In attendance, Bernie, Tom S., Dick W., Rich, Rob, Penny, Tim, Bob, Elliott, Dave, Ann and Scott H.
1. Moment of Silence.
2. Sign in and welcome, introductions
3. Thoughts and messages or statements from any member.
Tim gave updates on the health of a couple of our members.
Bob reported that he covered our hours of TART trail maintainance for 2018! Also that there are 2 new pics of our group on the International Cities of Peace website.
4. Old Business (some new)
a. Kathy Kelly, Mgr of the Sleep Inn will present an exciting idea.
Kathy was unable to make it to the meeting, but Tim passed on her idea to make the Sleep Inn hotel an entirely veteran run facility. Tim is planning on meeting with Kathy and Scott (from NMC) in January to discuss this ambitious idea.
b. International Day of Peace (young people's involvement)
Tim reported that he got a positive response from the Young Peacebuilders regarding their involvement in next year's IDP. Meeting in January with Sarah Richards.
c. Discretionary spending flyer
It was decided that Tim would pursue this project. emphasizing the need for more funding for veterans needs while decreasing military spending. not anti-veteran of course. Suggest funding for a National Peace dept.?
d. Ideas for the dollars we have in our bank
more education.. Bob: should we hire a professional to create an infographic about true cost of war.. to be used on social media?
e. Scott Herzberg (Veterans Program @ NMC)
Scott gave us a wonderful synopsis of the work he is doing at NMC with veteran students. He was proud to report that NMC is ranked #2 in the nation for as a veteran friendly community college. They work hard to help veteran's in many ways, including comp. claims, housing, financial aid, and even provide an incredible lounge for vets only at the school! (look into posting info about our scholarship?)
There is also a "Veteran Community Action Team" that supports veteran students through the "buddy system" and professional mentorship.
Because of this reputation he reported that NMC enrolls 10-17% veteran students (60% of which are combat vets with many of them Special Forces).
Scott also brought to our attention upcoming events that they are planning. There is the annual DK5K on Sept. 24 race to raise awareness for veteran suicide and PTSD. https://www.222none.org/eventspage/dk5k2019savethedate
He also runs a "Veteran hiring fair"(for the past 4 years) that is coming up on March 20th.
This year they are planning something new with a pre-job fair event at the Hagerty Center to help prepare the veteran students for the hiring fair that can feel overwhelming to some. They are aiming for February 5th and are looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of the food and drink that will be provided to help make it a fun affair. Michigan Works will be there as well as tables for local organizations that may be of assistance. It was discussed that VFP50 should be there with our information. It was also discussed that we should consider being a sponsor. Bob volunteered to reach out to Scott about a possible sponsorship.
Scott also told us about a video they produced called Veterans' Voices that is shown every year to all the staff at NMC to help them better understand veteran students' unique backgrounds. The video is available to watch on the Veteran Services page of NMC's website: https://www.nmc.edu/admissions/military-veterans/index.html as well as on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=0vn3qz9RDDA
f. Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Tim reported that they are unable to meet with us. Clarification of our position may be needed.. a letter perhaps?
h. Christmas family update:Shopping for the kiddos of these 3 veterans' families has been going well! We also helped coordinate a free overnight stay at the Cherry Inn hotel for one of these families during Christmas!
There was discussion about delivery arrangements for the gifts next year. Offering the option to deliver to a place other that the home?
Also, it was discussed that we should communicate with the VA next year about our plans and budget so they know what is available if they get a request from a family.
5. Committee reports
c. Public Relations (Bob, Mary) Who will get the notice in the RE and Ticker/NE after Tim leaves?
7. Any issues, concerns or information from the members or guests of VFP50. Rob mentioned a program that offers free dental care to veterans through 4th year UofM dental students. More info to come..
11:45 Peace walk. Let us not forget our walk and quest for worldwide peace. Please unite with all of us for a 15 minute walk through downtown
minutes submitted by Emily K.