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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Puerto Vallarta May Newsletter from the American Legion Post 14

J. R. Wilson, Post Adjutant - American Legion – Post 14
May 18, 2016





Greetings from sunny and warm Puerto Vallarta. Please enjoy the latest newsletter from American Legion Post 14. Feel free to pass this newsletter (PDF) along to friends, relatives, and other Vets.


Medical Help from the VA Coming To PV?

Our friend, Pam Thompson recently made the following announcement:

“Are you a U. S. Veteran with a disability? If so, it is very important that you register with the Foreign Medical Program if you are here in the Banderas Bay area! It is very easy, just takes a couple of minutes and could increase your benefits. For further information, please PM me – or email: pamela@healthcareresourcespv.com Thank You!”

Here is the link to the form on the Veteran’s Administration’s website (the VA suggests that it will only take 11 minutes to fill out the form).

Pam went on to say that she is showing folks how to register and will begin collecting information to see if they qualify for the Pharmacy Program.

Hopefully, at some time in the future this program will be available to all Vets regardless of whether they are disabled or not.


MEET A VET from Post 14: Don Shingler (This is the First of what will be a reoccurring feature in the Post 14 Newsletter)

Name: Donald John Shingler, Jr.
Birthday: August 1, 1947 (cards and gifts always welcome)

Born in a sleepy little burg in Central Florida which served as the backdrop to my early days where I lived with my parents who owned Happy Landing, a popular tourist oasis for travelers driving from the north to their favorite Florida vacation spots, long before the time of freeways. I graduated from Inverness High School in 1965.

I finished my first year of college and then joined the U.S. Air Force and attended Basic Training at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX). I completed training in Basic Electronics and Missile Technician Repair at Lowrey AFB (Denver, CO) before being stationed at Luke AFB (Phoenix, AZ) in 1968.

I married my high school sweetheart and was deployed to DaNang, Vietnam and later to Phu Cat for a few months before contracting a virus that would send me to a hospital in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Later I was Medivac transported back to the U.S. After another six months of treatment and recuperation, my wife and I moved to Tampa where we had my only son, Trey.

A couple of stories from Vietnam… Our missile shop was on the flight-line of DaNang Air Force Base. Air Force F-4 Phantom jet pilots, if hit, would aim their multi-million dollar F-4s out to sea to ditch them and be picked by air rescue. Vietnam’s Air Force jets never came back. The Marines loved their planes and often tried to bring them back. After crashing and burning on the runway one Marine pilot threw his helmet out of the cockpit upon landing and when asked why he didn't ditch the plane, he replied, “We needed the spare parts AND I can’t swim”. Another favorite story- shooting at rock apes on Monkey Mountain with our M-16s.  Fun!

Thanks to the GI Bill - I completed my degree in Accounting at the University of South Florida. When my first marriage ended, I found myself driving west to sunny southern California, where I lived for the next 20 years and worked as a salesman for Clark Fork lift. In 1991, I was introduced to my second wife by my best friend where we interviewed each other for a nine month traveling adventure through Mexico, Central and South America. We married in 1997 on the banks of the Payette River in McCall, Idaho and lived for the next few years in the Boise Valley working on our plan to retire somewhere south of the border as soon as possible. In 2002, we drove into the pueblo of Boca de Tomatlán, south of Puerto Vallarta, where we built our home, Casa La Ventana where we now live full time.

I joined the American Legion Post 14 in 2012 where I have served as a member, Department Vice Commander, and traveled with my Legion compadres to visit American Legion posts as far south as Panama.

For anyone considering joining the American Legion Post 14, whether as Military or Associate, I encourage you to “get off the couch” and come get involved in our efforts. The people in the surrounding villages where we contribute our time to community improvement projects are beautiful and friendly. They may be poor in material wealth but are very rich in love and friendship and offer much for us to learn. If you can walk, talk and hug, you will be rewarded. There is a place in the Club for everyone who wants to contribute, learn, and have a rewarding time. See you at the next meeting!

Editor’s Note: Don is on the internet frequently and would love to hear from you. His email address is: DonaldShingler@gmail.com


Busca un Amigo Day Care Center

Early in April, Fred Crowley, Fred’s friend Mike, Jay Sadler, J. R. Wilson, and his wife Kathy, visited the Center to hand out surplus Chili Cook Off T-Shirts to the staff and kids. WOW – what a great couple of hours! The big smiles, laughter, and clapping was amazing. Every time someone received a shirt the entire group would clap and cheer! Everyone really appreciated the shirts. Take a look at some pictures and notice the happy faces.



The Kids – Anxiously awaiting their new shirts


“(Sittin on) The Dock of The Bay”

Many of us are “Children of the 60’s” and one of the favorite songs of the period was Otis Redding’s “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay”. SO – I am adding a reoccurring article in these newsletters informing you of vessels that have recently been at our “Dock” here in PV or of vessels that are coming in the near future.

USCGC Vessel ACTIVE will be in Puerto Vallarta arriving on the 18th of May. A COMREL is planned for the 20th – watch for announcements from Dennis R. or Brian.

Here’s a picture of the Active



The Active’s crew (and others) at last November’s COMREL


Community Service Projects – May 2016

In all of its activities in the community, Post 14 acknowledges significant ongoing financial support from the Jay Sadler Project.

We are constantly searching for Members (and others) to assist with our projects. If you would like to help or know of someone who would like to help – please contact Brian Topolniski at brian.edward.topolniski@gmailcom.

Brian is the lead guy for projects. He will be happy to add your name to the list of volunteers that are so crucial to completing our many projects.



C.A.D.I. Nursery/Day Care Center – painting and cement work – our helpers are working there 2 days a week until completed. May be some help needed from members.

Col. Las Palmas Community Center – painting and more in the future

Col. Volcanus Community Center – painting, plumbing, electrical, and masonry and more. COMREL planned for Friday the 20th of May.

Coapinole La Lagina Playground. New playground equipment was delivered on Friday the 13th of May. Actual construction over the weekend with locals. Perimeter wall around basketball court has begun and should be completed soon.

Col. Magisterio Playground Installation of new equipment and major repairs. July 2016

Playgrounds at San Vicente del Mar and El Guamúchil – Restoration, repairs, and follow up on previous work completed two years ago. Pending.


In case you missed it – here is a photo taken during the Dedication of the Park in Aurora a couple of months ago:


Rumor has it that this picture was taken of Ron Abbe and a couple of his Marine Corp Buddies last week…having one of their typical conversations.

This content was submitted by a member of the community. We'd like to hear from you, too! To share stories, photos, video or events for our calendar, please send them here.

  Learn more about Banderas Bay American Legion Post 14


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