietnam veteran shirt and advised him that I knew a place he could get a new one!  Apparently he and his wife relocated from New York recently, I gave him my card and hopefully he will come by.  Those kind of face to face events make me proud of our Chapter for we have a “home” for these vets that we encounter at events.

On a sad note, on May 25th I lost a good friend in Raleigh who served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era and got his law degree with the GI bill and passed away peacefully at age 69.

The State Convention is June 16-17 up in Durham and I have asked our First Vice-President to attend in my place as I have another veteran conflict the morning of June 17. Our Second Vice-President has a full schedule for the members this month for fund raisers and visiting assisted care facilities so hopefully each of us can do an event during the month.

The New Hanover County Veterans Council will hold its next meeting June 15th at 7 p.m. here at the Chapter and all members are welcome to attend.

Please keep an eye out for each other and any opportunity to bring in another member to the chapter!




Greetings to Chapter 885 Members.

As we Honor our Veterans who have served and transitioned to a higher destiny.  May our respect be forever genuine and honorable in the highest of ideals. Let those ideals be reflected as we give attention to those disabled and in need of our help and attention including ourselves.  We pray our Chapter will continue to grow and be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another ”

Abdul Rahman Shareef

Chaplain VVA 885

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.


Why Women Need to Plan for Long Term Senior Care

Women live longer, and that means women will have more years of retirement to pay for — in many cases, living on their own or in long term senior care.

So why are women less likely to have a financial plan, and what can we do about it? Read these tips about planning for senior care.

How to Plan for a Long Life

Planning for retirement isn’t an easy task — and it’s even more challenging for women. We have an ever-increasing life expectancy, so we’re more likely to live long enough to need assisted living or other types of senior care. We’re also more likely to be a caregiver for others, or to live solo due to widowhood. Yet, studies show that women are less likely to plan effectively for a long life.

Getting educated about retirement planning and learning how to make the right financial investments is a critical step to maximizing your life for the future. Women in particular need to plan ahead, especially if they want to continue to live comfortably and take care of their own needs in retirement. The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement and the Extra-Long Life states why:

  • Women are more likely to age solo. Women are more likely to live alone in their older age, whether due to divorce, widowhood, or other reasons, and that often means bearing the financial burden of retirement solo, too.
  • Women are more likely to have higher healthcare costs. The MetLife study mentions a variety of reasons for this, including less accessibility to insurance and more out-of-pocket expenses. Women are also more likely to either need long-term care themselves, or be the providers of long-term care.
  • Women live longer. If you’re age 60 today in the U.S., and you’re female, says the report, you can expect to live to about 84 — but if you’re male, it’s 81. Having more years to live translates directly into more retirement costs.

  Ways Women Must Approach Finances Differently

Women have historically needed to approach finances differently, and that’s another reason why we can get behind in our retirement planning.

Here are a few specific examples of how women’s financial situation significantly differs from men’s:

  • Women are less likely to have a retirement plan. Although more women are participating in the workforce than ever before, they are less likely to have a retirement plan — either because they choose not to even if they qualify, or they work part-time and don’t qualify. Women are also likely to work fewer years if they take time off for caregiving or child rearing. What this all adds up to, is lower lifetime savings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Women earn less than men: Not only are women more likely to work part-time, they only earn 81% of what men earned, according to the MetLife report. That, of course, has nothing to do with our own financial behavior, but it translates into less contribution to pensions, savings and Social Security.
  • Women invest more conservatively: Women are more likely to have a penny-pinching attitude when it comes to savings, but although we’re confident about our ability to stretch a dollar, we tend to be less confident when it comes to investing our money for the future. According to a TIME article, this may be because we feel we don’t know enough about it, or feel intimidated by the male-dominated financial world; in some cases, women were raised to consider investment to be the man’s domain.

 What Should Women Be Doing to Plan for Senior Care?

In past eras, women tended to leave all the financial planning to men, in fact, many women today grew up surrounded by the attitude —conscious or not — that husbands take charge of the long term finances.

Obviously, this is an attitude we can’t afford. It may seem daunting, but women can start with a few simple strategies for saving:

  • Come up with a contingency plan. Don’t wait for emergencies to actually happen before you figure out how to deal with them financially, warns MetLife. Consider what contingencies are likely for your situation, whether it’s a health emergency or long-term care, and figure out how you plan to round up the necessary resources.
  • Don’t delay. There’s no better time to start than now!
  • Get educated and build your financial confidence. Research any financial planning matters you don’t understand, consult a variety of resources, and don’t be afraid to talk to a financial planner or investment expert. “Be careful not to conclude too quickly that you have ‘all the information you need,’” says the MetLife report. Learn about insurance, savings plans and senior care costs.
  • Learn about your retirement benefits. If your employer offers a retirement plan, join it and start saving now, and find out how long you need to contribute before you’re vested. If your spouse has a pension, Social Security or Veteran’s benefits, make sure you know what the rules are when it comes to spousal rights in cases of death or divorce, notes the Department of Labor.
  • Review your finances regularly, and set a budget. In a Forbes article, CPA Laura McNutt suggests, “Once a year conduct a retirement analysis. Look at what you own, your spending needs and determine if what you have is going to accomplish those needs.” Be detailed about what your goals are and what you need to save to reach them.


 Fund Raisers

June 10                               Harris Teeter, Waterford in Leland

June 17                               Blueberry Festival, Burgaw

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


September 30                    Chapter Fish Fry

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


The AVVA is sponsoring visits to two area nursing homes this month.  During the visits, members chat with the veterans and hand out appropriate hats, i.e. WWII, Korea and/or Vietnam.

The two nursing homes for this month are: Woodbury Wellness Inc. in Hampstead, and Elderhaus Pace.  If anyone would like to join in on the visitation please be at the Chapter at 10:00 AM on the appropriate day.


Just a quickie this month.

Shortly after joining the Army, I was in line with some other inductees when the sergeant stepped forward with that day’s assignments.  He handed out several tasks and then asked, “Does anyone have experience with radio communications?”  As a long-time ham radio operator, I shouted, “I do.” “Good” he said.  “You can dig the hole for the new telephone pole.”


Instead of me writing a comment I am going to use something that I have received a number of times from multiple sources over the last few months.

Vietnam Wall and War Facts

With the Vietnam Vets now dying off at a rate of about 500/day, it is time to remember their contributions and sacrifices.

A little history most people will never know.

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.  It is hard to believe it is 61 years since the first casualty.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956.  His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

 The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.  I wonder why so many from one school.

8 Women are on the Wall, Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.  There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop 5,058) had ever known and cheered.  They enjoyed roaring beer busts.  In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest.  And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps.  Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues.  They lived only a few yards apart.  They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field.  And they all went to Vietnam.  In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed.  LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day.

Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 – 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created.  To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created.  We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.  There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Editor’s note:  a friend of mine pointed out that there is one statistic missing – number of sons of senators and congressmen on the wall – 0.


Lee Roberts                       1st

Robert Sommers               2nd

Ruperte Hamilton             10th

George Nixon                    10th

Harvey Hutchinson           10th

James Jones                       10th

David Dommer                  12th

Robert Barnhill                  15th

George Lee                        17th

Joe McKoy                         19th

Jimmie Williams 22nd

Robert Sneiderman          24th

Reid Mendenhall               24th

Owen Melvin                     24th

Tony Musolino                  25th

Richard Gauthier               25th

James Hedgebeth             27th

Elijah Pinkney                    27th

KC Jones                             27th   

Michael Herring                30th

Happy Birthday to all.

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


Phony telephone number scam targets veterans

May 15, 2017


Carol Kando-Pineda

Attorney, FTC’s Consumer & Business Education

There’s a new scam out there, preying on veterans who are making decisions about their medical care. The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program allows certain eligible vets to use approved health care providers who are outside of the VA system. Veterans or families can call the VCP’s toll-free number to verify their eligibility for the program.

Here’s the problem: Scammers have set up a phony telephone line that very closely resembles the VCP’s real telephone number. Con artists often use names, seals, and logos that look or sound like those of respected, legitimate organizations. This time they’re using a phone number that’s almost identical to the real thing, counting on creating confusion. You call and think you’ve reached the VCP. The fake line’s message says you’re entitled to a rebate if you provide a credit card number. But if you give up your account information, they’ll debit your account and you’ll get nothing in return.  There is no rebate and you’ll need to cancel your credit card.

If you’re a veteran – or you’re helping one with health care – remember these tips to avoid a scammer’s tricks.

  • Be sure you’re calling the real number for the Veterans Choice Program: 866-606-8198. If you’re not sure you’ve reached the VCP, hang up. Check the VCP’s site for the real number and try again.
  • The VA – or any government agency – will not ask for your financial account information.

Visit VCP’s site to learn more about the Veterans Choice Program – or call 866-606-8198. Check out the VA’s identity theft prevention program, More Than a Number.  Report identity theft to the FTC – and get a personalized recovery plan – at IdentityTheft.gov.

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.

The golf committee is hard at work but they could use your help as well. The committee is 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 see Mike or Curt and thank you.

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.

Membership Totals

Our Chapter continues to grow.  As of May 31, we have 206 Chapter members.  There are a couple more that are in the pipeline which have not been added yet by National.  Each month we continue to add members and this is a reflection on many of you who continue to network within the community, thank you for your efforts.

Public Information Officer (PIO)

Last month we put out a call for someone to volunteer to be our Public Information Officer.  Karl Brewer answered that call and is now our PIO.  Thank you Karl for stepping up to help out the Chapter.

May’s activities

May was a busy month.  In addition to two fund raisers: May 6 at Piggly Wiggly and May 20 at Rims on the River; we were also at the Cemetery and the Battleship on Memorial Day, May 29 and we held a Cookout for the staff at the VA facility on May 6.

The Cookout was a big hit as we served between 125 and 150 people.  The staff and the administration were very appreciative of our efforts as almost every person thanked us.  It was a big hit despite the rain as we put up two of the Chapter’s tents and KC Jones added two of his own.  The food and the servers kept dry.

The two fund raisers were successful and Rims on the River was more successful for one of our Members, Tony Mortillaro.  Tony got a buyer for his truck and closed the deal on the following Monday.  Congratulations Tony and we are going to miss your truck leading us in the various parades.

At the cemetery we did quite a bit.  Chapter members helped set up the flags on Saturday and also helped take them down on Tuesday.  While at the cemetery on Monday we recognized a WWII vet by giving him a hat.

Before everyone thinks that the editor has gone nuts let me explain why the above two pictures are upside down.  I received the pictures this way and while I was able to flip them right side up on my computer to print out but I could not save it that way.  So either turn the computer on its side or print out the newsletter and turn the page on its side.  Sorry but I do have my technological limitations.

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day June 18, 2017 18:23


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V V A Chaper 885

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 248401

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