American Legion Post 229
General Membership Meeting Minutes, March 14, 2019
Call to Order
The membership meeting was held at the Masonic Lunar Lodge #918, 740 Eastview Drive, Madison starting at 7:02pm. Meeting called to order by Commander Larry Vannoy. Prayer was given by chaplain Andy Caudle
Legionnaires in attendance: Larry Vannoy – Commander, Earl Watts – 1st Vice, Stacey Harring – Adjutant, Robert Kirby – Finance Officer, Chris Brown – Judge Advocate, Andrew Caudle -Chaplin, Richard Blanton Jr - Historian, Tom McKinney - Americanism, Bill McGahey, Richard Jones, Edward Durst, Ethel Durst, Jean Downs, Jerry Barker, Lester Barnard, Brady Rodgers, Rick Jarrell and Chuck Drown.
Presentation: John Pinion, Veteran’s Administration Outreach Coordinator.
There are four departments in the VA:
VBA – Benefits coordinator, run by the state of Alabama
VHA – Health care – They treat your health care needs, they are run by the federal government
VCA – Cemetery
Veterans Health Care – it’s the largest health care system in the country. If you travel, you can go to any VA clinic across the country. If you are traveling, it’s a large integrated electronic network. There are 9 million veterans trying to use this health system. There are 8 priorities, 50% service connected disability – everything is covered. When you are 10% or less, the VA starts looking at charging you for services, and they look at your income level. All programs that the VA has are for veterans; they only serve Veterans. There is a home-based primary care program, where the doctors, therapists etc. come to your house to provide you care. The VA has several specialty clinics and programs, such as an ALS clinic. Seven out of 10 doctors in the US are trained by the VA. Low vision clinic, blind rehab clinic, and Nursing home program are a few of the programs offered. If you don’t enroll in the VA then you don’t have access to all of these services. You need to go and see your primary care doctor once a year, or after a few years you will drop off the rolls. If Veterans don’t use the VA, services and money will continue to be cut. Speak up, get involved, and be a part of the Veteran’s Administration. If you have had a bad experience, things have gotten better and the culture internally has changed. It’s better to enroll, have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it. His job is to help Veterans enroll in the system. Using the VA is a way to advocate for veterans. Once you hit 70% service connected disabled, you can request to be rated at 100%.
Approval of the Minutes – Minutes were voted to be accepted by the post after a motion by Earl Watts and seconded by Dick Jones. Minutes were approved by the post.
Sick and shut ins –John Kuhn, friend of our Post and WWII veteran, passed away and several members helped with his memorial service.
Adjutant – Please renew if you have not done so already. Currently we are still short of our goal this year. The year ends in July, but let’s try to get 100% ASAP. Andy Caudle made a motion to approve the adjutant report and Bill McGahey seconded, with the post approval.
Finance Report – Finance report was passed out and a motion to approve was made by Earl Watts and seconded by Dick Jones, motion passed.
State/County – Boys State is a county wide event. All the schools have been notified, the event is the last week of May for boys finishing their junior year, entering their senior year. Commander Vannoy made a motion to offer up two scholarships $450 total. There will be a committee that will interview anyone who is in need and would like a scholarship. Tom McKinney made the motion, Bill McGahey second, motion passed.
Americanism – JROTC: James Clemens April 20th at 6pm is the presentation from our post.
Pavers – No update
Legion Baseball – No update
Blue Star Banner – If you know of anyone who is eligible and would like one, please let Earl Watts know.
POST 229 Auxiliary – Jean Downs is the President, they met tonight. They is going to be a poppy poster contest in the schools for 3rd grade and children with disabilities. They want to display them at the Memorial Day Ceremony. They will support Girls State next year. In the past, Huntsville has been supporting the Madison girls. The number of girls that can go depends on the size of the junior class. Under 400 students, they get one girl, over 400 students, they get two girls that can attend. There are 3 girls going from Madison.
NAVFOC – We will be hosting in May at the Senior Center.
Boy Scouts Troop 201 –March 9th at 1700, Hunter Gaufennet had a court of honor for his Eagle Scout at City Hall, several members attended. They are still looking for merit badge counselors, look at the website for more info.
Girl Scout 926 – They are going back packing next weekend.
Post 237 is having a golf tournament March 24th Fox Run. The money will go to the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer fund.
VietNam Veteran’s Day is March 29th. On Saturday the 30th there will be a celebration at the Huntsville Veteran’s Memorial. (9 a.m. coffee and donuts, 11 a.m. presentation)
Flag Retirement Ceremony will be on March 30th at 4pm with the Knights of Columbus; they would like to have the Boy Scouts as well. Richard brought up that there is usually a retirement ceremony on Flag Day June 14th if we want to plan for it.
-Tut Fann – event in the spring: cookout/ice cream
-AL Dept of Veterans Affairs – They are the advocate for the American Legion as the VSO
-Elections will be in June for all officers of the Post.
-Stacey Harring requested that the Post donate $500 to a local Gold Star family that is in need. There is a race taking place this weekend to raise money for the Madison family, but we would like to donate the money directly to the family. The motion to support this was made by Bill McGahey and seconded by Earl Watts, motion was approved.
Stacey will make contact and coordinate the donation.
Flags: Discussion on when we will put out flags. Decision was made to put them out May 18th 10am and pick up on June 1st.
Presentation: Looking for a new place to get the tent from and rent chairs. Mike Ball will be the speaker, Stacey Harring will be the emcee.
Poppies: We have 2 of 3 Walmarts secured. We also need to decide on how many poppies need to be ordered this year.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 pm