Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1

WEB SITE: http://www.davbvnc.com/

January-February, 2012 Newsletter

Editor: Dennis O’Connell







Commander Richard Bugbee
Phone 480 986-0304

Email: dadbug37@gmail.com

Senior Vice Commander Joe Wallace
1st Junior Vice Commander Stephen Moffitt

2nd Junior Vice Commander William Burgess
3rd Vice Commander James Hogan

4th Junior Vice Commander Junior Farley

Judge Advocate Dennis O’Connell
Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino
Phone 847 736 2111

Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky (also webmaster)

Phone 904 291-0576
email: pkjax@kaminsky.com

Immediate Past Commander Dennis O’Connell


If you know of any member who is sick or deceased please inform one of the officers whose contact information is listed above.




Tom Goshea, Jr., Brooklyn NY, Alfred Therrien St. Petersberg FL,




Our chapter is just sending out the newsletter via email or large print. If you want to recieve it faster via email then notify the editor through email: bvnc1@verizon.net

If you want it by large print contact our Adjutant at email: pkjax@kaminsky.com

Which ever way you want to receive the newsletter PLEASE keep your contact information current with us. Too many times our members move and don’t notify the DAV nor us of their change of email or snail mail address.




 Wilbert Vandenbos from Rock Valley, Iowa won the Maas Award back in 2002 from the BVA. Bbelow is the bio that was in the Awards Banquet program at the convention that year (it was in San Antonio).


Wilbert Vandenbos is a retired professional mental health counselor and devoted community servant.

Most recently, Wilbert helped initiate the Sioux County Mental Health Clinic in Rock Valley, Iowa, a program that provided mental health services at three area satellite clinics. He was a co-owner of the clinics, which soon gained excellent reputations.

Born and raised in Platte, South Dakota, Wilbert enlisted in the Army in 1952 and was wounded in combat exactly eight months later with a gunshot wound to the head. The injury caused surgical enucleation of the left eye and total blindness in the right eye.

Following his discharge in December of 1953, Wilbert completed the Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Program the following year. He was then instrumental in the establishment of the South Dakota Industries for the Blind.

Wilbert pursued a college degree in the late 1960s, receiving a B.A. in 1970 with combined majors in psychology and sociology. One year later he received an M.A. in vocational rehabilitation counseling from Mankato State College in Minnesota. He and his wife, Betty, have been married 46 years. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren.



Arthur H. Wilson, National Adjutant

The year 2011 has encompassed significant changes in the future of disabled veterans and their families. We have seen ups and downs in the political arena that point to more struggles with Congress over the next year to keep veterans' benefits and rights at the top of the nation's list of priorities.

December 2011 also marked the official end of the Iraq War, though for the families and friends of the 4,484 U.S. casualties and the 32,226 U.S. troops who returned home wounded, post-war life will never be the same. As President Obama officially marked the end of the conflict at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base in mid-December, he rightfully thanked some

of the last returning veterans of that war, noting their courage and patriotism.

However, even as the President spoke these words, soldiers just returning from Iraq were receiving orders to Afghanistan in six month's time in order to beef up coalition forces ahead of the planned 2014 troop withdrawal. Military families were hardly able to celebrate

their loved ones' long-awaited homecoming before learning of the next deployment - a cycle all too familiar in recent years.

Our nation has demanded an incredible amount of stamina and resilience from her armed forces in the past decade and throughout history. As such the DAV must stand ready to demand the country repay her service men and women equitably for their sacrifices. Less than

one percent of the total U.S. population has served in an active duty status in the post-9/11 world. This gap between the American public and those who have served puts our disabled veterans at risk of becoming an afterthought in the political process as other special interest items flood the agenda in Washington, D.C. This is to be expected even more so in 2012 as a

result of the congressional "super committee" failing to reach an agreement on budget cuts prior to their Thanksgiving deadline. The New Year will mean thousands of lobbyists will be hard at work in the capital to protect their particular programs in the face of the default cuts

mandated for 2013.

Our returning veterans and their families deserve to feel secure in knowing they have an advocate when they return home from this war, and at all other times of peace and conflict. That advocate is the DAV, and through our continued vigilance and dedication in the 2012 legislative process we will continue to stand up together and fight for each other.. .for all of

America's disabled veterans.



Funding Secured for Gulf War Illness Research

Congress approved the dedication of $10 million to research Gulf War illness. President Obama signed the spending bill, which commits funding to research on those illness and ailments specifically suffered by veterans of the Gulf War. They include chronic headaches and pain, memory and concentration problems, as well as fatigue and gastrointestinal maladies that

plague many veterans of the conflict. The research will not be carried out by the Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs.



Social Security Number

Here are some interesting things about the Social Security Number:

Since 1936, more than 420 million different Social Security numbers have been issued.

 More than 5.5 million new numbers are assigned every year.

 The first three digits of a Social Security number are known as the area number. Area numbers assigned before 1972 reflect the state where you applied for your number. Otherwise, they are based upon the Social Security card application mailing address ZIP Code.

 Some people believe the next two digits, called the group number, helps identify a person‘s race. It doesn‘t. The two-digit group number was actually created as way to organize Social Security Administration filing cabinets into subgroups to make them more manageable.

 The last four digits on a Social Security card are serial numbers that are issued consecutively within a group from 0001 to 9999.

 Area numbers are assigned geographically with the lowest numbers in the northeast and the highest in the northwest. That practice no longer applies, however,

after a new randomized assignment methodology was announced in July 2007. Based upon the original assignment criterion, one would naturally expect a Maine resident to have the lowest Social Security number ever issued. However, New Hampshire was ultimately given the 001 area number designator so that Social Security number 001-01-0001 could be assigned to Social Security Board

Chairman John G. Winant, who was a three-time governor of the state. Winant eventually declined the honor of having the lowest Social Security number. As a result, it eventually found its way to Grace D. Owen of Concord, NH.

Officially, the first Social Security number issued was 055-09-0001, and it was assigned to John David Sweeney. Sweeney died of a heart attack in 1974 at the age of 61. Ironically, he never received a single penny of Social Security benefits.

 In many cases, invalid Social Security numbers can be easily spotted. That‘s because prior to June 25, 2011, no cards were issued with the first three digits off 000, 666, or higher than 772. Valid cards are also never issued with the middle two digits or the final four digits all zeros.

In 1938, a sample Social Security card with the number 078-05-1120 was inserted into new wallets manufactured by the E.H. Ferree company in Lockport, NY. Unfortunately, that number belonged to Hilda Schrader Whitcher, the secretary of an E.H. Ferree vice president who decided to use her official number on the sample cards. Not surprisingly, more than 40,000 people have since claimed Mrs. Whitcher‘s Social Security number as their own at one time or another. She was eventually issued a new number, but not before being questioned by the FBI. They wanted to know why so many people had her number.

 If you object to certain digits in your Social Security number you can appeal for a new one, but only if you can prove your concerns are firmly rooted in your religious beliefs or cultural traditions.

 Social Security numbers are not reused after the cardholder dies.

 Even though numbers aren‘t reused, the Social Security Administration says the current numbering system is capable of providing enough new numbers for several generations into the future. That means Social Security numbers will still be available well past 2030. Even if the benefit money won‘t.

 If you do not know your number the only way to get it from SSA is to submit a new Form 5, and where they ask for the SSN in Item 11, annotate "Forgotten."

If you want to try via e-mail, it requires providing the date and place of birth, name at birth and the parents' names, just like on the Form 5.




On June 20, 2012 alumni of the EBRC will meet once again from Wednesday evening until Friday for their reunion. This might be the last one to be held until 2014, because the consensus was to have an alumni reunion every two years. We will discuss that plus other things at the meeting Wednesday evening.

We will be staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites New Haven

400 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT  06511 for Wednesday & Thursday evenings. Hotel contact information are Phone 1-203-562-1111 and Fax 1-203-865-7440. A block of rooms has been reserved for the reunion at a rate of $105.00 + tax for the rooms blocked together. Rooms may be reserved on an individual bases as a veteran at a cost of $80.00 plus tax with no guarantee of which floor or where the room is.

After dinner on Wednesday we will have an alumni meeting. On Thursday our bus will bring us to the VAMC at West Haven where we have a lunch BBQ. After that we will be brought back to our hotel to freshen Up for our schooner ride around Long Island from 4 to 6 PM. Friday morning a trip to the Veterans Museum in West Haven is being planned.

Cost to alumni and guests is their transportation from and to home, hotel and meals (except the BBQ).

The schooner is limited to 40 people, so first 40 people who reserve will be on board when we cast off, while the rest will be on a waiting list. Contact one of the following officers to reserve yourself and a guest.

President Kevin Whalen

6 Maple Crest Circle Apt D, Holyoke, MA 01040

phone: 413 532 8276. email: kevintwhalen@verizon.net               

Secretary Dennis O'Connell

303 Carnation Avenue, Floral Park, NY 11001.

phone: 516 328-3438. email: navy1vet@verizon.net

Treasurer Tom Bove

40 Colonial Drive, Farmingdale, NY 11735

phone: 516 293 0695. email: tbovesr@verizon.net




August 3 - 7, 2012
Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3645 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Telephone: 1.800.634.3434
$112 Single/Double + tax
Blind Chapter Meeting Schedule
August 3rd 9:00 am & 4:00 pm
August 4th 8:30 am Convention's Opening Session
August 4 - 7 Convention Schedule and BVNC breakfast TBA