Sons of the American Revolution
Meeting Notice and News, January 2011
meeting will be held on January 15th in the private meeting room of
the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at
Charles Klug will offer us "A Brief
History of the
Below are a number of other items that may be of interest to you. Thanks for taking the time to look them over.
Our Joint Meeting with the C.A.R.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our December meeting with the Fort Brooke Chapter of the C.A.R. As usual, our camera crew got some great shots of the meeting.
At the right: Vice President Yarnell presented Charlene Herried with the SAR Medal of Appreciation in appreciation for all her work with the C.A.R. and her cooperation with our Chapter.
John Skillman with Edna
Update on Bear Marler
Barry “Bear” Marler is member of our chapter and on active duty. His mother attended our December meeting and sent this update.
“Saturday (Jan. 8) he'll be leaving for
will be reporting to Warner Robbins near
The Last Naval
The 228th Anniversary of the Last
Naval Battle of the American Revolution will once again take place at the
Canaveral Port Authority Administration Bldg.,
is sponsored by the Florida Society SAR and hosted by the Brevard Chapter SAR
along with the local chapters of the
The Last Naval Battle commemoration is a SAR National Color Guard event, that recognizes the March 10, 1783 naval battle fought offshore of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Capt. John Barry of the Continental Navy Ship Alliance was victorious over HMS Sybil, thereby saving the transport ship Duc de Lauzon and her cargo of much-needed funds headed for the Continental Congress.
We are pleased to announce that Tim McGrath will be our keynote speaker. Mr. McGrath is the author of the new book “John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail” (640 pp. / 51 illus., Westholme Publishing)
A Great Story of a
I received an email
from Tom Merrill of
Old soldiers never die, they just complete their mission.
Haverhill Army veteran Tom Merrill closed a chapter of the Korean War for a Marine living more than 1,000 miles away after laying his father, 1st Marine Division Supply Sgt. David Merrill, to rest in 2007.
The elder Merrill succumbed at the age of 72 to complications from a heart attack, leaving behind a lifetime of memories and one lingering mystery for his son Tom — a single dog tag in his father's war mementos bearing the name of Rodney Stebbins.
David Merrill, a 1952 graduate of Haverhill High and an engineer for Western Electric following his military service, never mentioned the dog tag or Stebbins' name to his son Tom, his daughter, or even his twin brother, Donald Merrill.
"That's what still puzzles me to this day," Tom said. "My dad was always faithful, you might say, to this Marine."
'What a small world'
Stebbins, a former captain in the Marines, was finally reunited with a small piece of himself thanks to the curiosity and tenacity of Tom Merrill.
For 50 years, he had thought the
dog tag he wore in
After his father's death, Tom, perplexed by the tag, held on to it.
"I thought it could have been one of his friends that died," he said. "I didn't even think of returning it."
A year later, Tom Merrill began searching for the tag's owner. He searched by Web and the phone to find anyone in the area who might know the name. To aid his search, Merrill used a computer scanner to make a digital "lost and found" photo of the tag.
"I decided that, in fact, the Marine's lost tag was never mine to keep," he said. "You can do a search, but there are a million people that could match your name."
About a week after he started,
Merrill made contact with a cousin of Rodney, a resident of
"My name is Rodney Jerome Stebbins
and I served in
Merrill said he and Stebbins made contact over the phone the next day and quickly formed a fast friendship.
At the time of their first contact, Stebbins
was about 71 years old and enjoying retired life in
"He was just a nice guy to talk with," he said. "I found a great man in Rodney."
Though Stebbins asked Tom to visit him at his home, Merrill continued to delay, citing family and work concerns.
In the fall of 2009, the final straw to prompt Merrill's
visit came when he discovered Stebbins' ration book among
a pile of items in his basement. Merrill said the ration book had been
maintained in immaculate condition, bearing only the penciled-in address of Stebbins' parents who lived, at the time, in
"I said to myself,
'That's it.' Something was telling me to go to
He flew to
"I'm so glad I did it when I could," he said.
Staying with Stebbins for a week, Merrill learned of the hard-knock life the Marine had endured.
Stebbins told him that his family frequently moved about the world, following his father's work. At the age of 18, Stebbins' father issued him a straightforward demand — join the Marines.
During the Korean War, he was wounded three times in combat and earned three Purple Hearts for his efforts.
Stebbins and the younger Merrill agreed that David Merrill likely came in contact with Stebbins' tag and ration book after Stebbins was evacuated by helicopter following an injury. David Merrill, tasked with reuniting Stebbins and his effects, probably never had the opportunity.
Tom Merrill said he'd wanted to have Stebbins' medals reissued to him, but Stebbins protested, asking for Merrill's help to keep the war in the past.
"I don't want to go back," Stebbins said.
After Merrill departed
Since then, Merrill said he'd always take comfort in the fact that he'd reunited Stebbins with his tag. But he does have a regret.
"I still get frustrated at times that Dad never knew I had found the Marine," he said.
Merrill said Stebbins was surprised that someone would go out of his way to return the wartime memento.
"He was amazed he could get that back," he said.
Tom added that, more importantly, his was a final act as a son to his father — a fellow brother-in-arms.
"It was a really nice thing to be able to do something for a vet and my dad, too," he said.
Minutes of the December 18, 2010 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR
Vice President Robert Yarnell called the meeting to order at . Jack Bolen offered the invocation. The President led the pledge to the flag and the pledge to the SAR.
Marty Miller, Paul Farley, Chuck Copeland, Jack Bolen, Bill Floyd, Chuck
Hawley, John Sessums, Ed Neugaard,
John Skillman, Dick Young, Charles Klug- our newest
member, Robert Yarnell, Gray Reece, Doug Brown and Kevin Yarnell. Also, Terry
Doan of the
Edna Broylen, Regent of the
Wives: Lissette Young, Judy Copeland, Mrs. Brown
Leo Kelly prospective member
Chrissy Harreid - Florida C.A.R President, Charlene Harreid, Valarie Bagenski- honorary state C.A.R. President, Pam Bagenski, Mimi Marler
The Vice President asked the members to introduce themselves as we are blessed to have several new faces in the room.
The minutes of the November meeting were approved.
Our Treasurer, Chuck Copeland, reported a balance of $3,066.29 in the checking account and $90.88 in cash. He received a check for $100 from the Wounded Warrior Benefit in which our color guard participated earlier this fall. Chuck moved that we add this money to the collection we are making for the program. The motion was seconded and passed.
The secretary had nothing to report.
Jack Bolen reported
on the next function of the Color Guard – Presenting the colors at the Florida
C.A.R. state meeting on
Vice President Yarnell presented Charlene Harreid with the SAR Medal of Appreciation in appreciation for all her work with the C.A.R. and her cooperation with our Chapter.
Next Christie Harreid, current President of the Florida C.A.R. made a
brief presentation regarding the National C.A.R. project. Their goal is to
raise funds to aid in the restoration and upgrade of the display cases for
“Great Essentials Exhibit” at the National Archives which displays the
Declaration of Independence and the other founding documents. Chrissy
The meeting recessed for lunch.
The Vice President
introduced John Skillman who began the program on the Founding Fathers. He began
by sharing with the members the recent conference on George Washington
sponsored by the NSSAR. John found the presentations to be excellent and
encouraged us to attend this year’s conference on African Americans in the
Revolution to be held in
John then reviewed
a short timeline of the Revolution and then brief biographies of George
Washington and John Adams. Bob then joined John to start the interactive part
asking, “If you could ask a question of either George Washington or John Adams,
what would it be?” Several members volunteered suggestions. At the same time
the members took advantage of John and Bob’s expertise to ask some questions
regarding the founders and the early years of the
John then moved to
Alexander Hamilton, giving some brief background, and focusing on his work in
consolidating the war debt and establishing the national bank. A brief
Bob provided an interesting look at 4 of the founders:
- James Madison: You’d want him to take your SATs
- Alexander Hamilton: You’d want him to take charge of your startup company
- John Adams: He’d win an argument you wanted fought; in part because he didn’t mind offending people
- Thomas Jefferson: You’d want him to help you explain a reasoned argument and to work behind the scenes for a cause
Our speakers recommended several books that might aid the members in their further study.
McCullough, David. John Adams.
McCullough, David. 1776.
Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.
Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington.
Ellis, Joseph J. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson.
Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton.
Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.
Henriques, Peter R. Realistic Visionary: A Portrait
of George Washington.
Mrs. Marler won the 50/50. She donated the money to the chapter and thus the treasury was enriched by $20.00.
The Vice President led the recessional, Jack Bolen gave the benediction, and the meeting adjourned at .