Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chapter Meeting Notes - 15 November 2014

Jerry Rainey Scholarship Fund has $15,908 after the 10% Golf Tournament proceeds.

SFA Membership: Life membership is still a good deal at $430. It is $280 for members over age 65. New Member dues = $40. Renewal dues should be paid by 31 January, $30 to SFA 9.

19th Annual Jerry Montoya/Ralph Dominguez Food Drive: Naipo Robertson - Chair. The Committee is Chuy, Steve, Gus, Leo & Jerry. Boxes will be packed at VFW 812 on Wednesday, 17 December at 1800. You must pick up your boxes the night of the 17th, there is no way to cold store the hams if you don’t. Jerry Campos paid for 100 boxes. Chihuahita will get bulk donation as in the past. $2500 was approved for the expenses since we have no school program this year.

Christmas Party: Scheduled for Saturday, 20 December, 6 pm social, dinner at 7 pm, at VFW 812. Joe “China Boy” Lopez will arrange the Holiday style meal and Trini Peral will do the raffles and decorations. Each Member and one guest will be no charge, any additional guests will cost $10 each. Tony’s Villa Band will provide the music. Deadline to register is 15 December. $1500 approved for gifts and decorations.

Wreaths Across America: Debbie Torres (wife of Rolando) is the Chair again. It will be held on Saturday, 13 December. Ceremony begins at 1000 hrs but volunteers to place wreaths are asked to arrive at 0700 hrs. Chapter has paid for all interred SF Soldiers and past Chapter Members and spouses (30 wreaths).

Teamhouse Project: Chairman is Steve Franzoni; Committee members are Gus, Brian, Chuck, Tom, Tony and Chuy; the committee is listing requirements for the 2800 sq ft steel building (2 bath, office & kitchen). Working on permits and need to get CEMEX to give up the land (To VFW, deeded to SFA9).

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.

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

Chapter IX Shirts, Coins, Mugs  and Blazers: More Shirts, Polo’s, mugs and coins are available. Coins are $10 each. Anyone needing a blazer go to this website and order the Hunter Green blazer. We 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 white dress shirts for $25.00. Ties are also available at $25.

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.

Chaplain John Szilvasy Interview: His Library of Congress interview copies are available on CD for $6 donation to Fort Bliss Red Cross.

SFA Chapter Sign at the entrance to the road: Tabled until the Team House is completed.

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

Billy Waugh’s book “Isaac Camacho, an American Hero” is available at this web site.

Border Patrol Special Operations Group Expo 2015: Chapter President Pete has begun work on the Expo for April/May. Volunteers for the committee should see Pete. Website for the 13th annual US Border Patrol Special Operations Group Law Enforcement Equipment and Technology Expo.

American GI Forum: Forum honoring military since WWII - Carlos Rivera, Director, asked Ike for our support. Motion to donate $200, passed.

Inaugural SSG Joshua Mills Commando Competition: Daniel Martinez and the Fort Bliss SF Recruiters pitched for our support for a short fuse Commando Competition being held 21 November – too late to promote in the newsletter. They had 9 teams – 72 competitors. They asked us to provide 100 bananas and 200 bottles of Gatorade. Pete delivered the bananas, after eating several, and several Chapter members attended to assist. The competition is named after an El Paso SF Soldier, SSG Joshua Mills of Co A, 3rd Bn, 7th SFG, who was KIA in the Iraq war.

Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injuries: Alberto Gonzalez announced an effort by CW3 Camargo (7th SFG Retired) to raise funds for Spinal Cord Injuries. The goal is to reach 400k for the clinic. Chapter will vote on a donation amount in January. If you wish to donate – link is:

Billy Waugh Honored: On 5 Dec 2014, Billy was honored at the USASOC Memorial, with approximately 25 other men that were members of SOG Operations in Vietnam, and participated in official Combat Static-Line or Combat HALO parachute infiltrations onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail with either CCN, CCC, or CCN of MACV/SOG.

VFW Post 812 News: Commander Al Hobbs. Meeting is held the 1st Saturday’s 1000 hrs. 1st Sunday of every month is a fish fry from 1100-1400. Bar is open every evening. Fun Food Friday is held every Friday evening.

82nd News: Benavidez-Patterson All Airborne Chapter: 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.

Chapter President's Message:

Before I get on with my rambling, I want to highlight some short and final dates/times that you need to keep in mind. Dec 12th is the VFW Christmas party. It’s open to all VFW members and will be a potluck event, bring a dish. 

Dec 15 is the deadline to register for the chapter Christmas party. Let me know if you’re coming or if your plans have changed and you won’t be there. All of your guests are welcome - you’ll just have to pay the $10 for each guest. Dec 17th at 1800 we will pack boxes for the food drive and Dec 20th is our Christmas party. This year’s Christmas party is a country western theme so put on your boots and jeans and let’s cut a rug.

With that said, we have arrived at the last month of 2014 and I want to recap some of the accomplishments of Chapter 9 for this year. We conducted the SOG EXPO for the 3rd time which is our biggest fund raiser followed closely by the 9th CSM John McLaughlin Memorial Golf Tournament.

These two events help fund some of the yearly events that we support to include: the Jerry Rainey scholarship where we presented two $1000.00 scholarships to local students; the PTSD program where Chuy donates his time to teach military individuals how to work leather and we donate $200.00 each month; the Isaac Camacho head start school with monthly donations as needed; Boy scouts pack 58 with yearly pack sponsorship; and of course the 19th annual Ralph Dominguez/Jerry Montoya food drive which this year we approved up to $2,500.00 in funds to support this great endeavor; 30 wreaths for our brothers and/or their spouses interred at Fort Bliss; the dinner dance for the northeast Special Olympics group and of course a great lunch for our members and their family each month after our meetings.

Some of the “one shot” events that this Chapter supported in 2014 were the Bataan Death march where we sponsored a team of 10 wounded warriors from the DC area. Chapter 9 provided the lodging and transportation for these warriors and hosted a dinner prior to the march, chow and cold beer at the 17 mile mark and a recovery party that night. It took them 12 hours to walk the 26.2 miles but they made it and we hung IV bags, provided chow and of course cold beer.

We donated $1,000.00 to the SOF K-9 memorial, $5,000.00 to the VFW Post 812 golf tournament, and through the efforts of Steve Franzoni, we were able to dedicate a dining facility at McGregor range in the name of MAJ Chester Garrett who was killed in El Paso in 1977.

MAJ Garrett was a highly decorated Vietnam era Green Beret who served in a number of units and conflicts.

Chapter 9 was called upon to support B 1/5 SFG(A) who was on pre-deployment training prior to deploying to Afghanistan. The plan was to host the unit at the VFW Post 812 for a dinner but that plan changed. Talking to the SGM (Darrell) he was looking at canceling the party because the redeployment air was moved up so the unit could not make it to the VFW. That didn’t stop the party, chapter 9 cooked the food at the VFW and took it to McGregor along with a cold keg of beer which the guys floated in the first 2 hours. Another “Mission Accomplished”.

I’m sure there were more events that this chapter has accomplished because we don’t shy from hard work or giving back to others. I’m proud to be a member of this great organization.

De Oppresso Liber!

Pete Peral

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