(Washington, D.C.) – Richard Pimentel, a disabled Vietnam veteran who is one of the nation's foremost disability rights advocates, will give the Keynote Speech on August 17 at the Opening Ceremonies of VVA's 15th National Convention in Reno, Nevada. Pimentel, who suffered severe hearing loss after a Viet Cong rocket attack in 1968, was one of the main advocates responsible for congressional passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act. His remarkable life story was the subject of the Hollywood film, Music Within.
"Richard Pimentel gave the Keynote at our National Leadership Conference last year, and he was memorably inspiring and moving," VVA National President John Rowan said." We are very pleased that he'll be back with us to jump-start our biennial National Convention in Reno."
The Convention will be held 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.
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.