October 2017 Newsletter

Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day June 5, 2018 14:36

Next Meeting:  Monday, October 23, 2017  at 7:00 P.M.                                                   Issue: October 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.




Has the hurricane season ended yet?  Has “mental illness and guns” ended yet? Our Country reels from these not so uncommon events, but as veterans and especially Vietnam Veterans, we have seen it all before! Some will heal but many will not, just like before.  We have each other and more because of our experience that covers 50 years and more.  As a Chapter we are a “band of brothers/sisters” like no other.  At our recent monthly meeting our 213th member joined us and at our annual fish fry we had the opportunity to be together, really together, to have some fun with each other and enjoy some really good food!  I wish to thank all who made it just such a great event!

With the Chapter’s 2nd successful golf tournament behind us, additional funds have been received to build our Veteran Outreach fund and the chapter needs to think about developing the program deeper into our communities for those who have served and are serving.

This was a great effort by many of our members and families! A “shout out” salute to everyone!  We have busy days ahead of us with fundraising events ahead and need members to work these in their schedules for at the end we will have another “party” in December!   We will always be stronger together so reach out to each other in support if you know someone is in need.


As fall approaches nature provides an opportunity for reflection on how it wants to always show the best of itself. Tree leaves will slowly change in color as cooler weather takes hold. The color changes give rise to a natural beauty signaling even as the tree goes through a dying cycle it attempts to cover a range of varying beauty exhibiting the best of itself even in death. As bodies of water take on a slow freeze it will expand in an effort to maintain its natural state. As veterans hold fast to the best of ourselves in these times of change and challenges.


All gave some. Some gave all.


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.



VA to Remove SSNs                                        

A bipartisan Senate bill proposes removing Social Security numbers of U.S. veterans from all Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) information systems within the next five years in an effort to reduce veteran identity theft.

The Veterans’ Identity Theft Protection Act was introduced on June 16, 2016, by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and is co-sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas.

The bill would require the VA, the nation’s largest healthcare provider, to discontinue the use of Social Security numbers with new claims for benefits within two years, and for all other veterans whose data is already in VA systems within five years. The VA, however, would still be permitted to use Social Security numbers if it needs to exchange information with another system outside of the agency that requires the use of those identifiers.

VA Unveils Claims Submission Option That Promises to Complete Claims within 30 Days

WASHINGTON — Today, as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) continued efforts to improve timeliness of services for Veterans and their families, VA unveiled the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative, a disability claims submission option with accredited Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) that promises to deliver faster claims decisions to Veterans and their families.

“The DRC initiative is a collaborative effort between VA and VSOs to help Veterans receive faster decisions on disability claims,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “VA works closely with participating VSOs to make sure they are properly trained in this new process and given the tools they need to participate successfully in the program on behalf of the Veterans they serve.”

Veterans who choose to submit their claim under DRC can expect to receive a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. VSOs will ensure all supporting evidence — such as medical exams, military service records, etc. — is included with the claim submission. This advance preparation by the VSOs allows claims to be assigned immediately to claims processors for a quick decision.

DRC was first implemented May 1, 2017, at the St. Paul (Minn.) Regional Office, and is now available at all VA regional offices. While DRC is currently limited to claims for increased compensation  (commonly known as claims for increase), and requires Veterans to work with VSOs, VA’s goal is to expand the types of claims accepted under the initiative and allow Veterans other ways to submit their claim under DRC.

DRC is another key step in aggressively modernizing VA’s benefits delivery to Veterans in a fully digital operating environment. With electronic claims processing as a foundation, VA’s innovation will improve service to Veterans, their families, and survivors.



October 7, 8                      Riverfest

October 21, 22                 Autumn at Topsail

November 4                      Sam’s Club



November 11                    Veterans Day Parade



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

December 2                       Christmas party



Nothing to report.


The Nutty Soldier

A general noticed one of his soldiers behaving oddly.  The soldier would pick up any piece of paper he found, frown and say, “That’s not it” and put it down again.  This went on for some time, until the general arranged to have the soldier psychologically tested.  The psychologist concluded that the soldier was deranged, and wrote out his discharge from the army.  The soldier picked it up, smiled and said:  “That’s it.”


Instead of words from me I thought the following words from a Coast Guard vet would be appropriate.

“12 years ago I returned from Kuwait and Iraq. When I returned to school I held things together but I was certainly not “my old self.” One day I was talking to my former flight instructor (from my high school years), who is a Vietnam Veteran. He recognized my symptoms and made me get help, helped me navigate the VA system and gave me warning signs to look for that would indicate substandard care and how to deal with it.


Since then, over and over, I have been shepherded through the healing/growth process by Vietnam Vets who knew where I was on the path to healing and refused to leave me there…often coming back on their path, in order to get me and help me move forward.


It was one person who caused a turning point for me, but he is not the only one who is doing this. How can I reach a larger audience of Vietnam Veterans to know that their pain, or reliving of some of it in order to help us OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) folks, is not in vein? This is what I wrote during The Welcome Home Project in 2008, with other OIF and Vietnam Veterans around me. Share at will. Let me know how I can return the gift I have been given.


Old Timers – A Term of Endearment, by Melissa Steinman


There is no certain path on the road to healing. It is a direction that you take out of a valley surrounded by tall mountains.


The underbrush of the forest is thick as a jungle.

From across the valley, a brother runs towards me, and nearly out of breath he says, “There was no path to healing when we came back.


But we are used to cutting through jungles, we started hacking through the bush 40 years ago, in a direction that might lead to it.


We aren’t finished yet, we’re most of the way up the hill, but we saw you coming, so we ran all the way back to get you.

Don’t get me wrong. The path is narrow and uphill in all directions, but we have cleared most of the brush before you, and as long as it takes, we will walk it with you.”


Melissa Steinman

US Coast Guard, Kuwait Veteran



Yvonne Sidberry               5th

John Tullous                      8th

Mary Daugherty               11th

Ken Fish                              11th

Ben Foreman                     13th

Thurgood Grisset             14th 

Eric Eberhardt                   16th

Jerry Finnigan                    16th

Curtis Gay                          20th

George Clark                     21st

Karl Brewer                        21st

Gene Pollock                     21st

Harold Pickett                   24th

David Miller                       25th

Peter Joyce                        27th

Fred Allen                           31st


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

On a beautiful Saturday we had 106 golfers tee it up at our tournament and they all seemed to have a very good time.  We had 15 members volunteering their time and to each of them go’s a big thank you.  As the result of the tournament we raised over $10,000 for the Chapter.


We had great prizes courtesy of Jeff Gordon Chevrolet and over $4,000 worth of gift items that we raffled off.  One of these years we will have a hole in one and someone will win that Chevy Silverado.  Better yet someone will win the $1,000,000 prize for a hole in one after the tournament is completed.




PX Privileges

This was in the last few Newsletters 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

As of September 30, we have 212 Chapter members.  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.  Every once in a while we see a drop in membership of one maybe two members.  This happens when a non-life member does not renew his or her membership.  We can avoid this if we can encourage those non-life members to convert their membership to a life membership.

Chapter Meetings Sponsored

The refreshments (pizza and beverages) for October’s Chapter meeting is sponsored by

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jordan.



September was a busy month for the Chapter as far as fund raisers go.  On the 9th we were at Piggly Wiggly where we are always treated well by store management and by their customers.  On the 16th we had the golf tournament and the following week we had two functions going on.  On the 23rd we had a crew at the car show at the battleship and also on the 23rd and the 24th we participated in the spot festival which is always a fun event.


Thank you to all members that showed up to support the Chapter by working the fund raisers.


Chapter Fish Fry

The fish fry this year was on Saturday, September 30 and we had a beautiful day for it.  Good food, good friends and good conversations, a good time was had by all.  Approximately 75 members and guests turned out for the event. A big thank you to Mack and Althea Mitchell for organizing the event and a big thank you to Lonnie Davenport who did a great job cooking all of the fish.


If you were not able to join us you missed a good time and lots and lots of good desserts.  Hopefully you can make it next year.


Christmas Party

This year’s Christmas party will be held on Saturday December 2 at Compass Pointe.  Curt Farrison was able to arrange for the facility at no cost to the Chapter.  Thanks Curt.  The party will again be catered this year.  In order to be able to provide the proper number of meals we need you to let the office know if you are planning on attending the party.  Either call the office or send an email to the Chapter letting us know that you will be attending.



Woman of the Year


In August, Abdul Shareef, on behalf of the Tauheed Islamic Center, presented Linda Pearce Thomas with the Family Woman of the Year Award.  Linda is the widow of Chapter member Ferold Thomas, deceased.  The award was presented to Linda for her dynamic impact on families through Elderhaus and its outreach programs.








Michael O'Day
By Michael O'Day June 5, 2018 14:36


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V V A Chaper 885

801 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 248401

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