Regent Linda Foster began the meeting with the ritual followed by the invocation by Harriet Caldwell, chaplain. National, state and daughters’ flag pledges were given. Maureen Jaggers led the attendees in singing the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Jeaninne Scott gave the National Defense Report, choosing the seven Marines killed in an explosion during a mortar training exercise at an Army depot in Nevada. Their ages ranged from 19 to 26. Three of the Marines had served in Afghanistan: Lance Cpls. Roger Muchnick, 23, David P. Fenn II, 20, and Mason Vanderwork, 21.
Muchnick had planned to return to college. He had played football and lacrosse in high school and went on the play lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Fenn, of Polk City, Fla., and Vanderwork of Hickory, N.C., both joined in June 2010 and were deployed to Afghanistan In 2011.
Lance Cpl. William Taylor Wild IV, 21, joined in 2010. His mother Elizabeth Wild said he was in a weapons platoon and scheduled to deploy in November. She said he always wanted to go into the military like his father, who was command chief in the Air Force Reserve at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Taylor seemed to be born for the Corps, talking since age 5 of being a Marine. He was planning to be married in May.
Aaron Ripperda, 26, joined the military after graduation from culinary school and was unable to find employment. He said he felt called to join the Marines.
Pfc. Josh Martino spent nearly half his lifetime dreaming of becoming one of “The Few. The Proud.” He also planned a summer wedding.
Marine veteran Guy Henry Woods said, “It mattered not whether these Marines died here at home by accident or on a distant battlefield — they put on that uniform and receive the same respect as if anybody that’s at war.”
Eight others were wounded when a mortar exploded during a live-fire training exercise at an Army munitions depot in the Navada desert.
Joy Hardin gave the Indian report with a summary of Zonnie Gorman’s historial/lecture at Cleveland State Community College on April 4. Her father Carl Gorman was one of the first 29 Navajo Indians who enlisted in the Marine Corps and devised the initial Navajo Code during World War II. Zonnie is the youngest sister of a legendary and renowned Navajo artist, the late R.C. Gorman. The Navajo language itself is difficult and only those who learned the code could tell what was being said. The military needed a code the Japanese could not understand and while preparing for entry into the war, the code talkers were not allowed to take notes. They went in just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor.
More and more Navajos were recruited as the war went on. At the height of the war there were as many as 400 Navajos. Many people only heard this story in the movie “Windtalkers.” Sending a message and deciphering it with a machine might have taken an hour or 40 minutes but with this system, it might be sent in as few as 30 seconds. The Navajo code was never broken until 1968 when it was declassified.
Ann Cherry presented the conservation report on water. Several states already have water problems. She noted Tennessee residents’ seeing so much water can’t imagine a water problem. She suggested native plants, rain gardens and eliminating the use of garbage disposals in order to save water.
Jane Lucchesi gave an update on the SETVH committee meeting with veterans home being No. 6 on the national list. One other home is ahead of Tennessee.
Thanks were given to Jeannine Scott for the gift from Scott’s Furniture to be presented at the SETVH up-coming golf tournament July 1.
Mariann Dietrich introduced speaker Eric Hughey, Fort Loudoun director, who in British Officer Uniform, spoke of the Fort activities during 1756-1760. Many questions were asked about women’s roles during this period.
After the discussion of laundry and overall personal hygiene at that time, members were ready to do as he suggested: “go home and kiss your washing machines.” His presentation was informative as well as humorous.
Regent Foster read the President Generals message which mentioned July’s Continental Congress and that the Lay-Light project (library ceiling) may be completed before July Congress.
Tennessee Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented more than $40,000 to this project. Continental Hall is the largest building solely owned by women in the United States and is available for use by Washington, D.C., leaders.
Foster also read the secretary’s report in the absence of Mildred Maupin and the treasurer’s report in the absence of Ellen McReynolds.
A notice from the Elks Lodge was read in reference to upcoming events.