VVA Press Release

Vietnam Vets Honor 99th Congress, VVA Charter

Washington, D.C. (May 24, 1996) --

With more than 45,000 members and 525 chapters nationwide, Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., thanks the legislators who spearheaded its congressional charter 10 years ago with the 2nd annual Congressional reception Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building on Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, SW.

VVA is the only congressionally chartered national Vietnam veterans organization exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown, said, "The wounds inflicted over those long years of the Vietnam conflict where slow to heal. It was the haunting need for resolution that led to the strong growth of VVA and to the organization's congressional charter."

As a result, VVA continues to move forward with an ambitious agenda of securing legislative victories for veterans as well as raising public awareness of critical issues affecting Vietnam-era veterans and their families. With strong congressional allies, and a caucus of 70 members of Vietnam-era Veterans in 104th Congress, VVA is in a strong position to address the needs of its members.

"With the average age of the Vietnam veteran nearing 50 years, the constituency VVA represents is truly taking the helm in providing leadership in this country," said Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He added that the leadership role of Vietnam Veterans ranges from congress to the executive ranks of corporate America.

"That growing influence," commented VVA national president James Brazee, "translates to the raising of more critical issues, the growth of legislative accomplishments, and better, more effective veteran representation." Vietnam veterans have benefited from VVA's legislative victories that have included landmark judicial review legislation permitting veterans to challenge adverse Veterans Administration decisions in federal court; the first laws assisting veterans suffering from Agent Orange as well as subsequent laws providing care on a presumptive basis; the passage of laws providing for increased job-training and job-placement assistance for unemployed and underemployed Vietnam-era veterans; and the establishment of the Vet Center system.

Without the efforts of members of the 99th Congress 10 years ago, today there would be no advocate for a significant segment of the U.S. population that participated in America's longest and most divisive conflict. VVA salutes the legislators being honored at the reception for being advocates for Vietnam veterans through initiating VVA's charter.

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
A Not-For-Profit Veterans Service Organization Chartered by the United States Congress

For Further Information Contact:

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Attn.: Mokie Pratt Porter
1224 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-5183
Tel: 202-628-2700 ext. 146
General FAX: 202-628-5880
Communications FAX: 202-783-4942
e-mail: 71154.702@compuserve.com
URL: http://www.vva.org

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