Sponsored By The: Disabled American Veterans, Department of California Rehabilitation Foundation.
Disabled American Chapters 6, 7, and 85, DAV Industries of San Diego, Mission City Charities, Inc., AT&T Pebble Beach Charities, Monterey Peninsula Avenue of Flags, Food Source Produce Brokers, Zane Johnson Memorial VFW Post #344,
and Balesteri Unlimited Catering.
Monterey Bay Veterans, Inc. Phone: (831)646-8324, Fax: (831)646-9139
Monterey, California 93940
Comrades please take the time to read this letter, and after your done, I hope you'll agree, that this is a wonderful way to actually make an impact on those who have served our great nation........Commander, Scott Havelka
My name is Ernie Payne. I am a 51 year old Vietnam Veteran. I was born in San Francisco and raised in San Bernardino until I was 18. Because I was raised in a dysfunctional family, I enlisted in the U.S. Army as soon as I graduated from High School. I entered the Army with low self esteem and was considered a loner. I was afraid to make friends for fear of being rejected. When I went to Vietnam in 1968, I met one individual that turned out to be a person who accepted me for who I was. In September of 1968 during a firefight, Brian was mortally wounded. He did in my arms and I had lost the only true friend I had. I promised myself that I would never make friends again because to make a friend was to lose a friend. I remained a loner for many years to come.
In 1982 I suffered a Dual Intracranial Aneurysm which left me Blind and Epileptic. After I came out of the Coma, I started thinking that three times, I should of been killed and three times I was spared. I finally figured out that my Higher Power had something for me to do and He wasn't going to take me until I had completed my task. I started joining Veterans Organizations to get me involved, and to some extent that worked. They gave me company and someone I could relate to but they could not assist me in regaining my strength or my self confidence.
In late 1996, I received a phone call from Michelle Uren from the Fresno V.A.M.C.. She asked me if I would be interested in going on a Weekend Salmon Fishing Trip. She told me that it was being put on by an Organization called, The Monterey Bay Veterans Sports Fishing Rehab Center. I signed up for that trip and this last week, I went on their Cod Fishing Trip.
When I had my Aneurysm, the Doctors weren't expecting me to live. Once I came through the crisis period they thought I would be Paralyzed on my left side for the rest of my life. Two days after that I started moving the little finger on my left hand. I have been working ever since to regain my strength, and with the opportunity of the Fishing Trips I have attended, I have had the opportunity to use muscles that I usually don't get the chance to use. I have also started coming out of my shell and have learned that there are caring people out there willing to help people. I have used muscles thought atrophied and have learned to trust again. I thank God that there are such people out there who are willing to accept others as they are and to dedicate themselves to the Physical and Mental Welfare of others. I am proud to call them my Brothers and Sisters. I feel I have a large and loving family in the Monterey Area. My thanks and gratitude go to each and every one of the members in the Monterey Bay Veterans Sports Fishing Rehab Center as well as all the individuals and organizations who donate to their cause. I hope this organization is around for a very long time to come.
At the last Trips Banquet I was informed that I was chosen by the Pajaro Valley Lions Club as being the individual they sponsored for the event. I am touched and proud of the Honor. Thank you all very much. Your involvement with this organization shows me that the Lions Club has always been and always will be in the forefront of helping others. Keep up the fantastic work. I am sure that I speak for all others who have attended the Trips when I say that, all the effort is greatly appreciated. You have added something very positive to our lives that we would not have had without the existence of this fine organization. May God Bless all of you for your love and caring.
With All Respects, Ernie Payne
Comrades in the Pittsburgh Area, please contact me if you, like I, and these fine people who wish to help Severely Disabled Veterans in realizing a better life, not just a routine existence. We're interested in having a National Tournament, Each State, then a National Tournament after which the winner will be crowned. Big ideas have a way of realizing themselves when god people get behind them.
DAV, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter No.8 Commander, Scott Havelka........Phone: (412)462-3195