IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

August 1, 2001

No. 01-13 
301 585-4000
Cell:  301-996-8554   
Contact: Jim Greene


NORTH CAROLINA HUMANITARIAN ADDRESSES VVA CONVENTION


Kay Reibold, director of the Vietnam Highlands Assistance Project, is the luncheon speaker, Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Vietnam Veterans of America’s tenth National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Reibold has been working with Montagnard refugees from Vietnam’s Central Highlands since 1985. She began tutoring these mountain people in English once they arrived in North Carolina as part of a U.S. government resettlement effort under the direction of the Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas. Currently, nearly 2,500 Montagnards live in and around Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh. 

Reibold will discuss “Project Friendship,” a joint effort of VVA and the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America to raise funds, household goods and school supplies for the resettled Montagnards. She will also discuss the resettlement of new refugees from Cambodia.

AVVA President Nancy S. Switzer said the effort would specifically aid The Montagnard/Dega Association and the Vietnam Highlands Assistance Project, two groups formed to assist the refugees. 

The Montagnard community in North Carolina was fierce supporters of the U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam.  They fought alongside U.S. Special Forces in the Central Highlands.  Following the end of the war, many suffered persecution and government discrimination under communist rule.  In 1986, over 200 Montagnard refugees were granted asylum by the U.S. government to begin new lives in North Carolina, a state selected because of the presence of a large Special Forces community.

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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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