Galveston County Chapter 685 of the Vietnam Veterans of America has again been busy this last year.
This happened on 4-26-2008.
A couple of years ago Roland Castanie informed our chapter that he would like to create artwork that would honor the sacrifices of our Nation's service men and women from Texas who have given their lives in the war on terror. The prints would be presented to their Next of Kin to show our respect and to give them comfort for their sacrifices as well as those of their loved one. We talked Roland into going one step further and present them to the next of kin of every American service man or woman anywhere who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. The result was our print, "On behalf of a Grateful Nation". We collected funding and had 5000 prints printed. We have given out over 2000 to families from all 50 states. Members of our chapter go to the memorials and viewings in our area to present them to the families. Other Chapters of the VVA have presented them for us in their areas and members of the Army Transportation Association Vietnam (ATAV) and the VFW have presented some in their area of the country. We have expanded the presentations to Service Members of the Armed Forces who have a Purple Heart and are permanently disabled because of wounds received in the war on terror. "On behalf of a Grateful Nation" will never be for sale. To find out more about this program call Jim Rose at 281-991-1467 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Marilyn and I along with Lynda Greene, who is one of the organizers, worked the Stand Down for Homeless Veterans in Houston Thursday. These stand downs are not about the money. In fact the organizations associated with the stand down spend their time and money to help these veterans who are down on their luck. Organizations such as the Texas Veterans Commission, The Veterans Administration, US Vetís, The Houston Volunteer Lawyerís association, and AMVETSís to name a few. This is the second year I have watched these organizations treat homeless veterans with respect and dignity as we who are more fortunate have come to expect. Marilyn was the "Free Hugs" lady again. We saw Veterans that came in homeless last year that came back this year working for one of the agencies helping other homeless veterans. The VA people were compassionate and helpful. Itís not about the money.
There are two professions that everyone could say, "Itís not about the money". One is the educators and the other is this countryís military. It seems that it has always been that way. I can remember being in Nam dodging B-40's, 51, and AK rounds and come payday feeling that the sixty five dollars extra they gave me each month really made a difference. I am sure that the three point five percent pay raise or whatever it is that the military will receive come December will be appreciated while they dodge AK rounds and IEDís. Because it is not about the money. This nationís military families have learned tricks no one else knows. They have learned how to stretch a dollar until Washington screams uncle because they have to. But they sacrifice because it is not about the money. I told one of my Iraq Veteran friends today that if this country wants to balance the budget each year they should get rid of all of the accountants and get ten military wives together in a room and tell them how much money they have to spend. It is about respect, honor, duty, and love for freedom and country.
For all of you that took what life had to throw at you and for everyone that ever had to learn how to make old George Washington scream uncle have a great and safe Veteranís Day.
Jim Rose, President
She pushed her cart down the isle
her head swinging from side to side
stopping to pick up two cans of beans
and a small box of tide
Over to the meat counter she went
and looked it up and down
she could afford some stew beef
and maybe some ground round
She picked up her purse
and took out her pocket book
even though she knew what she had
she couldnʼt resist the look
opening it up she knew what she would find
in the little pocket there were two tens and a five
She let out a sigh but didnʼt complain
her and the children would survive
She would buy some beans
and they would live day to day
her check from the military
was only two weeks away
Her husband was far away fighting a war
being all that he could be
If he could make those sacrifices
so could she
Later that evening
after putting the kids to bed
those secret thoughts of him
rushed through her head
Sacrifices had to be made
thatʼs the way it had to be
but she did not understand why
she had to be so lonely
In the dark she prayed to the Lord
dear Lord use your Devine touch
to bring him back safe to me
I have suffered a lot and I am not asking for much
I have been patient
even when times have been bad
but I need my husband
and the kids need their dad
AVVA Texas has been really busy. We all have just returned from our Texas State Council Meeting, which was held in Denton, TX hosted by Chapter 920. Great job Denton.
We had a really good meeting. Texas now has 15 Chapter Rep. 13 out of 15 were there to represent their chapters. Total of attendance was approximately 50 people. We are having a membership drive for the TSC meeting in Feb. 2009. The Chapter with the most new members will win $100.00. And the same goes for the meeting in June 2009. AVVA Texas along with the VVA Texas and along with all Chapters in Texas is raising a $1.00 per name for all theVeterans from Texas that are on THE WALL. There are 3,415 names from Texas on THE WALL. This money is going to be sent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Museum Foundation Fund in Washington, D.C. for the building of this Museum. We have seminars on Saturday and this time we held our Loving your Veteran PTSD seminar and then we had a fun thing to finish off the day. We had a facial makeover. Boy we all looked 10 years younger.
Listed below will be all the events that the different chapters have been involved in since the last UPDATES newsletter.
Garage Sales, Working on new Chapter Homes, Raising money for Veterans Memorial, Working with Incarcerated Veterans, Flag Retiring Ceremonies, Donating money to build a home for a Veteran, Raising money for Scholarships,
Doing the Welcome Home for the Veterans in the War on Terror, helping local Food Banks, Annual Watch fire, Presenting the ďOn Behalf of a Grateful NationĒ print to the next of kin of every veteran killed in the War on Terror, Helping Homeless veterans, and putting wreaths on Graves. As everyone can see, Texas AVVA Chapters have been very busy this year.
AVVA Texas President
are looking forward to the next year and serving the Veterans and the
community in which we live. Job well done, Brothers and Sisters and Welcome
County Chapter 685
Veterans of America