Rotary Meeting: May 25, 2021
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) called us to order on our 71st Tribute to Armed Forces Day. A day where we commemorate the men and woman who defend our freedoms and our liberty. ALLISON CAGLEY (Sergeant in Arms) Executive Director of Friends of Sacramento Arts) welcomed us and asked our guests to introduce themselves. We then heard the warm introductions of BECK CAHILL a friend of NORM MARSHALL (President of Headwaters Construction Inc.); LIUETENANT, JUNIOR GRADE, PARKER MARSHALL of San Diego, Ca.; TOM HUFFMAN, son of STEVE HUFFMAN, and last but not least, Army Reserve member MICHAEL DAVIS, son of RICHARD DAVIS.
Thought for the Day:
PAST PRESIDENT WALTER DAHL presented a thought of the day in special dedication to Armed Forces Day. In an eloquently crafted manner, he encouraged introspection, remembrance, and appreciation with the words that follow:
  • We gather today in tribute to our armed forces. In 1949 President Harry S. Truman established the third Saturday in May as Armed Forces Day and no subsequent administration has tampered with that executive order. As we pause and reflect, we ask God to protect and comfort the men and women currently serving in our nations Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard. We also honor and appreciate those who have served. Both in war and in peace, our military veterans have kept the flame of freedom alive. God, we especially seek your blessing for those veterans of the Vietnam conflict as their service and dedication was not then acknowledged. And finally, let us remember and give tribute to those who paid the ultimate price in the service of our Country. As is written in John 15:13, ‘Greater love hath no man been this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’ in gratitude to all that are service and have served, amen.”
Club Announcements:
DR. PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director of Pacific Charter Institute) announced the exciting opportunity offered by the Rotary Youth Exchange. The Rotary Youth Exchange is offering a virtual 8-week session lasting from June to August that gives children the opportunity to learn about different cultures and civilizations. It welcomes all youth between the ages of 15 – 17 to apply! You can apply by contacting your local Rotary Club. Though it is a virtual experience this session, they hope to be returning to an in-person youth exchange within the next year!
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN reminded us that June 8th will be the first back-in-person meeting taking place at our homesite, the Greek Orthodox Church. To add to the excitement, there will be a wine reception prior to the meeting chaired by KEVIN WILLIAMS (Chief Sponsorship Manager of KVIE). KEVIN WILLIAMS also added that they are looking for sponsors and to contact him if you would like to contribute.
Rotary Good News:
JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) shared with us the accomplishments of his son, Dr. Kyle Swentowsky, who received his PhD from the University of Georgia. Kyle Swentowsky will be allocating his knowledge by researching corn, more specifically, how corn can be grown as a perennial plant. In other words, how corn can be grown for multiple years without replanting. Kyle Swentowsky now works in New York after going to school for approximately 25 years. In honor of his son, JOHN SWENTOWSKY donated 10 dollars for each year his son was in school, equating to the Golden Egg donation of $250.
PAUL KEEFER donated at the Pirate Level ($100) in celebration of his son who declared his intent of enrollment at the prominent University of San Diego (USD).
NANCY TEICHERT gave a Golden Egg donation ($250) to commemorate the promising recovery of her sister, who recently underwent a major heart surgery.
DR. BARBARA ARNOLD (Ophthalmologist at Barbara J. Arnold MD Inc. ) gave a Crooked Mile donation ($1000) in memory of her art mentor Gregory Kondos. Gregory heavily influenced the way DR. ARNOLD interprets landscapes and he was also a former member of the Navy, having served during World War 2.
THERESA WHEELER (Owner of Prevail Public Affairs) has a husband who recently finished his 80th chemotherapy treatment and has been pronounced cancer free! She made a Golden Egg donation of $250 in his honor.
STEVE HUFFMAN provided a Pirate donation ($100) in honor of his grandson who is serving in the U.S. Army.
BECK CAHILL made a Pirate donation ($100) in consideration of his nephew who is enrolled in the Navy.
RICK DAVIS donated a Golden Egg ($250) in recognition of both his son, Michael, and for our guest speaker.
NORM MARSHALL donated a Golden Egg ($250) in honor of the members of the armed service as well as our two guest speakers.
Armed Forces Day :
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH FAGAN turned the gavel over to BOB DALY (Financial Advisor at the Financial Network Wealth Advisors).  Bob shared a few quick video clips that included: #1 West Point Band video rendition of revelry; #2 A short video of Army tank drills and formations; #3 A Navy video of ships and various water crafts as well as a few “Top Gun” shots, including landing on an Air Craft Carrier; #4 A Marine Corps video recapping troops moving through land, air, and sea; #5 An Air Force video displaying our country’s strength in aviation; #6 A Space Force video displaying the expansiveness of our military; #7 A Coast Guard video sharing daily influences on our world’s waterways. These video clips culminated with the Pledge of Allegiance.
We were then granted with an educational segment on the history of Armed Forces Day and a short recap of Sacramento Rotarians who participated in the Armed Forces. Included in that information were their service records, awards, accomplishments, service dates, and service countries. Many of the bios included photos in full regalia, photos in active duty, and photos of the everyday life of our soldiers.
Guest Speakers:
We were granted with the pleasure of having two guest speakers, MICHEAL DAVIS (U.S. Army) and PARKER MARSHALL (U.S. Navy).
MICHEAL DAVIS recapped a few of his Army assignments including one as an Army recruiter out of College Station, Texas. Michael shared a few stories of the young men and women whom he recruited. He led us through how he had to pre-qualify candidates with exams, background checks, and interviews, sharing the story of one specific young man who wanted to be a Green Beret. The young man originally wanted to be in the Special Forces but after not being selected several times, he expressed interest in infantry and air borne options. The young man’s decision to stay in the military led to a true success story after accomplishing much in his military life. That same man is set to retire soon.
NORM MARSHALL introduced his son, Parker. PARKER MARSHALL thanked Rotarians for their service, recapped his own Naval advancement and touched on his deployments.  He is an enlisted Seal, with specialization as a medic and a sniper. SEAL stands for Sea-Air-Land.  PARKER gave a few definitions of acronyms of programs and his advancement. He informed us that BUD stands for Basic Underwater Demolition school. BUD training includes: Gauntlet phase 1 (including Hell week) in 6-to-7-man boat crews going through rigorous training. The 2nd Phase was intense swimming and survival.  The 3rd phase was learning tactics to shoot, move, and communicate. It takes approximately 6 months to finish SEAL school.  Upon completion, SEALS receive tridents at graduation. PARKER was selected to Seal Team 1.  He recounted his next phase of training which typically lasts 2 years.  The 2 years of training is followed by a 6-month deployment.  Throughout BUD’s phases and deployment, PARKER recounted the difficulty of his training and physical exams.
Closing Comments:
With the images of Sacramento Valley Military Cemetery in Dixon, CA displayed, our meeting was concluded as PRESIDENT KEVIN signed off with an inspired thank you. He asked us to remember the bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice of our service members. Kevin thanked our 2 speakers and the committee that helped put together Tuesday’s program which included DAVE MCKIE, BOB DALY, RICK DAVIS, PAST PRESIDENT TIM PINKNEY (Luxe Aviation, LLC), NORM MARSHALL, and STEVE HUFFMAN.
ALLISON CAGLEY reported that we will not be meeting on Tuesday, June 1st, and as a reminder, our next meeting will be in-person on June 8th. We can’t wait to see everyone’s faces!
A final video tribute our Armed Service members concluded the meeting.
CLICK HERE to watch the entire recording of the Rotary meeting from Tuesday, May 25th, 2021