October 2000/November 2000
At Arlington Cemetary
By George C. Duggins
President, Secretary Gober, Secretary Cohen, General Jackson, Mr. Metzler,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, and my very dear brother and
sister veterans: It is a great day to be In Service to America.
Veterans of America stands proud today and on behalf of our 50,000 members
and 628 chapters, I am honored to represent these dedicated men and women
who sacrificed so much for their nation during the Vietnam War.
Vietnam Veterans of America leads the charge to resolve many of the issues
still facing those who served during the Vietnam era; and with strong
friends like U.S. Navy veteran, Doctor Ron Dozoretz, I have great
confidence in our future. Dr. Dozoretz I salute you.
President, we salute YOU for moving forward with the largest budget in VA
history; however, we still need more to bring all of our veterans into the
21st century. We need to make the commitment that when America
places its sons and daughters in harm’s way, our nation will never
compromise on the quality of care needed to mend their wounds, make them
strong in the broken places, and guide them in their return as full
partners in our society.
many veterans are trapped in the bottomless pit of homelessness. Far too
often we turn our backs on homeless veterans in an effort to avoid what
they represent - the failure of our system to care for those who have
borne the battle, and their widows and orphans.
less visible wounds of war also continue to haunt too many veterans and
their families. The growing epidemic of hepatitis C -- the “so called
veterans hepatitis,” is increasing at an alarming rate. It must be
checked. Battlefield toxins -- such as Agent Orange and depleted
uranium, meant to destroy our enemies, we find harmed our own sons and
daughters. We must address these issues while we still have time.
also seek - NO, -- we demand, the fullest possible accounting
for all American servicemen and women still missing from our nation’s
wars and conflicts.
Vietnam Veterans of America and our dedicated, Associates of Vietnam
Veterans of America members challenge the veteran’s community to rise to
the call of a new activism. Let the power of our unified commitment
motivate each and every one of us to make community service the
cornerstone of our destination of freedom and justice.
veterans have and will always lead our great nation towards success and
that is what Vietnam Veterans of America means when we say “In Service
Bless America and her honored veterans, both past and present.
C. Duggins gave the preceding address at the official Veterans Day
ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery. Vietnam Veterans of America was the host
organization for the 2000 ceremonies.