Disabled veterans celebrate first year after new beginning

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Members and guests of DAV Chapter 108 marked the reorganized chapter's first anniversary last Thursday at Henry Horton State Park. Ralph Dietz, front row wearing vest, is the chapter commander. To the right of Dietz is Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham. Others present, not in order pictured, included senior vice commander Tom Taylor, adjutant Darrell White, chaplain Johnny Hickerson and legislative officer Dave Plumley. Another guest, not pictured, was assistant district attorney Brooke Grubb. Club officers not present were junior vice commander Lesley Moses and service officer Meg Barch.

By John I. Carney

Staff writer

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 108 celebrated the first anniversary of its reorganization during its meeting last Thursday night at Henry Horton State Park.

"Your chapter is exceeding all expectations," wrote retired Sgt. Maj. Larry E. Williams, who is commander of DAV's Fifth District within Tennessee.

The local DAV chapter had become all but inactive when Bedford County veterans Ralph Dietz and Tom Taylor helped to re-launch it a year ago. Dietz now serves as commander with Taylor as senior vice-commander. The chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month at the state park restaurant.

Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham was a guest at the meeting. He expressed support for veterans and veterans groups in general, noting that a veteran is recognized during each City Council meeting.

The chapter has been trying to raise money to buy a chapter flag to display at its meetings. Dietz and Taylor said the group is seeking donations from Marshall County and the incorporated city and town governments. Bingham said he'd take the chapter's request back to the city council.

The chapter also continues to seek members. Dietz said recent forget-me-not sales at a festival in Chapel Hill were not only a fundraiser but were also good for DAV's visibility in the community. The club will hold a cookout June 13 at a picnic area in the park.

Dietz noted the chapter's role in encouraging and assisting disabled veterans but said the only way the chapter knows about them is if vets approach them.

The national DAV organization was formed after World War I and chartered in 1921.

For more information about the local chapter, call Dietz at 931-680-1823 or Taylor at 931-684-2557.