November ... showcases TAVV at its best

Semper Fi

Observations from Don Dorsey.

For TAVV (Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans), November is the most active month of the year. And with the number of volunteers in constant flux due to age and health issues, it's also the most grueling month for those of us still on our feet. No more real Vietnam veterans are being made, folks, and despite the reduction in force, the workload remains the same. However, on a positive note, November is our most rewarding month. Not only do we honor veterans on Veterans Day, but we also feed and care for hospitalized veterans and provide fried Thanksgiving turkeys to local veterans and families in distress.

November is about giving thanks, and we begin the month by thanking veterans for their service. On Nov 11, TAVV participated in Austin‘s Veterans Day parade and ceremony.  Beginning at 9am, our TAVV Color Guard led the parade down Congress Avenue. At the end of the parade route, our TAVV Honor Guard led the laying of the wreaths at the Veterans Day Ceremony at the State Capitol. Even though our ranks are thin, TAVV remains an active force in the Central Texas veteran community. Most of us locals belong to VFW Post 856 and VVA Chapter 915, as well as TAVV. In the Veterans Day parade this year, we represented all three organizations. Because of illnesses, we are short-handed with regard to flag handlers for the Garrison Flag. Veterans unable to walk the parade route were invited to ride in the military vehicles provided by our friends of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. The vehicles loaded up in the TxDot parking lot at the southeast side of the Congress Avenue bridge and departed about 7:30am. Following the parade, we gathered on the eleventh hour at the south steps of the State Capitol for music, speeches, and the laying of wreaths at the mock Tomb of the Unknown.

Later in the month TAVV will be providing fried turkeys to veterans and charities alike. And as Thanksgiving Day approaches, our annual turkey fry fundraiser will provide us with the funds needed to sustain our veteran programs throughout the coming year. Although November is most difficult, it also showcases TAVV at its best. 

About the Turkey Fry events. My thanks to Julian Calderon, Freddie Garcia, Charlie Grant, James Hart, and Manny Moreno for joining me last week in readying the Turkey Fryer From Hell. It was a lot of work, but with so many hands, we had it drained, cleaned, and ready to fry in only 3 hours. Our first event will be Saturday, Nov 15 in Kerrville at the VA Hospital. It won‘t be the same without our pit boss Will Rogers, but we can still make it happen. Perhaps he‘ll be feeling well enough to grace us with his presence. 

On Monday, Nov 24, just as we‘ve done for the past several years, we‘ll be frying turkeys in the parking lot of VFW Post 856 for the local charities we sponsor: Garrett‘s Kidstrong, Loving Libby, and SafePlace. Kidstrong and Loving Libby are organizations that support the families of kids with cancer. For their Thanksgiving meals, TAVV will be providing each family with a fried turkey. SafePlace is a gated community for displaced and abused families. They too will be receiving fried turkeys from TAVV. Although we don‘t solicit public donations, any monies offered to offset the cost will be greatly appreciated. And we are tax deductible.  

Tuesday, Nov 25 is cleaning day. The fryer has to be drained and cleaned for the final day of frying. And the peanut oil has to be filtered for further use. With a little help, we can get it back to frying condition is a few hours. 

And finally, we‘ll be frying turkeys again at VFW Post 856 for our annual fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov 26, the day before Thanksgiving. Hopefully, this will replenish our coffers for the coming new year. Only 65 turkeys will be pre-sold, so get your orders in as soon as possible. For information and ordering, please see the flyer in this newsletter. Turkeys not picked up by closing time will be sold on a first come basis. We ask that our patrons honor their purchase commitment. 




So there it is. Much to do, and a job for anyone willing to assist. These events are working socials, folks, so come on out and enjoy the camaraderie. We can use all the help we can get. We‘ll have more details at our TAVV meeting, so please show up.

See you on Thursday.

Semper fi! 

Don Dorsey, President

The Austin Chapter of Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans (TAVV) meets Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 7:00 pm at VFW Post 856 — 406 E Alpine Rd - Austin, Texas 78704.