Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
May 31, 2012
McClellan Building
Brunswick, Maine

Attending: Bob Lezer, Ed McCarthy, Stan Lofchie, Dud Hendrick, Tim Blanchette, Suzanne Hedrick, Victor Skorapa, Bud Buzzell, Bob Dale, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Dan Ellis, Dovey Balsam, Kristina Wolff, Clarence Smith, Peggy Akers, Dave Crowley, Peter Woodruff, Bruce Gagnon

Secretary report: Minutes from the last meeting were approved with no changes.

Treasurer report: Kristina has now transferred Treasurer responsibilities to Dovey. We have to stay with current bank until the state approves our chapter name change. Once new name change is approved we will switch our accounts to the University Credit Union.

Maine Share: Richard Clement reminded us how Maine Share works. He went to the recent annual board meeting in May as our representative. Seven new groups were added bringing the total of Maine Share recipients to 43. We might see a dip in donations from Maine Share but it should not last long.

Nominating Committee: Dud is the new chair of this committee. Peggy and Smitty will soon step down as co-chairs of the group. Dud requested that members help him with his task of recruiting new leadership and urged folks to step up and volunteer themselves.

Membership: Dan reported that we currently have 152 members in the chapter – only 90 of them have currently paid their dues. Dan asked if we should stop printing membership cards as a money saver – not sure that they are really needed. Will discuss at a future meeting.

Education Committee: Recently met with Rosalie Tyler Paul from the AFSC counter-recruitment campaign. Will work together to expand efforts statewide. Divided up some towns/schools across the state. Will begin to make contacts in the fall. Have ordered button maker for Common Ground Fair and Peace Fair.

Outreach Committee: Will meet in Bath on June 2 to plan for August 25 protest of the Air Force Thunderbirds airshow at former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Last year Tom Sturtevant wanted to go inside (on the 2nd day of airshow) to hold banner and hand out leaflets risking arrest. Did not work out. This year Bruce wants to do this in Tom’s memory (on Aug 26) and is looking for volunteers. Dud expressed interest. Dan passed out new chapter membership brochures with new chapter name on them and picture of Tom inside. Contact Dan (319-0155) if you want a handful of the brochures for distribution. A motion was passed to change the name of the chapter on our web site.

Common Ground Fair: Dud paid for our tables. Bruce has registered us for speakers tent. Should we purchase new lighter weight plastic tables? Several volunteered to do some checking on prices and will advise at next meeting. Bruce, Dud, and Bob will co-coordinate our fair display this year. Fair is Sept 21-23. Please mark your calendar.

National Convention: Will be held this year in Miami on Aug 9-12. Peggy moved that we send Dan as our representative and provide full funding support. Dan thanked her but declined. Bruce will be going and $1,000 was agreed to support him. Bruce said he won’t need that much and maybe Doug will need support because he is likely to attend. It was agreed that if Doug needed support he and Bruce could each get $500.

Bring Our War $$ Home: The next statewide meeting will be on June 9 in Augusta at the Mediation & Reconciliation Center which is located at 11 King Street. Meeting will run from 1-4 pm. Jim Freeman has suggested we have a pre-meeting earlier that same day (at same location) to discuss the fact that our collective movements are all getting our butts kicked in Maine. The pre-meeting will happen at noon.

PTSD/Tri-County Mental Health: Dovie and Doug are working on a workshop for Sept 15 at UMF to be on the theme of dealing with spiritual injury.

Memorial Tree: Kristina sent a check to Gary Lawless but has heard nothing back. Peggy will follow up. This is the tree that will be in Tom’s honor at Common Ground Fair.

Walk-a-Thon: We won’t be participating in the national VFP Peace Walk-a-Thon fundraiser. Instead we are going to do a Maine Share Bike/Walk-a-Thon sometime this fall in Tom’s memory since this was a project he was very devoted to.

Dud’s Vietnam Trip: Dud went to Vietnam for his 3rd time. Went to participate in a Habitat build. Was organized as a vets trip, 30 participants. They built three homes. A Vietnamese man who lives in Warren, Maine does workshops on bullying and is very good. Dud recommends folks have him come do local workshop. While in Vietnam Dud met with some of this man’s family. Dud also visited Agent Orange victims and met with some high level Vietnamese officials who he was able to film. There are 2-3 million victims of Agent Orange who live in Vietnam today – sometimes it skips a generation and reemerges in the young. Rep. Pingree has agreed to co-sponsor the Agent Orange Relief bill in Congress but Michaud needs work. Contact Dud if interested in helping on this.

Peace Fair: August 4 in Brunswick. There is a $30 table fee. Need volunteers to staff table. Stan, Bob Dale, Peter, Bob Lezer, and Dan Ellis volunteered. Will use button maker and ask for donations.

Veterans Peace Team: This new project is an arm of national. Act as a buffer between cops and protesters. Will happen next in Philly on July 4-5. If we sign up 10 from our chapter then national will do a training. Several from the chapter are interested.

Homeless Vets: Smitty reported that he continues to meet with people about housing for homeless vets. He meets with Dawud Ummah next to discuss having vets and homeless vets do gardening at the plot of land that is now in operation.

Occupy Gathering: Peggy notified us about a statewide Occupy retreat that will happen on June 22-24 in Kennebunk. Contact her for more info. Portland and Brunswick Occupy is still happening.

Kristina: We all gave a heartfelt thank you to Kristina for her excellent work on behalf of the chapter in recent years. She informed us that she will likely be unavailable for the next year as she will be commuting to UNH (Hanover) to get a Masters in Public Health concentrating on military sexual trauma.

Next Meeting: Next meeting will be held on June 28. Location was not decided nor who will take responsibility to secure meeting space.

Minutes by Bruce Gagnon (Secretary)