Veterans for PeaceInspirations: Richard read a moving piece by Jacob George who recently took his own life. He served three tours in Afghanistan and said the time he felt most free was throwing his metals toward the NATO summit in Chicago two summers ago. You can see a video about Jacob at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY0nIvK2Eks . Also our very own Clarence Smith has won the national Hospice volunteer of the year award for his work with former combat vets. He will be flown to their national convention to receive the award. Doug also read a poem called “November Comes”.
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
September 25, 2014
Buker Community Center
Present: Clarence Smith, Richard Clement, Bruce Gagnon, Robin Spencer, Dan Ellis, Peter Woodruff, Bud Buzzell, Doug Rawlings, Rita Clement, Dovey Balsam, G. R. Kamke, Maerisa Weil
Secretary Report: Minutes from last meeting accepted and are on the web site
Treasurer Report: Treasurer’s report accepted with $7,553.59 currently in bank. It was agreed that we would put the bank balance in our meeting minutes.
Membership: Now have 128 members, 97 are currently paid-up with dues.
MaineShare: We urge all members to donate to MaineShare during our Oct 11-10 Peace Walk instead of the chapter doing a separate Hike & Bike fundraiser for them. Sponsor sign up sheet will be sent around by Dan to our list serve. Each member is encouraged to make donation and/or get others to donate to MaineShare putting “VFP” in the ‘For’ line of the check. Richard took MaineShare tables to the Common Ground Fair and the chapter will get credit for doing that.
Common Ground Fair: Richard & Rita thank those who volunteered at our table. We did well and the exposure is always great for the chapter and the issues we care about. Our 18 vendor passes more than paid for our cost of renting table space. Shetterly cards did not sell as well this year as in the past. Button machine remains a huge hit with the kids, made at least 200 of them.
Oct 28 PTSD Event at Togus: Mareisa Weil from Maine Hspice Council briefed us on the Oct 28 event called “Serving Those Who Have Served Us: Caring for Our Veterans” that will feature Dr. Edward Tick as speaker. Event will run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Call 626-0651 for more information.
Sounds of Freedom: Katie Norton and Doug are working on a plan to hold a veterans song writing and performance event in Portland in the spring. Katie is writing a fundraising letter in hopes to raise $5,000 for the event. Doug wants the chapter involved. Luther Bonney hall at USM holds at least 200 and is cheaper than the Abramson Center. Top talent would be brought in. Mary Gauthier is doing song writing with women vets and might be able to come.
Maine Walk for Peace & Sustainable Future: Our Peace Walk begins in Rangeley on Oct 11 and ends in North Berwick on Oct 20. Still looking for place to stay in Livermore Falls – all other nights are set. Dud has been doing good media work for the walk and we got a couple of bites from radio and newspaper. Received two donations totaling $250 toward the walk. You can find the daily walk schedule at http://vfpmaine.org/Peace%20Walk%20Route%20Maps%20for%20Maine2014.pdf
Donation for Jacob George Celebration: Richard requested that the chapter give $250 to a fund for a big celebration of Jacob’s life. There was some concern that we might be expected to give to others who die in similar circumstances. The donation was approved and we resolved to deal with similar situations on a case-by-case basis.
White Cane Walk: Bud asked that we donate to the White Cane Awareness Walk in Portland and $100 was approved.
Belfast Festival: Doug, Dud & Bruce spoke on the panel at the Belfast Peace festival. Thanks to Dan Avener for inviting us. About 40 people came to hear the talks.
Farmington PTSD Conference: Doug did two workshops at this event and got good response. He talked about how VFP helps deal with moral injury. Made good connections with other leading vets.
Oct 31 Return?: Dovey’s son is supposed to come home on Oct 31 but she is worried that his deployment might again be extended. Keep them in your prayers.
Next Meeting: Will meet on Oct 23 at the UU church in Brunswick. Robin has been looking for a new place in Augusta for us to meet. Will know more soon.