Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
June 25, 2015
Unitarian Universalist Church
Brunswick Maine

Present: Richard & Rita Clement, Bruce Gagnon, Dan Ellis, Regis Tremblay, Robin Spencer, Dave Crowley, Peggy Akers, Peter S. Morgan, Jr., Dud Hendrick, Bud Buzzell, Peter Woodruff, Martha Morrison, G. R. Kamke

Reading/Inspiration: Began the meeting with title song Gerry Kamke wrote that will be used in new documentary film ‘3 Minutes to Midnight’ by Regis. Music by Matthew Kresge.

Secretary Report: Minutes from last meeting accepted and are on the web site

Treasurer Report: No report. Robin Spencer has been approved as our new VFP treasurer and she will be moving our accounts to the C-Port Credit Union in Augusta.

Membership: Now have 131 members, 98 are currently paid-up with dues.

MaineShare: Recently received our Jan-May check from MaineShare in amount of $2,060.60. A fall event is being planned by Rita, Peggy, Suzannah and Mary that will be our annual fundraiser for MaineShare. Also a Sept 9 MaineShare fair is planned in Portland from 5:30-8:00 pm.

Education/Outreach: Regis is making progress on his veterans video series. He and Peter recently interviewed Peggy. His first one with S. Brian Willson is now on the national VFP web site. Regis also reported on his new film (see above) and he will soon be traveling across the Asia-Pacific for a bunch of interviews that will be used in the film. The chapter approved $500 more toward his trip.

Blue Angels Airshow September 5-6: Bruce reported that he, on behalf of PeaceWorks, has requested a meeting with the MRRA in Brunswick who is hosting the next airshow. As it turns out Ben Sturtevant, son of Tom, is the public relations person working at the MRRA. The meeting will be held either July 7 or 8 at the former Navy base to discuss the coming airshow and the long-term possibility of the MRRA bringing various military aerospace industries to that location. Peter, Regis, Dan, Richard and Dud suggested they were interested in attending any meeting if possible.

Next Peace Walk: The next peace walk will be held Oct 9-24 under theme of ‘Militarization of the Seas: Pentagon’s Impact on Oceans’. VFP is sponsoring. Boston-area VFP Smedley Butler chapter will also co-sponsor. Going to need to find covered pick up truck or cargo van to carry gear. Let us know if you have any leads on one. Next planning meeting in Bath on Saturday, July 18 at noon. Contact Bruce for details at 443-9502.

CG Fair: We will focus our tabling at the September fair around the October peace walk and the pie chart showing how our tax dollars go disproportionately to the Pentagon. Button machine and also Latin America & Africa US militarization information will also be added to table. Smitty will coordinate volunteers so let him know if you are able to work during the fair.

National Confab: Doug Rawlings and Russ Christensen will attend representing the chapter. Our advert has been put into the conference program book by Dan.

Hallowell Parade July 18: Several members will try to attend. Dud asked if we minded that he and others hand out flyers about Remax selling settlement lands taken from Palestinians during the parade. No one had problem.

Brunswick Peace Fair August 1: Dan, Richard and Rita will staff the VFP table at the fair. Richard will also present the award to this year’s awardee since VFP received it last year.

Belfast Peace Fest Aug 29: The $15 table fee was approved and Dud thinks he can staff the table on that day.

Montalvan Talk in Auburn: Former Capt. Luis Montalvan will speak at the Auburn Public Library on Aug 3 and our chapter is co-sponsoring the event. Robin will attend on our behalf. He has written a book entitled ‘Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him’.

Okinawa/Jeju: Bruce reported that he and Regis went to Washington DC in late May to join a small VFP delegation that met with the governor and several mayors from Okinawa who came to DC in order to press the Obama administration to halt plans to expand bases on their island home. In November national VFP is organizing a large delegation of VFP members to go to Okinawa and Jeju Island to stand with those resisting base construction.

Homeless Vets: Peggy reported that the funds we donated to homeless vets van bought supplies for several vets. She felt proud that we had contributed in a way that immediately was of use to a vet. One of her favorite vets recently died in Lewiston.

Ukraine Teach In July 24 Bath: PeaceWorks is organizing a Teach In on Ukraine on Friday, July 24 at 7pm at the new UCC Church in Bath (corner of Centre & Washington Streets. Bruce and Richard Rhames will be speaking.

Open Discussion: Dave said that he had recently made a personal vow not to listen to any election stuff but can’t avoid it. He keeps listening for words of peace but they seem to be invisible. Do we even have a peace movement he asked? Other comments were made during this excellent discussion that included: Pope is taking on capitalism; We are running out of time; Feeling despair, anger; Got to keep trying; We are on the right side of history; US-Israel becoming more isolated; US dragging NATO into war with Russia; We do make a difference.

Next Meeting in Augusta: We will meet on July 30 in Augusta