Korean MemorialKorean War & Korea Defense Service Veterans, Lake Co. (FL), Chapter 169


By Tom J Thiel, President, 2008-2012

January 2012

January 25, 2012, at the Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park. DoD 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee in The Pentagon came to help us remember Korea 60 years ago. One of the most memorial events in Chapter 169’s history, a beautiful living wreath was placed on the center granite slab of the VMFP, and representatives from the KW60 committee presented all current and deceased Chapter 169 members a specially-printed frarmable certificate signed by Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, thanking the member for their service. Dignitaries present were: Leesburg Mayor, Sanna Henderson; Col. David J. Clark, Executive Director, Major John "Buck" Buchanan–USAF, Mr. Mark Ballesteros (LTC, USA Ret) - Program Manager, and Ms. Erin Payne - Committee Events Manage, all of KW60. Articles appeared in the Daily Commercial on the front page of the Sunday, Jan. 8 edition, and again on the day after the ceremony. Similar articles appeared in the Jan. 13, Daily Sun, and another on the front page of the Jan. 25, Orlando Sentinel Lake Edition. And the event also was reported on TV Channel 9, as well as by Bob Peters with LakeFrontTV Salute. Members came from great distances: Alma Guseman, spouse of deceased member G. Brooks Guseman, came from Alabama, and members Ted and Marie Morford came from Nashville, TN. Ted placed all the smaller U.S. and South Korean flags ringing the memorial; we urgently need a member or two to place these flags as Ted will not be able to come to many events. Dwight Brown was responsible for this program, one of the most outstanding Chapter 169 events of all time!

Dwight Brown and Tom Thiel appeared on Bob Peters’ “Salute” TV program on LakeFrontTV that ran three times a day for at least a week.

All that publicity enabled us to sign up 14 new Chapter 169 members.

Chapter 169 Attendees at DoF Winter Council Meeting on January 28, 2012, at the Plantation Inn and Golf Resort, Crystal River, FL. were Don Lynch, Carol Becker, Joe Gruber, Jackie Gleason, Charlie White, Tom Thiel, Claus Tiesman, Dwight Brown, Don Van Beck, Jack Reynolds, Art Canale, and Harold Sievers.

February 2012

Our two newest Chapter members are Bob Peters who is an Honorary Chapter member and now an Associate Member of the KWVA (the Chapter paid his Associate Member dues for five years), and David Lavery, who  served from 1953-54 in the Army’s 23/26th Sig BN.

Carol Becker, Dick Pfahler, Gunther Noder, Al Schuetz, Dwight Brown and Tom Thiel participated in the Feb. 2 St. Paul TA Program.

The Feb. 22 Regular Member Meeting: Attendance was largest it has ever been since I have come to a 169 meeting (I think 2002). I estimate somewhere around 65. We generally have somewhere between 20 and 30 in attendance. An exact count, however, was not obtained due to our failure to record all attendees! We will address this before the next meeting. Mostly the large attendance was due to the many new members, and especially to a large number of spouses.

Regarding the Feb. 22 program, President Thiel said: “Now, I feel it necessary to raise a couple of points in a little more detail. The first of these is Current Members get off your cans and welcome Newer Members. For the most part, you sat with each other and left New Member unwelcomed. (There was at least one notable exception.) The second deals with our need to welcome spouses into our community. This though has been in the rear recesses of my mind for some time now, but, perhaps because of my personal situation, I have not pursued it.

The Chapter has articles on pages 20-21 and 37 of the current Graybeards.

We asked members to complete a Member Skills and Interest Questionnaire; less than a dozen actually did.

March 2012

Our March Member Meeting was, like the previous one in February, very well attended. The sign-in sheet (corrected) showed 42 members and four guests. I’m sorry, but we didn’t get any count of all you ladies who were there. We thank you for coming and want to encourage you to continue coming and ask all who are interested to consider coming in the future. We also thank those bringing tasty goodies; I’m not certain who you all were but know that Char Corscadden, Alma Goebel and Carol Becker were among those who did. Thank you very much!There was a lot to discuss; Tell America, Fund Drives, Dedication Ceremonies just to name a few. Harry Olson and Don Lynch served as greeters; we hope they helped facilitate you all feeling welcome at the session.

Membership now 87, plus two Honorary Assoc Members. Eighty-seven fully paid Active Association Members! How are we getting these new members? Mainly the press! Well, actually press coverage of our activities. In the end of course, activities bring us new members! New members reported were: John and Karen Hickey who live on New Abbey Ave in Leesburg. John says he served in the Army’s 69th Infantry Division but I do not know when or where; Ron and Glennie Posnak live on Sawgrass Lake Cr. also in Leesburg. Ron served in the Army in 1952-53; Rich and Joann Schellhase who live on Gresham in Webster. Rich served with the Marines First Division, 1st Bn. “C” Company, Combat Engineers; John and Mary Hayes of Tweed Court, Leesburg. John is originally from Whitgate County Clare, Ireland, and served with the 1st Marine Division  12951-53; and last but not least, Ozzie and Nancy Schreiber who live on Bougainvillea Dr. in Leesburg. Ozzie joined us in January, and served in 1952 with the Army’s 4th/45th Division.

Gloria Corbet received certificate recognizing her as a Chapter 169 Honorary Associate Member “In recognition of Gloria’s contributions to Lake County Veterans in general, to her American Legion Post 41 in Eustis, and to Chapter 169’s Tell America program.” Gloria is of course spouse of Jimmy Corbet; she served a career in the military retiring as a Colonel.

April 2012

Greatest turnout ever were the words one long-time member used to describe our annual spring picnic at Hickory Point Park, Tavares, on Wed. April 25. Claus Tiesman did an attendance log and came up with a total of 51 members and spouses; there were seven guests as well giving us a grand total of 58! One of our guests was Dan Crossman, a good friend of Harry Olson, who sang several songs for us including one he wrote recently and hopes to be able to sell. It is about Dan’s father’s service, and was very well received by all. And we were most pleased to welcome two Korean-American families: Dong Nack, and Kae Ryunk Kim, and Sang and Choong Kim, both of The Villages.

We welcomed Sue Mason, who joined our Chapter at the Picnic on April 25. Several of us know Sue from American Legion Post #41 in Eustis. Sue lives in Sorrento in East Lake County, and served in Korea with the  38th ADA Brig; I-44 BN; HHB Co in 1979-80. The Association Membership Database shows 86 active and one inactive (members whose dues have not been recorded at the Charleston IL Membership office). This gives us a total of 87, plus our two Chapter Honorary members thus giving us a total of 89 members overall.

We held two outstanding Tell America Programs in April; our second such visit to Mount Dora AF Jr ROTC, and our first ever trip to Eustis High to a combined audience of AF Jr ROTC and History Class students. Our team visiting Mount Dora on April 17, consisted of Carol Becker, Claus Tiesman, Dwight Brown, and Tom Thiel. Our Mount Dora School contacts were Col. Richards and MSGT West.

Our visit to Eustis High School was a first in a couple of additional ways: a) it was the first time we ever addressed History Class students in addition to AF Jr. ROTC students,  and b) we conducted four sessions lasting from 7:30 a.m. to nearly 3:00 p.m.! Eustis TA team members were: Jack Reynolds, Dwight Brown, Jim and Gloria Corbet, and Tom Thiel. Our school contacts were Col. Cangelosi and MSGT Young. Col. Cangelosi arranged to bring the History and ROTC students together, an idea we really liked as there was a good bit of interest from these students.

We are very sad to report that Rod Layer, a member since very early in the Chapter’s life, was found dead by his cleaning lady on the morning of April 23. We last saw Rod at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, when we folded up our Fund Drive table at Publix. Services are pending.

The Chapter had a very nice article entitled “Pentagon Officials Honor Chapter 169 Korean Vets; Membership Increased by 25 percent!” on pages 40-41 and the back cover of the March-April 2012 Graybeards.

Our chapter had 13 of the 38 new members listed on page 58 of this same Graybeards; this is 43 percent of the Florida total!

May 2012

Don Van Beck, Executive Director Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park, addresses a crowd of over a thousand at the May 19, 2012, dedication ceremony. The dedication took place at noon after an Armed Forces Parade through Leesburg at 10:00 AM. Thanks to Dwight Brown’s special efforts, our Chapter had a trailer pulled  by a National Guard Humvee in the parade.

Tell America Events

On May 12, Jack and Margie Reynolds and Jim and Gloria Corbet attended the Eustis HS AF Jr. ROTC program annual Awards Banquet where Jack presented them with $500.00 to be used where needed by the program.

Then on the 16th Charlie White, Harold Sievers, Don Lynch, Gunther Noder, Dwight Brown and Tom Thiel presented our program to three classes at Leesburg Jr. ROTC program. Cadet Gayler developed a stirring tribute to our visit with a Windows Media Video that may be viewed at the Tell America button on the chapter website.

On May 18, Charlie White and Tom Thiel attended the Leesburg Awards Banquet where they presented the Leesburg ROTC program with $500.00 to be used where needed.

Our first ever visit to Eustis High to a combined audience of AF Jr ROTC and History Class students made such an impression that Eustis HS English, History, Video Production as well as ROTC programs invited us to come for individual interviews by their students. The interviews were video recorded and will be produced in both DVD and web site formats. Members participating in these interviews in order interviewed were: May 22, Jim Corbet, Tom Thiel, Jack Reynolds, Gloria Corbet, and Claus Tiesman; May 25, Don Lynch, Art Canale, Jim Corbet (replaced Harold Sievers), Bill Shumaker, Charlie White, and Dick Pfahler; and on May 30, Don Van Beck, Gene Vollmer, Wally Jones, Ozzie Schreiber, Carol Becker and Al Schuetz (substituting for Ted Jansen). All who participated in the interviews were really pumped-up after they were completed; terrific students!

Wally Jones was appointed to fill the term vacated when Bob McGinty resigned from the Board of Directors.

Memorial Day, 2012: Chapter 169 Color Guard at Veterans Memorial in The Villages. From left: Guenther Noder, Gordon Talbot, Art Canale, Wally Jones, and Dave Lavery. Chapter 169 Color Guard at Eustis’ Ferrin Park. Bill Shumaker and Charlie White carry new chapter wreath. Also present: Bill Simunek, Carol Becker (photos), Sue Mason, Gloria and Jim Corbet, and Tom Thiel, who read names of deceased members.

Dwight Brown was the Chapter 169 Delegate to the DoF Council and Convention on May 11-13, 2012, at Crystal River, FL. And as a result of our initiative,  LTC Rob Ruffolo (USA) from the KW60 office in the Pentagon, attended the meeting. He briefed attendees on: a) The Year of the Korean War Veteran program, b) Congressman Rangel's resolution, c) Future commemorations in Florida, and d) support KW60 may need from DoF. This was well received; Dwight volunteered to be the liaison between DoF and KW60. In a later discussion with President First, KW60 will be the DoF theme for 2012-2013. Others attending were Wally Jones, Harold Sievers (DoF Chaplain), Jackie Gleason, Art Canale, and Carol Becker (DoF Photographer).

May 4-5. $825.81. Publix - Shoppes of Lake Village, 10601 US Highway 441 Ste D, Leesburg. Jack and Margie Reynolds (all day both days), Dick and Vi Pfahler, Jim and Gloria Corbet, Claus Tiesman, Joe Lewis, Ernest Wigglesworth, and Tom Thiel.

June 2012

June 25, Start of the Korean War. Chapter 169 Color Guard, Charlie White, Bill Simunek, Don Lynch, Bill Shumaker, Claus Tiesman, Wally Jones, Gordon Talbot, and Art Canale, opened our June 25th program to remember the 62nd Anniversary of the start of the Korean War.  The program, very well organized and publicized by Dwight Brown, had to be relocated from the Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park to the Leesburg Armory because of Debbie’s steady rainfall. Don Baron sang the Star Spangled Banner, and Harold Sievers read the opening and closing prayers. Brigadier General Timothy I. Sullivan, Retired, Florida National Guard delivered an excellent overview of the Korean war and told us how proud we can justifiably be about what  we achieved in Korea 60 years ago. Echo TAPS were performed by Brooks James and Terry Wood of the Leesburg HS Band. Thanks to Dwight Brown for making this happen, and for the articles in the Daily Sun, Lake Sentinel and Daily Commercial.

Alta Yohn donates $500.

Color Guard members White, Lynch, Shumaker and Tiesman very ably represented the Chapter at a May 30 United Way luncheon at Venetian Gardens.

Al and Jan Schuetz told us about their recent Revisit Korea trip. They were both high on the trip and recommended without reservation that anyone who thought they might be interested find out about upcoming trips either in Graybeards or at www.kwva.org

July 2012

Carey Baker, former State Senator, was the featured speaker at our first program remembering the 59th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending hostilities in the Korean war on July 27. Program Chairperson, Wally Jones, did not only an outstanding job keeping the program very focused, he also had everything organized, including placement of the port-a-potty! We were pleased that five from American Legion Post 55 in Clermont, as well as many other Korean Veterans supported us. Don Baron lead us in signing the National Anthem and Dwight Brown lead us in prayer. Our Color Guard was  ably represented by Charlie White, Don Lynch, Claus Tiesman and Bill Shumaker. Tom Thiel remembered the  8,000 GI’s still missing in Korea.

Richard Charles Christie, 81, Mount Dora, FL passed away July 12, 2012 at The Villages Hospice House. Only five Chapter 169 members were on hand to see Dick enter the other side of life; Tom Thiel, Jim Corbet, Carol Becker, Claus Tiesman, Art Canale, and Carlton Hogue of Ch 188, who played TAPS.

Joel Biggs became our newest member. Joel served in the 802nd Engr. in 1958-61, and on Monday, we received Art Boucher’s application to join the Chapter. Art lives on Hawthorne Blvd, Leesburg, and served with the 7th Div. 32nd Regt Tank Co. He already was an Association member. Membership has remained stable in the mid 80’s. With Joel and Art, we have 87 Active members, two Inactive members, and five honorary Chapter members, giving a total of 92.  At 87 members, we are far larger than the next largest FL chapter, 173 with 51.

At the Member Meeting a motion was offered and approved to donate a badly-needed refrigerator to the Senior Center. An 18 cf Frigidaire refrigerator was purchased for $449.10 on July 28 at Lowe’s Mount Dora, and delivered on Monday, July 30, much to the pleasure of the Center’s staff. A thank you letter saying “It was much needed and … will be enjoyed for years,” has been received.

“Veterans raise money to teach students about the Korean War,” By Ashley Slota Daily Sun, The Villages, FL, June 24, 2012.

Carol Becker delivered 51 quilts to the children at Camp Boggy Creek, whose mission is to enrich the lives of seriously ill children.

Lapel Pin Project: Bill Shumaker has proposed that the Chapter develop a 3/4-inches in diameter lapel pin depicting a KWVA theme. We decided to approach Don Struhar, who had already designed the the DoFlorida patch and the Korean War and Service Veterans. We asked Carol to approach Don about making us a unique design, but one that would be suitable for all of KWVA. That was Tuesday at the Board meeting; on Wednesday at the member meeting, Carol brought us a sketch of Don’s beautiful new design. One that easily met all the criteria outlined previously. A motion was made and approved that we proceed with this project.

August 2012

Chapter 169 in Graybeards, Taro Leaf: Our Tell America program appeared on pages 31 and 44 of the July—August issue of Graybeards! And “Veterans Memorial Dedicated at Fountain Park in Leesburg, FL, appeared on 47-48! Also, “Van Beck Dedicates Veterans Memorial” appeared in the 24th Infantry Division’s Taro Leaf Volume 66, Number 3 on page 19. See  http://24thida.com/taro_leaf/images/2012_66(3)_SUMMER_SM.pdf

August 12, 2012: Dwight Brown presented Department of Defense, 60th Anniversary Certificates to Dr. Dong Nack Kim (SGT. ROK Army) and Mr. Sang Hwi Kim ( Lt. ROK ARMY) during church services at the Ocala Korean Presbyterian Church, PCA, Ocala, Florida. They felt honored to receive the certificates.

Art Canale very ably represented the Chapter at an August 9, 2012, memorial service for Korean Veteran Herbert D. Vogler, 80, of The Villages.

September 2012

Our Color Guard participated in the 9-11 Memorial at The Villages fire station on CR466; members included: Lavery, Talbot, Iversen, Noder and Simunek.

Jack Hanson presented “Advanced Fire Safety for Adults.” Jack gave us an excellent presentation, but he became a phone solicitor! This is not a desirable presentation.

At the Sept. 12 Board meeting, President Thiel appointed Gloria Corbet as Chapter Computer Systems Manager, a new BoD position, and Dee Peever as a member of the Board for the Ladies (later named the Chapter) Auxiliary.

Thiel was invited by Chapter 189 to their Oct. 16 program to tell them about our TA Program; he now has a Power Point presentation.

Special Luncheon for Fund Raisers: The BoD 0n 12-09-12 approved a motion to hold and pay for a special luncheon for those members participating in fund raising events, and their spouses/guests; it will be at Leesburg Golden Corral 11:30 a.m. on Wed. Nov. 7.

The Fall Department of Florida Council Meeting, was Saturday, September 22, 2012, Altamonte Springs Hilton. Chapter 169 attendees were: Sievers, Becker, Canale, Tiesman, Brown, Peever, Van Beck, Thiel,  Gruber, Lynch, Jones, and Briggs. Chapter 173 had more total members and spouses there but they were working as registration, meals, etc. It was a very good meeting. There were no actions of special significance to the Chapter. The meeting will be summarized at www.ciddof.kwva.org

October 2012

Your Chapter is at a very difficult crossroad—continue as a viable, even leading Chapter, or dissolve. What is needed to continue are leaders — President, two Vice Presidents, and others. Dissolution is a very sad prospect, and we will do all that we can to avoid it. But that cannot include me serving another term as President. I have asked Don Van Beck to head up our Nominations Committee some time ago, and he and the Committee has met on a couple of occasions to date.

Wally Cahill —our newest Chapter member. Wally and Arminta live on Westover Circle in Leesburg. Wally spent 1952-53 with the 45th Division’s 189th FAB, Battery C.

Chapter Lapel Pin Project: Idea originally proposed by Bill Shumaker to design and produce a three-fourths inch diameter  lapel pin. Carol Becker took to artist Don Struhar, who had already designed the Department of Florida logo and the new round Korean War and Korean Service Veterans logo, and to R M Corporation in MA to design a pin that was unique to KWVA but not to the Chapter (this in order to be able to market outside the Chapter). At the October BoD meeting, we decided to order 1,000 pins at a cost of $850 plus shipping and handling. We will offer them to Chapter members and at DoF meetings for $4.00 ea.

Chapter 169 Golf shirts with Florida Logo and Lake County FL are now available for $28.00 for order through Quartermaster Director, Art Iversen, 611 San Marino Dr., The Villages, FL, 32159, (352) 753-0139, lois59art@embarqmail.com

Beginning now, all BoD members will be assigned to a Chapter operational function, such as, Color Guard Leader, Editor, Photo Historian, etc. There will be no unassigned BoD members.

Tavares’ Round About Freedom Flag: Carol Becker moved that KWVA Chapter 169 donate $100 to the Tavares Round About Freedom Flag project; KWVA 169 will have its name engraved on the memorial that holds the flag. Motion seconded and approved by unanimous vote.

CRIME PREVENTION by Bryan of Protech Security Solutions, 1971 W. Lumsden Rd, Ste 184, Bradenton, FL 33511, 813-661-3700. Excellent presentation but MUCH too long (1 hr. 20 min) for our time slot.

Please be judicious about the emails you forward; what you think important or funny is likely just junk or spam to someone else, and never, never use the Chapter’s address list for your forwarded messages.

November 2012

Veterans Day: Eustis Ferrin Park: Bill Shumaker and Claus Tiesman carried our wreath to memorial escorted by Eustis JR ROTC; Bill Simunek, Jimmy Corbet, Bill Shumaker, Jack Reynolds, Claus Tiesman, Gloria Corbet, Tom Thiel, Marty Rowland and Gene LaJunesse participated. At the same time at the Villages: Dave Lavery, Wally Jones, Gordon Talbot, Art Canale, Don Lynch, and Art Iversen also represented our Chapter.

Thiel is working with John T. (Sonny) Edwards, Commander of the Department of Virginia, and newly appointed Association Membership Chairperson.

Don Van Beck, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the following slate of proposed officers for 2013-2014 to the November Member Meeting: President Wallace Jones, 1st VP Arthur Iversen, 2nd VP Jack Reynolds, Secretary Doreen Peever, and Treasurer Claus Tiesman (It is essential to record that no member would agree to serve as Secretary.) The slate was duly elected.

Twenty-one fund-raisers and spouses attended the first Special Luncheon rewarding members who volunteer to serve at our Tell America fund drives.

New Chapter Bylaws were offered for approval by the members at the November 28, 2012, Member Meeting. Dwight Brown moved with second by Jackie Gleason to present them to you.  After explaining the changes, the vote was called; it passed without a negative vote. Chapter Operating Procedures have also been extensively re-written. They are 18 pages; copies have been printed especially for BoD members. These did not require approvals.

We became aware of “Korean Conflict Veteran” Florida auto license plate.

Dwight contacted the South Korean Consulate in Atlanta (our region), and he and Thiel provided them a list of eligible 169 members who have not yet received a medallion.

We requested 48 medallions; we received 20! Sixteen sets of three Korean Government Peace Medallions, and a Certificate commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War were presented by Dwight Brown at the November 28, Meeting.

Chapter Lapel Pin Project: We have received 1,000 pins at cost of $862.10. We are charging $4.00 ea. Joel Briggs is managing these sales; $256.00 taken in Nov. 28.

December 2012

Over fifty members, spouses and guests participated in this year’s Christmas Luncheon, held December 19, at the Mission Inn. Much thanks to Doreen Peever, Claus Tiesman and Carol Becker for making this year’s luncheon a great success. Ted and Marie Morford, our Chapter Honorary Life Member now living in Lakewood Ranch, FL also joined us; it was great to see them again as part of our family. Al Leslie again provided us with not only his excellent Christmas music, but also with the use of his microphone system thereby saving us $60.00!

The Chapter’s Eddie Ko Outstanding Member Award for 2012 was given to our two most deserving members, 1st VP Dwight Brown, and Photo Historian Carol Becker. Dwight’s read “For outstanding service to Chapter 169 as Vice President, Tell America team member and Exhibits Developer, VMFP Programs Leader, and Fund Drive Leader,” and Carols read “For outstanding service to Chapter 169 as Photographer, Seamstress, Quilter, Tell America Team Member, Project Coordinator, Historical Source and Gold Star Spouse.” Bill Shumaker, Claus Tiesman, and Don Lynch each received 2012 Outstanding Service Awards.

Membership grew to 90 Active Members with the addition of Bill Sherwood and Pat Carli’s renewal. We also have three Honorary Chapter members giving us a total of 93 members. Bill served with the 1st Marine in Korea and was in the Frozen Chosen action.

Balance available as of end of 2012, and the beginning of 2013 is $3,804.63. This is the Wells-Fargo balance, and also the computer balance. We began 2012 $6,234.96 and ended it with $3,804.63. This drop in funding levels resulted from unplanned: a) $2,000 contribution to the VMFP, and b) $862 for our pin project. We also had a $987 shortfall in fund drive receipts.

Bill Shumaker and Don Lynch visited Ed Browne in the Alzheimer's Unit at Arbor Village in Wildwood on Pearl Harbor Day.

On Dec. 26, Joseph Ryu invited Chapter 169 members, spouses and guests to a Luncheon at their church at 7710 SW 38th Avenue, Ocala, on Apr. 6, 2013.

Korean Peace Medallions: We gave out the remaining five medals to Corriveau, Baron, Jones, Goebel, and Psonak. Thiel wrote the Korean Consulate in Atlanta on Dec. 13 requesting medallions for remaining members.