Virginia SAR's own Bob Bowen, Virginia SAR President (2010-11), Vice President General (2007-8), Historian General (2012), Minuteman Class of 2009, has lived a life that few could survive. He has, and now his memories are available to us. To quote but a little of what others have said:
"Captain Robert L. Bowen’s memoir details his military experiences during Vietnam and beyond.
"The writing bug bit Bowen early: In the seventh grade he won a school essay contest, and later did publicity for a church youth group. At 16, he got a job in the mailroom of his local newspaper, advanced to copy boy, and began writing freelance stories. But without a college degree, Bowen decided advancement in newspapers would be impossible. So at 19, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served 20 years in the Corps, including four tours as a combat correspondent in Vietnam. He also spent 14 years with the Voice of America, and two years with the State Department and Department of Justice.
"To be clear, Bowen was not a desk jockey during his military career, but a boots-on-the-ground participant. His 20 months of combat operations in Vietnam, he writes, included “countless patrols, rocket attacks, lonely outposts, hospital visits, flights in every imaginable kind of aircraft, and walks in the sun.” As he recounts those adventures and details the stories he filed for military publications and his many other duties through the years, his writing is tight and complete, befitting a career journalist; it’s highly detailed and well-organized.
"My Life and Lens: The Story of a Marine Corps Combat Correspondent". Captain Robert L. Bowen, USMC, Retired. iUniverse, 388 pages, (paperback) $28.99, 9781532016479 (Reviewed: May 2017)
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report by Lew de Seife
The battle of Spencer’s Ordinary was observed Monday June 26th at Freedom Park. Williamsburg and Thomas Nelson Jr chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution presented wreaths at the battle site marker. Chris Bonin recapped the action.
The Battle of Spencer's Ordinary was an inconclusive skirmish that took place on 26 June 1781, late in the American Revolutionary War. Hessian troops, and British Rangers under Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe and American forces under Colonel Richard Butler, light detachments from the armies of General Lord Cornwallis and the Marquis de Lafayette respectively, clashed near a tavern (the "ordinary") at a road intersection of what are now Longhill and Centerville roads.
Lafayette had been shadowing Cornwallis as he moved his army toward Williamsburg from central Virginia. Aware that Simcoe had become separated from Cornwallis, he sent Butler out in an attempt to cut Simcoe off. Both sides, concerned that the other might be reinforced by its main army, eventually broke off the battle.
22 Jun 2017 Old Methodist Cemetery, Alexandria, VA
Today the Colonel William Grayson Chapter marked the grave of Captain James Campbell, 5xGreat Grandfather of Chapter President Mike Taimi. Thad Hartman was the Master of Ceremonies and the Virginia SAR was represented by President Mike Elston. Four Virginia SAR Chapters, two DAR Chapters, and one C.A.R. Society participated in the ceremony: Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Washington, Elizabeth McIntosh Hammill Chapter, DAR, Fauquier Court House Chapter, DAR, and Colonel William Grayson Society, C.A.R.
MC Thad Hartman opened the ceremony with the presentation of colors by the combined SAR/DAR/C.A.R. Color Guard, followed by the rituals and ceremonies appropriate for the occasion. President Mike Elston presented greetings from the Virginia Society and explained the importance of these ceremonies to the goals of the SAR. Colonel William Grayson Chapter President Mike Taimi followed with a biography of Captain Campbell, his ancestor.
Next Thad Hartman, Barry Schwoerer, and Mike Weyler conducted the SAR Dedication Ceremony and unveiled the marker.
After the marker was unveiled eight wreaths were presented and the program ended with the playing of taps by SGT Kari Brewton, USA Ret.
Participants and attendees, left to right: Vern Eubanks, Bill Schwetke, Bill Collier, Dave Thomas, Thad Hartman, Mike Taimi, Mark Almquist, Barry Schwoerer, Jacob Schwoerer, Paula Schwoerer, SGT Kari Brewton, Mike Weyler, Dave Cook, Virginia SAR President Mike Elston, Ken Morris, Paul Chase. Not in the picture, but taking it, Cat Schwetke.
Edward W. Truslow
96th President of the Virginia SAR
July 12, 1940 - June 1, 2017
Memorial to Edward W. Truslow
96th President of the Virginia SAR
Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Virginia
June 17, 2017
I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that every single one of us would rather be
somewhere else today.
We would rather be sitting down to lunch with Ed and Laura.
Or singing with Ed in a choir.
Or attending a Sons of the American Revolution event with Ed.
Personally, I would rather be meeting up with Ed in the bar at the Southampton Princess in Bermuda.
Each of you has something else you'd rather be doing with Ed and Laura right now.
But instead we are here, against our will, to say goodbye, and to honor an extraordinary man.
Quite simply, Edward Truslow was one of the finest men that I have known. Always kind,
gracious and thoughtful, he was a Virginia gentleman through and through. He was a much beloved father, grandfather and husband. To most of us in this place he was a dear, dear friend. His departure to join the communion of saints in heaven leaves a void in our lives.
Since this past February, I've had the challenge of succeeding Ed as the president of the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution, one of many organizations, including this parish, in which Ed was involved and to which he was deeply committed. This is my last assignment from Ed (he was always good about giving me the easy jobs). For four years it was my privilege to work alongside Ed to advance the patriotic and educational goals of the SAR. I have no doubt that he has left a legacy in every place he served, including this parish. But I can only speak to the legacy he leaves to the SAR.
First and foremost, he established a partnership with the American Revolution Museum at
Yorktown that will bear fruit for years to come. I can recall with clarity the day we first discussed his idea. There was a twinkle in his eye and excitement in his voice – and when I said "yes, I think we can raise that much," he smiled that smile.
Ed also led the Virginia SAR's effort to bring our national Congress to Virginia in 2020. In just over three years we hope about 1000 people will descend on Richmond for a week and tour some of Virginia's most historic sites before, during and after the meeting. The event will show Ed’s beloved Virginia at its best, and generate revenue and goodwill for the Commonwealth. It's success will be due in no small part to Ed's efforts.
But perhaps his greatest legacy is a more personal one. No doubt, each of you have multiple stories of how Ed touched your lives. For me, it is how he was always attentive to my wife in – only the most appropriate ways, Laura – and kind to my children. They all regularly attend SAR events, but they don't expect to be the center of attention. Let me just give you one example how he made them feel welcome and a part of it.
Last year, my son, Will, who was nine years old at the time, begrudgingly prepared to accompany me to the state semi-annual meeting here in Williamsburg. Suffice it to say, he was not looking forward to it. But he ended up having a great time.
Why? Because of Ed. Ed knew William would be bored with nothing to do, so he appointed Will to be the Virginia SAR's official time keeper. He even gave him one of those old hotel desk bells to ring whenever someone spoke beyond their allotted time. And Will loved it. Fortunately, several of our more verbose colleagues obliged Will and went over their time. And Will rang the bell with gusto – to the laughter and cheers of the men in the room.
Ed saw a way to make a difference in someone's life. He thought about it, and he found a way to make a nine-year-old the center of attention for a little while. And now a young man looks forward to going to those meetings.
Ed did this kind of thing all the time. For this and so many other small acts of kindness over the years, both of my children love Ed and Laura dearly, and they, like all of us, will miss him greatly.
All of you have stories like that about Ed. I urge you to share them today and in the future.
Because they are Ed’s greatest legacy. He showed us how to act thoughtfully, to care for each other, and to leave each person we meet a little happier, a little better off, for having known us.
Ed touched each of our lives, and we are each better off for having known him. If we can all just be a little more like Ed, our world will be a better place.
Laura, I pray that you and your family find comfort, as we all do, in our many memories of happy times with Ed.
He was, quite simply, one of the finest men I have ever known.
Michael J. Elston
Virginia Sons of the American Revolution
Saturday, Fairfax County celebrated it's 275th Birthday. Festivities centered around the Old Courthouse, including various amusements, re-enactors, and ceremonies. The George Washington Chapter organized SAR participation and had a booth educating the public about the SAR and a ceremony to dedicate a plaque honoring 47 Fairfax Citizens, who died in the cause of liberty during the Revolutionary War.
George Washington Chapter President Paul Walden was the Master of Ceremonies and 3rd Vice President Bill Schwetke represented the Virginia SAR. Distinguished guests included Nicholas, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Sharon Bulova, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Fairfax Mayor David L. Meyer. Re-enactors in Hessian, English, and Scottish uniforms provided a colorful backdrop to the Plaque Dedication Ceremony.
Wreaths were presented by the Virginia SAR, George Washington Chapter, Colonel WIlliam Grayson Chapter, Fairfax Resolves Chapter, and Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, as well as the local County and City Governments, the Fairfax County Chapter, NSDAR, and Fauquier Court House Chapter, NSDAR.
report by Fairfax Resolves President Jeff Thomas
Justin Thomas, a 4th Grade student from Fairfax County, has won the Virginia Society Americanism Poster Contest. Fairfax Resolves Chapter President Jeff Thomas and Color Guardsman Vern Eubanks visited Bull Run Elementary School today and presented the winner with an Outstanding Citizenship certificate and cash award. Justin's 4th Grade teacher Kate Charlton and Principal Jason Pensler also attended the award presentation. The topic of Justin’s poster was Colonel William Grayson, an aide-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolutionary War and the first U.S. Senator from Virginia. Justin is a member of the Colonel William Grayson CAR Society. He will now compete in the national poster contest at the SAR Annual Congress in July.
report by James Monroe Chapter President Charles Belfield
June 12, 2017 The Richmond County Middle School held their 2016-2017 Awards Ceremony. Charles Belfield President of the James Monroe Chapter presented Jennifer Sanchaze with a certificate and a Check for $25.00 for winning the local Americanism Brochure contest. Then she was awarded a certificate and a check for $250.00 from the Virginia Society for winning the State contest. Jennifer is an outstanding young student receiving several awards at the ceremony.
Yesterday, June 10, VASSAR members laid wreaths at the grave of George Mason at his estate, Gunston Hall, in Lorton, Va as part of the Declaration Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the Virginia Bill of Rights.
Saturday morning, at the Culpeper Minutemen Monument in Yowell Meadow Park, near where the Culpeper Minutemen mustered in 1775, the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter conducted their annual memorial service that this year included two Virginia SAR chapters and one DAR Chapter. The history of the Minute Battalion was read, and 12 names of known Culpeper Minutemen were read, the bell rung, and a brief bio read for each of the twelve minuteman. When wreaths were presented, the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter wreath was presented by Charles Jameson, a direct descendant of Lt. David Jameson, who mustered with the Culpeper Minutemen in 1775. The Virginia SAR wreath was presented by 3rd Vice President Bill Schwetke. The Fairfax Resolve Chapter wreath was presented by President Jeff Thomas, whose ancestor enlisted from Culpeper in 1776. The ceremony was covered by a photo journalist from the Culpeper Times.
Those Honored Today:
Littleton Adams, Private, Fauquier County
James Allan, Private, Fauquier County
Moses Allan, Corporal, Fauquier County
Vincent Allen, Private, Culpeper County
William Allen, Private, Fauquier County
Spencer Anderson, Private, Fauquier County
Benjamin Arnold, Private, Fauquier County
William Asberry, Private, Fauquier County
Ambrose Adkins, Private, Orange County
Edward Adkins, Private, Orange County
Jacob Aylor, Private, Culpeper County
Isaac Baar/Barr, Private, Fauquier County