Past Events

       The Fourth Quarterly Meeting of the 2021/2022 membership year took place on 17 Sept 2022 at the Missouri National Veterans Memorial, 1172 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Perryville, Missouri 63775. The phone number there is 573-547-2035.

        The program began at 1100 with a prayer, Pledge of Allegiance and opening remarks. The Missing Man Ceremony was conducted by the outgoing President, Don Merritt. Following this was a guided group tour to the Wall. Lunch was served at 12:30 by the local American Legion Post and consisted of fried chicken, potatoes, green beans, salad and dessert. Cost of the meal was $20.00 per person.

         Before lunch we heard from our guest speaker, John Clark. Clark, a former POW in Vietnam for 6 years, was an Air Force pilot flying over North Vietnam when he was captured.

         Following lunch the Chapter conducted a Change of Officers Ceremony where the new President for 2022/2023,  Mr. Charles (Chuck) Guy, was installed with his streamer added to the Chapter flag. The outgoing President thanks all of you for the honor of having represented the Chapter this past year and wishes you and Mr. Guy all the best in this coming year.

 

     The June 18, 2022 meeting of the South Missouri Chapter of the VHPA was a little different as it was an outdoor event at the Lake where Don Merritt lives, Lake Northwoods, in Owensville. This was the fun in the sun meeting as we had access to a swimming beach, and the lake residents made their pontoon boats available to our membership to cruise around the Lake and for those that wish to do so to do a little fishing. There are some big Large Mouth Bass in this lake.

    There was a noon meal of BBQ'd pork steaks with all the usual sides served up by the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 6133 of Owensville. Chapter members were encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and coolers with the adult beverage of their choice. Below are photos from the meeting.

John Sorensen
John Sorensen

John Sorensen, the official greeter.

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Post 6133
Post 6133

Owensville Post did a great job.

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Meal Time
Meal Time

John Sorensen holds court.

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John Sorensen
John Sorensen

John Sorensen, the official greeter.

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1/11

   On March 19, 2022 the South Missouri Chapter of the VHPA held their first meeting of the new year in a subterranean glass enclosed meeting room at the Springfield, MO. Bass Pro Shop.  Surrounded with a backdrop of scenes of various wildlife, including a stuffed bear and several smaller animals, and a huge fish tank full of some awesome examples of Missouri game fish was a welcome change to some of the weather Missouri had been seeing.
    With 30 people in attendance the meeting was started with an opening prayer by Chapter Chaplain Ron Clifton , the Pledge of Allegiance and opening remarks by the Chapter President. Members were reminded that the Chapter web site is up and active after being  revived from a period of being dormant. They were also reminded that the quilt raffle  the Chapter uses to raise funds for our scholarship at College of the Ozarks. It was also announced that our scheduled guest speaker has a health problem that precluded his being at the meeting therefor after lunch there would be a Reminisce time for all in attendance that have DFC's ( Distinguished Flying Cross ) to relive the events that resulted in their award of the DFC. The Chapter then conducted the "Missing Man Ceremony" honoring those that preceded us and those that were our comrades in combat.
    There was a Chapter business meeting where past President John Sorenson led a discussion on the number of meetings the Chapter has in a year and the declining numbers of members that attend the meetings. There are many reasons for declining attendance, not the least is that our members are getting older as are their spouses and health issues are more common and more severe than in the past. It also complicates the travel requirements as meeting are held in various locations across the state and our older members may be reluctant to drive 150 miles to a meeting. As a result of the discussion it was agreed that there will still be four meeting a year with locations being selected to accommodate the geographical concentrations of the Chapter members. The Chapter Vice President, Chuck Guy, volunteered to conduct a phone canvas of members not in attendance to get their input.
    After a lunch featuring the Dogwood Canyon Picnic from Uncle Buck's Restaurant. The Chapter was enlightened by (5) five of it's members that are recipients of the DFC. The range of actions that preceded these awards was very broad ranging for support of ground troops with emergency extractions, weapons fire and med evac missions to a maintenance officer that experienced total hydraulic failure on a test flight flight at 2AM in the morning after being fired on by " one shot charlie " on take off for the flight. There was a Air Force Colonel that flew heavy lift out of Laos and Thailand that related how he was awarded (2) DFCs. These members were Lyle Horner, Ken Sherfey Mike Lambert, Chuck Guy and Don Merritt
    The meeting concluded with information on the June and September meetings and a benediction by the Chapter Chaplain.

The 4th Quarterly Meeting of the South Missouri Chapter of VHPA was held at The Keeter Center, on the campus of The College of the Ozarks, on Saturday, November 6th, at 11:00 AM. Lunch was provided at a cost of $30.00 per person.

 

During the meeting, those attending had an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for an oversized lap quilt, made by wives and friends of the chapter. Proceeds from the ticket sales went to the scholarship endowed by the chapter. Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, the winner was announced. Ticket prices were 1 for $5.00, 3 for $10.00, or 40 for $100.00.

 

Bryan Cizek, Director of Patriotic Activities for The College of the Ozarks, a former Army Ranger with 3 deployments to Iraq and 1 to Afghanistan, was our guest speaker. 

 

RSVP, was no later than noon on Monday, November 1st, to John Sorensen at jsore65648@gmail.com or (417) 872-7891.

 

The 3rd Quarterly Meeting of the South Missouri Chapter of VHPA was held on Saturday, August 21st, 2021, at 11:00 AM.

The meeting was held at Jack Stack Barbecue/Freight House, 101 W. 22nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64108.

 

As is our custom, there was a Change of Command at the conclusion of the meeting and Don Merritt became our Chapter President.  Prior to that we had our meal, which was a BBQ buffet, and our business meeting, where we elected a Vice President and a Secretary.  The meal was $25.00 per plate.

Our guest speaker was Hugh Mills. Hugh is a Life Member of VHPA and served two tours in Vietnam.  He is the author of Low Level Hell, about his time as a scout pilot and scout platoon leader.  The book is available on Amazon.  Hugh has also served his community with the Kansas City Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  Without any doubt, his comments were intriguing!

 

Over the next few weeks, my wife and I were traveling, both inside and outside CONUS. Of course, during the time we were away from home, we were at the VHPA Annual reunion in Charlotte, and saw many of you there. Our HQ staff and National Reunion Committee have worked tirelessly to once again provide us with an outstanding and memorable reunion.

It has once again been my honor to serve as your President.  We have welcomed new members and have had some outstanding meetings.  I remain confident that we will continue to reach new members and welcome them into our chapter, have informative and meaningful meetings, and enjoy the camaraderie we all share when we gather.

Welcome Home Brothers,

John Sorensen, President