Distinguished Members and Supporters of AUSA Sunshine Chapter

It is a great day to be a member of AUSA.

Note from the president:

2014 is proving to be another great and challenging year for the Sunshine Chapter. It was an honor to stand on platform with General Gordon R. Sullivan, AUSA, and Norman Augustine, a Sunshine Chapter co-founder, at the 2013 Annual Meeting when we were recognized as the Best Chapter in our category. This is possible because of our many dedicated members and our Soldier community.

It was our privilege to host General Sullivan at a recent General Membership Meeting. No need to ask – yes, there were many flamingos being worn or exchanged. I believe there is nowa well adorned yard in a state somewhere north of here. We celebrated the dedication of the Central Florida Veterans’ Memorial Park in Lake Nona. The memorial truly is a place of healing and of remembrance. In just a few days we will be participating in the annual 3rd Region Meeting where the leadership from AUSA National and the region’s chapters share ideas, challenges and camaraderie. The Region is fortunate to have Sunshine Chapter member and past president Mary Trier as the current 3rd Region President. Led by Karin Zielenski and Mike Flanagan, we are in the process of planning a fantastic event in celebration of the Army’s 239th birthday. I hope you are able to join us on Saturday, June 14, at Rosen Shingle Creek. As I stated, the Chapter is faced with several challenges – and we need your help.

All of us can make our community aware of AUSA, the Sunshine Chapter, how the soldier community and
soldier families benefit because of AUSA and the various membership opportunities.

Visit www.ausasunshine.org to learn more.

Please send your inquiries to our Membership VP, John Reams, at: Membership@ausa-sunshine.org.

Next, our web site has undergone a facelift. Please take a moment to navigate the various pages and provide your feedback to our Communications VP, Karen Fray, at Communications@ausa-sunshine.org. If you would like to join the rank of our many volunteers, please send me a note indicating your areas of interest. I can be reached at President@ausa-sunshine.org. Don’t forget to bookmark our chapter web site to stay current on chapter activities. When you see a Soldier, extend your thanks for their service. Again, thank you for your dedication and continued support.

Debbie L. Berry (Deb-B)
President, AUSA Sunshine Chapter


Sunshine Chapter Hero’s Story – Jim Chlapowski

When a person enlists in the Armed Forces they take an Enlistment Oath to, “Defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that [I] will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that [I] will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” This Oath is their driving mission and commitment throughout their time in service and for those who have sacrificed and returned injured to uphold it deserve the utmost respect and support. Jim Chlapowski took this Oath in 1980 and has dedicated his life to ensuring others who have done the same receive the respect and honor that a true American Hero deserves.

Jimis a disabled Veteran, retired Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) and started service initially in 1980 to 1984, got out, spent three years in college, went back to serve in 1987 and remained committed until 2003. His efforts included work with the Department of Defense (DOD) and State Department doing Quality Assurance (QA) with food suppliers in multiple deployed locations. Additionally he served as a Regional Non Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC), Operations NCO & Detachment Sergeant. Most of his assignments were overseas but he spent considerable time State-side including Fort Carson, Fort Lew is, Fort Jackson, Fort Sam Houston and San Diego.

Jim’s background in the social science/support field is expansive. After Jim retired in Colorado Springs (2003) he was picked up to work in Germany w here he started out as a financial readiness Program Manager/ Army Emergency Relief Officer. His work moved him all around the globe assisting with a wide range of services from deployment and reintegration training, unit assessment services, finances, employment, transition; and Veterans Administration (VA) benefits to family education counseling.

In short, Jim would go to a unit and assess their weaknesses and their ability to sustain themselves. He put together programs for service members and spouses to help support the family systems with a broad range, holistic approach to reach every possible aspect of the people’s lives that needed support.

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