Nov 29 Hamilton County Veterans Corp Meeting
Fishers American Legion Post 470 at 9091 E126th St, Fishers, In. @1900hrs
- Pledge of Allegiance / Silent Prayer
- Financial Report – Ron said we have about $907.28 in the till
- Sick Call - Lynn Epperson is out sick, we wish her a fast recovery
- Welcome and intro of new members & attendees – Lisa Wilken, Clifton Morlan
Crownland Cemetery Veterans Section - Nov 19th Bill spoke with the groundskeeper at Crownland, Steve, and also called the Crownland Cemetery Board President, Matt Cook. We spoke about the future of the Veteran’s section of Crownland Cemetery and here is what the Cemetery is working on as of Nov 19, 2021:
- The board sent a letter to the school letting them know the land that the baseball fields are on will be coming back to the Cemetery in Jan 2023 – that is 10 acres is mainly for the Veteran’s section.
- They bought an above ground burial unit to check out for the general Cemetery. If it works well, then they will be more prepared for the needs of the Veteran section when planning takes place.
- The groundskeeper has removed the trees behind the Memorial and there will soon be about 60 more burial sites there for use in 2022.
- In 2023 they will start planning additions for the Veteran’s section which will need outside funding for landscaping. I told Matt that we, the HCVC, will be here to assist in that endeavor.
- Since they have no immediate plans, we told Matt we would reach out in 2023 to see if there are any future plans which we Hamilton County Veterans may assist with.
The HCVC Website Update
- Our HCVC website is continually growing with more pertinent links to Veterans resources. We have 33 pages of which 28 are lists of Veteran resources which all Veterans with internet access can use, not just our local Heroes.
- We got our host vendor to give us a ssl license to make it a secure site so we can eventually add a DONATE tab for those who wish to help us help our Veterans and their families. Our URL address is https://hamiltoncountyveterans.com but whatever you type in for hamiltoncountyveterans.com will default to the secure site.
- We will be creating/updating our Hamilton County Veterans Corp Facebook page soon.
2021 In Review
- The HCVC was very busy in 2021 hosting several big events in Hamilton County and assisting others any way we could….
- May 31 was the HC War Memorial Dedication at Crownland Cemetery. This was the culmination of 7 years work with many in the county and the Cemetery board to rebuild and complete the Memorial. We could not have done it without the assistance from the County Commissioners, especially Mark Heirbrandt, thank you Mark.
- June 10 we held a Stand Down which included a Vietnam Veteran special event where we said Thank You, Welcome Home and we gave them a gift from Indiana “A Time To Honor” which Jill Fewell has been doing all year.
- Aug 21 we rededicated the HC Vietnam Memorial at the Courthouse on it’s 50th Anniversary. This was another glorious event where we had a huge turnout as we Honored our Vietnam Veterans once again.
- Oct 9 was a beautiful Ceremony for the Sanchez family as we Honored our Last Fallen Hero, Cpl Humberto Sanchez, into the Fallen Hoosier Heroes For Enduring Freedom Memorial in Westfield. It was a very touching Ceremony and again a great turnout from Hamilton County.
- Nov 11 we worked with Emily Quillen and held a huge Veterans Stand Down at the Boys and Girls Club in Noblesville. We had about 50 Veteran Vendors onsite to assist our Hamilton County Veterans. Great showing! Thank you Emily.
- We gave 47 bikes, 200 blankets, many bags of clothing and 50 winter coats to the HVAF.
- We teamed up our resources/contacts to stop the G5 tower that was proposed near the Veterans section at Crownland.
- Helped transport Veterans to Roudebush and Marion VA Hospitals
- Delivered 3 electric wheelchairs, 9 manual wheelchairs, 17 walkers, 4 crutches, 6 canes and 1 hospital bed to our Veterans in need.
- Helped deliver 2 loads of walkers, canes, toilet seats and shower chairs to the Veterans Home in Lafayette.
- Dedicated the DAR Memorial at Riverside May 31.
- Built 2 ramps at Veterans homes with one more this month.
- The HCVC made Donations to the Cicero Memorial project, the Summitville Memorial refurbishment project, the DAR and the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana.
- Ron attended 14 funerals, presented 2 Memorial Flags to families.
Topics for 2022
- Kyle Fisher, commander of the Fishers American Legion Post 470, could not make it to the meeting to give us an update on Post 470’s 2021 events and a look into 2022.
- Clifton Morlan, Finance Officer of the Univ Post 360 in Indy, spoke of the many community improvements they have been working on in 2021. Since Univ Post 360 does not have a building, bar, meeting space, game room, etc to maintain, they stay focused on giving back to the community. They were the first A.L. post to form on a college campus and are doing a wonderful job of recruiting young Veterans on campus. We thanked Clifton for what his post has been doing and we discussed points that many of our Veteran Service Organizations could learn from what Post 360 is doing. Their meetings are live and virtual for all members to attend, they get out into their community and support activities and help improve areas that need hands on work, they create activities involving families, they are open to all new members no matter where they meet, no matter what their color, ethnicity, sexuality and they don’t act like this is my place, what are you coming in here for. We need to find ways for us to work together, all Veteran Organizations in Hamilton and our donut counties, so we can be more open and friendly to our younger Veterans and their families.
- The HCVC is teaming with Hamilton County and other state resources to eliminate Veteran suicide in our county and state. Hamilton County has seen a 400% increase in Veteran suicides this year so Renee Applegate from the HC Dept of Health, Dr Lori DeYoung of the VA and several others from the state and Hamilton County have raised the red flag saying we must work together to find the solutions for suicide prevention. The team has met 3 times with great thoughts/ideas but we need to focus deeper on the specific obstacles our Veterans face when they reach out for help, whether it’s the Suicide Crisis line or the VA’s suicide prevention line or any other place they reach out to. The next 2 meetings are with local Veterans and I have invited Silouan Green to get his input as he travels the county discussing PTSD and Suicide. We hope to start bringing the plan together at the Dec 15 meeting. More to come….
- With Mark Fiddler’s help, we just touched the topic of creating a JCFI here in Hamilton County. JCFI is a community outreach program that connects local service providers to the appropriate local resources, resulting in better support of Service Members, Military Families and Veterans. We have JCFI meetings for Marion, Hendricks, Boone and Madison counties,,, we need one for Hamilton County.
- JCFI is in partnership with the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) of Purdue Univ, the JCFI executive committee, the Indiana National Guard, the Indiana Dept of Veterans Affairs, the US Dept of Veterans Affairs and all local JCFI work groups. Through communications between these teams, the JCFI executive committee can identify common issues statewide to educate members of the community JCFI groups to better serve and care for our Military/Veteran families. These JCFI groups meet regularly, produce action plans to create local change, and it gives all providers a chance to network so we may all work together in serving Veterans better.
- JCFI also works closely with Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) which is a program managed by the DOD. Their goal is to increase the readiness and resilience in areas where our Military/Veterans families are geographically dispersed and here in Indiana, that is needed since we do not have an active Military base.
- We hope to discuss this more as we enter 2022 and will schedule a future meeting with Rena Sterrett from Military Family Research Institute at Purdue Univ and Sylvia Maixner from Building Healthy Military Communities so they can fully explain the what, when and how for us to have a JCFI in HC. This will take a full team effort of the HCVC, Hamilton County CVSO’s, our commissioners, city officials and businesses to step up and care for our Military, Veterans and families.
- Lisa Wilken did an excellent job of explaining the day Veterans get to meet and speak with our congressional leaders at the State Capitol Bldg Jan 10, 2022 at 10:30am. She and the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana – Jim Bauerle and Ron Martin – need all our Veterans help so they may be able to talk with our legislators because without setting up meetings between legislators and their VOTING Veterans, they will not come to this event!! Legislators love to have their pictures taken with Veterans but they do not want to talk with Lisa, Jim or Ron as they do not want to commit to spending money to help Veterans. We need all Veterans who are able to come to the state house Jan 10th about 930-10am to contact Lisa Wilken at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will setup an appointment with you, a member of the Veterans Coalition and your legislator. We need your help!
- The HCVC will be working with Emily Quillen to setup a Hamilton County Stand Down in 2022. Emily setup a wonderful event at the Boys n Girls Club in Noblesville Nov 12th. Maybe we can do another stand down there this year and possibly one at a HC Veterans Appreciation Day event….
- The HCVC will continue to support and work with and within the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana (TMVCI) as they support our Veterans in Indiana. They are in the legislature and on the front lines getting support for passing legislation that will make a difference in the lives of our Military, Veterans and their families. We are still working on pushing the HBOT project out to Indiana Hospitals as well.
- The HCVC needs to look at creating a couple fund raisers to get our budget back up since we depleted it for the War Memorial. Get your thinking caps on and come up with some ideas. Maybe doing local ones at Jim Dandy or Chick Fill A, hosting a car show and a stand down at Forest Park, speaking with businesses to donate money, food, clothing, etc,,,
- The HCVC has always tried to get all our Veterans organizations in Hamilton County to work together and communicate, but we’ve always come up short. We need to focus on ways to get the commanders of the VFW’s, American Legions and other organizations in the same room so we all can work together in helping our Military, Veterans and their families in Hamilton County. Maybe a breakfast, lunch or dinner invitation and have a speaker, or for our next stand down we can get them all in a room to discuss what and where – lets work as a team!!
- The Indy Honor Flights are going to start back up this spring!! Apr 18th I believe will be the first of 4 flights being planned. If you know of any Veterans who have not been on the Honor Flight or if you know of any person who would like to be a guardian, have them go to http://indyhonorflight.org and fill out the forms. It’s about $500 for the guardian and the Veteran is free.
- Remember that the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame is looking for applications from March through July. Be on the lookout for someone to nominate this year. They name that person the first Friday in November.
- Maybe first or second weekend in May we will finish cleaning the Civil War Monument in Crownland Cemetery. By March we will approach the Crownland Board, President Matt Cook 317-773-5522 and ask if we can work together to clean the monument. The HCVC has the proper chemicals to get it done and we have access to a cherry picker to reach the top portion of the Monument.
- By mid 2022 we will invite Nancy Chance from Good Samaritan to come speak on all that they do for Hamilton County and we need to work together to help fund Good Samaritan.
- In 2022 we are planning to setup a Veterans Appreciation Day in Hamilton County. Maybe a BBQ at Forest Park. We can include several Veteran groups/supporters like a stand down to assist our local Veterans and families. Include a car show as a fund raiser and ask local businesses for donations, money, food, clothing,,,, etc. Think of ideas for our next meeting.
The HCVC did a wonderful job in 2021 but we have so much more to accomplish in 2022. Let’s all work together, grow our HCVC team and make 2022 an even better year for our Military, Veterans and families.
The HCVC thanks you for doing all that you do to help our Veterans and their Families. Keep talking to your neighbors, friends and acquaintances to spread the word on the good of the HCVC.
Hamilton County Veterans ”Veterans Serving Veterans”
Next meeting will be Jan 31st 7pm at the Fishers A.L. Post 470. We hope to get setup for hosting an online virtual meeting as well as being live.
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