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THE COMMANDER: LTC Louis Stout, USA, (Ret.)  October Message:


Fellow Companions and Friends


Remembering COL Jack Jones


It is hard to remember that only a year ago we held the “Celebration of Life” for COL Jack Jones. As you recall, Jack served as both Commander of our local General Hoyt S. Vandenberg Chapter, President of the Central California Coast MOAA Chapter and as the past National Commander of the MOWW. His shoes have been very hard to fill.  Jack’s service and leadership within the Central California community cannot be equaled. We miss you Jack.      


The September MOWW meeting was a casual get together with great entertainment by the In Time Trio performing foot stomping patriotic tunes. These ladies never slow down...very entertaining. The September meeting also affirmed the nomination of officers by the Nomination Committee for the upcoming year. All current officers will continue in their position. The nomination was approved. Arrangements are being made for swearing in during the forthcoming October meeting.

Our guest speaker for our Oct. 17th luncheon will be Mr. Erik Brun, Foundation President for the 99th Infantry Battalion. Erik will provide us with the Saga of the Viking Battalion and its Secret missions during WWII.  This is a do not miss presentation about a dangerous and highly successful mission which is not well known.







      September, 2018
May, 2018 April, 2018 March, 2018 February, 2018
January, 2018 December, 2017 November, 2017 October, 2017
September, 2017 June, 2017 May, 2017 April, 2017








The month of October is Fire Safety Month.  An important segment of this month is Fire Prevention Week.  This is always the week in which October 9th falls.  This year it is the week of October 7 through 13.  Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire, which took place in 1871.  In 1911, on the 40th anniversary of that fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.  This was expanded to Fire Prevention Week in 1922.  President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week in 1925, noting that some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States in the previous year.  Part of his proclamation stated:  “This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented….It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth”.

Most Fire Departments now have a Fire Prevention or Fire Safety Officer to inform the public of the dangers of fire, and ways to minimize the hazards and loss due to fires.  A major target of these programs are students, but people of all ages can learn of ways to reduce a fire at their home, school, or place of business.  Fire Departments regularly conduct inspection of homes, and other buildings as part of their fire prevention programs.

There will be displays of fire equipment at the Downtown SLO Farmers Market on Thursday, Oct 11.  Most fire departments in the county are present at this event, barring some major emergency.  On Saturday, Oct 13, there will be an open house at SLO City Fire Station One at Santa Barbara and Broad.  The event will begin at 1000 hours, and go until 1400 hours.  The County Fire Station at the SLO airport also has an open house on Saturday.  Demonstrations there include operation of the crash truck, as well as other events.  It is interesting to observe the equipment, and the demonstrations, but it is also good to show support to our firefighters.

LT Ron Janney



Membership Information


Adjutant’s Corner

We, as members of MOWW know, there are periodic expenditures: Of course we have our meals to pay for; in addition there are other obligations, depending on a member’s desire: Locally we are expected to pay annual dues of $15; some elect to be Perpetual  members and are then exempt from regular National dues of  $40 a year.

Local dues; $15/year payable the first of each year

National dues: $40/payable to National based on the member’s date of joining

The Executive Committee has opted not to send out notices of the dues requirements but we trust in the good graces of our members to step forward at the beginning of each calendar year to make good their obligation! Consider this an advanced notice! Thanks so much for your continued physical, psychological and moral support!




We have a strong chapter but you will realize that most of the burden of chapter duties rest on the shoulders of just a few. In the coming months someone may tap you on your shoulder and ask if you’d take on one of the many administrative chores we are obligated to provide to our community.

Please note your interest in any of the below areas of service to the chapter. Contact an officer for greater details of what may be required of you. Some members already assist in most of these areas, so the load will not rest with one person! The amount of time dedicated by each person varies but is usually distributed throughout the year.

  1. Patriotic Education:
  3. Scouts:
  4. Membership:
  5. Memorials:
  6. Publicity/Photography:
  7. Nominating:
  8. Phone:
  9. Wellness:
  10. Chapter Activities:
  11. Awards: Law Enforcement of the Year
  12. Books and related:
  13. Programs: Youth Leadership; Lost At Sea; guest speakers;
  14. National Security: (Includes Homeland Security)
  15. Historian: LTC Larry Geist




SGT AT ARMS: remarks from MAJ James Murphy:

The pencil problem: 1990

This is the story of the US pencil industry. Remember, we are looking back from our vantage point of 2018. It’s strange to think that, back in 1990, just anyone could use a pencil any way they wanted to.

You see, it all started when the Occupational Safety & Health Act carcinogen policy went into effect. The graphite in the pencil leads always contained a residue of crystalline silica. And there was at least one animal test and an in-vitro test indicating that crystalline silica produced tumors, so the material became regulated as a carcinogen. There was no alternate for pencils, so exposure had to come down almost to zero. Workers were put into protective clothing, and that solved the problem initially.

But then the EPA, acting under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, which soon had their own carcinogen policies, required drastic reductions in emissions and effluents. The control technology was quite expensive, and only the largest manufacturers could afford it. This causes a flurry of antitrust suits in the early 1990’s when there were only three pencil makers left in the country. One of the three was split into smaller companies, but they soon went out of business since they were unable to afford increasingly stringent workplace and pollution control requirements. Then foreign pencil manufacturers began to threaten to dominate the pencil market, and our government, in an abrupt about-face, allowed a merger of the two remaining companies to meet overseas competition.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission then became concerned with what the newspaper headlines were calling the “pencil problem.” Rubber erasers can be chewed on and choke small children. The sharp points of pencils could also be dangerous. There were residual solvents in the paint used on pencils, and pencil-chewing seemed to be a wider spread habit than anyone had realized. Printing a legend on each pencil said that “A Pencil Could be Hazardous to Your Health” did not seem to affect consumer pencil habits, a Harvard study indicated. In fact, the study found additional potentially hazardous habits such as stirring coffee with a pencil. This led the FDA to declare that harmful substances could be dissolved from the pencil into the coffee, and thus pencils violated food additive laws, including related amendments to this law.

Trying to salvage its business, the pencil companies began making pencils without paint, without erasers and with only soft leads so they would not hold a sharp point. But consumers were outraged and sales declined.

Then someone invited a machine that could measure crystalline silica below the part-per-trillion level, and workplace, air emission, water effluent, and waste disposal regulations required that the best practicable technology be used to reach this low level. The pencil companies were threatened with financial ruin because of the large sums needed to purchase new control equipment. There were those that wanted to ban pencils entirely under the Toxic Substances Control Act, but the government decided that pencils were necessary, particularly since they were used to write new regulations. Besides, the Senators from the state where the pencil companies were located declared that pencils were as American as baseball, and should not be replaced with ball point pens.

So the government bailed out the pencil company with a large, guaranteed loan—called a Chrysler Loan in those days. But of course that was only a temporary measure, and to protect the pencil business, the government eventually nationalized it.

It is comforting to know, after all, that society is being protected against a danger that was so obvious we didn’t even notice it for many, many years! There are still those who complain about paying $7.99 for a pencil, but you really can’t put a price tag on health or safety.




Chaplains Corner

When God solves our problems, we have faith in His abilities.

When God doesn’t solve our problems, He has faith in our abilities.

One may observe God’s accuracy in the hatching of eggs---those of a canary in 14 days; those of the farm hen in 21 days; ducks and geese in 28 and a mallard in 35 days; a parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days. (Note they are all divisible by 7, the number of days in a week!)

See God’s wisdom in the elephant: the 4 legs of this giant beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body—too large to live on 2 legs. For this reason He gave it 4 fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily. The horse rises from the ground on its 2 front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its 2 hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind. Each orange has an even number of segments. Each ear of corn has an even number of rows. Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains. Every bunch of bananas has on it’s lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreased by one, so that one row has an even number and the new row and odd number.


And there’s more, and I’ll keep the rest until next month, so keep these thoughts until then when I finish this consideration!


MAJ Jim Murphy