April 2001/May 2001
A VVA Staff Report
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.