THUNDER GAZETTE

 Next Membership meeting
 Sunday May 17th                                          Words from the President
 At the Gospel House immediately following the                                         By Andy Klush:
 service, which begins at 9:30AM.
 Group is leaving from Sam’s Club parking lot at          Well, this will be a short "Words from the Prez"
 9:00AM                                                   because I do not have my briefcase with me today
                                                          so I am working from memory.
Our Mission Statement
Rolling Thunder®, Inc.’s major function is                Coming up this weekend is the Streetsboro Rib
• to publicize the POW / MIA issue                        Fest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you
• to educate the public on the fact that many             have not volunteered yet, please call Cindy
    American prisoners of war were left behind after      Johnson at 216-641-0871 to get your name on the
    all past wars
                                                          list. We always need help.
• to help correct the past and to protect the future
    veterans from being left behind should they
    become prisoners of war or missing in action           On Sunday, we will be at The Gospel House with
We are committed to helping disabled veterans from        a short meeting immediately following
all wars.                                                 Mass/Lunch. We will gather at Sam's Club at the
                                                          corner of Broadway and I-271 as we do every
Rolling Thunder® Inc. is not connected with or an         year. I understand Mass starts at 9:30am this year,
affiliate of any other organization or political party    so it will be kickstands up at 9:00am.
and we do not raise funds for profit.
                                                          Also, for our available or retired Veterans, our
                              In Honor of                 education committee will be at Cardinal High
                             Cpl Brad A. Davis            School in Mentor on May 15th. Dan tells me that
                       Army Cpl Brad A Davis, 21          we should gather at 7:30am at the High School.
of                      Garfield Heights, Ohio
assigned to the 8      assigned to the 82nd Brigade       For those not traveling to DC this year, we can
S                       Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade    ride in the Northfield Center Memorial Day
C                      Combat Team, 82nd Airborne         Parade. I will have the time and meeting place at
                       Division, Fort Bragg, N.C died     the Gospel House meeting.
April 22 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained
when an improvised explosive device detonated near        Finally, remember our next membership meeting
his vehicle.                                              is June 14th, and we will be participating in a Flag
Brad had been scheduled to come home for a two-           Ceremony after the meeting.
week leave in June. As he did on other leaves, Davis’
family expected he would be organizing corn hole and      See you all soon and RIDE SAFE!
sports tournaments with a large group of high school                               •
and military friends.
“He was a kid everybody liked, just a great kid,” said
his former football coach, Chuck Reisland. “The news
really upset a lot of us. He was just the sort of young
man you want to have on your team.”
                          Continued on page 9

                                                                                                Thunder Gazette 1
 Officers                                                                        Upcoming Events
 President            Andy Klush          330.656.2170                          Mark Your Calendar
 Vice President       Dave Bush           216.408.2639
 Secretary            Kevin McCrory
 Treasurer            Winston Bailey      440.639.2222
                                                            May 14th – 17th; Streetsboro Rib fest; Trailer is free
 Board of Directors
 Chairman             Pat Malone          440.232.1088      May 15th; Cardinal HS – Education Committee
 Member               Glenn Gierman       440.285.3864
 Member               Bill Johnson
                                                            May 17th: Gospel House Service & membership
 Member               Mike Neilan         440.241.2655                     meeting; meet at Sam’s club at
 Member               Ron Svagerko        216.251.3507                     9:00AM
 Member               Larry Felan                           May 23rd – 25th: Run to the Wall – Washington, DC
 Chaplain             Dan McGinnis        330.297.1598      May 29th; Chagrin Falls HS – Education Committee
 Run Coordinator      Ted Pilny           440.543.8468
 Membership           Cheryl Pilny        440.543.8468      June 20th: Rolling Thunder State Motorcycle Run to
 Quartermaster        Open                                                   Columbus
 Sgt. At Arms         Tim Exton           440.945.6766      June 28th: Visitation at Wade Park – 5:30-7:30PM
 Parliamentarian      Winston Bailey      440.639.2222
                                                            July 9th: Streetsboro Home Days; Trailer is free
 Platoon Leaders
 Platoon #1           Mike Neilan         440.241.2655      August 1st: American Legion poker run
 Platoon #2           Jack Fedor          440.232.4074      August 6th: Elvis Night at Oakwood Village
                                  Cell    440.221.4992
 Platoon #3           Tom Blechschmid     440.349.2470      August 15th: VA Picnic in Brecksville
 Platoon #4           Sally Felan
                                                            August 22nd: Tri Chapter Run
 Platoon #5           Dan McGinnis        330.297.1598
 Platoon #6           Ron Svagerko        216.251.3507      August 23rd: American Legion Steak Roast
 Platoon #7           Donna Neilan        440.845.9182
                                  Cell    440.241.2653      December 19th: Christmas Party at VA in Brecksville

 State Director       Al Keck             216.332.1780
                                  Cell    216.374.3310
 We Care              Cindy Johnson       216.641.0871
 Events Chair         Cindy Johnson       216.641.0871
 Education Chair      Dan McGinnis        330.297.1598

 Website:                                 Our Veterans Need Stuff
 Webmaster: Don Kalchert
                                                           We are collecting items for the inpatients at the VA Hospital
                                                           at every meeting. Please help our veterans who have served
                                                           our country honorably, but who just aren’t as lucky as the
                                                           rest of us. Here is the monthly list:
                                                                       January                 Soap
                                                                       February                Deodorant
THUNDER GAZETTE                                                        March                   Toothpaste/Brush
Publisher     James Rossi                440.248.3023                  April                   Shaving Cream
Photographer  Don Kalchert               330.467.6957                  May                     After Shave Lotion
                                                                       June                    Shampoo/conditioner
To submit articles, events, opinions, notices etc.,                    July                    Soap
please e-mail to Jim Rossi at chemmastersvp @                          August                  Deodorant or fax to 440.428.7091.                                    September               Toothpaste/Brush
                                                                       October                 Shaving Cream
 All information received will be subject to editing. To               November                Lotion
be published in next month’s THUNDER GAZETTE.                          December                Shampoo/conditioner
Information must be received by the last day of this       (White socks needed every month)
Suggestions for content and format changes are

                                                                                                      Thunder Gazette 2
                                                              • Pat Malone stated that she has extra rooms for
Membership Meeting Minutes                                      Washington D.C. during the “Run to the Wall”
April 26, 2009                                                • Elvis Night-8/6/09 Meet at the Oakwood P.D. at
Edited from report by Kevin McCrory                             6:30pm
                                                              • Ted Pilney made a motion to buy new stickers for the
                                                                outside of the Trailer not to exceed $150.00. Motioned
Called to order by Andy Klush at 2:04pm
Visitors: Rich Hazenstate
                                                              Meeting Adjourned at 3:21pm
• Secretary- Motion to suspend the reading of the
  Secretary’s Report. Motion to Accept and Carried
• Treasurer-Read by Winston Bailey.
• Membership-Cheryl Pilny informed us that we have 45
  members, 1 possible new Application and 2 outstanding
  (prior to 2005) applications
• Quartermaster-We had to put new safety chains on the
  trailer. Pat Malone needs volunteers to clean the trailer
• Education- Dan McGinnis updated us on recent and
  upcoming school visits.
          Recent Visits: 4/22/09-Rootstown HS 4/23/09-
          Solon HS, 4/24/09-Schuler HS
          Upcoming Visits: 5/1/09-Ravenna HS, 5/8/09-
          Mayfield Heights HS, 5/15/09-Cardinal HS,
          5/29/09-Chagrin Falls HS
• We Care-Cindy Johnson sent Jack Fedor a card. Also, a
  member from Chapter 8 has cancer.
• The Flag on I-71 has been donated by the VFW in
  Brunswick Ladies Aux.
• Spaghetti Dinner-Tim Exton-More details to follow; we
  are looking Sept/Oct
                                                              Above photo of Kevin McCrory, Bill Johnson & Tom
• Ted Pilny-Chapter Picnic-we are looking July
                                                              Blechschmid from 2009 Louie Run held on May 8th.
  Membership Meeting
• Ted Pilny thanked a few people for their extra efforts at   Congratulations to Kevin for winning the flat screen
  the Autorama
                                                              TV raffle.
• Glenn Gierman-Shared a story about how he ran into the
  Mother of the Marine we made the donation too.

• Lake County Captains Bike Night-Winston Bailey-June         SUPPORT OUR TROOPS / ARMED
  15th. We need to make a commitment soon.                    FORCES DAY
• Cpl. Brad Davis, U.S. Army, the Garfield Heights native
  gave his life and will be returning home in the next few    CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON THE SQUARE IN
  days. We will update as they become available.              MEDINA SATURDAY MAY 16, 2009 - PROGRAM
• Larry Felean-Made a motion to buy and not spend more        STARTS AT 7:30 PM
  than $100.00 for a new trailor dolly. Motion carried        FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO RIDE IN,
• Garrettsville Summer Fest- We will not commit due to        MEET AT CENTURY HARLEY AT 6:30PM.
                                                              KICKSTANDS UP AT 7:15PM - PARKING FOR
• Dave Bush-Brought up that the Strongsville VFW is
                                                              MOTORCYCLES IN FRONT OF OLD COURT
  having a “Brick Paver” fundraiser for their Veteran’s
                                                              HOUSE ON THE SQUARE.
  Memorial. Ron Svagerko made the motion to buy a brick,
  Motion carried.                                             BECKY BLACKMORE, PRESIDENT
• Ron Svagerko has someone that will take the Van off our     OHIO CHAPTER 8
  hands.                                                      ROLLING THUNDER INC.
• VA Picnic-We need to get our committee together.            330-723-0116

                                                                                                        Thunder Gazette 3

                    ALL VEHICLES WELCOME
                         JUNE 20, 2009

                 RUN TO THE STATE CAPITOL
             Join Us to Honor Our Nations Veterans
   “A Patriotic Ceremony Honoring America’s Veterans
   Memorial Service with Color Guard at the Veteran’s memorial
   Presentation Veteran Health Care Concerns and Benefits
   Director, Governor’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs
   Rolling Thunder,® Inc. National Vice President Lynne Jenkins
   Chapter 5 Ohio Memorial Wall and Program

              Flag Day Party at Quaker Steak and Lube, Polaris Exit I-71
                          Immediately following ceremony

9:00am Depart North Staging Area, Century Harley,
               Medina, SR 18 and I-71
11:00am Depart Gas Stop, SR 95 & I-71, Duke Travel Plaza
12:00pm Arrive Quaker Steak & Lube
12:30pm Depart Quaker Steak & Lube
12:45pm Arrive Veteran’s Memorial, State Capitol, Columbus
 1:00pm Program Begins; State Capitol

For Further Information Contact; Becky Blackmore 330-723-0116

                                                                           Thunder Gazette 4
                           Rolling Thunder®, Inc.                             Nancy Regg
                           P.O. Box 216                                       Rolling Thunder, Inc.
                           Neshanic Station, NJ 08853                         National Media Chairperson
                           908-369-5439                                       908-310-3268 cell

       ROLLING THUNDER                                                                        XXII
    “RIDE FOR FREEDOM” pays homage to the Nation’s Veterans, particularly those still
                  Prisoners of War/Missing in Action from all wars.

Sunday, May 24, 2009
8:00 am     Assemble North Pentagon parking lot for the “Ride For Freedom” Demonstration

 Noon       “Ride For Freedom” leaves Pentagon over Memorial Bridge to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial


            Master of Ceremonies: Michael DePaulo, Rolling Thunder National

1:00 pm     Musical Tribute: Gordon Painter, Rolling Thunder National

1:30 pm     Cage Presentation: Rolling Thunder North Carolina 5 – Gerald McCullar – in POW cage
            Color Guard Presentations: Rolling Thunder Virginia 3 and Rolling Thunder National
            Pledge of Allegiance: Gary Scheffmeyer, President, Rolling Thunder National
            National Anthem: Sung by Jane Sutton & Jessie Hansley, Rolling Thunder North Carolina 5
                                                             Retire Color Guard
1:40 pm     Performance by: Loch Rannoch Pipe & Drum Band

2:00 pm     Invocation: Chaplain Tom Ransdell, Rolling Thunder Indiana 1

            Mission Statement: Mike Cobb, Chairman of the Board, Rolling Thunder National

            Welcome: Sgt. Artie Muller, Executive Director, Rolling Thunder National

            Speaker: Lynne O’Shea, National Alliance of Families

            Musical Tribute: “50,000 Names” – sung by Gordon Painter

            Speaker: Keith Maupin, father of former POW/MIA SSgt. Matt Maupin – Remains Identified 3/29/08

            Speaker: Johnnie Webb, Deputy Commander External Relations, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command

            Speaker: Nikki Mendicino, Veterans Advocate

            Keynote Speaker: - Col. Michael D. Steele, United States Army

            Benediction: Chaplain Tom Ransdell, Rolling Thunder Indiana 1

                                             MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO VETERANS
          Nancy Sinatra, Rolling Thunder National; Gordon Painter, Rolling Thunder National; U.S. Army Band Downrange

Rolling Thunder, Inc. - a non-profit organization for POW/MIAs and all American veterans.
                                            Everyone is Welcome! Program Subject To Change.

                                                                                                                 Thunder Gazette 5
                                                             knowing what happened is a relief, and mourners filled
 WWII Veteran                                                the funeral home chapel and a lobby overflow space, all
                                                             there to honor the young man's sacrifice. But the service
 Home At Last                                                was also a reminder of a pain six decades old.

                         VAN WERT - It was 21                "The family has mixed emotions. They're glad to have
                         gunshots, a folded flag and the     him home, to lay him to rest beside his mom and dad.
                         thanks of a grateful nation, and    Still, we mourn his loss at such a young age," Miller
                         more than 65 years after            said.
                         leaving town to save the
                         world, Earl Yoh finally made                                   •
                         it home.

                          Yoh was buried May 9th just
                          outside Van Wert, OH. As
friends, family and a community of well-wishers
looked on; the staff sergeant killed in World War II
finally was laid to rest beside a mother and father who
preceded him by decades.

"In the few minutes that we have here, we cannot do
justice to his life. We cannot do enough for Earl," said
the Rev. Paul Miller, a childhood friend who had been
drafted into the war at the same time as Yoh.

Yoh's trip back to Van Wert was a long one, one that
almost didn't happen. It stretches back to Sept. 1, 1944,
when the 20-year-old was a tail gunner on a B-24
Liberator christened "Babes in Arms." His 11-man
crew was on a bombing mission over the Pacific
Islands when the plane was shot down. Three of the
men parachuted out, only to be captured and executed.
Yoh and the rest went down with the plane, and for six
decades that was all the family knew.

Divers for the volunteer group BentProp Project found
the Liberator in 2004, resting in waters off the Palau
Islands. Eventually, Yoh's identity was discovered and
his remains returned home.

His homecoming came with full military honors.                 Glenn Gierman served as part of the Marine Honor
Military escorts guarded his flag-draped coffin, above         Guard at the funeral of Winston Bailey’s brother on
it the framed letter his family received just after the        May 9th. Winston’s brother was a former marine.
war, a thanks for his sacrifice signed by Harry Truman.        Chapter 1 also had the honor of serving as motorcycle
Outside, riders for the Patriot Guard stood at attention       escort for the family to the gravesite at All Souls
as mourners entered for the service. People from town          Cemetery in Chardon.
lined the street in silent reverence as the procession         Our condolences to Winston and his family for their
rolled by on the way to the cemetery.                          loss

"Our community lost a great young man in Earl,"
Miller said. "But he gave to each of us the right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For that, we owe

For Yoh's family, the day was a mixed blessing. Finally

                                                                                                         Thunder Gazette 6
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                                                            Phone: 216-274-2940



                                                                For Precious Memories
                                                            Weddings, Graduations   Birthdays, Anniversaries
                                                              Videos Available            All Occasion
                                                                               Rusty Burke
                                                             4680 Marcie Drive      Home: (216) 351-6868
                                                           Cleveland, Ohio 44109    Cell: (216) 406-3201

                                    2009 Rally For the Troops – Cleveland, OH
                                                                                                    Thunder Gazette 7
                                                                  atrium for optometry, mental health, audiology and dental
Wade Park Expansion                                               service areas.
                    Edited from Cleveland Plain Dealer article
Work on a $500 million project that could bring 250 new           An expanded medical intensive care unit was added in
medical jobs here is quietly chugging into the home stretch at    2004, and renovation of four floors of patient rooms is
the Wade Park VA Medical Center on East Blvd.                     nearly done. Other Phase One components include
Renovation and expansion of the 45-year-old facility started in   construction of a clinical laboratory and warehouse, a
1999 and is planned to be completed in 2014, replacing the        larger radiology unit, and a 20,000-square-foot mental
VA's 48-year-old, 100-acre Brecksville campus.                    health addition (completed in 2006) with its own
                                                                  psychiatric emergency room.
Outside, workers clamber over the scaffolding on an
eight-story, 222-bed addition being erected, while nearby         Phase Two features construction of a $102 million,
sites are prepared for future construction of a medical lab,      370,000 square-foot tower to house patients, a new
warehouse, parking garage, office building and                    rehabilitation center for the blind (who must now travel to
domiciliary for homeless veterans.                                Chicago or Connecticut for such VA services), a long-term
                                                                  spinal injury care facility and a comprehensive
Inside, already gone are most of the eye-numbing                  rehabilitation center with an emphasis on treatment of
institutional white-on-white floors and walls of the              recent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
original 1960s-vintage Wade Park facility, replaced by
wood-trimmed bright colors, framed artwork and                    Phase Three involves signing an agreement with Veterans
furniture that could easily be seen in a hotel lobby.             Development LLC, a local private firm that will lease the
                                                                  Brecksville property and build, at Wade Park, a $131
Halls were fitted with equipment alcoves, floors covered          million complex including an office building, a 2,080-
with a "flex" material (the same stuff as golf-ball cores)        space parking garage and a 122-bed dwelling for homeless
that looks like wood, and even stairways were decorated           vets. The six-story office building would handle some of
with plants and painted in sunny hues shimmering to               the more than 1,000 workers moving to Wade Park when
piped-in music.                                                   Brecksville closes.
Entire floors were gutted to the framework so that new            Consolidation of the two centers is expected to save the
walls, wiring, plumbing, flooring, ceilings, bathrooms            VA about $28 million annually, according to Nelson. He
and beds could be installed. Large, multi-patient rooms           said negotiations for the "enhanced use" lease should be
were reduced to private or semi-private rooms.                    finalized in a few months and project construction take
The effort represents the largest such VA project currently       about 15 months.
under way in the nation, according to William Montague,
medical center director. And it's sorely needed, according to
                                                                  Montague estimated that the move from Brecksville would
Montague. He recalled that when he came here in 1997 after        start in two years, and finish in three.
serving as director of VA medical centers in Montrose and         Phase Four involves construction of a $7 million
Castle Point, N.Y., "It was painfully obvious that every square   outpatient clinic on Brookpark Road in Parma for patients
foot of the hospital had to be rebuilt and updated to community
                                                                  in an area previously served by the Brecksville center. The
standards -- and community standards in this city are the
Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals."                       clinic is one of 14 such VA facilities in northern Ohio, and
                                                                  will open in 2011.
Sean Nelson, the VA medical center's chief of external
affairs and planning, also noted that more space is needed        Closing the Brecksville center and completion of all
as Wade Park's annual patient load, both in new patients          improvements at Wade Park will bring its annual number
and those already transferred from Brecksville, has               of patients to more than 100,000, according to Nelson.
grown from 39,000 to nearly 100,000 in the past decade.           He noted that additional features of the facility will
Patient and Navy veteran Robert Smith, 61, of Euclid,             include dedicated spaces just for women veterans, and
looked around his room at the medical center recently             those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
and remembered his prior visits, before renovation. "It's         Montague said that so far the project has met his initial
better than it used to be," he said. "It's more clean, more       goal of "making sure patients receive care in a high-
efficient, and a lot more comfortable."                           quality, clean, modern environment.
The project is being accomplished in four phases, all
currently under way to varying degrees.
                                                                   Thank you to all those who have contributed to this
Phase One started with construction of an 800-car                  edition of the newsletter including:
parking garage and a two-story atrium at a new main                Andy Klush             Kevin McCrory
entrance. Two additional floors will be added to the               Claudette Wlasuk       Dave Bush

                                                                                                               Thunder Gazette 8
Cpl Brad Davis
Continued from page 1
Davis, 21, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, died April 22 of
injuries suffered when a roadside bomb exploded
near his vehicle near Baghdad. Davis was on his
second deployment to Iraq and served as a senior
truck driver, working with the 2/505th Parachute
Infantry Battalion.
He was a 2006 high school graduate and was
assigned to Fort Bragg. He is the third Paratrooper of
Third Brigade to die in action since they deployed to
                                                                                    Veterans Park
Iraq in December of 2008.                                                           Opening Soon
One of his sisters, Jennifer Gardner, said her brother                              The Park is located in historic
“had seen a lot” in his first deployment and was                                    Clinton Ohio within the Clinton
looking forward to leaving the military when his                                    Cemetery. The main focus of
current one-year tour in Iraq ended in December. She                                in the park is a black granite
said he planned to go back to school for a career in      wall that contains the names of the 3,095 Ohio natives
pharmacy or law enforcement.                              who gave up their lives during the Vietnam War. Bricks
                                                          with the names of servicemen from all wars and branches
“He was very friendly, like I would always see him
                                                          will pave the way to the center of the park.
in the hallways and he was always smiling, laughing
                                                          Throughout the park will be monuments, plaques,
and joking,” said Christie Irey, a former classmate.
                                                          benches and stones of remembrance.
The Fayetteville Observer quotes LTC Zeisman, CO
of the 2/505th:
                                                          There is scheduled a "First Annual Run to the Ohio
“Cpl. Davis was an exceptional junior leader who          Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall" at the All Ohio
had the experience and knowledge gained from two          Veterans' Memorial Park on Sunday, May 17, 2009.
combat deployments with the battalion over the last
                                                          Staging will take place at St. Helena Heritage Park, at the
two years…” “He was the model paratrooper every
commander strived to have in his unit,” Zeisman           intersection of E. Cherry St. (St. Rt. 93) and Canal Street
said. “Physically fit, mentally tough, and well           in Canal Fulton, ending of course at the OVVMP.
disciplined. This heartfelt loss will be felt by the      The Run will depart from the St. Helena at 11:30am.
entire Task Force ‘2 Panther’ family, both near and
                                                          Dedication Ceremonies will begin at 2:00pm
far, but his legacy will remain, measured by the high
caliber of soldiers he fought beside on a daily basis.”
Cpl. Davis has served in the Army since August,
2006 and was with the 2/505th in Iraq in the 2007
He is survived by his father Robert Davis of
Strongsville, Ohio and his mother, Theresa K. Davis
of Garfield Heights, Ohio and siblings Jennifer,
Robert and Becky.
Brad Davis is 193rd Ohioan to die while serving in
Iraq or Afghanistan since the beginning of the wars.

                                                                                                        Thunder Gazette 9

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