Happy Hour May 8 World of Beer


Friday, May 8, 2015

World of Beer

1888 Main Street


Parking available in the Links Ave Garage.

We have recreated the camaraderie of the O' Club that we enjoyed in our younger days. Please join us at the Club. 4:00 to 7:00 pm for the guys who have really taken their packs off.

No cost except for what you eat or drink - No Reservations. 

Spouses are encourage to attend.


Go to the left column to see all of our photos.

All 5 Services
Air Force, Marine, Army, Coast Guard, Navy

Commemorating the Vietnam War

Commemorating the Vietnam War

Sent by BG (USA-Ret) James M. Hesson
Member, Sarasota Chapter Military Officers Association of America

The following comments represent a personal plea to all addressees to support the commemoration.

In accordance with public law 110 – 181 Section 598, Congress authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and “in conducting the commemorative program, the secretary shall coordinate support and facilitate other programs and activities of the federal government state and local governments and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War.”

On 25 May 2012 the President of the United States of America issued a proclamation entitled “Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War” which stated in part; “Throughout this Commemoration let us strive to live up to their example by showing our Vietnam veterans, their families, and all who have served the fullest respect and support of a grateful nation.” More information may be found at www.VietnamWar50th.com .

A commemorative organization has been established within the Department of Defense. One of their major tasks is to enlist commemorative partners throughout the United States. These partners can include federal, State and local communities, veterans organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation and thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their
families commemorative partners are encouraged to participate in the commemoration of the Vietnam War by planning and conducting events and activities that will recognize the Vietnam Veterans and their families services and sacrifices. I am currently working with LTC (Ret) Tom Piazza, (the driving force behind the Sarasota primary school system Flag Initiative and the June 14th (Flag Day) event at the

Patriot Plaza “Celebrating the Stars & Stripes”) to provide dialogue for the celebration attendees to increase awareness of the Vietnam War commemoration. At 8 PM, Tuesday, 28 April 2015, a two hour PBS special entitled “Last Days of Vietnam” will be aired.

This two hour special Chronicles the end of our military involvement in Vietnam. It is fitting program to view as we enter the Vietnam War Commemoration period. The airing date is significant because it will be exactly 40 years to the date, that Saigon was being evacuated. Please pass the word!

On Friday, 17 July 2015, Vice Admiral (Retired) Larry Chambers, will be the guest speaker for the Sarasota MOAA luncheon to be held at Michael’s on East. In 1975 as Saigon was falling, Admiral Chambers, then a Captain and the Commanding Officer of the USS Midway aircraft carrier, participated in “Operation Frequent Wind,” the final phase in the evacuation of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam prior to the takeover of the city by the North Vietnamese Army (PAVN) in the Fall of Saigon. It was carried out on 29–30 April 1975, during the last days of the Vietnam War. More than 7,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from various points in Saigon.

I ask all of the recipients of this message to do whatever you can do to publicize the Vietnam War Commemoration. I intend to be at the next meeting of the Sarasota Veterans Commission meeting on 28 May 2015 at the American Legion Post number 159 in Venice, Florida to solicit their support to have Sarasota County and the cities contained therein to become commemorative partners and honor of all of the service members who served during the Vietnam era.

Tuesday, April 14th Kayaking

Tuesday, April 14th Kayaking - Sister Keys Ray Day is sponsoring another kayak trip with professional guide John Sarkozy on Tuesday, April 14th. Sister Keys are located on the north end of Longboat Key, about 10 miles north of St. Armands Circle. The launch site is next to the Mar Vista Restaurant (760 Broadway St.) on Longboat Key. The Mar Vista will allow us to use the restaurant’s parking area while we kayak. 

We will meet at the launch point at 8:30 a.m. to have all our kayaks in the water by 9:00 a.m. We will paddle (slow, easy pace - ideal for beginners) around the Sister Keys (with a stretch b r e a k m i d - w a y through the outing) until about 1200 p.m. followed by a YAHOO lunch at the Mar Vista. The cost for the YAHOO’s is still only $25/person, which includes a kayak and all necessary equipment (paddle, seat, life vest and whistle). If you bring your own kayak, the cost is $10. We must rent at least 10 kayaks from John Sarkozy to make this trip possible. 

If you are interested in this kayak outing, please contact Ray Day at dayr22@verizon.net or 927-0398 to make your reservation and send a check to Ray at 5533 Ashley Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34241-9413. Ray will pay John Sarkozy with a single check the day of the trip. Participants are reminded to have adequate head covering, shark repellent, sunglasses, sunscreen, footwear, prayer beads and water. The kayaks have a small storage compartment in the hull that can hold a small container for additional drinks and snacks. 

DIRECTIONS: From Sarasota Take the Ringling Bridge to Lido Key and follow FL-789 through St Armand Circle onto Longboat Key. Continue on FL-789 to Broadway Street. Turn right onto Lois Ave for the Launch Point.

Luncheon April 17, 2015 1130 am Michael's on East


Veterans Service Organizations by Christopher White Veterans Service Organizations today range from MOAA (which we all know) to the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, service specific organizations like the Association of the United States Army (my bias) and many more. Unfortunately, these fine organizations do not always appeal to younger veterans, in part because older veterans who may not understand the needs and desires of the newer generation of veterans leaving the services today dominate them. 

Our April Speaker, Ryan Simonson, understands that difference. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Ryan and his spouse Julie are West Point graduates, OIF veterans and members of MOAS. After leaving the Army, Ryan looked for a different way to bring today’s veterans together. 

Forming VeteransU, Ryan developed an organizational formula that pulls a diverse group of today’s newest veterans into an organizational force focused on helping each other and actively supporting the community. VeteransU is a diverse, mixed grade, under 50 veterans group that looks for community support opportunities, mobilizes and then smothers that opportunity with shear numbers of veterans and family volunteers. 

In addition to his work as an instructor at the Sarasota Military Academy, Ryan is also a consultant to The Patterson Foundation's recent Legacy of Valor veterans project. He emphasizes that “I'm proud of my service and I'm proud of what I did.” “Nobody wants to go to war,” he adds. “But at the same time, imagine a doctor who goes to med school and does his residency and never sees a patient, a surgeon that never operates, a baseball player who trains his whole life and never plays a game. None of us wanted that stuff, but when push came to shove, it's why we were there.” Told he had experienced a traumatic brain injury likely related to multiple explosive concussions, and is susceptible to lapses in memory, Ryan was at West Point when the 9/11 terror attacks unfolded, having committed himself to military service while attending Pine View High School. “Honestly, it sounds cheesy,” recalls Ryan, whose family had no real military traditions aside from his grandfather's role in World War II, “but I remember talking to my parents in the 10th grade and telling them I felt like it was all of our responsibility to do something for our country.” 

West Point is where Ryan met his wife of 12 years. Both were mobilized for the invasion of Iraq after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy. Julie joined the 977th Military Police Company, but never made it out of Kuwait. She was medically evacuated after suffering a debilitating reaction to the anthrax vaccine. Be sure to join us on April 17th to learn more about VeteransU and this remarkable young veteran.

IMPROV at Florida Studio Theatre May 1

Friday, May 1 IMPROV at Florida Studio Theatre 

Come join the YAHOO’s for a Friday evening of comedy at the new IMPROV program titled Life’s a Beach.” The overview of the program is: “Life’s a Beach, our new Friday night show, lampoons the happenings and nightlife of our fair city from Snowbirds to Hurricanes and everything in between.” The show will have games, sketches and improvised songs to make the evening a fun-filled night. 

The show is located in Bowne’s Lab in the Gompertz Theatre Complex at 1265 First Street. The doors open at 6:30 PM for people to enjoy a meal and drink before the show begins at 7:30 PM. The menu is the same as the Green Room Menu. John and Carol have eaten there and the food is very good. Go on the FST web site to view the Green Room menu. We have 24 tickets with a great location “stage front” at $12 each. To sign up for this event contact Carol O’Brien at cobrienvt@aol.com or call 941-907-8891. Sign up early to assure yourself a seat.

Happy Hour Friday April 10 at the Mandeville Beer Garden 428 N. Lemon Avenue 4 to 6 pm

Mandeville Beer Garden
428 N. Lemon Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

We will change the time to 1600 to 1800 to allow people to drive home before dark and get set up before the rush.

Happy Hour 

Air Force, Marine, Army, Coast Guard, Navy

Camaraderie - The Telling of Tall Tales

They have a nice and varied selection of craft beers and wine.

New Location and Time!!

We have recreated the camaraderie of the O' Club that we enjoyed in our younger days. 
Please join us at the Club. 4:00 to 6:00 pm for the guys who have really taken their packs off.

No cost except for what you eat or drink - No Reservations. 

Spouses are encourage to attend. And invite your friends.

Click for Google Map Directions - Insert your address:

More scoop and photos on our blog  sarasotamoaa.us

Go to the left column to see all of our photos.

Veteran's ID Card Act


Bipartisan bill enables ALL veterans to receive ID cards at NO cost to taxpayer

Endorsed by AMVETS and Veterans for Common Sense

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, has introduced the Veteran's ID Card Act (H.R. 91) -- bipartisan legislation that enables all veterans to obtain an ID card through the VA at no cost to the US taxpayer.  AMVETS and Veterans for Common Sense immediately endorsed Buchanan's proposal.  

Currently, the VA only offers ID cards to those who have served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or those who receive medical care for a service-connected disability.  This means a large population of veterans who have served honorably have no easy way to prove their military service.  Buchanan's bill corrects this deficiency.  

"Over the years I have heard from countless veterans who have expressed frustration over their inability to prove their military service in our Armed Forces," said Buchanan, who represents a congressional district home to more than 70,000 veterans.  "A simple, affordable, standardized ID card will make life a little bit easier for our veterans and serve as a reminder to folks that these brave men and women deserve all the care and respect a grateful nation can offer."

Under current law, veterans who do not qualify for a VA-issued ID card must carry around a paper DD-214 document to prove their veteran status.  This form contains sensitive personal information including social security numbers and service details that put veterans at needless risk for identity theft.  H.R. 91 would minimize this threat.  A standard identification card would also provide employers looking to hire veterans with an easier way to verify an employee's military service.  

Anthony Hardie, Director of Veterans for Common Sense and a Bradenton, Florida resident, hailed the congressman's proposal saying the "VCS is honored to support this simple, make-sense legislation.  Thank you to Rep. Buchanan for introducing this legislation, which would make it easier for many veterans to easily prove their veteran status in a simple, convenient, and credible manner."

The Veteran's ID Card Act is budget neutral as the small fee for the ID card would be paid for by the veteran.  The bill also requires the Secretary of the VA to review and assess costs every five years and change the fee structure appropriately to cover all ID costs under the bill.

“AMVETS is especially supportive of this cost-neutral legislation because it will not only provide a much needed improvement over the current proof of military service document, the DD-214, but it will be carried out in a fiscally responsible way which will have minimal impact on the Veterans Administration which finds itself mired in the midst of massive claims backlogs and other issues,” said Diane M. Zumatto, National Legislative Director for AMVETS.

Buchanan served four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

The following members of Congress have co-sponsored Buchanan's legislation: Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Chris Stewart, Rep. Louise Slaughter, Rep. Randy Forbes, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Alma Adams, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Bobby Rush

Sally Tibbetts
District Director
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan
111 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 202W
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Phone: 941.951.6643



Sarasota is a Happy Place - We Knew That

Where are the happiest places to live — and the least happiest? 
The Sarasota, Florida area is more than just a sunny paradise; it’s a happy community, too. 
According to the new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the citizens of North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton have the highest well-being scores in the nation.

Board Meeting April 6, 2015

Our Board meetings are the first Monday of the month at 4:00 pm at the Meadows Community Center at 2004 Longmeadow, Sarasota, FL 34235.  Members and visitors are welcome.

March Luncheon Program

Date:  4/3/2015

Southwest FL - Our March Luncheon Program offered an informative and encouraging view into Veterans’ support programs at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) campus. Our speaker, Todd Hughes, a 2014 graduate of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) is the Veteran’s Services Administrator at USFSM. His office currently serves about 130 veterans.   
Todd specifically highlighted two programs the USFSM operates in support of veterans. The Student Veterans’ Society provides all  student veterans an opportunity to voice concerns and to access a variety of service organizations that help veterans. In fact, they are hosting a  Military Appreciation Day at the USFSM campus on April 16th from 1100 until 1700, followed by a free screening of the movie, American Sniper, at 1800 in the Selby Auditorium. The event is free to the public and Todd encouraged MOAS to visit and see the dynamic USFSM veterans’ community in action.
The second program Todd presented is under development, but is surely needed: The USFSM Veterans Mentoring Program. This program will match student veterans with experienced veteran mentors to assist with the transition from school to their first job. Mentors help students through networking, interview and resume skills, and articulating military experience into terms understood by civilian employers. They also provide encouragement. Todd will be looking for mentors in Fall 2015. More information may be found athttps://usfmentoring.chronus.com/p/p3/about
Todd joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard the day after his 17th birthday while still in high school. He went Active Duty Army as soon as he could and spent a total of five years in the military with about two being in the National Guard and three on Active Duty. He deployed to Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division from March 2004 through March 2005. Todd left the Army after his initial enlistment. He and his wife Jessica, whom he met in the Army, have two children, Bailey and Xavier.  Sadly, Todd and Jessica lost their home to fire about 10 days ago. Undeterred, Todd kept his commitment to present these programs to our membership. During the luncheon, 2nd VP Linda Gould collected over $1000 to present to Todd and his family. Veterans helping Veterans is what MOAS does best.
MOAS is the Sarasota Chapter of Military Officers Association of America.  MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers with 370,000 members.  It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.  For more information visit, www.sarasotamoaa.com Are you a former military officer?  Please come and join us at our monthly luncheon.