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December 2016 General Meeting

VVA Meeting of December 15, 2016

Called to order by President Jack Kempter & opened with prayer and pledge of allegiance.

Role call of officers.  Don Zaft absent.

Secretary read minutes of November meeting.  Approved

Treasurer Report read.  Breakdown of income and expenses provided.  Balance is $30,353.28.

Honor Guard – One funeral was done Wednesday in Milbank.  Watertown has not done a funeral since June.  Still in need of a volunteer to act as a coordinator for anything other than a funeral.  Requests for an Honor Guard for a funeral must come from the Funeral Home.

Membership report – currently there are 411 members and 47 associates.

Christmas party.  See Kay Solberg for your tickets.  They are $15.  Reminder about the donations.  Bring them to the meeting.

Toys for Tots Christmas party on Monday/Tuesday.  Drop off boxes are located around town.  They must be at the VFW by the 18th of Dec.

There is an overwhelming response to assisting veterans for the holidays.  Last year we gave over $6200 for the holidays and about $11,000 total over the course of the past year.   Phil suggested that we fulfill the current obligation of $8400 total.  He proposed a vote on whether we give $200 each to 37 veterans, plus $1000 to the Salvation Army.  A couple of counties has not reported yet.  A number of veterans are receiving additional money from other veteran organizations. It will be in the form of gift cards.  Motion made to donate $200 per needy veteran.  Motion passed.

Phil spoke on the Round Table meeting.  There was a legislative rule that we cannot provide any gratuities, i.e. food, water, coffee.  That has since been rescinded.  The suggestion was to leave it up to the American Legion.  We will split the cost of what they decide to do.  The State Veteran’s Council will meet 11 Jan 2017.

New business:

Denny Brenden gave a presentation on the proposed State Veterans Cemetery.  He represented the American Legion on the subject at the Legislative Round Table.  Earlier a group of Veterans went to city hall with a proposal for a veterans cemetery and requested a plot of land.  It is located east of the Veterans Memorial with approximately 30 acres, 60,000 burial plots.  The City would be responsible for maintenance of the grounds and snow removal in the winter.  All veterans are eligible to be buried there.  We would need to raise $100,000 to begin the process and request $200,000 from the State.

Denny Solberg expanded with more in depth information.  The community is behind this project.  We want to build it as it were a National Cemetery in case we want to go that route in the future.  The website to check for burial eligibility is cem.va.gov.  Need to complete an application and mail with a copy of your DD 214.

State Council meeting was cancelled due to weather.

Jack made a pitch for the Community Corner.

Sickness and distress:  Gordy had surgery, Shorty is on dialysis and Lenard is home now.

Good of the Order:  always

50/50 – $203/$101 – donated back

57 members present

Adjourned

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