The opening ritual was led by Regent Mary Scalf and Chaplain Linda Hebert. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Janet Barrett, and the national anthem was led by Vicki Fleming. The Pledge to the Oklahoma Flag was led by Carol Meyer, and the Preamble to the Constitution was led by Linda Hebert. Nancy Haney led The American’s Creed.
Regent Mary Scalf introduced the speaker, Jill Williamson, the director of Veteran Student Support Services at East Central University. Jill is a graduate of Byng High School, and she earned a bachelor of arts degree in studio art from ECU in 1993. She earned a master of science degree in psychological services in 2005. She has been assisting veterans with achieving their post-secondary educational endeavors for the past 19 years. Jill lives in the Ada area with her husband, Brad, and their three dogs.
Jill works with The Trio Program to help low-income, first-generation college students or students with disabilities. This program helps students go to any post-secondary education program anywhere in the United States. If these students have any academic weakness, the program helps with a tutor or online program help. The students can get help in ordering transcripts and in making plans for admission to the programs they want to pursue.
In 2014-2015, Jill and Clint Fisher applied for a grant to expand the program in southeastern Oklahoma. The grant that was applied for was a VA Homeless Grant in 26 counties in southeastern Oklahoma. In writing the grant, they needed statistics to be included. They found that at ECU, 21 percent of veterans are female, 62 percent live in the community, 94 percent attend classes full time, and 46 percent have service-connective disabilities.
There are 14 Veteran Service programs in the United States and only two in Oklahoma — ECU and the University of Central Oklahoma in Durant. The most recent GI Bill will pay the highest rate for full-time students. These students are mothers and fathers who usually work in addition to going to school. The program works with the community partners to help with other issues.
They began to wonder what will happen to these students when the grant ends. Jill had an intern this past spring and summer, Valori Slaughter, who began to work on this problem. Valori came up with an idea to take community volunteers with a military background and start a mentor program. It is called Veteran Rally Point and is made up of six teams: education, employment, health wellness, spiritual wellness, legal issues and housing. There is a need for mentors in all these areas.
Many veterans end up with substance abuse problems. These veterans don’t know their rights and don’t know about programs that can help. Veteran Rally Point evens the playing field. It meets 50 minutes weekly, and it provides testing and accountability.
In May of 2018, Oklahoma had a higher suicide rate than the national average and in the age range 18-34, the suicide rate is number one in the nation. In the year 2014, the average in Oklahoma was 53.8 percent per 100,000, and the national average was 38.4 percent per 100,,000. In a 50-mile radius of Ada there have been five suicides in the past few months.
Jill was recently at a meeting in another state and noticed on the wall a picture of Ernest McFarlane. Ernest McFarlane is an East Central University graduate who wrote the education piece of the first GI Bill at the end of World War ll. After World War ll, 60 percent to 70 percent of veterans attended higher education.
President general’s message
Chapter Regent Mary Scalf gave the president general’s report. President General Ann Turner Dillon talked about the National Day of Service. She thanked all the DAR chapters for their work in their community. President General Dillon mentioned that she was always inspired with the many service projects that local chapters have completed throughout this country and overseas and how creative and dedicated the DAR Daughters are in their service to America.
President General Dillon and some of the NSDAR will be traveling to the Southern Caribbean islands in November. They will be leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to discover what part these islands played in our nation’s fight for independence. They will visit St. Kitts, where the Battle of Frigate Bay took place in 1782; St. Lucia, which bounced between British and French control in the 18th century; and Barbados, where George Washington lived with his half-brother Lawrence in 1751. The group will post daily recaps of the trip on the Today’s DAR Blog when they return home.
She encouraged all DAR Daughters to remember what we are thankful for at this special season of the year. She said, “I am thankful for our patriot ancestors who had the courage and conviction to fight for the right to self-govern, and for you, their descendants, who make a difference in this nation every day.”
The secretary’s minutes for last meeting were available on the check- in table. A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the last meeting. The motion passed.
Treasurer Suzanne McFarlane reported that 90 percent of the chapter membership dues had been sent to the State DAR. The report was filed for audit.
The registrar, Nancy Haney, introduced two visitors at the meeting: Sandra Thompson and Tanya Gilliand.
Mary Pfeffer encouraged everyone to turn in pictures and articles for the chapter yearbook.
National defense report
Carol Meyer reported on Naval Station Mayport: A Jacksonville Jewel. Naval Station Mayport is one of the three major Navy installations in the Jacksonville area and is the third largest naval facility in the United States. Mayport’s operational composition is unique, with a busy harbor capable of accommodating 34 U. S. Navy ships and an 8,000-foot runway capable of handling most any aircraft in the Department of Defense’s inventory. The mission of Naval Station Mayport is to sustain and enhance war-fighter readiness.
Naval Station Mayport was commissioned in December 1942. After WW ll, Naval Station Mayport was deactivated and reactivated several times because of the importance of readiness and subsequent wars.
There are four aircraft squadrons on site: Vipers, Jaguars, Airwolves and Grandmasters. There are approximately 20 ships, split in cruisers, frigates and destroyers. Naval Station Mayport is also home to the Navy’s 4th Fleet, reactivated in 2008 after being deactivated in 1950.
There are 106 DAR chapters and 21 statewide military installations in Florida. Florida Daughters are constantly at work supporting active-duty service personnel, veterans and their families. Within 25 miles of Naval Station Mayport, there are seven DAR chapters. The Jacksonville chapter is the oldest chapter in Florida, being organized in 1895.
Veterans Day history
Sandra Mantooth reported on “What is Veterans Day?” The history of Veterans Day began on Nov. 11,1919, and it became a national holiday in 1938. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead. It especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Sandra presented some interesting facts and statistics on the number of veterans who served in at lest one war. She discussed how many are women, how many served during the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, W.W.ll, and the Korean conflict. As of 2014, three states have more than 1 million veterans among their population.
She explained the role that the United States played in World War l. The first draft since the Civil War was put in place. The American soldiers were fighting heroically in Europe. Two of the most decorated soldiers were Sgt. Alvin York and ace fighter pilot Eddie Rickenbacker. The most decorated soldier from Oklahoma was a Choctaw Indian from Atoka named Joseph Oklahombi.
Also mentioned were the roles that women played while the men were overseas. She also told about some incidents in Oklahoma concerning the American-Germans who had settled before the war. During the war, speaking German was forbidden and some German settlement towns changed their names.
Sandra Mantooth gave the Indian Minute on Thanksgiving, Over its lifetime, the Continental Congress issued nine proclamations calling for days of thanksgiving. Puritans had started the practice of thanksgiving. Yet today, it remains a tradition of being thankful and giving thanks for all our blessings. Thanksgiving remained a religious occasion, celebrating national blessings, and a day of public praise and giving thanks.
The modern, formalized definition of Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November was not set as a national observance until the Civil War and wasn’t made into law until 1941.
Often during Thanksgiving, tables were heavily laden with venison, pork roast, turkey, goose, pigeon and fish. Large amounts of vegetables, including a novelty called “celery.” The desserts were: pumpkin pies, apple tarts and Indian puddings made from different berries.
Native Americans introduced the Pilgrims to the agricultural “three sisters”: corn, beans, and squash. These foods helped the Pilgrims survive, and these foods became a welcome staple at the time of thanksgiving.
Still today, on Thanksgiving Day, at noon the Native Americans whose heritage lies with the bands of Indians who helped the first people of America gather at Cole’s Hill in Massachusetts to re-enact and commemorate a day of thanks. These are the same Native Americans who helped in the American Revolution.
These Native Americans suffered a great deal with the coming of the Pilgrims. Diseases, plagues, fires, destruction, slavery and the loss of their lands, not only from the early Americans but from their enemies, the British and French. The Indians believe in gathering of family and friends and working together to make life better for all. The British and French tried to convince some of the leaders of several tribes that the Americans were the enemy. The Oneida and Tuscarora refused to join the British and were eventually attacked by the Iroquois Confederacy.
One Mohawk leader named Joseph Bran, most of the Cayuga, most of the Onondaga, a Seneca leader named “Cornstalk” and a Delaware Chief named “White Eyes” decided to break away and worked hard to suppress the wars. They pledged “perpetual peace and friendship” to the Americans. From the South came the Cherokee, 14,000 strong led by “Dragging Canoe,” accompanied by the Choctaws and Creeks. Five thousand Chickasaws also joined to fight with the Americans and helped split up the Iroquois Confederacy.
American and Indians slaughtered the tribes who fought with the British. They burned villages and crops.
Ohio Indians began helping the British again in the Great Lakes areas. They won victories in the West long after the British leader, Cornwallis, had surrendered in the East. They continued to resist American expansion for a dozen years after the American Revolution.
In 1783, under the terms of the Peace of Paris without regard to the Indian allies, the British handed over to the new United States all its territory east of the Mississippi River, south of the Great Lakes and north of Florida.
Many Oklahomans know the “rest of the story.” The new United States claimed all the Indian lands by treaty and by force. Indians who fought against, as well as those who fought for and beside the Americans, lost their lands.
In less than 50 years after the American Revolution, the majority of those tribes were forced to move from their original lands to some newly acquired lands west of the Mississippi. Eventually over 100 tribes moved to an area called “Indian Territory.”
The conservation report was a continuation of last month’s report. Binnie Wilson continued her report on water conservation outside the home. Some ways to conserve water outside are always water early, use automatic sprinklers on a timer, plant drought-resistant plants and place a layer of mulch around flowerbeds, gardens, scrubs and trees. Lastly, she suggested using a rain barrel for watering plants.
Ruth Ann Taylor reported that nine women went to the Sulphur Veterans Center on Tuesday the 6th for our monthly visit with our 10 adopted veterans. Three handprint flags were taken to be placed in the center for Veterans Day. The flags were made by Homer School. One pre-K, one second grade and one fifth-grade class made the flags for the center.
The group also celebrated one of the veterans’ birthday with a “Fishing Party.” Karen Walter took a swimming pool and fishing poles so the men could fish for gifts. Cake and punch we reserved, and a great time was had by all.
Ruth Ann Taylor suggest that we discuss at a future time putting wreaths on veterans’ graves.
Suzanne McFarlane shared about a trip she took to Ft. Pitt Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, early this year. It is a historic site, given to the Pennsylvania DAR in 1954. She encouraged anyone visiting in that area to make a point of visiting the fort.
Good Citizen Committee
The committee chairman, Mary Scalf, gave an update on this year’s contest. Out of the seven Pontotoc County schools, six agreed to participate in the contest. Three of the six schools turned in essays, and they have been sent to the judges. Thank you, Ada, Vanoss and Roff for your participation in this year’s contest.
Chapter Regent Mary Scalf reminded everyone to check the back table for handouts and sign-up sheets. She reminded the group that she has only three state Christmas tree ornaments left. and to see her if you are interested. She mentioned several Chimney Hill Daughters who are ill and need our prayers. She congratulated Sandra Mantooth on being the Pontotoc County VIM award winner. Sandra was recognized at the State Retired Teacher Meeting in Norman. The next DAR meeting will be at noon Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Ada Arts and Heritage Building. Each member needs to bring a side dish or a meat. The December hostesses will provide desserts and drinks. The door prize was won by Mary Scalf.
The benediction was given by Tommie Beddow.
The hostesses for the November meeting were Rita Cloar, Phyllis Oxenham Gibbs and Ruth Ann Taylor. Visitors were Tanya Gilliand, Sandra Thompson and Jill Williamson.
Members present were Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Bettye Brown, Rita Cloar, Joan Elliott, Vicki Fleming, Phyllis Gibbs, Nancy Haney, Linda Hebert, Katherine Howry, Jean Kelley, Sandra Mantooth, Suzanne McFarlane, Carol Meyer, Mariam Paniaguia, Mary Pfeffer, Mary Scalf, Kelli Sutton, Ruth Ann Taylor, Karen Walters, Binnie Wilson and Elizabeth Witherow.