Austin, Texas Chapter

 The Association for all Military Officers            Companion Bulletin-February 2017
Words from the Commander:

    Greetings, Companions! I am sure you will agree that the older we become, the shorter the years seem and the holiday season is here before you know it.However, we soon recapture the cheery Christmas spirit and pronounce it at the end: “the best Christmas season ever.” We hope yours was “just that”! We now wish you Happy New Year!
    We are excited and looking forward to our first meeting/program for 2017! Once again, Companion Bullard has arranged for a very entertaining program featuring select members of the Austin Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Based on our past experiences, you know we are in for a real treat and a fun-filled evening on Thursday, February 9, 2017. Also, if his schedule allows, our Regional Commander, Companion Robert Williams is expected to join us. In addition, we will be extending invitations to members of the Georgetown and Fort Hood chapters for this date.
    We owe our gratitude to the Georgetown Chapter for their invitation to their January meeting and our sincere appreciation to Companion J. R. Howard and Mrs. Howard for graciously representing the Austin Chapter at the January 14 dinner meeting. [Thank you, J. R. and Lois!]
    As you know, our declining active membership has presented a challenge to keep our chapter viable and in compliance with our inherent chapter responsibilities. I personally express my gratitude to Companions McVeigh, Howard, and Rudy for obtaining Companion Bush’s commitment to accept the baton for our next organizational year. In the meantime, I appreciate our companions for supporting the chapter’s efforts in their various ways. I again remind you to remember our responsibility to actively pursue the MOWW’s five Strategic Goals and donate to the Commander-in-Chief’s Solicitation to support the Order’s patriotic and educational activities.
    And finally, please join me in publicly welcoming our newest Companion and his wife,

    Colonel (R) George Harley, USA, and Althea to our chapter. [Welcome, George and Althea!]

We are looking forward to seeing you and your guests at the Crowne Plaza on February 9th at 1830 hours.

---Leon Holland, COL (R), USA

Next Meeting: February 9
Location: Crowne Plaza
Address: 6121 North IH 35
Phone 512 323 5466

    Veterans and their spouses qualify for burial in Department of Veterans Affairs cemeteries nationwide. But the VA required that applications for VA burial eligibility be sent in after you’re already dead.  Now a new rule change means that your veteran can take care of the eligibility part of the VA burial benefits ahead of time. And since most of us want to be buried near our husbands or wives, it means we can take care of it for ourselves, too You can find the VA burial benefits form for pre-determination at [Source: | Amy Bushatz | December 27, 2016 ++
Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.
Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
Ever stop to think and then forget to start again? Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.
Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?
Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.
If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?
Money is the root of all wealth.
 [Source: Reddit | | November 11, 2016 ++]




By Chaplain Ernie Dean  --- 

     Psalm 89 "A Hymn in Time of National Trouble" 1. O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love. I will proclaim your faithfulness forever. 2. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. 52. Praise the Lord forever!
     Every nation goes through periods of joy and periods of sadness, just as each of us does. A nation is a compilation of the lives of its people. Yet, we seem to forget how intertwined our lives are. The people who make rash and short-sighted decisions can dictate the path our lives take.
     You and I need stability, support, and true friends, someone who exemplifies a sustaining love. We may be looking in the wrong places, thereby missing the one help that never fails-God!
    The Bible gives us word after word of the goodness of God, but Psalm 89 is a particularly clear and powerful representation. 

 When the psalmist says always and for all time, he means just that. Constant love is stable, steady, permanent. Faithfulness of God is a blessing that cannot fail, will not fail; it is permanent!
     The messes our personal lives become at times, and that the world experiences to such a serious degree at this moment, have their origins in disobedience-what the Bible refers to as sin. I believe sin is anything we do or do not do that causes us to separate ourselves from the will of God. We pay an enormously heavy price for "having it our way." Because our lives are so intertwined it actually  works both ways: world leaders who make rash and short-sighted decisions can dictate the path our lives take, but citizens who make rash and short-sighted decisions can influence the decisions leaders make. None is blameless; none is incapable of making things better.
     It is healthy to confess our need for a holy relationship with God. Then to add credence to our option, we repent-turn away from our sin and turn back to God.
     Verse 52 challenges us to praise the Lord forever! Amen and Amen. May it be so!
Chaplain Ernie Dean

Canadian Humor

If you have had enough cold and snow,
please... raise your hand.

VA Bonuses   $30M Paid in 2014 Was Unjustified.
The Department of Veterans Affairs handed out more than $30 million in employee incentives in one year without justification, and it will continue to overspend if changes aren't made, according to a report released 5 JAN by the agency's internal watchdog. The findings are the result of an investigation by the VA inspector general's office into how the department was using funds to attract and retain employees.
[Source:  Stars & Stripes | Nikki Wentling | December 20, 2016 ++]
Retirement Pay
Next year service members can either keep the standard retirement pay of 50% of base pay after 20 years or select a blended program. The new program provides 40% after 20 years, but includes a 401(K) type addition. which would appeal to those not planning on 20 years.  A member could contribute up to 5% of their own pay and the government would match that. The member would own this investment after two years of service. If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me very attractive. I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind you. [Source: Reddit | | November 11, 2016 ++]

The Pentagon will repay millions of dollars in California Army National Guard bonuses that were improperly recouped from veterans and eliminate the debts of more than 17,000 troops who had been on the hook for repayment, according to the Defense Department's acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness.
 [Source: ArmyTimes | Meghann Myers | January 3, 2017 ++]

VA Secretary  The next person who leads the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will have one of the biggest jobs in America. He or she will inherit a bureaucracy with a $182 billion budget and more than 340,000 employees at a time that promises to bring tumultuous change, including the question of whether VA medical services should be partly or wholly privatized.
[Source: San Diego Union-Tribune | Jeanette Steele | January 2, 2017 ++]

Chapter Officers
Commander Col Leon Holland 335-1224
Vice Commander

Treasurer Col Andrew McVeigh 261-6272
Adjutant LtCol J R Howard 255-2206
Chaplain LtCol Ernest S. Dean 477-5390
Youth Leadership Conference LtCol J R Howard 255-2206
ROTC Awards Col Leon Holland 335-1224
Newsletter & Web Site LtCol J. R Howard 720-8404
Hyper Velocity Projectile Program Platform Expansion

An Army Howitzer is now firing a super high-speed, high-tech, electromagnetic Hyper Velocity Projectile, initially developed as a Navy weapon,  an effort to fast-track increasing lethal and effective weapons to war zones and key strategic locations, Pentagon officials said.  A round cost about $25,000. [Source: Scout Warrior | Kris Osborn| January 1, 2016 ++]

Deep Vein Thrombosis  ?
Know the Symptoms of a blood clot deep in your leg. A physical exam and other tests can help doctors determine whether you've got a blood clot. Symptoms include:
¦    Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg
¦    Pain or tenderness in the leg, which you may feel only when standing or walking
¦    Increased warmth in the area of the leg that's swollen or painful
¦    Red or discolored skin on the leg
¦    Unexplained shortness of breath
¦    Pain with deep breathing
¦    Coughing up blood
[Source:  NIH News in Health | January 2017 ++]

    Up until George Albert DeLong decided to enlist in the United States Navy to "see the world" in January 1941, he had lived in Annville, Pennsylvania. He had graduated high school less than a year before that. He  had a job in a local factory. When he started out in the Navy, he had no idea that, within the first year, he would survive one of the worst attacks the United States has ever faced.

    DeLong went to Quartermaster school in California after his recruit training and then was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, a battleship in the Pacific Fleet. The ship was stationed in Pearl Harbor and, when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941, he was trapped on board, along with seven other men. In describing his experience on that fateful day, DeLong remembered that "[t]here was a moment of panic when we first realized we were trapped…we looked at each other in stunned silence." They did not know what had happened yet, but they all decided together to stay where they were rather than risk getting stuck trying to move. Luckily, none of them were seriously injured.

    The group tried to shift to a higher position and "started fighting off the incoming water." Then, everything tipped over and all of the enormous machinery - "TONS of machinery" - that they had thought was secure fell. Water came in through the air vents into the small area where they were waiting for help, and they used a rolled up mattress to stop it, after first trying to use clothes and blankets. DeLong recalled that they "didn't dare go near the water." Their flashlight wasn't working properly, especially by the end, which left them in the dark. Then, someone made a joke, which really helped all of their morale, "set[ting] a tone that kept everybody on an even keel."

    As they waited to be rescued, DeLong remembered that “[t]here was just a little pin-point of light up there which was our first indication they were out there – just a little nail-hole or something. …When we saw it, we KNEW they were out there; before this it had SOUNDED as if they were there a dozen times; but this was the first time that we actually knew.” The rescuers cut a small hole to get them out because “[t]hey were afraid they were going to burn the oil in the sides there.” When everything was ready, the rescuers “reached down under our armpits and pulled us up one at a time and handed us up to the guy on the next perch.”

    The whole time that this group of eight men was trapped, they “had no idea of time.” Later, they discovered that they had been there for about 32 hours. As soon as they were rescued, they went to the USS Solace for medical attention, “and met the Captain on the quarterdeck. He came over and said, ‘Get the brandy!’” Everyone in the group was exhausted from their ordeal, but, before they went to sleep, they were fed and informed of the attack. When DeLong discussed this experience, he recalled that, while he was trapped, his first thoughts were about his mom. Rather than being angry or upset about the situation for his own sake, he was worried about how much pain it would cause for his mother. He tried to minimize the significance of this selflessness by attributing it to his young age and the fact that “at that time [he] was without ties and responsibilities,” but this just shows that he was modest in addition to being extremely empathetic. He also expressed gratitude to everyone who “participated in the rescue.”

.  [Source:  VAntage Point | Veterans Legacy Program | December 11, 2016 ++] 

What 1916 Was Like
¦    Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
¦    Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub and only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
¦    The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
¦    More than 95 percent of all births took place at home
¦   Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
¦   Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
¦   Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.
¦   Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
¦   There were about 230 reported™ murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.

 [Source: VFW Post 10132 | Rich McMeekin | January 3, 2017 ++]