Rotary Log for November 11, 2021
Crisp fall weather greeted Rotarians, as they gathered in a new venue, the PCC’s Clipper Grille. We had to make the move since the ball room was filled with hundreds of golf simulation fans.  There was a bit of a learning curve, delaying the start of the meeting. It was a small taste of things to come in 2022 when we permanently move there.  
Admirably, President Justin didn’t skip a beat, went with the flow, and called the Veterans Day gathering to order. A UNH ROTC detachment “soldiered on” to present the colors in cramp space. New member and greeter Stephen Polhemus led the Four-Way Test and Judy directed singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
John Rice offered the invocation saluting our Veteran heroes. He reminded us that freedom is not free. We owe Veterans our best, to thank them for their many sacrifices.
Justin acknowledged the passing of long-time Rotarian and friend Paul Whitcomb. A devoted 25-year member of the club, Paul will be greatly missed.
Col. William Davis, Chief of Staff, New Hampshire Air National Guard and Robert and David White from the Rotary Club of Ipswich, England. Also on hand, former Portsmouth Rotarian Stephen DuBois.
Ann Bliss needs Rotary Thanksgiving Dinner volunteers; Joanie Dickinson reports Interact students will be assisting with tree sales. Yay! Retired Christmas decorations are available for purchase.
The Program.
The special Veterans Day program was arranged, thanks to the efforts of LTC John Rice (NHANG-Retired). Featured speaker Major Richard Brown, Executive Officer, UNH Army ROTC, delivered unscripted remarks discussing what service meant to him.
MAJ Brown was initially motivated to serve following the horror of 9-11. He had also been inspired by his grandfather, a World War II veteran.
MAJ Brown talked about taking an oath to defend against our enemies. Making a commitment to something larger than ourselves.
“We do our best no matter what,” he said. “We give 100% each time. We are always going to be there.”
“We don’t call in sick, because we don’t like what is going on,” the well-decorated hero added.
Deploying wherever he is sent, MAJ Brown said he is “apolitical,” having served under four Presidents.
He shared his proudest moments, speaking to the camaraderie and trust among military colleagues. A truly special bond. From his vantage point as member of the Special Forces, he shared that things are not done in Afghanistan. It’s an ongoing situation and more people need to leave.
MAJ Brown’s decorations and awards include the Bronze Start Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. 
Justin led a standing ovation in honor of all Veterans. Nice seeing our Rotary veteran heroes stand proudly when their branch of service was called.
The week’s 50/50 drawing of $43 was claimed by former Rotarian and guest Stephen DuBois. There was no match. He pledged to donate the funds to an organization that supports vets.
Justin ended the meeting on time. Rotarians left the session feeling good. Any day we can thank our Vets is a good day.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy E. Notis
Photos by Francoise Meissner