March 2017 Cedar Post

THE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 18, Number 3                  March 2017

 

 

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SUMMARY OF THE MARCH REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST

Once again the ladies surpassed all expectations with a bountiful dinner spread featuring chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy (two kinds), green bean casserole, mac and cheese, more casseroles and salads – not to mention a dessert table that included both pineapple upside down cake and banana pudding. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

After dinner, Post Commander John Thompson presented Teacher of the Year Awards to:

  • Mary Taylor, Jacobs Well Elementary School,
  • Tommy Bennett, Danforth Junior High School, and
  • Ryan Durkin, Wimberley High School

Their nominations have been forwarded for further completion at the District level.

The 2017 Post Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Hunter Anderlitch, grandson of Billy and Paula Anderlitch. Hunter plans to study Criminal Justice and Wildlife Biology at Texas State University this fall, with the goal of becoming a Game Warden for the State of Texas.  Well done Hunter!

The membership voted to:

  • Approve revised Policy Letters #12 and #13.
  • Become the Chartering Organization for a new Venture Post of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have the Post retain sole responsibility for operation of the food and drink concession at weekly Bingo games.
  • Have the Post retain sole responsibility for food and drink concessions at the 2017 Rodeo.
  • Waive all charges for rental of the Hall on 3/5/17 for a memorial service for Larry Merkin’s brother.

The following nominations were made and accepted for the 2017-2018 term:

● Commander – John Thompson ● Quartermaster – Susan Jaggers
● Senior Vice Commander – Mitch McKinney ● Chaplain – Bob “Padre” Flocke
● Junior Vice Commander – Daymon Tucker ●3 year Trustee: Fred Switzer

There will be another opportunity for nominations at the April meeting and then we will hold the election.

Post members passed the hat and raised $250 which has been sent to the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation (BADF) in memory of Randy Merkin, Larry’s brother. If you would like to learn more about BADF or make an individual contribution go to http://buckmasters.com/Resources/BADF .

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FROM THE COMMANDER

A NOTE OF RECOGNITION

  • A big thank you to our loyal volunteers for once again making sure that no one went home hungry. Your efforts are much appreciated.
  • To Kerry Ridgway for a great job with the Teacher of The Year program. In spite of having surgery, Kerry made sure that all paperwork and awards were ready for the presentations at the meeting.
  • To Chuck Cogswell for his hard work with the Memorial Scholarship Program and presentation.
  • To all of the members of the Rodeo Committee for the many hours spent preparing for the 2017 Rodeo.

Our March meeting was highlighted by awards given to three very deserving teachers from the Wimberley area. Mary Taylor from Jacobs Well Elementary School, Tommy Bennett from Danforth Junior High School, and Ryan Durkin from Wimberley High School. We are indebted to all of the dedicated teachers who go above and beyond to help shape the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Our Post Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Hunter Anderlitch, the grandson of Post member Billy and Auxiliary member Paula Anderlitch. This young man exceeded our criteria and we congratulate him and wish him well in his future endeavors.

If you are a member of the Post and haven’t been to a meeting in a while I invite you to come join us on Thursday, April 6th, at 1800.

John Thompson

Commander

 

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IT’S ALMOST RODEO TIME

Plans are well underway for our 72nd Annual VFW Rodeo which will be held on June 30th, July 1st, and July 2nd, 2017.  The rodeo is by far our largest and most complex Post activity of the year.  It is also our biggest fund raiser of the year and, to be successful, and we need all Post members to participate.  Here is how you can help:

  • At either of the next few meetings (April, May, and June), please sign up for a particular job or posting on each day and night of rodeo week. There will also be openings for members to help in the days prior to the rodeo selling advance tickets and setting up as well as openings for clean-up duty after the rodeo. There will be a place on the sign-up sheet for your shirt size so that we can restock our supply of rodeo staff shirts.
  • If you know of potential Vendors for the Rodeo, please pass that information to our Vendor Coordinator, Mike Aillet, 832 693-5411 as soon as possible. Mike is lining up Vendors for spaces inside and outside the Hall. We plan to expand the number and raise the quality of Vendors this year.
  • If you know of potential Rodeo Sponsors, please pass that information to Chuck Cogswell, our Sponsor Coordinator, 512 557-0221, chcog@aol.com. . We have already contacted last year’s sponsors and will soon be reaching out to potential new sponsors. The levels of Sponsorship and the prices remain the same from last year. If you want to see a Sponsorship Packet, ask Chuck.
  • If you interested in the rodeo planning, please feel free to attend Rodeo Committee meetings.

 

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MONTHLY VISIT TO THE VETERANS AT DEER CREEK

Post members are encouraged to participate in our monthly visits to the inpatient veterans at Deer Creek of Wimberley. Our initial visit last month was very well received and was enjoyable for members who took part, as well as the Deer Creek veterans.

This month’s visit will be on Monday, March 13th. Please meet outside the Deer Creek facility at 10:50 and wear a Post golf shirt and baseball cap (if you have one).  Deer Creek is located at 555 FM 3237. For more information, contact John Thompson, bubblehead2212@gmail.com, 512 239-9039.

Visits will be on the second Monday of each month. So mark your calendars for future dates:

April 10th; May 8th, June 12th, July 10th.

 

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PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM LARRY MERKIN

 

I wish to thank everyone who expressed their kind thoughts and prayers for myself and my brother’s family. We had between 300-350 friends of Randy’s at the memorial service at the VFW. Again thank you to everyone!

Larry Merkin and Family

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2017 POST 6441 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The Post Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually in the memory of Post members who have passed in the previous year. This scholarship is reserved for children and grandchildren of Post members.

The 2017 scholarship winner is Hunter Anderlitch, grandson of Billy and Paula Anderlitch, Post and Auxiliary members respectively. Hunter is a senior at Wimberley HS and participated in football and track during his first two years of high school. He has also been active in the Future Farmers of America for 10 years and has won awards in Agricultural Mechanics for designing and building a deer feeder as well as a duck blind. Hunter plans to study Criminal Justice and Wildlife Biology at Texas State University with the goal of becoming a Game Warden for the State of Texas. Congratulations Hunter!

 

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2016 – 2017 Elected and Appointed Officers

       
Commander John Thompson bubblehead2212@gmail.com 512 239-9039
Senior Vice Commander Daymon Tucker daymontucker@gmail.com  
Junior Vice Commander Larry Merkin larry.merkin@outlook.com 512 847-2174
Quartermaster Susan Jaggers susan@stevenjaggers.com 360 904-1549
Chaplain Jack F. Tatum jtatum@austin.rr.com 512 558-1156
Judge Advocate Larry Merkin larry.merkin@outlook.com 512 847-2174
Surgeon Vacant    
1 Year Trustee Chuck Cogswell chcog@aol.com 512 847-2139
2 Year Trustee Mike Wilmore mikewilmore@me.com 512 847-9125
3 Year Trustee Mike Aillet mikeaillet@hotmail.com 832 693-5411
Adjutant Laura Fergeson laura.fergeson@gmail.com 512 847-1927
Service Officer Gene Watson dripspring@yahoo.com 512 858-7714

 

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

Rodeo Committee Meeting – March 8th, 1700 (Annex) NOTE NEW TIME

Daylight Savings Time Begins – Sunday, March 12th

Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17th

Post Workday –March 18th, 0900

Start of Kosovo Campaign – March 24th (1999)

National Medal Of Honor Day, March 25th

Post Planning Meeting – March 30th, 1700 (Annex) NOTE NEW TIME

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – April 6th, 1800

Rodeo Committee Meeting, April 12th, 1700 (Annex) NOTE NEW TIME

Post Planning Meeting – April 27th, 1700 (Annex) NOTE NEW TIME

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – May 4th, 1800

 

 

February 2017 Cedar Post

 

THE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 18, Number 2                   February 2017

 

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SUMMARY OF THE FEBRUAR REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST 

Prior to our February meeting on Thursday, 2 February, Post members and guests were treated to a “down home” fried chicken dinner with a bounty of side dishes, casseroles and salads, not to mention a full table of delicious deserts.  It was a great meal!  Thanks to those very special ladies who put it together.

The meeting was chaired by Larry Sanders, the Department of Texas VFW Deputy Chief of Staff.  Mr. Sanders reviewed the circumstances that led to the suspension of the Post by the Department Commander on 18 January 2017.  He then opened the floor for nominations for the positions of Commander, Senior Vice Commander, and Junior Vice Commander.  An election was held and the following officers were elected and installed:

  • Commander – John Thompson
  • Senior Vice Commander – Daymon Tucker
  • Junior Vice Commander – Larry Merkin

Thanks to these members for answering the call at a critical time for our Post.

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FROM THE COMMANDER

The past few weeks have been difficult for our Post. I’m very proud of the way we responded to these challenges.  As the Department Commander directed, we have elected new officers in key positions and I am confident that the suspension of the Post will soon be lifted.

I especially want to thank the ladies who prepared and served the excellent meal at last Thursday’s meeting.  It was superb and really helped to set the tone for the evening.

All of the members of the Administrative Committee overseeing our Post were very complimentary of our membership, our facilities, and our esprit de corps.  I was not surprised, I know what a great Post we have.

I appreciate your continued support in the weeks to come.  We have a lot to do, especially in preparation for this year’s Rodeo.  If you have input for the agenda for next month’s Post meeting, please be sure and attend the Post Planning Meeting on February 22nd at the Annex.

 

John Thompson

Commander

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PATRIOT’S PEN AWARDS

On February 2nd, Post members were at Danforth Junior High in Wimberley to present checks,
certificates and medals to the 10 top finishers in this year’s Patriots Pen competition.  Entrants wrote essays reflecting on the statement, “The America I Believe In.”  Pictured with post Patriots Pen Chairman Kerry Ridgeway and Don Wheeler is top award winner, seventh-grader Harrison Mayhew.  Mayhew’s older sister and brother took home second and third place honors in the VFW’s Voice of Democracy competition for high-schoolers.

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BINGO REPORT

We continued to draw high attendance at our weekly Bingo games during January.  On Friday, 20 January, we raised $690 for the Wimberley FFA and individual bingo players donated an additional $180 for a total of $870.

We still could use a few Volunteers to help with bingo.  If interested, contact larry.merkin@outlook.com or 512-847-2949.  Come on, you know you want to.

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FROM THE SERVICE OFFICER

The Service Officer recently attended the Texas Veteran’s Benefit Fair and brought back a variety of veterans related pamphlets and literature.  This material is available on a table in the VFW Hall.  For assistance, contact Gene Watson, dripspring@yahoo.com, or 512 858-7714

 

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LET’S VISIT THE VETERANS AT DEER CREEK

All Post members are invited to visit the inpatient veterans at Deer Creek of Wimberley on Monday, February 13th, at 1100.  This will be the first of what we hope to be a regular monthly event.  Please meet outside the Deer Creek facility at 10:50 and wear a Post golf shirt and baseball cap (if you have one).  Deer Creek is located at 555 FM 3237.  For more information, contact John Thompson, bubblehead2212@gmail.com, 512 239-9039.

 

 

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

Rodeo Committee Meeting – February 8th, 1815 (Annex)

Sinking of the U.S.S. Maine – February 15th (1898)

Post Workday –February 18th, 0900

President’s Day – February 20th

Post Planning Meeting – February 23rd, 1815 (Annex)

Liberation of Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm – February 28th (1991)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – March 2nd, 1800

Rodeo Committee Meeting – March 8th, 1815 (Annex)

Daylight Savings Time Begins – March 12th

Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17th

Post Workday –March 18th, 0900

Start of Kosovo Campaign – March 24th (1999)

National Medal Of Honor Day, March 25th

Post Planning Meeting – March 30th, 1815 (Annex)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – April 6th, 1800

Rodeo Committee Meeting, April 12th, 1815 (Annex)

Post Planning Meeting – April 27th, 1815 (Annex)

January 2017 Cedar Post

THE CEDAR POST

 

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 18, Number 1                   January 2017

 

 

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SUMMARY OF THE JANUARY REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:

 

A big thanks to the members of the Auxiliary for another excellent dinner of pulled pork, potatoes au gratin, mac and cheese, several different casseroles, cole slaw, salads, rolls, and a variety of desserts (cookies, cakes, cheesecake etc).

After dinner, Post Member Kerry Ridgway did an excellent job of presenting awards to the winners of the
Voice of Democracy (VOD) contest.  Pictured front row,  left to right, are Third Place Winner Evan Mayhew; Second Place Winner Mariel Mayhew; First Place Winner Jillian Garcia (also third place in district); and WHS Principal Jason Valentine

 

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The membership voted to pursue having the State place signs on RR12 and FM 2325 to denote the appropriate turns to reach Post 6441.
  • A revision to Policy Letter #12*, Voice of Democracy, was presented for review by the membership. If you have comments on this revision please present them at the January 25th Planning Meeting. Adoption of this revision will be voted on at next month’s meeting.
  • Also presented for membership review was a revision of Policy Letter #13*, Patriot’s Pen. Comments or suggestions may be presented at the January 25th Planning Meeting. This will also be voted on at the February meeting.

 

*Copies of these draft policy letters were available at the meeting.  If you would like one, contact Chuck Cogswell, chcog@aol.com.

 

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FROM THE COMMANDER

Once again we had the pleasure of presenting VOD scholarships to three deserving young students.  First place winner is Jillian Garcia – 10th grade, Second place winner is Mariel Mayhew – 12th grade, and third place winner is Evan Mayhew – 10th grade.  Jillian Garcia was also the District third place winner.  Thanks to Kerry Ridgway for a very successful program.  The program for 2017 will be more aggressive with the members being asked to participate at the school level.  Next month we will recognize the Patriot Pen winners.  The Wimberley ISD presented the Post with a plaque at the December School Board meeting for our support to the District and Schools.

 

I wish to express my sincere and heart-felt appreciation to the ladies of the Auxiliary who provided an excellent meal for the VOD winners and their families, as well as Post members at our January meeting.  More than 12 ladies came out to help, even though the Auxiliary was not meeting that night. (The Auxiliary will hold their monthly meeting on January 12th).  This was clearly was “above and beyond” the call of duty and speaks volumes for those ladies who participated.  You are appreciated by myself and the Post members.  THANK YOU!!!!

A reminder about the Post Memorial Scholarship program for children and grandchildren of Post members.  A copy of the Application Instructions and an Application form are enclosed.  Completed applications must be received no later than the 1st of February.  Scholarships must be redeemed by 31 December 2017.

 

Now that we are in 2017, there are less than six months until our annual rodeo.  It’s time to assign tasks to be accomplished and begin rounding up sponsors, vendors and workers.  The next rodeo committee meeting will be at 1815, February 8th at the Annex.

 

Nominations for Post officers for the 2017-2018 year will open at the March meeting and then again at the April meeting.  Voting will be held at the April meeting.  To be eligible to hold an officer position you must be a Post member, in good standing (dues paid up) and have a DD-214 on file.  The elected positions are Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Quartermaster, 3 Year Trustee, and Chaplain.  The following officers are appointed by the Commander:  Adjutant; Surgeon; Service Officer; Judge Advocate; Officer of the Day; and Sergeant at Arms.  If you are interested is any of these positions, please let me know.  Remember this is your Post and it only works well when members are involved.

 

In February, the Post Adjutant will leave for a month long vacation.  In order for her to publish the February Cedar Post before she leaves, folks need to have their input to Chuck no later than the Tuesday (Feb 7th) following our meeting.  If not received by Tuesday it will NOT be in the Cedar Post.

 

On January 1, 2017 Lieutenant William “Bill” Johnson (United States Marine Corps) received his finial PCS orders.  He is relieved of duty this station and reassigned to the Marine Detachment guarding the Gates of Heaven.  He is once again joined with his comrades.  Bill, thank you for your service to the Nation and community.  You will be missed – Semper Fi.

 

Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.

Commander

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BINGO REPORT

Ever wonder why we continually stress the importance of Post members helping to run Bingo on Friday evenings?  A look at the results of our 2016 Bingo program will answer that question.

 

Bingo is a major fund raising activity for the Post.  In addition to supporting Post and Auxiliary activities, we are able to share the proceeds with Wimberley community.  For example, in 2016, the Bingo Committee donated $18,950 to the Post, $1,600 to our Auxiliary, and over $7,350 for several important non-profits (Project Graduation, 4-H, FFA, Boy Scouts, Assist the Officer Foundation (Dallas Police Officers KIA) and Wimberley Youth Sports)

 

A big thanks to all the Post and Auxiliary members who worked Bingo during this past year!

 

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MONTHLY VISITS TO DEER CREEK OF WIMBERLEY

On a monthly basis (beginning next month), we will visit veterans who are inpatients at Deer Creek of Wimberley The purpose of these visits is to spend some time talking, and probably more importantly listening, to these fellow veterans.  If you would like to take part in these visits, please contact John Thompson at 512 239-9039 or email bubblehead2212@gmail.com.

 

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IN MEMORY

 

William (Bill) P. Johnson

May 25th 1923 – January 1, 2017

Bill was a USMC veteran of WWII who was wounded on Iwo Jima.  A Life Member of VFW Post 6441, he was a rancher and farmer in Wimberley and a leader in the community.  Many of us remember last seeing Bill as an honored guest at our Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies on December 7th. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 14, at 2:00 p.m. at the Sabino Ranch.

 

 

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AUXILIARY REPORT:

I sit and reflect over the many years in around Post 6441. Beloved memories with my father (Post Charter Life Member, worked over 50 of the Post Rodeo’s back when they were a week long), and the many Post and Auxiliary members that have gone on before us. In the 70’s when the Auxiliary prepared all the food for the Rodeo, I helped slice the whole pies that were brought in by the Auxiliary members. Then there was selling sodas from the wood frame at the Old Post home. Riding in the grand entry with Louis “Honey” Honeycutt (Post Charter Member) of the Rodeo. Setting Pivot on horseback with Lorana Pevler (Past Auxiliary President). Working in the kitchen with Bonnie Carrol and her wonderful family, boy can those girls sing! Working dances with Virginia (Past Auxiliary President) & AJ Lunday. All the kiddos that have worked with us in the Concession stand over the years. It makes my heart smile when they come back and say hello. There have been many friendships formed over the years, and great sadness when a member of the Post or Auxiliary passes away. I hope to continue to form new friendships. If you are a new Post/Auxiliary member or if you have been around awhile and we haven’t gotten a chance to visit. I welcome the camaraderie and hope that we can sit and visit awhile in the near future.

 

Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

 

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2016-2017 Auxiliary Officers

 

President Neta Odell-Ross, 512-810-2560, neta_vfw_aux@yahoo.com
● Senior Vice President:  Pat Watson ● Junior Vice President: Julie Reinecke
● Treasurer:   Adrienne Marks ● Chaplain: Lanae Wood
● Conductress:  Chasadiy King ● Guard:  Jaci Kroupa
● Secretary:  Mary Jane Tatum

  

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

Beginning of Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) –January 17th (1991)

Post Workday –January 21st, 0900

Post Planning Meeting – January 26th, 1815 (Annex)

Anniversary of the Signing of the Paris Peace Accords – January 27th (1973)

VFW Department of Texas Mid-Winter Convention, January 27-29th in Austin, see www.texasvfw.org/upcoming-events

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – February 2nd, 1800

Rodeo Committee Meeting, February 8th, 1815 (Annex)

Post Workday –February 18th, 0900

Post Planning Meeting – February 23rd, 1815 (Annex)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – March 2nd, 1800

Rodeo Committee Meeting, March 8th, 1815 (Annex)

 

 

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR VFW POST# 6441 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

 

  1. Who is eligible?  Children and grandchildren of members in good standing of Oldham-Cummings VFW Post #6441 who meet the following criteria are eligible:
    • in their senior year of high school (or home school equivalent) and expected to graduate in 2017, or
    • have graduated from high school since 2013 and are currently enrolled in post-secondary education,  and
    • have not previously received the Post Memorial Scholarship.

 

  1. How do I apply?
  • Applicants must complete an application in the attached format (one page of required information, resume of 1-2 pages, 1-2 page description of future plans.
  • For ease of evaluation, we prefer that applications are printed on plain paper (8½” X 11”) using Font style/size Arial 12, double spaced.
  • This is not an essay contest, however, applicants must provide the requested information clearly and concisely.
  • Signed applications must be provided to the Post Commander not later than February 1st, 2017.

 

  1. What happens after I turn in my application? The scholarship committee will meet to review each application and determine which applicant(s) are most deserving of a scholarship. The maximum scholarship amount is $1,000 and the committee may award more than one scholarship.

 

  1. How will the scholarship be applied?  The scholarship is for post-secondary education (college or technical training) and is valid anytime within calendar year 2017.  Scholarship winners will need to present evidence of enrollment to the Post QM who will provide the scholarship amount directly to the college or technical school on the student’s behalf.  If a winner fails to enroll in post-secondary education in 2017, the scholarship will be forfeited.

 

 

Name of Applicant: ____________________________________

Date of Birth:___________________________

 

Name of Post #6441 Member:____________________________________

Relationship: ____________________________________

 

  1. Applicant Resume (attach a summary of experience to date including school, sports, clubs, community service activities, church, volunteer service, employment, etc. maximum of two pages)

 

  1. Future Plans (attach a description of your plans for future education or training, [i.e. how you intend to apply a scholarship if we award you one], future career plans, etc, maximum of two pages).

 

 

Signature of Applicant: _______________________________

Date:_________________

 

Signature of Post #6441 Member:______________________

Date:___________________________

 

December 2016 Cedar Post

Cedar Post picTHE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 17, Number 12                   December 2016

 

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 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.usmc

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.

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 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 christmas-drawinga 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.

Commander

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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:

VA Partners with Prostate Cancer Foundation to Expand Clinical Research

 

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 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 christmas-partyWimberley Gold Santa.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and a big thanks to Laura Fergeson, Mike Aillet and Larry Merkin for pulling it altogether.

 

 

 

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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,switzer-usmc 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!

 

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AUXILIARY REPORT

 

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!

 

Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

  

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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

 

November 2016 Cedar Post

cedar-post-pic-copyTHE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 17, Number 11                  November 2016

 

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SUMMARY OF THE NOVEMBER REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:

 Big thanks to the Wimberley 4-H club for providing a Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, dressing, gravy, potatoes, vegetable casseroles, and desserts. What a feast!

US Army
US Army

We installed new Life Member Mitch McKinney, U.S. Army. You can read more about Mitch on page 4. Mitch is a very accomplished soldier and we are fortunate to have him as a member the Post. Please make him feel welcome!

 

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The membership voted to approve revisions to Policy Letter #18, Post Memorial Scholarship Fund, and Policy Letter #27, Use of Post Dumpster.
  • Members also voted to donate $2,000 to the Wimberley Gold Santa, a local that helps families in need.
  • Expenditure of an additional $1,000 was approved for a Post Christmas Party scheduled for December 3rd.
  • A new proposed Policy Letter #30*, Payment for Meals at District Meetings, was introduced and will be voted on at the December meeting.
  • The Commander appointed John Thompson to lead a committee to develop a recommendation for optimal utilization of space (office, meeting, storage, etc). Additional committee members include Crow Wilson, Mike Aillet, and Don Arendarczyk.
  • The members voted to give $1,000 each to the Wimberley VFD and Wimberley EMS for all they do for the community.

 

*Copies of this proposed policy were passed out at the meeting. If you would like one, contact Chuck Cogswell, chcog@aol.com.

 

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FROM THE COMMANDER

 

This year we had great Voice of Democracy (VOD) and Patriot Pen (PP) support from the schools. There were nine VOD entries and 30 PP entries. The VOD winners will be recognized at the January 2017 meeting and the top three PP winners will be recognized at the February meeting. The planning for next year’s contest is in the beginning stages. Kerry Ridgway may be calling on the membership to help him with classroom presentations.

The Lifeline screening folks have rented the Post on November 16th to do health screenings.

Thanks to the Wimberley 4 H Club for our evening meal for the November meeting. It was a great spread and much appreciated by the membership. If you missed the meal – you missed a great time.

Also, thanks to the Fancy Feathers 4-H Club for their donation to the Wounded Warrior program on behalf of the Post. They also presented us with a plaque for our support to their organization.

As we begin to enter the Holiday season, it is important to remember those who are less fortunate. The Post has decided to donate funds to “Gold Santa,” a Wimberley based organization that assists needy families in the area at this time of the year. We will be accepting monetary donations and/or an unwrapped toy at the Post Christmas celebration on December 3rd. The deadline for donations is December 10th.

 

Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.

Commander

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FRIDAY NIGHT BINGO

 

All four bingo teams are fully staffed. Yeah! We could use a few more “standby” bingo helpers to fill in when a team member might be absent. This is the perfect position for a member who wants to help but can’t commit to one Friday every month. If you can help, please contact Larry Merkin, 512-847-2949.

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POST IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

We have money in the 2017 budget to do more improvements for the post. Anyone who has ideas – please contact Mike Wilmore (mikewilmore@me.com) so we can add to the list.

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FROM THE SERVICE OFFICER

Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study (VE-HEROeS). This fall, the VA is beginning a nationwide study to assess the current health and well-being of Vietnam Veterans (including those who served elsewhere during the Vietnam era 1961-1975). VE-HEROeS will also compare the health of these Veterans to similarly aged U.S. residents who never served in the military. The VA will invite approximately 43,000 Vietnam Era Veterans and approximately 11,000 members of the general population to participate in VE-HEROeS. For more information see: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/epidemiology/studies/heroes/index.asp

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2016 POST CHRISTMAS PARTY

The Post will hold a Christmas Party on Saturday, December 3rd, at the VFW Hall from 1500 to 1800. This will include dinner for each Post member and one guest. Tickets will be available for additional guests (children, additional friends etc.) at nominal cost (TBD). Members are also urged to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Wimberley Gold Santa, individual monetary contributions to Gold Santa are also welcome. If you plan to attend, please RSVP via email to adjutant@texasvfw.net not later than November 25th. For more information, see Laura Fergeson or Larry Merkin.

 

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NEW MEMBER PROFILE – MITCH MCKINNEY

New Post member Mitch McKinney was born in Austin and grew up in Odessa where he played football for the Permian Panthers (“MOJO” of Friday Night Lights fame). After a year of college at the University of Texas at Austin, Mitch began working construction in the Austin area.

With the downturn of the economy, Mitch joined the U.S. Army. After basic training, Mitch married Uleta Campbell and she accompanied him on his first assignment in Hawaii.   During his tour with the 25th Infantry Division, Mitch earned the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Air Assault Badge, Airborne wings and his Ranger Tab. Both of Mitch and Uleta’s daughters were born in Hawaii.

With his promotion to Sergeant, Mitch transitioned to Aviation as an Aeroscout Observer in the OH-58A Kiowa helicopter, and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. There he earned his Aircrew Member badge and a promotion to Staff Sergeant. Mitch then attended Officer Candidate School where he was the Honor Graduate. As a newly minted Second Lieutenant, Mitch served an unaccompanied tour with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. Mitch next served with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, TX and then attended his Captain’s Career Course. Upon graduation as the Distinguished Honor Graduate (looks like a pattern here). Mitch assumed command of the Signal Detachment of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

After the tragic events of 9-11-01, Mitch deployed on his first combat tour with the Rangers in Afghanistan. His next combat tour was as Commander of the th Signal Company during the invasion of Iraq from 2003-2004. Mitch’s next combat tour was in 2005 as part of the G6, XVIII Airborne Corps, followed by a final combat tour as the S6 (Communications Officer) for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Mitch spent almost 3 years in Iraq and Afghanistan before he retired as a Major in 2008.

After retirement, Mitch earned his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and now works in Cyber Security as the founder of Ametsec Inc. Mitch is very grateful for the sacrifices made by his family during all of his training and combat deployments.

 

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AUXILIARY REPORT:

We welcomed District 5 President Merlene Peters and District Chief of Staff Carol Brietske as well as Department Chaplain Donna James and Department Secretary Glenna Alexander to our October meeting.

Halloween on the Square was a success. Thank you to Mary Jane Tatum, Jaci Kroupa, Chasadiy King and Lanie Loveless-Wood, and Julie Reinecke for working the Trick or Treat booth on the Square with me.

Buddy Poppy’s were handed out at Brookshire’s and Ace Hardware on November 5th. Thank you to Jacki Kroupa, Linae Loveless-Wood, Jenny Bravo and Sandy Pellerin.

November 11 – Veterans Day is Fast approaching, hope to see you at the Wimberley High School Gym at 9:30 am for the ceremony. Following the Ceremony there will be an open house at the Post. With coffee and cake served.

 

Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

Post Planning Meeting – November 17th, 1815 (Annex)

Post Work Day – November 19, 0900

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – December 1st, 1800

Pearl Harbor Day – December 7th (1941)

Rodeo Planning Meeting – December 7th, 1815 (Annex)

Post Christmas Party – December 3rd, 1500-1800

Post Work Day – December 17th, 0900

Post Planning Meeting – December 29th, 1815 (Annex)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – January 5th, 1800

Start of Operation Desert Storm, January 17th, (1991)

Signing of Vietnam Peace Accord, January 27th (1973)

October 2016 Cedar Post

cedar-post-pic-copyTHE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 17, Number 10                   October 2016

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SUMMARY OF THE OCTOBER REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:

Members of the Auxiliary provided another outstanding meal including brisket (from Creekside BBQ), beans, potato salad, coleslaw,  corn bread and a variety of deserts.  We also had a birthday cake in honor of the 117th birthday of the VFW (Sept 29th, 1899).  It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

To commemorate Recognition of Women in the Service Day (October 18th), Post Adjutant Laura Fergeson discussed her interesting experiences as a woman soldier for almost 10 years. Thanks Laura for sharing your insights.

 

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The membership voted to approve raising the amount of money for electrical upgrade of the barn to $4,125 (last month $3,500 was approved). The additional cost was attributed to the cost of trenching.
  • The commander appointed a committee of Laura Fergeson, Larry Merkin, and Mike Aillet to explore options and make a recommendation for some sort of Christmas activity for the Post.
  • A revision to Policy Letter #18*, Post Memorial Scholarship Fund, was presented for review by the membership. Adoption of this revision will be voted on at the November meeting.
  • Also presented for membership review was a revision of Policy Letter #27*, Use of the Post Dumpster. This will also be voted on next month.
  • Post member and WWII Veteran John Diotte recounted his recent experience as a member of the Austin Honor Flight and encouraged members to participate as these flights are being offered to Korea and Vietnam Veterans.

 

*Copies of these two revisions were passed out at the meeting.  If you would like one, contact Chuck Cogswell, chcog@aol.com.

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FROM THE COMMANDER

 

My sincere thanks to the members of the Post and Auxiliary who have volunteered to work bingo.  I do not remember any time in the past where we have full shifts ever Friday night.  Good job!!!!!!!!!  Larry, your persistence paid off – good job!

 

We were honored to have the District Five Commander, Ron Spalding, and Senior Vice Commander, Henry Conway, Sr., attend our October dinner and meeting.   Before dinner they conducted our annual inspection and we passed with flying colors (as expected).

 

This week we held the kick-off meeting for the 2017 Rodeo where we established some ground rules and designated coordinators for the various functional areas.  When you patronize our 2016 Rodeo sponsors, please thank them for their support and let them know that we look forward to them renewing their sponsorship next year.  Also, think about those businesses you know and trade with and help us identify new sponsors for next year.   Our 2017 goal is to raise $25,000 in sponsorships so that we can add $5,000 to the prize money and attract more contestants.  July may seem a long way off, but please reserve that weekend on your calendar and think about where you want to work.  To share the load, we need each member to work two of the three rodeo performances.

 

We received a bunch of thank you cards from Jacobs Well Elementary school for our POW/MIA presentation last month at the school.  Bob Flocke did a great job of explaining the reason for the POW/MIA Remembrance Day.

 

It’s time to decide what type of Christmas event or activity (if any) that we want to have this year. Some folks want a traditional Christmas dinner, others have expressed a desire to do something to help those less fortunate.  Please provide Laura Fergeson, Larry Merkin, or Mike Aillet with your input.

 

Also please keep Diane Jordan, Charlie Johnson and Susan’s daughter in your thoughts and prayers.  If all goes well, Susan should be returning home on 5 November.

 

The Auxiliary provided a great meal at the October meeting.  The 4H Club will be providing the meal for the November meeting.

 

Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.

Commander

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BOY SCOUT TROOP 127

 

In September, Troop 127 held two Eagle Scout Courts of Honor and one Troop-wide Court of Honor. Currently, the Troop is working on their re-charter with the BSA and our Acting QM, Mike Lukowiak, will be designated as the Chartering Organization Representative.   Thanks Mike for all you do to support our Troop!

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT BINGO

 

Thanks to Crow Wilson, Larry Morris, and Chuck Voith for stepping up to the plate this month.  We now have all positions filled on all four bingo teams.  Crow and Larry are experienced bingo hands and we’re very glad to have them back.

We still could use a few standby workers to fill in when people are sick, on vacation, or otherwise cannot make it.  As a standby bingo worker, you are not committed to any particular Friday of the month.   You only work when Larry needs some help and you are available.  Contact Larry Merkin at 512-847-2949 or larry.merkin@outlook.com.

 

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FROM THE SERVICE OFFICER

say-again

NOW HEAR THIS! The VA has declared October as “Audiology Awareness Month.” Hearing loss is the most prevalent service-connected disability among Veterans.  More than 30 million Veterans suffer from some form of hearing loss as the result of frequent exposure to loud noises during their service career. The VA has made significant contributions to the field of audiology and continues to conduct a wide range of studies — from biomedical investigations to large clinical trials and database studies. One of the world’s leading audiology research facilities is the VA’s National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research in Portland, Oregon.

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POST IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

To date, we have accomplished several post improvement projects on our 2016 list.  On the self-help side we painted the curb and properly marked the fire lanes, trimmed a bunch of trees, and removed well over a hundred bags of leaves.  Additionally, we repaired damage from our break-in and cleaned up downed trees after several storms (big thanks to Joey Palumbo).  We also completed several funded projects including necessary repairs to the roof and installation of updated alarm, keyless entry, and CCTV systems.   The electrical upgrade of the barn has been funded and will soon be underway.  Junior Vice Commander Johnny Manning and Mike Wilmore will be updating the Priority List for Post Improvement Projects for 2017.  Your input is welcomed.  Contact Johnny or Mike

Johnny: email  Jmb203@aol.com,

Mike:  email mikewilmore@me.com,

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VETERANS DAY

veterans-day Please mark your Calendars for Friday, November 11th.  We will commemorate Veterans Day at the Wimberley High School gymnasium at 0930, followed by an informal reception at the Post Hall.  Later that afternoon (1430), we will visit Deer Creek to commemorate the Day with their in-patient veterans. More info will be available at the November Post meeting.

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AUXILIARY REPORT:

Auxiliary President Neta Ross, along with Linae Wood and another Auxiliary Member, transported a World War II Veteran to the District Veterans Day Out in Schertz, TX.  A barbecue lunch was served with all the trimmings of which our Auxiliary provided the Potato Salad.  There were a total of 77 patients and 17 staff members in attendance from the Hospitals and Veterans Home.  There were 29 Auxiliary members from the District, 3 of which were from our post.  Thirty-three Post members from the District were in Attendance.  Auxiliary members donated 11 lap Afghans. Yarn was purchased by the members at a cost $187.00 and a total of 88 hours were spent making them.

Our last remaining charter auxiliary member, Winnifred Vann, has passed to her heavenly home. We are saddened by our loss. Please keep her family in your prayers.

Halloween on the Square – October 31st from 4 to 7 PM. Come out and join in the fun of passing out candy to the young and young at heart that trick or treat the local businesses on the square. We will have a table set up between Cypress Creek Cafe and The Cedar Chest.

Veterans Day – November 11 – Wimberley High School Gym,10 AM. Auxiliary and Pals will pass out Buddy Poppies to the High School Students.

 Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

Establishment of the U.S. Navy – October 13th (1775)

Post Work Day – October 15th, 0900

Recognition of Women in the Service – October 18th

Start of Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada), October 23rd, (1983)

Post Planning Meeting – October 27th, 1800

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – November 3rd, 1800

End of Daylight Savings Time – November 6th

2016 Election Day, November 8th

Establishment of the U.S. Marine Corps – November 10th (1775)

Veterans Day / Signing of WWI Armistice – November 11th, (1918)

Post Work Day – November   19, 0900

Thanksgiving Day – November 24th

Post Planning Meeting – TBD

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – December 1st, 1800

Pearl Harbor Day – December 7th (1941)

September 2016 Cedar Post

cedar-post-pic-copyTHE CEDAR POST

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

Volume 17, Number 9                   September 2016

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SUMMARY OF THE SEPTEMBER REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:

A big thanks to members of the Auxiliary who provided an exceptionally fine dinner of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, and a variety of salads, casseroles, and desserts.  They once again proved that there is no better place to be than our VFW meeting on the first Thursday of each month.

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • It was reported that our electric wheelchairs and associated gear have been donated to Project Mend, a non-profit in San Antonio that reconditions used medical equipment for use by veterans and low income patients.
  • The membership voted to turn down the request of radio station KOWO to build a studio / office on Post property, adjacent to the cell phone tower.
  • An expenditure of funds not to exceed $3,500 was approved to upgrade the electrical facilities at the barn. This was a high priority item on our Post improvement project list.
  • Members also voted to authorize the Senior Vice Commander to spend $800 to purchase a VFW tent, table covering, new sign, and some koozies to facilitate his recruiting efforts.
  • There was discussion about whether to continue with the combined color guard (administered by the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza) or to form a VFW Post #6441 Color Guard. The Commander asked members to think about this and asked if there was a Post member who was willing to organize and lead a Post Color Guard.
  • To commemorate VJ Day (September 2nd, 1945), Post Member Jim Hysinger shared his WWII experience with the members. Jim entered active duty in April 1944 and was assigned as a B-24 tail gunner in Okinawa when Japan surrendered.  Jim went on to have a distinguished a career as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, serving in combat in Korea and Vietnam.   Thanks Jim for a fascinating talk!

 

 

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FROM THE COMMANDER:

Well, the rodeo season is over for the Post for 2016.  According to John Thames, their rodeo did well and they were pleased with everything.  Now it is time to begin to turn our attention toward our 2017 rodeo.  We will have our first planning-kick off meeting on October 12th at 1800.  At this time we will set the ground rules for the 2017 rodeo and designate a person of responsibility for each action item.

On Friday, the 16th of September, we will have a POW/MIA flag raising ceremony at Jacobs Well Elementary School at 0900.  In addition, we will address the 4th and 5th grade classes and explain to them the reason for and meaning of the POW/MIA flag.  The uniform for this event is the dark blue golf shirt and VFW cover.  We will gather at the school between 0830 and 0845 by the flag pole.  If you wish to participate please let me know.

If you have a color guard shirt and equipment from the Veterans Memorial Plaza and cannot or no longer wish to participate, please return the equipment to Rodger Parker.  This way he can reissue it to personnel who are able to assist.

The ladies did an excellent job with the meal at the last meeting.  It is good to have their service once again.  The new (old) way of serving is great.  Now you don’t feel like you are in a chow line in the bowels of a ship.  Thanks again.

We are in the process of getting bids to upgrade the power at the “Barn” before we have an electrical fire and burn it down.  The feed to the barn will be underground and upgrades to 200 Amps.  This should handle anything John Diotte wants to do.

Speaking of John, I talked with him about his trip to Washington.  He had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommends it if you get a chance to go on one of the honor flights.  They have opened it up to Korean veterans and Vietnam veterans.

 

Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.

Commander

eagle-scout-copy

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Boy Scout Troop 127

Boy Scout Troop 127 proudly announced that two Scouts have attained the rank of Eagle Scout.  Colton Kilpatrick was installed in a Court of Honor on September 4th.  Taylor Garrett will have his Court of Honor in the VFW hall at 1400, Saturday, September 10th.  All Post members are invited to attend.

 

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT BINGO

Bob Flocke recently debuted as a Bingo Caller, under the not so watchful eye of Larry Merkin.

One member has had to stop working bingo so we are back to having two open positions.  One is on Team #2 (second Friday of each month) and one is on Team #4 (fourth Friday).  If you have not yet taken your turn at Bingo, now is the time.  Contact Larry Merkin, Bingo chairman, 512-847-2949.

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SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

There are several opportunities for members to serve the Post and our community in September.

  • If you would like to participate in the flag raising as part of the Patriot Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Plaza (VMP), please report to Rodger Parker at the VMP at 0830 on Sunday, September 11th.
  • Please let the Commander know if you would like to participate in the POW/MIA ceremony being planned for Jacob’s Well Elementary School on Friday, September 16th. Show time there is 0830.

 

 

 

sad-face

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FAREWELL TO MATT GUNN

Matt Gunn, who served quite capably as our Post Sergeant-At-Arms for the last several years, has relocated to Houston.  Matt was a key figure at Post meetings and at our annual Rodeo.  No matter the job, Matt was always willing to help.  Thank you Matt, we will miss you and wish you all the best! Kelly Bateman has stepped up to the plate and will replace Matt as Post Sergeant-At-Arms.

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FROM THE SERVICE OFFICER

The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) has published its 2016 Directory.  This directory includes all TVC Offices and Veterans’ Organizations as well as Federal, State, and County agencies in Texas.  See: http://www.tvc.texas.gov/documents/tvc_directory.pdf 

 

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SHOWING OUR COLORS

Members of the Oldham-Cummings VFW Post 6441 Color Guard recently took part in ceremonies dedicating a state historical marker at the Miss Lillie Dobie house in Wimberley.  Color Guard members from left to right are Larry Merkin, Gene Watson, Michael Lukowiak, and Post Commander Don Wheeler.  The Miss Lillie Dobie house was built on River Road in 1921.  The house now serves as the Village Store Boutique in the new Wimberley Thrift Store complex.

 

 

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AUXILIARY REPORT:

Thank you to all the Auxiliary members who continue to work hard for our Post and Auxiliary you are truly appreciated. Special Thanks to Post Members Jack Tatum, Frank Ross and Joey Palumbo for going above and beyond in helping the Auxiliary.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art applications are in the schools. Military Boxes and Cards have been sent to: Sharif DeLarge, Jordan Fuller and Susan Jagger’s.

For updates to Auxiliary Functions and Activities please visit our website at www.vfwaux6441.weebly.com

 

Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

 

 

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

National Patriot Day – September 11th, 0900 at Veteran’s Memorial Plaza

National POW/MIA Recognition Day – September 16th

Post Work Day – September 17th, 0900

Establishment of the U.S. Air Force – September 18th (1947)

Post Planning Meeting – September 29, 1800

VFW Birthday – September 29th (1899)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – October 6th, 1800

Establishment of the U.S. Navy – October 13th (1775)

Post Work Day – October 15th, 0900

Post Planning Meeting – October 27th, 1800

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – November 3rd, 1800

2016 Election Day, November 8th

Establishment of the U.S. Marine Corps – November 10th (1775)

Veterans Day / Signing of WWI Armistice – November 11th, (1918)

Scholarship Competition

OLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST NO. 6441, WIMBERLEY, TEXAS IS NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR ITS 2016-17 YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION FOR GRADES 6 THRU 12

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) announces the 2016-17 program for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after students from across the globe took home their share of $3.3 million in VFW scholarships and awards from last year’s competitions.

The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for our great country and fostering patriotism among our nation’s youth. Students are asked to submit an essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks students to explain, “My Responsibility to America.” The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. Post 6441 awards $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second, & $1,000 for third.  Post top essay go to District, State, & National with awards of $1,000, $4,000 & $30,000, respectively.

The Patriot’s Pen essay competition is open to students in grades 6-8. This year, students are asked to reflect on the statement, “The America I Believe In”.  Post 6441 awards $300 for first place, $200 for second, $100 for third, & $50 for 4th thru 10th place.  Post top essay go to District and State receives saving bonds. The Post national winner will receive a $5,000 award.

Student participants are asked to submit their entry (along with a completed entry form) to VFW Post 6441 by November 1, 2016. Entry forms can be obtained through the Wimberley Independent School District or by contacting Post 6441 Program Chairman, Jack Tatum at 512-558-1156.  For more information go to http://www.vfw.org/Youth/ .

August 2016 Cedar Post

Cedar Post picOLDHAM-CUMMINGS POST 6441

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

Post Office Box 535

Wimberley, Texas 78676

 

Volume 17, Number 8                   August 2016

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SUMMARY OF THE AUGUST REGULAR MEETING OF THE POST:

FoodBy all accounts, everyone enjoyed the pre-meeting meal and the camaraderie.  Grillmaster Ray Garrison (assisted by Chuck Cogswell and under the supervision of Crow Wilson), prepared hamburgers and hot dogs.  Ladies from the Auxiliary provided a variety of salads, side dishes, and desserts.

On behalf of the Post, the Commander received a plaque from the San Marcos Area Youth Soccer Organization (SMAYSO) represented by Jim Neff and his son.

 

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The Commander recognized several Post members for their efforts “above and beyond” to help make this year’s rodeo a success.
  • The membership voted to rescind the motion passed last month to give the Lone Star Cowgirls $500. It was determined that they did not need the money and were instead going to donate it to another organization.
  • Members also voted to add $329 to the $1,950 raised by bingo and the $221 donated by bingo players for the families of slain police officers in Dallas. This brings our total donation to the Assist the Officer Foundation to $2,500.
  • Junior Vice Commander Johnny Manning will be meeting with Mike Wilmore to review the priority list of Post improvements and revise as necessary. Members who have input are encouraged to contact Johnny or Mike.
  • Likewise, Post members interested in helping to prepare the 2017 Post Budget are asked to contact Mike Lukowiak, Acting Quartermaster.
  • Laura Fergeson provided a presentation on Operation Iraqi Freedom (commemorative date – 31 July)

 

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FROM THE COMMANDER:

While we do not yet have the final figures form the Rodeo, it appears that our bottom line will be higher than last year.  Again, thanks to all who had a hand in making this a great Rodeo.

 

The July meeting was a flash back to meetings of old.  Thanks to all of the Auxiliary members who have returned and helped make the meal an enjoyable event.  We now have an Auxiliary committee to work with the Post on meal planning and the Rodeo.   WELCOME back ladies.

 

Through the generosity of our bingo players, in July we raised $900 for Boy Scout Troop 127, and by combining the money from bingo with donations from the public and the Post we are able to send $2500 to the families of the fallen Dallas police officers.  Thanks to all who helped make this possible.

 

The Post Adjutant is developing a Post directory.  This directory is for Post use ONLY and not for distribution to anyone who is not a member of the Post.  Unfortunately there are a lot of members for whom we do not have phone numbers, e-mail addresses or mailing addresses.  If you would please check with the Adjutant or contact her to insure she has your information it would be great fully appreciated.  Again, this is for Post use only or by the members.

Remember that the start of school is just around the corner.  Please be aware of the kids in route to and from school and the school zones which we have not had to worry about for some months – DON’T speed.School

 

The Thames rodeo is just around the corner, Labor Day weekend.

 

Donald C. Wheeler, Jr.

Commander

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT BINGO

Post Members Mike Aillet and Bob Flocke have stepped up to help with Bingo, filling 2 of the 3 vacancies.  Their applications are pending approval by the State Lottery Commission.  This leaves us with 1 opening for a regular bingo worker.  Additionally, we could use a few more members to serve as “on-call” bingo workers to fill in when someone on one of the regular bingo teams is absent.

 

If you have been waiting to volunteer, now would be a very good time.  Contact Larry Merkin, 512-847-2949, larry.merkin@outlook.com

 

 

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AUXILIARY REPORT:

I would like to thank all the Post and Auxiliary members for their love and support while I have been Auxiliary President. Without you, our Auxiliary is unable to work the Programs provided by State and National. Each of you are a great asset to our organization.

 

We are hosting Deer Creek Nursing and Rehabilitations birthday party this month (today, so I can’t give you the number in attendance).

 

Our district meeting will be held this Sunday, August 14th, at 9 am in Schertz at Post 8315. They are planning for the meeting to be done about noon. Please let me know if you will be attending so that I may give a head count to the Schertz post as they will be providing a hot dog lunch.

 

Neta Ross

Auxiliary President

 

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CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS (60 DAYS)

 

Post Work Day – August 20th, 0900

Post Planning Meeting – August 25th, 1800

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – September 1st, 1830

Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day – September 2nd (1945)

National Patriot’s Day – September 11th

National POW/MIA Recognition Day – September 16th

Establishment of the U.S. Air Force – September 18th (1947)

Post Planning Meeting – September 29, 1800

VFW Birthday – September 29th (1899)

Regular Meeting of the Post and Auxiliary – October 6th, 1830

Establishment of the U.S. Navy – October 13th (1775)