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.

13 August Meeting -
Crisis Management - FEMA and the Military
By: CSM Grady Gayton, USA Retired

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Gayton joined the Army in 1976, following High School. He reported to Ft. Bliss TX for Basic Training and AIT. After graduation, he reported to Fort Campbell KY 1st 502nd Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne (Air Assault). He attended Air Assault School while assigned to the 101st ABN and participated in multiple exercises both CONUS and OCONUS.

In 1977, he transferred to Hunter Army Air Field with the 24th Infantry Division, as the (16P10), Redeye Runner and Unit ArmorCSM Grady Gayton graduated from the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in 2006 and Excelsior College, Albany, NY with an Associates in Business and Administrative Management, 2012. He has continued his military education completing his Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) and the National Defense University (NDU).Retired from Military 31 Jul 2013, he is now working as an Independent Contractor for Department of Defense and other U.S. Government Agencies. 

His most recent military assignment prior to retirement was serving as the CSM for the FEMA Region IV, 78th Homeland Response Force (HRF). The HRF is part of the Title 32 and Title 10 CBRN Enterprise, currently being developed throughout the 10 FEMA Regions. Prior to this assignment, he was the J3/7 Sergeant Major for Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ-GA), Georgia Department of Defense where he was responsible for assisting the J3 in advising the Adjutant General (TAG), and the Commander, Joint Task Force Georgia (CJTF-GA) in direction and control of all domestic operations. Between, 2007-2011, CSM Gayton served as the Chair, J3 Senior Enlisted Advisor for FEMA Region IV and the NGB Co-chair for the J3/7 Functional Advisory Council, Senior Enlisted Working Group (SREWG). He served as the Battalion CSM for 1st Battalion 121st Infantry and TF 1st Battalion 108th Armor, during OIF III/IV [Operation Iraqi Freedom].

CSM Gayton will explain the military relationship with FEMA to us, and also speak about the Military to Civilian Transition regarding some of the challenges our young service members face as they transition from years of Combat Operations to either the Low Operational TEMPO within the services or the civilian sector.

A native of Tate, GA, he is married to Beverly of 38 years, and has three children.

Kennesaw Trip Recap
18 July 2014

Twenty-three members and guests rendezvous at the Southern Museum - home of the civil war locomotive "The General".  We were escorted by two very knowledgeable guides who explained the exhibits to us, and answered all our questions. We started our tour with a movie about the great locomotive chase of 1862 setting the stage for the rest of our visit.

A good time was had by all, and the visit was topped off with a delicious Bar-B-Que lunch at the Big Shanty Smokehouse.

Stay tuned for future trips currently in the planning stage.

Event registration - Click meeting date below

2014 Lunch Menu -

3rd quarter – Includes salad only, no soups

July – Hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans 

August – Barbeque, cold slaw, and Brunswick stew September – Country style ribs, pasta salad and baked beans

 Important links to remember -

Website for Vets Help Vets, Inc. -

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.

2014 New Members

Robert Keesecker - Army
Gregory Mikkelsen - Army
Randolph C. Adams - Navy
J.T. Leachman - Army
Tom Knarr - Army
Gerald Thompson - Army
John Butler - Army & Marine Corps
Donald McCann - Navy
Timothy Gates - Army

Larry Blackwell - Navy
William Pouncey - Navy
David Keller - Navy
Jim Baumgartner - Navy
Lee Schalon - Navy
Baumgartner- Navy
William Shaw - Air Force
John (Jack) Updegraff - Air Force
Danny Palmer - Army
Knox Glass - Army
Denver Baxter - Army
Warren Safter - Air Force
Chris Kemp - Army

Veterans Court 

At our 14 May meeting Bill Gibson explained that mentoring volunteers are in need for the Pickens, Dawson, and Fannin county circuit of Georgia.  Please read the brief description below or click on the link at the bottom for a more detailed description, and contact Bill Gibson [ ] if you are interested in helping with this vital cause.

A veterans' court is a "special court" which is charged with trying cases of minor offenses which involve veterans of militaries such as the United States Armed Forces, particularly those diagnosed with service-related illnesses. The first veterans' court was established in 2008 in Buffalo, New York, and has been used as a model for establishments of other veterans' courts in other parts of the United States.

The goal of Veterans Court is to allow the veteran to be rehabilitated to the law abiding citizen they were before their experience in the military and combat. There are no guaranteed incentives for any participant who satisfactorily completes the program. Typical incentives do include taking years off of probation and moving from formal to summarized probation. At the completion, fees can be waived, and felonies can be commuted, and under a new addition to California Penal Code 1170.9,[2] judges may expunge charges completely.

Once an applicant is accepted they are considered a participant. Participation in the program consists of intensive supervision from probation, the VA and the court. Each participant must meet several goals in order to move to the next phase of the program, 4 in total. There is no set time-frame in which the program must be completed. While in the program each veteran must attend weekly therapy and, more often than not, counseling for Post Traumatic Stress. Bi-monthly urinalysis must be conducted at random either in a treatment facility or at the VA hospital.

The court process is aided by Veterans Justice Outreach representatives from the Veterans Administration. Representatives of the District Attorney's office, the Public Defender's office, treatment facilities and probation are also in attendance at every hearing. Each participant is also given a mentor to work one on one with throughout the process.

For more detail information click here:


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