Joe Stephens

December 31, 2016

The new year will soon be here. As I look back at what we did this past year, I think of all we managed to accomplish.

Our Service Officers have helped field Q & As, filed claims, assisted 700 folks in some way - some were repeat visitors - but help was given nonetheless.

Joe McClister, who was our only Veteran Service Officer (VSO) for a very long time, and Chapter Treasurer, did much for us in 2016. He stopped being a VSO in October so he could do more things about the house, His house, not ours. He will remain on as Treasurer until May, but is already missed as one of our VSOs.

Berry Harvey, a transfer from Rhode Island, joined the Chapter this year. He is also a VSO and will join us in that postition. With him, we will have six VSOs, so someone will be at the Hall everyday, with two on Tuesday. We hope to have one or more 'get out and about' to see folks who are unable to do so. Remember that all our services are FREE -- as we are here to help you -- the veteran.

The Chapter supports the Disabled American Veteran Transportation Network (DAV TN) and we are still in need of drivers -- we are always in need of drivers. All drivers are volunteers and volunteers have lives, with things to do - so we find that sometimes we do not have enough drivers. So again I ask that if you can help us out here, PLEASE do. Even if we can use you just one day a month, it would help.

In 2017, the Chapter will start a fund drive for a new van. We need an additional van for the Transportation Network, so we may put one of the other vans in service in the western part of the county, giving DAV TN service to those along the Rt-19/98 corridor to Gainesville. As your Commander, and a DAV TN driver, I have been attempting to develop this since June. Like everything else, some things take time. You will see/hear more about that as it develops in the next few weeks/months.

As in the past, we saw some of our members go to glory -- they will be missed. Some have moved or tranferred to another Chapter -- they too will be missed. We hope they take with them what we do here to better what others may do.

With 2017 knocking at our door, I think the new year will give us, the Chapter, a way to better serve those in Citrus County. I need more of you to take a greater interest in what the Chapter is doing. So come to the meeting -- give us your input, ideas, feelings on how we can better serve.

Till then,

Joe Stephens - Commander, DAV FL 70, Inverness, FL

May 12, 2016

Thank you for allowing me to be your Commander again. I am honored that you permit me to do this for you.
Again, I about service - we, the Chapter, should be about service. Within the Chapter we now have five service officers.
We are in the "HALL" on Tuesday from 9 AM till Noon. With a service officer also there on Wednesday, Thurday and Friday, from 5 PM to 7 PM.
We are still in need of Chaplain's Assistances, the more the better.
We are still in need of drivers for the DAV Tranportion Network. We are working on a program that will supply a DAV TN van for west side of the county,
but to obtain a van, we need drivers. So for those who live in the Homosassa area, give me a call 352-489-5245. See what we can do together.
As mention before, I know you have things going on, so do those of us doing things now, but we manage to give time to the DAV.
We all joined for a reason, we would like to think that is was in a small way to help our fellow veterans, so help, we could use you.
It may not seem like much, giving an hour or two, but that hour or two you give could cut the grass, weed, wipe off the dust.
Keep another vet company for awhile. Or maybe we can find a use of your skills.
The Chapter has work to do and we need YOUR HELP.
And Come to the meetings.
May God Bless you and yours.

January 13, 2016

Another year has gone by and we are into yet another. Life is sweet, sometimes bitter, but sweet non the less.
We have had several of our brothers in arm pass. All will be missed - but may I add, that we will meet again on the other side.
With GOD's grace we lived this long, and he may let us live longer to aid others.
As your Commander I am about service, service to those who served this Nation.
Serve to you, but I need you to take part in the things the Chapter is into.
The Chapter could use help, YOUR help.
As noted in the newsletter from August 25, 2015 (below), some area Chapters have closed.
Within this Chapter we do not think that will happen here.
But we need you to come out. We need your input, guidance, and assitance.
Okay, you may be getting a little older, I know I am, you may be getting a little tired. So I am.
We have 23,000 veterans in this county and some need help - our help.
You may have seen on the Home page of the Chapter's online Newsletter, we now have five (5) Service Officers at the Hall. I would like a few more.
We are still in need of drivers for the DAV Tranportion Network.
And we could some help around the Hall.
I know you have things going on, so do those of us doing things now, but we manage to give time to the DAV.
We all joined for a reason, we would like to think that is was in a small way to help our fellow veterans, so help, we could use you.
It may not seem like much, giving an hour or two, but that hour or two you give could cut the grass, weed, wipe off the dust.
Or keep another vet company for awhile. Or maybe we can find a use of your skills. The Chapter has work to do and we need YOUR HELP.
And Come to the meetings.

August 25, 2015

This is the "Newsletter" mailed out to all within the Chapter's National mailing list.

From Commander Joe Stephens

Hello fellow members, this is perhaps the first Newsletter you will have received from any Commander in well over six years.

Over the past several years, a number of Chapter members have worked very hard to keep this Chapter from going under. Chapters in Homosassa and Lake Panasoffkee, FL, have CLOSED, in part, due to a lack of interest. However, a new chapter, Chapter #158, has opened in Crystal River, with an office at the Crystal River Mall.

Those of us who were elected into office this past May would like to do more than just stay afloat. We want to grow and to serve, and do more for the 600 plus members of DAV Chapter 70, and other area veterans.

Since I joined the Chapter in 2010, I have seen no more than twenty four members come to the meetings. In some meetings only eleven, fourteen, or eighteen members were ever in attendance.

Our past Commander, Ken Stewart – started a 'lunch' before the meeting. We 'feed the troops' starting at 1 PM, 1300 hours for those in the Corp, with the meeting starting at 2 PM (1400 hours).

Most meetings last less than an hour, depending on what issues we need to discuss. Our next meeting is Tuesday, September 8th - So mark your calendar and join us at the meeting.

For those members who have computers – we have a Chapter #70 website - On the site you will find the results of the elections with photos of the new officers. The website will tell you who to go to (Service Officers, Chaplin, etc), and includes links to past meetings (going back to the year 2000 – or as best that could be put together), so that you can keep current with Chapter business. There are also audio links for some of the meetings, as well as our Chapter's online Newsletters, with photos and bylines of things that took place at those meetings.

The website also provides information as to Who is Eligible to join the DAV/DAVA (and includes the history of the DAV), and sections titled 'Of Interest to All', 'Salute Rules' (rules of proper saluting), Aging Well, Veterans and Mesothelioma, Navy and Coast Guard ships in Vietnam, and Links to other Veterans Websites and much more.

We also have a section called “Do Business With A Fellow Veteran”. If you are a veteran, and own, manage or run a store, even an online store – we will list it.

For you, the Chapter member, we have email addresses for all our members as part of our website. You need only to give us your own email address, we will assign you your Chapter email address. All emails from your chapter email address will be redirected to yours via the Chapter's.

We have an aBook Selections section on our site that features audio books you may listen to from the site. There is a Movie Section (yes, movies you can watch from the site) to be uploaded very soon, and a Music Section – where there will be music YOU may play from the site – these are NOT downloads, coded to work from the site without downloading.

Another link on the site tells you about the Van Service. Since 2009, the Chapter has been raising funds for vans to transport veterans to the Gainesville Medical Center, to The Villages Clinic, and to the Ocala Audio/Eye Center. Should you ever need a ride to these locations, call the Lecanto Community Based Outpatient Clinic at 352-746-8005 to be 'put on the list'. Drivers are no longer allowed to 'just pick you up'at a pick-up site - your name must be on the list.

The website link called 'PROJECTS' – will tell you what we are doing.

We do Scholarships – for both high school students of veterans, and for veterans themselves.

The Sunshine Club – here we help Chapter members who are ill, or in distress.

The Van Fund – to raise monies for vehicles to take veterans to medical care.

The VA will no longer allow us to use the vehicles for anything else -- that is why you have NOT seen them in parades, or on display. As a result, the Chapter would like to raise money to obtain a 10/2 bus just for Chapter use –- to do more for our veterans.

We have our annual yard sale – this year's sale will be tentatively held the first weekend in October - we are happy to receive any donations you may have on Tuesday mornings at the chapter.

The 50/50 fund: buy a $1.00 or more voluntary donation at the regular meeting. A winning ticket receives half of those funds, the rest goes into the general fund.

The Website also includes the “Lest We Forget” section. In this section, we attempt to honor those of the Chapter that have gone before us. The information for these pages comes primarily from the obituaries, but the webmaster has an online form that you may fill out or print out and give to us at the Hall. The form will only be used for this purpose. Many members have obtained ribbons, awards, etc which is often not included in the obits. We would like to do more than just have your name on a small metal plate on wood. We would like to take your photo at the Hall so we have one. The webmaster, who is the current Commander, would like to have this type of information on all of our 600 plus members to honor them when the time comes.

If you joined the Chapter before September of 2013, we would like for you to join us at any meeting and we will 'induct' you into the Chapter in a proper swearing in ceremony by the Commander, and give you a years service pin – which is presented by the Chaplin.

We started performing this ceremony last year.

If you have NOT been to a meeting in a while – COME - we need you! As a member, we would like for you to take part in our service to the Chapter, and to those veterans within the Chapter and in our Community.

The Commander would like to put five more Veteran's Service Officers in the Hall, some for daytime, and others to be on duty after 5 – to take care of those who are working or unable to get to a VSO in the daytime.

We also need your input - tell us want you would like to do - when you wish to have meetings - ideas for fundraisers - doing BINGO again, more BBQs? - just let us know. We are here to serve YOU.

So, till Tuesday, September 8th, at 1 PM (for the feed) 2 PM for the meeting.

Joe Stephens
DAV Chapter 70 Commander

May 12, 2015

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #70 officially meets at 2:00 P.M. the second Tuesday of each month at the Chapter Hall, 1039 North Paul Drive, Inverness, near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Independence Highway. The Chapter hall is on the corner of Independence Highway and North Paul Drive. Due to vacations there are no official meetings in July or August.

We thank all Veterans for their military service particularly those in harms way overseas.
We welcome any and all veteran who received a Purple Heart for a combat injury or has a service connected disability to join us any Tuesday 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM at the Chapter Hall for conversation or assistance.

Our main function is to assist Purple Heart recipients and/or disabled veterans and their families when we are able.
Anyone knowing of, a Purple Heart recipient or disabled veteran or their family, requiring assistance is asked to call our Commander, Joe Stephens (352) 489-5245 and leave a message if I am not in.

Call the number below also for information about Chapter activities, Veterans’ benefits or DAV membership.

Our Service Officers, Joe McClister, and I, are available to assist any veterans or their families with their disability claims.
For an appointment call (352) 344-3464 and leave a message.