Page 1

Fall, 2008

Vol. 12, No. 3

commander’s COMMENTS By Mel Posey, Commander, Department of California AMVETS


rances and I just returned from the National Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Rosen Center was a fantastic facility to hold a convention and while the weather didn’t always cooperate with us, much was accomplished. Congratulations to our new National Commander Chad Hapner (Michigan) and to all the others who found a seat at the National table. As you will read in the Americanism Report, the department’s 1st Vice Commander

Johnny Byrum and his wife Marianne are recipients of a National Public Service Award—the George Washington Honor Medal. I couldn’t be more proud! Congrats to the Byrums. They are truly public servants who demonstrate determination and dedication to our nation’s youth! By the time you read these comments, this department will have already met with the judge in the lawsuit between the department and the Department of California Service Foundation. According to our at-

torneys, the issues at hand and the suit in general terms is going as well as can be expected. I hope to have much more to report to you before the next issue of The Voice sometime after the beginning of the new year. Our next edition of The Voice will be out around Christmas time, so I would like to take this time to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. 

Commander Posey

1st Vice Commander's Report

By John W. Byrum, 1st Vice Commander, Department of California AMVETS



know many are already hard at it now, so I will give my thoughts on membership. We are close to 9,000 members and of course we all want to increase that number.  Let’s just say for a target we have two (2) current members working together to get one (1) new member. You do the math, would increase our numbers over 4,000. Some have told me that will never happen in this Department. Well, I have confidence in all of you and the Department and believe it can happen. I realize some of you bring in several new members, thank you.   We all need to step up and do better.  I sure as heck can’t do it without you.  I am trying to set the example myself and do my part – I have signed up 14 members in the past few months and have more in the wings. With your support and effort I believe we can make California the leader in AMVETS for this great country and our veterans, which I might add includes each of us.   I plan on trying to put a box in a couple of locations that vets visit and ask them to put a card or fill out a small info slip, place in box for a chance at a annual membership to AMVETS.  Maybe every three months put all back in and draw for a lifetime membership.  This would give you a list to work from. From the list, you could send letters and ask them to join.  I would make up a list from the cards/entries and send to post. Any post in my area, if you want in (agree to pay), let me know so someone that gets name drawn can have a choice of post to join.  Also thinking of putting a binder notebook on location with a list of post they can contact for more info. 

Get those JROTC Instructors, plus ask them for a list of former students that are currently in or have been in the military. Anyone with ideas to help increase membership please let me know. Over the summer I have had the opportunity to Visit the VA Hospital in Long Beach to include the great BBQ held this past weekend (23 August 2008). July 3 and 4, 2008 I spent with other AMVETS members at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base working on the opening of our new Veterans Family Center. The center officially opened on the 4th of July 2008. A great day at the base for veterans and their families with a spectacular fireworks show to end the day. I have attended a couple of Long Range Planning Committee meetings and have been impressed with what they are trying to do. You will see in the very near future a plan for awarding Posts for your work. Hope to soon have a bigger and better website for all of us to go to for information and maybe some posts from members. LRPC has a vision to help the department move forward and grow strong in our brotherhood. We must do a better job of communicating our thoughts and ideas for veterans, families, and our youth. Please update your contact info with Rose and myself, i.e. phone number, e-mail address etc. We MUST communicate better.

“A Proud History – A Bold Future”

23 August 2008 at VA Hospital, Long Beach. I went to a BBQ at the Hospital and had some cadets helping.  Picture with BRIGADIER GENERAL (Ret) JAMES P. COMBS Commander, Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, CA - myself - Cadet Captain Souer - and Cadet LT. Everette

I look forward to working with all of you to help this department move forward in our quest of veterans serving veterans. 

The Voice is published quarterly by Midwest Publishing, Inc.. Any articles or photographs received after the deadlines will be held for the next edition. All articles must be signed to be printed. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission for clarity, brevity, etc. The opinions expressed in The Voice are those of the authors and not necessarily the opinion of the AMVETS Department of California. Submit articles to: California AMVETS Voice, Attn: Rose Blackman 611 N. Sacramento St. Tulare, CA 93274 or E-mail:

DEPARTMENT OFFICERS FOR 2009-2010 Commander Mel Posey


1st Vice Commander John Byrum


2nd Vice Commander Dennis Starkey


Northern Area Commander Thomas Johnson 530-357-3380 Central Area Commander Frank Guerra


Southern Area Commander Cephus R. Daniels 310-397-0810

Table of Contents Officer’s Reports..................................................................................... 3

Finance Officer Phil Plascencia


Judge Advocate Chuck Kissel


Provost Marshal Ben Aguayo


Auxiliary Officers.....................................................................................9

N.E.C. Man Filbert Bejarano


Alt. N.E.C. Man Gene Sustaita


Post Reports......................................................................................... 12

Trustee S.E.B. Leo Simon


Trustee S.E.B. Baldemar Salmon


Jr. Past Commander James D. Pidgeon


Chaplain Tom Sarchipone


Inspector General Terry Mc Carty


—California AMVETS Voice

AMVETS, I need your help!.................................................................. 4 District Commanders................................................................................ 7

State Convention................................................................................. 16 Post Directory.................................................................................... 24 Friends of AMVETS.........................................................................


Stories of Service................................................................................


Post Directory/Committees..............................................................


Vol. 12, No. 3

Executive Director’s Desk By Rose Blackman


hank you to the many posts that got their revalidations in on time either by paper to me or by revalidating online at the national site. Thank you to the 26 posts that reported their programs to national last reporting period. Let’s beat that record for this reporting period (which ends Dec. 2008). You are doing great things, let’s brag about them! The new directory has been sent to the post commanders and executive board members. Thank you to Pete and Barbara Girton from Post 26 for surprising me with a box of chocolates after reading PDC Pidgeon’s report in a previous VOICE. Also a BIG thanks to Mike and Meleah for the donuts for my grandkids at State Convention, they will never forget the ‘donut man’ (I think they think this is a new tradition for them).


Here is the word from national on why some of them have the wrong amount on them and how to correct the problem. Please note, national does not

2nd Vice Report By Dennis Starkey


want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for electing me as 2nd Vice. I will do everything in my power to live up to your expectations and to the Office for which I have been elected. I know that not everyone likes change, but with all of the new Veterans that we now have and will have in future we need change. Not only in our way of thinking but also in the way that we do business. We need to move into the electronic and information age. Second only to membership are the AMVETS programs. I know that many Posts do the programs or have their special projects. We need to be more involved in Americanism ,Community Service and most important of all is our Veterans programs. As of right now there are only about five Post that are recognized for the work that the do. The only reason that National does not know of the rest of use is because we do not send in our reports. I realize that not every Post has computer capabilities. But I also know that every Post has at least one member that owns a computer and can do the reports. The online system is very easy and only takes about five or ten minutes a week to keep up to date. To increase communications and to promote competition amongst our Post we have initiated the Golden State Awards Program. A copy of which is enclosed in this paper. This is a simple points system, but then again if you want your Post and Post Officers to be recognized at Convention for their work we all need to see that our reports are done and in a reasonable time. Lets move into the FUTURE and make the Department of California number ONE. If anyone has any questions or needs help do not hesitate to contact me. 

Vol. 12, No. 3

look at what you put down for your total. They input into the computer what your revalidation says your post share is. The commuter then calculates the total based on the formula: $13 for national, $10 for dept., post gets remainder. If your post put in $6 for their share the computer would compute your total as $29. I know that in some of your cases the numbers added up differently. Please follow Carol’s advice and it should correct the problem. Carol says: “This is the current info in the database (as of Aug 27, 2008.CA-20  Renewal Input 7/15/2008    Dues $6.00 CA-22 Input 05/19/2008  Dues $10.00, CA40 Input 06/17/2008  Dues $5.00, CA- 1776 Input 07/16/2008  Dues $12.00. So if the dues billing was pulled prior to the 16th of July, (revalidations are due on the 15th) it would be billed at the rate in the system from last year.  The new dues charge would go into effect for the next billing. The posts should go online and correct any errors immediately so the next

billing will be correct.” -Carol Fudge Executive Assistant, AMVETS National Headquarters From me: Please do NOT send me renewals or new annuals without a dues and remittance form. I do not have time to fill the paperwork out for you. I will return what you send, wasting time, money and trees (paper). Remember annual dues to national is $13 per member, dues to department is $10 per member, it is NOT necessary to send me separate checks for each member on your dues remittance form. One check made out to national for the total due them and one check made out to the department for our total is what I prefer. Have a great day and thank you for all that you have done and will do in the service of our country and our veterans and active duty personnel! 

2009 Conventions SPRING DEC /SEC JANUARY 23-25TH, 2009 FRIDAY - SUNDAY Holiday Inn Select (soon to be a Marriott) 801 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 Tel: (661) 323-1900 Fax. (805) 928-5690 Rooms: $87.42 (single/ double) Cut off date for reservations is Dec. 23, 2008 Delegate fees are still only $10.00, pre-registration is greatly appreciated.

2009 STATE convention June 12-14th

Doubletree Hotel Ontario AIRPORT 222 NORTH VINEYARD AVENUE ONTARIO, CA 91764 ROOM RATES: $93 + TAX 1-800-222-TREE. request the group rate for American Veterans. Cut off date for reservations is May 9, 2009

65th National Convention- New Orleans, LA

Aug. 8-15, 2009

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel 500 Canal Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 Room rates: $109+$3+tax Toll free 888-627-7033, cut off date July 17, 2009

California AMVETS Voice—


To the following donors who ‘stepped up to the plate’ in answer to to PDC Pidgeon’s plea for help for AMVETS Dept. of California


John Beatty

Pat Paternoster

Audrey J. O’Brien

Troy Holmes

William Bostock

Les Arant

Frank Feleciano

Herbert Alpert

James E. Sisemore

Carl J. Krom

Armand P. Marra

Thomas R. Barrabee

Victor Andre

Jose Medina

Clayton Roberts

E.A. Wright

Elaine Loerch

Larry Wible

Fellow AMVETS:

I need your help! Cut Here


I care about the future of California AMVETS Please check one

___$10 ___$20


MVETS Department of California is in a severe financial crunch. Finance Officer Phil Plascencia reported at the fall DEC in Bakersfield, that within five years, without a long‑term plan to increase our funding, Department of California will be broke. Your Executive Board is working on several plans to provide additional funding. Our Department is funded with revenues from the “VOICE” and new membership fees. Both are drastically down! We do not have sufficient funds to adequately run the daily business of the Department. We need to be reaching out to the nearly three million veterans in our state to bring them into this great organization; we cannot do this without proper funding. Our membership has been in decline for the past few years. I am asking you to get out your wallets, especially our Life Members, and help out. Together, we can turn this Department around. PDC Jim Pidgeon



Make check or money order payable to: AMVETS Dept. of California

Send donations to: AMVETS Dept. of California 240 E. King Avenue Tulare, CA 93274 559-688-3407/559-688-4418 fax —California AMVETS Voice

Vol. 12, No. 3

Department Officers 2008-09 Commander

Mel Posey 5714-262 Folsom Blvd Sacramento, Ca 95819-4608

1st Vice Commande

John Byrum 18030 Brookhurst St. PMB4 Fountain Valley, Ca 92708

2nd Vice Commander Dennis Starkey 14808 Iris Drive Fontana, Ca 92335

Northern Area Commander Thomas Johnson 17669 Warwick Place Anderson, Ca 96007-9271

Central Area Commander Frank Guerra 1407 Richard Avenue Sanger, CA 93657

Southern Area Commander Cephus R. Daniels 12023 Allin Street Culver City, Ca 90230-5802

Finance Officer

Phil Plascencia 1586 Avila Dr. Tulare, CA 93274

Judge Advocate

Chuck Kissel 2856 W. Skywood Circle Anaheim, Ca 92804-9826

Provost Marshal

Ben Aguayo 16124 Calle de Paseo Irwindale, CA 91706

Vol. 12, No. 3

(C) 916-799-9198

(H) 562-492-6908 (C) 714-321-3972

(H) 909-355-1061 (C) 909 827-5112


N.E.C. Man

Filbert Bejarano 1398 Coehlo Street Tulare, CA 93274

Alt. N.E.C. Man Gene Sustaita 13902 Ave 228 Tulare, Ca 93274


Trustee S.E.B.

Leo Simon 4444 Fort Peck St. Shasta Lake, CA 96016


Trustee S.E.B.

Baldemar Salmon 3805 Colonial Dr. Visalia, CA 93277



(H) 559-875-5353 (C) 559-960-3682



Tom Sarchipone 3978 Alexander Street Napa, CA 94558


Executive Director

Rose Blackman 240 East King Avenue Tulare, CA 93274





Deadlines for Quarterly Submissions by Issue

Issue Vol. 12, No. 4 Vol. 13, No. 1 Vol. 13, No. 2 Vol. 12, No. 3

Deadline December 1 March 1 June 1 September 1

Convention Book

April 1

California AMVETS Voice—

Americanism Report First Vice Commander Johnny Byrum Wins Prestigious Award


irst Vice Commander Johnny Byrum has joined the growing list of AMVETS Department of California members who have received the George Washington Honor Medal awarded by the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. His 2008 award was granted by a knowledgeable panel of experts for his work with disadvantaged high school students though JROTC programs over a period of more than seventeen years. His wife, Marianne Byrum, a member of the AMVETS Post 18 Ladies Auxiliary, joins him with this honor. In the past eighteen years, Byrum has been instrumental in working with at risk students to get them headed to colleges, including military academies, not the streets or worse. Those graduates are now productive members of our society due to the efforts of the Byrums.    This George Washington Honor Medal awards program began in 1949, by then General Eisenhower. He and his staff wanted to honor ordinary citizens at the National level for their efforts towards the American Credo and the Bill of Responsibilities established at the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Each year since, from thousands of local entries, a hundred or so are selected as awardees.   As the AMVETS Department of California Americanism Committee Chairman, I would ask that you join me in applauding the Byrums for their hard work and splendid accomplishments.    Charles Kissel – Chairman Americanism Committee AMVETS Department of California

SheerBliss Ice Cream is a huge hit at AMVETS National Convention


nce again, SheerBliss Ice Cream was a prominent exhibitor at the AMVETS National Convention, which was held Aug. 2-9 in Orlando, Fla. They drew large crowds with free samples of their award-winning pomegranate ice cream bars and passed out SheerBliss/ AMVET coupons for SheerBliss ice cream.   SheerBliss is also looking to expand their involvement with AMVETS posts. To conduct an event with SheerBliss Ice Cream, or if you would like to receive SheerBliss/AMVET coupons for SheerBliss Ice Cream products, contact Lesley at

Visit the SheerBliss Ice Cream website. —California AMVETS Voice

Vol. 12, No. 3

Southern Area Commander’s Report

Barstow Veterans’ Home 2008 Golden Age Games Tailgate Party


was honored to be invited as the Southern Area Commander to the Barstow Veterans’ Home 2008 Golden Age Games Tailgate Party. In attendance were the Mayor of Barstow, the Director of the Barstow Veterans’ Home, and representing Amvets, Steve the Operations Manager, Commander Al Watson of Post 2007. The following Golden Age Games Athletes were honored Harry Hay, Charles Ross, Mike Stofira, Walter Kotowski, and Glenn “Smokey” Yokum. I was impressed on this my first tour of the Barstow Veterans Home. I found a well maintained facility, qualified and dedicated staff, and high moral among the residents. I was inspired and my motivation for this work affirmed by what the veterans shared with me. This is one of the reasons that I choose to be a member of the Amvets family. Everyone at the home sends their thanks to the Amvets Foundation and Joseph Kolano for all their support.  AMVETS Department of California Southern Area Commander Cephus R. Daniels

District Commanders DISTRICT 1 Jim Taylor 5070 Madison Avenue San Diego, CA 93657 DISTRICT 2 Vincent Duncan 6300 Lankershire Blvd., #328 North Hollywood, CA 91606 DISTRICT 4 Helen Wong 109 Goldhunter Court Foster City, CA 94404-1303 DISTRICT 5 Steve Nichols PO Box 2662 Martinez, CA 94553 DISTRICT 6 Robert Cadena Post 22 1322 North Leslie Visalia, Calif. 93291-3240 DISTRICT 7 Jerry Martinez Post113 1526 Glencroft Rd. Glendora, CA 91740 DISTRICT 8 Lewis C Derfuss Post 1776 1213 California Drive Vacaville CA 95687-6507

Vol. 12, No. 3

(619) 286-8210 (818) 554-9571 (650) 341-5333 (H) (650) 576-7875 (C) (925) 372-6724 (559) 786-7193 (H) (626) 914-6621 Alt) (626) 334-9938

(H) (707) 451-2631 (C) (707) 592-9040

DISTRICT 9 Moises Renteria PO Box 72335 Pinon Hill CA. 92372 DISTRICT 12 Mike Cheribel Post 1990 1220 N. Harrison St. Stockton, CA 95203 DISTRICT 13 Don Goecker 2530 Romany Road Sacramento , CA 95821

(909) 772-0608 (H) (209) 463-4173

(916) 487-1104

DISTRICT 14 A.C. “Buck” Bordeau II (H) (530) 824-1257 22832 Valley Vista Dr. Corning, CA 96021 DISTRICT 15 Patricia J. Paternoster (530) 244-3078 3590 Dwayne Ct. Redding, CA 96001 DISTRICT 16 Jerry Greer 1745 Wood Street Apt. B Fortuna, CA 95540-3568 DISTRICT 17 Dennis Boyce Post 311 100 E. Veterans Parkway Barstow, CA. 92311


W) (760) 910-1351 H) (760) 252-8491

California AMVETS Voice—

Judge Advocate’s Report Topics for Discussion


awsuit Update: There has been much effort being directed in the current dispute between the AMVETS Department of California and the AMVETS Department of California Service Foundation. The major thrust is being handled by the law firm of Grant, Genovese, and Baratta.  To date, they have filed a complaint in California Superior Court before Judge Geoffrey Glass. That complaint was served in late June 2008.  We are now in the discovery phase, and that initial paperwork has also been filed. A recent demurrer was file by the attorney of the Service Foundation; our legal firm has just filed their response. We await action by Judge Glass. Note: The complaint, the discovery, and the demurrer documents are public record and anyone may access them upon request. Working on the Department’s C&BL’s: The first project was to update the template for post C&BL’s.  This update is now available from the Department’s Executive Director, Rose Blackman.  Post 940 was the first post to use the update format, and their final version was handed to the incoming National Judge Advocate – Daniel Snyder at the National Convention in Orlando.  While in Orlando, the National Judge Advocate Dan Snyder, and others, informed me that the California C&BL’s must be updated, as they currently do not conform to National’s C&BL’s, as required. The new Department Adjutant to the Judge Advocate used the National C&BL’s Appendix E template, and filled in the blanks with “Department of California”, as required by National. This is now ready for review by the posts and the Department’s C&BL’s Committee. Copies are coming to the post through the chain of command (Area and District Commanders).  At the upcoming DEC, any typos will be corrected.  The finalized form would be ready for ratification on the floor of the ‘09 convention. National’s Judge Advocate Snyder also told me when addressing the CBL’s, begin by adopting all National bylaws, and add to them any bylaws existing in current Department C&BL’s that are not in conflict with the National C&BL’s.  This concept was also offered to me by several others at Orlando.  The new draft prepared by this scenario should be seen at the posts and at DEC. The Adjutant to the Department Judge Advocate has already placed the National and the Department bylaws into e-form, in a juxtaposition format.  This has been sent to the members of the Department Constitution and Bylaws Committee. I would hope there is a C&BL’s update ready for adoption at the ‘09 convention.    Charles Kissel – Judge Advocate AMVETS Department of California

Riders Chapter 367

Clarence Wright, scribe Mr. Joni Shandera, President Jeremy Voss, Secretary

—California AMVETS Voice

Deputy Judge Advocate

Introducing Marie Artesse of Post 40 – Santa Rosa


ost of you know I, Charles Kissel was elected as the Department Judge Advocate at the June ‘08 Department Convention. In the past few months since that election, many activities have had to be addressed on behalf of the Department.  As a result, a new appointed position of Adjutant to the Judge Advocate was created so that all the projects could be tackled on behalf of the AMVETS Department of California. Since there are few people available, Marie Artesse was appointed to this new position, which is not one held as a Department officer. Ms. Artesse has a Doctor of Law degree from the Empire College School of Law, and she graduated “cum laude”.  Currently, she is a Judicial Intern performing legal research on complicated issues before Superior Court Judges. Her major interests involve educating veterans and their families as to their legal status, enabling their access to justice, and providing them with a sense of personal investment in the rule of law.  Among her current assignments for AMVETS Department of California is the assistance with updating the Department’s C&BL’s. 

Auxiliary Member Eileen Hogan’s Fair Awards

1st place for her Pansy Doily,   3rd Place for her  Blue/black afghan   Participation award for her Fan afghan 

Vol. 12, No. 3

Auxiliary Officers-Chairmen DEPARTMENT PRESIDENT Michelle Scovil 5113 Efthemia Way Elk Grove CA 95758 HOME: 916-691-5357 CELL: 916-296-4672 1st VICE PRESIDENT Linda Diaz 136 Edenfield Ave Azusa CA 91702 9732-9732-9732 626-359-4625

AMERICANISM OFFICER Irene Cervantes, PDP 2645 Bloomdale Duarte CA 91010

2ND VICE PRESIDENT Debbi Johnson 17669 Warwick Pl. Anderson CA 96007 530-357-3380

HOSPITAL Jan Devenish 18029 Broomall Ave. Lake Elsinore CA 92530 951-678-9468

3rd VICE PRESIDENT Pat Martinez 427 S. Sunset Ave. Azusa CA 91702 2809-2809-2809 626-334-5474

SCHOLARSHIP Gloria Sandoval 432 E. 2nd St. Azusa CA 91702

N.E.C. WOMAN Irene Tellez, PDP 820 Meeker Ave. La Puente CA 91746 5829-5829-5829 714-226-0690

RECORDING SECRETARY Charlene “Charlie” Newell, PDP 3050 W. Ball Rd. #73 Anaheim CA 92804

TREASURER Rita Garcia 4444 Hornbrook Ave. Baldwin Park CA 91706 9510-9510-9510 760-530-0926

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY Helen Blanchette, PDP 12016 Bartlett Adelanto CA 92301

CHAPLAIN Maria Moreno 4536 Irwindale Ave. Covina CA 91722 626-960-1774 SGT. AT ARMS Dolores Sanchez 661 Keenan Ave. Los Angeles CA 90023 1611-1611-1611 626-338-6783


LOCAL AUXILIARIES 2008-2009 #1 SACRAMENTO PRESIDENT: Donna Uhlig 7215 Lindale Dr., Sacramento CA 95828 (916) 392-3123 SECRETARY: Barbara Peterson 11610 Bordon Rd., Herald CA 95638 (916) 690-0368 #2 CULVER CITY (ALL MAIL TO SECRETARY) PRESIDENT: Mary Juarez 3849 W. 171st St., Torrance, CA 90504 (310) 516-1230 SECRETARY: Rosie Valdez 12205 Marshall St., Culver City, CA 90230 (310) 397-2369 #17 EL CAJON (PAPER POST) PRESIDENT: SECRETARY:

PARLIAMENTARIAN Hazel Hogan, PDP 34605 Orange St. Wildomar CA 92595 951-674-9157

#18 ORANGE COUNTY PRESIDENT: Ida Kate Camp 14432 Cerritos Ave., Bellflower, CA 90706 (562) 925-8293 SECRETARY: Mavis Bowen 3692 Green Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720 (562) 594-0656

WAYS & MEANS CHAIRMAN Benny Aginiga 13436 Palm Ave. Baldwin Park CA 91706

#20 ADELANTO (ALL MAIL TO SECRETARY ) PRESIDENT: Carol Smith 11426 Lee Ave. #40, Adelanto, CA 92301 (760) 684-5382 SECRETARY: Helen Blanchette 12016 Bartlett, Adelanto, CA 92301 (760) 530-0926

CREDENTIALS CHAIRMAN Eileen Hogan 20290 Midland Sonora, CA 95370 3071-3071-3071 626-814-3198

CO-CREDENTIALS CHAIR Maria Rodriguez 16058 Calle De Paseo Irwindale CA 91706

CONVENTION CHAIRMAN Shirley Cullum 18015 Concord Pl. Adelanto CA 92301 760-246-6905

CO-CONVENTION CHAIR Carol Smith 11420 Lee Ave. #40 Adelanto CA 92301 760-684-5382

Vol. 12, No. 3

AWARDS CHAIRMAN Linda Adi, PDP 10512 El Nopal Santee CA 92071 619-449-8088

#30 GARDENA PRESIDENT: Jan Devenish 18029 Broomall Ave., Lake Elsinore, CA 92530 (310) 780-3684 SECRETARY: Patrice Kirby 5479 Dirk Cr., La Palma, CA 90623-1304 (714) 739-0463

California AMVETS Voice—

AWARDS 2007-2008


t is well known that California’s AMVETS Ladies Auxiliaries multi-tasks. Alone, each lady is a challenge; yet, together, in force, they are unbeatable and unstoppable. Year after year, they face each challenge with renewed vigor and determination. Our Ladies Auxiliary is self-driven, talented and they work together as a single unit. Please note that no mileage is given because it would be mind-boggling and nearly impossible to calculate how many miles these ladies travel to accomplish their goals. Or, how many hours they stand to cook to raise funds for service our veterans. To each and every one of you, we applaud your efforts, talents and loyalty. The awards this year were issued to the following auxiliaries. Child Welfare National: 1st 113, 2nd 20, 3rd 38 State: 1st 48, 2nd 1 Local Project: 1st, Aux. 113; 2nd Aux 80; 3rd and Aux 1 Community service: None given Americanism: National: 1st 113, 2nd 48 State project: 1st 48, 2nd 20, 3rd 30 Local: 1st 48, 2nd 1240, 3rd 30 Hospital: National: 1st 48, 2nd 20, 3rd, 1996 State: 1st 113, 2nd 700, 3rd 30 Local: 1st 20, 2nd 101, 3rd 2 Scholarship: Local: 1st 113, 2nd 48, 3rd, 1996 No other awards were given Membership: 1st Vice The Auxiliary with the most renewals: Auxiliary 1 The most new members: Auxiliary 113 This detailed report was submitted by Charlie Newell our Recording Secretary. I thank you Charlie for your accurate records and prompt replies. To all the Auxiliary Ladies who have strived for success, remember….you’re all winners and you have the full support of your Local auxiliaries; and, the full appreciation of AMVETS and veterans everywhere. President, Linda Adi traveled more than 5,172 miles in 2007-2008. 

Local Auxiliaries, cont. #33 WILMINGTON PRESIDENT: Sophia Lucero 2107 W. 248th St., Lomita, CA 90717 (310) 326-3704 SECRETARY: Carol Suarez 416 Lagoon Ave., Wilmington, CA 90745 (310) 835-0253

#113 IRWINDALE PRESIDENT: Irene Cervantes 2645 Bloomdale St., Duarte CA 91010 (626) 359-4626 SECRETARY: Gloria Sandoval 432 E. Second St., Azusa CA 91702 (626) 327-1054

#48 LONG BEACH PRESIDENT: Diana Honabarger 6475 Atlantic Ave. #347, Long Beach, CA 90805 (562) 544-1159 E-mail: SECRETARY: Rowena Beane 3933 N. Virginia Rd. #107, Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 490-3348

#116 WEST L.A. PRESIDENT: Alma Gant Nash 1162 E. 24th St. #C8, Los Angeles, CA 90011 (213) 747-2874 SECRETARY: Opal Buchanan 8831 S. Gramercy Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 972-4414


#367 LAKESIDE PRESIDENT: Nicole Cable 11175 El Nopal, Lakeside CA 92040 (619) 448-8437 SECRETARY: Jeri Lynn Johnson 13155 Chrissy Way, Lakeside, CA 92040 (619) 561-6578

#80 ANAHEIM (ALL MAIL TO SECRETARY) PRESIDENT: Vicki Marshall 10932 La Cima Dr., Whittier, CA 90604 (562) 941-1926 SECRETARY: Charlene Newell 3050 W. Ball Rd. #73, Anaheim, CA 92804 (714) 226-0690 #100 CHINO (SEND ALL SERVICE REPORT FORMS TO SECRETARY) PRESIDENT: Myrna McNalley 2160 W. Rialto #49, San Bernardino, CA 92410 (909) 885-0731 SECRETARY: Hazel Hogan 34605 Orange St., Wildomar, CA 92593 (951) 674-9157 #101 YOUNTVILLE PRESIDENT: Edith Malan 260 California Dr., P.O. Box 684, Yountville CA 94599 (707) 944-8615 SECRETARY: Maxine Sierck P.O. Box 1200, Yountville CA 94599 (707) 945-0240

#700 CHULA VISTA PRESIDENT: 1ST VICE: #1240 FONTANA PRESIDENT: Velma Starkey 14808 Iris Dr., Fontana, CA 92335 (909) 355-1061 SECRETARY: Nora Rentiaria P.O. Box 720335, Pinion Hills CA 92372 (909) 772-0608 #1996 REDDING PRESIDENT: Debbi Johnson 17669 Wawrwick Pl., Anderson CA 96007 (530) 357-3380 SECRETARY: Doris Simon 1661 Deercreek Rd., Shasta Lake City, CA 96019 (563) 275-0574

Respectfully submitted, Eileen J. Hogan State Credentials Chairman

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Vol. 12, No. 3



ello. My name is Kyle Nappi. I am 18 years old and I live in Ostrander, Ohio (USA). I was wondering if you could do me a favor. I have a big interest in history, specifically WWII. I collect military medals, patches, badges, insignia, field gear, and a very unique thing, veteran autographs. I have a collection of autographs from military veterans who served during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, and the present war in Iraq. I have been interested in history for over 6 years now, and I have collected the autographs and stories from nearly 1,600 veterans in 20 countries. The oldest veteran is currently 112 years old and the youngest enlisted at age 14. I have autographs from Pearl Harbor survivors, D-Day veterans, airman, POWs, USS Indianapolis survivors, Holocaust survivors, and even German soldiers! I have attached an article (see above article by Rachel Tolliver) that was published in The Turret (a Ft. Knox, KY newspaper) about my collection in November. I was recently interviewed by the American Legion for an article that will appear in their August magazine. Here is an internet link to the online article (different than the magazine article, which will appear in August): http://www.legion. org/whatsnew/publications/newsletter/story?id=635 Recently, I also had the privilege of going to Washington, D.C. during the early part of March. I was invited to the Pentagon for a Ceremony honoring WWI veterans. I was able to meet with the last American WWI veteran, Frank Buckles. I hope you will assist me and fill out the questionnaire at the bottom of this article and send it to me. It includes some basic questions. I ask military veterans about their service time. I was wondering if it is possible to provide any veterans (who are interested) with my questionnaire, put me in touch with them, or pass along the word about my collection. Please let me know if this is possible. My main purpose for writing this is it to share with you that there are people from my generation who do remember the past and the sacrifices that were made for our great country. I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass the word around that there are people who remember, along with the information about my collection. Thank you very much for your time 

Commander Pete Ramirez, and Post 113 members


n behalf of Gene, and myself we want to thank you for all the many kindnesses you showed for my brother Ruben’s death. His death came as a tragic shock to our family. Gene and I were in Florida at the AMVETS National Convention when he passed away. We were not alone, our AMVET Brothers and Sisters were there to comfort us. Ruben was the elder of my family. He always knew the right thing to do and say. He put everyone at ease with his friendly natural manner, he could usually find something to laugh about, including his own mistakes. The period of learning to live with Ruben’s death will be very difficult for us. He will be missed, but he is very much alive in our memory. We will always love him and have him in our hearts. The family would like to thank AMVETS Post 113 and their Ladies Auxiliary, for the comfort, support and kindness that you showed us. May our Lord Bless you, Thank you from Stella Usery and Genovevo Sustaita. 

Programs Reporting

1- You can report at anytime as long as you do it at least once in each reporting period. 2- Reporting online gives you quick easy access to tracking what your post is doing in the community. 3- If you do not use internet, paper forms are available from Dept. Headquarters, please return them to me at least 2 weeks BEFORE the end of the reporting period so I can get them in for you. 4- If you can answer yes to the following question you can report it: ARE YOU HELPING VETERANS? 5- Report often! Reporting is used for legislation purposes! 6- Need help reporting? Contact Rose Blackman at 559-688-3407 or by email at any Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9 and 5. 

Questionnaire: 1. Signature: 2. Name Printed: 3. Today’s Date: 4. Hometown:

5. Branch Of Military: 6. Date You Enlisted/Were Drafted: 7. Date You Were Discharged: 8. Rank(s): 9. Division: 10. Your Age When You Entered The Service: 11. Duties:

Veterans Advocacy


he Veterans Advocacy is an independent consulting advocate, assisting veterans with claims and appeals. The website address is I am a lifetime member of AMVETS Post 30 and a Viet Nam veteran. I am experienced in what I do and am well connected in the veteran’s area of services. Please contact me if I can be of assistance to you.    DAVEY LEE

12. Stationed: 13. Battles/Campaigns: 14. Awards Received (And How You Received Them): 15. Other Information/Comments: 16. Signature: Thanks, Kyle Nappi

Vol. 12, No. 3

California AMVETS Voice—11

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 18

Hal Camp Post 18 Activities


ost 18 was proud to be a major participant in the Fifty-Fourth Annual Memorial Day Services at the Harbor Lawn Memorial Park in Costa Mesa, CA.

Post 19


ennis L. Beachnaw, 60, of Palm Springs, CA passed away on July 20, 2008 in Palm Springs of natural causes. He was born May 6, 1948, to Donald and Donna Beachnaw in Ft. Sheridan, IL. He married Lin Dai in 2007 at Loma Linda, CA. He was a Customer Service Representative in the Food

Post 22


ost members along with the Visalia Veteran’s Day committee will be sponsoring the 9th Annual VISALIA VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION on Nov. 11th at 11 am. This year

The Master of Ceremonies was member Jack Hammett.  Members of our Legion of Honor (Ivan Ashbaugh, Rich Florence, Fred Schrieber and Brent Nielson) assisted in the laying of honorary wreaths at a simulated coffin.  Brent Nielson also presented the Coast Guard Flag. 

The firing of the three volleys was under the direction of member Ron Lane.  His rifle team of Army reinactors were dressed in the uniforms and used rifles that were representative of WWII through the Viet Nam wars.   

Service industry for more than 25 years. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971 as a Supply Specialist. He is survived by his wife, Lin Dai “Lola” Beachnaw of Palm Springs; sisters, Hollister and Shaun (Joe) both of Michigan, and Kelly of Palm Springs; brothers, Craig and Kevin (Yvette) both of

Michigan. He will be missed by his 13 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Donna   I am very happy that VFP selected Dennis Beachnaw as our Member of the Year in 2006.  He received the Navy CAPT. Ernest Evans award. 

they will be highlighting veterans and active duty personnel from the Gulf War right up to those currently serving overseas. This special program is not to be missed. (From the editors’’ point of view,

it is the most rewarding way to spend Veteran’s day. Excellent show, great music). 

Post 26


n Saturday, June 7, 2008, AMVETS Post 26 held an annual picnic at Brannan Island State Park for clients of the VA’s Concord Vet Center. The Vet Center provides readjustment counseling and outreach services to veterans who have served in a combat zone.  Post members barbecued and served lunch to the 75 veterans and their families.  As always, the event was a big hit with those veterans who attended.

Annual 4th of July Parade Danville, CA


MVETS Post 26 and it’s Huey Helicopter were participants in the Parade. The Parade is sponsored by the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans and the Town of Danville. The Parade is one of the largest in the Bay Area. Post 26 partnered with the Danville Cub Scouts for the event. The Cub Scouts washed and polished the Huey and got to ride in the Huey during the Parade.

Post 26 Commander Gary Pforr, Earle Conklin Director of the Danville Cub Scouts and a member of the DVVV Association, Denver Mills, AMVETS Life Member and former Post 26 Commander General Bart Gilbert

2008 East Bay Stand Down, Board of Directors Sends Letter of Appreciation to AMVETS Department of California


received a letter of appreciation from the Denver Mills, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the 2008 East Bay Stand Down. The letter thanked Commander Mel Posey and the California Department of AMVETS for there generous donation and for being at Tent Sponsor at the Stand Down which was held August 7 - August 10, 2008, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Post 26 Played Significant Role In The 2008 East Bay Stand Down

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District 5 - Commander Steve Nichols

Vol. 12, No. 3

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 26, cont.

The recently completed 2008 East Bay Stand Down was again a big success. The Stand Down was home for 464 homeless veterans and their dependants for 3 nights and 4 days. The veterans were issued new clothing upon arrival and broken up into groups of 20 and assigned sleeping quarters in tents supplied by the National Guard out of Camp Parks. The 24 Tents were sponsored by various National Service Organizations, Veterans groups or by veterans The veterans were offered many services, ranging from Medical, Dental, Mental Health and Hygiene. Social Security, the Employment Development Department, Veterans Services from Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties were available as was the Department of Veterans Affairs. Judges from 3 Counties were on hand to help the veterans who had misdemeanor warrants, as well as traffic violations. Over 6000 meals were fed to the veterans and volunteers.

AMVETS Post 26, had 13 members working the Stand Down. Founder and Director of the Stand Down, Denver Mills is a Post 26 Life Member. Coordinators for the event were, Gary Pforr (Commander Post 26) who was in charge of Communications. Nathan Johnson, Encampment, General Bart Gilbert, Military Protocol and Steve Nichols, After Action. Post 26 Volunteers consisted of: Al Lekse, Bailiff, Dennis Ergas, Registration, Marabella Youhhenah and Lilly Bonet, Information, Ed Morris, Encampment, James Oram, Huey Crew Chief, Mike Keppel and TJ Trujillo, Security. Special note: The efforts of Post 26 Commander Gary Pforr, who was in charge of Communications were outstanding. Gary worked constantly, keeping all the computers, telephones and other necessary equipment up and running through some difficult situations.ďƒł Report Submitted By: Steve Nichols-District 5 Commander

Continued on next page Vol. 12, No. 3

California AMVETS Voice—13

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 26, cont.

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Vol. 12, No. 3

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 40


ONGRATULATIONS to Post 40 Finance Officer DAVE RICHEY. Dave was one of over 80 participants in a benefit bike ride on Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. The annual event is called the “Agony Ride,” and benefits the Christian Encounter Ministry Ranch in Grass Valley, California. Dave felt a draw to this benefit because it is an outreach to youth with a troubled past who have decided to try to get their lives together. They receive a high school education, learn life skills and have opportunities to camp (winter and summer) in a disciplined and controlled environment. The ride was held in Sierra Valley, a flat area at 5000 ft nestled in the Sierras north of Truckee. The object of the ride is to solicit donations from any source available and to then ride as many miles as possible in a 24-hour period from 1:00 Friday till 1:00 Saturday (yes, this includes the night-time hours). The course consists of two portions, one of 24 miles round trip and one of 26 miles round trip, ridden alternately. Each complete circuit makes 50 miles. Though this is the 26th year the event has been held, it was Dave’s first time out. Having set a goal of 150 miles, he actually achieved 174. He claims that he will continue to participate as long as his muscles will handle it. Congratulations again Dave, Not too bad for 65 years young.



t is difficult to think of a more honorable mission than an active role in a national movement to offer our World War II veterans a chance to visit their WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. and at no cost to them. Californians face the greatest challenge in getting to the Memorial, since we live almost 3,000 miles away. It is likely that California has the greatest number of WWII veterans in the USA, but our nation is losing WWII veterans at the rate of 1,200 per day, so there is much to do in a short amount of time. Throughout the United States, several programs operate in conjunction with Honor Flight. Individual program directors are part of a partnership called the Honor Flight Network. This governing body establishes general protocols, policies, credentialing, and maintains a national website and oversight of several programs. The Honor Flight program was founded by Earl Morse, who presently serves as president. To learn more about this national movement, try visiting the national web site at; also visit the National WWII Memorial site for more about the memorial, which opened in 2004, at http://www.wwiimemorial. com. Currently, the first west coast chapter has organized in Northern California; see the new web site at The Honor Flight of Northern California program is based in Yountville, California. Honor Flight Nor. Cal. has begun to accept applications from potential participants, and welcomes sponsors who revere the sacrifices of our WWII veterans and want to help give each of them a chance to visit their Memorial in Washington D.C., again at no cost to the veterans. Although final arrangements and logistics are still being studied, each trip will most likely require 3 days to allow our veterans adequate time to rest and recuperate from the grueling flights. From experience, the national Honor Flight personnel predict that 3 out of 10 veterans will be in wheelchairs, some will require oxygen, and a trained medical team must accompany each flight. The pioneer Honor Flight teams advise that about 3 Guardians for each 8 veterans should accompany them, push wheelchairs and generally assist the veterans throughout the trip. (You can learn more about the Guardian program on the Honor Flight Nor. Cal. web site, http: )

Vol. 12, No. 3

For those who care to be involved with this unique and timely cause, Honor Flight of Northern California is very flexible and willing to consider any request to provide acknowledgement of Sponsors’ support. Feel free to call to discuss any ideas you have. Below are some links to various news agencies and media reports about the Honor Flights that have already taken place. These are wonderful expressions of the heartfelt gratitude so many people around the country have shown to our WWII Veterans, which also highlight the deep feelings that these trips have aroused for the WWII men and women who have participated. MSNBC reports from Dayton Ohio with a slide show: http:// has NBC reporter accompany an Honor Flight, with video: http:// Honor Flight, Chicago (have a handkerchief ready): http:// Morse, Founder of Honor Flight, ABC Evening News profile: You can find many more videos about the Honor Flight from around the country at those who prefer to view the film clips without accessing the internet, informational DVDs have begun to circulate. Please contact Honor Flight of Northern California if you have any questions or if further information would be helpful; to reach headquarters telephone 707-944-4528, e-mail:, or write to: Honor Flight Northern California 260 California Dr. Yountville, CA 94599 MARIE ARTESSE and BUD SIMMONS of Post 40 proudly serve on the Board of Directors of Honor Flight of Northern California. 

POST 40 SONOMA COUNTY HONORS TEAM MEMBERS: Jay Matthews, Bud Simmons, Dave Richey, Marie Artesse and Grant Noah, Team Leader.

California AMVETS Voice—15

State Con Executive Director Rose Blackman receives award from Post 19 Commander Tom Swann

PDC Hal Camp receives 50th anniversary award 1958 -2008

Dept. Provost Marshal Ben Aquayo receives flag donated by Post 116 member Melanie Downing

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Vol. 12, No. 3

nvention WWII Veterans recognized for their service

Deputy VA Secretary Barbara Ward with Past Deputy VA Secretary Sheryl Schmidt

Vol. 12, No. 3

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POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 56


uly 4th fireworks booth, this is one of our post’s biggest fundraisers and a way to recruit new members. Our Honor Guard continues to do a great job of honoring our fallen brothers and sisters. Several of the members attended National Convention in Orlando. Recently they took part in the services for long time post members Bill Maki and PPC Manuel Brazil, as well as other veterans in our community. Post members look forward to the fall / winter season and the many holiday activities that they will be busy with. We will kick off the season with our annual blood drive (done in conjunction with the Tulare Rotary club) in memory of those who gave their all for others on 9/11. That same week the post will have a booth at our Tulare County Fair to let other veterans know about AMVETS and the resources available to them. The post continues to send several letters and packages each month to our service members overseas. Our own Freddy Castillo is serving his second tour and really enjoys the homemade brownies that are sent to him. Incoming Cmdr. Tony Gonzales presenting plague to outgoing Cmdr. Charles Ramos

Post 101 NEWS FROM YOUNTVILLE “Operation KIKS – A Project for Heart and Sole” By Lou Zanner


ome Member Paul Cheatham made a tour of the poorest- of-the-poor villages in Johannesburg, Soweta and Alexandria, South Africa in 2004-locations which have travel agents; hotels and tourist organizations discourage visiting. The poverty that struck Cheatham the hardest was the children’s lack of shoes: nothing to protect their feet from the hard rocks and dirt ground that is their world underfoot. Unable to dismiss the image of their plight, he launched “Operation KIKS,” (Kind Initiative Kids Shoes). As he states it, “For the kids that have no shoes on their feet and no way to get them.” He started by buying a few pair of children’s shoes and began saving for a return trip to South Africa. His capital for this venture was to be the money he earned working at his home member jobs of delivering meals on wheels and assisting AMVETS Bingo. Also, he began collecting bottles and cans to recycle for a few extra dollars. His coworker, home member Jerry Rambajan, who also delivers meals on wheels, learned of Cheatham’s plans. The appeal of the project immediately made Rambajan the first donor of funds in addition to become a volunteer “partner” to do whatever was necessary to bring in more shoes and getting them ready for shipment. Likewise, a third partner was added with Jean Bergen, post office employee, to provide storage and packing space for whatwas to be Cheatham’s goal of 101 pairs of shoes-the number corresponding to AMVETS Post 101, of which he is a life member. With publicity from the Yountville Sun, some donations began to flow in. Dick Hum provided the AMVETS Post as a conduit for receiving the necessary contributions for more shoes and necessary transportation and travel expenses. To date, Cheatham has bought over 300 pairs of shoes and provided for flight tickets with virtually his own funds-and he plans to add “bake sales” to his list of fundraising activities. This he started on the 4th of July in a booth at the Veterans Home which posted his travel pictures, passing out “Operation KIKS” picture cards and selling cookies and cornbread. Every day, Cheatham and his partners are busy at their project arranging the many details of shipping all the shoes that can be obtained to arrive by ship

18—California AMVETS Voice

in Johannesburg, South Africa in November. He will be at the port with truck and driver to load and deliver his precious cargo to the children of the orphanages and villages where he had been before. Since Cheatham has had 45-years of combined social work and community service experience, and a long association with NATO as a Community Services Officer, he has many contacts with organizations that will be of valuable help in achieving his ambition. Paul Cheatham, a compulsive worker, is surprised by his project’s success so far; but he is still paying for shoes and many necessary expenses from his personal earnings. His selfless motivation helps him plan and continue to work toward achieving his November dream of “Operation KIKS--A Project for Heart and Sole”--to bring an unimaginable charitable gift from the United States to Nelson Mandela’s world in South Africa. 

Post 116


ost 116 meets every second Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at 1958 Marine Avenue, Gardena, CA 90249. If you need help getting to the meeting, please do not hesitate to call Commander, Cephus R. Daniels, at 310-463-6380. The Post continues to host a bingo at the WLA VAMC nursing home every second Sunday of the month at 2:00 p.m. Post 116 has a successful session sending over a 130 veterans to Dodger Baseball Home Games. Veterans enjoyed Dodger Dogs & soda, had their presence acknowledged on the electronic overhead message board, and many sported their Dodgers Jerseys.

Vol. 12, No. 3

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 116, cont.


ost 116 and Post 116 Ladies Auxiliary thanks the California Frozen Beverage Co. for the opportunity to volunteer at the Sunset Junction Fair, August, 23 & 24th. Post 116 members, friends, & family volunteered time operating the beverage concessions, enabling the post to receive a percentage of proceeds. We have successfully completed half of Post 116’s Fishing Program. The Post Fishing Program has hosted trips to various fishing venues for the Wheelchair veterans from the Nursing Home, Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program, Day Treatment Program, Haven & Naomi House Programs, and Veterans Gardens Work Therapy Program. Post 116 has scheduled deep sea fishing trips for Vets from PTSD Program along with the two Domiciliary Programs. These trips will include many our brave returning Iraqi Veterans. Post 116 would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our volunteers, members, the Amvets Foundation and Joseph Kolano for their support in bringing meaningful recreational activities to our worthy veterans.  Commander, Cephus R. Daniels

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20—California AMVETS Voice

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2008 Schedule September 25, 2008 October 30, 2008 November 20, 2008 December 18, 2008 **Due to holidays the meetings for November and December will be one week earlier

Vol. 12, No. 3

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POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 700


INGO has really taken off. This last month we got almost $180.00 for the Scholarship Fund. Polamar High School will remain our primary precipitant for the scholarships. These kids have really earned it. And Captain Von has been a remarkable instructor. Pizza parties are bringing new members. CRUISE 29 AUGUST 2008, lunch was provided with a soft drink. Michael Gonzalez coordinated with the Veterans Home folks, in addition, we took the spinal injury folks from the VAMC La Jolla with us. This is an AMVETS FOUNDATION SPONSORED EVENT. AMVETS donated the purchase price of a new commercial dryer for the lock-down folks. 

Post 1240 Charles Koehler

22—California AMVETS Voice

Post 922


ost 922 has been collecting used cell phones to send to the troops in Iraq and other hot spots around the world. The post placed a wreath during the Shafter Memorial Services in May. 

Vol. 12, No. 3

POST Reports Here are some great ideas your post can do to help veterans and your community!

Post 1240, cont.

Post 2813 Commander: Gene Clements 1st Vice: George Holland 2nd Vice: Hank Snow Public Relations: Jim Houston

Member Spotlight:


rmy Spec. Luis Alan Alfaro-Torres is a highly specialize American soldier who lives in the Mojave Desert in a small simulated Arab village. He is in charge of a section of American soldiers who are training to survive

Vol. 12, No. 3

when they are deployed to Iraq. Torres lives as an Iraqi farmer wearing Arab clothing, taking care of animals and standing with 250 Arab speaking Iraqis when the Arabic calls to prayer are heard over the loud speakers. War survival training including simulate roadside bomb attacks prepare the trainees for the reality of events that they face when serving in the “real war”. This assignment is a tribute to Sgt. Torres’ talent as a leader, teacher and actor. His hope is that living in the Army’s National Training center at Fort Irwin will help save the lives of fellow American soldiers headed

for the war zone. He is the son of Delmer and Guillermina Torres Clements and a member of post 2813. His parents and post are very proud of him and the work that he is doing.

Post Activities:


uly 4th: Hosted a outreach booth with DAV at the park. Bingo every third Saturday of the month. Fun and prizes galore. 

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Friends of AMVETS

A A Door Inc. A C & S Materials Testing Service Action Resume & Security Advanced Automotive Afinety Inc. American Orthotics Prosthetics Bacome Insurance Agency Bobs Cleaning Service Brent Macqueen & Barb Helgesen Burghard Design Group Butte Oroville Veterinary Hospital C G Backhoe & Service Inc. Cook Bros Construction, Inc. Cytopro Dcd Consulting LLC Delta Imaging Service Design Group LLC Diamond Terraces Double J’s Dragon’s Lair Tattoo Duckback Products Enterprise Aware Solutions Family Development Fielden Engineering Group Flint Aero Inc. Frank Bruno Builder Frank D. Wilson Insurance Freedom Pest Control Freestone Properties Inc. Gabriel French Plumbing Hilton Hotels Corporation Hodes Milman LLP Howard Shannon Hunter Labortories Inc. Jim Perkins Juan Ramon Martinez 26—California AMVETS Voice

Komtech Inc. Lathrop Construction Assoc. Losness Group Inc. Makestar Honda & Acura Repair Mark D. Wenzel, Attorney at Law Marlowe Brooks Mobile Choice Pacific Tech Patients Choice Pell Plumbing & Son Pierce Bros. Griffith Mortuary Reading & Spelling Solutions Res Environmental Services Sam Joaquin Prime Care Santa Rosa Rancheria Sole Desire Swinsons Electric Taylor Accountancy Taylor Reinforcing Inc. Tommy Lee Gill Computer Consultant Tri T Technology Inc. Tulip Hill Winery William M. Russ Jr. Inc. Willowen Builders Zeal Electric PLATINUM Fpi Management Inc. GOLD Eagle Well Drilling & Pump Service SILVER Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Assoc. Bachrach & Assoc. Heckman & Pull Inc. River Islands at Lathrop Tradition Aviation West Mark Vol. 12, No. 3

Friends of AMVETS

Wrex Products Inc. of Chico CORPORATE Best Western Frontier Motel Carolyn Curci Centre City Properties Command One Security Derose & Son Trucking Gi Drayage Inc. Hendershaw & Assoc. Huddleston Crane Service Michael Scribner Mr. Electric Pizza Patron Ricki Couture Si Manufacturing Terry Ciampoli

SPIRIT OF ‘45 ‑ LEADERSHIP SEMINAR THE QUEEN MARY‑ LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 2008 National organizations gather in Long Beach to mobilize youth to preserve WWII legacy


n August 14, 2008, representatives of more than twenty national and local organizations will gather on the Queen Mary in Long Beach for the first annual “Spirit of ‘45 Leadership Seminar” to discuss plans for engaging America’s youth in a national campaign to help preserve the history and heritage of World War II. Among those attending the seminar will be leaders from the National World War II Museum, National History Day, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, History (formerly the History Channel), the WWII War Brides Association,

Vol. 12, No. 3

Therapak Corp. Thinggaard Land Consulting V I P Property Management Vic the Picc Waste Recovery West Inc.

the Go For Broke Educational Center, the American Veterans Center, heritage foundations of the major service branches, and other groups. They will be joined by representatives from the Long Beach Unified School District, the Long Beach Historical Society, and other local organizations interested involving the Long Beach community in the national campaign. . The seminar is being organized by Stories of Service, a non‑profit initiative that mobilizes youth to use computers to produce “mini‑movies” of the lives of those who experienced World War II so that they can be shared with schools, libraries, museums and a global audience on the Internet to educate and inspire future generations. ( Using training materials developed with the support of the AMVETS California Service Foundation, seminar attendees will be developing strategies to reach out to more than one million middle and high school students throughout America this fall. They also will discuss plans for laying the foundations for an annual “National Day of Remembrance” in August of each year to honor the legacy of the World War II generation. The public is invited to join the seminar participants in the historic Queen Salon for a special “Keep the Spirit of ‘45 Alive!” event from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, hosted by Edith Shain, the nurse who was kissed in Times Square in the famous Life magazine photo. The evening program will include dinner with live music from the era, remarks by leading WWII authorities and other special guests, and a multimedia presentation of personal memories of members of the “greatest generation” produced by youth. Tickets for the evening event are available at $45.00 each, and can be ordered by phone by calling (408) 918‑1042, or purchased on the Internet at The city of Long Beach was chosen as the venue for this national event due to its rich World War II heritage and history. The Queen Mary is herself a “veteran,” having served as transported more than 750,000 troops across the Atlantic

California AMVETS Voice—27

during WWII, and bringing back thousands of “war brides” to begin their lives in America at the war’s end. Bob Hope gave his first wartime performance in the Queen Salon the night Britain declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939. The Long Beach Unified School District plans to introduce Stories of Service to students this fall as part of its innovative service‑learning program and will be working with the national partners to make Long Beach a model city in preparation for an expanded version of this year’s Spirit of ‘45 event in August 2009.

National World War II Legacy Leadership Coalition List of Participating Organizations (as of 8/20/08) American Veterans Center American World War II Orphans Network AMVETS Department of California Service Foundation Air Force Association Army Heritage Center Foundation Boeing Company* City of Long Beach Daughters of the American Revolution Digital Clubhouse Network/Stories of Service Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI) Go For Broke Education Foundation Greatest Generation Foundation Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project Lockheed Martin Corporation* Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum History (formerly The History Channel) Immortal Chaplains Foundation Kaiser Permanente Long Beach Historical Society Long Beach Public Library Long Beach Unified School District Marine Corps Heritage Foundation National History Day National World War II Museum Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Rosie the Riveter and Home Front Memorial Park Naval Historical Foundation Tuskegee Airman Incorporated U‑Haul Corporation USS Hornet Museum USS Midway Museum VA Long Beach Healthcare System WWII War Brides Association

Honorary Co‑chairs and National Campaign Advisors: • Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award winning actor and WWII vet (Navy, 1935‑45) • Edith Shain, nurse in kissing photo taken in Times Square at the end of WWII • Joe Mantegna, actor and host of annual PBS National Memorial Day Concert • Ken Burns, documentary producer/ director of the PBS miniseries THE WAR *Invited. Others to be announced

28—California AMVETS Voice

STORIES of SERVICE Program Mobilizing YouTube Generation to Preserve the Heritage of America’s Veterans


ollywood spends millions of dollars to produce epics like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Band of Brothers” and “Flags of Our Fathers,” casting movie stars to portray the ordinary heroes who fought to preserve America’s freedoms. But now thanks to an innovative program called Stories of Service, middle‑ and high‑school students across America are volunteering their time and talent to help veterans in their communities star in their own “mini‑movies” that are being used to educate and inspire future generations about courage, sacrifice and service to community. Using computers and digital video editing software, teens combine photos, music, sound effects and the veteran’s own voice to create powerfully moving “digital stories” that are being shared with schools, libraries and museums and with a worldwide audience on the Internet. More powerful than just oral histories, these multimedia videos have the “look and feel” of Ken Burns’ PBS series THE WAR and documentaries seen on The History Channel. “The experience of producing a digital story has a deep impact on both the youth and the veteran,” explained Ryan Hegg, National Stories of Service Program Director. “Youth develop a much deeper understanding about the true meaning of service to community by learning about the courage of young Americans not much older than themselves who were asked to do extraordinary things for their country. The vets are grateful to have an opportunity to tell their story, in their own words, and in a way that makes it easily accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.” Stories of Service started in California’s Silicon Valley in 1998 at the Digital Clubhouse Network, a nonprofit created by NASA, that has received three medals from the Smithsonian for its “visionary use of information technology to improve society,” and was one of the founding partners of the Library of Congress’ Veterans Oral History Project. AMVETS California Service Foundation has provided funding to develop teaching resources and a website that will be introduced by to more than one million youth and teachers as part of National History Day and The History Channel, and a coalition of organizations led by the National World War 11 Museum. Academy Award winning actor and W WII veteran Ernest Borgnine has volunteered to be Stories of Service National spokesman, urging his fellow WWII vets to come forward and share their stories. While the emphasis has been on preserving the legacy of World War II veterans who are now passing away at an estimated rate of one every 90 seconds, Stories of Service also encourages youth to preserve the stories of vets from the Korea and Vietnam eras. In 2005, a special version of the program was created to assist Gold Star families produce videos to honor the memory of loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. Youth who participate in Stories of Service by contributing videos, are officially recognized by the National World War II Museum, and invited to represent their school and community in a annual National Memorial Day Rally held in Washington, D.C., and other national events in New York City on Veterans Day and to commemorate the end of WWII in August. For more information about Stories of Service and how you and your community can get involved, please visit www.stories‑of‑ 

Vol. 12, No. 3


Vol. 12, No. 3

California AMVETS Voice—29


30—California AMVETS Voice

Vol. 12, No. 3


Vol. 12, No. 3

California AMVETS Voice—31

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Vol. 12, No. 3  

Fall, 2008 - Commander Posey “A Proud History – A Bold Future” By Mel Posey, Commander, Department of California AMVETS By John W. Byrum, 1s...

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