Here is the annual activities report for Chapter 392 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
Membership increased from 163 to 165 members for the year. That’s a positive sign even though we had several members pass away last year.
We held a Holiday gathering in December and invited at-large Portland-area members to join us and check us out. This was a great success and resulted in several of them transferring in to chapter 392.
We resumed holding our meetings in person in April of 2022 after the indoor mask mandate for Covid was finally lifted. We also held two “hybrid” meetings (in-person plus Zoom). We were disappointed in how these went and have stopped doing them.
We have not held an in-person Agent Orange Town Hall meeting since October of 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We had been holding these Town Halls at the Portland VA Hospital. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has not been possible. However, the masking rules for hospital rules just changed and we are hopeful that we can host a Town Hall later this year.
We continue to distribute Agent Orange Information Packets from our website. We mail them the information folders normally given out at the town hall meetings. We have averaged about one per month and requests have come from as far away as the east coast.
We continued our scholarship program this year and were pleased to award three $500 scholarships in the spring. Scholarships were awarded to students from three Portland area schools this year: Oregon City High School, Rex Putnam High School and Parkrose High School.
We continued awarding JROTC awards this year. An award was presented on 7 April 2022 to Cadet Jackson Taulbee of Oregon City High School. We have since expanded this program to two JROTC high schools in the Portland area.
Our Vet Center continues to reach and assist veterans of all conflicts with a variety of programs. These include Fort Kennedy (homeless veterans), a food pantry, clothes closet, free laundry service and showers, VSO/claim assistance and legal counseling services.
We continue to provide VA claim assistance to all veterans at our vet center. We provide referrals to our service officer (Ed Van Dyke) and Stu Steinberg on request.