THE CEDAR POST
OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS
Post Office Box 535
Wimberley, Texas 78676
Volume 17, Number 12 December 2016
SUMMARY OF THE DECEMBER REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:
Members of the Auxiliary provided another exceptionally fine dinner including spiral sliced ham, mac and cheese, casseroles, salads, rolls, and a variety of desserts.
After dinner, the Post Commander presented a check for $1,000 to Ken Strange of Wimberley EMS in appreciation for all that they do for the community. We also presented a check for $2,000 to Wimberley Gold Santa to help provide a nicer Christmas for local families in need.
The Post voted to accept Fred Switzer, USMC, as a new member and he was installed. You can get to know Fred better by reading his new member profile on page 4. Please introduce yourself to Fred and make him feel at home.
Highlights of the meeting included:
- It was reported that the electrical upgrades to the barn have been completed.
- The membership voted to approve Policy Letter #30 authorizing the use of Post funds to pay for meals of Post members attending District Meetings.
- The membership also voted to approve the 2017 Post budget.
- The Commander tasked John Thompson (Surgeon) with coordinating monthly visits to Deer Creek nursing home in 2017.
FROM THE COMMANDER
Well, the turkey has been stuffed and baked along with the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, salad and pumpkin and apple pies. I hope one and all had a great Thanksgiving, and didn’t gain too much. We have a lot to be thankful for at this time of the year.
First on the list is the safe return of our Quartermaster, Susan Jaggers from her deployment to the Middle East. Welcome Home Susan!
Thanks to the members who helped review the Voice of Democracy tapes and the Patriot Pen essays to help us pick our winners. The Voice of Democracy winners are as follows: Jillian Garcia, 10th Grade; Mariel Mayhew, 12th Grade; Evan Mayhew, 10th Grade. These winners and their families will be recognized at the January meeting. Jillian Garcia is the third place District winner. The Patriot Pen winners are as follows: Harrison Mayhew, 7th Grade; Mason Corbitt, 8th Grade; and Kinbe Perez, 6th Grade. These young people will be recognized at our February meeting.
We had a great Veterans Day recognition ceremony at the Wimberley High School. Comrade Dan West did a great job of keeping the student involved and energized. Thanks to all of the Post members who came out and supported this event.
In conjunction with Ozona Bank we also put on a ceremony to recognize the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; Hickam Field; Schofield Barracks; Wheeler Field; Ford Island ad Kaneohe NAS on December 7th, 1941. Specifically, we recognized the following World War II veterans and Ozona Bank presented each with a lapel pin for the service to the country:
- Arl Hightower, Army Air Corps
- Eugene Eldridge, Army Air Corps
- Carl Olson, US Navy
- John Diotie, US Army
- William Johnson, USMC
- Jim Hysinger, US Army
- Monroe Sledge, US Navy (was at Pearl Harbor)
As our year comes to an end, I would like to wish all of the members of the Post and Auxiliary a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope Santa brings you what you put on your list. Remember,
this is the time of the year to be exceptionally alert for yourand your family’s safety. I want all of us to be back come January 2017.
Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.
FROM THE SERVICE OFFICER
The VA has partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to prevent, screen and promote research to speed the development of treatments and cures for prostate cancer among Veterans.
According to Jonathan W. Simons, MD, President and CEO of the PCF, “Our goal is to increase our scientific understanding of prostate cancer among Veterans and to kick-start the development of precision medicine treatments for them, as well as the general population.”
The VA has a long history in cancer prevention and research. In fiscal year 2016, the VA has invested $53.5 million to support 262 active projects to further understand and prevent cancers prevalent in the Veteran population, including cancer of the prostate. For more information about the Launch Pad event, visit:
POST CHRISTMAS PARTY
By all accounts, our Post Christmas Party was a huge success, with plenty of food and drink for everyone. We also collected a nice assortment of toys and an additional $90 in cash for Wimberley Gold Santa. Thanks to everyone who participated, and a big thanks to Laura Fergeson, Mike Aillet and Larry Merkin for pulling it altogether.
NEW MEMBER PROFILE –FRED SWITZER
Fred was born in Kansas but moved to Houston, Texas at an early age. He was raised and went to high school in the Memorial /Spring Branch area of West Houston. Fred attended Texas Tech for 3 years and then joined the Marine Corps during the summer break of 1963.
After being raised by his Marine father and having spent summers working in the offshore oil industry, Fred considered boot camp at Parris Island as a “walk in the park.” He was trained as a Topographic Draftsman and Photo Interpreter (MOS 1441) and assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines at Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.
His Hawaiian “vacation” lasted only six months until his unit was deployed to Hue/Phu Bai Vietnam to provide security and defense for the city and the airport. Existing maps of the area were very old and inaccurate, so Fred went to work making up-to-date maps. Fred served almost two full tours with 3rd Battalion in Hue.
After Vietnam, Fred was sent to Quantico Virginia to be part of the graphics department for the Marine Command and Staff College where he served until his release from active duty in 1967.
Fred returned to Texas and bought raw acreage in Real County where, in five years, he built a fully complete exotic game ranch, The Sundowner. This project took a toll on Fred and his family so they sold the ranch.
In 1973, taking advantage of his drafting training and his oilfield experience, Fred went to work as a Geological/Geophysical Draftsman for companies such as Phillips Petroleum, Columbia Oil and Gas and Conoco Petroleum. After 10 years he started his own company as a consultant and head hunter for professionals in the oil business.
In 1984, Fred and his wife Becky decided to try something new and bought an aquarium services company. They sold, installed and maintained fresh and salt water aquarium systems from Louisiana to Victoria, and from Galveston to Waco. In addition to 300 residential accounts, they served commercial accounts including Petco, PetsMart, Kroger, Wal Mart, Albertsons, Safeway, Red Lobster, Pappas restaurants, Ruth’s Chris and the Landry’s Restaurants. By 1995, Fred and Becky attained their goal of making Pisces Aquarium Services the largest company of its kind in Texas.
Becky returned to work in real estate in West Houston and, in 2013, decided it was time to slow down and pursue a more relaxed lifestyle. After a few visits to see their youngest daughter in Wimberley, they agreed that Wimberley was just what they were looking for. They downsized their businesses and moved to Wimberley in 2012. Becky went to work for Century 21 and Fred easily adjusted to the slower pace. In 2015, Fred merged Pisces Aquarium Services with a California firm, Sea Water Visions, with an office in New Braunfels. Sea Water Visions makes Lobster tanks and Fred is the service manager for Austin/San Antonio – Central Texas area.
Fred says that “after 58 years of working, 2 divorces, shot twice, stabbed once, 2 heart attacks, 2 open heart surgeries, 2 of my children, 2 of Becky’s children and 3 grandchildren to date, life is good and all is well in Wimberley”.
Welcome to the Post, Fred!
As we rapidly approach the Christmas holiday I would like each of you to think about what you have done for “Our Veterans” throughout the year. Believe it or not there is still something that you can do for veterans before the year is out. Remember the sacrifices that are paid by family and loved ones when their family member is called away to serve our country during the holiday.
As we surround ourselves with those that we cherish and hold dear, enjoying our freedom to assemble, worship and celebrate as we see fit. But for many veterans and their families, this time of year will not be joy-filled. There are many that face homelessness, unemployment, physical and emotional pain, loneliness or are ill. I ask each of you to give of yourself. To those who are battling depression or anxiety, those having a hard time putting food on the table, those that are lonely and ill, for those that have nowhere to sleep and those that have no family your personal interaction is a priceless gift to comfort them – your kind words and a few moments of your time could actually save a life and it makes all the difference in the world.
The time you spend connecting with them and sharing the resources that you are knowledgeable about can be a wonderful expression of compassion. It’s never too late to help and no gesture is too small when it comes from the heart. What better gift can we give our fellow veterans than kindness and our compassion.
I wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and hope that your holiday is filled with family, fellowship and friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)
Post Work Day – December 17th, 0900
Post Planning Meeting – December 15th, 1815 (Annex)
Beginning of Operation Just Cause (Panama) – December 20th (1989)
Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – January 5th, 1800
Beginning of Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) –January 17th (1991)
Post Planning Meeting – January 26th, 1815 (Annex)
Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – February 2nd, 1800