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

June 2001/July 2001

Membership Notes

A VVA Staff Report

Memorials

Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently listed the names of the 74 Washtenaw County residents killed in Vietnam on a page of its newsletter. The chronological list begins with George F. Vlisides, who was killed January 27, 1965, and ends with John D. Eddy, who died January 11, 1972. The list also includes the names of six chapter members who have died since 1988.

Rock Island, Illinois, Chapter 299 member Kathleen D. Tennis is spearheading the drive to erect a memorial to Purple Heart recipients on Memorial Walk at the Rock Island National Cemetery. Additional information can be obtained by contacting her at 309-757-7759.

Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia will take part in the 16th Annual Donald W. Jone Flag Memorial at Silver Lake Park. More than 58,000 American flags are placed in the form of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one for each name on The Wall.

Heart of Texas Chapter 801 in Brownwood, Texas, is selling engraved brick pavers to raise funds for the Brown County War Memorial at Memorial Park in Brownwood. If you would like to make a donation, call 915-646-7155 or 915-646-7625.

Chapter 185 in Orono, Maine, is undertaking the construction of a Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall called "Mobile Memories." The memorial will be made of Plexiglas and will contain the names of the 343 KIAs from Maine. If you would like to support this project, contact Rich Tauer at thetauers@ainop.com

Memorial Day

South Jersey Chapter 825 in Mays Landing, New Jersey, reminds us of the origin of Memorial Day in the June issue of the chapter newsletter. On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan, Commander In Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order 11, proclaiming May 30 as "Decoration Day." His proclamation read in part: "Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime. Let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude--the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan."

Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven conducted its annual Memorial Day Eve ceremony at the Chicopee Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. The services included a POW/MIA Candlelight Ceremony.

Members of Nassau County Chapter 82 in Hicksville, New York, took part in the annual Hicksville Memorial Day Parade.

Chapter 691 in Merced, California, participated in services at the Courthouse Park in Merced. Chapter member Bill Roberta was featured in a color photo of the event on the front page of the Merced Sun Star.

Members of Sumner County, Georgia, Chapter 240 participated in Memorial Day services that drew veterans from Robertson, Trousdale, and Macon Counties.

Delaware Chapter 850 in Clayton chaired the Smyrna/Clayton Memorial Day Parade.

Chapter 702 at the California Veterans Home in Yountville hosted its fifth annual Watchfire outside the home’s cemetery from May 27 through Memorial Day. The Watchfire is a Revolutionary War tradition in which communities kept bonfires burning through the night as beacons for returning citizen-soldiers. The chapter uses the event to raise public awareness about Memorial Day and Americans still missing from all this nation’s conflicts.

Chapter 165 in Bellingham, Washington, used Memorial Day as the occasion to formally name the chapter in memory of founding member Ron Davenport, who died recently.

Members of Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville took part in their ninth annual Memorial Day service at Highland Memory Gardens in Mt. Washington, Kentucky.

Osceola County Chapter 755 in Kissimmee, Florida, took part in Memorial Day ceremonies at Osceola Memory Gardens and Mount Peace.

Las Vegas, Nevada, Chapter 17 had veterans service representatives from the Nevada Office of Veterans Affairs and from VVA at the chapter hall on Memorial Day and on Flag Day, June 14.

Honors

Jack Thomas was recently presented the Bronze Medallion by the Chapel of Four Chaplains. The award is granted for outstanding contributions to the well-being of others on the national or international level, to world peace, and to interfaith and interethnic understanding in keeping with the spirit of sacrifice of the Four Chaplains.

Education

Rockland County, New York, Chapter 333 sponsored an educational community service project, "Mementos Left at The Wall," in April. Chapter members, in conjunctions with the Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum and the U.S. National Park Service, went to Suffern High School to present the powerful program before 1,350 students. The event included students and faculty reading letters left at The Wall and a history of the war presented by Vietnam veterans. Chapter members subsequently took the program to Suffern Middle School and Spring Valley High School.

 

In April, Chapter 787 in Valrico, Florida, conducted a ceremony honoring local Vietnam veterans at Bloomingdale High School. The event included interviews of Vietnam veterans by students from Armwood, Bloomingdale, and Sickles High Schools. The interviews are included in the second volume of Oral Histories of the Vietnam War. The project is the brainchild of chapter president Tom Hall and is for sale. To order, contact Hall at MARINEDI@aol.com

Scholarships

Rock River Chapter 236 in Janesville, Wisconsin, awarded twelve $300 scholarships to local high school graduates who are the children of Vietnam veterans. Receiving aid were Alyson Dilley, Matthew Meyer, Rachel Sandee, Emily Scherwitz, Krystalynn Williams, Kirsten Schou, Melissa Hopper, Rebecca Grigsby, Katie Kettle, Thomas Waite, Susan Sutherland, and Shannon Murray.

Community Service

Mariellen Ketterer, the owner of Punk’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Baden, New York, donated the Memorial Day proceeds to VVA Beaver County Chapter 862 in honor of her older brother, John "Mickey" Futato, a Vietnam veteran who died in 1992. Her seven employees volunteered their time that day so their wages also could be included in the donation. Chapter President Skip Haswell said the money will go toward bringing The Moving Wall to Beaver in September.

Chapter 855 in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, continues to add to the chapter food bank. Passover and Easter food basket deliveries consumed much of the supply, but the chapter is busy rebuilding its stores.

Colonel Francis McGouldrick Chapter 260 at the Orient Correctional Facility in Columbus, Ohio, donated 20-pound turkeys and canned goods to the Columbus Veteran Center, the Orient Church, and Sterling House Hospice. In March, the chapter presented certificates of appreciation to G. Brunton, S. Tillett, Sgt. P. Trombley, R. Calhoun, K. Smith, M. Polen, and L. Tuberville for their efforts "beyond the call of duty" in support of chapter activities.

Chapter 787 reported a nationwide campaign to collect old wireless (cell) phones for distribution to domestic violence victims. The phones are refurbished to dial 9-1-1 and one non-emergency number, such as a domestic violence shelter. If you have an unwanted or outdated cell phone contact Donate Phone at 1-888-901-SAFE (7233) or visit their web site at www.donatephone.com

Hospitalized Veterans

Chester County Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, provided several dozen coats and bags of clothing for residents of the Coatesville VA Hospital. The chapter contacted the Vanguard Group, the area’s largest employer, and enlisted the company in the effort to provide basic clothing as part of the corporation’s annual "Outfits for Offices" drive. The chapter is collecting business clothing for vets transitioning out of rehabilitation programs. In April, over 30 suits and 100 shirts were delivered.

Odd ‘N’ Ends

Rochester, New York, Chapter 20 celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala celebration on May 19. Vietnam veteran comedian Blake Clark provided the entertainment at the event. National President George Duggins, AVVA National President Nancy Switzer, and New York State Council President John Rowan attended.

Chapter 172 in Cumberland, Maryland, held its annual chapter picnic in June at Hidden Springs Campground in Not Close To Anything, Pennsylvania. According to the announcement in the chapter newsletter, The Point,"No assault weapons, knives, or explosives will be allowed this year."

On May 6, Suffolk County, New York, Chapter 11 held its 11th annual Gold Star Mothers and Fathers Breakfast at the Sheraton Smithown Hotel. More than 170 people attended the event, which was conceived after current chapter President Rich Kitson and other chapter members attended a Gold Star Mothers ceremony in 1991. Each parent at the breakfast was given a yellow rose with a gold ribbon to symbolize the friendship and love that veterans have for them.

Chapter 384 in New Orleans and Chapter 550 in Meraux co-hosted the Louisiana State Convention in Metairie in June.

Carol Ann Bass, an Associate of Chapter 120 in Hartford, Connecticut, was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in June. A member of Sons and Daughters In Touch, she is the daughter of Maj. Seymour R. Bass, who was killed in Vietnam May 14, 1968. "As a member of the next generation from the Vietnam War, my ministry is not only one of remembrance, it is also one of healing, honor, and hope," Bass said. She will donate a portion of the ordination offering to homeless veterans.

The Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, paid tribute to Vietnam veterans in May. Chapter 303 in Columbia helped plan the event. Frank Weick, Alta Milling, and newest chapter member Gary Baker set up displays. Milling made 30 yellow bows with streamers to represent those South Carolinians listed as MIA.

West Shore Chapter 249 in Bay Village, Ohio, featured Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gray as guest speaker in May. Gray, who attended 12 different Army schools--including Artillery, Infantry, and the Command and General Staff College--retired with 33 years’ service, including two tours in Vietnam. In 1966, he served with the 101st Airborne and in 1970 with the 82nd Airborne.

Baltimore Chapter 451 hosted a 226th birthday party for the U.S. Army in June at the chapter home in the Fort Holabird Business Park.

The Washington State Council had information booths at the Washington Arms Collectors Gun Show in April.

Members of Beaver County Chapter 862 in Freedom, Pennsylvania, did their part in the recent Adopt-A-Highway program. Picking up trash were Blaine Allinder, Bob Doughty, Bob Eiler, Frank Guzman, Ralph Hague, and Tracy King. Joining them were Monty Montgomery, William Winkle, Bill Muns, John and Sharon Namath, John’s granddaughter Christin Cox, and Associate Cheri Pickering.

Phoenix Chapter 726 in the Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City, Florida, was recently presented with a full set of white leggings for the chapter color guard by local DAV Post 148.

Chapter 343 in Houston took part in the 20th Annual Good Friday Fish Fry in April. This is the chapter's first year as a participant, but that didn't stop them from raising the most money. Over 2,000 fish filets were fried during the event.

Traveling Walls

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall will be hosted at the Kissimmee (Florida) Lakefront Park October 25-28. Chapter 755 is hosting the presentation.

During the Fourth of July week, the Traveling Wall will be in McPherson, Kansas. Members of Chapter 809 in Salina, Kansas, will host the July 7th activities, including a program honoring all area KIA’s from that part of Kansas and the Gold Star Mothers.

   

E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org


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