Gem state branch 382 - fra


Branch Elected Officers


President:                       Jim Doering           331-1265         Bd. of Directors:            Glen Dittman                    466-7002

Vice President: Hazel Bettencourt 463-4682                                                   Bob Keith                          336-3342

Secretary-Treasurer:    Keith Cottrell          283-2342                                                   Ken Nungesser                467-5686

Financial Secretary:       Larry Schmitt         463-1452                                                   Jack Rhoads                    342-8422

Secretary E-Mail                                             Jim Shadwick                   468-0036

                                                                                                                            James Taylor                   921-3038




April 2009               

   11       Saturday             0930      Branch and Unit BOD meetings

   11       Saturday             1000      Branch & Unit Meetings – Election of Officers

   11       Saturday             1130      Pot-luck lunch

   15       Wednesday        1400      Bingo at the VAMC Community Living Center

   16       Thursday            1830      Recreation Night at the FRA Hall


May 2009

                   6       Wednesday        1800      Branch and Unit Installation Dinner and Meeting

   10       Sunday                             Mother’s Day

   16       Saturday                           Armed Forces Day – Fly your flag

   20       Wednesday        1400      Bingo at the VAMC Community Living Center

   21       Thursday            1830      Recreation Night at the FRA Hall

   23       Saturday             1000      Branch Memorial Weekend Service at Terrace Lawn Memorial Park

   25       Monday                             Memorial Day – Fly your flag

   25       Monday               1000      State Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day Service    




We will hold the annual Installation Dinner and Meeting at 1800 on 6 May 2009 at the FRA Hall.  This date was chosen at the March meeting so as to not conflict with the Saturday night Bingo session.  The unit is planning a self-catered lasagna dinner with the cost to be less than $10 per person.  Between 20 April and 3 May, call Keith at 322-5553 to get the details and make reservations.




First nominations were held at the 14 March meeting.  Second nominations and elections will be held at the 11 April meeting with the installation of new officers on 6 May.  The following persons were nominated in March:


President – Jim Doering


Vice-President – Hazel Bettencourt


Secretary (2-year term) – Keith Cottrell


Financial Secretary (2-year term) – Larry Schmitt


Board of Directors (3 to be elected) (2-year term) – James Taylor, Jim Shadwick, Steve Scott


Bingo Commission member (2-year term) – Hazel Bettencourt


The Treasurer, three board members, and 1 Bingo Commission member are in the middle of two-year terms.





We received a flier from the Edsall Class Veterans Association about the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ike to Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas, and to USS Cavalla (SSK 244) and USS Stewart (DE 238), which are on display there, and asking for donations to help repair the damages.  If anyone would like to donate, contact the Secretary for the address.




Our annual Memorial Day Service at Terrace Lawn will be held at 1000 on Saturday, 23 May.  This will remove the conflict that has existed with the State Cemetery Service on Monday, 25 May at 1000.  Hopefully, the Branch and Unit will have a good turnout at both services.




Due to the uncertainty of our Bingo income following the move of the operation to our hall, the Branch budget adopted in February was written to cover our regular operating expenses.  The budget will be reviewed in July in light of the status of the Bingo operation at that time.  Provision for donations to other organizations may be added at that time.




If you are willing to receive future copies via email in Microsoft Word format, please email the Secretary at  Each newsletter sent via email saves the Branch 32 cents in printing costs plus 42 cents in postage.  The newsletter is sent as a Microsoft Word 1997 – 2003 document.  If your word processing program is compatible with that format, you should be able to read the document.




Instead of the Secretary reading the minutes of the previous meeting, printed copies of the minutes will be available next to the sign-in book.  When you sign in, take a copy and read it before the meeting.  During the Branch meeting, the branch will be asked to approve the minutes as written.  The Treasurer’s Report will also be available at the sign-in book.  The Treasurer will explain the report and answer any questions during the Branch meeting.




The Membership Chairman, James Taylor, needs some members to help contact former Branch members, Members-At-Large, and prospective members.  If you can make a few calls a day, contact James at 921-3038.




The dues payments of the following shipmates are either past due or are due by 31 May and had not been received by National as of 27 March. If your check is in the mail, disregard this list. Dues notices are normally sent out the first week of the month before your dues expire. For example, if your dues expire on 31 May, you would receive your notice in early April. If you don’t get your dues notice by the first of the month in which your dues expire, contact the Secretary.  Dues should be sent directly to National using the envelope provided with the dues notice.  The Secretary can forward dues in special circumstances.


Barth, Wilbur E                                            Carlson, Edgar L                                         DeCouto, Edward F

Givens, Jimmie H                                        Givens, Marie                                               Halstead, Philip G

Harkovich, George                                       Landin, Donald W                                        Lint, Randall       

McKinnon, Daniel C                                     Morales, Andrew J                                       Rice, Gilbert T

Swartz, Roger A                                          Thornburg, Norman E




To check your record if you do not have access to the internet, or to make other changes to your record, call National at 800-372-1924 between 0900 and 1700 Eastern Time (0700 – 1500 Mountain Time) on regular workdays.  In the opening menu, press “1” for member services.  Having your membership number available is helpful, but not necessary.



To check your record via Internet, go to the website,  In the upper right-hand corner of the home page, enter your 9-digit membership number (including leading zeros, if applicable) in the “username” block and enter your first initial and last name (e.g., jdoe) in the “password” blank and click on the blank next to the “username” blank.  Then click on the “MY FRA” block near the top of the page to show your personal record.  You can make changes to your address or telephone number by clicking on the “edit” block.  You can also change your username or password.




The Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa is participating in the Veterans Oral History Project, which is sponsored by the Library Of Congress.  In this project, veterans are video-taped telling their stories of their service to the country.  Volunteers are also needed to interview veterans, operate the video recorders and edit the videos.  For more information, sign up to tell your story, or volunteer to help, call Sue Paul at 208-465-6446 or email her at   Information about the project and the museum is available on their website,






Branch President James Doering and Unit President Jena Shadwick presided.


The Branch President reviewed the changes that had been made to the Hall in preparation for conducting the Bingo operation at the Hall, starting on 15 February.


Oscar Rogers made the following scheduling announcements from the Ada County Veterans Council meeting:


The Branch/Unit will raise and lower the flags on the VAMC Avenue of Flags on Governor’s day, but the date is not known at this time.


The Branch/Unit will raise the flags on the Veterans Cemetery Avenue of Flags on 10 November and lower them on 12 November.


Veterans Homecoming will be held at the VAMC on 27 June


Bobbi Thies introduced two of our Bingo employees, Deanna and Debbie, and explained how the Bingo equipment operated and how the Bingo games were conducted.  They then held two practice games to show the membership what was involved.  There were no prizes involved.




Branch President James Doering presided.


A two-bell ceremony was conducted in memory of Jake Grass, EM2, USN (Ret).


A budget that covers the operating expenses of the Branch for the year plus funds for the Sea Cadets was presented and approved.


Jim Doering reported that ship and shipmate pictures were needed for displays in the hall.  The arrangement of displays has been changed due to the installation of Bingo equipment and the final arrangement has not completely set.


James Taylor reported that the Snow Blower authorized at the last meeting had been purchased at a considerable savings over the amount authorized and had finally been put to use during the recent snow.


James Taylor reported that the branch needs to recertify a representative to the Veterans Administration Volunteer Service (VAVS) committee.  At present, Glen Dittman is listed as a deputy representative.  Glen stated that he desired to remain in that capacity.  The President asked for someone to serve as the primary representative and appointed James Taylor to that position.  There is an opening for a second deputy representative.


Lloyd Thies thanked all members of the Property and Bingo committees for their efforts during the installation of equipment at the hall and thanked Jim Doering for his efforts in providing liaison with the Columbians and Giving Hand during the transition.


The name drawn from the membership roster for the attendance prize of $200 was John Rossean, who was not present.  The name drawn from the sign-in book for the consolation prize of $25 was Lloyd Thies, who donated the money back to the Branch.




Branch Vice President Hazel Bettencourt and Unit President Jena Shadwick presided.


The Branch President gave a report from the Bingo Commission:


The new Bingo sessions are Thursday through Sunday evenings at 1800, and Thursday and Sunday afternoons at 1300.


The Bingo commission will have regular meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at 1330.


We are free and clear from the Columbians and Giving Hand per a signed note to that effect from the presidents of those two organizations.


There was a discussion on advertising the Bingo operation, including word of mouth and community calendar listings in the newspaper.  Bobbi Theis will research more options.


There was some discussion on paying off the loan on the property.  Bob Keith will organize a meeting to research the options and report back to the membership.




Branch Vice President Hazel Bettencourt presided.


Life Membership rates will be going up in May.


The new applications for regular membership which show the new dues rates are now available.


The Memorial Day service at the State Veterans Cemetery is scheduled for 25 May.


A Tri-State Women Veterans Conference is scheduled for 29 August. 


Nominations for officers and directors were opened with the nominations listed above in a separate article.


Keith Cottrell announced that the Branch’s Memorial Weekend service was scheduled for 1000 on Saturday, 23 May to avoid conflict with the Veterans Cemetery services.


The name drawn from the membership roster for the attendance prize of $200 was Ronald Jennings, who was not present.  The name drawn from the sign-in book for the consolation prize of $25 was Keith Cottrell, who donated it back to the Branch.