AUGUST 26, 2019 MINUTES
Welcome by President Bob Optohf at 6:00 PM
Opening Prayer by Cecil
Pledge of Allegiance led by the President.
Doris with The Quilts of Valor Foundation spoke on their mission statement and presented 2 quilts to our members, one for Ed Eischeid and another to Frank Matusek. Bob presented Doris with a donation check for $500.00 to help with their expenses.
Steve with DAV explains the requirements for membership and the benefits they offer to veterans such as van driving to Murfreesboro and Nashville. He wants the VVA1015 membership to consider joining them and helping to support their group-which is struggling with membership. They meet the 3rd Monday every month at 5:30pm.
AVVA Report. June will do more photos after the meeting in order to wrap up the membership book she is working on.
Treasurer Report. Keith itemizes expenses and debits and reports balance at $9,373.49.
Membership Report. Keith reports 55 members present tonight and total membership at 122. Guest tonight is Wayne Alexander who is an Army, CB veteran.
Old Business.
Bob accepts check from Cumberland County Bank for $4,000.00 for the Golf outing.
Bob explains to the membership why the parade was canceled. Basically, the volunteers who were needed to make it work were not stepping up to participate.
This year we will be doing the Veterans Day Memorial on November 11 at Memorial Park. The ceremony starts at 11pm. Be there at 10:30.
Last week, Bob and Keith delivered the $1,000.00 donation check to the Fisher House in Murfreesboro. There are 82 houses across the country and they do a tremendous service for veterans and their families. The houses are operated mostly by volunteers and the donated money stays local. We received patches and pins which will be given out tonight.
The National convention was in Spokane WA. The name Vietnam Veterans was under consideration to be changed. It has been decided that the name will remain the same.
The Chapter picnic is scheduled for Lake Tansi on September 8 from 1pm to 4pm. Russ volunteers to head up this committee with guidance on requirements from Jim Ernst. Gary H. will have sign up sheets for food.
The Christmas party is being held at Lake Tansi on 12/9 from 5pm to 7pm. This will also be our regular meeting for December.
The Board voted to subsidize 2 escorts for the Honor air flight at $500.00 each. There is also a $1,000.00 donation to Gus for Honor Air Flights.
Woody announces he will be moving to Jackson, TN for his wife's health reasons. He expresses his appreciation for how much he has enjoyed the Chapter and hopes we keep up the momentum.
Gary T. gives his report on the Chapter breakfast plans. Next one will be at Shoneys on Oct. 10 at 9am. He would like people to wait on eating until a group prayer can given. Remember to request your veteran discount at the register.
Sept 13 and 14 is the Fall Festival at Lake Tansi. Gary H. will have sign up sheets online for times to man the tent. This is always a good event for the group to participate in.
August 20, the Color Guard did a flag raising ceremony at Food City on West Ave. The Honor guard was also there. Member turnout for this event was great. Bob approached Food City about food for our next meeting which they were agreeable to doing and we were given a generous discount on it. Bob emphasizes that the 50/50 drawing supports this food expense.
There is a walking tour for 4th grade students starting in Sept. up to the first week of October. There are still open dates if anyone is interested in participating-notify Bob.
Cecil presented Cathy Probst with a bible signed by our members and a flag case on the passing of her husband. There will be a memorial service for him on Sept. 20th at 2pm at the Middle TN Veterans Cemetery, Nashville, TN. Cecil will be eulogizing for him.
50/50 drawing total amount was $156.00 and winner donated all back to VVA1015.
Closing prayer by Cecil.
There was no monthly meeting on 5/27/19 due to it being Memorial Day.

VVA1015MONTHLY MEETING MINUTES JUNE24, 2019

Meeting called to Order at 6:00 PM by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Opening Prayer: Cecil Smith
Pledge of Allegiance led by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Guest speaker, Robert Keen from AirMedCare Network gave a presentation on the services and benefits offered by AirMedCare membership. Many questions were asked by our VVA members and were answered by Mr. Keen.
Ruth Lowman spoke with members at the Lake Tansi Festival event about her house and all possessions being lost during her house fire. Her father was Rex Lloyd Lowman, U.S. Navy Veteran. His coffin flag and case were also lost during the fire. She requested help in replacing this flag. Board members were contacted by Keith and agree that we should try to replace this for her. Keith presented a flag in a new case at the meeting. Member Larry Doster of Crossville Trophies donated the case.
AVVA Report: by June Grambow requests cards be sent to Bud Probst as he is very ill. No other report given.
Treasurer’s Report: by Keith Seitzer
Beginning Balance as of 04-29-19 $10,421.72
Ending Balance as of 06-24-19 $10,791.25

Chapter Membership Report: by Keith Seitzer 118 members with 1 paperwork not finalized 2 new members tonight: Donald Rosen, Army and Donald Higgins, Army 2 visitors tonight: Gary Mims and John Jim Slater.
Color Guard Report: by Russ Surbrook. A thank you note for the color guard was received from Dennis Flynn, FFG Community Church for the 6/14/10 Flag Day presentation. Russ expressed thanks to the color guard for the time and hard work perfecting their flag folding presentation. This shows the VVA1015 group in a very favorable light. A request from Good Samaritans Assisted Living FFG for a similar service has been received resulting from the Flag Day presentation. Date not yet finalized.
Fund raising Report: by Bob Opthof. Lake Tansi Festival on 5/24 pending.
Old Business Report: by Bob Opthof. Memorial Day was May 27. A flag raising ceremony was performed with all flags to full staff at noon. There was a good turn out by the Chapter who assisted by putting up and taking down chairs. Ernie and Bob expressed VVA1015 thanks to the IGA Store district manager and local store manager by presenting a plaque. Over $1,700.00 was taken in on the candy sales.
The American Legion has met their goal for the tiles. A tile was donated by the Chapter.
Gary Thorp has scheduled a breakfast for our Chapter on July 11th at 9 am at Shoneys.
An American Legion breakfast, which is next door, will be on July 18th 8 to 11 am. Free for veterans and $4 for others.
The next fund raiser for the Chapter will be the Cumberland County gun and knife show on Saturday 8/3 9am to 5pm and Sunday 8/4 9am to 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults on Saturday and on Sunday admission is free. The Chapter’s trailer will be there for sale of items. Anyone wanting to nominate someone for recognition should contact Bill Ward.
The Veterans Day parade is scheduled for 11/9/19. Chair people are required for different committees. Volunteers are needed and if we do not get enough participation the parade may not happen.
New Business:
Bob attended the Tennessee State Council in Murfreesboro on 6/23/19. Two new Chapters have been created; one in Franklin and one in Jackson. One had 92 members and the other with 52 members; this represents 144 new VVA members for the state. Chapter 396 has closed due to financial problems. The National Convention will be 7/16 to 7/20 in Spokane, Washington. Our board has decided not to send anyone. Of the 20 state delegates at the TSC meeting, 18 out of 20 voted to keep the name the same.
VVA1015 Picnic Date Sunday Sept. 8, 1pm. to 4pm. Christmas party Monday Dec. 9, 5pm. to 7 pm. Both events will be at Tansi. Picnic at the shelter and Christmas party at the Thunderbird. More info on the Christmas party is being developed. The Golf fund raiser event sponsored by Cumberland County Bank was 1 day only, June 22. Weather started with rain but cleared off and all went well. Money details will be covered in a future meeting.
Bob attended a luncheon at the Cumberland County Avalon Hospice office on June 11. They will be the guest speakers for the July meeting.
Larry Troxell makes motion from the floor to increase the yearly donation of $500.00 to the Fisher House up to $1,000.00. Motion is passed. Franc Conner suggests “Fisher House” patch for VVA1015 members who do not have this patch.
Gus Gocella thanks Chapter for donation of Korean War hat for ill friend, Bob Kimbrough.
My Ride TN asking for volunteers. This is a ride program being developed in Cumberland County.
George Essenburg has raised $1,776.00 from Food City FFG area for The Bread of Life rescue. Saturday June 29, there is an open house “get together” for the opening of the Bread of Life house.
50/50 Drawing total $176.00 ½ to winner ½ towards monthly meal. Winner is Larry Troxwell.
Closing Prayer: Cecil Smith
Meeting Adjourned at 7:00pm
Ganard Lance, one of the chapters original members is welcomed back to the meeting. VVA1015 Chapter’s 11 year anniversary is June 30.


VVA MONTHLY MEETING 4/29/19
Meeting Called to Order at 6.00 PM by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Opening Prayer: Cecil Smith
Pledge of Allegiance
AVVA Report: June reported that tonight is the last night for pictures/retakes for the Chapter Scrapbook.
Stewart Smith, from CUMBERLAND COUNTY BANK gave an update on the CCB Golf Shootout. It will be at Lake Tansi Golf Course on Saturday, June 22nd. Start time is 11:00 AM and Ron Pass is the Chapter contact person.
Secretary Report: Available website. Additionally, Woody has copies and will provide a copy to any member at the meeting that doesn’t have internet access.
Treasurer’s Report: by Keith Seitzer
Beginning Balance as of 3/21/19 $9,191.89
Ending Balance as of 04/29/19 $10,421.72
Chapter Membership Report: 116 MEMBERS CURRENTLY
Jim Snyder: Army
Jim Nelson: Army
Bob Macky: Navy
Color Guard: We will be pretty active the next month to 6 weeks. This Thursday, at 11:00 PM we will be presenting and retiring the Colors at the NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER at St. George Marina in FFG.
Then on May 15th the Ladies Club in FFG again requested we do the Flag Folding Ceremony. Saturday, May 18th, we will do the Flag Folding Ceremony at The Palace at 7:00 PM and then on Friday, June 14th, we will be also doing the Flag Folding Ceremony at the FFG Community Church at 3:30 PM.
Old Business:
Candy Sale was Friday, March 29th & Saturday, 30th at the IGA store on Main St. and brought in $1,780.02. We spent $216 for the candy bars. This was very successful and thanks to everyone that helped with this, including some of our AVVA members.
We will be having our annual Fund Raising at Lake Tansi Festival on May 24th and 25th. An email will be sent out asking for volunteers to man the tables and the trailer will be on site.
The quarterly Pancake Breakfast was on 4/18/19 at the American Legion. 57 Vets and 17 guests were served.
National Convention is going on from July 16th – 20th in Spokane, WA. Due to the cost factor, the Board decided that we were unable to send anyone this year. We have 3 delegates assigned to our Chapter. We can assign them to another Chapter if we wish.
Chapter Picnic will be Sunday, September 8th from 1pm to 4pm.
Chapter Christmas Party will be Monday, December 9th from 5pm - 7pm. Both events will be at Lake Tansi.
Several people will checking on catering for the Christmas Party. More information as we get closer.
Chapter decided to purchase an 8” x 8” tile to be placed around the American Legion Flag Pole. If not enough tiles are sold and the project is cancelled or postponed, the $100 we paid the Legion will be used instead to help pay for the next Quarterly breakfast.
Election of Officer’s:
VP: Larry Troxell
Secretary: Karen Lucas
New Board Officer’s:
Russ Surbrook & Gary Thorp
President Bob Opthof swore in all the new officer’s.
50/50 was for $71 won by Russ Surbrook and donated back to the Chapter.
Gary Thorp is chairing a breakfast for our members at Shoney’s. We had it at Shoney’s, this time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019. There was a conflict on start time. In the future the start time will be at 9:00 AM and will be done quarterly.
Closing Prayer: Cecil Smith
Meeting Adjourned at 6:50 PM
Russ Surbrook, Secretary
THANK TO RUSS FOR DOING A GREAT JOB AS SECRETARY
VVA MARCH 2019 MONTHLY MEETING
3/25/19
Meeting Called to Order at 6.00 PM by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Opening Prayer: Cecil Smith
Pledge of Allegiance
AVVA Report: June reported that they continue to work on a Chapter Directory, and are taking pictures of members who still need them taken for the scrapbook. Some retakes have been necessary but should be completed soon. Ladies will be meeting tonight to see if they are able to help with the candy sales this weekend. Secretary Report: Available on website. Additionally, Woody has copies and will provide a copy to any member at the meeting that doesn’t have internet access.
Treasurer’s Report: by Keith Seitzer Beginning Balance as of 02/25/19 $9,223.46
Ending Balance as of 03/25/19 $9,191.89
Chapter Membership Report: 117 through February 2019.
Visitor/guest tonight: Pat Brewer (Air Force)
Old Business:
Fund Raising: Candy Sale scheduled for this Friday, March 29th & Saturday, 30th at the IGA store on Main St. This coincides with Vietnam Veteran’s Day (March 29th). Signup sheet in the Kitchen area for those that are able to sign up to help. An email will also go out as a reminder and update to the list. Times will be between 8 & 5 each day.
Pancake breakfast: Next Breakfast will be 4/18/19 from 8 – 10 AM at the American Legion. Volunteers to help are: Roland French; Joe; Roger and Joe Girten
Cecil Smith attended the Regional 3 VVA conference in N.C. as our Chapter representative. This was from 3/21 – 3/23. Spoke with John Roane, National Pres. He will offer two proposals at the National Convention. 1. We keep the name or 2. We change the name and any other’s to join. #1 will let the organization end when we can no longer function as a group and #2 will allow the organization to continue indefinitely.
Any Vietnam Veteran who served in the Blue Water Navy off the coast of Vietnam is now able to file a claim for disability through the VA. If you feel you may qualify, please file a claim ASAP. This may take time, but if you don’t file, you won’t find out if you qualify.
Chapter decided to purchase an 8” x 8” tile to be placed around the American Legion Flag Pole. Terry Mitchell is looking into the possibility of have a tile with the POW/MIA Logo.
Election Committee Report: There are two, 3 year term Board Seats. Additionally, we will be voting for Vice President and Secretary, which are both 2 year terms. Signup sheets for any members interested in running for any of these positions are in the kitchen area, or you can also let Karen, Franc or Joe know you interested. We must have these positions filled in order to continue the Chapter.
The memorial service for Frank Doherty went well. Great job by the Color Guard and flag line by members. A bible and flag with case was given to the widow. Gary Thorp has expressed an interest in chairing a breakfast for our members at Shoney’s. He is checking on a date. The Elks have expressed an interest in doing this at their lodge, as well. We will have this at Shoney’s, at least this time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 9-10 am.
Ed Eischied has Challenge Coins being prepared for our Chapter. He has several samples to look at tonight.
New Business: National Convention will be in Spokane, Washington from July 16th through July 20th. We are allowed 3 delegates or are able to transfer them to another Chapter if we don’t have anyone to send. Board will discuss possible subsidies if anyone is interested in going.
Chapter Picnic will be Sunday, September 8th from 1pm to 4pm.
Chapter Christmas Party will be Monday, December 9th from 5pm - 7pm. Both events will be at Lake Tansi.
Several people will checking on catering for the Christmas Party. More information as we get closer.
We are waiting for the Veteran’s House on 4th Street to open prior to asking Pastor Regan to share information with us.
Fund raising for the Golf Outing sponsored by Cumberland Co. Bank as begun. Still uncertain at this time if it will be a one or two day event. Ron Pass will continue to be our representative with the Bank. Last year they donated $3,500 to our Chapter and hope to exceed that amount this year.
To access our website, go to: cpvva.org. That will take you to our webpage. Then to access the Members Only page, the user name is: namvet and the password is: vvamo. THIS IS ALL IN LOWER CASE!
50/50 drawing tonight. Milton Bullock won $77. Joe Girten, representing the Elks wondered if it would be feasible for all the Veteran’s Organizations in the area to pool some funds and actually help build a Veteran’s Home.
Gus reported that the next Honor Air flight would be on Wednesday, April 10th. Help welcome the veteran’s back at the Holiday Inn Express at Exit 322 at approximately 8:30pm. Next October will be the next flight.
In June, there will be the Virtual Tour in Knoxville for veteran’s that are unable to make the flight due to health reasons.
Closing Prayer: Cecil Smith
Meeting Adjourned at 7:02 PM
Russ Surbrook, Secretary
VVA MONTHLY MEETING 1/28/19
VVA MONTHLY MEETING 2/25/19
VVA MONTHLY MEETING
Meeting Called to Order at 6.10 PM by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Meeting was preceded by a video presentation by Gus for Honor Air
Opening Prayer: Cecil Smith
Pledge of Allegiance
AVVA Report: June reported that they continue to work on a Chapter Directory, along with the Scrapbook. The expected cost will be between $15 and $20. Secretary Report: Reading of the minutes from the last meeting was waived. It was decided, in the interest of time, that because the Monthly Minutes are already on the website, we will no longer need to read them at the meeting. Because some members do not use email, Howard (Woody) Woodard offered to print copies of the Minutes for those members.
Treasurer’s Report: by Keith Seitzer
Beginning Balance as of 01/7/19 $10,137.66
Ending Balance as of 02/25/19 $ 9,223.46
Report from George Essenburger regarding the Bread of Life Homeless Veteran’s Housing. Construction is very close to being completed and everything is pretty much on schedule.
Chapter Membership Report: 110 listed in January Report. Actual number is 115 with 2 new members tonight.
They are: Roy Johnson (Army) J.D. Arnold (Army)
Fund Raising: Candy Sale scheduled for Friday, March 29th & Saturday, 30th at the IGA store on Main St. This coincides with Vietnam Veteran’s Day (March 29th). Signup sheet in the Kitchen area for those that are able to sign up to help. An email will also go out as a reminder and update to the list. Times will be between 8 & 5 each day.
Old Business:
Pancake breakfast: Next Breakfast will be 4/18/19 from 8 – 10 AM at the American Legion.
Cecil Smith will attend the Regional VVA meeting in N.C. as our Chapter representative This will be from 3/21 – 3/23.
Chapter decided to purchase an 8 x 8 tile to be placed around the American Legion Flag Pole. Terry Mitchell is looking into the possibility of have a tile with our Chapter Logo,
but if this isn’t possible, we will get one with the POW/MIA Logo. The cost of the tile is $100.
Election Committee - Signup sheets are in the Kitchen for our election at the April meeting. If interested in serving either on the Board or as Vice President or Secretary, please sign up.
New Business: Frank Doherty, a long time Chapter member passed away last week. The family requested that our Chapter handle all military portions. We will have an Honor Line, as well as Flag Folding Ceremony and present the Flag with display case, along with a Bible signed by Chapter members to the family. Bob Aanerud will play taps. John Gable will present the Flag to the family. Family also decided that any donations on Frank’s behalf, are directed to our Chapter. Discussion was for if the Chapter is interested in continuing a Chapter breakfast on a quarterly basis. The membership wants to continue. Board will look into trying to locate a venue suitable for a group of upwards of 40-45 members/including guest. Will learn more by at next meeting. Ed Eischied has some Challenge Coins for us to look at and determine if we would be interested to purchase a quantity for members.
50/50 tonight was $154. $77 was won by Don Nufer. John Gable won a blue vase.
Closing Prayer: Cecil Smith
Meeting Adjourned at 6:50 PM
Russ Surbrook, Secretary
Meeting Called to Order at 6.01PM by Bob Opthof, Pres.
Opening Prayer: Cecil Smith
Pledge of Allegiance
AVVA Report: Joyce Ernst reported on update to Scrapbook. Any member that has pictures from past events and are able to share them, please let Joyce know so they can be incorporated into the Chapter Scrapbook.
Secretary Report: Read and accepted.
Treasurer’s Report: by Keith Seitzer
Beginning Balance as of 11/26/18 $12,252.51
Ending Balance as of 12/31/18 $10,138.00
Chapter Membership Report: 2018 recap: We took in 60 new members; 7 transfers; 28 people in the Chapter haven’t attending a meeting. This is a very low percentage compared to other organizations. Many of these Life Members are also members of other organizations and that could explain some of this information. Average meeting is 45 members. 48 attended tonight (could be the food, just saying). Three members joined tonight. They are: Robert Bell (Navy); Dan Ortner (Air Force); Garrett Grabendike (Army); Jim Harris new transfer; We now have 115 members.
Guest tonight: Eddie Padron (Army)
Fund Raising: Candy Sale the end of March to coordinate with Vietnam Veteran’s Day.
Trailer doesn’t need a new inventory as it was done last Fall.
Old Business:
Pancake breakfast that we had 3 members (Keith; Bob & Gary T.) working in the kitchen. 20 of our membership attended the breakfast. A sign has been created to post in front of the Legion to help identify the location and let Vets know when it is being held. We had the largest number of members attend compared to other Veteran’s Organizations.
Next Breakfast with be 4/18/19 from 8 – 10 AM at the American Legion. Is the Chapter interested in having a breakfast quarterly as we have in the past. We could even combine our breakfast with the one at the American Legion. If you have a thought regarding this, please let Bob know.
Christmas Party held at the Thunderbird in Tansi on December 10th. Venue was changed with very little notice due to R Place closing last Fall. Good turnout and location was good with a lot of positive feedback. Chapter cost numbers were were a total of $48. Everyone paid $20 per person, including tip and the only cost to the Chapter was the couple of guests invited.
TN State Council Meeting on January 20th in Murfreesboro. National Organization will be meeting in Spokane, WA in July. Anticipate that much of the discussion will be regarding the future of the VVA. TN State Council President felt the name will not change. State is planning on some fund raising to help their bank account. The State reimburses each State Chapter with $100 that attend the State meetings. Their account is down to approximately $4,000. At our Board Meeting it was decided to send the State Council $300 as a donation. If other Chapters would help, that would get the States’ balance up to a working level.
There is a Region Conference (which we are part of) in NC from 3/21 – 3/23. The cost is about $225 for expenses for the event, not including expenses to get there. Cecil has offered to attend and has submitted the paperwork to Bob.
New Business:
‘Veteran’s Day on the Hill’ in Nashville on 2/6. Questions that Veteran’s have will be discussed. Need to pre-register. Anyone interest in attending see Bob. Charles McGee VSO State Resource Coordinator, located behind Long John Silvers. Mrs. Courtney Rogers is the new Appointee and is looking to expand many programs Statewide to benefit veteran’s. As an update, the VA has also changed some of their regulations regarding how Blue Water/Brown Water personnel are now able to receive benefits for Agent Orange, etc. If this might affect you, see Charles at his office and see if your ship is now part of this new inclusion.
Board has made a decision that we will no longer be supporting the Bingo program at the Fairpark Senior Center. Also, we will not be part of the 127 Yard Sale. It conflicts with the Knife and Gun Show which we are part of and it has been a struggle to do both at the same time.
We helped a veterans family at Christmas with food and presents in the amount of $436. This family was referred to us from Brown Elementary.
The American Legion is selling tiles (small tile @ $50 and large tile @ $100) to be place around their flag pole. Tile will have the name of a Veteran (any time served) and Bob has the application which should be completed and turned into the Legion by the end of March.
Franc Connor will help Karen Lucas and Joe Gerdon with the Chapter Elections which will take place at our April meeting. We plan to stagger the officer positions, as well as the board members.
Russ Cope offered information regarding TN House Bill 22 to pass this bill (sponsored by Progressives) regarding the State’s Historical Memorials/Monuments. You may want to contact your State House Representative to vote against destroying these Historical Memorials.
Cumberland County Band donated $725 for our Chapter. We have prepared a Thank You letter to them for this
. 50/50 tonight was $145. $72 was won by Bill Turnbull. Bill donated back $50 to the Chapter. Thanks again Ed for the food tonight prepared by the Flying Pig.
Closing Prayer: Cecil Smith
Meeting Adjourned at 6:50 PM
Russ Surbrook, Secretary