Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Inc. is now the Battle of the Bulge Association, Inc.
The organization was formed by a group of veterans of the Battle of the Bulge in 1981 led by Clyde Boden, who later became its first president. The organizational ceremony was conducted on 16 December 1981 at the Arlington County Virginia courthouse. Clyde Boden, 84th Infantry Division, called the meeting to order at 2 p.m.
Read the proclamation signed by the founders
The national organization is an umbrella organization, so to speak, of individuals who are classified as either a member or an associate member. A member is one who received a battle star for the Ardennes Campaign. An associate member is any other person who is a parent, spouse, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or lineal descendant of an individual who has received such credit or is interested in the work of the corporation and wishes to promote the aims of the corporation.
The organization is incorporated in the state of Virginia and is registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt nonprofit.
Since inception there have been 68 chapters charted in the United States including the Maryland/District of Colombia chapter and one chapter in Belgium.
The amended BOBA bylaws were voted upon and approved at the General Membership Meeting in San Antonio Texas on Wednesday September 27, 2017.
2017 BOBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS (Effective December 16, 2016)
President: Gary Higgins
Family members who served in the Battle of the Bulge inspired Gary’s involvement in BOBA, and he has been a member for over 16 years. Many of you have met Gary on tours and events across the USA and military programs. He has spent some years on the VBOB Executive Council as a trustee, had great times doing so, and made many friends.
Gary is a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans. He was a squad leader with the US Army in the DMZ and in 1969-70, his rank was Sgt. E-5 in the 32nd Infantry Regiment. Gary did the basic infantry duties, patrols, ambush detail, security, and S & D (search and destroy), as so many of our Bulge veterans did in the cold of Belgium and the ETO.
Executive Vice President: Barbara Mooneyhan
Barbara began attending SC Chapter VBOB meetings 25 years ago with her Dad, James R. Mooneyhan, 502nd Engineers, Light Pontoon Company. His unit was responsible for carrying around a Bailey Bridge. Because the bridge took a crane to put it up, he was told not to let the Germans capture his crane. He reminisced about how difficult it was to hide a big, tall crane in the forest! After his Captain was wounded, he assumed command of his company and led them through to the end of the war. Barbara has been editor of the “T-N-T Chat” for 15 years and serves in proud memory of her Dad and the brave men of the 502nd Engineers.
Vice President Membership: Angela Fazio
Angela M. Fazio’s father was in the 1st Infantry—”the Big Red One”—fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was a Purple Heart recipient. Angela has been an Associate Member of VBOB Chapter #52, Staten Island, for over a dozen years now, serving as their Recording and Corresponding Secretary. Angela has been an educator in the parochial schools for over 40 years, as a teacher, a principal, and the facilitator for the Fine and Performing Arts for the Catholic elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y. Part of her belief in a good education is to foster fine American citizenship. She has served as the BOBA Vice President/Membership since January 2016.
Vice President Chapters: Sherry Klopp
Sherry’s late father, lifetime BOBA member Richard Switzer, was the inspiration for her long involvement in BOBA. He was with the 99th Division, 395th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company H. Sherry attended school in Fostoria OH and Bowling Green State University, then taught school for 8 years in Fostoria, and 7 years at BGSU. Her leadership positions have included Secretary for the American Association of University Women, President of her local King’s Daughters and Sons, as well as Secretary of their state organization. Sherry has also been very involved with her Presbyterian church in many leadership positions, including as an Elder, on their Executive Board, and Chair of Spiritual Life. Sherry especially treasures meeting Veterans at the Annual Reunion.
Treasurer: Duane Bruno
Duane Bruno entered the United States Navy in 1968 and served on land and at sea through 1972. Besides serving as treasurer for the Battle of The Bulge Association for the last two years, he is also the Adjutant for Marine Corps League Detachment 1083. He is a member of the American Legion Post 20, and a mentor with the Athens, Ga Veterans Treatment Court. Duane is a member of the Stephens County Historical Society, which is instrumental in restoring the 1942 paratroop training facility at Camp Toccoa, GA. He is also a Planning and Zoning Commissioner in Madison County, GA. Duane was good friends with now-deceased BOBA member Phil Pollock, 87 IND, who introduced him to this noble organization, and remains proud to assist in carrying on the legacy and history of those brave souls who stood athwart the German war machine at the Battle of The Bulge.
Recording Secretary: Doris Davis
Doris’s father, Leonard J. Schneider, was a Tech Sgt in the 313th Inf. Rgt, 79th Division (the 79th helped defend the Southern Flank of the Bulge). After taking a trip focused on the 79th Div in July, 2000, and standing in his footsteps in various places in France (including Utah Beach), Doris was transformed. “I appreciated my freedom much more after that trip and thanked my father for his bravery and sacrifice. In appreciation for my father’s service, I became involved with the Golden Gate Chapter of VBOB and held various positions (President since 2008), and with VBOB National I have also held various positions. Dad and I shared a special father-daughter bond—especially after that trip.”
Chairman of the Board: Alan Cunningham
Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve (Retired); Civilian Degrees: B.S. Chemistry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; MBA, Babson College; Masters in Strategic Studies, Army War College. Major Military Schooling: Infantry Platoon Officer; Heavy Mortar Platoon Officer; Supply Officer; Quartermaster Advanced Officer; Command and General Staff; and Army War College. Army Positions: Heavy Mortar Platoon Officer; Battalion Supply Officer; Logistics Assistance Officer to the Republic of Korea Tiger Division, Vietnam; Research and Development Officer (USAR). Civilian Positions: Automobile industry consultant to the U.S. Department of Transportation; Plant Manager; Manager of Corporate Planning; Adjunct Lecturer Temple University Business School; Senior Operations Research Analyst, Fort Lee. Community Involvement: President, Willingboro, NJ Lions Club; President Richmond Area Chapter, Military Officers Association of America (RAC-MOAA); President VBOB. Currently on the Board of Directors for RAC-MOAA.
Board Members at Large: David Bailey, Tom Burgess, Doug Dillard, Alfred Shehab, Ruth Hamilton, John Mohor
J. David Bailey, Board Member
J. David Bailey, Company F, 422nd Infantry, 106th Infantry Division has been National President of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Inc. and currently an active member of the Disabled American Veterans, Inc. Official Army records reflect that he served in the European Theatre of Operation in four campaigns, namely: Northern France, The Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe, and has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star and other Army citations. He says what got him through his toughest moments in his military career can be answered in three simple words: “My Guardian Angel.”
Thomas L. Burgess, Board Member
At age 17, Thomas Burgess enlisted in the ASTP of Army straight out of High School in June 1943. After a short time at N.C. State College and Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA, he joined the 87th Division at Ft. Jackson, SC. He became Sgt and squad leader of 60mm Mortars, Company A-345 just before his 19th birthday, and stayed in that position in 87th Div. through combat in France, Germany, BOB, Luxembourg and Belgium, ending by meeting Russians in Czechoslovakia in May, 1945. Thomas returned to the States in July ’45, his division deactivated, and he received his Hon. discharge in Nov. He entered Univ of FL in Jan 1946, then transferred to and graduated from Stetson Univ in August 1948. He was a career professional with Boy Scouts of America for 39 years, mostly as National staff member, retiring in 1987. He’s active in and held leadership positions with the Methodist Church, Rotary Club, Sons of the American Revolution and 87th Division Assn.
Douglas Dillard, Board Member
Douglas Dillard fought in the Battle of the Bulge with the famous 82nd Airborne Division. Sergeant Dillard ended WWII serving with C Company of the renowned 508th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the ”Red Devils.” After WWII, Dillard served in Korea as commander of the Tactical Liaison Office, and led Korean agents behind Chinese Communist lines, collecting tactical intelligence information. Following the Korean War, Dillard was assigned to the U.S. Army’s classified intelligence program, serving several tours in Europe, the Far East and Vietnam. He rose to full bird Colonel before retiring in 1977. Colonel Dillard was inducted into the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, among other notable associations. He served as VBOB National President from 2012-2014.
Alfred Shehab, Board Member
Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Shehab served with the 38th Cavalry Squadron of the 102d Cavalry Group (“Jersey Essex Troop”) during World War II. His unit was the first into Paris and Germany. The unit held the line during the Battle of the Bulge in Monschau, Germany and earned both the French and Belgian fourragères and Croix de Guerre medals with palms, along with the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation. He was also awarded the French Legion of Honor.
He had troop and staff assignments in Armored Divisions and Cavalry Regiments in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East, including Armor Advisor to Saudi Arabia, and Special Assistant to the Commander of American Land Forces, Middle East in Lebanon.
Following military retirement, he was employed by NASA at the Goddard Space Center. He is a Past President of the Battle of the Bulge Historical Foundation, a Past Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the World Wars; he belongs to La Societe Des Chehabi Emirs; the Order of Saint George; the Order of Saint Stanislaus; and he is in the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
Ruth Hamilton, Board Member
Lieutenant Colonel Ruth Hamilton served in the Army as an Adjutant General Corps officer for 26 years in worldwide assignments with service in Turkey, Germany, Belgium and Korea. Her unique experiences include service as the first female Honor Guard Commander (Izmir, Turkey) while assigned as the NATO Morale Welfare Activities Officer; Commander, 178th Personnel Service Company (Aschaffenburg, Germany); Assistant Executive Officer to the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe/Commander-in-Chief, US European Command (Casteau, Belgium); and Executive Officer for two The Adjutants General of the United States Army. She is Recording Secretary of the Battle of the Bulge Historical Foundation and a Past Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the World Wars.
John Mohor, Board Member
John Mohor retired after 26 years of active and reserve duty as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserve in 2013. He served as a Field Artillery Officer, Ordnance (Maintenance) Officer and Logistics Officer with overseas duty in Germany and Iraq. His Battle of the Bulge Veteran father was Arthur B. Mohor Jr, former Combat Infantryman and Staff Sergeant with AT Company 302nd Regiment 94th Infantry Division. John has memberships in the following organizations: BOBA SC Chapter, American Legion, 94th ID Historical Society and National Eagle Scout Association.
Council meetings will be conducted via teleconferencing and begin at 10:00 am EST on the following dates in 2017: February 7, 2017, June 14, 2017 (More dates to come).
BOBA BOARD NOMINEES FOR 2018
The following 2018 slate of nominated candidates will be voted upon during the 2017 reunion in San Antonio, Texas. We will be voting on the officers and board members listed below. The Immediate Past President is a Bylaws-required board position and is not part of the voting. The board voted to designate that position as Chairman of the Board. We approved three Board Member positions at the 2016 Annual Meeting and the Board voted to increase that number to a total of six. Since we have nine nominations for board member, you will be receiving a ballot with your registration packet and you will be asked to vote for six. The six with the highest number of votes will become board members.
Nominations will be accepted from the floor, must be seconded by four additional members, and must agree to serve to be considered for the position.
President: Gary Higgins*
Executive Vice President: Barbara Mooneyhan*
Vice President Membership: Angelo Fazio*
Vice President Chapters: Sherry Klopp*
Treasurer: Duane R. Bruno*
Recording Secretary: Tracey Diehl***
David Bailey, 106th Inf Div*
Tana Van Nice Black
Tom Burgess, 87th Inf Div*
Doug Dillard, 82nd Abn Div*
Alfred Shehab, 38th Cavalry*
Immediate Past President
and Chairman of the Board: Alan Cunningham
* Indicates an incumbent.
** Was the Recording Secretary, declined to serve in that capacity again, and is now being nominated as a board member.
*** Was the Recording Secretary in the past and agreed to fill the job again.
—Submitted by Doris Davis, Nominating Committee Chair and modified by Gary Higgins, President
Units that are entitled to the Ardennes Credit are identified in War Department General Orders Number 114-7Dec194