FREEDOM THROUGH VIGILANCE ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 691616
San Antonio, Texas 78269-1616
1. SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 ANNUAL GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: President Chris Cook called the meeting to order at 1154 hours in HQ Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency’s Bernard A. Larger Auditorium (BALA), Larson Hall (Building 2007) on Security Hill. Chris opened the meeting by expressing his gratitude for all the membership support for the reunion activities.
2. QUORUM. President Cook called for a quorum. Phred Sevening, FTVA Secretary, determined we have a quorum. Meeting proceeded.
3. MINUTES: The 2008 FTVA General Membership Meeting minutes from September 27, 2008 were read and approved. President Cook followed by expressing his appreciation to Gen Heithold, and Staff (Director of Staff, Commander’s Action Group, Protocol, Public Affairs) for the continued outstanding support to FTVA and all our activities throughout the year. Thanks for braving the weather, heat, etc. and giving up tee times to be here and sharing information with us.
4. TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer’s Report was presented, discussed, and filed for audit.
5. VIGILIANT PARTNERS PROGRAM. Jim McLendon presented an update on the Vigilant Partners program’s newest members and overall program status.
6. HISTORY REPORT. Historian Lee Anthony announced that copies of the FTVA Annual History report for the previous year were available.
7. MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT. Bob Baert was not present so no membership support report was available. President Cook commented about the excellent job Bob continues to do for us.
8. MEMBERSHIP. This new program focuses specifically on increasing our membership in the organization, with Kenny O’Neal as the Chair for the Membership Program. Kenny was off on a short tour of Afghanistan and could not be here with us to present a membership report.
9. HALL OF HONOR. Program Chair Bob Sherwood reported that this is the 27th FTVA Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony this morning, bringing the total inducted into the Hall of Honor to 155. As Hall of Honor program chair for the last eight years, Bob requested the FTVA membership reflect on worthy nominations for next year, because each year gets tougher. Thanks to the entire committee for their excellent dedication
10. AIR FORCE ISR AGENCY LIAISON. President Chris Cook mentioned several Air Force ISR Agency active duty members who are active with FTVA: Col Amanda Gladney who PCSd earlier this year, Col Hank Toussaint, Mr Wayne Amman, Kenny O’Neal and others. The official Air Force ISR Agency Liaison to FTVA is Col Hank Toussaint.
11. SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. Program Chair Ken Williams shared with us that there are two main social events for FTVA each year, the Spring Fling and the annual Banquet. Last year was the 60th anniversary and there were a total of 302 banquet tickets sold. This year there were 250 tickets sold. The guest speaker is the Commander of the Air Force ISR Agency, Major General Heithold. Cocktails start at 1740 and dinner starts at 1830. We look forward to seeing everyone there.
12. CHAPTER REPORTS.
- Heritage Chapter (San Angelo, TX — JJ Graham President). This past year has been a great year for the Heritage Chapter; a busy year, but a great one. Thanks to all the support from the FTVA Board of Directors in San Antonio for all the support, both financial and in person. There were many challenges in San Angelo over the past year. The EC-47 Restoration Project tackled the outside of that aircraft and got it all restored and now we are working to bring the inside of the aircraft back to period specifications. This is a huge challenge because it has so far been impossible to find any pictures telling us what the inside of the EC-47 is supposed to look like. (Lee Anthony chimed in that he would take this for action through his Big Safari contacts). The second major challenge undertaken by the Heritage Chapter has been the scrolls of history that were originally placed in the NCO Academy at Goodfellow. Once that school closed, the Heritage Chapter took on the challenge of finding a new home for them. President Graham presented a query to the audience whether to proceed with placing the scrolls inside the schoolhouse buildings at Goodfellow Air Force Base or not. Barnie Gavin suggested the Heritage Chapter press with placing the scrolls in the schoolhouse buildings. Rationale is that the scrolls were originally created to share the heritage of the Freedom Through Vigilance Association, and the only way to follow through on that idea is to get the scrolls out where students can see them. Multiple comments from the audience were made, all affirming Barnie’s recommendation. President JJ responded that the Heritage Chapter would follow through with the wishes of the FTVA general membership present at the meeting, and proceed with placing the scrolls of history in the schoolhouse buildings at Goodfellow AFB. JJ next stated that he hopes the Heritage Chapter members can increase their contributions to the FTVA Newsletter. Heritage Chapter meeting locations were changed from an on-base location to off-base in hopes of getting more members to attend. Too soon to determine if the new location has the desired effect. They still have EC-47 coins for sale. The Fred Seivers memorial project at building 519 has lots of base support. The memorial is inside building 519 it was a great dedication ceremony. The ceremony increased awareness of the FTVA and our heritage among students and faculty at the schoolhouse. The quarterly dinner with the international students continues to be a great event. Members of the Heritage Chapter are sharing information with the foreign students for them to take back to their home countries and share with their leadership. There was a retired MSgt (I MISSED THE NAME) who’s dying wish was to ride on a C-47. The Heritage Chapter helped to make this wish come true. If was a very emotional event for the Heritage Chapter members and all of Goodfellow Air Force Base and the local community. Initially the retired MSgt thought he was only going to be able to see the C-47 up close, but when he realized there was an actual ride involved his excitement soared. JJ concluded with a sincere thanks to the FTVA Board of Directors for outstanding continued support.
- Gold Country Chapter. The Gold Coast Chapter did not have a member present, but FTVA President Chris Cook shared with us that it was members of the Gold Coast Chapter that initially made us aware of the Airman Colton Read issue, which we subsequently got involved with when he relocated here to San Antonio.
13. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. According to the bylaws of the Freedom Through Vigilance Association, each election within the organization must be overseen by an election committee to manage the process and properly vet the nominees. Election Committee Chair Dennis “Rass” Rassmussen presented Lee Anthony as the candidate for FTVA President, and Ron Haygood as the candidate for FTVA Vice President. Motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept the new candidates as officially elected into office.
Comments from outgoing President Chris Cook: Thank you everyone for all the support and participation during my time as President of this fine organization, which I have been a member for several years. I started as Vice President for four years and then two years ago moved up to President – what an honor, and it has been a great experience. There are so many ways to get involved with this organization and it will be great to see you each month at the meetings. I will be there. Thanks again.
14. Constitution and By-Laws update. Joe Hurst. We updated both documents, and then posted them on the website for review. The updates were mostly administrative, and there were a couple minor changes to clarify some of the language. Motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept the changes to the documents.
15. Base Security. Chris Cook made some remarks about how base security is getting quite strict, making it difficult for our members who do not have an appropriate ID card to get on base. Thanks to Air Force ISR Agency Security Team, led by Bob Eddy, the restrictions were eased significantly for us and we appreciate the efforts.
16. OPEN FORUM.
- Who came the farthest? Several states mentioned, but by unanimous (consensus) decision, Hall of Honor inductee Andy Leech came the farthest, from Washington State.
- Who is the most senior member present? Doug Holden was not present but Chris Cook did share that he started service to USAFSS in 1949, and he is still very active on the FTVA Board of Directors. Additionally, Bill Ballard grew up in USAFSS to the position of Director of Staff, and he started the FTVA with guidance from Gen Doyle E. Larson. Among the members present, a surprisingly large number began their service in the 1950s, with two starting in 1952.
- Grover Jackson thanked General Heithold for his leadership and support of FTVA, saying we are like a body, we need fresh blood to keep going, He made an appeal to Gen Heithold and Air Force ISR Agency leadership to encourage people, “to the maximum extent allowed by the lawyers” to join FTVA.
17. There being no further business, motion was made, seconded, and approved to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 1237. The next FTVA Board of Directors meeting will be on October 16, 2009 in the SSFCU Board Room at 1330. Remain in Touch!
LOREN R. “Phred” SEVENING