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Division Association

South Florida Chapter
Tony Altobell, Secretary / Treasurer
Post Office Box 22476
Fort Lauderdale FL 33335-2476

Click Here To Read The OnLine Version of our March / April 2003 Issue of
The South Florida Trooper Newsletter

From: "Bob Buffington" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 16:47:17 -0500
Subject: All American Week 2003

I got a call this morning from Bob Caron one of the Association's Directors. He informed me that the 2003 All American Week scheduled for May 21 - 25 has been cancelled. The DoD cancelled it last night right after the President's speech. It seems the DoD does not know if the 82nd Airborne Division will be at Bragg or not in May.

Any one who has made reservations at any of the local hotels they should contact the hotel for their refund. Anyone who has sent payment to the Division for any reason concerning All American Week will be receiving a refund from the DoD sometime soon.

Bob Buffington - Chairman


Behind Army's green beret

GARNETT, Kan. -- (AP) -- Retired Army Col. Edson Raff, who bucked higher-ups to outfit Special Forces units with what would become their trademark green berets, died Tuesday. He was 95.

Raff came up with the distinctive beret in 1954 as a way to boost the flagging morale of a Special Forces unit of which he had been given command.

Officers of the 77th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC, adopted the beret and picked a green color similar to that of the British Royal Marine commandos. The berets improved the unit's morale, but infuriated Pentagon brass.

The green beret was quickly adopted, in defiance of Army regulations, by Raff's unit and other Special Forces units.

Top generals tried to ban the berets, but Special Forces kept wearing them on training exercises. The Pentagon relented after Special Forces soldiers donned the berets to welcome President John F. Kennedy when he visited the Special Warfare Center. Kennedy encouraged Special Forces soldiers, who were just beginning to be deployed in Vietnam, to wear the berets.

However, some historians said, the battle over the green beret might have hampered Raff's career - even though he was one of the Army's most storied World War II paratroop commanders.

Raff took part in the first and last paratrooper assaults in Europe in World War II.

© The Miami Herald - 03/17/03

Spring Picnic, SUNDAY, March 16th, 2003 -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 82nd Airborne! Pavilion (#1) - Turn to your (military) right just inside the Park's Main Entrance.

The March 16th Picnic begins Sunday 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!

NORMAN JULIAN GRAY Lieutenant Colonel US Army Retired April 18, 1929 - February 15, 2003

The South Florida Chapter has lost a great friend and fellow trooper. Norman Julian Gray born April 18, 1929 passed away on February 15th 2003. You and I now have a pathfinder sitting next to God. Norm has the drop zone marked, the recognition signals set out, and is asking God to lower the wind speed so we will have a softer landing when our time comes. Marneen portrayed Norm, a few days before his death, as a pathfinder standing in the door waiting for his last jump. His ‘last’ flight lasted for several months and must have been one of the most frightening and bumpy flights ever. We can only hope and pray that when our time comes we too will be able to handle it with the strength of inner peace and spiritual blessings that Norm displayed his last few months. Bob Buffington

Click Here For Norm's Page

Text of
US Paratroopers License Plate
Proposal for State of Florida
Bill H-0111 Sponsored by Ken Sorensen, PhD,
Florida State Representative, District 120

House 0111: Relating to U.S. Paratroopers License Plate

H111-----------------------GENERAL BILL by Sorensen
U.S. Paratroopers License Plate; creates U.S. Paratroopers license
plate; restricts eligibility to purchase such plates; provides for
distribution of annual use fees received from sale of such plates.
Amends 320.08056,.08058. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2003.
01/23/03 HOUSE Prefiled
01/29/03 HOUSE Referred to Highway Safety (TR); Transportation; Finance &
                  Tax; Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations
                  (AP); Appropriations
HB 0111 2003
1-----------------------A bill to be entitled
2         An act relating to specialty license plates; amending ss.
3   320.08056 and 320.08058, F.S.; creating the U.S.
4   Paratroopers license plate; restricting eligibility to
5   purchase such plates; providing for the distribution of
6   annual use fees received from the sale of such plates;
7   providing an effective date.
9         Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
11         Section 1. Paragraph (mm) is added to subsection (4) of
12   section 320.08056, Florida Statutes, to read:
13         320.08056 Specialty license plates.--
14         (4) The following license plate annual use fees shall be
15   collected for the appropriate specialty license plates:
16         (mm) U.S. Paratroopers license plate, $20.
17         Section 2. Subsection (39) is added to section 320.08058,
18   Florida Statutes, to read:
19         320.08058 Specialty license plates.--
21         (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 320.08053, the
22   department shall develop a U.S. Paratroopers license plate as
23   provided in this section. U.S. Paratroopers license plates must
24   bear the colors and design approved by the department. The word
25   "Florida" must appear at the top of the plate, and the words
26   "U.S. Paratroopers" must appear at the bottom of the plate. The
27   Airborne Wings and Glider Wings logo must appear in black on the
28   left side of the plate, centered from top to bottom. The plate
29   must have a white background with red and blue letters or
30   numbers.
31         (b) U.S. Paratroopers license plates may only be purchased
32   by current or former U.S. military paratroopers.
33         (c) The department shall retain all revenues from the sale
34   of such plates until all startup costs for developing and
35   issuing the plates are recovered, not to exceed $60,000.
36   Thereafter, the proceeds of the annual use fee shall be
37   distributed to the State Homes for Veterans Trust Fund.
38         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2003.

We urge all Troopers To Phone, FAX or e-mail your Florida State Legislators in support of
House Bill: H 0111, Sponsored by Ken Sorensen, PhD, Florida State Representative, District 120
Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committe Chairman
303 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee FL 32399-1300
Phone: 1-805-488-9965; FAX: 1-305-853-1949; e-mail:

Submitted by Don Moffett
Director and Past Chairman

82nd Airborne Division Association, South Florida Chapter
Chapter Officers Elected At September 2002 TY Park Picnic
and Installed At 2002 Florida All Airborne Days Banquet

Officers for 2002-2003

South Florida Chairman

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


Terry Watts
501 NW 78th Terrace
Plantation FL 33324-1435
( Jan )

Secretary / Treasurer

Tony Altobell
Post Office Box 22476
Fort Lauderdale FL 33335-2476
( ............. )

Judge Advocate

Irv Weinsoff
600 NE 36th Street / PH 3
Miami FL 33137-3945
( Sylvia )


Ron Stirlacci
117 Lake Emerald Drive #303
Oakland Park FL 33309-6269
( Lydia )
Directors for 2002-2003

2002-2003 Director

Gus Vass
4511 Thomas Street
Hollywood FL 33021-3539
( Maureen )

2002-2003 Director

Don Moffett
32 Bunting Drive
Key Largo FL 33037-3003
( Phyllis )
Past National President
and 2002-2003 Director
Jimmy Campillo
3444 SW 53rd Court
Fort Lauderdale FL 33312-5538
( Lucy )

2002-2003 Director

French Shannon
Post Office Box 551776
Fort Lauderdale FL 33355-1776
( Marie )

2002-2003 Director

Stu Franke
5210 SW 22nd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale FL 33312-6002
( Elinore )

2002-2003 Director

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

Chapter Historian :

Irv Weinsoff

Don't forget Our next regular meeting will be 8PM on Tuesday, April 15th, 2003, at the:

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

Just South of State Road 84 ( SW 24th Street ), off SW 4th Avenue, behind and East of the Armory

Have You Paid Your 2003 Association Dues Yet?

If your membership card doesn't say 2003,
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 Tony Altobell, Sec / Treas
Post Office Box 22476
Fort Lauderdale FL 33335-2476

If you'd like to make it out for a little extra,
anything over the annual $12.50
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 1-954-730-0773
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.

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 ( 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 didn't change from November, 2001, through April, 2002, I can only say that it was because no one sent anything to me to be published online, so nothing was. 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:

Tony Altobell, South Florida
Secretary / Treasurer

Jim Battaglia

Robert Buffington,
South Florida Chairman

Herb Bunch

Jimmy Campillo

Chris Collins

Michael Davino

Barry Dearden

Edward DeBarros

Jim DeMatteo

John Desormeau

Patrick Devine

Captain Laura M Foglesong

Jean-Marie Funke

Brian Gehling

George Gutshall

Norman J Gray

Joe Guilbert

Herb "Sarge" Hankerson

Al Hernandez

Angel R Jerez

Joe Lanzillo

Ted W Mauzey

Edward Meyers

Don Moffett

Robert V.

Joseph J Pappacoda

Jose L Perez Ortiz

Peter Portilla

Bill Radcliffe

Frank Rivera

French Shannon Jr

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.

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 and Photos about this Parachute Drop

---- 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 $12.50 _____
my annual membership dues for the year 200__
subscription to PARAGLIDE & Newsletter included.
Enclosed is $13.50 _____
( 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 ___
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
Tony Altobell, Secretary / Treasurer
Post Office Box 22476
Fort Lauderdale FL 33335-2476
Phone: 1-954-583-8081

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

For you lucky TROOPERS with enough spare time on your hands to spend it surfing the WEB click below to check in on your Fayetteville NC HQs

Past Newsletter Issues Archive

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 2000-2001 newsletters.

Beginning with the January /February 2002 issue, at the request of Irv Weinsoff, I turned over production of the printed newsletter to others and agreed to publish it online each time, once I received a text copy of the newsletter via e-mail. As I have not received any e-mail copies, no 2002 newsletters have been published online.

I apologize for this situation as everyone seemed to benefit from receiving the online version. Anyway, here is the past issues archive, which now includes the 2003 issues, courtesy of Bob Buffington:

Click here for the March / April 2003 Newsletter Page

Click here for the January / February 2003 Newsletter Page

Click here for the November / December 2001 Newsletter Page

Click here for the September / October 2001 Newsletter Page

Click here for the May / June 2001 Newsletter Page

Click here for the March / April 2001 Newsletter Page

Click here for the January / February 2001 Newsletter Page

Click here for the November / December 2000 Newsletter Page

Click here for the October 2000 Newsletter Page

Contact Your WebMaster
Bob Wirt, Post Office Box 11280, Fort Lauderdale FL 33339-1280
Phone 1-954-565-8123 or FAX 1-954-565-5922

© 2003 82nd Airborne Division Association Inc, South Florida Chapter
Post Office Box 22476, Fort Lauderdale FL 33335-2476

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