D.C. ) - Vietnam Veterans of America will hold its 13th biennial National Convention July 18-22 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. Some 700 delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield. The delegates will set the organization’s course for the next two years, hear from an array of speakers, attend information sessions, and take part in special events, including a star-studded Awards Banquet on Saturday night, July 21.
“VVA is proud to be returning to the heartland of America for our unique and spirited National Convention,” said VVA National President John Rowan. “Unlike other national veterans service organizations, VVA’s leaders have come together every two years since our founding Convention in 1983 to set our priorities and elect our national leaders. The Conventions are lively gatherings in which much serious work gets done, but we also set aside time for special events, including our Golf Tournament fundraiser for our national scholarship program and the Saturday Night Awards Banquet.”
The always-stirring Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning, July 18, will feature performances by country music stars Big & Rich, as well as by the singer Lee Greenwood who will perform his classic “God Bless the U.S.A.” Pulitzer-Prize-winning Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, will deliver the Keynote Speech.
Nancy Sinatra, who entertained the troops in Vietnam, and Bill Nelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Home Box Office and a Vietnam veteran, will receive Excellence in the Arts Awards at the Saturday Night Awards Banquet. The banquet also will feature a first-time reunion of the Ding-a-Lings, a four-woman singing group that entertained the troops in Vietnam.