FORMER MISS AMERICA AND VVA POET RECEIVE
Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, and Steve Mason,
Poet Laureate of Vietnam Veterans of America, today received Bronze Medallions
at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Ceremony in Greensboro, North Carolina,
where VVA is holding its tenth national convention.
Paul L. Sutton, national liaison and trustee for the
Chapel of the Four Chaplains chaplain, said each recipient used unique means
to provide valuable public service to American society.
Heather French, as Miss Kentucky 2000, won the coveted
Miss America title in September 1999. During
her year of service, she championed homeless veterans. As a national
spokesperson and advocate for homeless veterans, she traveled approximately
20,000 miles a month addressing diverse audiences in different cities. As a
daughter of a disabled American veteran, she served as a volunteer with VA
hospitals and has devoted much of her time lobbying lawmakers for support of
homeless veterans. Lawmakers
recognizing her dedication introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives
in March 2001, H.R. 936, The Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance
Act. While no longer Miss
America, Henry continues to serve veterans.
She is the spokesperson for the Helping Vietnam Veterans Fight a Silent
Enemy: Hepatitis C Campaign in conjunction with VVA.
Steve Mason is a decorated Army veteran of Vietnam who
rose to the rank of captain. He is the president
of VVA’s Oregon State Council
and a member of the Board of Directors-At-Large.
Commonly referred to as the “Warrior for Peace,” he has written
extensively about the warrior and his attempt to readjust.
His critically acclaimed trilogy of writings include Johnny’s Song,
A Warrior for Peace and The Human Being. He also received
the President’s Medal of the Veterans for Peace.
Over the past twenty years, Mason has read his works and
advocated for peace in preschools, public schools, colleges and universities
to offer his message of hope and mutual understanding.