December 2001/January 2002
A VVA Staff Report
Georgianna Krell-Carter was recognized for being elected
president of the American Gold Star Mothers by Coral Gables,
Florida, Chapter 121. The chapter is named in memory of her
son, PFC Bruce W. Carter, the only Medal of Honor recipient from
The color guard of Nassau County Chapter 82 in
Hicksville, New York, took part in a POW/MIA candlelight vigil
held September 15. The unit joined the Nassau County Police
Bagpipers in a ceremony that also recognized the sacrifices of
those who were lost on September 11.
The state of Maine has created a unique way to honor veterans.
The program, "Vote in Honor of a Veteran," was established so that
people can vote in memory of a Maine veteran. Region 1 Director
John Miner discussed the program during the VVA National Board of
Directors meeting in October. For information on how you can
establish a similar program in your state, contact John at
The Whatcom County United Veterans Council recently named Ray
Lewis, president of Chapter 165 in Bellingham,
Washington, Veteran of the Year.
In Service to America
Bergen County, New Jersey, Chapter 800 in East
Rutherford raised $1,000 from members for the New York Police
and Firefighters Fund.
Paul Sierra, a member of Quad-Cities Chapter 299 in
Rock Island, Illinois, spent two weeks in New York City as a
Red Cross volunteer. Sierra worked at Ground Zero feeding and
caring for fire and rescue workers.
The Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, Chapter 855 Color Guard
presented the colors at a memorial service for Robert C. Kennedy,
a Vietnam veteran who lost his life September 11 at the World
Trade Center. Members taking part were Guard Captain Bob O’Rourke,
Don Pape, Chuck Hoff, and Dick Dedham. AVVA members Lee Forlaw-Hoff,
Annemarie Manna, and Bob Lyons assisted. AVVA member Lana Winter
presented a flag to Kennedy’s family.
Chapter 590 in Glenside, Pennsylvania, sold hot dogs
and raised $500 that was donated to the New York Police WTC
Jim Thorne, president of Chapter 542 in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, reports that the chapter took part in a memorial
service for the Penbrook Fire and Police Departments on September
16. Larry Cross performed the "Battlefield Cross," substituting a
police badge with black ribbon for the steel pot and dog tags.
When Eileen Johns sang "God Bless America," the crowd joined in.
Larry and Carol Carter, Dave Kling, Don McAfee, Dave Donmoyer,
Bill Smith, and Art Johns also participated in the services.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chapter 310 members wielded rakes,
shovels, wheelbarrows, and brooms in early November sprucing up
the county Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Jim Sharp was crew chief for
the work detail.
Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another
Las Vegas, Nevada, Chapter 17 hosted a long overdue
recognition ceremony for 107-year old World War I veteran William
Brown. Brown was presented with the French Legion of Honor medal
by French Consul General Joseline Declausade for his service as a
member of the U.S. Expeditionary Force. Brown arrived in France on
June 14, 1918, and served in the artillery division.
Chapter 190 in Atmore, Alabama, participated in a
Patriotic Christmas Card Drive for active-duty servicemen and
women. The chapter, chartered in 1985, launched a similar project
in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm.
Chesapeake Chapter 712 in Annapolis, Maryland, is
promoting Operation Yellow Ribbon for members of A Troop, 1st
Squadron, 158th Cavalry of the Maryland National Guard based at
the Annapolis Armory. Members of the unit are serving in a
peacekeeping assignment in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chapter is
making window decals available to increase public awareness of the
service of the Cav troopers. They also maintain a Web Journal that
includes entries by some of the soldiers in A Troop posted
directly from Bosnia:
Osceola County, Florida, Chapter 755 in Kissimmee
hosted the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall at Lakefront
Park in October.
Floyd Greenwell of Chapter 594 in Fort Myers, Florida,
co-chaired the committee that hosted the Moving Wall in November.
National President Thomas H. Corey gave the keynote address.
Westbank Chapter 553 in Harvey, Louisiana, supported
an AVVA project that provides school supplies and some clothing
for Norbert Rilleaux School students.
Chapter 590 in Glenside, Pennsylvania, urges support
for the Tree of Lights at the Scotland School for Veterans’
Children. The school is a unique, state-funded institution
offering quality residential education to the children of
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania veterans. The annual fund-raiser
underwrites outside activities not covered by state funds.
Additional information is available at
Members of Chapter 776 in Bettendorf, Iowa,
grilled and sold brats and hot dogs in Davenport to raise money to
place a thousand new American flags in the classrooms of Scott
County. Tom Uthoff, Carolyn and Arlen Beck, John and Sherry
Bishop, Mike Stevens, and Ed Gilmore joined together with Greg
Pauline, David Woods, Lyle Peterson, Ron and Jan Sebastian, and
Martha and John Lavelle for the two-day event in November.
Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois, contributed to
the Rock Island National Cemetery beautification program.
Perennial and annual plants were installed along the Memorial
Walkway and at the new Women's Monument.
Chapter 303 in Columbia, South Carolina, is helping
Palmetto State Purple Heart recipients by reminding them that
their college-age children are eligible for tuition assistance
from the state. County Veterans Service Officers can help with the
paperwork. Take a certified copy of your DD-214 and a copy of your
child's birth certificate.
Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven took part in the
annual Soldiers’ Home Christmas Party in Holyoke. The home is one
of two operated by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans
Chapter 855 has adopted the Love A Golden pet therapy
program. Chapter member Lana Winter is secretary of the New Jersey
branch of the organization. She and Lee Forlaw-Hoff, Joyce Forlaw,
and Nicole Salvo visited Green Acres Manor with six dogs.
Residents had waited expectantly for the dogs to arrive.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting Winter at
Richmond, Indiana, Chapter 777 passed out turkeys to
homeless shelters to feed the needy again this year. Holiday boxes
also were distributed at Christmas filled with food to help
families make it through the holidays.
Tampa, Florida, Chapter 787, VVA’s Chapter of the Year, has
expanded its Thanksgiving Basket program this year from 14 to 25.
The project identifies needy veterans and their families and
treats them to a full Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, pumpkin
pie, and all the fixings.
Chapter 261 in the Lima, Ohio, Correctional Institution
raised $900 for POW/MIA Awareness projects by selling sandwiches
to inmates. Chapter members also planted a garden and donated the
bounty to the Northwest Area Food Pantry in Lima.
Chapter 583 in Alpena, Michigan, celebrated the
tenth anniversary of its "Feed a Family" and "Toys for Kids"
program. The program began in a basement in 1991 with a $250
donation. Since then, the chapter has fed 659 families and
provided toys to 2,079 children. The project has raised over
$82,000 in its ten years.
Hicksville, New York, Chapter 82 collected toys for its
annual Holiday Toy Drive for children with physical and
developmental disabilities. The drive was dedicated to the memory
of Bobby Kretzmer and Karen Shoffstall, who helped the committee
get started and devoted many hours to its success. Shoffstall died
several years ago; Kretzmer died suddenly in March.
Odds ‘n’ Ends
Chapter 414 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, recently
celebrated its 13th anniversary. In his President's Message,
President Jim Carey thanked those who helped the chapter grow and
prosper. "Without our Associate Members and their valuable
efforts, concern and devotion to us and VVA, what we accomplished
could not have been done," he said.
The Chapter 436 Honor Guard led the West Chester
University Homecoming Parade in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
The chapter received a thank-you note from Steve McKiernan of the
university that said in part, "It was an honor to have VVA Chapter
436 as Honor Guard for this year’s parade. It was an honor to have
these vets on campus, and we will continue to link with Vietnam
Veterans in our community."
Chapter 436's Dick Huzzard, who served with the 87th
Engineer Battalion in Cam Rahn Bay 1965-66, races a Micro Sprint
car at Lanco Speedway on weekends. The car proudly carries the VVA
logo on its wing.
Genesee County, Michigan, Chapter 175 held a concert
featuring Little Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him"). The concert
raised money for chapter operations. John Lovelady, Don Austin,
and Margaret and Bob Wise joined Gary Huber, Al Pearsall, Greg
Maul, and Don Dale to make the event a success.
Wisconsin Rapids Chapter 101 took part in local Veterans
Aloha from Chapter 858 in Hawaii. Chapter members
were active in an effort to clean the Korean and Vietnam Memorials
on the State Capitol grounds in Honolulu in October. The memorial,
dedicated in 1994, features two winding walls and terraced
pedestals, one for each war. The names of Hawaiians killed or
missing in those conflicts are inscribed on the pedestals.
Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville has good news
and bad news. The bad news is Chaplain Charlie Watts resigned as
First Vice President. The good news is he did so to complete his
theological studies in order to become an ordained minister.