North Georgia Veterans

Please join us 

If you served in the armed forces of the United States, we would like to invite you to join with us for lunch and fellowship on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the Mountains Grill at the Big Canoe Clubhouse.   Our meetings start at 11:30am and usually end by 1:30pm.  Cost is $17 per person and includes a great buffet lunch.  Dress is informal for our monthly meetings.

Membership is open to all who served and received an honorable discharge.  There is no cost to becoming a member of North Georgia Veterans, so please complete an online application today.

14 October Meeting

Our October meeting will include a presentation of special Certificates for the Vietnam veterans who were honored at the 12 August meeting.  The presentation is being performed by the Sequoyah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  In addition the DAR will have desserts for us! The current regent, Beth Finley and several of their members will be assisting.
October Speaker
Dr. Elaine H. Berkowitz, LT Colonel, USAR - Ret

Live Life...Love Country

At an age when many have their feet curled up in an easy chair, dentist Elaine Berkowitz still works on the run -- both around the world for the Army Reserve and, in Pittsburgh between deployments and assignments, with a mobile practice specializing in elderly and other special-needs patients.

She started dental school at the University of Pittsburgh at age 38. Prior to that she practiced and taught dental assisting at Pitt and in the city schools. She decided to go to dental school because "I decided I'd be frustrated if I didn't try it." After graduating, she went to Ohio State University for her residency, where she confirmed her love of working with geriatric patients. Upon graduation, she says she sent out about 50 letters to nursing homes, physicians and the like to tell them her intention of specializing with seniors.

She keeps offices at Canterbury Place, a UPMC senior community, in Lawrenceville, and Asbury Place in Mt. Lebanon, but more often travels with her portable equipment. She estimates she visits patients at home about 25 percent of the time, working around the patient, wherever he or she is most comfortable, whether it's in bed or in the kitchen. Her patients, primarily geriatric, usually can't get out due to physical or mental disability. "Some dentists don't want patients that don't fit the mold. My patients don't fit the mold," Dr. Berkowitz said. "All my adults are special needs in some way," she added. "Some [disabilities] are mental; some are physical ... [Some are] so mentally disturbed that dentists don't want them in their office and families don't want to take them." But if the patient can get out, she encourages the family to take them to a dentist. Dr. Berkowitz said no special skills are necessary to treat her patients -- just lots of "compassion and patience. … "You're still a general dentist, but you can't be in a hurry. It's not how many patients you can do in a day."

Her love of working with the elderly dates back to her youth, when as a volunteer she helped to feed residents of the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged. She also was close to her grandfather, who lived with her family. "It just snowballed," Dr. Berkowitz said. "Everybody knows about me: [home] visiting nurses, hospices. They call the [Pitt] dental school, they call the Dental Society [of Western Pennsylvania]. They hear by word of mouth." That word of mouth has traveled internationally. She was invited to Yokohama, Japan, to lecture about dentistry to the Japanese Gerontology Society. She also lectured at the dental school in Kosovo in her first deployment in the Balkan state.

Dr. Berkowitz's connection to the Army Reserve predates dental school. She was teaching in the city schools when a colleague everyone called "Colonel" for reasons at the time unbeknownst to her said, " 'Why don't you join the Army?' The next thing you know I was in the Army. I was enlisted Reserve for 13 years and then after dental school I applied to become an officer." She began her commission as a lieutenant and worked her way up to her current rank of lieutenant colonel.

Besides Kosovo, she was deployed to war-torn Iraq in 2005. She also has been assigned to the embassies in Pakistan and Kenya and was sent on MEDRETES, or Medical Readiness Training Exercises, in Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru and Surinam. On those exercises, she said she went to villages to treat indigent people.

In Iraq, she twice had to run into bunkers because of mortar fire, and she acknowledged that "everything's dangerous" in Iraq. "Flying in helicopters is dangerous. Being in mess hall is dangerous. I was on a relatively safe base in the middle of the desert ... [but] it was dangerous; it was scary.”

"I don't know how to explain it," Dr. Berkowitz added. "I like the excitement but I'm very saddened by what's going on. As for actual fear? I've thought about things, but I don't know that I'm fearful. ... I always feel safe when I'm with the Army."

"I keep extending," she said of her 36-year military career. "Sixty is retirement age in the Army. Every two years I apply [for an extension]. This time they gave me three years." That means she's in uniform at least until next year and, she said, "I'm going to be kicking and screaming if they make me get out. ... I'd stay until I'm 90 if they'd let me. I love it."

She faces no required retirement in her other practice, traveling the city and its environs to treat senior citizens and children with disabilities. She visits about four nursing homes, a couple assisted living facilities, a rehabilitation hospital and patients' homes on a regular basis. She also does dental surgery two days a week at the Allegheny County Jail.

Dr. Berkowitz is a Squirrel Hill native who now lives in Ross, PA


Reservation Problems??

There have been problems reported with our reservation system.  We have not been able to repeat the symptoms with testing and therefore we are asking for your help.

Upon completion of your event registration / reservation you should find a confirmation email in your In-box or spam folder. If you do not receive the confirmation message chances are your request was unsuccessful.  If after a second attempt you do not successfully complete the process please contact Paul Goldstein for assistance:

Lastly, please keep your confirmation message until the completion of the luncheon. In case your name is not on the sign-in list, we will need this message to help hunt down what happened.


Event registration - Click meeting date below

2015 Lunch Menu

4th quarter – Soups and salad for October only

October – Beef tip tenderloin over noodles
November - (evening meal) – TBD
December – (Army/Navy game) –deli sandwhich, meat balls,       pasta salad and chips

Important links to Remember

To order a replacement DD-214 -

Apply for VA health benefits online -

Georgia Nationa Cemetary - Canton, GA -

Order form for NGV name badge -
Name Badge Order Form.doc

Order NGV imprinted merchandise -
To order imprinted merchandise contact.doc

Memorial template for your funeral -North Georgia Veterans Memorial Service template.doc

Benefits for Aging Veterans -

Drew Early Veterans Benefit Presentation -
N. GA Veterans Benefits 4.10.13.ppt

To order campaign tie and/or miniature medals - Click on uniform components tab above for appropriate order links.

2015 New Members

Robert Watson - Army
Dick Dame - Army
Michael Whatley - Army
Jim Curland - Navy
Ray Jones - Air Force
Jeptha V. Greer - Army
Annette Ripley - Army
Ralph Ripley - Army
Dennett Hansell - Army
Douglas Hosmer - Air Force
Charles "Ray" Hughes - Army

John Misback - Army
Terry Nicholson - Army
William (Bill) Booth - Navy
Lee Hulsey - Air Force
Jeremy Klaas - Marine Corps
Doug Johnson - Air Force
Fredrick "Jerry" Harrison - Marine Corps
Grant LeRoux, Jr. - Army
Harry Hampson - Navy
Eric Kronen - Army
Frank Lozano - Army
Donald Carlisle - Coast Guard
Maureen Clay - Air Force
John Kermeen - Air Force
Steve Harp - Army
Don Harvey - Army

Joseph DeFrancisco - Army
Roy David Petersen - Navy
Thomas Grogan - Army


Currahee Military Museum
Toccoa, GA

The 17 September visit to the Currahee Military museum and lunch that followed was well attended.  A good / informative time was had by all, as you can see from the smiling faces below.

Photo courtesy of Phil Anderson


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