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•  January 2013



President’s Message

January 1, 2014

Phil Ray, Chapter President


Fellow Compatriots,


I’d like to start by saying what an extreme honor it is for me to take the reins as chapter president of Fairfax Resolves. Fairfax Resolves has a long and distinguished history of service in northern Virginia and I hope that we can continue that tradition during the upcoming year. 2012 was another very good year for our chapter. This was all made possible because of the dedicated service of our president Dan Rolph, our officers, and our committee members. I want to give a special thank you to Dan and all of the officers and committee members for their exceptional service during the past year. Also, I’d like to extend a special thanks to the new 2013 officers and committee members. It is often very hard to find people who are willing to devote their valuable time to a volunteer service organization. However, this year we have a full slate of men who have answered the call of the nominating committee and agreed to serve in leadership positions within the chapter. In addition, two of our members have also accepted positions at VASSAR as well as their chapter positions. Reverend Howell Sasser was nominated as the VASSAR Chaplain and Jack Sweeney was nominated as the VASSAR Registrar. Congratulations to you both on your much deserved appointments.

As I look forward to this upcoming year, I am very excited about several things that are currently happening in Fairfax Resolves. Membership has now topped the 120 mark which may be an all-time high for the chapter. This is in part due to the hard work of our Registrar, Jack Sweeney. It has been very satisfying to hear every new member express his appreciation to Jack during their induction presentation. This speaks volumes about the hard work that Jack is doing to bring members into Fairfax Resolves. Please thank Jack the next time you see him.

Attendance at chapter meetings has been steadily increasing during the last several months. I believe that trend will continue in 2013 because we have an exciting list of events and guest speakers planned for this year. In January, we will hold “student night” at Falcons Landing. In addition to the annual Rumbaugh Oration Contest for high school students, we will be recognizing the winners of the Americanism Poster Contest. This contest is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade elementary school students. Each student submits a poster depicting their research on a designated revolutionary war topic. This year, the topic is “The Declaration of Independence.” This will be a first time event for our chapter. It should be an exciting evening as we get to see some of our area’s brightest young students in action.

In February, our guest speaker at Vinson Hall will be Colonel Norman McDaniel (Ret-USAF). Colonel McDaniel was shot down over North Vietnam in 1966 and was held POW for 6 ½ years before his release. Colonel McDaniel will tell us how he survived this ordeal as well as how he helped his fellow POWs survive. What a tremendous opportunity to hear a true American hero recount his experiences as a POW. Please invite your military friends, co-workers, and fellow veterans to hear this motivational presentation. Even though it is out of print, if you can find and purchase a copy of Colonel McDaniel’s book, Yet Another Voice, he will autograph it following his presentation.

In March, the guest speaker at Vinson Hall will be Dr. James Outzen, the Historian at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). If you are not familiar with this organization, the NRO is responsible for the acquisition, launch, and operation of our nation’s spy satellite program. Dr. Outzen will present the history of our nation’s satellite reconnaissance program as well as give details of two recently de-classified spy satellites. His presentation will give you better insight into our nation’s satellite reconnaissance capabilities.

And finally, in April, our guest speaker will be Stewart McLaurin. Mr. McLaurin is the Vice President of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Mr. McLaurin will present an overview of the new national library, the premier facility for the study of George Washington, which will open at Mount Vernon in September, 2013.

As you can see, there are several excellent events planned for our chapter this coming year. And now I would like to ask one thing from each of you. Even though I know that we are all very busy, I would ask that each of you make a simple commitment to Fairfax Resolves for 2013. That commitment is to attend at least one chapter meeting before the summer break in June. Unless you come to the events, you truly won’t realize what you are missing. If you come to at least one meeting between January and May, I can guarantee that it will be well worth your effort.

Again in closing, I’m extremely honored to serve as your chapter president for 2013 and I’m looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting or event in the near future. I am always looking for new ideas for future chapter events. So if you have any thoughts on things you would like to see or do with Fairfax Resolves, please feel free to contact me at


Very respectfully,


Phillip “Phil” A. Ray, President


Fairfax Resolves, SAR






2018 Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution