HISTORY OF CLUB
Our founding father, Albert "Papa Bert" Butler, had dreamed of a Motorcycle Club of Veterans helping Veterans since his active duty days. While living in San Diego at Murphy Canyon Military Housing, Bert organized the Murphy Canyon MC. As you can imagine keeping an MC together comprised of active-duty personnel was not an easy task. The very nature of military life is constant change and moving from place to place. Eventually, the Murphy Canyon MC was no more. But Bert continued his desire to get an MC started in the San Diego area.
After retiring from the Navy after twenty-four years, Bert joined another organization. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). While there, he met other like-minded veteran motorcycle riders. It didn't take long for Bert's wheels to start churning, and he soon realized that the VFW needed a recruiting tool to attract younger members to its ranks. He wanted to sell the idea of an MC to the VFW.
Bert understood the VFW's inner workings and the mother organization's political nature. However, Bert also knew all the right people. He quickly began recruiting potential members who would later become the VFW MC. He needed to prove to the Department of California and the VFW National Organization that his vision would, in fact, be a benefit to the larger organization. He became active as a leader in the VFW's District 1 (San Diego) and as the Department Historian at the state level. He did so promoting the VFW MC the whole way!
On January 29th, 2004, the VFW National Command, John Senk National Adjutant General, responded to a letter submitted by Bert through Department of CA John G. Lowe, Adjutant Quartermaster. The response was approval for the VFW MC to operate within the Department of CA and authorized to wear the Cross of Malta.
Bert was well on his way to his dream of an MC of Veterans helping Veterans! He started rallying the troops he had collected and begun getting organized. He started the Mother Chapter of the VFW MC and held his first meetings at the Lakeside VFW Post 5867.
Bert expanded chapters further north in California and established an Inland Empire Chapter and Gold Rush Chapter. Times were good, and Bert was off raising money to support causes such as; Chula Vista Veterans Home, Wheelchair Games, and Golden Age Games, to name a few.
It wasn't until August 23rd, 2010, when National Commander in Chief Richard Eubanks dropped Resolution 308 at the 111th National Convention, setting a dark cloud over the VFW MC. The National Adjutant General Allen "Gunner" Kent developed the resolution to establish a VFW Riders Group Organization. The resolution had strict guidelines against operating as a Motorcycle Club. The MC life, for which we had officially operated in for six years, and believed in, was now in jeopardy.
But Bert was NOT going to give up his dream that easy! Bert called on his VFW brothers, Jim Rohwaldt and Bobby Price. At the very next National Convention, Department of CA Commander Bobby Price submitted his Resolution! Resolution 9, written May 26th, 2011, would fundamentally grandfather the VFW MC in the Department of CA. Bobby knew our value to the VFW as a recruiting tool and how much the VFW MC gave back to the communities and the posts in the areas they operated. To Gunner Kent's amazement, the resolution passed, and the VFW MC maintained their authorization to operate.
Despite all that has occurred since 2004, we are still here and doing well. Although, we have lost Bobby, Jim, and Bert along the way. We thank them from the bottom of my heart. If not for them before us, we would not stand here before you today.
Bert is survived by his wife Reta "Mama Reta" Butler of forty-nine years; sons, Robert and James; and daughter Denise; grandchildren Jessica, Jordan, Kyle, Melinda, Lorena, and Chastity.
If you want to see Papa Bert today, you can find him at; Miramar National Cemetery 5795 Nobel Drive, San Diego, CA 92122 (Section A, Row 1, Site # 26). You can also find his plaque at Mount Soledad Memorial, 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive, La Jolla CA (is located on H Wall, East Side, Row 3, Number 24).
The brothers of VFW CA MC preserve his Legacy through discipline, action, and conduct; in the service of his vision