VETERANS OF AMERICA
October 20, 2019
The meeting was called to order by Vice President Ken
Rogge in Clinton Twp., MI at 10:00 AM.
Pledge of Allegiance was recited, a moment of silence for
the POW-MIAs and those serving in harm’s way
opening prayer by Tom Meinhardt.
of the Agenda: Motion
by 175/9 to accept the agenda as printed, motion passed.
of the minutes: Motion
by 9/109 to approve the minutes of the meeting dated
August 18, 2019, motion passed.
Call of Officers:
President John Riling - Excused
Vice-President Ken Rogge – Present
Secretary Gary Estermyer - Present
2nd Vice President Tom
Meinhardt – Present
Treasurer Floyd Carmichael – Present
Call of Chapters: 9 Jack Devine P, 18 A, 31 William
Collins A, 73 Bob Elliot A,
109 John Gibbs P, 110 Ralph Sharp A,
133 Richard Lash A, 142 Michael Goode P,
154 Mike Gardner P, 175 Joe Mishler P,
180 Thomas Brown E, 237 Jerry Cummings A,
259 Mike Goodpaster P, 264 Ronald
Schrieber A, 267 Phil Smith P, 274 Duke Mayo A,
284 Louis LaParl A, 287 David Huffman
A, 310 Jon Luker P, 313 Floyd Carmichael P,
345 Ray Phillips A, 380 Vic Romback A,
387 A, 390 Charlie Marton A, 494 R Essenmacher A,
528 Gary Estermyer P, 571 Dennis
Peterson A, 583 Wayne Trapp A, 730 S,
882 Terry Frank A, 1047 Joe Prato A and
1083 Tom Meinhardt P.
Present – 11
Absent – 19
Excused – 1
Suspended – 1
A quorum is present.
& 1st Vice President’s Report: Ken
Rogge welcomed everyone and thanked Chapter 154 for hosting
this meeting and providing coffee, donuts and lunch at their
Ken announced that John is home
recovering from knee replacement surgery and so far so good.
Ken had attended the National BOD &
CSCP meeting in Silver Spring, MD last week with John and he
reported he kept busy while John was meeting with Felicia
Ken suggested the delegates check the VVA online
chapter locator link to confirm that names and numbers are
National has implemented a new chain of command that will
hopefully improve the flow of business/communication that
must be conducted. Deputy
Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Byrne spoke to the
Byrne said he and Secretary Wilkie are
against mass privatization.
It is agreed the VA health system could stand
improvement in many areas but he also noted that according
to the American Medical Association the VA system is
superior to private facilities in many ways.
Ken learned that the 2023 VVA National Convention
will be held in Orlando, FL.
The Blue Water Navy Bill is to be activated on
January 1, 2020. The
VA has released a ship list of 180 ships they have confirmed
were within the 12 nautical miles off the Vietnam coast.
VVA suggests all sailors who suffer from A.O.
presumptive diseases contact their service officer and
either file or appeal a previously denied claim.
The VA is in the process of notifying those Navy
personnel but being proactive is encouraged.
The VVA Constitution Committee has voted to allow
electronic meetings, details to follow.
It was also explained that if a chapter/state council
vice president were to “move up” they could not continue
holding any additional office while serving as president.
We are looking for a chapter to host the 2020 MSC
annual meeting. The
preferred meeting dates would be the 1st, 3rd
or 5th weekend in May 2020.
The deadline for bids was today and Chapters 9 and
310 declined. The
only other chapter that expressed any interest was Marquette
Chapter 380. 380
was not present at this meeting so contact will be made with
them to confirm or reject their intent.
Ken reported that the MSC website; www.VVAMSC.org
continues to be a work in progress and chapter input is
always requested. The
Vietnam Veterans of Michigan Foundation, Inc. (VVMFI) is
also open for business with small, sporadic donations coming
Tom Meinhardt reported he has been appointed to
temporarily take over the Ambassador duties from Tim
Estermyer reported he still needs 18 – 345 – 494 chapter
The chapter contact list has been
updated and Gary would like the delegates to verify their
chapter meeting locations/dates and times.
Carmichael passed out copies and reviewed the general
transfers are made to the service office account for
salaries and expenses while the grant monies and charitable
income funds generally remain level.
Additional revenue sources are desired and are being
Five chapters still have not turned in their finance
report to Floyd. For
those that make online purchases please consider
Smile.Amazon which benefits our foundation, VVMFI.
There will be Veteran’s Day weekend ceremonies
throughout the state to include;
11/07/19 – Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Dinner,
Marysville Chapter 1083 to host at the
VFW post in Port Huron, starts at 4:00 PM
Fort Custer and
Great Lakes National Cemetery, Detroit and Ann Arbor VAMC
Veteran’s Day parade (11/10/19).
Dearborn DoubleTree – Thanksgiving Brunch for veterans, 11
AM – 2 PM
to Mimi by 11/10/19 @ 313-982-3983
Chapter 175 announced that an A.O. monument will be
dedicated this summer in Flint at Blue Bell Beach.
Chapter 109 also announced they have an A.O. dedication
Wreaths Across America day.
Chapter 9 announced they are supporting a scholarship
program in Detroit
Chapter 310 is working with Ypsilanti Twp. on a suicide
– Selfridge ANG Base airshow will honor Vietnam Veterans
Gary Estermyer reported that the 2019 revised
National constitution is now available online at; www.vva.org.
Start at Resources > Org. Docs & Policies >
Smith will begin the nomination process at the next meeting,
Ken briefly discussed a Red Wing ticket
fundraiser being considered that would benefit our
foundation (VVMFI), details to follow.
Devine reported on a veteran mortgage relief bill hearing
and six other veteran related legislative actions.
Funding for any of these bills remains unknown as the
state budget has still not been finalized yet.
Ken Rogge reported that the recent VVA membership total is
now at 85,469 with
11,728 in Region 5 and 4,798 in
continues to have 3 chapters in the top 25 of membership
totals; 154 (802-4th), 267 (315-22nd )
The Membership Committee also plans to expand their
chapter listing to the top 30.
Franklin continues to meet with minority veterans and
advocate for smoking cessation programs and raise the legal
age to 21 to purchase tobacco.
He is also very active in Macomb County spreading the
word of health risks caused by smoking.
Chris is active with the (American Indian Veterans of
and has published a U.S. Military Veteran Commercial
Tobacco Use brochure.
The statistics and graphs included in the brochure
will surely convince some to quit smoking. Chris plans to
update this brochure in the near future.
Meinhardt reported a recent GLNC golf outing raised over
$16,000. GLNC continues to be rated the 8th
busiest national cemetery. There were 546 burials in July,
over 3,500 YTD and
42,696 since GLNC opened.
VA Form 40-10007 is used to establish
eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery.
Floyd Carmichael reported that Ft.
Custer National Cemetery is prepping an area to be sodded.
If cremation is chosen the cemetery has
a cremains scatter area.
The family may opt for a marker placed in the
memorial area. The
marker would read ‘In Memory Of …’ to indicate no body
or cremains are interred.
Ft. Custer has held over 1,400 burials
this FY and over 36,000 since opening.
Coordinator: Joe Mishler opened discussion about
reaching out to the younger veterans in area colleges.
He and John have made contact with veteran groups at
Oakland U. and U. of M.
Joe encourages all delegates to collect names of the
younger veterans they come in contact with. We should strive
to set up meet and greet sessions with them so they can get
to know about VVA and we can get to know them.
We should try to attend some of their events and
invite them to attend ours.
1,587 still remain missing or unaccounted for (BNR)
from the Vietnam War; of which 48 are from Michigan.
Marty Eddy sends out very important POW-MIA messages
Rogge encouraged the delegates to utilize their local
radio/cable/TV stations to publicize their chapter events.
He also would like to get more chapter updates and
information for the MSC website.
Gary have been attending VA, Coalition & MVAA contract
$9,670,663 - YTD
office moved to our final, renovated, permanent space (Room
1226) on Sept. 23rd
been re-hired on a P.T. basis to scan files.
Incarcerated and in the Justice System:
Tom Meinhardt is waiting for approval from the
activity directors of Freeland, St. Louis and Carson City
facilities to visit.
AVVA Vice President: Penny Meinhardt announced they will
have to change their bylaws to allow their elections in May
instead of June this year.
They will again conduct a gift card fundraiser at the
Dec. 8th meeting in Howell.
Donations of $10.00 - $25.00 gift cards are requested
from the delegates.
meetings for VVA & AVVA:
Motion 142/9 to hold the December 8th
meeting @ Chapter 110 (American Legion hall in Howell)
28, 2019 -
5, 2019 – 10 AM – BOD meeting @ Plymouth VFW
8, 2019 – 10 AM – General membership/Christmas luncheon
@ Howell A.L.
16-18, 2020 – National BOD/CSCP meetings, Silver Spring,
2020 – BOD & General membership meetings @ TBD
2020 – BOD & Annual/Election meetings @ TBD
14-18, 2020 – Leadership Conference @ Crowne Plaza Hotel,
2021 – VVA National Convention, Greensboro, NC – details
2022 – VVA Leadership Conference, Greensville, SC –
2023 – VVA National Convention, Orlando, FL – details
Meeting adjourned at 11:52 PM
Closing Prayer was said by Tom
Minutes taken and transcribed by:
in the Howell area:
Holiday Inn Express
1397 N. Burkhart Road
4120 Lambert Drive
Howell, MI 48855
Howell, MI 48855
(517) 547 – 0712
South of Tanger Outlet mall
north of Tanger Outlet mall