A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

April 2001/May 2001

Membership Notes

A VVA Staff Report

Memorials

Chapter 470 in Anoka, Minnesota, sponsored a memorial to the Third Marine Division at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. The plaque reads in part, "Dedicated to All Marines Past and Present Who Have Served in the Third Marine Division. Living the Words Duty, Honor, and Country." The memorial also notes the ten Medals of Honor bestowed on division members in World War II and the twenty awarded during the Vietnam War.

The Colorado Veterans Monument Preservation Trust Fund is raising money to insure perpetual care of the Colorado Veterans Monument in Boulder. Mission Accomplished, a limited-edition commemorative book, is available at $25 per copy. Additional information is available at: www.coloradoveteransmonument.org

Tri-State Chapter 623 in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, will dedicate a Vietnam service UH-1H helicopter as a permanent memorial on the grounds of American Legion Marsch Kellogg Post 139 in Milford. The ceremony will be held Armed Forces Day, May 19. The helicopter was donated by the Department of the Army and the Mechanized Forces Command.

TRAVELING WALLS

Kissimmee, Florida, Chapter 755 is preparing for a presentation of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall at Lakefront Park in October.

A low-level flyover by a B-52 Stratofortress will punctuate opening ceremonies at the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall in Orange, Texas, over Father’s Day weekend in June. Chapter 348 in Bridge City is involved with the program, which includes a Gulf Coast Veterans Reunion and the Ronald E. Ray Vietnam War Museum, named for Port Arthur native SSGT Ronald E. Ray, who has been Missing In Action since November 13, 1969, when his six-man Special Forces reconnaisance team was attacked in Laos.

The Delaware State Council was involved in activities with the Moving Wall That Heals at the Bridge War Memorial in New Castle in April.

Chapter 118 in the Bronx, New York, will sponsor The Moving Wall at Veterans Memorial Park in August. Additional information is available at vvachapter118bx@aol.com

Chapter 267 in Dearborn, Michigan, sponsored The Moving Wall last October in the shadow of the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company. Lt.Gen. David L. Vesley and Chapter 267 President Joe Stumpo were among those who made remarks during the opening ceremony. The tribute honored all who died in Vietnam, with special recognition for the 62 Dearborn residents who were killed.

Scholarships

Big Sky Chapter 334 and Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America in Billings, Montana, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Maureen E. Connors, daughter of Edward and Mary Ann Connors. Maureen will attend the University of Montana at Missoula this fall. Her father is a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Navy.

Chapter 53 in Redondo Beach, California, is reviewing applications for $400 scholarships to be awarded to three high school graduates.

Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans

Chapter 281, Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ohio reported on services December 7 at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. On the 59th anniversary of the attack, the ashes of survivor Lewis P. Robinson were interred by divers aboard the sunken hull, the final resting place for nearly one thousand sailors. Robinson is the 16th Pearl Harbor survivor to be laid to rest at the Memorial.

Honors

National Chaplain Father Philip G. Salois has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award for 2001 from the Military Chaplains Association. The prestigious award is given each year to a member of the uniformed services, Civil Air Patrol, or Department of Veterans Affairs who demonstrates outstanding leadership. Fr. Phil is the founder and president of the National Conference of Vietnam Veteran Ministers and has participated in outreach efforts in Croatia, Bosnia, the Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

Community Service

Fostoria, Ohio, Chapter 440 held its 12th Annual Dinner Dance in March. More than three hundred guests partied until after midnight to live music and a DJ. Over $4,000 was raised to support Fostoria Junior Softball and the Fostoria Fame Games, an annual track and field event for handicapped children. AVVA and VVA members worked together to make the event a success.

Chapter 737, Fox Lake Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, has established a pilot program for soon-to-be-released inmates. The project includes training on how to look for a job, preparing a job application, preparing a portfolio and a resume, and presenting background information to prospective employers. The program helps affiliate the veterans with the Vet Center closest to where they are released, as a followup to on-site counseling provided at the facility by Tom Deis. The chapter also raises money through the sale of greeting cards to support two $300 scholarships awards and a $2,400 grant to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Odds & Ends

West Virginia’s newest, Fairmont Chapter 873, held a benefit breakfast April 28 at the site of the Marion County Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Included on the menu were biscuits and gravy and pancakes. The coffee and conversation flowed freely. The following evening a benefit dinner was held to support the memorial.

Chapter 850 in Smyrna, Delaware, celebrated its first anniversary in March.

National Board member Steve Mason and Region 9 Director Rocky Gothard presented a VVA National Flag to Chapter 867. Gothard is also busy helping to organize a chapter in Boise, Idaho, where interim President Donald R. McDole is coordinating local outreach. McDole can be contacted at 208-468-9057.

Chapter 480 in Owego, New York, will hold the Sixth Annual All Night Catch & Release Catfish Derby June 2 and 3. The Grand Prize is a boat, motor, and trailer package. Additional information is available from Gary Stilson at 607-687-1579.

Charlie Hobbs of Chapter 203 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been designated "Best Head Hunter." Hobbs and others recruited 54 new members to the chapter during a presentation of The Tennessee Traveling Wall. The chapter has issued a challenge to other chapters to top its success. It has even offered Hobbs to provide tips for recruiting at NAM67MP@aol.com

VVA Meeting and Special Events Coordinator Wes Guidry signed off the air in Lake Charles, Louisiana, after 14 years of spinning golden oldies on KHLA 99.5 FM. Guidry hosted a show on Sunday evenings that focused on music of the 1960s and ’70s.

The Conference of State Council Presidents met in Charleston, South Carolina, in January. The meeting was conducted in the Chief Petty Officers Mess aboard the USS Yorktown, berthed at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Alfred Rascon spoke to the gathering in conjunction with his attendance at the National Congressional Medal of Honor Museum in the hangar deck.

In December 1989 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted near Anoka, Minnesota. That December and each year since, members of Chapter 430 have joined the Walk For Awareness, an 11-mile trek from the Elk River to Anoka. This year the group walked in five-degree weather and was joined by Jacob's father Jerry.

The Campout 2001 Reunion in Freehold, New York, is scheduled for July 20-23. For additional information, contact Fred H. Lane, P.O. Box 288, Freehold, NY 12431.

   

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