Press Release

Contact: Mokie Pratt Porter, Communications Director, 202-628-2700, Ext. 146


WASHINGTON, DC— (October 10, 1997)--Vietnam Veterans of America has been a very strong supporter of the Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial that will be dedicated at the historic gateway to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, October 18.

VVA's Women Veterans Committee has worked closely and diligently with WIMSA to assure that a significant number of Vietnam-era female veterans will take part in the historic opening ceremonies, which begin at noon. About 200 female VVA members are scheduled to participate in the ceremonies. Also on hand for the occasion will be VVA's executive board--National President George Duggins, Vice-President Tom Corey, Treasurer Jack McManus, and Secretary Lupe Alviar--and VVA's 23-member Board of Directors.

Vietnam Veterans of America will host a reception for VVA members and the public at 8:00 pm on Friday, October 17, at the Holiday Inn, Eisenhower Metro Center in Alexandria, Virginia, and a breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn the next morning prior to the dedication ceremonies. Seventeen homeless women veterans from New York will be guests of the organization at these events.

On Sunday, October 19, a group of former nurses from VVA's Women's Committee will honor their fellow nurses by placing a wreath at Spirit of Nursing Statue in Arlington National Cemetery as part of WIMSA's "A Time to Give Thanks: a Wreath Laying Ceremonies."

VVA's invited guest list includes two VVA members who have become leaders in the Vietnam Veterans movement: Joan Furey, who heads the VA's Center for Women Veterans, and Diane Carlson Evans, director of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project.

"Vietnam Veterans of America is very proud to be taking part in this historic occasion," said Agnes Feak, chair of VVA's Women's Veterans Committee. "Women who served in the Vietnam War, even after more than two decades, have not received the recognition they so strongly deserve."

Other events include a black-tie gala celebration on Thursday, October 16, at the D.C. National Guard Armory; the seven branch service luncheons (for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, American Red Cross, and USA) on Friday, October 17; the "Reunion" reception on Friday, October 17, at the National Guard Armory; the dedication ceremony; and Candlelight March and Service of Remembrance on Saturday, October 18.

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