(Washington, D.C.) – Diana Dell, who volunteered to go to Vietnam in 1970 as a civilian working for the USO, will receive the VVA President's Award for Excellence in the Arts at Vietnam Veterans of America's 15th biennial National Convention on Saturday night, August 20, in Reno, Nevada.
"Diana Dell went to Vietnam after the death of her brother, Sgt. Kenny Dell, who was killed in action in the Mekong Delta in November of 1968," VVA National President John Rowan said. "We are honoring her for that act of dedication and for the work she did in Vietnam as a USO program director and the host of the 'USO Showtime' radio show on the Armed Forces Vietnam Network, as well as for her literary accomplishments since then."
Dell left Vietnam in 1972 and later worked as a freelance writer and journalist and taught Vietnam War history and journalism classes at Tampa College. She is the author of, among other works, A Saigon Party and Other Vietnam War Short Stories, and the screenplay That Year in Saigon.
Vietnam Veterans of America will hold its Convention August 17-20 at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno. 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.
Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention include Keynote Speaker Richard Pimentel, the disabled Vietnam veteran who is one of the nation's foremost disability rights advocates; Vietnam veteran Homer Hickam, the author of the acclaimed memoir Rocket Boys and other books; and the entertainers Vicki Lawrence and Gloria Loring.