At the Culpeper Minutmen Chapter meeting on January 28th, 14 Supplemental Certificates were awarded to CMM compatriots. Lon Lacey and Larry Alexander each received one, Tom and Aaron Hamill each received two, and Bill and Doug Schwetke each received four. Larry Alexander's was noteworthy as it was for a woman, Judith Jefferson Farrar, who paid the supply tax of 1783 - check the tax list on the Virginia SAR Website for your ancestors! Doug and Bill also received certificates for a Forgotten Patriot for their supplemental on on Lt John Divers. Doug and Bill Schwetke's supplemental for Benjamin Beeson attracted the attention of two other compatriots. Don Hollar noticed that he is also descended from Benjamin Beeson, and Tom Hamill and his son Aaron are descended from Benjamin's father, Richard. Tom discovered that he is an 8th cousin of Doug and Bill - we're still working on the exact relationship with Don Hollar. Richard Beeson is also a patriot, so these five compatriots now have a goal of simultaneously submitting four supplementals from four different, distantly related, CMM compatriots on Richard Beeson this year. Earlier this year, in helping with a supplemental application, the Schwetkes discovered that they are 9th cousins of past Virginia SAR President Jim Bayne.
Virginia Society Honors Compatriot Lt. Jeffery Douglas Cooper at His Burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
photos by Kate Melhuish
1st Lieutenant Jeffery Douglas Cooper, an SAR compatriot, was killed in an accident while deployed to Kuwait. His father, also an SAR compatriot, from Washington State, requested that the Virginia Society provide the SAR Funeral Ritual at the graveside service today. 1st Vice President Mike Elston organized the Virginia Society participation and eleven members of seven chapters, from as far as Norfolk, answered the call to honor Lt Cooper. Peter Davenport officiated our ritual and commanded the color guard, Paul Walden, Don Reynolds, and Wayne Rouse also had active roles in the ritual. The Color Guard included five compatriots in Regimental Uniforms. Chris Melhuish's wife, Kate, took the photographs for this report.
report by Virginia SAR 2nd VP Tom Whetstone
Virginia SAR 2nd Vice President Tom Whetstone installed the 2017 officers for the Norfolk Chapter at the Chapter Annual Dinner at the Westminster Canterbury on January 24, 2017.
report by Secretary Wayne Miesen of the Fincastle Resolutions Chapter
On 17 January, Virginia SAR 2nd Vice President Pat Kelly, swore in the 2017 officer of the Fincastle Resolutions Chapter at Shenandoah Club, Roanoke, VA.
Fincastle Resolutions Chapter
Officers for 2017
President - Philip Sheridan
1st Vice President - Charles Poland
2nd Vice President - Thomas Sale
Secretary - Wayne Miesen
Chaplain - Dave Howard
Chancellor - Mike Smeltzer
Registrar - Al Linton
report by Richard Henry Lee 1st VP Charles Belfield
On the evening of January 16th, Richard Henry Lee Chapter 1st Vice President Charles Belfield held a Flag program with the 333 pack of the Cub Scouts in Warsaw. He showed the cubs six different flags starting with the British Flag then the “Don't Tread on Me” Gladstone, the Grand Union, Betsy Ross, Star Spangle Banner and the 50 star Flag . Each flag was explained and questions were answered. We followed up with Flag etiquette and the proper way to fold a flag. Compatriot Belfield ended the program with explaining the proper way to retire the American flag. Each cub was given a small American Flag to take home.
pictures by Tom Hanson, Jennifer Kelly and Cat Schwetke,.
This weekend the Sons of the American Revolution and the National Parks Service celebrated the 236th anniversary of the patriot victory at the Battle of Cowpens, near present day Gaffney, SC. Virginia Society was represented by 2nd Vice President Pat Kelly, and five Virginia chapters were represented: Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Washington,Thomas Jefferson and Williamsburg.
The ceremonies commenced Friday afternoon with the presentation of a wreath and carnations at the General Daniel Morgan statue in downtown Spartanburg, SC.
Saturday morning featured the wreath laying at the Cowpens National Military Park memorial. Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group Superintendent John Slaughter was the master of ceremonies. The SAR Color Guard, about forty strong, posted the colors. The featured speaker was SAR President General Mike Tomme, who gave a concise overview of the battle and its significance. Then approximately 90 wreaths were presented by the SAR, DAR, C.A.R., and other patriotic organizations.
After the ceremony at the monument, the color guard marched about a quarter mile to the Washington Light Infantry monument, where a second wreath presentation was made.
Virginia SAR participants and spouses, left to right: Justin Thomas, Jeff Thomas, Cat Schwetke, Bill Schwetke, Jenifer Kelly, and Virginia SAR 2nd Vice President Pat Kelly. Also participating, but not pictured were Carlisle Bean and his wife Denise, John Holt, Paul and Elsa Chase, Mike and Cilla Tomme, and Lindsay and Billie Brock.
report by Lew de Seife
report by George Washington Chapter President Paul Walden
In honor and recognition of the men and women of the City of Alexandria, VA Sheriff's Department, the George Washington Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR), on January 14, 2017 recognized the heroic acts and service of five Alexandria Sheriff Deputies. Through their immediate actions the lives of two individuals were saved.
As a result of quick thinking and their actions, Sheriff Deputies Myma Juarez, Manuel Lee, Devon Neckles and Cinie Bearden saved the life of a prisoner attempting to commit suicide in the city jail. The Deputies discovered and recognized the urgent situation, took appropriate action acting as a team and called for medical assistance to stabilize the individual.
Also, while dining at a local restaurant off-duty Sheriff Deputy Joseph Runquist, saved the life of a woman choking on her food. Trained as a first-responder, Deputy Runquist used the Heimlich maneuver to clear the food and stayed with the women until normal breathing returned.
In recognition of these lifesaving actions, the George Washington Chapter was honored to bestow the Chapter’s Public Service Award to each Alexandria Sheriff Deputy at a ceremony and luncheon at the Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, VA.
The Virginia Society Nominating Committee has nominnated a slate of officers for 2017 to be voted on at Annual in February
Report of the Nominating Committee
2017 Officers Nominated for Election
President Michael J. Elston, Esq. George Washington Chapter
1st Vice President Patrick M. Kelly Thomas Jefferson Chapter
2nd Vice President J. Thomas Whetstone III, PhD Norfolk Chapter
3rd Vice President William L. Schwetke Culpeper Minutemen Chapter
Secretary R. Wayne Rouse Col. Fielding Lewis Chapter
Treasurer Frederick N. “Rick” Elofson Thomas Nelson, Jr. Chapter
Chancellor Eric H. Monday Col. George Waller Chapter
Chaplain Rev. Dr. Roy A. Martin, Jr. Fort Harrison Chapter
Historian Thomas M. Roth III George Washington Chapter
Surgeon Christopher N. “Kirk” Sheap, MD Fort Harrison
Registrar David R. Thomas George Washington Chapter
Trustee Edward W. Truslow Williamsburg Chapter
Alternate Trustee Michael J. Elston, Esq. George Washington Chapter
Biographies are included, but only for those nominees who are not currently serving as officers.
Thomas M. Roth, III (“Tom”), of the George Washington Chapter, is nominated for Historian
Tom is a resident of Alexandria, to which he relocated from North Carolina approximately thirteen years ago. He has studied, lived and worked in Virginia off and on for nearly nineteen years. Tom has served as Historian for the George Washington Chapter, VASSAR since 2014.
He was born and raised in Elkin, on the Yadkin River in Northwest North Carolina. An alumnus of Woodberry Forest School, he received his A.B. in History from Davidson College in 1983. Following graduation from Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D.) in 1986 Tom practiced law in Winston-Salem for many years before relocating to Alexandria. Tom is currently admitted to the Bar in North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and Virginia (Corporate Counsel) and serves as Senior Counsel with Vornado/Charles E. Smith L.P., a real estate management, brokerage, and development firm based in Arlington. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Corporate Counsel Association and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.
He has a long history of civic activity and was recognized as one of “40 Outstanding Young Leaders Under 40” in northwest North Carolina by the Greensboro Jaycees in 2001. Among other things, he helped to start the North Carolina Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (formerly the Orton Society), serving initially as legal counsel and later as a member of its Board of Trustees and Treasurer. He also worked with the legal team which assisted the Historic Bethabara Park (site of an 18th Century Moravian settlement in Winston-Salem) in the acquisition and preservation of the sites of the oldest public graveyard in Forsyth County and the largest 18th Century industrial complex in frontier North Carolina, together with a portion of the Great Wagon Road.
Tom is also an active member of St. Albans Episcopal Church in D.C., where he serves on the Archives and History Committee. When he is not working Tom enjoys photography and exploring the natural and historic landscape of northern Virginia and Maryland, by car, foot, and bicycle.
Through his father, Tom is a descendent of the patriot Edward Shimer who served as a Captain in the Northampton County, Pennsylvania militia and as member of the General Committee or Committee of Safety of Northampton County. Captain Shimer was one of five brothers who served as officers in the patriot service.
Through his mother, Tom is a descendant of the patriot Henry Jarboe III, of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, who signed Maryland Oath of Fidelity and Support along with his sons in 1778.
His family is very proud of their patriot roots and a branch of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail runs through the old Roth family homeplace in Elkin, North Carolina on an easement provided by his family.
David Thomas, of the George Washington Chapter, is nominated for Registrar
Compatriot David Thomas was born in Pittsburgh, PA. With David’s father being a chemical engineer who worked on America’s missile and space programs, David and his family lived in various cities in the U.S. during his formative years. In 1978, David received a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of Florida.
David is a retired Regional IT Resource Manager for Lockheed Martin in Herndon, VA, serving previously with General Electric and Martin Marietta, totaling 37 years of service. In his spare time, David explores Civil War history, with ancestors serving in the PA 62nd Infantry and PA 20th Cavalry. David also enjoys domestic and international travel visiting 42 states and 32 countries.
David is married to Carole Thomas, who is originally from Brooklyn, New York. Carole is a honorary member of DACOR, an organization of U.S. Foreign Affairs professionals, located in Washington, D.C., is currently a docent at the historic Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton, VA, is an historical character interpreter at Gunston Hall, home of Patriot George Mason IV, and currently runs her own business, working as a Music Therapist in Fairfax and Prince William Counties.
Compatriot David Thomas’s membership in the Sons of the American Revolution is based on his bloodline descent from Patriot George Simmers. During the Revolution, George Simmers volunteered for service as a private in the Pennsylvania militia, Lancaster County regiment, under Brig. General George Mercer’s “Flying Camp” in August 1776. Patriot Simmers was first garrisoned at Ft. Lee, New Jersey on the Hudson River in 1776, was part of the arduous winter’s march with Gen. George Washington’s force through New Jersey, and was engaged at the Battle of Trenton, and later on the Battle of Brandywine, concluding his enlistment in 1777 by guarding captured Hessian soldiers.
Bill Schwetke, of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, is nominated for 3rd Vice-President
Colonel Bill Schwetke is from Texas; graduated from Texas A&M in 1970 with a degree in aerospace engineering; and was commissioned in the Air Force through ROTC. During 26 years in the Air Force he saw the world as a pilot, staff officer and commander. Bill has a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from Georgetown and is a graduate of the Air War College. After the Air Force he settled in Northern Virginia and worked as a pilot for Southwest Airlines for nearly seventeen years. Bill has dedicated himself to serving the SAR and his church. He currently is the President of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter and Editor of the Virginia Dispatches. He serves on the NSSAR 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution, DAR Liaison, and Congress Planning Committees. In the Virginia Society he is chairman of the Graves Preservation Committee, and a member of the Battle of Great Bridge Commemoration, Communications, DAR Liaison, and 2020 Congress Planning Committees. Bill is also active in the Color Guard. He is a Christian and serves as a deacon at Warrenton (VA) Bible Fellowship. Bill is married to Cat Claunch Schwetke, Regent of the Fauquier Court House Chapter of the DAR. Bill and Cat have one daughter, Jessica, a member of the DAR, and one son, Sean, a member of the SAR.