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Outpost #35 held its spring meeting on April 9, 2016 hosted by Toby Knight and Jim Reeves at the Fort Sam Houston Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas. Those in attendance included Joe and Lynn Ball, Robert Dalton, Jude and Paul Grabert, Velkis and Toby Knight, Carolyn and Jerry Kraft, Linda and Jim Reeves, Keith Schmidt, Dixie and General Thomas Smith, James Timmens, and Jack Wold. It was a wonderful meeting with much camaraderie. Adding to the meeting was General Smith’s wonderful speech on the work being done by the Texas Veterans’ Commission where he serves on the Veterans Assistance Advisory Committee as Chair.

At 11:00 AM we gathered for a social hour, followed by lunch. Joe Ball called the meeting to order at 12:15 PM. Jim Reeves delivered the Invocation and Toby and Velkis Knight led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag; everyone sang “Dogface Soldier.” Velkis Knight drew Jerry Kraft and Keith Schmidt’s names for the prizes: the Society Challenge Coin went to Jerry Kraft and the Texas Veteran’s Commission Coin went to Keith
Schmidt. The coins were donated by Jim Reeves and General Smith, respectively. Joe introduced everyone and provided a bit of background on each of us. 

The Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as written.  Lynn then delivered her current Secretary-Treasurers Report which covered our current membership status and announced that the 2016-2017 dues notices would be included in the mailing of the meeting Minutes. We welcomed two new members to our outpost: Luke A Driggers of Van Buren, Arkansas. Luke is the grandson of William and Fay Driggers. We also welcomed Jude Grabert of Houston, Texas. Jude is the spouse of Central Region Committeeman Paul Grabert. Our recruitment program is still
active. We really need to recruit members. We have lost many of our WWII Vets (and some Korea Vets) during the past year.  
Currently Bill Driggers is the front runner with six new members to our outpost. Thanks, Bill, and Congratulations. Joe continues to request birthday greetings from the White House for members 80 years of age and older or 70 years of age and older for Veterans, as well as for decade wedding anniversaries starting at 50. Additionally, Joe sends outpost personal greetings to members whose important dates he has.

TAPS: During the past few months, we have lost Abraham Friedman (DIV/Med/HQ, Korea) and Ernest Boyd (7th Inf/F).  We will miss these precious members. Since the meeting, we have lost our dear friend Landell Pugh and Ben Sewards.  Discussion of the 2016 and 2017 Reunion was included, as was a summary of stories in the April Watch, and updates on the Scholarship Foundation. The Treasurer’s Report included thanks to all who have donated to the Outpost and Society’s general funds. It was determined that the summer meeting will be somewhere
in the DFW Metroplex. Lynn is looking into Abilene for a future meeting.

Joe discussed the following topics: Challenge Coin: 
UPDATE: Toby Knight has placed his fourth order for coins so he can fill orders he is presently holding on back order. To get one or more of the Challenge Coins, send your order and check, made out to Society of 3rd I.D., to Toby Knight, 5339 Osprey Oak, San Antonio TX 78253-6380. The cost is a donation of $12.50 for one coin and $10.00 each for two or more coins. If you have questions, call Toby at 210-885-2137. Joe also presented reports on outpost members of the 3rd Medical Battalion who served in Korea (Joe had reported that Harvey Sladkus, 3rd Medical Battalion, retired from the Army as a Bird Colonel. That is incorrect. Harvey left the service at the end of his commitment and had a distinguished career as a trial attorney in New York City. Sorry Harvey.) Joe also presented an update on recent Stolen Valor rulings, an MOH update, and plans for more reviews of other medals awarded since 2001.

Of course, the highlight of our meeting was our Honored Speaker B.G. Tom Smith (Ret.). B.G. Smith has earned many awards and decorations during his service in both the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. General Tom is a Soldier’s General and proudly wears the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star w/V (4 Awards), Legion of Merit (3 Awards), Army Commendation Medal (6 Awards), Soldier’s Medal, and
Air Medal (11 Awards). General Tom spoke about the work of the Texas Veterans’ Commission, for which he chairs the Advisory Committee. The summary of General’s speech is available upon request. The meeting adjourned at 2:35PM.

Submitted by Lynn Ball, Secretary-Treasurer

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