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Department of Missouri

8787 Old Santa Fe Trail

Kansas City MO 64131

09 Oct 2009

Minutes of the Business Meeting, of the Department Convention 16 May 2009

The Department of Missouri, Military Order of the Purple Heart held our Department Convention, 1200, Saturday, 16 May 2009 at LaQuinta Inn, So Campbell, Springfield, MO.


Attendees:       Mike Womack, C-784 Forsyth; Ron Mosbaugh, C-821 Joplin; Hank Hall C-621 Spgfld; Pete Kenser C-621; Everett Kelly, C-621; Randy Thomas C-621; Ed Janosik, C-621; Clayton Jones Natíl Jr VCdr; Carl Dietrich, C-621; Bud Whyte, C-115; John Fladung, C-115; Paul Starchman, C-821; Bob Russow, C-821; Howard Johnson, C-115; David Bowman Cdr R-II;  Jim Young C-621. Tony DeBello, C-125, Paul Schmitz, C-115; Bill Ball, C-125; Jim Goodin, C-115; Jim Scroggs, C-621; Ted Scott, C-621; Pete Kinser, C-621; Mac McCartney, C-621; Clayton Jones C-621; Tom Matheny, C-605; Jeff Pepper, C-605; Gary Hughes, C-115; Oliver Sade, C-621; John Marshall, C-; Van Johnston, C-621; Mickey Parent, C-784; William Thomas, C-2.  33 Members present


Meeting was called to order by Cdr Dietrich at 0800

Pledge of Allegiance was led by Sgt@Arms John Fladung.

Rob Neufeld led the assembly in the National Anthem


Minutes of the Feb Executive Council Meeting were read and approved

Cdr Dietrich has the Finance Report


Cdr D recognized Bill Ball for his work with our Dept website.  Patriot Ball explained the site is for information about the Department, and each Chapter has a link where they can post information, photos of their own.  Itís a valuable tool for recruiting and motivation of our inactive members.  Fenton has the most info and other Chapters should look at it and use it as a model.  The site is  Patriots were admonished that Ch-125 is Fenton, not the old St. Louis Chapter Ė Get it Right! 


Cdr D introduced Dr. Stroker, to explain the Our House Foundation program for counseling and assistance to recent mild-to-moderate Post Traumatic Stress and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury by raising monies or donated property to provide multi-modal buildings.  Costs will be provided at reduced cost to the Veteran.  Dr. Rita Spilkin spoke about the nature of the injuries sustained from the IEDís of Iraq and Afghanistan vs artillery and small arms prevalent in earlier conflicts and how the VA & military treatment system can no way deal with the needs of our new Veterans.  She urged we Veterans to become proactive and urge our local government representatives and corporate citizens to support programs such as this.


Ch-621 mbr Randy Thomas told about his most traumatic day on Laymanís Sunday at several churchs.  The process was therapeutic and he recommends doing so for all.  Ch-621 is doing this in schools and at groups in the metro. 


Patriot Howard Johnson reported on the Feb MAVO meeting.  He  mentioned a bill introduced by U.S. Rep, MO Joann Emerson  HR-237.   Also a Veterans Expo 26 May hosted  by U.S. Rep. Sam Graves MO 5th Dist.  He has invited all veterans groups and he is the only speaker.  In the Kansas City area, 30 nursing homes are inviting homeless Veterans to stay there and are asking groups for support while they are looking for work and lodging.  Jimmy Young pointed out that a large number of ĎHomeless Veteransí are not Veterans.  Clayton Jones endorsed that these Veterans need to be verified.  Patriot Young pointed out that many civilian groups want to do something for Veterans and we should make a good effort to teach them about the DD-214 with no corrections to verify Veteranís status.  He recommended to verify Vet status.  Past Dept Sr.Vice Cdr Chuck and Mary Shantag have started up this site and have been instrumental in showing up many wanna-beís.  


Ted Scott moved and Paul  Schmitz seconded to donate $100 to Graceway Baptist Church in appreciation for letting Cdr D print up the Convention booklet.  Motion passed.  Cdr Dietrich mentioned he had not gone out and solicited support from corporate sponsors to fund this Dept Convention, however a few friends, corporate and private did donate. 


Recent changes in the National Charter provide that Associate Members can hold any appointed position in the Order except Adjutant but no elected positions.


Cdr D asked what was the staff wishes regarding our Dept Executive Council Meetings Ė we went from 3 times a year to once a year and the Dept Convention in response to high gas prices.  Consensus was that the business we had to discuss didnít call for more often.  Patriot Jones pointed out that our Bylaws called for the EC to meet following the Regional Cdr meetings following the Natíl Convention. Patriot Young reported our Bylaws call for the EC to meet immediately before the Dept Convention and within 24 hours following the Dept Convention.  The next Dept EC will probably be hosted by Ch-140, Ft. Leonard Wood.  Date, time and place will be worked out.  Ch-125 Fenton volunteered to host the 2010 Dept Convention.  Paul Starchman moved and Paul Schmitz seconded naming the host Ė motion passed. 


Legislative Officer Ed Jasovik reported on the 110th Congress.  The VA was funded at an increase.  Travel reimbursement was increased to 41cents/mile.  Patriot Jasovik mentioned Missouri has real clout on Veteransí issues in Congress with U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton as Chair of the House Veterans Committee and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.  Both are strong supporters of Veterans.  Sen. McCaskill is investigating War profiteers like Sen. Harry Truman did Ė no-bid contracts, cost over-runs and the like.  Patriot Jones has developed good relationship with Sen. McCaskillís office. 


Cdr D called for a motion to buy a full-page ad for $225 in the Natíl Convention Booklet.  Patriot Young moved and in the ad we support Patriot Clayton Jones for Natíl Sr. Vice Cdr.  Paul Starchman seconded, motion passed. 


Patriot Young moved that the Dept authorize the Commander to repair or replace the large Purple Heart Display costing up to $750.  Paul Starchman seconded. Motion passed.


Ch-125 Cdr Tony DeBello explained the Fallen Warrior Program his Chapter has embraced.  They put together a ceremony to award the Plaques to survivors of KIAís of our current conflicts.  They have solicited sponsors for the 96 plaques which cost $40 or so and will present at locations around the state.  All Veterans groups are invited to participate.  MOPH started the program, but it has been embraced by the other Veterans groups.  Cdr Dietrich participated in that ceremony 21 March for 22 families in St.Louis with Ch-125 and it was moving and quite meaningful.  There are 23 Fallen Warriors in Ft. Wood /Springfield/Joplin area, 20 in the metro Kansas City and 14 in the Columbia/mid-Missouri area.  They need our local Chapters to identify places to hold these in Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, etc, also assistance in finding the survivors to invite.  Open spaces are desirable for various flag ceremonies like high school gyms, etc.  Cdr D feels this program should be handled at the Department level and names Chief-of-Staff Jimmy Young to coordinate it.


NSO Mark Horrell, of Mt.Vernon Outpatient Clinic gave us an update on the system:  23.8 M Vets total in 2008, 6 M disabled, 2.3M compensated nationally.  He urged all Vets with any type disability get into the system.  The overall numbers of Vets in the system just make it stronger in govít budget calculations.  If a Vet doesnít want his earned disability compensation, he/she can donate it to their charity of choice.  Mt. Vernon falls under  FayettevilleAR VAMC as does Branson, Ft. SmithAR and HarrisonAR and JayOK due to open this year in their division.  Mt. Vernon is in the top 5 of outpatient clinics in the national VA system in number of patient visits.  Mt. Vernon sees more patients than does Fayetteville.  There are 60,000 Vets in SW Missouri.


NSO Horrell is impressed with the training provided NSO personnel.  They are taught the best ways to get claims approved and how to handle them.  For each dollar spent in the Service program, Vets get $34 back in compensation Ė not a bad return.  Interesting that many NSOs are former VA employees.  They bring their experience to MOPH.  He urged Vets with a claim that has been denied, donít walk away, bring it back and let MOPH work on the appeal.  TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, is not something new, Vets have had it since at least WW-II.  A Vet who still has headaches or memory loss from being blown out of a foxhole back when, still has a workable claim.  Criteria were approved 23 Oct 08.  There is no time limit on TBI.  Scars, anywhere and burns to the eyes were also approved and compensable.  Joplin has House Inc which puts up homeless Vets and tries to get them employed and on their own.  Combat Related Special Compensation is a program to restore a Vetís Retirement which was reduced by their VA Disability in the past.  A qualifying Vet should put in for it. 


Patriot Starchman reported on Jr ROTC, a good program in high schools that we should support and give out awards to deserving students.  He also reported on Americanism and the many activities Chapters are involved are reportable as Americanism activities.


Patriot Jones encouraged Dept members to take part in Veterans Week in November.

He encouraged Chapters to expend any funds in excess of $25,000 by the end of the calendar year.  We will need to fill out a long form tax return, and part of it requires a CPA to complete. 


Patriot Jones  brought up the uniforming requested for the Natíl Convention Ė they want Patriots to be in MOPH polo shirts.  In past years Patriots have become extremely casual, like shorts, tank-tops and flip-flops.  We need to bring class to the event and show respect for the Order and each other.


Patriot Jones stated Jeff Roy, Jim Sims and himself have tried to bring honor, honesty and transparency back to the Order.  He gave his support for Jim Sims for Natíl Commander and stated as Sr. Vice Cdr, he plans to help.  He also stated that income of the Foundation is down 40% across the board.  Donations are down and investments also down.  Sims is especially supportive of the Scholarship Program.  The Director, Staff Secretary and a Manager are the only paid positions in the Foundation other than  the NSOs.  Salaries come to $7.5M.


Natíl JrVice Cdr Jones passed out Certificates of Appreciation to the Department and Chapter Commanders and PDC Jimmy Young from Region-II Commander Dave Bowman thanking them for their service to the Department and the Order.


Patriot Young recapped the growth of Ch-621 from 1999 and the service of Patriot Jones to the Department and the National Organization.  The National Convention in 2005, hosted in Springfield by the smallest Department in the Order is still being discussed in National circles.  Congratulations to the leadership and Patriots of Chapter 621 and the Department of Missouri.


Cdr Dietrich stated no one has stepped forward wanting change in Department Leadership.

John Fladung was re-elected to Sgt-at-Arms.  Ron Mosbaugh was elected Judge Advocate.  Van Johnston was retained as Finance Officer.  Paul Starchman was retained as Jr. Vice Cdr.  Everett Kelly was retained as Sr. Vice Cdr.  Carl Dietrich was retained as Commander.  Patriot Jones installed the Officers for the 2009-2010.

Patriot Howard Johnson is appointed Chaplin.


Commander Dietrich adjourned the Business Meeting at 1530.

Patriots and their ladies remaining gathered for dinner at Ryanís Steak House across the parking lot from La Quinta.

                                                            Respectfully Submitted Ė Bud Whyte Adjutant

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