Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
November 18, 2010
Augusta, Maine

PRESENT: Dan Ellis, Ed McCarthy, Bob Dale, Clarence Smith, Herb Hoffman, Dave Crowley, Bruce Gagnon, Victor Skorapa, Peggy Akers, Tom Sturtevant, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Carole Whelan, Dud Hendrick, Michael Uhl, Rob Shetterly and Bob Lezer

Minutes of previous meeting: Richard notes that on the second page the word not needs an e added to make it note. Smitty moves to approve as amended, Rob S. seconds. Approved by acclamation.

Treasurers report: Treasurers report read by Bob L. as submitted by Treasurer. Approval moved by herb seconded by Michael. Approved by acclamation.

Committee reports:

  • Membership: Dan reports that we have 188 current members of which 9 are honorary, 32 Associates and 147 Veterans. 111 are current on their dues.

    Dud asks about sending out letters, phone call reminders. Dan says that a phone tree has been used before with limited success. Dan asks for suggestions to improve dues paying and membership. Dud suggests that membership recruitment be a topic at the January retreat. Herb wonders how we can reach younger Veterans? Outreach to MFSO? Suggests that we are marginalizing ourselves by seeing ourselves as an older group. Dud reiterates that membership will be on the agenda at the January retreat.

  • MaineShare: Tom S. reports that the following forms and/or documents need to be completed; Charitable Solicitation form, IRS 990 which needs to be notorized and a budget needs to be submitted to MaineShare. Kristina needs to be consulted regarding these reports.
  • Nominating Committee: Tom S. reports that he is the nominating committee. Asks that others join him. Perhaps David? Suggests that we are supposed to have 10 directors. This needs to be checked with our bylaws. Dud asks for volunteers for the Board.
  • Retreat: The retreat will be held at Point Lookout in January. It is proposed that each person attending pay $30.00. If 24 attend the Chapter will cover the remaining $1,100. Herb says that $30 is a bargain and that $40 would work generating $953. Bruce suggests a sliding scale. Michael moves to accept the $30 fee. No second.

    Bob moves that there be a sliding scale of $25-$55 for registration. Peggy seconds. Motion passes with no dissent.

    Dud suggests the following issues as topics for the retreat; Associate membership, Dues and the banner drop at Newscom in D.C. Dan agrees to postponing discussions until the retreat particularly since Doug and Kristina, both of whom are very interested in these topics, are not present this evening.

    Peggy would like to read the info on the National VFP list serve. Dud will send out that info.

    Bob suggests the relationship between National and local Chapters be discussed. Dud says this is particularly of interest to us as we are the founding chapter of VFP.

    Dud would also like to discuss leadership succession within the chapter.

    Herb would also like to discuss a service activity for the chapter supporting or involving Veterans in Maine. Perhaps this would help us overcome being viewed as a marginal group.

    Dud indicates that both of these topics will be included in the retreat agenda.

  • Peace Walk: A huge Thank You to Bruce for being the main organizer of the Peace Walk. Bruce thanks all who helped and Peggy for the use of her van. Dud notes that Bruce did a fabulous job as MC at the wrap up dinner in Portland.

    Bruce notes that the walk met the goals of involving young people, more than 50 at the kick off dinner in Farmington and several students participated in the walk (two through walkers), good media coverage obtained, good visibility in the communities passed through and the Buddhist monks and Nuns were exceptional. They kept all going.

    Bruce also thanked the chapter for taking a chance on this noting that extraordinary times call for extraordinary acts – this was one. The local people were excited and grateful for their involvement in the Walk.

    Rob S. asks “What next?”

    Carole W. responds, Flash mobs.

    Dan says that the goal to get word out to the communities was achieved and he was particularly impressed with the response in Thomaston where the Episcopal Church membership stood up and applauded and the church bells were rung.

    Dan notes that he is having difficulty posting the video to the VFP web site. He will get it up on the Chapter and National web sites as soon as he can.

    Dud adds to topic of Flash Mobs to the retreat agenda.

  • Bring our War $$ Home: Bruce reports that there will be BOW$$H meeting on 12/14 from 12:30-3:30 at his home immediately following the Advent vigil at BIW from 11:30 to 12:30. Will be discussing what to do next and how have the elections changed the landscape.

    Ed McCarthy mentions spending by the Governor and asks if the Tea Party being inclined to reduce spending might extend to military speding as wel. Can this be exploited?

  • Community Television Network: Dud thanks Bob for being the liason with CTN.
  • Whole Foods grant application: Bob reports that the next available 5% day at Whole Foods market is in the Spring of 2013. After discussion he agrees to proceed with an application for a VFP benefit day at Whole Foods. Bob will circulate a draft to VFP 1 officers prior to submitting.
  • 2011 PTSD Symposium on April 23: Michael is the contact person with USM. John Bauer of the Sociology Department is our USM sponsor.

    Charlie Clements is locked in as a speaker.

    We need to work on the Theme, Program, Budget, and Fundraising for this event. The cost to us will be $1,500 or is it $500 with a UM sponsor?

    Suggested an intergenerational dialogue between Camillo Majehata and Charlie Clements as war combatants both of whom suffer from PTSD.

    Michael notes that VA physicians are noting how many older Veterans are entering the VA system with PTSD raising the question how have you coped so long without treatment? This referred to as late onset PTSD?

    Theme VET to VET. Vet to Vet is effective with younger Vets seeking help. Kate_______???? is suggested as a speaker.

    Carole notes that older WW2 vets are committing suicide at higher rates. Will get info on this. Ed and Michael suggest that aging may be a factor in that.

    Herb talks about the relationship between multiple deployments and increased suicide and homicide rates. How does this play out in society in general affecting law enforcement and health care.

    Michael notes that the media interest in post war health issues has faded. Herb says war is a back burner issue.

    Dud notes that in the past Diane Rheam discussed the immorality of acts committed in war and the relationship to PTSD and the subsequent difficulties assimilating back into society.

    Michael said that Vet Centers deal with this. He will check with Roy driver regarding PTSD at the Vet centers. He notes that the success of the PTSD Symposium will be directly related to the public’s interest in the issue. We ned to help raise the issue.

    Rob S. suggests letter writing to news outlets, radio and tv interviews. Rob is opening an ‘American’s Who Tell The Truth” art show at the Portland Library on January 7th an opportunity. Bruce Gagnon’s portrait will be there and Bruce has agreed to speak.

  • Calendars: Bob distributes 25 calendars and asks people to distribute to educators in their communities. The name of the teacher recipient, their e-mail and the name of the school is to be sent to Kristina.
  • Chapter 3: Chapter 3 has requested a donation. Bruce moves that we donate the same amount of monies to Chapter 3 that we did last year. Second by Peggy A. Approved.
  • Maine Fair Trade Campaign: There will be meeting in Waterville on 12/13 from 12-3. Last year Tom and Victor went and a Maine fair trade Commission was established. It meets monthly. One of the things it does is to require big box stores to do a community impact study pioir to entering a community. U.S. based multi-national companies want to pillage the local communities. Indigineous peoples are negatively affected.
  • 16 December demonstration in D.C.: Dud announces that on the 16th of December a group led by VFP will chain themselves to the White House fence in protest of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Dud, Rob, Bruce and Bob D. indicate they will go. Dan is considering. Logistics are discussed.

  • Co-sponsoring opportunity: Dud says that Beth Adams ask that VFP co-sponsor a film and speaker. Tim notes that Beth is very involved in the environmental impact of War. He wonders if we can tie into the Blue Angels scheduled appearance in Brunswick next Summer?

    Carole notes that the Am vet magazine has an article about the burn pits in Iraq which cause people to breathe in toxic fumes.

    Bruce moves to co-sponsor, Herb seconds Approved.

  • Tom sees the Blue Angels as an environmental issue and suggests we talk to the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

    Bruce suggests we do a banner drop and leafletting at BNAS. Need to gain visibility with slogans. Suggestions from the group include Ground the Blue Angels, Blue Angels into Green Angels or Fallen Angels.

    Peggy suggests multiple actions. Random acts of culture in totally unexpected contexts.

Move to adjourn by Smitty, second Bob Approved Time 9:18 PM