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.
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.
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.
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