President’s Message

We are entering the “Dog Days of Summer”. Many of us will be taking vacations, myself included, and our attendance will be smaller at the meetings. But remember to keep us in your thoughts and attend the meetings when you return.

The last monthly meeting was very productive and I hope informative. We honored two of our scholarship winners, and enjoyed them reading their essays. It was enjoyable to see such nice teenagers and their families. An additional highlight was George Meidhof giving us an overview on the updated web-site and newsletter. George has done an outstanding job on this project, but needs some assistance. It is very interesting so if you would like to upgrade your computer skills, learn photography, and write scripts, see George.

The fiscal budget for 2015-2016 was approved at this meeting and is available for viewing on the meeting bulletin board. We are planning to continue our level of charity support; the charities are listed on our web-site . The Chapter also is providing free transportation on a first come basis for the following events, “The Melbourne Veteran Encampment”, and Bushnell Veterans Cemetery to place flags for Memorial Day.

I have been stressing that we are not a club but rather a federally chartered Veterans Service Organization, the same as the VFW and the American Legion. So make every effort when talking to call us a Chapter, not a club. We have an obligation to serve our comrades less fortunate to better their quality of life.
However with work and dedication you need to have social time to get to know each other. We are planning at least two additional dances this year, which will be casual “BYOB”, events with music and food included for a reasonable cost. Plans are also afoot for a trip to Tampa Bay Downs (with a dinner buffet) sometime early next year, and a Chapter Cruise in late 2016.

So keep attending the General Membership meetings, read the news-letter for information. Fred Harrop, our 2 nd. Vice President will run the July2015 meeting in my and Bill Juchartz absence.



Obituary for Col David S Penniman, U.S. Air Force, Rtr.

Col. David S. Penniman, U.S. Air Force, Retired, 79, of The Villages passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015. Mr. Penniman was born July 16, 1935 in Claremont, NH to Harold Smith and Pansy Pearl (Plummer) Penniman. He was a Pilot with the U.S. Air Force. He moved to The Villages in 2011 and was a member of The Community United Methodist Church in Fruitland Park. David belonged to the Vietnam Veterans Association and was also a bicycle enthusiast riding with the Sumter Landing Bike Club. Survivors include his daughters, Linda French (Rob) of Dothan, AL and Karen Moring (Keith) of Tucson, AZ; sister, Joyce Brassaw of Claremont, NH and 4 grandchildren. David’s life will be celebrated 11:30am, Saturday, June 6, 2015 in the Community United Methodist Church, Fruitland Park. Inurnment with Military Honors will be in the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen later this summer. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Community Methodist Church, 309 College Ave, Fruitland Park, FL 34731.

What is a “Celebration of Life”?

Greg Arpin and I learned what a Celebration of Life means when we attended this ceremony for deceased member Col. David S. Penniman.

While the ceremony contained the usual spiritual messages there was a section that allowed the attendees to tell anecdotes about Dave, and his love of the military and his family. Dave succumbed to cancer but never his spirit for life, he died on a family cruise with his loved ones.

What struck both of us was his love for Chapter #1036, his daughters told us how proud he was to be a member. A sign of that was his Chapter #1036 shirt on display along with his many military honors in the church vestibule.

It was a very humbling sight to see how important his comrades were to him.



Farewell to a Good Comrade
Prepared by Pete Wagner

It is with much sorry that I report the passing of Robert (Greg) Gregoire. Greg as he liked to be called was born in Ohio in 1933, and served 13 years in the U.S. Army obtaining the rank of Specialist 7 th. class.
Greg was an active member of our Color Guard and also chaired the Government Affairs Committee. Greg was soft spoken and reserved but when he had something to say it was well worth listening to.
Myself, Rick Keeney, Greg Arpin and Larry Miloscio were present at a Veteran Pinning Ceremony at Cornerstone Hospice for Greg. While he was sedated his eyes, opened and you can see the joy in his eyes.
We will miss you Greg.


William Zarycki
Life Member
Remember our Fallen Comrade

William Sam Zarycki, 75, passed away on June 2, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Maggie, Three children, Glenda, Nancy, and Bryan. Four Brothers, John, Andy, George, and Bob of Ohio. Sister Ann of Ohio and Betty of Arizona. He moved to The Villages full time in 2007, but had been snow bird for many years. He was The Villages Santa Claus. He was a Veteran of the Army, serving in Vietnam from 63-65. Services will be held on June 12th at The Florida National Cemetery at 11AM. He will be missed by all.




Membership Report
Submitted by Greg Arpin Membership Chairman

        Our current membership stands at 461 we have 188 Life Members.  Many of you still waiting for membership cards, we appear to have a major problem with National’s timely processing of membership. I disagree with the numbers that have been provided and am challenging them, it also seems that renewal notices are not going out to the membership. We plan to use our internal records for determining membership numbers.
         I would like to welcome the following new members:

  • Otis C. Lane
  • Jim Talley
  • Bill Hebuer
  • James Cook
  • Patrick Bourgeois – Life Member    

The goal has been set for Chapter #1036 for the coming year of 500 members of which 200 will be Life Members, we are on our way. Tell your friends that are veterans that you did not have to have boots in-country to be a member just had to serve honorably during the era. Having dual membership in other Veteran Service Organizations is acceptable.
    We are waiting to hear from National on a new program to offer Life-Membership at a reduced rate.  It is anticipated that it will be announced at the National Convention in July.
        Vietnam Veterans of America, is a federally chartered Veteran’s Organization the same as the VFW and American Legion. So be proud of our name. Remember that we accept all major credit cards for membership payments, but checks or cash is preferred.



Operation Helping Hand Visit
Prepared by Pete Wagner

A group of the chapter members took time out of their lives to visit our wounded warriors at the Tampa VA Hospital, and share dinner with them. This event is sponsored monthly by Operation Helping Hand  for the veterans and their families to inspire conversation and veteran bonding.
We sat at table with our follow Villagers from the Marine Corp. League, who every month have almost ten (10) members present. This month they donated a check for $6,000.00,   read more