No. 033-00  
      IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            August 2, 2000                           (301) 585-4000


BUFFALO, N.Y.- Miss America 2000 Heather French, who is on a national speaking tour entitled The Forgotten Heroes: Honoring Our Nation’s Homeless Veterans, to be keynote speaker at Vietnam Veterans of America’s 8th biennial National Leadership Conference.  The event is scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday, August 3, 2000, at the Buffalo Hyatt Regency in the Grand Ballroom.

As a national spokesperson and advocate for the homeless veterans, Heather travels approximately 20,000 miles a month, into a different city every other day, addressing diverse audiences, advocating awareness, funding and volunteerism for homeless veterans’ programs.

Heather’s platform as Miss America 2000 is encompassed in the statement, “As the daughter of a disabled Vietnam veteran, I pledge my heart, my hands and my voice to helping homeless veterans fight the battles they face on our nation’s streets.  So they don’t face these battles alone, I urge all Americans to lend their support to these often forgotten men and women.”

Heather’s words have been marked by her deeds.  She has spent much of her year of service lobbying U.S. lawmakers for more support for homeless veterans.  As a result, she has been recognized with numerous awards to include Advocate of the Year 2000 award bestowed by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.  In addition to her platform, Heather has been spokesperson the Helping Veterans Fight a Silent Enemy: Hepatitis C campaign sponsored in conjunction with Vietnam Veterans of America.

VVA’s point of contact for additional information is VVA’s Public Affairs Director Scott D. Campbell at (716) 856-1234.  Schedules of events and media opportunities for Buffalo may be obtained by contacting the VVA Media Relations Office at (716) 855-4976.

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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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