December 31, 2019
Canned goods were donated through the BVA members and local community members, these items were then collected and given to the Onslow County Women's center.
As the year comes to end, you, the Members, have been busy, always keeping in your thoughts and prayers those young men whose lives were taken so long ago from 1958 to those in the mid-1990s.
To those who were not able to attend the Membership meeting on the 22nd of October, I'll provide you with a brief overview.
Michael Gaines presented a 15-minute presentation on a Memorial being erected in Port Charlotte Florida that will hopefully be done in 2020.
The BVA Scholarship was finalized and 7 Members volunteered to be on the Scholarship Committee to oversee those applications submitted.
Mr. Combs from Wellington Arms did a 15-minute presentation on the Beirut Veterans Commemorative Pistol. Two were purchased/ordered that day.
Amazon smiles can be used for donations to the BVA. In 2019, we took in a little over 50 dollars from the program.
There are currently 3 Banners that can be utilized for activities that you, the members, can set up through your local veteran's groups. Use the contact button on the BVA Website to provide the board with the mailing address you want the banner sent to; once you send it back you can be reimbursed for your postage.
While at these functions you are representing those we honor every day by your actions (I know this goes without saying but it was brought up at the USO Meeting).
People are playing Pokemon Go on the memorial grounds and we've contacted the base and the company to make that a closed out zone on the Geotags.
The 2020 Octoberfest will also be held in Jacksonville starting the 22nd of October so hotels may go quick. Information on hotels will be out in early summer.
The Inaugural Beirut Ruck was a great success for the first year with over 50 people participating in the 10.23 mile hike. Canned goods were collected and donated to the local women's center.
New people (members and associates) joined while at the USO. We have been informed this was the largest turnout to an off-year memorial. The Jacksonville Advisory Committee ran out of the 1,300 pamphlets on the 23rd's service.
Alan Opra and Jack MacDonald helped run the raffle, and it was a huge success.
If you hear of one of our Brothers or Gold Star Family members passing, please use the contact button on the BVA Website so the appropriate actions can be taken.
If you sponsor or assist in Memorial services and have pictures or know of Memorial services coming up, once again use the website's contact button, as far out as you can, and send pictures after so we can get the information into the RSII.
I hope everyone has a wonderful 2020.
"The First Duty is to Remember"
On 23 October a candlelight vigil was held with approximately 150 in attendance.
At 10:30 hours the main memorial service was conducted and ( I have been informed the day after by the Jacksonville Beirut Memorial advisory board that they had run out of the Pamphlets and only had 1,200 made up).
The annual BVA meeting was held on 22 October with close to 100 people in attendance.
We heard from several people that this year's events were the biggest turnouts they had ever seen during a non-five year memorial.
The Scholarship fund is doing well and the first applications will be accepted after 10 November 2019.
Membership cards will be required at next year's meeting for those who will be voting on open board positions.
Nominations for open positions will start in February.
Starting next year, a link will be provided from the Marine Corps Base in order to gain access. More than likely, our members' names will be provided for a cross-check once those individuals enter the appropriate information to the base. Non-members will have to find their own sponsors to get on base.
There are 3 banners staged around the United States that say Beirut Veterans of America on them. The process to use them is as follows:
While utilizing the banner or wearing anything that says Beirut Veteran please use your better judgment on conducting yourself professionally and with dignity as you are representing not only yourself but your branch of the military as well as those lives that were lost.
If you know of a veteran or gold star family member who passes away please notify the BVA by using the contact button on the website and enter as much information as possible. Just posting the information to facebook does not suffice as not everyone is on facebook and the BVA may not end up being notified.
The BVA was established in 1992 by Beirut veterans who wanted a fraternal organization.
They are dedicated to keeping the memories alive of those comrades who paid the supreme sacrifice in supporting America’s quest for peace in Lebanon.