Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chapter Meeting Notes - 17 May 2014

SF MAJ Chester Garrett Dining Facility Dedication: Steve Franzoni Chair. New dining facility at MacGregor Range was named in his honor. Chapter voted to pay for the 18 x 30 building plaque not to exceed $1.5K. Chaplain Szilvasy gave the invocation and Steve served as the MC. See previous article dedicated to this.

Member Tony Beltran marched in the Bataan Memorial event: 50 cents per mile for the 14 mile half march is $7 – see Pete or Tom if you pledged. He will donate the proceeds to Wounded Warriors in the name of SFA 9.

Teamhouse Committee: Chairman = Steve Franzoni; Committee = Gus, Brian, Chuck, Tom, Tony and Chuy; the committee is hard at work listing requirements for the 2800 sqft steel building (2 bath, office & kitchen).

Chapter IX Shirts, Coins, Mugs and Blazers: Shirts, mugs and coins are available. Coins are $10 each. Anyone needing a blazer go to this website and order: Hunter Green = http://stores.uniformspro.com/-strse-MILITARY/Categories.bok from $110-$180. We currently have a 36R and a 38R blazer on hand for purchase. We are also selling golf balls for $2.00 each and the new Chapter 9 shirts for $25.00. Ties are also available at $25.

R and R Center Fort Bliss: PTSD Soldiers still meet with Chuy every Monday from 1100 hrs to 1600 hrs in Bldg. 48 at Fort Bliss. Chapter donates $200 each month for arts & crafts. Chuy announced that key chains are available.

Isaac Camacho Head Start School: 125 students in the school. Any school supplies that you wish to donate please bring them to the meetings. Chapter donates up to $100 per month, as needs arise.

Soldier Mentors Program: Mentors program is in progress with the El Paso Courts system for Soldiers who have no violent offenses for 8-12 months. See Tom Brady.

Chapter Sign at the end of the road: Tabled, we need to decide the Team House status first.

Chapter Historian: Jerry Campos Historian, Committee Bill Snider and Fidencio Gonzalez. If you have historic information, pictures or memorabilia for SFA 9, please get it to the committee.

Jerry Rainey Scholarship: Sam Morgan, Chair. Committee Gus, Don and Chuy. Must have 24 Credit hours and 3.0 or higher GPA and volunteer community service hours. We will present 2 x $1000 scholarships, in August. Application form is online and went to all colleges in the area. Jerry passed away in March 2007. We had the first scholarship in August that same year, so this will be the 8th year we have honored Jerry in this way.

Billy Waugh’s book “Isaac Camacho, an American Hero” is still available. Website http://www.isaaccamachoamericanhero.com

9th Annual CSM(R) John McLaughlin Memorial Golf Tournament: Scheduled for Saturday 13 September 2014 at the Fort Bliss Golf Course. Ike Camacho and Gus Gonzalez Co-Chairmen. Ike said, “Sell Sponsorships”! We are going to have a German meal this year.

Dan Wheeler: Donated $100.

AUSA golf tournament has changed to 10 October 2014.

Mexico Paratrooper Reunion: China Boy will attend in July – if anybody else is interested, see China Boy.

SOG Expo: Steve thanked everybody for their help. Ike said the golf tournament was a big success. Vendors appreciated the support and organization.

DROP Magazine is Online: All members can access it at http://www.specialforcesassociation.org/drop/thedrop-3q2011/index.html

South Carolina National Convention: Hosted by SFA 34 in Columbia 9-15 June. Chapter attendees were Tom Connell, Bill Snider, Ike & Gracie Camacho, Randy and CC Fogel, Joe Kerwin SR, Joe Kerwin JR, and new members Jimmy Reece and Walter Wilczak and newest Chapter member who joined at the Convention stationed in Columbia MSG AGR Brett Lance. Highlights included speeches from Ross Perot and John Wayne’s granddaughter. Report to occur at the meeting.

Joe Ibarra’s memorial plaque for his family: It arrived from national. We need to schedule a time to present it.

82nd News: Benavidez-Patterson All Airborne Chapter: www.bpaac.org Chairman Lee Walker. Chapter meets the 4th Saturday’s, lunch at 1300 and meeting at 1400. Chapter bar is open every Friday and Saturday from 1500 until whenever. Chapter is gearing up for Fiesta 7, July 1-4, 2015, El Paso Wyndham.

VFW Post 812 News: www.vfwpost812.com 812 Commander Al Hobbs. 1st Sunday of every month is a fish fry from 1100-1400. Bar is open every evening. June = hosting Heavy Equipment Rodeo.

President Pete’s Oval Office:

Greetings to all. I hope this newsletter finds everyone in good health. We had a few special events this past month to include the MOH ceremony to honor the three individuals from El Paso who received the MOH and the dedication of a dining facility at McGregor complex to honor MAJ Chester Garrett who was murdered in 1977. I had the privilege to attend both of these ceremonies and they were conducted with all of the honor and dignity that these men deserved. Our VP Steve Franzoni was a one man show organizing the dining facility dedication for MAJ Garrett and it was a moving ceremony. MAJ Garrett’s three sisters and son attended and they were speechless with how the event was handled. COL Dayley, the Fort Bliss Garrison Commander, was the key note speaker and his recounting of MAJ Garrett’s accomplishment made me think. How many of our chapter members are “closet” hero’s?

We have Ike who thankfully put his POW experience on paper so we have a good understanding of what he went through, but who are we missing? Our Chaplain John who went through the Q course as a Chaplain; Cesar who was with White Star and who knows what else; Montoya who lost an eye while flying in Viet Nam and fought to get back on flying status to train new pilots; Rainey, COL Gus, Joe Ibarra, Fidencio, China Boy, Mike Jefferson - I can go on and on but my point is, we have some hero’s in our chapter and their/your story is worth remembering. I know Snider (who looks like Don Rickles) can be a pain in the 4th point of contact but he, along with Jerry Compos as the chapter historian are the ones to capture our history for those who will never get to hear the stories. COL Dayley did an excellent job remembering MAJ Garrett’s accomplishments and talking to his family, they didn’t know half of what their brother and father did. This SF brother who received the Distinguished Service Cross is buried at the National Cemetery here in El Paso and we’ve missed him every year during the Wreaths Across America ceremony…how did we do that? Let’s get our stories out there, not to beat our chest but to give those who what to know that opportunity.

De Oppresso Liber!

Pete Peral

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