JUL-AUG 2015 - Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776



JUL-AUG 2015 - Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776
Military Order of the Purple Heart
To preserve the proud legacy of the Purple Heart Medal.
2015-16 Officers
Cdr: Richard “Bud” Allen
Sr. Vice Cdr: Richard Hunt
Jr. Vice Cdr: Curt Ebitz
Adjutant: Curt Ebitz
Finance Off: Joe McClister
Judge Adv: Carl Bertoch
Exec Cmteman: Ray Michael
Alt Cmteman: Mike Schlaudraff
Sgt-at-Arms: Rick Allen
Trustee 3-yrs: Zigmund Laska
Trustee 2-yrs: Lee Helscel
Trustee 1-yr: John Carlson
Service Off: Joe McClister
Welfare Off: Mike Schlaudraff
Historian: Curt Ebitz
Chaplain: Ray Michael
Americanism Off: Robert
Chapter Activities
Apr 30. Participants in the work
party to prepare the chapter’s
float for the Operation Welcome
Home Vietnam parade were Bud
Allen, Rick & Carol Allen,
Sandy Cross, Pat Michael,
Shirley Platt, Mike & Linda
Schlaudraff, Larry & Sory Tropf
and Mike & Julie Ujawari.
May 1. Patriot Ray Michael
presented a MOPH Leadership
Medal & Certificate at the Citrus
HS AFJROTC annual awards
May 1. Patriot Michael Jackson
presented a MOPH Leadership
Medal & Certificate at the Hernando HS AFJROTC annual
awards ceremony.
May 2 & 3. Chapter 776 & Unit
776 participated in the Operation
Welcome Home Vietnam parade
and festivities in Inverness.
See Completed page 2
Bimonthly Meeting
The Chapter's biNext Meeting
monthly meetings are
held the third Tuesday of Sep- Tuesday, July 21, 1 p.m.
tember, November, January,
Citrus County Builders
March, May and July. The
meeting location is at the Citrus
Association, Lecanto.
County Builders Association,
1196 S. Lecanto Highway (C.R.
491), Lecanto, which is located on the west side of S. Lecanto
Highway approximately 1/2 mile south of S.R. 44. Any member desiring to place an item on the agenda should e-mail
Adjutant Ebitz at [email protected] or call 382-3847.
July-Aug 2015
Chapter 776/Unit 776
A warm welcome is extended to the
new members
who have joined its ranks. John
Balais, a USMC veteran of Vietnam and resident of Hernando,
transferred his membership from
Chapter 144 in Wheaton, IL to
Chapter 776. Chuck Kanehl,
who is a Training Officer with
the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, is an Army Vietnam veteran
and resides in Inverness. Bill
Merryman is an Army Vietnam
veteran and resides in Hernando.
Frank Hayes, a USAF veteran
of Vietnam and Colin Pearl, a
USMC veteran of Vietnam are
bo t h Hernando resident s.
Charlie Stewart of Inverness is
a USMC Vietnam veteran.
Congratulations to Chapter 776
Patriots for once again being
awarded the Dept. of Florida
Chapter of the Year Award and
to Unit 776 Ladies for receiving
the Dept. of Florida LAMOPH
Past Dept. of New York Commander John Foley presented Exceptional Teamwork Award
Chapter 776 with his personal MOPH Flag. Patriot Foley par- during the annual State Conventicipated in the Battle of Okinawa as a Browning Automatic tion.
Rifleman with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Division.
See News page 2
Left: Commander Bud Allen, Foley and Adj. Curt Ebitz.
Annual Purple Heart Anniversary Breakfast
Chapter 776’s annual Purple Heart anniversary breakfast will be hosted by
the West Citrus Elks Lodge 2693 on Friday, August 7 at 9 a.m. The lodge
is located at 7890 W. Grover Cleveland Blvd, Homosassa about 3/4 mile
east of U.S. 19 in Homosassa. The anniversary celebration will feature a
delicious breakfast, plus a program honoring Purple Heart recipients and
commemorating the 233rd anniversary of the Purple Heart. All Purple
Heart recipients, family members of those who fell in combat, Associate
Members, Unit 776 Ladies and their guests are cordially invited to attend. Attendees are requested to sign up for the free breakfast by contacting Frank Hayes at (352) 341-3603 or Bob Crawford at (352) 270-9025 or
e-mailing [email protected] Please indicate the number in your
Completed, continued
News, continued
Chapter/Unit participants included Bud &
JoAnn Allen, Rick & Carol Allen, Sheila
Barron, Sandy Cross, Curt Ebitz, Al &
Linda Golfieri, Richard & Mickey Hunt,
William & Bonnie Korber, Zig & Nancy
Laska, Mike & Julie Ujwari, Shirley Platt,
Mike & Linda Schlaudraff, Tony Skrapits,
Gail Smith, Larry & Sory Tropf and Marie
Williams. The chapter raised over $600
during the two-day event.
Heartfelt congratulations are extended to Patriot Lee Helscel on his selection as the 2015
Chapter 776 Patriot of the Year, Patriot Ray
Michael as the 2015 Chapter 776 Volunteer
of the Year and Carol Allen as the 2015
Chapter 776 Associate Member of the Year.
Patriots Helscel and Michael were also
awarded the Department Chapter and Volunteer of the Year awards, respectively, for
chapter category and Carol Allen was recogMay 4 & 5. Cdr. Allen, joined by Patriots nized as the Department-wide Associate
Helscel, Hunt and Laska, participated in a Member of the Year.
fishing tournament at Cedar Key hosted by Well deserved congratulations and appreciaOperation Outdoor Freedom. Cdr. Allen tion to Patriot Richard Hunt for his selfless
won the “Biggest Red Fish” prize.
service to the Department and Order as the
May 6. Cdr. Bud Allen presented a Dept. of Florida Cdr. from June 2011 to June
MOPH Leadership Medal & Certificate at 2015. In recognition of his devotion to duty
the Dunnellon HS AFJROTC annual and distinguished leadership, Patriot Hunt
received special recognition awards from
awards ceremony.
MOPH U.S.A. and the Dept. of Florida.
May 9. The chapter enjoyed a terrific
turnout for its annual Armed Forces Day Past Dept. of Wisconsin Cdr. and Chapter 776
picnic. Sixty Patriots, Ladies and guests Patriot Don Schroeder, who joined the Order
attended. Chapter officers were installed in 1946 and has faithfully served it ever since,
by State Representative Jimmie T. Smith was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award
and incoming Unit 776 President Shirley by both MOPH U.S.A. and the Dept. of FlorPlatt was installed by Dept. of Florida ida. Congratulations and thank you Don for
LAMOPH President Gail Smith. New your inspirational leadership and fidelity.
members William Korber & Andy Viola Congratulations to Unit 776 Ladies Gail
were presented their life member certifi- Smith on re-election as the President of the
cates and Kirsten Weaver was presented a Dept. of Florida LAMOPH, Mickey Hunt as
special scholarship award. It was espe- Dept. Sr. Vice President, Pat Michael as
cially great to see Carl & Sara Bertoch and Dept. Treasurer, Linda Schlaudraff as Dept.
charter member Al Clutter & wife in atten- Sgt-at-Arms and Ann Fair as Dept. Trustee.
Thanks to the support of Chapter 776 memMay 11. Chapter 776 donated and raised
6’ X 10’ U.S. flags at Key Training Center
facilities in Inverness and Lecanto. Attending the flag raising were Cdr. Allen,
Unit 776 President Platt and Patriots Rick
Allen, Ebitz, Hummel, Korber, Michael
and Larry & Sory Tropf.
bers and friends, the chapter sold more Dept.
of Florida 50/50 raffle tickets than any other
chapter in the Dept. for the eighth consecutive
May 14. Patriot Zig Laska presented a
MOPH Leadership Medal & Certificate at
the Central HS NJROTC annual awards
Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 College of
Central Florida Endowed Scholarship and
Kiersten Weaver as the recipient of the
Chapter 776 Special Scholarship Award.
May 15. Dept. of Florida Cdr. Hunt and
Past Chapter 776 Cdr. Michael participated
in the ceremony designating the City of
Crystal River as a Purple Heart City.
Other chapter/unit attendees were Unit 776
Pres. Platt, Mickey Hunt, William & Bonnie Korber, Harold Layman, Joe McClister
& Ann Fair and Larry & Sory Tropf.
Heartfelt condolences are conveyed to Ann
Fair of Unit 776 on the death of her father in
May; to Chapter 776 Associate Member
Larry Ness on the passing on May 13 of his
mother, Joan, who was also the wife of Departed Patriot Jack Ness; and to Evelyn
Dixon, beloved wife of Departed Patriot Sam
Dixon, who died June 14.
See Completed page 4
See News page 3
A “job well done” is extended to Patriot Tony
Skrapits for his truly inspirational remarks as
the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony
May 12. Patriot Ray Michael presented for Operation Welcome Home Vietnam
the Chapter 776 Endowed Scholarship festivites. You did Chapter 776 and your
Award to 2015 recipient Alexis Goddard at fellow Vietnam brothers and sisters proud.
the Lecanto HS annual scholarship awards Congratulations to Alexis Goddard of Leceremony.
canto HS, who was the 2015 recipient of the
VOL 12 , ISSUE 4
From Cdr. Richard “Bud” Allen
We’ve been real busy since our last meeting
and I appreciate all the help from members
and associates for their assistance.
Our Armed Forces day picnic was a resounding success. We presented Kiersten
Weaver, sister of chapter namesake Aaron
Weaver, a $500 scholarship to aid in furthering her education at Clearwater Christian College. A more deserving student
would be hard to find! Thanks to Patriot
Hunt for once again taking up the cooking
duty and kudos to the ladies for your sides.
The Chapter and Neville Anderson recently
donated three 6’ X 10’ flags to the Key
Training Center and raised them at its Inverness and Lecanto locations. Over 50 Key
Training Center clients attended and were so
proud to receive the flags.
Special thanks to the Patriots, Associates
and Unit 776 Ladies who attended the Memorial Day service at the Homosassa Veterans Memorial. Although it was a hot day,
our senior Patriot, Don Schroeder, and Dept.
LAMOPH President Gail Smith attended
along with your Cdr. and family; the
Schlaudraff’s, Curt Ebitz, Joe McClister and
Ann Fair.
Special thanks to Past Dept. Cdr. Hunt and
Past Chapter Cdr. Michael for taking on the
ceremonial duties designating Crystal River
as a Purple Heart City. I was unable to
attend, as I was at my squadron reunion in
Pensacola. Thanks to Larry & Sory Tropf
who attend most every event with special
thanks to Sory for all her photo credits at
each function; so much appreciated!
This year’s Convention went very well and
once again Chapter 776 was a shining star.
Unfortunately, my wife was hospitalized at
the time but doing OK, so she told me to go
and take care of business. She’s home now
and on her way to recovery. Our chapter
won many awards notably Dept. Chapter of
the Year and Dept. Associate Member of the
Year honors going to Carol Allen! A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to
Don Schroeder who has been a member of
MOPH since 1946 and is truly a top caliber
Patriot! There are very few events Don
doesn’t attend and at 93 years young, he is
truly a trooper!
The chapter once again (8 years in a row)
was the top 50/50 raffle ticket seller, selling
more than 3,100 of the 6,850 raffle tickets
sold! The winning ticket was sold by Chapter 794 to a gentleman from W. Harwich,
MA who won a nice prize of $3,425.
See Commander page 4
VOL 12 , ISSUE 4
Departed Patriot Sam Dixon
Patriot Samuel “Sam” Dixon of Inverness departed our ranks on June 14, nine days short of his 90th
birthday. A native son of Virginia, Patriot Dixon fought in three epic WW II battles and was the proud
recipient of two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal and the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge.
At the age of 18, Sam participated in the historic D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 landing in the third
assault wave on Omaha Beach with Company G, 2d Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry
Division under heavy enemy artillery, mortar and machinegun fire. Sam received his first Purple Heart
on July 28, 1944 when wounded in the right leg braving enemy machinegun fire to rescue a wounded
comrade. For his heroic action in the face of heavy enemy fire, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal
for Valor for heroism in ground combat.
After being hospitalized four months in England, he returned to duty with Company G just in time to
participate in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Ferociously attacked by enemy tanks and infantry, his unit was almost totally wiped out, but held the line thanks to U.S. artillery fire and the courage of its leaders and men.
Sam next saw combat during his unit’s assault crossing of Germany’s Roer River. During this operation, he was wounded a second
time on February 26, 1945 while going to the aid of two seriously wounded comrades. Sam was evacuated to a hospital
in England and then to the U.S. Discharged in 1946, he earned a high school GED, Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s
degree to realize his dream of being a high school teacher and coach.
After a 35-year teaching career in Virginia and Maryland, Sam and his wife, Evelyn, retired to Inverness where Sam
spent much of his time playing and coaching tennis. Sam is survived by his beloved wife Evelyn, three sons, one
stepdaughter and three grandchildren.
News, continued
Unit 776 Ladies Pat Michael and JoAnn Allen are recovering following hospitalization. Pat was hospitalized for ischemic colitis and
JoAnn for gall bladder surgery. An appreciative “thank you” to Gary Marriage of Nature Coast Financial Advisors as the $1,500 Purple
Heart Sponsor of the CCBA annual fishing tournament and to William Ray of FDR Disposal for donating his $595 fishing tournament
prize money to the chapter.
Florida District 34 Representative Jimmie T. Smith installed the 2015-16 officers of Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 MOPH during the chapter's annual Armed Forces Day picnic. Left: Richard "Bud" Allen, Commander; Curt Ebitz, Jr. Vice Commander & Adjutant; Robert Pietras,
Americanism Officer; Richard Hunt, Sr. Vice Commander; Representative Smith; Rick Allen, Sergeant at Arms; Joe McClister, Finance
Officer & Service Officer; Mike Schlaudraff, Department Alt. Executive Committeeman & Welfare Officer; Ray Michael, Department Executive Committeeman & Chaplain; Carl Bertoch, Staff Judge Advocate; and Zigmund Laska, 3-Year Trustee. Not present: Lee Helscel,
2-Year Trustee and John Carlson, 1-Year Trustee.
Newsletter printed courtesy of Alexander Real Estate, 5569 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy., Crystal River, FL 34429, 352-795-6633. Visit them on the web at www.alexre.com
VOL 12 , ISSUE 4
LAMOPH Department of Florida President Gail Smith
administered the Oath of Office to Unit 776 officers for
2015-16 during Chapter 776’s annual Armed Forces
Day picnic. From left: Dept. of FL President Gail
Smith; Trustee 1-Yr/Historian Annie Fair; Sr. Vice
President Vikki Pietras; President Shirley Platt; Trustee
2-Yr Linda Schlaudraff; Trustee 3-Yr Mickey Hunt;
Past President, Tee Pasay; Patriotic Instructor Sandy
Cross; and Publicity Mari-Elain Ebitz. Not present: Jr.
Vice President Susan Guard; Treasurer Peggy Stants;
Parliamentarian Pat Layman; Sgt-at-Arms Heather
Stants; Secretary Pat Michael; and Chaplain Marie Williams.
Completed, continued
May 15. Patriot Ray Michael presented a MOPH Leadership Medal & Certificate at the Lecanto HS AJROTC annual awards ceremony.
May 16. Patriot Carlos Marxauch presented a MOPH Leadership Medal & Certificate at the South Sumter HS NJROTC annual awards
May 23. Rick Allen, Curt Ebitz, Pat Michael and Shirley Platt assisted the Operation Welcome Home/Honor Flight fundraising golf tournament.
May 25. Bud & JoAnn Allen, Curt Ebitz, Bonnie Lee, Joe McClister & Ann Fair, Mike & Linda Schlaudraff, Gail Smith and Don Schroeder attended the Homosassa Memorial Day service in Old Homosassa.
June 3 – 7. Chapter 776 Patriots and Unit 776 Ladies participated in the Dept. of Florida State Convention in Jacksonville and once again
had the largest contingent of delegates and attendees. The Ladies also served specially made “Purple Heart” ice cream at the convention.
June 10. Rick Allen, Sandy Cross, Richard & Mickey Hunt, Ray Michael and Mike & Linda Schlaudraff represented the chapter at the
Florida National Cemetery’s quarterly “Unattended Veterans" ceremony honoring their service.
June 14. Chapter 776 flag bearers for the annual Inverness Flag Day ceremony were Cdr. Allen, Rick Allen, Joe McClister and Ann Fair.
Other chapter/unit attendees were Carol Allen, Sandy Cross, Bob Hummel, Richard & Mickey Hunt, William & Bonnie Korber, Mike &
Linda Schlaudraff, Larry & Sory Tropf and Mike & Julie Ujwari.
June 23. Chapter 776 Patriot Tucker officiated the memorial service for Joan Ness, wife of Departed Patriot Jack Ness and mother of Associate Member Larry Ness. Chapter/Unit members attending the service and reception were Cdr. Allen, Rick Allen, Curt & Mari-Elain
Ebitz, Richard & Mickey Hunt, Harold & Pat Layman, Joe McClister & Ann Fair.
June 23. Chapter 776 charter member and Battle of Iwo Jima Marine Corps survivor John Auble was presented a Quilt of Valor by Past
Dept. of Florida Cdr. Richard Hunt. Attending the presentation at John’s assisted living facility were Rick Allen, Curt Ebitz, Mickey Hunt,
Joe McClister & Ann Fair.
June 24. Cdr. Allen, Past Dept. Cdr. Hunt and Adj. Ebitz participated in the memorial service celebrating the life and honoring the memory of Departed Patriot Sam Dixon. Patriots John Foley, Frank Hayes, Michael Jackson and Unit 776 Ladies Mari-Elain Ebitz, Mickey
Hunt and Marie Williams were also in attendance.
July 28, 1:00 p.m. Purple Heart Proclamation, Board of County Commissioners, County Courthouse, Inverness.
August 7, 9:00 a.m. Purple Heart Anniversary Breakfast, W. Citrus Elks Lodge, 2396, Grover Cleveland Ave., Homosassa.
Commander, continued
Dept. Cdr. Hunt finished his term in office and our new Dept. Cdr. Lee Brown is from the Jacksonville Chapter. Dept. Adjutant JB Haskins stepped down and our new Dept. Adjutant, Bill Smith, is
also from the Jacksonville Chapter. JB will still be in an advisory capacity for the foreseeable future. As usual, we had the largest contingent of members in attendance. Thanks to Richard &
Mickey Hunt, JB & Anita Haskins, Mike & Linda Schlaudraff, Rick & Carol Allen, Ray & Pat Michael, Gail Smith, Don Schroeder, Ann Fair & Joe McClister for attending.
We recently celebrated Flag Day with our annual service and Honor Guard at the Inverness Government Building. Your Cdr., Rick Allen and Ann Fair were the flag bearers for the chapter/unit. Joe Left: New Chapter 776 members
McClister carried for the DAV. Special thanks to the Patriots and Ladies who were in attendance. Andy Viola and William Korber.
So very nice to have your support at these events!
Again, thank you to all the Patriots and Ladies who attend our functions, participate in our events and help to make our chapter the premier
chapter in the State of Florida. And we have the awards to prove it!
Always moving forward, CMDR “Bud”

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