Minutes of the March 15, 2003 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Tetrick called the meeting to order at 12:00. Chaplain Jim Washburn offered the invocation. The secretary led the pledge to the flag and the president the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Dwight Tetrick, Jack Bolen, Marty Miller, Jim Washburn, Joe Hill, Barry Rich, Ed Neuguard, Walter Lane, and Kevin Yarnell.


Welcome guests: June Bolen, Janett Tetrick, Luke Loyd- soon to be reinstated as an SAR member, his wife Jeanne, and Rod Stebbins - potential member. Ed Sitton

The president introduced the guests.


The SAR membership approved the minutes of the March meeting as published in the newsletter.


The secretary reported on the plans for the April meeting where in we award the JROTC medals to the outstanding high school cadets. Fifteen units were contacted and another found us via the website. The membership agreed to pay for the cadets’ meals. As discussed last month we will present the medals at the local high schools as we are able. Jack Bolen will be going to East Bay High, Bob Yarnell will be attending the ceremony at Ridgewood High, and President Tetrick will be attending the King High ceremony.


The treasurer reported a current balance of $2,144.19.


President Tetrick reported on the senior ROTC presentations. He also explained the chapter challenge program. This is a contest run by the state society to encourage the local chapters to participate in state and local programs. To this end, the president appointed Jack Bolen as the Flag Chairman. The idea is to present certificates of appreciation to those that display the flag for non-commercial purposes. Some discussion of this program followed.


The president reported that Fred Patton had to resign his position as Sergant at Arms due to his health. Ed Neuguard was appointed as the new Sargent at Arms. Jack Bolen reported that Fred’s recovery is progressing nicely and he hopes to be at the next meeting.


There being no other business the meeting recessed for lunch.


President Tetrick introduced Vice Ed Sitton of the Military Order of the Purple Heart our speaker.


Ed spoke to the membership about the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The medal was first given by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. Three were given at that time. The medal was originally called the Badge of Military Merit and was a piece of purple cloth in the shape of a heart. It was the first decoration given to an enlisted man as well as officers.


The award was not given again until 1932 when it was reinstituted by a Congressional Act on the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birthday. At that time it took on its current use that being awarded to those wounded in battle as well as for military merit. The speaker passed his own Purple Heart medal around the room and briefly described the markings on it. The medal itself requires 19 different processes to manufacture and is, as a result, one of the more expensive medals given.


Ed then spoke on the founding of the organization, its development, and challenges. He also commented on their organization’s ROTC program and other activities.


He offered some personal remarks regarding the circumstances of his wounds suffered in Vietnam and how that experience has shaped his life.


The speaker concluded by explaining a program sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Certificates of appreciation from the Korean people have been presented to Korean War veterans through this program. Ed presented this certificate to Joe Hill and Rod Stebbins.


A brief question and answer session followed.


President Tetrick expressed the thanks of the chapter to Ed Sitton and presented him a certificate of appreciation from the SAR.


June Bolen won the 50/50 drawing. She graciously donated her share to the chapter. Thus the treasury was enriched by $11.00.


Jim Washburn offered some concerns about the flag certificates being awarded to those that display it improperly. Ed Sitton suggested that we present with the certificate with a copy of the rules of flag etiquette. This suggestion was well received by all.


President Tetrick led the recessional and Chaplain Washburn benediction. The meeting adjourned at 1:48 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary