2013 Annual Meeting in Review
47th Annual Reunion Meeting
The annual meeting was held on 28 April 2013 at The Fullerton Hotel in Fullerton, CA. The highlight of the meeting was our speaker Major General Peter James Gravett Ret., Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs. His topic was "What CALVET is doing to serve our California Veterans & Families?" He addressed four main tenants that are the department’s focus. One is the success of the States Veterans Homes. Yountville is now 129 years old. Other homes include Barstow, Chula Vista, Ventura, Lancaster and West Los Angeles. New facilities have been completed in Fresno and Redding and the process has been started to hire staff for and equip these facilities. Outreach to veterans and education in benefits are huge endeavors and challenges. Many do not realize they are veterans and that they and their families are entitled to benefits. Inquires such a question on driver’s license applications now ask “have you ever served in the military” not are you a “veteran”. This change alone has enabled the department to make contact with more veterans. The Dept publishes a handbook bi-annually - The California Veterans Resource Book which is very comprehensive. He made copies available at the meeting. The fourth tenant is the issue of the VA claims backload and the dept. is striving to do all it can to assist in reducing this back-log.
This year two Eagle Awards were presented. The first was presented to LTC Earle Sweeney with appreciation for His service as President and a Member of the Board of Governors and his many contributions to the support of theideals and purposes of the 63d Infantry Division Association, USAR. The second was presented to LTC James Wright with appreciation for his long service as Member of the Board of Governors and his many contributions to the support of the ideals and purposes of the 63d Infantry Division Association, USAR.
BG Charles Ebner, called the Business meeting of the 63rd Infantry Division Association, USAR to order for the consideration of changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association. COL Alfred Diaz & LTC Beverley Houghton discussed the need to make changes to allow the 63rd Infantry Division, Inc. (WWII) to potentially merge with our Association and to allow non-63rd reservists to join our Association. The motion was called and the changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association were approved by the voting members of the Association present at the Annual Meeting.
We once again thank all the members who donated for our opportunity drawing. Pan Mitchell has gone above and beyond presenting us with patriotic baskets again this year. We appreciate her generous contributions.
Our meeting concluded with the election of the board for 2013-2015 conducted by LTC Donald L. Wirth. All members up for re-election opted to stay on the board except MSG Ulric Grigsby. LTC Earle Sweeney was nominated as his replacement. The slates of nominees were elected by proclamation.
As we move on to our 2013-2014 year, mark your calendars for our 2014 luncheon which will be held on a Sunday in April. Check your upcoming Blade newsletters for the date and location or our website http://63rdinfdivusar.com. Remember this is our once a year opportunity to gather as current and past members of the 63d for an enjoyable event. We hope to see you there and bringing other members and guests with you.