Click on the following link to take you to the current calendar of events: https://www.amvets79.us/events/
Below is the continued story of Richard Miller’s military life.
I began my career with John Deere where I worked in production control. This is where I met the love of my life and future wife, Janell Klammer who also worked at John Deere. We were married in May of 1977 and lived in Waterloo. We had 3 children, Eric, Kyle, and Amanda.
In 1983 I joined the Navy Reserve and drilled at the Waterloo Reserve Center on Burton Avenue.
In August 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and before the month was out, I was among the first Reserves from Waterloo recalled to active duty for a year in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. I received the call that I was being recalled early on a Saturday morning and by Tuesday I was heading to Camp Lejeune Marine Base for mobilization. I was assigned as the Leading Petty Officer working for the Master Chief in charge of Base clinic Operations. I was responsible for the administration of 176 Corpsmen. During this time, we processed over 35,000 Marines, most of which who were reserves that were recalled to active duty. I was released from active duty in the summer of 1991 and returned home to Iowa.
In the fall of 1992, I was sent to Honduras where I spent a brief tour on a jungle base in the interior. The main function of the base was to thwart insurgent activities and also to perform drug interdiction. They called it the “House that Ollie Built” since this is where Oliver North formed the Contras during the Iran Contra affair a few years earlier. I participated in some missions into a few towns and villages where we were able to provide much needed medical care to the villagers. The villages were very isolated and were comprised of stilt huts and dugout canoes as the means of transportation.
In 1993 we moved to Waverly on an acreage a few miles out of town. We loved being out in the country again and live there to this day.
In February of 2003, I was once again recalled to active duty. This time for the Iraqi Freedom campaign. Since I had additional training as a Combat field Medical Technician (which means I am trained to serve with Marines and provide medical care in a combat setting), I flew to New River Marine Air Station in North Carolina and was attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 471, comprised of 500 Marines. I was the leading Chief of a 26-man Battalion Aid Station. Our mission was to provide medical care for our Marines but also to provide initial care for battlefield casualties and to stabilize the wounded for evacuation to the rear. We were to be part of the Northern invasion into Iraq but at the last-minute Turkey would not let us cross the border, so we were unable to participate. We spent the remainder of the year filling the role as a Rapid Deployment Team, able to respond to a worldwide crisis within 24 hours. I was released from active duty at the end of December and returned home at that time.
In 2007 I retired from the Navy with 28 years of service as a Chief Petty Officer. In 2013 I retired from the Industrial Engineering department at John Deere with 37 years of service.
The Waverly Ladies’ AMVETS Auxiliary held an informal meeting on Wednesday,
February 16, 2022. Because we did not have enough members to hold a formal meeting. Please, mark your calendar for the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. for our meetings. Most of the time we are able to conduct meeting in an hour. Bring new ideas for projects to be done the community, schools, and hospitals.
Amy presented information about Waverly Shell Rock’s project graduation that had
been sent to the WAVP requesting donations. After a discussion it was decided that
$100.00 would be donated the Waverly Shell Rock Project Graduation. This will be
added to the annual donation list.
A discussion was held about the Americanism coloring contest as the information will
need to be distributed to the schools prior to the March meeting. Amy shared that there
are 731 children in grades kindergarten through four in the three W-SR elementary
schools and St. Pauls. After a discussion, a decision was made to keep the prizes the
same as they were last year; $1.00 for each entry in the K-1 coloring contest, and a
$20.00 first place, $10.00 second place, and $5.00 third place award for each grade
level in the 2-4 poster contest. The material will be distributed to the
schools the week of March 7, so the children have spring break to work on their entries.
Other dates to keep in mind: 1st Friday of the month, starting in April volunteers will once again be able to travel to IVH in Marshalltown for Bingo and helping in the craft room. Volunteers will need to attend new training for facility and also be fully vaccinated. If you would like to be on the list of volunteers, contact Wanda Benning or myself. We will have a day in March, yet to be determined, that we will go for the training. April is the time we do our 6-month reports. If you have volunteered in the community, schools, churches, or hospitals, donated to Trinkets and Togs or Goodwill, or made monetary donations, you can submit the items to me by email email@example.com. Estimate value of donated items but be specific on hours and monetary donations. SEC (State Executive Committee) meeting will be held April 2-3 at the WAVP here in Waverly, A recognition dinner, honoring our State Commanders and Presidents will be Saturday night and meetings will start at 9 am Sunday morning. If you would like to learn more about what is being done throughout the State for our Veterans, this would be a great opportunity for you to learn more.
Thanks for all you do!
Mary Steinbach, President AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary #79 Waverly, Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 319-230-9318
Welcome JD Dryer to the Sons of AMVETS in Waverly. JD has been a member of Cedar Falls for many years and decided upon moving to Waverly to be a part of the Sons of AMVETS in Waverly. JD has been a Department of Iowa Officer.
More local members are always encouraged to attend the monthly meeting. Your involvement will assure that the Sons of AMVETS can continue to provide community support to our town, scholarships for our youth, and aid to our Veterans and their families.
Young and old and in between, helpful hands, warm hears, a desire to explore, learn and serve.
Recruit them…Support them… Listen to them…Appreciate them.
Recently I was going through some old paperwork and came across some information on volunteering in hospital programs and VA facilities. Both need our assistance so that they may continue to provide the best in health care and treatment for the sick or disabled veterans. Doctors and nurses are extremely busy applying the best of their knowledge. Our veterans need the personal warmth and friendliness that you as a volunteer can give them. As a volunteer you can assist the care team for hospitalized veterans in getting them well.
There is a constant need for volunteers in the VA Network of facilities, in hospitals, nursing homes, and at the VA outpatient clinics. Volunteers provide a service to the care and treatment of a veteran patient that cannot be furnished by paid staff.
There is a place for you in Voluntary Service if you wish to devote part of your time to the disabled men and women who served our country. You can help the staff of a VA hospital or clinic by doing office work, mailings, or willing to work as a member of the hospital team under the direction of the doctors, nurses, therapist, and technicians.
Volunteers do make the critical difference. If the VA system had to buy the kind of time and service that is donated by volunteers, the price tag would be above millions of dollars. Putting a dollar value on the volunteer’s involvement misses the meaning and intent of volunteering. Proof positive is the fact that people do care about what happens in the healthcare of our country’s veterans.
The VA needs you, and millions like you as a volunteer. The programs need many volunteers whether they have special talents or not. Remember, you ARE special because you have the desire to volunteer.
Click on the following link to take you to the current calendar of events: https://www.amvets79.us/events/
Information about the various Scholarships offered through AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, and Sons of AMVETS may be found by visiting the Website.
This is the story from Richard Miller about his Naval service.
Thank you, Richard for your story.
I’ll start my story when I graduated from High School in 1969. The Viet Nam war was at its peak and figuring I was going to get drafted anyway I decided to enlist. I was planning to enlist in the fall but in July I had to have some minor surgery which took all fall to heal. Before enlisting in the Navy, I worked at Wilson’s Meat Packing plant in Cedar Rapids for a few months to save some money. That was an eye-opening experience but that’s another story.
In April of 1970 I left for San Diego for boot camp and there began my career in the Navy. Because of the war the Navy was desperately short of medical Corpsmen. The Navy provides the Marine Corps with Corpsmen, so the need was great. After graduating from boot camp, off to Corps School I went. I often joked that the Navy saw I had worked in a packing plant and apparently wasn’t afraid of blood! I was one of 30 of my boot camp company sent to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. Although we comprised a class of over 70, only about 30 of us made it all the way through to graduation. My first duty station was at Bethesda Naval Hospital which is near Washington D.C. That facility is now called Walter Reed, a combined Navy-Army command. Because of the war wounded we worked very long hours with little time off, but it was very good training. After 10 months I transferred to Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. I worked in the Emergency Room and on a lot of trauma cases. This gave me valuable experience in emergency life support, suturing, casting, and a thousand other things. Working in an environment like that again, was very good training.
In December of 1972, I transferred to U.S.S. Ashtabula AO51, home ported in Long Beach, CA. In order to take care of a crew of roughly 240 sailors we had a Chief Corpsmen in charge of Sick Bay and 3 Corpsmen of lower rank. We had no doctor on board. I was in charge of the treatment room and sick call; and was the lead Corpsmen for the aft battle dressing station during General Quarters. I also did safety and food inspections, first aid classes, pest control and countless other duties you are assigned to when you are on a war ship. My prior experience served me well in this position.
In the fall of 1973, we sailed for Southeast Asia. We worked an area around the Philippines, Japan, Viet Nam, and Cambodia. During this time, we received a short notice sail order to join a carrier battle group heading to the Red Sea, Persian Gulf area during the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt. Our job was to keep the Russians at bay since they were threatening to land troops in support of Egypt. It was a very tense time when Russia, Israel and the U.S. went to nuclear alert. There were many Russian ships in the area, and we had numerous confrontations with them. After 53 days we returned to the South China Sea area for operations there supporting operations near Cambodia and South Viet Nam. At the end of my four year hitch I was honorably discharged and returned to Iowa.
More of Richard’s story will be in the March Newsletter.
Information for the various Scholarship for AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, and Sons of AMVETS may be found by visiting the website: https://www.amvets79.us
Membership Chair Amy Slaba shared that we currently have 108 members, 102
renewals and six new members, which is two short of the quota of 110. There are
currently seven members from 2021 who have not renewed. If you know of someone that would qualify as a member, please contact Amy or myself for an application or the form may be found on the website.
Americanism chair, Amy Slaba, reported that 20 Christmas care packages were packed
and delivered to Bartles during the holiday season. Mary and Amy went shopping to
purchase the items for the bags. Sandy, Wanda, Cheryl, Sally, Mary and Amy met and put the bags together and Wanda delivered them to Bartles. Amy also reminded everyone that when reporting for Americanism, they should be sure include the time spent at funerals, visitations,
memorial services etc. for veterans and monetary donations made as memorials for
Hospital Chair, Wanda Benning, reported that the Salute to Veterans and the Foreign
Food Fair will be held again this year at the Iowa Veterans Home. These will be held in
each unit rather than as one large event this year.
The winter SEC meeting was held this Sunday, January 23, in Evansdale.
The National President will be in Iowa February 11 – 13. Mary will pass on an invitation
for her to attend the WAVP breakfast on that Saturday, February 12. Mary will be setting up a tours of Retrieving Freedom and Lutheran Services Iowa, Bremwood Campus, which is one the Department projects this year.
The January food night was held on Thursday, January 27 with the menu of
Beef and Noodles, glazed carrots, ciabatta rolls, and brownies. Ice cream can be
added to brownies for dine in orders.
A donation box for the Iowa Veterans Home will be put out at this time and the donations will be taken down in March when they go down for the Foreign Food Fair. All toiletry items will need to be full size, and unopened.
Thank you to all Auxiliary members for help with the gift bags at Christmas, prepping and serving the Auxiliary Food night, and to all Auxiliary members that have renewed their dues for 2022. Dues paid help fund the various projects for the year and validate us as a Veterans service organization. We could exist without YOU!!
Mary Steinbach, President email@example.com 319-230-9318
Since there weren’t any Sons of AMVETS that volunteered to help with cans, Will Kurtt has stepped up to continue for now with the cans even though he is not a Son and is funding another WAVP project. We thank him very much, so the bin didn’t need to be closed for the winter.
We need help from Sons of AMVETS members to attend meetings with ideas and support.
Keep our military members, their families, and all Veterans in your thoughts and prayers. Keep them safe and healthy.
Jim Trask and John Mohlis
In order to continue the programs that support Iowa veterans and their families, we support the protection of the financial integrity of the following agencies and programs:
Iowa Veterans Home
Military Home Ownership Program
Iowa Veterans Trust Fund
County Allocation Funds
Injured Veteran Grant Program
Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Veterans License Fee Fund
We fully support an increase and sustainable subsequent funding for the Military Home Ownership Assistance Program.
We strongly support improving the Military Property Tax Exemption Program, and advocate a disability-based, tiered implementation, effective upon application approval.
County Veterans Service Officer and Education, we support the HF 2618 bill from last year, that would provide Educational Funds to increase and maintain Education for County Service Officers National Training.
Veterans Treatment Courts: SF2287 was voted for but did not reach the floor in 2020.
We support any and all legislation pertaining to Mental Health for our Disabled Veterans, their families and all Iowans suffering from these diverse life-taking conditions.
We advocate civic responsibility, and support measures requiring K-12 schools teach and model patriotism and Americanism.
We affirm proper protocol used when flying POW/MIA flag. This is a national flag that should be flown directly below the U.S. flag and above the Iowa flag.
We support adoption of the Sgt. Brandon Lay “Green Alert” Bill to help prevent veteran suicide by augmenting existing “Amber Alert” capabilities.
Iowa Commission on Veterans Affairs Representatives
Elizabeth Ledvina, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlene McMartin, 1st Vice-Chair, Public Member at Large, email@example.com
Gary Wattnem, 2nd Vice-Chair, Reserve Officers Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lt. Col. George Mosby, Iowa National Guard, Director of Warrior & Family Services, Email:
Orene Cressler, Iowa Association of County Commissioners and Veterans Service Officers,
Steven Hyde, Military Order of the Purple Heart, email@example.com
Kenneth Lloyd, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Ken2000L@heartofiowa.net
Mary Van Horn, American Veterans, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Whitmore, Veterans of Foreign Wars, email@example.com
Gregory Paulline, Vietnam Veterans of America, firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find your legislator at: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators
Iowa Senate Veterans Affairs Committee:
Mark S. Lofgren (R, District 46), Chair; email@example.com; 515.281.3371
Jeff Reichman (R, District 42), Vice Chair; firstname.lastname@example.org; 515.281.3371
Eric Giddens (D, District 30), Ranking Member; email@example.com; 319.230.0578
Jim Carlin (R, District 3)
Mark Costello (R, District 12)
Dan Dawson (R, District 8)
William A. Dotzler Jr. (D, District 31)
Jeff Edler (R, District 36)
Jesse Green (R, District 24)
Liz Mathis (D, District 34)
Amanda Ragan (D, District 27
House Veterans Affairs Committee
Sandy Salmon (R, District 63), Chair; firstname.lastname@example.org; 515.281.3221
Martin L. Graber (R, District 83), Vice Chair; Martin.Graber@legis.iowa.gov
Sue Cahill (D, District 71), Ranking Member; Sue.Cahill@legis.iowa.gov; 641.485.0608
Eddie Andrews (R, District 39)
Brooke Boden (R, District 26)
Christina Bohannan (D, District 85)
Timi Brown-Powers (D, District 61)
Ruth Ann Gaines (D, District 32)
Eric Gjerde (D, District 67)
Stan Gustafson (R, District 25)
Bruce Hunter (D, District 34)
Tom Jeneary (R, District 5)
Charlie McClintock (R, District 95)
Henry Stone (R, District 7)
Phil Thompson (R, District 47)
Ross Wilburn (D, District 46)
John H. Wills (R, District 1)