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The 82nd Airborne
Division Association

South Florida Chapter

The South Florida Trooper
Online Newsletter of The South Florida Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association
Volume Four, Issue 01 - January / February 2001

"America's Guard Of Honor"
Chartered By The US Congress
All The Way

Spring Picnic, SATURDAY, March 10th, 2001 -TOPEEKEEGEE YUGNEE PARK ( TY Park )

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 Airborne! Pavilion (#14).

The March 10th Picnic begins Saturday at about 11:00 AM for the early-birds, about noon for the rest of us. Bring your wife (and/or girlfriend) but not both, thank you. Kids and grand-kids of all ages are welcome at what is a really enjoyable family affair. The covered Airborne pavilion is on the banks of a peaceful lake with fish, turtles, ducks and iguanas wandering about.

Before lunch there're coffee and donuts for the early-birds. Most everyone is busy chowing down by noon and the eating and socializing take up the better part of the day.There's a short business meeting which takes place generally around 1:30 or so and never seems to interfere too much with the consumption of the complementary burgers, hotdogs 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.

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 $12.50 you'll spend this year.

AIRBORNE! All The Way!

The Four Chaplains Service, attended February 4th by Gus Vass and Don Moffett, was a commemorative service for the Four Chaplains who gave their life preservers to four soldiers when their ship the USS Dorchester was torpedoed in the North Atlantic near Greenland. The chaplains ( one Catholic, two Protestants and one Jewish Rabbi ) went down with the ship, arm-in-arm, praying for those who would survive. My father was a third engineer on the ship and was thought of as a hero for helping release the only lifeboat that was left, and for pulling ninety-six soldiers from the water.
Reported by Don Moffett, Chairman

As VA hospital representative I found out that the VAMC had a critical shortage of clothing for homeless vets who were hospitalized and then released. Based on that realization and with the authority of the 82d Airborne Div Association I approached several dry cleaning establishments my family utilizes and was able to secure enough abandoned clothes for a number of outfits. This included slacks, shirts, some sport coats, and dresses for woman vets. I received a letter of thanks for the chapter as well as a copy of the thanks letter sent to the cleaners.
Reported by Irving Weinsoff, Esq

Don't forget Our next regular meeting will be 8PM on Tuesday, April 17th, 2001, at the:

VFW Post 1966
350 SW 25th Street
Fort Lauderdale FL 33315-2616
Phone 954-765-0791


The Miami Herald

January 30, 2001
BROWARD, Section B

DEDICATION: Governor Jeb Bush met with veterans Monday in Pembroke Pines,
where they attended a ceremony for the new state veterans nursing home.

Governor Bush At Opening Of Home For Vets

A Test Facility For Privatization / By Steve Harrison

South Florida’s first veterans nursing home was dedicated Monday in Pembroke Pines, and many former soldiers who attended the ceremony worried about the state’s decision to cut costs by hiring private workers.

The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, under the direction of Governor Jeb Bush, plans to hire private workers for food preparation, housekeeping, maintenance and perhaps as certified nursing assistants.

The Pembroke Pines facility, which is named the Alexander “Sandy” Nininger Jr State Veterans’ Nursing Home, will be the first such nursing home to try “outsourcing”.

“I don’t think a private worker could do a better job than a civil servant,” said Herbert Schore of Delray Beach, a Korean War veteran. “Prisons have been privatized and look what’s happened to them. These Alzheimer’s patients will need lots of care. I don’t want to see someone neglected and in their own filth.” Said Korean War veteran Jim Wiggins of Hollywood” “If it’s to save just a few dollars, it doesn’t make sense.”

No speaker addressed privatization during the 90-minute ceremony, which was attended by Governor Jeb Bush, hundreds of veterans and numerous public officials. After the dedication, Bush said the plan would work or it would be scrapped.

“I’m confident people will see that my efforts are sincere.” Bush said. “I have a duty to limit government - that’s why I was elected.”

The $15 million nursing home sits on the grounds of the South Florida State Hospital, on the northwest corner of Pembroke Road and University Drive. The federal government paid for $10 million in construction costs and the state paid the rest.

When it opens in March, the 80,000 square-foot facility will have 120 beds. Half will be for Alzheimer’s patients.

Nininger, a Fort Lauderdale native, was the first World War II soldier to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was killed during a solo charge against the Japanese in the Philippines on January 12, 1942.

With World War II and Korean War veterans aging, the need for care facilities is increasing. Florida has about 1.7 million veterans - 500,000 are in South Florida.

This is the state’s third veterans nursing home. There are also homes in Volusia and Pasco counties, and an assisted living facility in Lake City.

If privatization works, it could be extended to two new homes the state has planned for Bay and Charlotte counties.

“I will reserve the right for [opponents to privatization] to be concerned later on, but not right now,” said Robert Bruce, the home’s administrator. “The upper brass at the home will be careful that we get top quality care coming in.”

Robin Higgins, director of veterans affairs for the state, said she doesn’t know how much privatization will shave off the estimated $5 million operating budget, because the state hasn’t received proposals from companies yet.

The home will start slowly, only accepting 10 veterans when it opens. For information about the home or getting someone admitted, call 1-954-985-4824.

Members of The 82nd Airborne Division Association, South Florida Chapter attending
the event were: Don Moffett; Joe Lanzillo; Gus Vass; Ron Stirlacci; and John Marlowe.

50th Anniversary Commemoration Parachute Jump
with The Phantom Airborne Brigade
and The Rakkasans - Russ Brambi, Secretary
Reported by: Ron Stirlacci
Click Here to see the Text a Color nd Photos from the November / December 2000 Newsletter

Have You Paid Your 2001 Association Dues Yet?

If your membership card doesn't say `01, you haven't paid for this year. Please send your check for $12.50 payable to:

82nd Abn Div Assoc So Fl Chapter
c/o Robert V Niskanen, Secretary
87425 Old Highway #10
Islamorada FL 33036-3054

If you'd like to make it out for a little extra, anything over the annual $12.50 will go directly to our 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 1-954-730-0773; or Gus Vass at 1-954-989-2831.

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.

Reported by: Joe Pappacoda

Veterans’ Day Parade - Triangle Park Veterans Memorial

Color Guard Members: Gus Vass, Jim Bono, Tony Altobel, Joe Lanzillo, Milt Azarkan,
Joe Pappacoda, Steve Mueller, Don Moffett, and Ron Stirlacci.

The Allied Veterans Association Inc, Presents The First Annual Armistice Day Parade

Our South Florida Honor Guard participated in over a half-dozen functions this past few months and greatly appreciates Chapter support.

Reported by: Joseph J Pappacoda

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

We plan 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 / Newsletter Editor (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 (preferred)

The online WebSite as well as our Snail-Mail 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.

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:

Jim Battaglia

Robert Buffington

Herb Bunch

Jimmy Campillo

John Desormeau

Patrick Devine

Captain Laura M G Foglesong

Jean-Marie Funke

Norman J. Gray

Joe Guilbert

Jimmy Harrison

Al Hernandez

Angel R Jerez

Joe Lanzillo

Larry Marks

Ted W Mauzey

Laren Melton

Edward Meyers

Don Moffett

Robert V. Niskanen (Secretary)

Joseph J Pappacoda

Peter Portilla

French Shannon Jr

Leonard Sikora

Thomas Skrzyniecki

Ron Stirlacci

Jack Sullivan

Terry Watts

Phil Webb

Irv Weinsoff

Bob Wirt

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.

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

Membership Application The South Florida Chapter 82nd Airborne Division Association
Telephone Number
( ________ ) _________-__________________
Check One
___ Renewal; ___ New Member; ___ Re-Instatement
Enclosed is $12.50, my membership dues for the year 2000, subscription to PARAGLIDE & Newsletter included.




_______________ 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 ___
Spouse's Name __________________ # Children____

Chapter Preference
New Members MUST include a copy of official proof of
either glider or airborne military qualification & service.

Mail Check payable to: 82nd Abn Div So FL Chapter

ATTENTION OF: Robert V Niskanen, Secretary
87425 Old Highway # 10, Islamorada FL 33036-3054 Phone: 1-305-852-4272 or

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

If any of you lucky TROOPERS have enough spare time on your hands to spend it surfing the WEB click below to check in on our Fayetteville NC HQs

Click here for the October 2000 Newsletter Page

Click here for the November / December 2000 Newsletter Page

Contact Your WebMaster
Bob Wirt, Post Office Box 11280, Fort Lauderdale FL 33339-1280