17 JUNE 2016
Following the shoot we
adjourned to the bar at Gregg's to hoist a glass in honor of the
outgoing Officers and another to the new team taking over. The
incoming President, Charlie Knowles, was at the Statehouse for
the final day of the session so outgoing President, Jim Wheller,
gave the gavel to the VP, Vinny Andriozzi, in hopes he would
pass it to Charlie when he arrived. Which he did after some mock
resistance. Jim earned our gratitude for all of the time and
trouble that comes with the job. He now gets to sit back and
enjoy the best job, Past-President!
Many of our chapter old timers have already heard of this through the grapevine, but it is my sad duty to inform the members of our chapter of the 4-15-16 passing of COL (Ret.) Robert Dolan.
Bob Dolan was a charter member of Chapter 48 and had a long history with the Rhode Island Special Forces community. He was the commander of Co C /5th Bn, 20th SFG(A) when I first joined the unit in August of 1974 and he had already spent several years there well before that. Thereafter he was the first XO of Command & Control Headquarters and the first XO of Troop Command. He was then posted to State Headquarters and later was on extended active duty where he was promoted to Colonel. He visited us at Chapter 48 often, but became an active member of Massachusetts’s Chapter 54 (of which he was the immediate past president – literally, his term expired at the beginning of this month)
At his request, there will be no funeral. His wife will be making arrangements for the interment of his ashes at the Crematorium in Arlington MA.
There will be a moment of silence for Colonel Dolan at tomorrow night’s SFA meeting. As I knew him better than the chapter president, Jim was gracious enough to suggest I make this announcement.Charlie Knowles
CSM Moises Moniz is pinned by his wife Patti as
the TAG looks on.
Fathers and Sons
25 January 2016
Special Forces Association
P.O. Box 41283
Providence Rhode Island 02940
To all SFA Chapter 48 Members,
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy New Year and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.
It’s hard to believe the year has passed by as quickly as it has and my time serving as president of the chapter is already three quarters of the way through. It has been very rewarding and when you’re busy, the time definitely passes quickly. I can’t say enough good things about the other chapter officers and the chapter members who never hesitate to step forward to help with whatever needs to be done.
I thought now at year’s end and the beginning of a new year is a good time to review the status of some of our current yearly activities.
1) Annual Steak Dinner (Formerly known as the Annual Varnum Steak Dinner)
This event has always been popular especially when it was held at the Varnum Armory
in East Greenwich. We encountered a problem with our ability to use the fireplace for
cooking the steaks and had to cook outside. This proved to be a difficult task in the
middle of the winter so we ended up changing the date and the venue to the Quonset /
Davisville Yacht Club. This has worked out well thanks to the efforts of Vito Pezzillo
as a member of the yacht club and a hard working group of our chapter members.
2) The next event we have been holding on an annual basis is the SF Bowling Night which
has been a fund raiser for the chapter’s Family Relief Fund. We run this along with the
participation of the East Providence Police Department and it has been a decent event.
The problem has been a lack of interest on the part of chapter members. This is probably
due in part to the fact it is on a Friday night because of logistics with the bowling alley
and maybe some of our members are hesitant to show off their lack of bowling skills.
At any rate as of a little over a month ago it looks like this is no longer going to happen.
The new management will no longer let us purchase pitchers of beer and their price for
beer by the glass is almost half the price we were paying for a pitcher. They also insist on
us buying the pizzas from them instead of being able to get them from Domino’s as we
did in the past. The price they charge for the pizzas is also higher than we want to
pay. Bob Paquette has recommended we consider not running this event under these
3) Our Memorial Day ceremony at the Special Forces stone in the Rhode Island Veterans
Cemetery, Exeter, RI is well attended by chapter members, family members and
friends. Since the closing of The Corner Tavern we have gone back and forth between the
Homestead Restaurant and Richard’s Pub. We are planning a return to the Homestead
Restaurant for our breakfast following the 2016 Memorial Day Ceremony.
4) The next event we’ve held is the Shootout/Cookout which is usually held as the June
meeting. This is another case of having to change our venue due to the closing of the
range facilities at Camp Fogarty. Myself, and other members talked to a few different
shooting clubs and ranges before finding someone who would allow us to use the
facilities for shooting and had the setup for a cookout. Larry Pezza suggested the Tri
-Town Rod and Gun Club in Foster, RI. Charlie Knowles took the lead and along with
the valuable and hard work of some of our members this was a great event. It was easily
the best attended Shootout/Cookout we’ve had. Plans are to do a repeat of this in 2016.
5) July/August brings about our involvement with the Rhode Island Army National Guard
“Leapfest” International Parachute Competition. Steve Morin as been the primary
workhorse as he and a very dedicated group of volunteers work a couple of different
dates and times to represent our chapter by selling tee shirts. This has proven to be a
great fund raiser for the chapter. We also usually end up seeing some people show up
at the DZ location who we don’t normally see at the regular meetings. Steve with the
help of some key individuals puts a lot into this effort and it has paid off in spades.
6) The August meeting takes place in the form of the annual “Family Day” outing which
is a picnic held at Walt and Phyllis May’s beautiful home and country setting in
Foster, RI. This is also a very special event attended by more than a few of our brothers
who we don’t always get to see but like to attend I suspect for a few different reasons.
Needless to say we are very fortunate to have the hospitality extended to us by Walt
7) Our Veterans Day ceremony at the Special Forces stone in the Rhode Island Veterans
Cemetery, Exeter, RI takes place on November 11th each year. Again this event is well
attended even though it is not easy for some members to take the time off from work
in the middle of the work week. We have run into the problem of trying to find a place to
hold the breakfast but Richard’s Pub has worked out for us for the past two years.
8) The last event of our chapter calendar year has been our “Christmas” get together.
This has been a problem as we have gone from having it as a sit down dinner with music
and dancing at the East Greenwich Veterans Fireman’s Hall to a cocktail party at the
Varnum Armory back to a sit down buffet dinner at the Carriage Inn and Saloon the past
two years. The chapter has paid part of the cost of this function each year to keep the
cost down for our members and their guests but it appears it is not a popular event with
many of our members.
I apologize for the length of this letter but I feel the importance of the content deserves to be
fully represented and explained.
Myself, as your president, the executive board and the past officers of our chapter fully realize the following facts and we must ask ourselves these questions:
1) Do we stay on the current path and make some minor adjustments?
2) Should we try something really new to enhance the organization?
3) Do we try to continue doing what we’re doing using the same core group of individuals,
which will only be a temporary solution?
4) The overall membership is aging and seems to be losing interest in chapter activities so
what action should we take?
5) The younger guys (those under 40 years old) don’t seem to be interested in getting
involved, or even joining the Special Forces Association, so what do we do?
As Brad Preston, one of our former chapter presidents has noted these are challenges most military and other long-standing groups seem to face – aging membership and a diminishing source of younger, new members.
We realize fathers become grandfathers and some of our members are great grandfathers.
Some of us have health or medical conditions preventing us from doing as many or the same things we used to do. As our Native American brothers believe only the rocks live forever.
We’re not the only ones dealing with these problems and in many ways we’re a lot better off than some other organizations. We need to address them and the time to do it is now!
Some of the board members including Steve Morin met on Tuesday morning, December 22, 2015 to discuss some of these matters. We are all concerned (as I’m sure our members are) with keeping our activities interesting to everyone. As a follow up to our meeting our chapter vice president, Charlie Knowles has drafted and will be sending out a separate letter to explain some of the issues under consideration. Upon receipt, please read this letter and comment on the questions and issues requested. Please be advised we may follow up with a survey or two to help you with expressing your ideas or suggestions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
SFA Chapter 48, Rhode Island
New Newsletter Format
I’m not sure if anyone has noticed but the newsletter has been severely late of late. Originally the excuse was medical but apart from a few weeks I could have sat at the typewriter (did I just say typewriter) and banged something out. And that is the nub of it. I have been banging out the same newsletter for nearly 20 years and you can cut and paste the subjects from one year to the next. Judging from the lack of feedback (hey, asshole, where’s the newsletter) you are not missing my deathless prose either. So we’ll do what General Mills does (he’s a General after all) and try repackaging the contents. This format is called a blog post for some reason and I’m hoping to post more frequently about topics as they have happened rather than wait for a quarterly quarto. Lets try some content.