VVA Logo VVA Press Release


            
IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Press Release

June 26, 2006

No. 06-16



Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext. 146

Former Soviet Veterans of the Vietnam War to Attend
VVA's National Leadership Conference



(Washington, D.C.) – Three former Soviet veterans of the Vietnam War will attend Vietnam Veterans of America’s biennial National Leadership Conference, to be held in Tucson, Arizona, July 12-16.   The men were Soviet advisers in North Vietnam during the conflict and have been helping VVA and the United States Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in their efforts to account for American service members missing in Southeast Asia.

 

VVA learned in 2005 of an organization in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, consisting of veterans of the Vietnam War who served as Soviet advisers and air defense specialists in North Vietnam.  VVA representatives have traveled to Ukraine to meet with these veterans on three occasions since November 2005 and have developed a relationship that continues to grow. 

 

During each visit, Ukrainian veterans have provided VVA with photographs and fragments of downed American aircraft, documents and combat reports about the shoot downs of American aircraft, and information concerning American prisoners of war.  Additionally, these veterans are helping U.S. representatives gain access to previously classified Ministry of Defense records that VVA hopes will help account for some of the more than 1,800 Americans who remain in Southeast Asia.  The Ukrainians will make presentations on the Soviet adviser’s role in North Vietnam and joint research initiatives underway in Ukraine.

 

This visit has been made possible because of generous donations from the Buckeye Foundation, the Vietnam Veterans Peace Initiative, and VVA’s Eastern New Jersey Chapter 779.  Additionally, VVA learned of a sister-city program established in 1989 between the cities of Cincinnati and Kharkiv, Ukraine.  To support this initiative between our two nations, VVA, VVA’s Cincinnati Chapter 10, and the city of Cincinnati will sponsor a two-day visit to the city following the Leadership Conference.  Cincinnati is providing domestic air travel and will play host to the Ukrainian delegation during their visit to the midwest.  The trip will include a stopover in Washington, D.C., to lay wreathes at American veterans memorials.                             

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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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