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Directors’ Reports, July/August 2022 -   -  

It has been a great summer so far and Region 1 members have been active. In Massachusetts, State Council President Gumersindo Gomez reports that he has obtained a $50,000 grant from the state for the SC’s Veterans Service Officer program. This enabled him to add two new VA-certified VSOs, and this is great news for VVA members who need assistance with claims.

Gomez was the keynote speaker at the National Vietnam War Veterans Day ceremonies on March 29 at the Fall River, Mass., Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The Rhode Island State Council has offered to host our Region 1 Convention on September 24. We will post information as it becomes available. Please plan on attending, as there should be a lot of new information coming after the August Leadership Conference.

Rhode Island Chapter 273 again marched in the Bristol, R.I., Independence Day parade on July 4th, the oldest and largest in the country. Also from Rhode Island, VVA National Chaplain Fr. Phil Salois dedicated the Gold Star Family Memorial at the state Veterans Memorial Cemetery on May 15.

Bruce Dobson of Massachusetts Chapter 908 presented a check for $1,000 from the Massachusetts State Council, along with $250 from the chapter, to Marion Dennehy, the vice president of Gold Star Wives of America at their 2022 convention in Boston in July.

From New Hampshire, Chapter 992 President Melvin Murrel sent me the latest copy of the chapter’s always-informative newsletter. It was full of news, poetry, humor, and two pages of color photos of the celebration of life held for chapter member, Carl Floyd. Very touching and fitting.

Fr. Phil has informed me of the death of longtime VVA member Rich Early of Chapter 115 in Leominster, Mass. He was a hard-working advocate for Vietnam War veterans going back to VVA’s beginnings. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

Finally: another reminder to members of the region to get me the news on what they are doing.

I was not able to attend the April Board of Directors meeting due to the loss of Charlie, my faithful service dog. We appreciate Carlton Rhodes, our Region 2 alternate director, for sitting in at the BOD meeting. A deep heartfelt thank you to everyone who gave their condolences on the passing of Charlie. Nyla was with me for 40 years and Charlie was with me for 15, and I was blessed to have them in my life, so thank you, VVA family.

On June 10 and 11, I attended the Pennsylvania State Council conference in State College. The conference was well attended with plenty of participation and input. The discussions about chapters communicating, activity, and participation were very interesting and quite lengthy. Congratulations to the newly elected officers I had the pleasure of swearing in.

President: Larry Googins
1st Vice President: Tim Susengill
2nd Vice President: Rich Hudzinski
Secretary: James Imparapo
Exec VP Treasurer: Jake Barsottini

On June 17 and 18, I attended the New York State Council meeting in Nichols. Seventeen chapters were represented, along with many guests including a large contingent of Korean American veterans of the Vietnam War. After the elections were held, I was pleased to swear in a top-of-the-line group of officers and directors. Congratulations to all.

President: Ned Foote
Vice President: Grant Coates
Secretary: Francisco Muñiz
Treasurer: Nick DeLeo
Eastern District Director: Sam Hall
Western District Director: Bill Patton
Southern District Director: John Rowan
Central District Director: Nick Valenti

The New Jersey State Council meeting took place on June 26 with an excellent turnout. The annual 50/50 drawing was very successful again. We welcome and congratulate the new officers and board members.

President: Phil Pesano
Vice President: Mike Quilty
Secretary/Treasurer: Carlton Rhodes
Eastern District Director: Allen Saltzman
Western District Director: Lee Hendrickson
Southern District Director: Enrico Storino
Central District Director: Nick Valenti 

The Delaware State Council election results are as follows:

President: Paul Davis
Vice President: Terry Baker
Secretary: Dave Shocik
Treasurer: Tony Eopollo

Region 3 is a large geographical area. This year I have made visits to four State Conferences: in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Later this year I will attend the Conferences in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. It is a pleasure to visit and listen to what’s happening in these states. To solve problems is not always easy, and is sometimes a challenge.

We are all looking forward to the National Leadership & Education Conference in Greenville, South Carolina, in August. Seeing our brothers and sisters is always a blessing and puts a smile on our faces.




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