No. 018-99  
IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              August 4, 1999                      (202) 628-2700 Ext. 158 


A distinguished panel of veterans of the 1965 Battle of the Ia Drang Valley will discuss that historic engagement on Saturday, Aug. 14, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Anaheim Marriott as part of Vietnam Veterans of America's (VVA) Ninth National Convention.  The panel will be made up of Gen. Harold G. "Hal" Moore, Jack Smith, Joseph L. Galloway and Virgie Hibbler, Jr.
The fierce, bloody four-day battle was the first large military engagement between U.S. and North Vietnamese forces.  In the battle, helicopters ferried large units into combat, foreshadowing the tactics that would be used in the next four years by the American forces in their war of attrition against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.
Gen. Hal Moore, then a lieutenant colonel, commanded the First Cavalry Division's First Battalion, 7th Cavalry.  He retired from the Army in 1977.  He is the co-author of the bestseller, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, which tells the story of the Battle of the Ia Drang.
Jack Smith, the veteran ABC news correspondent, was an enlisted man with the First Cavalry Division who fought at the Ia Drang.  In 1967 he wrote an award-winning article in The Saturday Evening Post describing the Battle of the Ia Drang.  He returned to Vietnam in 1993 to report on the battle for ABC's "Nightline" and "Day One."
Joseph L. Galloway of U.S. News & World Report, covered the Vietnam War for United Press International and was on the ground in the thick of the fighting at the Ia Drang Valley.  In 1998 the Army awarded him a Bronze Star Medal with V device for his efforts to rescue wounded soldiers in the Ia Drang.  He is the co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young.
Virgie Hibbler, Jr. is a former First Cavalry Division infantryman who fought in the Ia Drang.  A long-time veterans advocate, he is VVA's Nevada State Council President.
The panel, which will be held in the Anaheim Marriott's Verandah, will be moderated by Marc Leepson, arts editor of The VVA Veteran.  The event is open to the public.


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VVA's point of contact for additional information is Scott D. Campbell at (202) 628- 2700 Ext.158.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is  "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."   


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