July 23, 2017, Chapter Newsletter
2017 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition
The Association of the U.S. Army will conduct its 2017 Annual Meeting and Exposition on October 9 to 11 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., located between 7th and 9th Streets, N Street and New York Avenue.
The meeting is North America’s largest exhibition of land power vehicles and equipment and features discussion panels, workshops, and professional development sessions.
This year the AUSA Delaware Chapter will be recognized as the Overall ‘Best Chapter’ in Category 5 (under 250 members). The President will receive the award at the opening ceremony on October 9.
Admission is free to AUSA members, but some events (Guard/ Reserve Breakfast, ROTC Luncheon, etc.) require tickets in advance.
242nd Army Birthday
Chapter members and guests celebrated the 242nd Birthday of the U.S. Army on June 14th at the newly opened Delaware Military Museum. The Museum, operated by the Delaware Military Historical and Education Foundation, is located at Armory, First Regiment Road, Wilmington, DE, 19805. (Per tradition, the first cut of the cake is made by both the senior and junior person in attendance.)
From left to right: COL (Ret) Gary W. Dawson, President of the AUSA Delaware Chapter; Sergeant Luna; MG (Ret) William Duncan, a Korean War Veteran; CW3 (Ret) Charles Glenn; and BG (Ret) Terry Wiley, the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Delaware.
Our Community Salutes 2017
As reported last month, AUSA, Delaware Chapter, conducted our Sixth Annual ‘Our Community Salutes’ event on May 16, 2017. After some delay, the photos are now available on the OCS webpage, ocsde.org.
Each enlistee received letters of appreciation signed by Senators Carper and Coons and Representative Blount-Rochester, as well as one from the Chairmen of both the State House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.
Christopher McGuire (pictured here with his wife), a counselor at Dover High School, was presented with the GEN Colin L. Powell Award for his efforts to assist students seeking to begin their career in the military.
U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association partners with AUSA
Last month AUSA and the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association have a new membership agreement, whereby a 1-year AUSA membership was extended to all current members of the USAWOA that began on June 1, 2017. From this agreement, our Chapter added 64 new members.
Welcome to all of these new members, and we look forward to your ideas and comments.
Kent Vietnam Veterans Honor Vietnam ‘Dustoff’ Association Crews who Saved Them
“That others may live,” was the slogan of the UH-1 Dustoff helicopter crews who flew into firefights to rescue the wounded in Vietnam. That slogan and heroism have been passed down to today’s medical evacuation crews who serve in harm’s way across the globe.
Vietnam Dustoff Association is coming to Dover for their September 21-23, 2017 national convention. They will be hosted by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America. They have special meaning to Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president, who will never forget his own life-saving ride after being wounded in Vietnam in 1969. “I remember being told to hold on, help was on the way. In less than 15 minutes the ‘whop, whop, whop’ was like an angel’s voice telling me I’d survive.”
“The UH-1 Huey on display at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park serves as an ongoing reminder of their heroism,” he said. Paul Davis (pictured left), V.P. of Chapter 850, worked for two years with government officials and chapter members to acquire and transport the UH-1.
One of the highlights will be a Friday, September 22, 7 p.m., dinner hosted by the chapter at the Modern Maturity Center and followed by several events the next day. Saturday’s agenda will include a 10 AM ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road in Dover where crew members will be honored, followed by lunch at the Dover AFB dining facility where the Dustoff crews with be greeted by representatives of the 436th Airlift Wing.
“These men, several thousand of whom paid the ultimate price saving lives in Vietnam,” are our brothers…,” said Mr. Startt. “We will always honor and revere them.”
The $35-a-plate dinner will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cutoff date is September 15. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call 302-697-8384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veteran Homelessness: No Veteran should be without a place to call home.
The VA is committed to ending homelessness among Veterans. Their focus is threefold:
- Coordinated outreach to proactively seek out Veterans in need of assistance.
- Connecting homeless and at-risk Veterans with housing solutions, healthcare, community employment services and other required supports.
- Collaborating with federal, state and local agencies; employers; housing providers, faith-based and community non-profits; and others to expand employment and affordable housing options for Veterans that are exiting homelessness.
See all the V.A. programs and services at http://www.va.gov/
Online Exchange Use is Underway
Last month, about 12,000 “beta test” veterans tested online exchange shopping, which will be open for millions of honorably discharged veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th.
All veterans are being encouraged to take the first step by confirming veteran eligibility status at https://www.vetverify.org. It might be a multi-step process if the Defense Manpower Data Center lacks information to verify that a veteran served and received an honorable discharge.
For most applicants, the process goes smoothly. Those approved for the “beta test” receive an email inviting them to be a test participant and begin to shop immediately through four exchange service portals: www.shopmyexchange.com for Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): www.mynavyexchange.com for Navy exchanges; www.mymcx.com for Marine Corps stores, and www.shopcgx.com for Coast Guard exchanges.
By early July, 90,000 veterans have attempted to register to exchange shop online starting Nov. 11. Twelve percent of them got invitations to shop immediately. AAFES was monitoring shopping patterns to ensure their online portal and distribution system are ready for waves of new shoppers this fall, said Ana Middleton, president and chief merchandising officer for AAFES. “My worst fear,” said Middleton, “is a tsunami on November 11th, if everybody decides, ‘Hey, I’m going to check this out’ and they sign on that day at the same moment.” AAFES is building website capacity to allow for 30,000 simultaneous shoppers at any given time. A lot of shoppers “would have to be signing on at that exact same millisecond to stress it out. So yes, I feel that we are sized appropriately.”
Exchange use will save shoppers time and money, as there are no taxes and shipping is prompt. Exchange profits go to pay salaries, fund store operations and to ensure adequate website capacity, AND a percentage of profits are distributed to on-base Morale, Welfare and Recreational activities including child development centers, fitness centers, and, overseas, school lunches.
SAVE THE DATE!
The Delaware Chapter, AUSA is planning its first Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, May 18, 2018, at the Salt Pond Golf Club in Bethany Beach, DE. Proceeds will be donated to the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund.
Please Join or Renew Your Membership
Join, or renew your membership in AUSA. Dues are only $40 for two years, AUSA is a strong voice on Capitol Hill, and it supports programs that benefit soldiers and their families! Go to https://www.ausa.org/membership/individual
Gary W. Dawson, President
Delaware Chapter, AUSA