(Washington, D.C.) – Vietnam Veterans of America will hold its 15th biennial National Convention August 17-20 at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno, Nevada. Some eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country are expected to join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Reno. 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. That includes the Awards Banquet, which honors Vietnam veterans and others in the arts, on Saturday evening, August 20.
"VVA National Conventions are unique, special, and exciting events," said VVA President John Rowan. "Our leaders get together every two years to decide on our priorities and to elect our national leaders. We're the only national veterans' service organization that operates this way, and it has proven to be a very successful formula since our founding National Convention in 1983.
"We have come a long way since our humble beginnings in 1978," Rowan said. "VVA today is a highly effective force on the national, state, and local levels, acting on behalf of Vietnam veterans, their families, and all veterans. We're proud of our accomplishments over the last 33 years, and we'll celebrate the past as we work for the future in Reno."
Richard Pimentel, the disabled Vietnam veteran who is one of the nation's foremost disability rights advocates, will give the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning, August 17. Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention include Vietnam veteran Homer Hickam, the author of the acclaimed memoir Rocket Boys and many other books, and the actress, comedienne, and singer Vicki Lawrence, who entertained the troops in Vietnam. Hickam and Lawrence will receive VVA Excellence in the Arts Awards at the Convention's culminating event, the Saturday Night Awards Banquet.