Veterans' Day - November 11, 2009 - In honor of all those who came before us...
United States Department of Veterans Affairs

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" President Woodrow Wilson, November 1919

AMERICA - Land Of The FREE, Because Of The BRAVE

Division Association

South Florida Chapter
Jose Perez-Ortiz, Chapter Chairman
Miami FL 33136-1025 phone: 1-305-205-1948

2009 WebSite featuring: Membership, Contacts, Activities & Events...

82nd Airborne Division
"America's Guard Of Honor"

All American ...
Chartered By

The US Congress

... All The Way

NEWSLETTER of the South Florida Chapter

Recent Chapter Newsletters are linked here in .pdf format -
Sorry but we no longer get them provided in plain text as has been done over the prior ten years.

( For the most recent example see the March / April 2009 Newsletter below on this page )
If you can't read them in the .pdf version, contact Bob Buffington or Jose Perez Ortiz for the information...

Click here for the Sep / Oct 2009 NEWSLETTER of the South Florida Chapter

Click here for the July / August 2009 NEWSLETTER of the South Florida Chapter

Click here for the May / June 2009 NEWSLETTER of the South Florida Chapter

INSTALLATION BANQUET for 2010 Officers and Directors

November 14th beginning with cocktails at 1800 hours; Dinner begins at ? with the ceremony at ?

Cost is $40 per person for: Buffet; Pork Tender Loin and Crab stuffed Tilapia with yellow rice

steamed vegetables and mixed house salad plus dessert and coffee/tea.

The Historic MAXWELL ROOM at The DownTowner Saloon
10 South New River Drive East, Fort Lauderdale FL under the Andrews Avenue Bridge
Information and Directions

Our guest speaker will be CSM Carlos Vazquez USA (Ret) who served with the 82nd Abn; 173rd Abn Bde;
7th Infantry; Special Forces; and was a CSM with Special Operation Command at retirement.

Any questions please contact Bob Buffington @ 954-435-9174

Report on The Installation Banquet:
Guest Speaker was CSM (ret) Carlos Vazquez. CSM Vazquez served with the 173rd in Viet Nam, the 82nd Abn Div among other units. His last assignment was with Special Operations Command. Jose presented him with a crystal statue with airborne wings, and the 173rd patch cut into the crystal.

Jose also presented Tony Altobell with a crystal statue with airborne wings cut into the crystal in recognition of the work Tony had put into arranging the dinner.

Dwight Stephenson, Hall of Fame center from the Miami Dolphins gave a few words.

Jose also recognized Lydia for her exhibit.

Trooper of the Year was Ronald Stirlacci

Fred Butler award was presented to Bob Buffington.

Forty four people attended the dinner.

Dance music was provided by  Golda Levitan

Ron Stirlacci, Trooper of the Year 2009

Don't forget our
Next Regular Meeting will be at
8:00PM on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, at the:

American Legion Post 92
211 North 21st Avenue
Hollywood FL 33020-4506
Phone: 954-923-2760

We had one (1) W.W. at Indy ,Cpt Brian Murtagh From the Aviatin Sustainment Bn.I will add photos.1.Member Andy Mcgowan,Cpt.Murtagh and myself 2.Cpt .Murtagh,Myself and Andy There is a good articule in the Paraglide of this week pg.16,you can fill in the blanks from there .We all had a great time ,Jimmy/wife French /wife Andy and myself. JPO

Lydia Stirlacci,
Wife of member / Director Ron Stirlacci, is having a collection of her photography exhibited at the 9Muses Art Center November 13th through December 4th 2009.

Lydia began taking pictures in 1965 and has continued her love affair with the camera ever since. Come and show her your support and enjoy her great pictures.

The 9Muses Art Center is located at 7139 West Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill, Florida About one mile east of University Drive, easy to reach from the Sawgrass Expressway, I-95  and I-595.

Gang !

we need to sopprt this event.


 When:NOV.14 2009

Time:0900 AM-1400 Hrs

Where:9601 NW 58 St.
Doral,FL 33178
Public safety Training Institte

Price :20.00

Off.Victor Gatell 954-663-0405
I know we have our Installation activity that day ,but the times do not conflict,I am thinking on going ,How about you .Bring your wpns/equipment and ammo ,it will be fun.
Buff ,please pass on to all our members .

To All South Florida Chapter Members:

For over ten years now I've done my best to post a WebSite for you which is informative as well as historic in regard to our membership and activities. I hope you have enjoyed the fruits of what has been (for me) a labor of love and dedication. Based on circumstances beyond my control, I will not be able to continue updating the site or posting any further. I have always said I would be glad to post anything you send me, but unfortunately nothing is provided which allows me to keep the site current or useful. For those who still have an interest in the Chapter and what's been going on since we began the site in 2000, the Archives are still linked at the bottom of the page. Other than that...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all... Airborne, All The Way !!! - Bob Wirt, WebMaster

Click photo for full size view
Joseph G "Ranger Joe" Lanzillo

September 07, 1922 - April 29, 2009

Joseph G Lanzillo, 86, a Hollywood Florida resident,
originally of Mount Claire, New Jersey, died April 29, 2009.

Joe was a veteran of the US Navy during WWII; the US Army serving with the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment "Falcons", 82nd Airborne Division and the 11th Special Forces Group (reserve); and was a Veteran of the 305th Air Sea Rescue of the 8th Air Force, who later worked as a telephone technician for BellSouth Telephone Company.

He is survived by his loving wife Vera M Lanzillo; sons Dr. Joseph H (Gemma) Lanzillo and Edward J (Jennifer) Lanzillo and six grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 15, 2009 10:30 AM at Nativity Catholic Church, 5220 Johnson Street, Hollywood FL. Internment with Military Honors will follow at 1:00 PM at South Florida VA National Cemetery, 6501 South State Road 7, Lake Worth FL. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the South Florida Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Association (Disabled Veterans Fund), 2765 Garden Drive, Cooper City, FL 33026. Arrangements by Panciera Memorial Home, Hollywood, FL phone: 954-989-9900. Click link to visit his Guest Book Online.

Joe was a member of the South Florida Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association since 1960, and he will be missed by all.

Mass: Nativity Catholic Church, 5220 Johnson Street, Hollywood, FL
Service starts at 10:30 AM on Friday, May 15th 2009 - Phone contact: 954-987-3300
Internment: South Florida VA National Cemetery, 6501 State Road 7, Lake Worth FL
With military honors, Begins at 1PM, Friday, May 15th 2009 - Phone contact: 561-649-6489
Memorial: Service to remember Joe’s life at the German American Society (German Club Map)
6401 Washington Street, Hollywood, FL Friday, May 15th 2009 - Phone Contact: 954-322-6227
Refreshments will be served starting at 3PM with services starting at 4PM.
There will be a full dinner after the services.

Friday, May 15th, 2009

We will gather in mourning, but also in gratitude.
We will mourn his death, but we are grateful for his life.
We will celebrate his greatness.
We will remember what made him unique.
We loved him with affection and respect.
He inspired all of us.
He gave us strength, a way of loving our world and laughing at ourselves.
He loved life. He lived it.
He was loyal, trusting and joyful
He was worthy in deed and noble in character.
Joseph G Lanzillo trusted in God and God's will.
He was driven by compulsion to do what is right and to do it right or not at all.
He was a product of America's soul, the fundamental force that makes America great.
He came from that special generation.
A member of our greatest generation.
The one that had thrust upon it the greatest responsibility of any generation.
Their courageous acts improved all of our lives and changed history.
He was his family's source of trust in the world.
Joseph G Lanzillo was one they knew they could count on, no matter what.
He is survived by his wife, Vera M Lanzillo. He thought she was magnificent. He called her his "Shatzie".
Also by his sons Dr Joseph H (Gemma) Lanzillo and Edward J (Jennifer) Lanzillo and six grandchildren.
He was heard to say he loved his family and he loved his country.
(Written by JHL)

South Florida Chapter Newsletter 

Well, we had another picnic that once again proved that we can get things going, if we all cooperate. I have to say we have some outstanding members who when the need to say present, presented itself, they said it. We all had a great time with members from Port St Lucie and Tampa attending. I had the honor to present William Rivera with a certificate for his cooperation and donations to the chapter. He donated shirts, caps, and car flags which raised over a hundred dollars during the meeting. Bill Lynch our member from the VA Nursing Home in Miami was present thanks to the Recreation Staff of the VA, they arranged it so Bill had his own “Limo” for the trip. But the best news about the picnic is that we ended up in the “black”, the funds raised by the raffle and booster fund more than covered the cost of the picnic.. We cannot forget the ladies of the Chapter who assisted us and helped make the picnic the success it was, my thanks go out to them, without them could not make it happen.

Heads up: we have some changes coming. First our May meeting will be a brunch on a Saturday morning at the Piccadilly Restaurant on Flagler Street in Miami. We have made this change for the benefit of our members who live Miami-Dade so they can take part in our meetings and meet all the other members, who knows maybe they will meet up with an old friend or make a new friend and just sit eat brunch and tell war stories. J  If we have good results with this meeting we can do it again. We will be landing at the State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines on June 6th for our June picnic. We want to share this day with the veterans there and give them an afternoon of good eats and good times. Also in May the ASIS will be sponsoring The Wounded Warrior/Law Enforcement Day. Last year the Chapter went and made a good showing, ths year I need 8 volunteers to join with me at this activity, tables are $1000.00 or $100.00 per person. Who will join me? If you are interested let me know (305-205-1948) The proceeds go to the Wounded Warriors Fund, where it is spent very well.

The Vietnam Veterans of America will celebrate another week of activities and “Camp Out” at Wickham Park in Melbourne starting on April 27th and lasting all week ending on Sunday, May 3rd. For more information check out FLVIETVETS/reunion. If God permits I will be there, you are welcome to join us. This is one activity you will not regret going to.

The Chapter is growing again but we still need more members to reach 200, what can you do? Bring an airborne friend, show you are Airborne and you will see how many more Airborne Troops are out there. Try it, it worked for me.

We have caps, car flags and T-shirts still available, give Buff a call if you’re interested.

Well I guess I better let you rest and mark your calendar for our future activities, Ah, yes! We will have a meeting in April, that has not changed, same place, same time and hopefully some additional members.
Your Chairman
Jose L. Perez Ortiz (JPO)

During our picnic meeting Jimmy Campillo informed all present that our Executive Director and his wife have undergone surgeries for different conditions, our wishes for a speedy recovery goes to them and we will keep everyone informed of any changes.

EDITORS NOTE: Manny and Maggie are doing find. It has been reported to us that Manny is back to work half-day for a while but is still the same ole Manny.
2009 MEETINGS: April 21st; May 16th; June 16th Picnic at State Veterans Nursing Home, Pembroke Pines; July  21st; August 18th; September (Picnic) TBD; October 20th; Installation Banquet November TBD
Note: The May meeting will be on a Saturday. See below for reason.
Around the Division:
If you desire to send “goodies” to the Panthers (505 PIR) in Iraq send them to the brigade Chaplain at:
Maj Paul Jaedcke, HHC, 3d BCT - 82d Abn, APO AE 09313-9998 email  

Renewals: Roger LaBonte, Julius Salletter Ed Kolby
All American Members: Angel Vazquez, also new to our Chapter
New members: Raymond Padron, served with the 17th Cav and 50th signal Battalion;
Osmond Austin Jr. served with the Force Recon Marines;
Anthony Passaro, served with the 504th PIR

We now have in place a installment plan for the purchase of All American Membership if interested contact the Treasurer and he will set up a plan tailored to your desires. If your address label has highlighter on it you are in arrears in dues. If you receive the newsletter via email you will be receiving another email about your dues if you are in arrears. Also when making out application please fill in every blank as best you can to include date of birth and especially phone numbers.


Mark McCollem, Harold Kravitz, Bev Niskanen, Irv Weinsoff, Chris Watson, Tony Altobell, Moses Johnson,
Martin Gonzales, Gilberto Marin, ron Stirlacci, Lettie Bien, Al Gilliam, Jose Perez Ortiz, Bob Wirt.
MARCH 2009
William Rivera, Stu Franke, Myles Gill, Irv Weinsoff, Ron Stirlacci, Bob Wirt, Gus Vass, Bob Buffington, James Bono, Roger Labonte, Jimmy Campillo, William Lynch, Joe Lanzillo, Don Moffett
Around the Chapter:
You guys that know me realize that I’m a very big worry-wert. And boy was I worried about the picnic. First Tony called to tell me he couldn’t make it or even purchase the food as he was going into the hospital for a hernia operation. Can you imagine a big paratrooper letting a little hernia operation stop’im. (I kid Tony)

But I need not worry, Al Gilliam stepped up and said he would take care of the picnic. Then I received a call from Al, he had fell and broke his foot and could not get around well enough to make all the purchases nor could he stand long enough to do the cooking. So I worried some more. But Ron Stirlacci stepped up to the plate and said he would get with Al and make sure everything was ready. Thank you Ron. So then the only thing I had to worry about was the rain but I knew deep down in my heart that it does not rain on Paratroopers. So it was proved that I had worried about nothing. Roger Cupo agreed to do the cooking and did an outstanding job. Thank you Roger.

Willie Rivera from the Tampa Chapter donated some caps, and car flags which we sold with the profits going to our chapter. Our chairman presented Willie with a certificate for his support. Along with the T-shirts we still had on hand the sale of the items netted us one-hundred and fifty five dollars. Three of our ladies, Helga, Juli Labonte, and Carolyn Gill sold raffle tickets for the basket of cheer and an Airborne Book. They took in another hundred and twenty-five dollars, Thank you ladies. Stu Franke won the basket and Gus Vass won the book. Question: Do 101st guys know how to read?

I kid Gus, so don’t take offense, if you served with the 101st. The Booster fund collected another $265 so between the booster fund and the raffle the picnic paid for itself.

During the business meeting we discussed a lot of subjects and came to decisions on several items. It was decided that the May meeting would be held in Miami-Dade so the guys living down there would have a chance to come to a meeting and meet the guys and see first hand how we operate. Now I have been attending meetings here in Broward for the past six + years and have seen Don Moffett and Bob Niskanen drive from the upper Keys to attend meetings and then heard other guys living in Miami state that it was too far to drive to come to Hollywood. I know other members here in Broward have wondered about these Dade County members, well now it is our turn to drive to a meeting so I know I will see all the Broward County members sitting in the meeting right next to the Miami-Dade County members on May 16th at the Piccadilly Restaurant in the Flagler Park Plaza at 8301 West Flagler Street in Miami at 10:AM. The members present at the picnic felt that it was only fair to hold a meeting in Dade County as that was where we started back in 1958. Let’s have a good turnout for the Brunch meeting which by the way will be “Dutch treat”. Now I worry that the Piccadilly may be too small… J

It was also decided that our June picnic be held at the Alexander "Sandy" Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines. We are planning on having another great turn-out of our members from both Broward and Dade to give, the 60 or so veterans living in the nursing home, a great afternoon, with good food and fun for all. Let’s take their minds off their problems for an afternoon. It will be held on June 6th which is appropriate as some of them were there on “D” Day. This will be expensive so if you desire you can donate towards the cost of the picnic. Our normal picnics cost us around $200.00 to feed about 50 people, this “D” Day picnic we will be feeding about 100 to 125 people and the cost will go up. More information will be forthcoming.

It was also decided that we will purchase a new 82nd Airborne Flag for the color guard, as the present one is getting worn. This will cost us another $250 to $300 dollars, so help if you can.

During the February meeting it was decided that we would start a phone tree in an attempt to contact those local members who do not have an email address on record with the chapter. We have about 45 members living local without an email address so their names were divided between: Jose Perez Ortiz, Tony Altobell, Al Gilliam, Ron Stirlacci, French Shannon, and Roger Labonte. Make a note of these names if you live here locally and do not have an e-mail address. One of them will be calling you, if they leave a message on your machine give them a call back so they know you received it. They also will not use your number to harass you or to call with non-important information. And speaking of communications, I have changed my email address to so please make a note of it and set your computer to receive messages from me.

Our next meeting will be on April 21st at American Legion Post 92 in Hollywood. I twill start at 8 pm.
Hope to see some ‘new’ faces at the meeting.
Bob Buffington - the wordy Secretary


Fellow Veterans,

My name is Ric Shinseki, and I am a Veteran. For me, serving as Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a noble calling. It provides me the opportunity to give back to those who served with and for me during my 38 years in uniform and those on whose shoulders we all stood as we grew up in the profession of arms.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a solemn responsibility to all of you, today and in the future, as more Veterans join our ranks and enroll to secure the benefits and services they have earned. I am fully committed to fulfilling President Obama’s vision for transforming our department so that it will be well-positioned to perform this duty even better during the 21st Century. We welcome the assistance and advice of our Veterans Service Organizations, other government departments and agencies, Congress, and all VA stakeholders as we move forward, ethically and transparently, so that Veterans and citizens can understand our efforts.

Creating that vision for transforming the VA into a 21st Century organization requires a comprehensive review of our department. We approach that review understanding that Veterans are central to everything VA does. We know that results count, that the department will be mea sured by what we do, not what we promise, and that our best days as an organization support ing Veterans are ahead of us. We will fulfill President Lincoln’s charge to care for “. . . him, who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by redesigning and reengineering ourselves for the future.

Transforming any institution is supremely challenging; I know this from my own experi ence in leading large, proud, complex, and high-performing organizations through change. But the best organizations must be prepared to meet the challenging times, evolving technology and, most importantly, evolving needs of clients. Historically, organizations that are unwilling or unable to change soon find themselves irrelevant. You and your needs are not irrelevant.

Veterans are our clients, and delivering the highest quality care and services in a timely, consistent and fair manner is a VA responsibility. I take that responsibility seriously and have charged all of the department’s employees for their best efforts and support every day to meet our obligations to you. Our path forward is challenging, but the President and Congress support us. They have asked us to do this well—for you. Veterans are our sole reason for existence and our number one priority—bar none. I look forward to working together with all VA employees to transform our department into an organization that reflects the change and commitment our country expects and our Veterans deserve.

Thank you and God bless our military, our Veterans, and our Nation.

Eric K. Shinseki

22nd Florida All Airborne Days Reunion
Hosted by the
North Central Florida Chapter
October 15-17, 2009

The Waterfront Inn 1105 Lake Shore Drive, Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL 32162-1698
Phone: 352-753-7535 FAX: 352-753-1350 Email:

Room Rates:
Standard $83.00 + 9% tax; Lake View  $93.00 + 9% tax; Lake View/Balcony $103.00 + 9% tax
Mention All Airborne Days Reunion for Special Room Rates

Convention Registration Fee: $75.00 per person
Schedule of events:
Thursday & Friday Registration Main Lobby 1300 - 1600
Thursday - Friday - Saturday  Hospitality room opens at 1200 Located in Room 115
Friday PM - Bus tour of The Villages
Saturday - Ladies Breakfast & Men’s Annual Chapter’s meeting 0930
Saturday evening - Memorial Banquet Dinner 7 pm

---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ----

Name ____________________________________________ 

Spouse/Guest ______________________________________ 

Chapter ___________________________________________
Abn Units __________________________________________
City _________________________State___Zip____________
Phone  ( _________ ) ________________________
Attend Ladies' Breakfast: Yes ____ No_____ 

Make Checks payable to: North Central Florida Chapter
Mail to: Donald M Van Alstyne, 10270 SE 175th Place, Summerfield, FL  34491 phone: 352-307-6718

Don't forget our
Next Regular Meeting will be at
8:00PM on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, at the:

American Legion Post 92
211 North 21st Avenue
Hollywood FL 33020-4506
Phone: 954-923-2760

Fall Picnic, SUNDAY, September 13th, 2009 - TOPEEKEEGEE YUGNEE PARK ( TY Park )
Activities will include election of South Florida Chapter officers for 2010

Take I-95 to Hollywood Florida Exit At Sheridan Street or Stirling Road - Go West about a mile to Park Road - Turn North from Sheridan or South from Stirling another mile or so to the main park entrance - Follow the signs to the 82nd Airborne! Pavilion (#4) - Turn to your (military) right, just inside the Park's Main Entrance (Look for the Chapter Banner) at 3300 North Park Road, Hollywood FL 33021 phone 954-985-1960.

Picnic starts at 11:00AM ... Before lunch there're coffee and donuts for the early-birds. Most everyone is busy chowing down by noon or so and the eating and socializing take up the better part of the day with consumption of the complementary burgers, hotdogs, chicken and cold drinks which abound. If you plan on eating more than your share, bring a covered dish of your choice so the rest of us won't starve. We supply coffee and sodas - if you want beer or wine just bring your own. Groceries contributed by individuals are welcomed, as always, as they definitely supplement the meeting's food budget.

WHO? All paratroopers past and present - members or not. Bring your families and friends, especially that co-worker who also served in the airborne. Wives, kids and grandkids of all ages are welcome at what is a really enjoyable family affair. Anyone you know who was airborne and is not a member should be invited to attend. The Chapter is a great place for airborne types to socialize with their own and to renew old friendships or develop new ones with other like-minded troopers.

All members and their families are welcome to attend. Troopers who are not yet members but who want to come to the picnic and check out the South Florida 82nd Airborne Chapter are welcome to do so, and may sign up on the spot to become members themselves. A new membership in The South Florida Chapter of The 82nd Airborne Division Association may just be the best $15.00 you'll spend this year.

A business meeting for the election of officers will be held beginning at 1300 hours, for which nominees must be present to be elected. Those who have not already put their names forward for office are encouraged to do so at any meeting or contact Jose Luis Perez-Ortiz at 305-205-1948 or by email at

We always need the services of those willing to contribute their time to the Chapter's ongoing operations and effectiveness. The Chapter's 50th anniversary was achieved in 2008, and our longevity is due solely to the dedication of a lot of volunteers (just like yourself) who have given of their time and effort to ensure its success. Let's keep it going...

See you there!

Click map for
full size image
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<<<< TY Park Picnic <<<<

>>>>> Meeting at >>>>>
American Legion Post 92

Spring Picnic, SUNDAY, March 9th, 2008 - TOPEEKEEGEE YUGNEE PARK ( TY Park )

The wrecking crew is assembled for the first Picnic Meeting of 2008

Bob Wirt and Ron Stirlacci at check-in...

Helga Buffington and Jimmy Campillo at Booster's...

Bob and Bettye Wirt with Lydia Stirlacci

Al Gilliam and Roger Cupo manning the grill...
agruing a point of order
at the business meeting

Tony Altobell, Gus Vass,

Ron Stirlacci and Bob Buffington

Parade the Colors in Davie FL

Tony Altobell
82nd Airborne
South Florida Chapter
Color Guard
at the
Ron Bergeron
Rodeo Grounds
Davie, Florida

Ron Stirlacci

Tony Altobell
71st Annual
Orange Blossom Parade

Sponsored by
The Town of Davie

Gus Vass

Ron, "Miss Kitty" and Gus

Fisher House Miami

Fisher House Miami

The Fisher House program provides a compassionate home away from home for families of patients receiving long term or rehabilitative care at every major military and VA medical center. They always need your help and will welcome your support and any donations you can give.

Contact:     COL Lettie Bien (Ret)

Click here for their site:         Fisher House Miami

The Fisher Houses serve as a tangible symbol of support for our military and Veterans and their families. They have played a critical role in caring for our wounded and injured in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Miami has been named a recommended site for a Fisher House.  Over 400 military families annually, in the South Florida area, are paying with out of pocket money for lodging costs so that they can be with loved ones at the Miami VA hospital. This outlay is not reimbursable and our young families can ill afford this necessary expense.  We don't have an active duty base in Miami; we have mostly Reservists and Guardsmen that have found themselves in harm’s way. We must help them!

25 February 2009
Greetings all Fisher House Supporters!

This is an update on our Miami Fisher House! We have good news as well as continued challenges.

As of February 1, 2009, we have raised $1,670,000 toward our $2,000,000 goal. That leaves us only $330,000 to go. I know this is a tough time for everyone, but consider the fate of a Veteran and his or her family that is going through a long term rehabilitation or recuperation. Consider making a contribution, especially if you have not yet done so.

The Ribbon-Cutting & Dedication of the latest Fisher House occurred last month at the West Roxbury Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. It was a terrific event that included a taping of Dr. Phil at the Fisher House with interviews from Veteran house guests. I will try to advise everyone when that show is aired.

You may also want to try to catch "Taking Chance” on HBO. It is a moving story about the trip home of one of our fallen warriors and the escort officer who makes the trip with him (actually his casket). Kevin Bacon stars and some percentage of the proceeds goes to the Fisher House Foundation. 

OUR GROUNDBREAKING!  Yes, that’s right!  So sure that we will meet our goal, the Fisher House Foundation is going ahead with the groundbreaking for the Miami Fisher House.  It will occur on Tuesday, March 10 at 2 PM (1400) at the Miami VAHS.  If you have an inclination to go, strongly recommend that you take Metro Rail to the VA facility as there will be no parking available. We are, of course, very excited about this. For more information, go to .

The Fisher House Foundation usually plans about 11-13 months for a new Fisher House of our size to be built, furnished and supplied.  So our Dedication should occur sometime in early 2010. Thank you to all that have assisted and/or made contributions to this very worthy cause. We should be proud of this community.

A final note: I will be deploying to Iraq in March (date TBD) for a 6-9 month tour as a civilian advisor to MNC-I (Multi-National Corps-Iraq). We will continue our work to get our Fisher House ready and I will stay in touch through e-mail as well as through our website at

Continue to keep our military men and women & our Veterans front and center in your mind.


COL Lettie Bien (USAR, Ret)
Community Champion
Miami VAHS Fisher House

Saluting Your Flag

This Bill was passed July 25, 2007.
Let your veteran friends know about the Passage of this Bill - It's OK to once again salute your flag...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) today praised the passage by unanimous consent of his bill (S.1877) clarifying U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen not in uniform to salute the flag. Current law (US Code Title 4, Chapter 1) states that veterans and servicemen not in uniform should place their hand over their heart without clarifying whether they can or should salute the flag.

At One Time Our Country Asked Ordinary Men To Do Extraordinary Things
Ron Stirlacci's Airborne Truck
Click photo for full-size image

Click back-button to return to site
"The salute is a form of honor and respect, representing pride in one's military service," Senator Inhofe said. "Veterans and service members continue representing the military services even when not in uniform.
"Unfortunately, current U.S. law leaves confusion as to whether veterans and service members out of uniform can or should salute the flag. My legislation will clarify this regulation, allowing veterans and servicemen alike to salute the flag, whether they are in uniform or not.

"I look forward to seeing those who have served saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events. I believe this is an appropriate way to honor and recognize the 25 million veterans in the United States who have served in the military and remain as role models to others citizens. Those who are currently serving or have served in the military have earned this right, and their recognition will be an inspiration to others."

2009 Officers and Directors Installed October 17th 2008

Officers for 2008-2009

South Florida Chairman
Jose Perez-Ortiz
1500 NW 12th Avenue Apt 1306
Miami, Fl  33136-1025
.......... )


Tony Altobell
Post Office Box 22476
Fort Lauderdale FL 33335
( Carol )

Secretary / Treasurer

Bob Buffington
2765 Garden Drive
Cooper City FL 33026-3605
( Helga )


Myles Gill
156 SW Peacock Blvd Apt 104
Port Saint Lucie Fl 34986-4520
( Carolyn )

Judge Advocate

Irv Weinsoff
600 NE 36th Street PH 3
Miami FL 33137-3952
( Sylvia )


Roger Cupo
Apt 503
1830 Dixieana Street
Hollywood FL 33020-3153

Directors for 2008-2009


Jimmy Campillo
3444 SW 53rd Court
Fort Lauderdale FL 33021-7967
( Lucy )


James Bono
722 NE 14th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33304-2804
.......... )


Ron Stirlacci
117 Lake Emerald Drive Apt 303
Oakland Park FL 33309-6269
( Lydia )


Al Gilliam
4700 NW 18th Court
Lauderhill Fl 33313-4122
.......... )


Don Moffett
32 Bunting Drive
Key Largo FL 33037-3003
( Phyllis )

Director / WebMaster

Bob Wirt
Post Office Box 11280
Fort Lauderdale FL 33339-1280
( Bettye )

Chapter Historian :

Irv Weinsoff

Irv, Bob, Al, Ron, German, Don, Roger, Jimmy, French & Tony sworn in by Secretary/Treasurer Bob Buffington

Scenes from recent Picnics & Meetings @ TY Park, Hollywood FL

Group shot from the Fall Picinc September 2007

Ron Stirlacci; Bob Wirt; Andy McGowan; Gus Vass; French Shannon; John Crews and son; Bob Buffington
Jim Bono; Roger Labonte; Jimmy Campillo; Irv Weinsoff; Al Gilliam

Images from the Summer Picinc June 2007

Jim Bono rigged and ready to go...

Bob and Bettye, sittin' in a tree

Rigging up Ron Stirlacci's parachute for a sound-off for equipment check

cooks at the ready...the ladies chat

and, oh yeah, there was a meeting

Memorial Day Honor Guard at Sandy Nininger Memorial, Fort Lauderdale FL, 2007

Bricks laid at the base of the Sandy Nininger memorial to honor our latest Iraq War dead.

South Florida Chapter Honor Guard

Sandy Nininger War Memorial
Fort Lauderdale FL 05/31/2007

82nd Airborne Division South Florida Chapter Caps and Shirts

The caps are adjustable so one size fits all. We have on hand the following color caps: White, Navy, and Black - other colors can be special ordered.
The South Florida Chapter is what is embroidered above the pocket - $2.00 additional charge to have your name embroidered on right side of the chest opposite the 82nd logo.
The shirts are 50% Cotton & 50% Polyester Stain Resistant: On hand we have Black, Birch, and Navy - Other colors can be special ordered.

Cap Cost: $10 + $2 postage

Shirt Cost: $20 + $2 postage

Buy at a meeting and save postage

Order From: Bob Buffington, 2765 Garden Drive, Cooper City FL 33026-3605 Phone: 1-954-435-9174

AIRBORNE! All The Way!

Have You Paid Your 2009 Association Dues Yet?

If your membership card doesn't say 2010,
you haven't paid for this year.
Please send your check for $15.00 payable to:

82nd Abn Div Assoc So Fl Chapter
c/o Bob Buffington, Sec / Treas
2765 Garden Drive
Cooper City FL 33026-3605

If you'd like to make it out for a little extra,
anything over the annual $15.00
will go directly to our
South Florida Chapter's BOOSTER FUND
... Thanks for your continued help and support!

Honor Guard of The 82nd Airborne Division
Association Inc, South Florida Chapter

If you’d like to serve on the
Honor Guard and
show the colors at various functions, contact

Ron Stirlacci at 1-954-732-0773
or Gus Vass at 1-954-610-5371

We can always use an extra trooper or two (or more)
to fill out our roster and make it to the various parades
or memorial activities when other members may not be
able to attend, to keep the ranks closed and our colors flying.

"All American All the Way:
The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II"

Phil Nordyke

For the first time, All American All The Way tells the definitive human story of what was arguably the most elite American fighting division of World War II, the immortal 82nd Airborne Division. Combining oral and written accounts drawn from almost 1,000 veterans, the history of the division in World War II is told from the perspectives of the troopers in the foxholes. These accounts most often have never before been recorded: they are the experiences and reflections of the junior officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men - those who did the fighting.

"Hunting The Jackal:
A Special Forces and CIA Ground Soldier's Fifty-Year Career Hunting America's Enemies"

Billy Waugh with Tim Keown

No synopsis can adequately describe Waugh's experiences. He spent seven and a half years in Vietnam, many of them behind enemy lines as part of SOG, a top secret group of elite commandos. He was tailed by Usama bin Laden's unfriendly bodyguards while jogging through the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, at 3 A.M. And, at the age of seventy-two, he marched through the frozen high plains of Afghanistan as one of a select number of CIA operatives who hit the ground as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Waugh came face-to-face with bin Laden in Khartoum in 1991 and again in 1992 as one of the first CIA operatives assigned to watch the al Qaeda leader. Waugh describes his daily surveillance routine with clear-eyed precision. Without fanfare, fear, or chance of detection, he could have killed the 9/11 mastermind on the dirty streets of Khartoum had he been given the authority to do so.

No man is more qualified to chronicle America's fight against its enemies - from communism to terrorism - over the past half-century. In Hunting the Jackal, Billy Waugh has emerged from the shadows and folds of history to write a memoir of an extraordinary life for extraordinary times.

© 2004 Billy Waugh

The General and His Daughter
The War Time Letters of General James M Gavin to his Daughter Barbara
Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy
- Commentary and Notes by Starlyn Jorgensen -
Edited by Gayle Wurst

"This is a must read for any military historian and especially those of us who have been fascinated by the training, readiness, and exploits of the World War II Airborne unites. 'Slim Jim' Gavin was probably the most famous warrior-leader in these units, revered and loved to this day by the Paratroopers he led into battle. These letters home to his 9-year-old daughter, Barbara, reveal a personal side of General Gavin not recorded in any previous work. I believe that these letters also provide the personal legacy he wanted to live on should Gavin not survive the war which was a very real likelihood given the intensity of combat experienced by the 82nd Airborne Division and Gavin's personal, upfront leadership style."
—Wayne A. Downing, General, U.S. Army (retired), 173rd Airborne Brigade
"These letters by a legendary World War II warrior general provide an incredible display of devotion, fatherly concern and above all love for his young daughter. Given the multitude of challenges he faced on a daily basis, first as a regimental and then a division commander, deeply involved in some of the most intense combat of World War II, it's amazing that he found time to write them. The letters also provide an insight into a side of Jim Gavin very few people ever saw. Fascinating reading."—James J. Lindsay, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (retired)
"Reveals the true personality and provides enormous insight into the incredible courage, integrity and selfless service of Jim Gavin. This personal World War II account of the road from North Africa to Berlin is a fascinating story of a combat leader, whose character and commitment are the standard by which airborne leaders will be measured for generations to come."
—James H. Johnson, Jr., Lieutenant General, US Army, (retired)
"Unique insight into the personal life of one of America’s greatest military commanders. . . . Barbara’s narrative, which contains a great deal of little-known information about the general’s early life and military career, is fascinating.”—Phil Nordyke, author of All American All the Way: The Combat History of the 82nd ABD in World War II
"I was fortunate to serve under General Jim Gavin in units from company to division size and I believe him to be one of the great troop leaders of that war. This collection of letters to his daughter fills in another and until now little known and fascinating facet of this outstanding warrior's character."
—Ed Thomas, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (retired) 505th Regimental Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne
"A magnificent book that for the first time reveals the true character of a man who has become a legendary figure in Airborne circles. He set the standard for future Airborne commanders to follow.”
—James Megellas, author of All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe
"Mrs. Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy has with rare and gentle talent taken the wartime letters of her father, General James M. Gavin, written to her during World War II, and given us an insight into the many accomplishments of the general."—Edwin M. Sayre, Colonel, US Army (retired)
"Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy has compiled a warm and personal story of the relationship of a devoted father to his beloved daughter. This is a magnificent story of the human side of one of America's greatest combat leaders."—Richard J. Seitz, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (retired)
BARBARA GAVIN FAUNTLEROY is the mother of three children, Barbara, Steven, and Jim. She lives with her husband in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

284 Pages Hard Cover $27.95
Click here to order from the publisher: 978-0-8232-2687-0

For further information, please email Kate O'Brien at
Fordham University Press
© 2007

Got An AIRBORNE Activity You'd Like Everyone To Know About ?

We continue to use the South Florida Chapter WebSite to keep in closer contact and allow for more frequent updates of information regarding Chapter activities and functions.

Contact our WebMaster (Bob Wirt) and be sure to send your article or announcement by SnailMail to PO Box 11280, Fort Lauderdale FL 33339-1280; or FAX to 1-954-565-5922; or e-mail (much preferred)

The online WebSite as well as our SnailMail Newsletter are only as useful as you make them. If you have a Chapter activity you'd like to announce, please e-mail the particulars in advance so we can get the word out to everyone:
click here to Contact Our WebMaster and send your article or announcement

If you know of other Chapters' operations or functions which are open to our troopers and would like to pass the word along, send that information as well. Please include dates, addresses and phone numbers plus the contact individuals so we can ensure the word we pass along is complete and correct. We'll do our best to get your announcement onto the WebSite and into the Newsletter so you'll get the most member involvement and best turnout possible.

For those of you who have stopped me at meetings and picnics asking why the website doesn't change much, I can only say that it's because no one sends much to me to be published online, so nothing much gets posted. Sorry, but the website is here for your use and if you choose not to use it, it won't change much from day to day. It fact, it won't change at all.

OnLine Roster: Some troopers who are online have their e-mail addresses published in The South Florida Trooper News Letter so that other Airborne Troopers can more easily maintain contact with them, and they are:

Serafin Agostini

Tony Altobell,
South Florida Vice-Chairman

William Barry

Jim Battaglia

Col Lettie Bien (Ret)

Tigner Blackman

Jim Bono

Michael Borrelli

Robert Buffington,
South Florida Secretary / Treasurer

Herb Bunch

Gregg Calhoun

Jimmy Campillo

James Capasso

Art Cockerham

Chris Collins

Johnny Currington

Steven Daugherty

Michael Davino

Barry Dearden

Edward DeBarros

Jim DeMatteo

John Desormeau

Patrick Devine

Gerald Ellis

Joe Fischler

Lt Col Laura M Foglesong

Jean-Marie Funke

Brian Gehling

Joseph Gethers

Myles Gill

Alfred Gilliam

Joe Guilbert

Herb "Sarge" Hankerson

Al Hernandez III

Bob Hoke

David Izquierdo

Angel R Jerez

Moses Johnson

George Klien

Edmund Kolby

Harold Kravitz

Roger Labonte

Joe Lanzillo

Gilberto Marin Jr

John Marlowe

Jason Marker

Hector Martinez

Ted W Mauzey

Cary Mendelsohn

Avi Mizrachi

Don Moffett

Kevin Moyers

Joseph J Pappacoda

Henry Oppenborn

Jose L Perez Ortiz
South Florida Chairman

Ronald Perkins

Peter Portilla

Bill Radcliffe

Frank Rivera

French Shannon Jr

Ron Stirlacci

Jack Sullivan

Dewey Tyler

Gus Vass

Terry Watts (Jan)

Phil Webb

Irv Weinsoff

Bob Wirt

Gary Zalewski

If any others are interested in joining our e-mail group please let us know by sending your current e-mail address, preferably on-line, to:

Also, we plan to offer members personal page links from our domain for some nominal annual fee, which funds would go into our Booster Club to help cover online site costs. To see what a sample personal page might look like, click on the name Bob Wirt but keep in mind that your Webmaster just got carried away with his, not knowing when to stop posting stuff.

50th Anniversary Commemoration Parachute Jump
with The Phantom Airborne Brigade
The Rakkasans - Russ Brambi, Secretary
Reported by: Ron Stirlacci

Click Here to see the Text and Photos about this October 2000 Parachute Drop

William Forrest “Buck” Dawson of Fort Lauderdale
died of heart failure and complications due to
Parkinson’s disease on April 4, 2008, in
Fort Lauderdale FL. Click here to read his story...

---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ----

Membership Application - The South Florida
Chapter 82nd Airborne Division Association
Phone Number
1 ( ______ ) _________ - ____________________
Check One
___ Renewal; ___ New Member; ___ Re-Instatement
Enclosed is $15.00 _____
my annual membership dues for the year 2009
subscription to PARAGLIDE & Newsletter included.
Enclosed is $16.00 _____
( includes an extra $1 for the Educational Fund )
Enclosed is $150 for Life Membership _____
( $100 _____ if applicant is over 50 years of age )




_______________ 9-digit Zip


Airborne Unit(s)
Include all
Airborne Unit(s)
continue here:
Dates of Airborne Service
Month & Year for each
Dates of Airborne Service
continue here:

Present Occupation
Single ___ Married ___ # Children ____
Spouse's Name

Chapter Preference
New Members MUST include a copy of official proof of
either glider or airborne military qualification & service.
Mail Check payable to:
82nd Airborne Division South FL Chapter
Bob Buffington, Secretary / Treasurer
2765 Garden Drive
Cooper City FL 33026-3605
Phone: 1-954-435-9174

---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ---- Print, Clip & Mail ----

Check out your 82nd Airborne Division
Association National Headquarters

Chartered by the US Congress
A Fraternity of Paratroopers and Glidermen

82nd Airborne Division
Association, Inc.

Post Office Box 9308
Fayetteville NC 28311-9308

Past Newsletter Issues Archives

In the past this home page of our website has been used to post online a copy of the printed newsletter sent out bi-monthly to our membership. Below are the archive links to these 2000-2008 newsletters:

Visit our WebSite Sponsor
Head Start ® Vitamin Products

FYI: This WebSite is a personal project of Bob Wirt, an individual; is published without reimbursement for time or expense; is posted online to inform and assist members of the South Florida Chapter and other airborne veterans; and is not associated with 82nd Airborne Division Association in any official capacity.
© 2009 Bob Wirt