IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Press Release

August 2, 2004

No. 04-039


Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301)
996-0901

 

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HEAD TOM RIDGE
TO SPEAK AT VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CONFERENCE



(Washington, D.C.) – Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will address an audience of fellow Vietnam veterans at the Opening Ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Leadership Conference at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel on Wednesday morning, August 4. The ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. and are open to the public.

“We feel honored that Secretary Ridge will take time from his important work to join us in Nashville,” said VVA national President Thomas H. Corey. “He has been a strong supporter of Vietnam veterans while serving in Congress and as governor of Pennsylvania. He has lived up to our motto: ‘In Service to America.’ ”

Ridge, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, was drafted into the U.S. Army after his first year of law school. He served as an infantry sergeant in Vietnam from 1969-70 and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. Ridge earned a law degree after his military service, went into private legal practice, and then served as assistant district attorney in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he was the first congressman to have served as an enlisted man in the Vietnam War. After five terms in Congress, Ridge was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1994.

More than four hundred Vietnam veterans will convene in Nashville for VVA’s National Leadership Conference, which runs through Saturday, August 7. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to be part of dozens for seminars, hear from an array of speakers, and take part in other special activities.

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated 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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