VVA chapter 864

P.O. Box 2535 

Robertsdale, Al 36567 

 

Officers

President Anthony Pittman    tnfpittman@gmail.com               251-964-5678

 Vice President  Terry L. Skinner     kd4upq@bellsouth.net    251-928-1557

Secretary    Ron Moore    ram@gulftel.com      291-947-2904

Treasurer Val Obregon           valobregon44@yahoo.com         251-937-0847

Membership Chairman Ron Moore   251-947-2904

 

Email 864

 
 

 

Meets: 4th Tuesday  2 PM

Cafe' Acadiana

Highway 104

Silverhill, AL 36576

 

Meetings: Jan-June & Sept-Oct

 Leads Community Effort

To Support Deployed Local Troops

 ** Joe Birendelli has once again answered the country's call and is now serving along side his wife Sissy as a civilian employee in Iraq.  Joe works for the government as a civil engineer and Sissy is employed with a civilian contractor in computers and programming.  We hope to see them home in August or September.

“NEVER AGAIN will one generation of veterans abandon another” – a motto that Chapter 864 has put into action. Shortly after the war in Iraq started last year, members of the chapter decided that there was a better way to show tangible support for our troops than just waving flags and putting up yellow ribbons.

 

In June 2003 Joe Birindelli, representing Chapter 864 as a past President and a member of its Board, organized key local activists to support the troops and families of a local National Guard unit that had been deployed to Iraq. The 1165th Military Police Company, whose armory is located in Fairhope, was activated in March 2003 and arrived in Baghdad in late May to establish several police stations and train Iraqi police.

 

It became quickly evident that many of the families of National Guard soldiers were not equipped to handle the challenge they faced. Not only were they faced with loneliness and fear, but also many were faced with significant reductions in their income. The pay scale for E-3s and E-4s is significantly less than what many earned in their civilian jobs, and what had been considered extra income for families struggling with several kids, had suddenly become the only income.

 

Working closely with the unit’s Family Readiness Group, Citizens for Local Troop Support, the community based group that Birindelli organized, quickly started providing tangible assistance to the families in need. With a strong groundswell of support from the entire Mobile region, the committee has been able to provide almost $9,000 in direct aide for mortgage payments, rent, utilities, home repairs, car repairs, and even groceries. In addition, numerous local businesses, organizations, and churches have provided materials and labor worth thousands of dollars more to help these families. Working with local veterans and civic organizations, they also put on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and sponsored Santa Claus for the children of the families. The committee has proved to be a focal point for the people in the area to contribute towards the support of our trips.

 

In addition to helping the families, the group has seen that the soldiers of the local unit have received mail and packages. The support group led a drive that resulted in over 800 Christmas packages being sent to the 120-man unit in Baghdad.

 

The 1165th has been in the thick of the guerilla war in Iraq, suffering one casualty and several seriously wounded in numerous ambushes and attacks. The unit is due to rotate home later this spring, and everyone is hoping and praying for their speedy and safe return.

 

Meanwhile, Birindelli is working with veteran, military, and community leaders in the Mobile area to create a new and larger organization, modeled on the Fairhope group. This new organization, known as Operation Homefront is pledged to assist all families of soldiers in the region who are deployed into war zones. As a Vietnam combat veteran who knows what an absence of support feels like, he is reaching out to ensure that today’s soldiers can rest assured that the people at home fully support their patriotic efforts.

Upcoming events


 Alabama Vietnam Veterans of America Website

Send updates to Parkertwo@roadrunner.com