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Archive for Chapter Meeting Minutes

February, 2019 General Meeting

Northeast South Dakota Vietnam Veterans of America
Chapter 1054

General Meeting Minutes

February 21, 2019
Meeting called to order by Phil Braeger
Prayer and pledge conducted.
Welcomed distinguished guests and visitors.
Roll call of officers taken.  Officers present were:
Officers                 Office                Present
Jack Kempter          President               ☐
Phil Braeger            VP                         
Daryl Berning          2nd VP                   
Don Zaft                 Chaplain                ☒
Bob Frink                Treasurer               
Sherry Janssen        Secretary              

Secretary’s report was read and approved.

Treasurer’s report:  Balances: Checking $5268.73 Savings $77,286.51 for total $82,255.44 Report was presented using projection screen.  It was well accepted by the membership. Report approved.

Committee reports:

Membership:  Denny reported on membership at 492.

Honor guard:  Performed 2 funerals.

Phil reported that the SD Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs will not be speaking at this meeting but next month.

A video was shown on the Million Veterans Program.  A research project which involves donating a blood sample for genetic research in finding cures and tailoring medicines.

Randy turned in $800 for elk tickets.  Have two more opportunities to sell tickets at the gun show and the home show.  Expects most tickets to be sold.  Needs help at those shows.

Ford Drive date will be set for June.  Not to conflict with Flag day.

VVA challenge coins are now available for $3.00 each.

Update on the Wash DC trip in Sept.  Possibly a Saturday thru a Thursday.  Also looking at taking a charter flight.  Discussion was held on possible fund raising.  Denny will chair.

Kay Solberg announced that the Welcome home Vietnam Veterans is March 30th.  We can have a display at the library.  Please come up with ideas.

Warriers Never Give Up will be having 3 fishing trips.  There will be an online sign up.

Red Wilke, who sponsors the rodeos during the fairs, will speak next month.  He honors veterans during his shows.

Dr Likness discussed the difference between the Honor Flights and our Chapter 1054 flight. The Midwest honor flight is basically for World War 2 veterans and is a crash visit of one day.  They are trying to put together a Vietnam Veteran trip as well, outside of ours.

The Summit League tournament is coming up.  Last year we presented colors.  Denny said he has a request in to participate again.  Need volunteers.  It is 9 March in Sioux Falls.

Milbank DAV is having a raffle. Help them out – $10.00

Browns Valley Legion is having their first Pow Wow.  Have invited us to join them.  More info to follow.

For the good of the order:  Need more members!

Sickness and distress:  Phil’s son in Denver has cancer.  Jack is in swing bed.  Mike Anderson is doing good.  Keep them in your prayers.

50/50 $214/$107 – won by Dr Likness who donated it to the trip.

54 members

(Home Show 3/3&4)


January 2019 General Meeting

General Meeting Minutes

January 17, 2019
Meeting called to order by: Phil Braeger
Prayer and pledge conducted.
Welcomed distinguished guests and visitors.   ________________________________
Roll call of officers taken.  Officers present were:

Officers                             Office                                         Present

Jack Kempter President

Phil Braeger VP

Darrell Berning 2nd VP

Don Zaft Chaplain

Bob Frink Treasurer

Sherry Janssen Secretary

Secretary read minutes of last meeting.

Treasurer gave report of income and expenses. Current checking is $5,465.28  and savings is $ 71,486.51 .

Bob also gave a good report on which items have a large impact on our budget.  Our donations equal about 1/3 of our income.  We are hoping to have the report via projection for all to see by the next meeting. Report was approved.

Phil reported on the condition of the Chapter president, Jack.  Please keep him in your prayers.

There is a retirement party for Dr Likness on 24 January at the Event Center 5-7 PM.

Robo calls will set up by the next meeting.

Randy introduced Dave Shaffer, Hamlin County Veteran’s Service Officer.  He extended a big

Thank you for the holiday gift cards from the recipients and himself.

Membership report – 563 total members. (lost 2 lifetime members)

Don Zaft reports the by-laws are on the web for review.

No finance/budget report.

Election committee.  Is Denny going to head up the committee??

Eagle award committee:  Darrell asked for volunteers.  Jerry, Herb and Darrell will meet and form the ‘Above and Beyond’ committee.  Asked members to feel free to nominate others.

Randy reported that we have about 700 elk hunt tickets left to sell.  800 tickets have already been sold.

Old business:

Darrell reported on the challenge coins.  Already ordered and in production.  Should have by next meeting. Cost is $2.20 per coin, possibly sell for $3.00 each.

We still have the ‘Still Coming Home’ books available.  If no one is interested, we will place these 9 remaining books as donations to other institutions.

Reminder that the Chapter history book pages are available to be picked up.

Bob Syring has completed the grant for those items on our wish list.

Bob Frink reported that we are approved for a credit card.

Don Zaft made a motion to give Dr Likness a retirement bouquet. Motion passed.

New business:

New summer ball caps are available.

50/50:  $236/$118 – $60 donated back

51 members present

Sickness & distress:  Steve Huston – brother passed away, Floyd Hermans, Jack Kempter

(Gun show 3/15 & 16)


December 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting 21 December 2018

Meeting called to order. Prayer and pledge conducted. Welcomed distinguished guests and visitors.

Roll call of officers taken.

Secretary report read. A couple corrections were made. Report approved.

Treasurer’s report provide breakdown on income and expenses. Savings acct balance: $72,128.38; Checking: $5,846.89. Report approved.

Honor guard report: Floyd reported doing 4 funerals. One funeral done by Milbank.

Committee reports by Earl.

By-law Committee. A new proposed By-Laws are available for review. There is a new policy

statement/document and task force for handling Christmas gift cards. Copies are available for review by all members before discussion which is to be held and voted upon in April.

Also, the treasurer has Quickens software to help with the records and budget. This will help the chapter work more efficiently. We are trying to go to electronic banking as well as credit/debit cards. Discussed moving $50,000 to Great Western. Reliabank is willing to match the 2% interest. Comments were made and discussed.

Public affairs by Denny. Christmas party was a success. Had about 125 people attend. $3,961 raised. Balance after expenses $1,335.65 profit.

Membership committee by Denny: 497/70 (567 members)

Phil reported that Greg Whitlock is the next Veterans Affairs Officer. Also reported on the last round table. Not many veterans turned out. We need a volunteer for the robo call machine.

Some of the Christmas ‘thank you’ cards were read, as well as a Thank you card from Dave Jerpseth from the funeral of his wife.

Treasurer announced that he is holding $1,200 in gift cards to be used for needy veterans.

Randy Holiday made a pitch for the time the Board of Directors puts into the meetings. Hard work is put into the preparation and sale of the elk hunt tickets and the accountability of the funds, take 2 books and sell them!! The by-laws are designed to keep improving the organization.

Bob Syring is working on the grant for equipment for this year.

Connie thanked the veterans who showed at the Armory for sendoff of our local guard unit.

Gordy presented the American flag with gold lace for the honor guard.

Denny reported on the Salvation Army ringing of the bells on Dec 8th. Thanks for all the help.

New business:

We still have about 9 or 10 Veterans Still Coming Home books.

Bob reported that Red Wilk of the Bull-Rama will come at a later time to speak to us. He was supposed to speak at this general meeting.

Darrell showed the challenge coin he is trying to put together for the chapter. For 1000 coins, the cost would be $2.61 apiece. Motion made to purchase 1000 coins. Motion passed.

Sickness and distress: Rick Wellness and Mike Anderson are reportedly not doing well.

50/50 $235/117 won by Glen Folk donated $50 back.

55 members present


November 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting 15 November 2018

Meeting called to order. Prayer and pledge conducted. Roll call of officers taken. Welcomed new members, dignitaries and visitors. Secretary report read and approved. Treasurer’s report provided breakdown on income and expenses. Savings acct balance: $77,128.38 Checking: $3,199.12. Approved.

Honor guard report: Floyd reported doing 2 funerals. Jim wanted to meet with the honor guard after the meeting. There is a funeral on Monday.

Floyd read thank you card from family who won the elk hunt.

Phil reported on a good Veteran’s Day program. Also reported on the display in Clark of the Charters of Freedom. A must see!! There are 17 displays in the country and the 1st to have a lighted display.

Denny thanked Bill for stepping up when Clayton fell ill before performing honor guard during the Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Christmas party – see Kay for tickets. Dec 1st at the Elks. Need items for the auction.

Lighted parade – Friday after Thanksgiving. We are decorating the bus on Tuesday evening. Need volunteers to hand out candy canes. Encourage the kids to help.

Membership report – 494/68

President expressed the need for members to step up and help where needed.

Ringing the bells for Salvation Army, Saturday, Dec 8th at HyVee. See Kay to sign up for a time (10 AM – 8 PM).

New business:

Gordy spoke on the Canadian veteran moving wall display. He has raised the funds to host the display of the wall next Veteran’s Day at the Terry Redlin Center.

Phil spoke on the Pipeline grant which Bob Syring is working on. Would like a projection screen/portable mic and PA system. Any ideas for equipment may be brought up to Bob or Phil.

Dec 13th is the roundtable at the American Legion.

Donation to Salvation Army – suggested we donate $1000 to replenish the food pantry. Al Janzen spoke on the gift cards. We are giving $200 to families and $100 to individuals. Please report your county number to the VSO.

President made a pitch for the Veteran’s book. We still have 10 available.

Received notice that Larry Zimmerman will not be interviewed for the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs for the State.

Randy says elk hunt tickets may be available by the Christmas party.

VFW auxiliary is sponsoring a veterans Christmas party 2-4 pm, Dec 1st.

50/50 $260/130 – $35 donated back

Sickness and health: Paul Herman’s wife passed away. Keep him in prayers.


October 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting 18 October 2018

Meeting called to order.  Prayer and pledge conducted. Role call of officers: Treasurer and Chaplain were absent.

Dr Sneden spoke on updates of the VA clinic, ie. Smoking sensation class is forming.  Also still time to get a flu shot.

Plans are being made to be in the new  VA clinic by next August.  Encouraged veterans to utilize the facilities.

Secretary read minutes.  Approved.

President announced that Al Janzen received the State VSO award.

Honor guard report:  Need a color guard for Veteran’s Day.  Practice will be 1230 on Veteran’s day.

Greg reported on the Charters of Interdependence:  Our National Documents will be encased and dedicated in Clark.  Extended invitation to attend.

Floyd says he will be doing the Honor Guard in Milbank on Nov 12.

Treasurer’s report:  Denny gave breakdown of income and expenses. Balance is $77,128.38/$3,957.70.

Membership:  We are the 11th largest chapter in the U.S.  We are now at 550 members.

Finance Committee chair Earl Cass explained the Donation Request form and who may submit/apply.  Also explained the criteria and what is not considered.  No multi-year requests will be honored.  Also discussed receiving the newsletter electronically.  If you want to receive it electronically, you can email Earl.  Kay announced that we do sell advertising for the newsletter.  It supports our newsletter.

Paul Herman’s wife is now in a nursing home.  Please provide prayers and support.

Phil reported on the Codington County Veterans meeting.  Veterans program is at 2 PM 11/12.  Oct 23 Veteran’s council will meet in Sioux Falls.  The Sorrenson Award will be given.  The Veteran’s cemetery in Sioux Falls has been approved.  Council will discuss fund raising.  The round table will be held late November.

Phil requested to have submissions for holiday requests to the VSO early.  All counties should report to VSO Al Janzen.

New business:

Next meeting 15 November.  Bring items for auction or take to Kay at the Classroom connection.  Please make sure they are veteran related.  See Kay for tickets to the Christmas party.

Holiday lighted parade.  The bus will be decorated.  Need help to decorate and had out candy canes.

50/50:   $190/$95

sickness and distressed:  Jerome Waite in nursing home in Castlewood.


September 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting 20 September 2018

Meeting called to order. Prayer and pledge conducted.  Roll call of officers.  Chaplain, Jr Vice and Treasurer were absent.

Secretary report read and approved.

President recognized State Legion Commander, VSO Al Janzen and welcomed new members and visitors.

Jim Hanson did Membership and Treasurer reports.  He read the names of 16 new members.  473/67 for 540 in membership.

Treasurer’s balance: $77,108.94 savings and $7,994.74 checking.

Honor guard report :  Honor guard performed for the First Responders event.  No funerals.  Reminder that there is practice on Saturday 9/22.

Picnic was a success.  About 130 people attended.

President says has several Vietnam Veteran books available for sale.  Cost $64.  It contains stories from local veterans.

Other committees:  Donation committee not available.  Announcement was made that if we know of any veteran in need of help, please contact Al Janzen.

Finance/Budget and By Law Committee will accept any volunteers to help.

Randy suggested that we put officer phone numbers next to their names in the newsletter so anyone needing to reach us for assistance has a ready reference.

Please keep Paul Herman’s wife in your prayers.   She is now in hospice.

New business:

Denny announced the Christmas Party at the Elks for 12/8 @ 5:00  $15.  Solicited for silent auction items.

Jim Hanson – Vet Council had a Meet the Candidates in Sioux Falls.  Most presented themselves very well.  We are not going to endorse any as a group. State Legion Commander elaborated on some of the issues that were discussed.

Vets Choice program still has issues.  Make sure everything has prior approval in writing.  Jack received a bill for $42,000.

Bob Syring has an opening for 2 for the pheasant hunting event.

$281/$140 – donated back

73 members present

Adjourned early at about 7:40.

August 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting 16 August 2018

Meeting called to order.  Prayer and pledge conducted.

Role call of officers. All present.

President welcomed guests: Zac and Heather Wipf with One Lane – service dog trainers.  They gave a presentation on their services.  Veterans may apply for a service dog. Please work through the Veterans Service Officer.  Spread the word to all veterans. A bucket was passed for donations.

Also welcomed American Legion commander, Denny and the VSO, Al.

Secretary report was read and approved.

Treasurers report:  $9,471  in checking,  $77,108 in  savings

A breakdown of income and expenses was provided.

Honor guard:  Jerry reported they helped the VFW with a funeral.  Spoke to those who wish to be part of the honor guard to see him about uniforms.  The Chapter will pay for half.  Honor guard practice 9/22 0900 in Marrieta, MN. They will provide lunch.  Also did Larry Rudebusch funeral.

Membership committee:  Denny reported 523 with funerals for 3 members.  We are thinking of offering free membership ($20) for one year to attract new members and hope they can be retained.  Or if they wish a lifetime membership, we offer to pay half.

We are now #13 in the nation.  Bring prospective new members to the picnic.

Finance committee:  Earl created a donation request form.  The first one was given to the dog trainers.  Proposed an electronic newsletter to save postage.  Looking at ways to make this chapter more efficient.

Chapter bylaws – Don Zaft is chairman.  Currently being reviewed.  They will be rewritten and presented in draft at the next meeting.

Phil Brager reported 9/13 4:30 – 7:00 PM is Veterans and First Responders Appreciation Day.  There will be a program at the Armory, Readiness Center. Suggest we have a table/flag.

He also, needs the name of the Veteran of the Year nomination and reported on the Sioux Falls Veterans cemetery endowment goal deadline.  This is a state cemetery.

State fair is 8/30 – 9/3.  We have a requirement by the State Veterans Council that we be there every day from 9-6.  This involves all of the organizations.  Needs volunteers, if only for a few hours.

Doug Modica, is the webmaster.  He sent out emails for members and associates who need to send in pictures of themselves.  Please reply to email.  Or send photos to Vets@NESDVVA.org. To check if your photo is on our website NESDVVA.org, click on “Membership” & use password “brothers”.

Don Reconnu reported new newsletter pages are available at the back table.  Also reported that Rich Felberg fell and broke his hip.  He is currently in a nursing home in Arlington.

Any interest in going on another Washington, DC trip?  Raise of hands indicate a good show of interest.  Looking at September next year.

Sickness & distress: Rich Felberg

50/50  $273/$136 (all donated back)

64 members


July 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting July 19, 2018

Meeting called to order.  Prayer and pledge conducted.

Roll call of officers:  All present and/or accounted for.

President welcomed VIPs, guests and new members, including the new State Legion Commander, Denny Brenden,

Secretary read both May and June minutes.  Approved.

Treasurers report:  read and approved   $77,108 Checking    $6,568 Savings

Finance committee report & Public Affairs:  Donation task force met and went over the first policy draft.  Don Zafft is leading a group to review the by-laws and bring them current.  Also, asked for pictures of the Elk Hunt winners for the paper.  Made a pitch for Patriots of Nation raffle.  Squares are still available for $20.

Denny – reminder of the VVA picnic on August 25 at 11:30.

Honor guard report:  Both Honor Guard units were busy, including recent funeral for our member, Larry Rudebusch.

Don read a Thank You from his wife, Judy.

Results of Ride and Drive – $4,100.

Decision on the memorial bench is still in limbo.  Requested to have a bench and a flag as a package deal.

Jim reported on the dedication of the Sisseton cemetery, indicating it was a very nice ceremony and appreciated our participation.

Denny had the bus inspected and passed. He has 5 new members for the honor guard.

New shirts were displayed and available for order.  Most cost $20. Larger sizes $25.

Denny reported on the local cemetery.  Will be different that the Sioux Falls veteran cemetery.  Ours will be open to anyone who has an honorable discharge.  Our cemetery will be funded through private funding. A notebook was passed around for signing if you support the cemetery.  It does not mean you are committing to be buried there.

Sick and distressed:  President Jack had leg surgery and says he ‘hurts like hell’.

Allen Reil is in hospice.

$318/$159 – $100 donated back.

75 members

Motion adjourned.

June 2018 General Meeting

General Meeting June 2018

Meeting called to order. Prayer and pledge conducted.

President welcomed VIPs, guests and new members.

Role call of officers: Zaft and Braeger absent.

Secretary report read and approved.

Treasurers report read and approved.

Membership report: 457/68 = 525 members.

Honor guard report: Jerry said they did the cancer walk, and funerals at Howard and Huron.

Floyd says they did a funeral in Milbank. Cemetery dedication July 12 at Sisseton.

Flag day and Ford Drive fundraiser raised about $5,000 each

Denny reported on the VVA picnic August 25, 11:30 at the Elks. Looking for volunteers.

Welcomed to bring additional dishes and desserts. Thank you to Denny and Kay for organizing the picnic.

Fishing tournament report – a good time was held by all. Encouraged all to go. Suggested a $500 donation to Warriors Never Give Up and a plaque be presented to them.

Jack made a pitch for the Veterans books on the back table for sale and also new Vietnam Veteran Tshirts. There are replacement pages for the History Book. New books will be available next meeting.

Jack made award presentation to Rich Felberg – Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

Old business:

Donation committee has not met yet and set guidelines. Can still make nominations for donations. Those requests pending include donation for the quilting ladies.

Earl made a pitch about doing a better job of promoting ourselves. Get more pictures about our activities in the local newspapers as well as Watertown’s. He is our Public Affairs officer.

New business:

Dr. Sneden said the old “Choice” program is now the less-restrictive “CITC” (Care in the Community) program where unavailable CBOC medical, dental & optical care is now available here in Watertown outside the CBOC.

VVA State Council – we will still send 1 delegate to the meeting.

4th of July parade – Denny is looking for participants. Meeting will be held immediately after the general meeting.

50/50 was $177 with $50 donated back

87 members present

May 2018 General Meeting

May 17, 2018

General Meeting of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1054

Meeting called to order at 7 PM.

Prayer and pledge conducted.

Roll call of officers.  All present and/or accounted for.

President welcomed VIPs, guests and new members, including the new State Legion Commander, Denny Brenden.

Secretary’s report was read and approved.

Treasurer’s report read and approved.  Savings balance: $67,066.06, Checking balance: $13,948.52 and total balance:  $81,015.48.

Honor guard report: 5 funerals were done by Milbank with one pending.

Guest speaker:  Terry Paulson of South Dakota State Veteran’s Organization, spoke on the passing of Senate Bill 91.  The engineering and construction of the new Veteran’s cemetery in Sioux Falls will fall under the SD Dept of Veterans Affairs.  They hope to have the design approved by Nov 2018 with construction to begin in Mar 2019.  Completion time is 12 -18 months.  Eligibility will fall under the current federal guidelines for federal military cemeteries.  As a condition for passing this bill, an endowment fund was established to raise $3M for maintenance of which ¾ of a million has already been raised.  The time period to raise the funds in 5 years.  The plot allowance in $762 for veterans.  The location is on 50 acres donated between I-229 and I-90, ½ mile north and ½ mile east.  The first phase will be 13 acres which will include the administration buildings.

Old business:

Earl inquired as to the status of the committee which was created to review and determine requests for monetary assistance to needy veterans and other requests for donations.  The committee has not met.

New business:

Mark Schroeder spoke on the availability of 4 granite benches by Gibson Memorials which can be used at the Veteran’s Memorial Park.  The cost is $1750 per bench and can be inscribed for an additional cost of $75.  He justified the cost of a bench versus $1500 for flags by indicating that flags must be replaced each year whereas the bench will last many years.  There is no decision at this time.  It may also be an individual purchase.

Jack made a pitch for book titles ‘Point Man’ by Robert Owens.

A motion was made to donate $500 to Nancy and the quilters so they can continue to make quilts for veterans.  The motion was tabled until the donation committee meets.

Upcoming activities:

5/28 – Memorial Day.  Programs at the cemeteries at 9:15 and 10:15.  Practice is 5/27 at 2 PM.  There will also be a Memorial program and the Veterans Memorial Park at 2:30 PM.  The speaker is former Army Officer Paster Craig Whirling.

5/29 – The Nation of Patriots will be riding to the Veterans Memorial Park for the flag raising ceremony at 7 PM.  Earl requested a color guard and rifle squad.  All veterans are invited to attend.

6/9 – Volunteers are needed to help hand out flags for Flag Day at various places.

6/9 – Ride & Drive being held at Montgomery’s parking lot 9 – 4 PM.  Please complete a test drive waiver and release in black ink.  If you include your email on the form, you will receive an email offering a $750 discount off a new vehicle.  For every car that is test driven, a $20 donation will be made to our chapter.  If you test drive a SUV, a $30 donation will be made.  Encourage all friends and family to take a test drive.  Need volunteers to help with registration and drivers.

6/18 – Pro Am fishing tournament – looking for combat veterans who would like to go.  See Bob Syring.


‘Above and Beyond’ awards were presented to:

Herb Carsten, Roger Skatvold, Rich Felberg, Dean Halajan, Ed Tim and Paul Day

‘Soaring Eagle’ award for membership – Al Janzen

‘Soaring Eagle’ award for fundraising – Randy Holiday

Sickness & distress:  member Honabaker’s wife with cancer

50/50: $320/$160  $70 donated back

76 members present