The Sarah Barton Murphy Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the American Legion Post 416 Hall, located at 1604 W. Columbia St. in Farmington. The Chapter Regent, Pat Colyer, opened the regular meeting at 9 a.m. The NDSAR Ritual was led by Vice-Regent, Cara Akridge. It consists of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, the American’s Creed, the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the state of Missouri.
In the welcoming of guests and prospective members, it was noted there were 20 members and 29 guests in attendance.
The chapter is a commemorative partner of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. This nationally recognized program was initiated by the Department of Defense, endorsed by NSDAR, to thank and honor veterans of the war, including personnel held prisoners of war (POW) or listed as missing in action (MIA) for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States, including the families of these veterans. On a display table was the Vietnam commemorative flag, a poster honoring the US Marine Corps, the Vietnam Commemorative Partnership documents and the Vietnam Memorial Wall in the nation’s Capital, along with other Marine memorabilia.
Vice-Regent Cara Akridge introduced the Program speaker and cousin of Cara, Ronald “Ron” Rouggly, USMC Veteran. During his tour of duty, he served in communications. The duty was to send and receive vital communications and keep the radios in good repair. He gave his time line from entry until receiving an Honorable Discharge. Keeping in mind “the needs of the service” he also performed multiple duties. Upon his return to civilian life, he attended Mineral Area College for a business degree. His recent retirement was through years of service in the banking business.
Program planning began almost a year ago. Cara wanted to honor many veterans, hearing many first hand stories from her family. Vietnam veterans honored were the following: Steve Mauk, James Dickey, Jim Roney, Marv Colyer, and Ron Rouggly. The men were presented a Recognition of Service Vietnam Pin, information of the origin of the Challenge Coin, in WWI. They were given to pilots as a challenge to return home safely.
From Cara’s employer, Budweiser, of St. Louis, two items were presented. A mirrored plaque stamped with their logo, “Here’s To The Heroes” and the appropriate branch of service. Also presented was a two-inch Challenge Coin imprinted with the service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Reserves and Guard surrounding the rim. One side is imprinted “Here’s To The Heroes,” the reverse, “Proud to Serve Those who Served.” The following veterans of other wars received recognition with a certificate of appreciation, mirrored plaque and Challenge Coin: Danny Alcorn, Lester Dickey, James Elfrink, Charles Farr, Billy Hooks, Jim Rouggly, Homer Rouggly, Jack Schneider, Mark Schneider, Robert Schneider, Charles Jackson Seals, Jr., Don Sherrill, Jay Stephan, Roger Stephan, and Leroy Wade.
Two years ago a new recognition was introduced for recognizing individuals over the age of 18 who fulfill the qualities of honor, service, active leadership, and patriotism. The NSDAR Distinguished Citizen Award was awarded to Jack Schneider, Cara’s father, WWII Veteran and Ron Rouggly. They were presented a certificate of appreciation, an American flag flown over the nation’s capital building on a date significant to each man, and a certification of the date flown. A “Happy Birthday” wish was extended to Ron and the Marine Corps’ 240th birthday on Nov. 10, 2015, by the Regent.
Next on the program, Eagle Scout Zachary Scruggs and his parents Jay and Mary Scruggs were asked to come forward. Letters of recommendation concerning Zachary’s Eagle Scout Project, completed June 2014, were written by Eagle Scout Advisor to Boy Scout Troop 471, Stephen Slinkard, Eagle Scout class of 1971, and the Reverend Scott Hall, serving the United Memorial Methodist Church. Unable to attend was Barbara Merseal, a member of the church board of directors, who also wrote a letter on Zachary’s behalf. The Regent happened to see the two flags billowing in the wind while driving on Karsch Boulevard, looked left, and turned in immediately to look more closely. After photographing it, she came home, researched possibilities for recognition by finding an appropriate award. The project fell under the Mary Desha Founders Medal for Youth, a service project benefiting his church and community, under the umbrella of scouting, given before age 20. The approval process began. Of importance is the solar panel installed giving illumination for flying the flags at night. The Regent spoke of the requirements for Eagle Scout Award included earning a minimum of 21 Merit Badges, in a variety of areas, promoting camping, responsible outdoor adventures and environmental stewardship, exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in daily life, thus developing a leader with willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance scouting. After receiving approval from the Eagle Scout Directors Board, and speaking with many businesses in a bid for volunteer labor and materials, it was time for fund raising efforts. The congregation was generous. All contacted by Zachary were helpful in the project of raising a 30-foot flag pole for the American Flag to be flown. The Reverend Hall asked to have a pole for the Christian flag also. Zachary was eager to do so. Zachary shows these words in his plaque: “IN HONOR OF GOD AND THOSE WHO SERVED”.” Eagle Scout Project, Zach Scruggs, Troop 471 – June 2014
Placement of the Mary Desha Medal for Youth, was on the left side over his heart. An accompanying certificate was sent from NSDAR. From the flag of the United State of America Committee, recognizing proper use, correct display and patriotic preservation of the flag of the United States of America, a certificate signed by the National Chairman Mary-Mac Barnett and NSDAR President General Lynn Forney Young.
The Presiding General’s Message was read by Jan Klemp, Parliamentarian. A certificate of recognition for securing a permanent for the chapter meetings was awarded to Marlyn Mauk. In gratitude for promoting literacy, Gayle Fisher was presented a certificate of appreciation in this area of education. A recognition certificate for promoting Constitution Week, 2008-15 of Carol Ann Farr’s eight years of leadership. An updated “Penny-A-Pine” collection of loose change has begun for the spring of 2016. The Chapter will undertake the planting of native plants, surrounding the recently installed sign in the Sarah Barton Murphy Forest in Madison County.
Members are reminded of a Christmas Tea in the Parlor of the United Memorial Methodist Church. Entrance from the North Street entrance is recommended. The tea is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 5.
Following the Benediction by Sue Wade, Chaplain, the meeting was adjourned.