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Orange County Veterans Services Hiring  0

It is finally happening!  Orange County has advertised for a candidate to fill the long-vacant County Veterans Service Officer. Available Orange County positions, including VSO, can be found by following this link: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/orangecountync/default.cfm. All applications are taken online and the position will close on June 1, 2013.

Please share this information with potential candidates. We need this position filled.

Spring Fling at Durham VAMC – April 28  0

Chapel Hill Post 9100 Ladies Auxiliary are heading for the Hospitalized Veterans Spring Fling at the Durham VA Hospital this Sunday from 2-4 p.m.  Comrades are invited to join the ladies and to lend a helping hand.  This is a special time for our hospitalized vets.  Let’s show our support.

Volunteers will meet downstairs near the hospital  flagpole at 1:30 p.m.  and proceed to the ward as a group. The ladies are bringing cookies and sugar free drinks.

 

Veterans Memorial Approved  0

The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the concept plan for a Veterans Memorial at Chapel Hill at their regularly scheduled April 22nd town council meeting.

Artist's drawing of memorial
Artist’s drawing of memorial

Post members Rusty Edmister and Jim Stallings spoke on behalf of the memorial.  They spoke with passion and strongly supported the memorial.  After much deliberation, the town council approved the memorial concept plan.  This enables the memorial to enter the fundraising and final design phases.

The final design will evolve as the Veterans Memorial Committee considers options and takes stock of fundraising efforts.  The final product is dependent on funds raised.  Visit the memorial’s website.

The local media covered the town council meeting and here are their reports:

  • Chapel Hill may build veterans memorial – The Daily Tar Heel – Former council member Jim Merritt petitioned the council in 2009 to build a memorial in honor of local veterans. Butch Kisiah, director of Chapel Hill’s …  Read story
  • CHTC OK’s Veterans Memorial Concept PlanChapelboro.com  – CHAPEL HILL- The Chapel Hill Town Council endorsed a plan to build a veterans memorial at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery, but council members say they …  Read story
  • Council approves concept for veterans’ memorial – Durham Herald Sun – In an interview following the council’s decision, Merritt, who chaired the Chapel Hill Veterans Memorial Design Committee, said he was pleased to be moving …  Read story

Robert Patton Remembered  0

It is hard to put pen to paper when you are writing about family or a long-time friend.  Robert Patton was both.  We lost him on April 11th, 2013, after a long illness.

Robert touched a lot of people.  People in our town, people in his veterans organizations, and people who are survivors of the holocaust.  He spent the last few years ensuring that those who served were not forgotten.  He championed a Veterans Memorial at Chapel Hill–a project now in progress.

Robert Patton remembers veterans on Memorial Day
Robert Patton remembers veterans on Memorial Day

His presence is especially felt by the families of holocaust survivors.  Here in our Chapel Hill-Durham area there are children of survivors.  Some have expressed gratitude to Robert.  They would not be here, had the 65th Infantry not freed Mauthausen on May 5, 1945.

Here are our thoughts, as written for the Veterans Memorial at Chapel Hill website.

Robert served as an enlisted man in the United States Army in the 65th Infantry Division, Third U.S. Army. This was General George Patton’s army, although they were not related.

As World War II was ending, Robert Patton found himself at Mauthausen, Austria, on May 5, 1945. This was the site of a German Concentration Camp. The 65th Infantry liberated that camp. Robert returned to Austria for a 65th Infantry Reunion visit and they journeyed to Mauthausen. He saw then that a large area was a covered field, yet this was the site of a mass burial of camp members. He brought this to the attention of the local government and that led to a years-long effort to place a memorial at the mass burial grave site.

Robert returned again for the dedication of the Mauthausen Memorial and then once again to place his World War II uniform in an Austrian museum. Learn more

Robert spoke extensively about the concentration camp, its liberation, and his personal observation. This won him significant recognition and membership in the local Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau.

Here is what local person recently wrote about his passing and Mauthausen:

  • “I am devastated to hear about Robert. I admired him so much! And I will forever be grateful for his service. My grandfather was in Mauthausen and so was my cousin’s great-grandfather. Bob may have saved the life of my cousin’s great-grandfather.I doubt that I would be here if it were not for our brave men and women during WWII.” – Deborah H. Long, CDEI, DREI, Ed.D

Robert Patton was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in recognition of his service during World War II in France. Learn more

Robert Patton passed away on April 11, 2013. He was a long time supporter of local veterans’ efforts to establish a veterans memorial in Chapel Hill. He realized that there was no memorial of any type built by the Town of Chapel Hill and supported a town memorial.

  • His graveside service and inurnment is scheduled for April 20th, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.
  • A memorial service will be held at his church, University Presbyterian Church, on April 27th, 2013. at 11 a.m. Details

Robert Patton was selected as a Chapel Hill Treasure and several times as the recipient of the WCHL Radio Village Pride Award for being a Chapel Hill Hometown Hero. Learn more

He served as American Legion Chapel Hill Post 6 Commander and Adjutant. He also served as Adjutant, Veterans of Foreign Wars C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 6.

News stories

– Lee Heavlin, April 16, 2013

NC Memorial Hospital Veterans Day and Flag Pole Dedication – Nov 9th  0

Our post commemorated Veterans Day last year by joining the veteran employees of North Carolina Memorial Hospital on Manning Drive. We have been asked to return again this year to speak and to assist in the dedication of the hospital’s new flag pole and flag plaza.

Jr. Vice Ed Gill

The University of North Carolina Hospital is hosting an event to recognize our local veterans at NC Memorial Hospital the week of Veteran’s Day. The event will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 9th. Guests are asked to join with the hospital staff in the main lobby of the NC Memorial Hospital. See map/directions

Memorial Hospital was the first hospital built on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus and is named in honor of North Carolinian men and women who have given or will give their lives while in the armed forces. It is also the home of the John M. Reeves All Faiths Chapel. This chapel was made possible by Mr. John M. Reeves and by matching funds from the veterans of the North Carolina American Legion.

The UNC Army ROTC unit and color guard will dedicate the flag pole.

Colonel Robert Bauman, U.S. Army (Ret.),  will be the guest speaker. Colonel Bauman is a long-time resident of Chapel Hill and owns BEAMCo, a local Chapel Hill Company.

Edward Gill, Post Jr. Vice Commander, will be recognized for service to the the American Legion and community. Edward Gill is the Department of North Carolina Legionnaire of the Year 2012.

Let’s give this event our strong support as we honor the living veterans of our area. It was a great event last year that was well attended.  Parking is available at the hospital parking garage on Manning Drive.

Taking Care of Others  0

Our post is blessed with active, caring members. We get involved in the community and raise Veteran Relief funds for the benefit of veterans, their families, and our community. We help hospitalized veterans, hospice veterans, homeless veterans, two North Carolina Fisher Houses, our brothers at the American Legion and others. But, we always strive to do more.

The Post stepped out of the box this past month to tackle a project designed to help a local Korean War veteran. We were approached by Bill Munsee of the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors’ Fix-A-Home project. The association reaches out to the community each year by fixing up a home of a person in need. We were asked to assist in locating a veteran.

Korean War veteran Jack Neville of Carrboro was an ideal candidate. We learned about his need through a personal visit to help him locate replacement military service separation paperwork. His home had a leaking roof that damaged the interior of his bungalow. There was ceiling, wall, and carpeting damage. The repairs were far greater than he could handle without help. We supported his candidacy for this year’s Fix-A-Home project.  (Jack Neville is not now a member or our post, but has expressed interest in joining.)

A review of Jack Neville’s home repair needs was made and we soon learned that the scope would be larger than normal. The most important part was to re-roof the house to protect the interior. Bill Munsee asked for our help with the roof. He could get the labor, but there was still the cost of materials.

Our post took on the funding of the roof by approaching other potential benefactors. We found help right down the street from Jack Neville. Mac Fitch of Fitch Lumber Company, Carrboro, funded and provided the underlayment, a roof ridge vent system, and roof vent seals. We were still missing the most important part, the shingles.

Post 9100 took a look at the cost of the materials and we were able to fund a low-quality shingle. We discussed our options and approved $500 from our Veterans’ Relief Funds toward the materials. Next, Mark Summner stood up in the meeting and made a “pass the hat” challenge with $20 to start the collection. Fives, tens, twenties and a fifty dollar bill soon filled the hat. We raised an additional $220 to replenish our relief fund and to ensure we had enough to buy the shingles.

As this writer likes to say, “Wait, wait, there’s more!”

We returned to Fitch Lumber with cash in hand and an idea. “Was it possible to get the CertainTeed distributor to provide materials with a special discount for this project.” Mac Fitch had already stepped up to personally help us and we asked him to help us stretch our cash in hand. Mac made no promises, but he did reach out to his distributor. The result was beyond our expectations. We obtained a 30-year shingle for the project and we remained within budget!

While we were working on materials, Bill Munsee was busy lining up a roofing team to install the roof and we now had the materials for him. Tri-City Insulation, Herndon Construction, and Thomas Roofing Company teams cleared the old shingles, repaired the damaged wood structure, and laid the shingles.

A lot of people came together to make this new roof possible, but there is still more to do. Plans are underway to repair the interior and volunteers are needed. You can learn more about the project so far and the many other sponsors by reading Plugging the Leaks.

Related stories:

Helping our Hospitalized Veterans  0

The Ladies Auxiliary has already donated ten winter coats for the VA’s Homeless Veterans program. There is still more to do.

Glenn Sumner, Ladies Auxiliary President writes, “Here is the latest information from the VA Hospital on the things they need for our veterans. I thought we might fill some “pink” bags for the women at our next meeting.”  View wish list of  VA Hospital needs Jan 2012.

Let’s give the ladies a hand and bring in some of the things on the list.

He fought for this right  0

This story is just too good not to pass on.  It is making its way around as a viral email, but it is true and worth sharing.

A retired 90-year-old veteran wanted to raise a flag in front of his house.  He cherished the flag and was proud of it.  He had fought to protect and preserve it during World War II.  He did not want to put up a decoration on a short pole.  Van T. Barfoot wanted everyone to see it.

Van put up a 21′  pole and raised his flag.  That did not sit too well with the local home owners association and they told him it had to go.  Besides, he did not have a permit for a 21′ pole.

So, what would you do?  Submit?  Can’t afford to take on a home owners association or the town?  Not Mr. Barfoot.  Remember, he was real proud of his flag and he was not about to take it down.

You  know where this story is going…   Page 2…

Well, he did not take the flag down and it is still flying 21′ feet in the air.  He fought back and won the hearts of many across this great nation of ours.  Fox News covered his fight and he had a personal story to tell.  Old Mr. Barfoot is a Medal of Honor recipient!  He also has a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and not one, but three Purple Hearts.

On May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy, Sergeant Van T. Barfoot, serving as a scout of the German lines,  took on the Germans and three machine gun emplacements and was so busy killing (8) and capturing Germans (17 in all), that he had to leave a couple behind for his support squad while he went on to the next emplacement.  He was armed with only grenades and a tommy gun.  Later that afternoon, three German Mark VI tanks attacked in an attempt to replace the captured emplacements.  He grabbed a bazooka and took out one 75 yards away while fully exposed.  The two others took off, but he continued defending.  He then took on and destroyed an enemy artillery piece.  Tired, weak, but still going, he helped two wounded men from his squad reach the rear, 1,700 yards away.

Sergeant Barfoot received a battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant.  It is reported that he chose to have the Medal of Honor presented to him in the field before his men.  LGen Alexander Patch presented the medal on Sep 28, 1944, in Epinal, France. There is a lot more to his story and it is one of many. Read Medal of Honor citation.

He continued to serve his country and fought in Korea and Vietnam before retiring as a Colonel.  Colonel Barfoot is one of the last surviving World War II recipients of the Medal of Honor.

The homeowners association, after much bad press and national attention, to include White House and Senate interest, backed down.  Old Glory proudly waves for Colonel Barfoot.

We are honored to have many veterans with great stories of valor, service and commitment to their country and community, many live in our district.   We hope to share their stories with you.

NC State VOD Winner Takes 3rd Place!  0

Wow, wow, wow!  Kinston Post 2771 is one happy post as their candidate, Logan Beyer, took 3rd Place in the national Voice of Democracy competition and won a $10,000 VFW Scholarship.  This is a first time in 40 years for North Carolina!

Charles Kuralt won Voice of Democracy top honors while in Central High School in Charlotte in 1951.

Winners were announced late yesterday at the 2011 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

The competition, sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, is keen and starts fresh in Washington, where each state winner must present their oral audio-essay to judges. 

The first-place winner, Kelsey Woo, sponsored by Post 10694 out of Santa Ana, Calif., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award in the amount of $30,000. The second-place winner, Sarah Olive-McStay, sponsored by Post 7089 out of Tumwater, Wash., received the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship Award.  All other state winners received at least a $1,000 college scholarship. Nearly 50,000 students participated in this year’s competition.

Learn more about this contest, the National Teacher of the Year, and Patriot’s Pen contest winners..

Get ready for next year’s program now.  Our state took top honors last year with the National Teacher of the Year (High School) winner, and this year we have a top winner for Voice of Democracy.  It would be great to win both of them again and to add a national winner for Patriot’s Pen to our North Carolina pride list.  Details

Post Hosts District 6  0

Our district meeting on January 22nd was the largest in recent memory. About 90 people attended.

We are very proud of our participation as C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100 hosted the Saturday event at the American Legion Post 6 hall in Chapel Hill.

This was a huge undertaking for our small post.  There was a lot to do from obtaining the space, coordinating events and schedules, setting up, welcoming our guests, serving a meal and cleaning up.  A special thanks goes to all who came in on Friday to setup the two rooms, dress up the area, and prepare for our guests.    The  men assembled the equipment and tables and the Ladies Auxiliary setup a large spread for breakfast.  This made Saturday events run very smoothly.

All posts were represented and the largest contingent was from the Yanceyville post. They brought about 15 people! The meeting size was swelled by the participation of Teacher of the Year, Voice of Democracy, and Patriot’s Pen winners and their families.

Shown in the attached photo are Teacher of the Year Jenna Miller, Patriots Pen winner Philip Dale, and Voice of Democracy winner Joy Bryan. They are flanked by Durham Post 2740 Sr. Vice Commander Chuck Busack and District Commander Ken Sellers.

A special thanks to all who attended or setup the post.  Without your help, it would not have been a success.