Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
October 25, 2012
Curtis Memorial Library, Morrell Room
Brunswick, Maine

Present: Dud Hendrick, Clarence Smith, Roy Sobl, Dave Crowley, Peter Woodruff, Herschel Sternlieb, Dan Ellis, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Bud Buzzell, Peggy Akers, Seth Berner, Selma Sternlieb, Bob Dale, Doug Rawlings, Ed McCarthy, Bob Lezer.


Thought for evening: Richard read the following quote by Alice Walker from Valerie Schloredts’ article in the Fall 2012 issue of YES magazine.

I think the War on Terror is really absurd, especially coming from a country that is founded on terrorism. The hypocrisy of that is corrosive, and we should not accept it. there is no way to stop terrorism if you insist on making enemies of most of the people on the planet. Why should they care about you? All they feel is fear.

So I would stop the War on Terror, and i would start making peace with the peoples of the planet by trying to understand them. i would like us to be able to say, “If that happened to me, I would feel exactly the way you do. And what can we do from here, from this understanding? What can we do together?

Secretaries report: Approved as distributed.

Treasurers report: Dovey (unable to attend tonight) will send the Treasurers report to Richard for posting on our web site. Dan will send to the VFP #1 list serve.

Dan reports that the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick has chosen VFP #1 to receive a donation in the amount of $583.58. Much thanks to the Brunswick Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick selecting us for this donation.

MaineShare: Richard reports that our Hike and Bike raised about $600 for MaineShare. Great job by the riders and their pledgers.

Membership: Dan Ellis reports that we have 159 members of which 111 are Regular, 28 are Associate, 10 are Honorary, 1 is a Lifetime member, and 9 are donors. Three new members were signed up as a result of the Common Ground Fair and we had two renewals.

Education Committee: Rita reports that the Education Committee has met with some schools and has had assistance from Roslie Tyler Paul of the American Friends Services.The committee will be meeting again soon. Areas that they are exploring is a campaign to discourage the purchase of War Toys. They are considering doing informational picketing at stores the day after Thanksgiving. They will meet at Slates in Hallowell at 10:00 A.M. and go from there.

Media Committee: Bob and Dud will be scheduling a Media Committee meeting soon. The VFP meetings are getting to the press prior to our meetings. We need to do more and reminded people that we can place info in papers and approach other Media outlets with approved materials.

Outreach Committee: Smitty reports that Peggy, Bob L, and he attended a marketing breakfast at CTN5 in Portland. The presentations focused on making your organization more visible and methods of fund raising. Particular attention was paid to using websites to garner donations, increased membership and for outreach. Smitty will see about getting a copy of the program on DVD for future use.

Board of Directors/Bylaws: We need to find a copy of our by laws. Dud will check with John Branson as he may have a copy from our 501 (3)(c) filing with the state several years ago. Dovey has some old info. Doug suggests we can use National as a template. Seth volunteers to help recreate timely bylaws if needed.

PTSD Symposium: Doug has contacted Paula Caplan about her being the key note speaker and coordinator/advisor. She is nationally known for her writings and work in the area of alternative treatment theories for what has been popularly labeled PTSD. Paula prefers the term “War Trauma”. If the group approves Doug will lock her in for May 18th at Hannaford Hall. The cost of Hannaford hall is $1,600 plus the cost of a meal and breaks, The cost of Hannaford Hall will be less if a USM faculty member sponsors the event, Doug will check with John Bauer in the Sociology Department. John has sponsored us before.

There was some discussion about the possible format that might be utilized for the event ranging from staying in one group to having keynote and then workshops and or discussion groups.

Peggy suggests that we call on Don Hardin to assist, as he has in the past, with CEU procedures.

Richard reported that Herb has suggested that Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology might be a possible collaborator.

Richard reminds us that we have a healthy bank balance.

Bob moved that we approve Paula Caplans’ participation in the Symposium as a key organizer and presenter at our 2013 Symposium on May 18th at Hannaford Hall at U.S.M. and that we approve an amount not to exceed $4,500. Seconded by Smitty. Approved. Doug, Dan, Dud and Bob agreed to work on this project. Others welcome. Contact Doug if wishing to help.

List serve: Discussion about the format and procedures for including events on our list serve focused around identification of who is initiating post on the list serve. Dan explained the difference between a list serve and a message board. Dud does not wish to go to a message board format.

Dan explains that the sender on a list serve post and show as VFP#1.

Rita wonders how to identify who initiates an item on the list serve. Dan says that persons name can appear on the Subject line. The identity can also show when item is opened.

It was agreed that items on the list serve be related to VFP.

Doug is happy to have another initiate list serve items. Feeling of the group is that Doug is doing a fine job and would like him to continue working on this with Dan. It was expressed that the process allow for the President, Richard, to have a direct role in list serve content.

Veterans Day in Portland, Sunday 11 November: After considerable discussion following Peggys’ report that Michael Brennan, Mayor of Portland would be pleased to have a VFP member speak but it is not in his purview. The American Legion continues to control the Portland Veterans Day Parade. The Commander of the Portland Post said we are free to walk in the parade as long as we do not have any signage that can be construed as political.

The group decided to NOT walk in the Parade but be at Monument Square, as we did last year. We also decided to put our button maker to use and make buttons entitled “Recruiter For PEACE” to pass out and perhaps giving people the opportunity to make their own PEACE buttons.

Structure of Business Meeting: This item was tabled until our retreat in January.

Middle East Children’s Alliance: Selma Sternlieb and Seth Berner presented information about the Middle East Children’s Alliance noting that there are 1.7 million people of Gaza who are desperate for clean water. The water supply is now limited and dangerously polluted. Two years ago a group in Maine formed the Friends of of the Middle East Children’s Alliance and raised over $5,000 for a water purification system for kindergarteners. This year they would like our help do the same for a UN-funded school for visually impaired children. On Saturday the 10th of November at 6:30 P.M. the UCC in Bath. Barbara Lupin will speak. Moved by Doug to donate $500, 2nd by Peggy. Approved.

“The Welcome” at USM November 8 from 7-9 P.M. At Luther Bonney Hall as part of John Bauer’s Death and dying class.

Donation ($200) to the GI Strong Coffee House in Seattle, Washington for returning Vets to Ft. Lewis. Works with people who have had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and have PTSD.

VFP National news from Doug Rawlings, Vice-President of VFP: Next convention, 2013, will be in Madison, Wisconsin at the Concourse Hotel. The next National Board meeting will be in St. Louis.

VFP is financially in the black $43,553.

VFP has 160 Chapters and is growing including London, England and a college campus in San Diego. We have 5,000 members and growing.

Note taker apologizes for missing the rest as he was listening to Doug and not writing.

Dud attended a meeting of 150 or so at the Vietnam Memorial Plaza in NYC,

Peggy reported that Code Pink and VFP participated in mock drone attacks at three sites in Portland.

Next meeting will be on November 29th in The Great Room, 11 King Street, Augusta at 7 pm.

Meeting adjourned 8:50 P.M.