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14 May 2024, Minutes from regular post meeting

General Meeting Minutes



Reviewed and Approved By: COMMANDER Terry Ward, POST 281, Tyler Cates, Dept of TN      

CONVENED:  1830    ADJOURNED:  2047   



At 1800 hrs., the doors of the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center (MJSAC) were opened for food and fellowship.  Sergeant-at Arms Don Barnes provided pizza and soft drinks for members and guests.


  • State Representative Susan Lynn for District 57.  She has sat for 10 general assemblies.  This year the state legislature passes a $52 Billion budget.  Last year it was $64 Billion.  She spoke about several laws she helped to pass.  Rep Lynn discussed current issues that face our community and our state.  She also answered multiple questions from members that were present.  


At 18:30 CMDR Ward called the Post to order.  Assistant Chaplain Chaz Spampinato, offered prayer, followed by placement of the POW/MIA Flag at the designated memorial table by Sgt-at-Arms Don Barnes.  This was followed by The Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble of the Constitution of The American Legion.

Past Commanders and Distinguished Guests

CMDR Ward recognized Post 281 Past Commanders Lew Hightower and Max Wix, and Pat Unger who is a Past Commander as well as the current SAL Detachment Commander for TN.

New members were welcomed:

  • Paul Hopper
  • Long time member Dean Gregory


Last month’s minutes were posted to the Members Only Section of the Post 281 website and emailed to registered members.  A motion to accept the minutes as written was made by Shawn Taylor. It was seconded by Lew Hightower. The motion passed with no nays. 


  • COMMANDER – Terry Ward
    • 27 May there will be 2 Memorial Day ceremonies; 0900 at the Lebanon Museum and the 2nd one will be at Del Webb
    • Offered a discussion of the value of the Honoring America’s Flag event conducted in cooperation with the Mt. Juliet’s Exchange club and it’s President, Nancy Britt.   This is a unique event for our post in its interaction with the Mt. Juliet Community and is technically the biggest outreach event we as a post conduct.   It’s our “Super Bowl” of events, where more of our members participate than in any other activity, other than the annual Christmas Banquet. 
  • 1ST VICE – John Herko
    • Budget presentation for 2024/2025
    • Buddy Checks – were conducted Pat Constanzo, John Herko, Jeff Mattingly, Jackie Price, Eric Rodriguez, Katie Sarazine, Delmar Smith, Wayne Smith, Chaz Spampinato, Terry Ward, and Max Wix.
    •   A total of 267 contacts were attempted for both Post 281 and Post 2000 members.  There was about a 30% rate of response.
    • QOV – 1 for June 2 for July, and 1 for August.  Then the list is exhausted.
  • 2ND VICE – Mike Faoro
    • HAF Planning and Execution
      • 16 May – Prep Day at Nancy Britts Home on 291 Guill Rd at 0900
      • 23 May – Layout and buildout at the Mt Juliet clock tower
        • 0730 – Pat Unger and Carry Cundal conduct layout and marking at clock tower.
        • 0830 – Volunteer with Sledgehammers and Leather Gloves for set up of field. 
        • 0930 – Trustees arrive to help with set up.
        • 1000 – Assist Exchange club with escorts and sales.   Begin 24hr. coverage. 
        • Scheduled coverage of volunteers
      • 24 May – Scheduled coverage
        • Blood Assurance Donations from 1400-1800
      • 25 May – Scheduled Coverage
        • Program @ 5:00 PM HAF @ Clock Tower, David Hale Sing  National Anthem,  Honor Guard Presents the Colors, Abigail Whicker to give Oratorical presentation,  Phil Ponder present the History of our American Flag, Blood Assurance Donations
      • 26 May – Scheduled Coverage
      • 27 May – Scheduled Coverage
        • 1400-1500 / shut down and stow away per guidance from Nancy.
        • On or about 1500 transport all of the flags and the support material back to Nancy Britt’s home.    
    • 19 May is RFTW Bridge coverage from 1445 to 1530 on the Beckwith Rd Overpass.
    • 19-24 May Boys State at TN Tech
    • 23 May HAF layout and buildout
  • ADJUTANT – Shawn Taylor
    • See Attached Adjutant’s Report.
  • FINANCE OFFICER – Steve Iles
    • See Attached Finance Officer’s Report
  • SERVICE OFFICER – Patti Whitmore
    • Never too young for lifetime services
  • CHAPLAIN – Asst. Chaz Spampinato
      • George Barnes 615-773-1950 He got out of summit hospital on April 10th. April 11th his wife became quite sick.  They think it was the flu. On April 30th George returned to the doctor and was told they will be putting him in the hospital on the 16th of May to have an artery cleared in his neck. He still is having problems with his hand and cannot control it.
      • Pat Kain 615-310-3601 He fell and is now in rehab at Stone River Manor in Murfreesboro.
      • Henry Queener 615-773-1977 He will be having one more transfusion and the doctors feel that will be all that is needed.  His numbers are going in the right direction. His wife Gwynne has gone through hip surgery and is doing very well doing physical therapy for six weeks. (Both Present)
      • Bob Ramsey 615 973-2880 Had to remove more of his colin and is waiting on results. He also has another area in his mouth that needs to be removed.
      • William Walsh 615 513- 6369 Had a kidney transplant in 2018 but says he is doing fine.
      • Wayne Smith was called as part of the buddy check program.  On March 29th he had three discs removed in his neck and replaced with titanium ones.  Not getting around very well right now.
      • William (Bill) Warner 201-919-7781 Had a knee replacement which is also a struggle with physical therapy and gaining full use of his knee.  He is now dealing with sciatica.  In a lot of pain.
      • Lew Hightower 615-418-6433 is going to be having surgery on his right arm. Also monitoring aorta valve.  His next appointment is in August. (Present)
      • Fred Higdon is recovering from a partial knee replacement.
      • Lindsey Roberts, from the Wilson County Service Office, has cancer and is dealing with severe depression.
      • Pat Unger is recovering from a hip replacement. (Present)

Attached is a copy of the sympathy cards that have been sent since October.

  • SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – Don Barnes
    • Nothing to Report


  • Honor Guard – Capt. Steve Wren
    • 468 services to date.
    • Last service was posting and retiring colors for a 1st of the 5th reunion.  They gave Post 281 a unit flag.
  • Sons of the American Legion – TN Detach. CMDR Pat Unger
    • Squadron 281 elected new officers:
      • CMDR – Robert Fields
      • Adjutant – Don Barnes
      • Treasurer – Joe Chilando
  • American Legion Riders – Treasurer Joe Chilando
    •  Phil Friedli and his son, along with 2 others, left California this morning to start their journey for RFTW.
  • Oratorical – Bruno Padovani
    • Nothing to Report
  • Finance Committee – John Herko
    • 2024-25 budget was presented.  After much discussion a motion to accept was made by John Herko. Seconded by Shawn Taylor.  Motion carried with no nays.
      • Several members voiced concern of more expenses than projected income and think we should plan a reversed raffle for next year.
      • Budget is attached.


  • Nothing to Report


  • Nomination and election of New Officers
    • Commander, Terry Ward, continuing for 2nd year and 7th term.
    • Adjutant, Shawn Taylor, continuing for 3rd term.
    • Service Officer, Patti Whitmore, continuing for 2nd term.
    • 1st Vice, Mike Faoro, 3rd term.
    • 2nd Vice, Bob Snuck, 1st term. 
      • Nomination: Shawn Taylor; Second: Pattie Whitmore
    • Finance Officer, Steve Iles, continues for 6th term.
    • Sgt-at-Arms, Don Barnes, continues for 1st full term.
    • Chaplin, David Hale, continues 3rd term.
    • The attending members voted unanimously to elect all.


  • Nothing to Report


With no further business to attend to, the closing ceremony was conducted, with closing prayer offered by Asst. Chaplain Chaz Spampinato.  The POW/MIA Flag was retrieved for storage.  This was followed by honors to our flag and the meeting was adjourned at 2047 hrs. 


CPR report was submitted on 5/13/2024.  Annual report is for activities May 1st to April 30th.

2 New Joins: Roy Parsons and Robert St. John

2 deaths: Albert Thomas and Frank Abercrombie.

4 people are going to the Dept convention in June; Cmdr Ward, Adjutant Taylor, 2nd Vice Snuck and webmeister Jeff Mattingly.

TN American Legion College will be held at Dept HQ on Sept 28th and 29th, 2024.

NASCAR event on June 28th – 30th at the Nashville Super Speedway.  Looking for volunteers.  Contact Adjutant Tuttle.

Renewals for 2025 will begin on July 1st, 2024.  New annual price is $50.  $38 of which will be going to Dept and National.

P.O. Box 67

Mt. Juliet, TN, 37121

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