VVA Chapter 1069 of El Campo, Texas, participated in the Wharton County Veterans Benefits & Services (WCVBS) Fair, that was held on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the El Campo Civic Center.
The chapter set up a covered display booth area and provided Veteran related materials and information to the attending Veterans. Many chapter members attended the event and helped run the display and also helped with various event tasks. Several of the member's spouses also volunteered during the event to help at various event tables, such as visitor check-in, registration and the raffle table. These volunteers stayed throughout the entire day and the chapter thanks them for their support.
This was the 1st Wharton County Veterans Benefits & Services Fair held in El Campo, Texas. It was held on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the El Campo Civic Center. The purpose of the Fair was to promote the benefits & services that the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Texas Veterans Commission, local government entities, and local businesses have to offer to Veterans and or family members or their survivors. The event was organized by Dwight Winkler, the local Wharton County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) and member of local VVA chapter 1069. He is also a member of other local Veteran organizations. Dwight also had the help of the newly formed Wharton County Veterans Council, which is comprised of all the local county Veteran organizations. Their first project was to organize and hold the 1st WCVBS Fair in El Campo.
CLICK HERE to read about the WCVBS Fair planning details
CLICK HERE to read about the formation of the Veterans Council in El Campo
(p1) Above photo - Several chapter members setup our chapter display booth the night before the big event.
(p2) The display included the use of our chapter projector that showed pictures of the chapter's various outings and events from the past year. We also provided a variety of Veteran-related handout materials, as can be seen on the table.
(p3) We also setup the Vietnam War-time map and VVA flag in front of the display booth. Above photo was taken early morning on the day of the Fair.
(p4) Above photo shows Dwight Winkler (Wharton County Veteran Service Officer) and his wife making final preparations to his big VSO display area.
(p5) Above photo show the new display booth table cover that was donated to Dwight for use at this special Benefits Fair and all other Veteran related events that the VSO will organize in the future. It was donated by VVA Chapter 1069 of El Campo.
(p6,7) Above 2 photos show several chapter member's spouses who volunteered their time to help with the Benefits Fair. VVA Chapter 1069 wants to thank the spouses for their help and support.
(p8) Above photo shows Stephen Brady and his wife helping out as greeters at the front door. VVA Chapter 1069 wants to thank them for their help and support at this event and throughout the past year for our chapter. Note that Stephen Brady is also the newly elected Secretary of the VVA Texas State Council. We also thanks Stephen for bringing many Veteran related handouts to the event for distribution to those who attended.
(p8a) Above photo shows chapter member, Jimmy Neumann and his wife Diane helping out at the raffle table. Thanks to both of them for helping out at the event.
(p9) Above, Dana Sternadel (Den mother for VVA Chapter 1069 ) is caught on camera while running about before the event opened, making sure everything is on track. Much thanks to Dana for her hard work preparing for the event. The chapter would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dana for all the work she put into the first 20+ chapter vests that was ordered by our chapter members. Dana was the person to sew the 2 VVA chapter patches onto each blank vest, including several member's requests for their own special military patches. She also brought a bunch of the vests to the event for pick up by our chapter members. If you were one of those who received a chapter vest, please be sure to give her a big Thank-You for her hard work. The rumor is, that sewing on those large 10" VVA patches on the back of each vest was a real pain in the you-know-what.
(p10) Above photo shows (left to right) John Steelman, Louis Milder & Paul Francoeur, all members of VVA Chapter 1069. Much thanks to John for manning our Chapter display all day, handing out Veteran related information and fielding questions about the VA, VVA and our Chapter. Thanks also goes out to Louis and Paul for staying the entire day, helping out wherever they were needed.
(p11) Above photo shows (left to right) Chapter members, Louis Milder, Barry Butts, Ronnie Miller & Jimmy Neumann.
(p13) Above photo shows (left to right) Chapter members, Jimmy Neumann, Kenneth Sternadel, Randy Ratcliff & Ronnie Miller. A special thanks goes out to Randy Ratcliff for having a display booth at the event, where he provided information about Agent Orange exposure to Vietnam Veterans and the possible benefits they are entitled to for various diseases they may incur due to that exposure.
(p13a) Above photo shows Randy Ratcliff's "Agent Orange" display flag at his booth. (Note that we do apologize for the poor quality photo, but it is the only one we had of the Agent Orange display flag). And again, Randy's main message was to spread the word on the effects of Agent Orange exposure to those Veterans who served in Vietnam and the benefits that they may be entitled to. Much thanks goes out to Randy for setting up a fine display booth for the event.
(p14) Above photo shows (left to right) Chapter members, John Steelman and Frank Kulcak. Both are officers of VVA Chapter 1069. John is the Secretary/Treasurer and Frank is Vice President.
(p15) Above photo shows (left to right) Chapter members, Dan Medrano and Ronnie Miller. These 2 boys are the TV celebrities for our chapter! In March of this year, our Chapter chartered a bus and attended the dedication ceremony for the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument (TCVVM) held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin. Both Dan and Ronnie attended the event. At some point during the day, they were interviewed by Austin FOX7 News. You can view their main responses in that interview by using the links below.
CLICK HERE to view a short video of Ron & Dan's Austin FOX7 News TV Interview
CLICK HERE to read the full report on the Chapter's TCVVM bus trip
(p17) Above photo, the guys checking out our Chapter's Vietnam War-era map. I would most likely bet, they're discussing and comparing where each of them were located during their individual tours in Vietnam - so long ago.
(p18) In above photo (left to right), John Steelman, Paul Francoeur, James Kulcak, Louis Milder, Jimmy Neumann and Frank Kulcak, all members of VVA Chapter 1069.
(p19) Above photo taken mid morning. Many Veterans and their spouses are starting to enter the Civic Center, and many are stopping by our Chapter's display booth.
(p20) Above photo shows Chapter member, Harold Simmons, along side his display booth.
(p21) Above photo shows John Steelman greeting Austin State Representative, Phil Stephenson. Phil has been a guest speaker at several of VVA Chapter 1069 meetings and events and is a friend of the Chapter. We thank him for his support.
(p22) And finally, above photo shows (left to right) Chapter members, John Steelman, Louis Milder, Paul Francouer and Leonard Sternadel (president of El Campo VVA Chapter 1069). Leonard, along with all the Chapter officers would like to thank all VVA Chapter members and their spouses that attended or helped with the event, including the setup and taking care of our Chapter display booth. We also apologize if we did not get a picture of your attendance at the event - all blame can be put on event photographer and chapter member, Bob Supak.