News from the 108th Griffon Association

02/20/2013  | 
The Griffon
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Golfer lines up a putt during the Second Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament held September 2012 at Pine Island Country Club.

In just about every area, 2012 was again a successful year for the Griffon Association. Only in the area of membership increase did we not get to where we need to be, which is back up in the 300 plus members we had five or six years ago. Currently we have 102 life members and 54 yearly members, plus one honorary member of a total of 157. I am sure each of you has several friends who are eligible for membership, but who are not members and need to be. Please make an effort to contact them and get them to join up. Annual membership is only $10, which is a small sum for anyone, and the organization needs the support to keep up its good works. Attached is a membership application for your use. Thanks for the help in this vital area.

As most of you should already know, in 2011, we raised over $16,000 at our first golf tournament benefiting Soldiers and Families. During 2012, your board distributed most of that money for what they determined were worthy causes and to benefit Soldiers and Families. Besides distributing $5,000 in the form of five $1,000 scholarships to children and grandchildren of 108th and subordinate command Soldiers and Griffon members, we also gave $700 to provide items and postage for care packages for deployed Soldiers for Christmas 2011. In addition, we received applications from four Soldiers who had been injured either on annual training or another training event or while deployed and who because of delays in paperwork-processing were not receiving line of duty payments, could not work, and were being threatened with loss of their homes or other financial problems. We distributed $2,700 to those Soldiers at their request, which was successful in tiding them over, until their line of duty paperwork was approved and payments began arriving.

In addition to these individual payments, we also found several groups who we felt were carrying on great work on behalf of Soldiers and Veterans, which we wanted to support. We gave $2,000 to Purple Heart Homes, a non-profit based in Statesville, N.C., which helps disabled Soldiers acquire new homes or remodel existing homes to accommodate their individual needs for handicapped accessible housing. We also provide $2,000 to Veterans Restoration Project, an Asheville, N.C. based non-profit, which works through ABC Christian Ministry provides job training, housing and counseling and drug/alcohol treatment (as necessary) for homeless veterans from across North Carolina. Finally we contributed $1,000 to Operation Restoration, the first Veterans’ Stand Down for upstate South Carolina jointly sponsored by the VA and the American Legion as well as other veterans’ organizations. The word we got back from those who helped out at the event was that it was one of the most successful Stand Downs ever seen.

The 208th Army Band performs at the Second Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament.

In early June, 50 plus Griffon Association members and guests attended the annual picnic at the Charlotte Museum of History for a tour of a Revolutionary War era residence and outbuildings located on the grounds, as well as, a presentation by member Tom Phlegar about Revolutionary War battles, which took place in the Carolinas, including those in and around the Mecklenburg County area. We then had a briefing by the 108th Training Command G-3 and a barbecue dinner with all the trimmings.

Our Second Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament took place on September 24, 2012 at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. We had more golfers than the first year with 87 making up 22 participating teams. We did not make as much money due to several of our major first year sponsors not being able to contribute because of economic conditions — four companies who contributed $9,000 the first year were not able to contribute this year — but we still made $9,467, which we thought was pretty good considering the economy.

The posting of colors was presented by the Statesville High School Junior ROTC Color Guard.

Your board met recently and scheduled the spring picnic for April 20, 2013. The event will take place initially at the Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina, where we will have an opportunity to visit the museum there, view a short film about the Revolutionary War in the area and take a Ranger escorted walking staff ride of the battlefield. The Battle of Kings Mountain is widely credited with starting the military downward spiral of Cornwallis’ southern strategy, which led to the ultimate defeat of British forces at Yorktown. Following the staff ride we will move a short distance to a picnic shelter at Kings Mountain State Park, which adjoins the National Park for a barbecue with the trimming. More information will be coming shortly about the picnic, but please put the date on your calendar. We hope for a good attendance. It is a great opportunity to see old friends and reminisce.

We are also looking forward to another Reconnect event at Ft. Jackson sometime in March or April. This event is sponsored by the S.C. American Legion. We will not know the exact date until a few weeks in advance, but will let everyone know at that time. For those who have attended in the past, this is a great opportunity to re-visit the 108th’s second home.

Finally, our Third Annual Golf Tournament will take place on September 23, 2013. For you golfers who have not been able to attend in the past, please plan to bring a team this year. We always need some help from non-golfers for registration, etc.

This year the association will award four $1,000 scholarships to any members of the command and dependents to include — spouses, children and grandchildren. Download the application for the Fall 2013 semester. Applications should be submitted by May 18, 2013.

Membership is the key to the success and sustainability of any organization. Please be assured that the modest membership fee will go to supporting the 108th Training Command specifically and our entire armed forces in general during the challenging time in our nation’s history. The association is open to all current and past members of all units of the command, both military and civilian, who are serving and have served honorably. Please download the membership application here.

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