From the e-mails and voice mails:
COAT OF ARMS -- When Stockton's Richard Pittman received his invitation to a reunion for Medal of Honor winners, it came with explicit instructions. The reunion will be Sept. 28-Oct. 5 in Charleston, S.C., and generally the host cities like to throw in a few mementos.
"Usually it's a shirt or something recognizing that city," the 65-year- old Vietnam War veteran said.
Charleston, however, is taking it to another level by giving the recipients expensive, custom-made jackets by Hart Schaffner Marx bearing Medal of Honor buttons.
Never miss a local story.
"Somebody decided to make a blazer, and they told me to go to the closest store and get fitted," Pittman said.
Turns out the nearest store handling the Hart Schaffner Marx line is Rossini's Formal Wear in Modesto, where owner Joe Rossini will do the fitting. That's the least he could do, Rossini said, for a Medal of Honor recipient.
Hart Schaffner Marx was founded in 1887, and its clothing is made in America.
Pittman's act of heroism happened July 24, 1966, when he was positioned as a tail-end Charlie, protecting the rear of a column during a jungle patrol. The front of his Marine column came under heavy enemy fire, and he heard a call for help. He saw another Marine who had an M-60 machine gun and ammo in hand, but seemed stunned or in shock.
"I picked up the machine gun and stopped the assault," Pittman said.
Not a day passes when he doesn't think of the moment, even though he cannot recall how long it lasted or some of the details.
It doesn't matter. Others did.
Medals of Honor are given based upon uncontestable evidence by at least two eyewitnesses to acts of bravery at the risk of one's own life in the face of enemy fire.
Pittman is among the 87 living Medal of Honor recipients.
Pittman, who retired in 1988 after a 22-year career in the Marines, plans to attend the reunion in South Carolina -- after he has his final fitting at Rossini's, of course.
NONPROFIT HELP -- My Aug. 22 column focused on the Oct. 15 deadline imposed by the IRS on nonprofit organizations to get their paperwork in order or risk losing their tax exemptions.
Modesto's Glenn Mount read the column and e-mailed to tell me his nonprofit, the '40s big band group Knight Sounds, had the same problem two years ago.
"So I bird-dogged it until we got reinstated," Mount wrote.
While pursuing the issue, Mount learned he could get periodic e-mail updates from the IRS through the free online service at https://service.govdelivery. com/service/user.html?code=USIRS.
Just go to the site, type in your e-mail address, register and scroll to the next page down to "Add Subscriptions." Click on "Internal Revenue Service" and then "Exempt Organization Update."
The entire list of California's at-risk nonprofits can be found at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/ca.pdf.
STEPPING UP -- A Modesto dance school owner is planning to visit Haiti next month. She is involved with an organization that collects clothing and shoes, along with monetary donations, to help orphans in the earthquake-ravaged country.
Manteca resident Sophia Payan, 22, owns Sophia's Dance Journey at 711 10th St.
Deeply spiritual, she used the opening of her studio as a fund-raiser for Haiti and is looking for help from the public.
Anyone interested in contributing summer clothing and shoes -- particularly Crocs footwear -- can do so by mailing the items to her at P.O. Box 1147, Manteca, CA 95336.
Checks can be sent to her at the same address, made out to The Global Orphan Project. Visit the nonprofit's site at www.theglobalorphanproject.org.
RED LETTER DATE -- Sept. 9 is a big day in the family of Modesto's Joey Henriques, who turns 7. His mother, Kristi, was born Sept. 9, 1963. Her father, Jack Kremers, was born Sept. 9, 1936. And Kremers' father (Joey's great-grandfather), Alex Kremers, was born Sept. 9, 1881, in Wisconsin.
Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at 578-2383 or email@example.com.