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

February 2002/March 2002

MEMBERSHIP NOTES 

A VVA STAFF REPORT

IN SERVICE TO AMERICA

Anoka, Minnesota, Chapter 470 has created a children=s ID kit. Developed with local police, the kit contains a photo, fingerprint, and vital statistics that parents and law enforcement can use to search and locate missing children. If your chapter is interested in the program, contact Mike Clark at Chapter 470, P.O. Box 748, Anoka, MN 55303. 

Richmond, Indiana, Chapter 777 provided turkeys to local homeless shelters
over the holidays.

Santa Claus arrived in style in Sumner County, Tennessee, during the holidays. Through the efforts of Chapter 240, the fat guy and Mrs. Claus arrived in a Hum-V supplied by the Army National Guard. Santa and his elves collected goodies and delivered them to needy residents in Cottontown, Portland, and Gallatin. The activity was supported by the Sumner County Sheriff=s Department.

Harford County, Maryland, Chapter 588 provided holiday goody bags for 35 patients in the Perry Point Veterans Hospital.

Chapter 587 in Somerset, Pennsylvania, distributed 55 goody bags to patients at the Altoona VA Hospital during the holidays. The chapter also presented grocery gift certificates to two local families. 

Chapter 787 in Tampa Bay, Florida, provided Thanksgiving meals for 25 families at the VA Homeless Program in Tampa. The chapter also served 75 Christmas dinners to homeless veterans at the same facility.   

Jerry Yamamoto, President of Chapter 53 in Redondo Beach, California, reports that the chapter made several monetary donations during the holidays to community-based groups that provide services to those in need. Recipients included the First United Methodist Church, St. James Catholic Church, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, St. Paul=s United Methodist Church, House of Yahweh, and the Kenny Nicholson Memorial Foundation. 

Lower Cape Fear Chapter 885 in Wilmington, North Carolina, collected more than three hundred blankets for homeless veterans. The blankets were presented to the Ashley Memorial Center for distribution during the Inner City Ministries Christmas Dinner. The chapter is grateful to the organizations and businesses that provided the blankets.  Trinity Free Will Baptist Church, Binky Patrol, Soaring Eagles 4-H Club, Best Western-Nutt Street, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Pat=s Junction Warehouse, Harbor United Methodist Church, Sam=s Club, and Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 contributed to the effort.

Northeast Mississippi Chapter 842 in Verona provided personal items and delivered Christmas baskets to patients in the Monroe County Home. VVA and AVVA members took part in the activity.  

Central Wisconsin Chapter 101 in Wisconsin Rapids collected nonperishable goods for distribution by the Department of Social Services.

 

Ken Holybee and Joe Oliver, members of Santa Rosa, California, Chapter 223, received Images of Bravery Awards for their years of service to veterans and the community. The Images of Bravery Award is the highest acknowledgement of service presented by the California State Council, a simple recognition of a small number of Vietnam veterans who have performed quiet acts of bravery.

Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville was honored when chapter member Billy Pfeister was presented the coveted Liberty Award. The presentation, made by Mayor David Armstrong, recognizes Pfeister=s countless hours of service to veterans and the community. The chapter is also honored that two other members, Larry Fields and Dona Schicker, also were nominated for the award. Kentucky State Council President Darrell Martin received the award in 1999.

Phoenix Chapter 726, Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City, Florida, honored many during its annual awards program. Keynote Speaker Nancy R. Mazzone, LTCDR, USN (Retired), was so impressed with the chapter=s activities that she pledged to help. Recognized for outstanding contributions and service were William Rhodes, Pastor Arthur Lee, Laurie Greely, Mike Nix, Robin Varner, Ulysses Jackson, O=Very Shade, and Dave Teart. Warden Don Merritt and Capt. Arthur Fortson were acknowledged for their support of chapter programs and activities. President Terry Faddis was given a Special Award for his continuing work in support of the chapter. 

Chapter 172, Cumberland, Maryland, held its annual Christmas dinner with 250 in attendance. Chapter president Bruce Whitaker presented awards to Autumn Aliva and James Harris for their devotion to the chapter; to Perky Yates, Bob Frankenberry, and Ron Powell for their color guard service; and to David Shaulis and Jack Yarnell for their continuous service as directors. President's awards were received by Rodger Long for his color guard service; by Barb Smith and Regina Whitaker for their service to Chapter 172; and by Gary Monahan for his service to the chapter. Two special President's Awards were given to Harry "Chip" Bosley and Steven Parsons for their 17 years of continuous service to the chapter.

The Forgotten Warriors Chapter 281 at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio, honored those who have devoted their efforts to the work of the chapter. Singled out for special recognition were Herbert Hennen, Founding President and longtime supporter of the chapter, and John Payne, who was honored for his 15 years of service to the chapter. Ohio State Council Executive Director Joe Jennings was the keynote speaker. 

Skip Haswell, President of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 862, was recently presented with the Beaver County Vietnam Veteran of the Year Award. Also honored during the chapter awards banquet in December was John Namath, chair of the chapter board who was presented with the group=s first President=s Award. Namath so distinguished himself that the award will bear his name. Chapter Treasurer Bill Muns also was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the chapter and community. Muns is the new county Veterans Affairs Director.

NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION  ABANDON ANOTHER

Oahu Chapter 858 in Honolulu, Hawaii, provided escorts for Georgiana Carter-Krell and Dorothy Oxendine, President and Vice President of American Gold Star Mothers, during the 60th Anniversary Commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day in December. Those taking part were Tom Stirling, Willie Daniels, Garey Lester, and Ben Waiolama. 

Chapter 838, Soloam Springs, Arizona, held an evening of prayer and patriotism in support of the victims of September 11. Local clergy and members of the police and fire departments were among the 75 who attended.

HOSPITALIZED VETERANS

Oahu Chapter 858 took part in the Annual Remembrance Service at the Hawaii State Hospital. Vietnam veterans Carl Meier, Mike Haloski, Willie Daniels, Luis Parker, Allen Breed, and Mike Miller represented the chapter. 

James Branum of Chapter 806 in Blackstone, Virginia said the chapter will host The Vietnam Wall Experience at Fort Pickett in May. Anyone wishing to contribute to the effort is encouraged to contact Branum at 434-292-7580. 

Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278 is preparing for the return of The Vietnam Wall Experience in September. The chapter will co-sponsor the event with the East Funeral Home. The memorial tribute will be located at Moore=s Lane Baptist Church and will be open to the public September 6-8.

MEMORIALS

Las Vegas, Nevada, Chapter 17 reports that the National Capital Memorial Commission has approved a memorial honoring the nation=s 2.3 million disabled veterans. The memorial will be located about two blocks southwest of the Capitol. Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown said the memorial will be visible to Congress. When critical national security issues are debated, this memorial will remind legislators of war=s true cost. 

Baltimore Chapter 451 reminds us that in 1989 the State of Maryland dedicated the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Operation Remember is a project that collects photographs of all 1,046 Maryland residents who lost their lives in Vietnam and who are remembered on the memorial. This year, the goal is to locate an additional 400 photos, bringing the total to 701. Organizers hope to have all 1,046 photos for the 15th Anniversary Dedication in 2003. Chapter member Jim Gerity, chair of Operation Remember, urges anyone who can help to contact him at 410-679-4022 or via e-mail at pcguy4u@home.com. 

Northeast Georgia Chapter 772 in Gainesville dedicated the Veterans War Memorial on Veterans Day 2001. The memorial is located in Rock Creek Park in Gainesville. The monument honors veterans of all wars and was the brainchild of chapter member Bryan Bordelon.

EDUCATION

Linda Poling, a North Carolina social studies teacher, has developed an innovative approach to teaching the Vietnam War. Poling invites speakers to share their experiences with students. Student Erin Smither says her grandfather was a colonel in Vietnam but never spoke about the war. "He was silent. He never volunteered information," Smither said. The class helped her, she claimed, connect with her grandfather and his experience. Senior Giang Nguyen took the class to learn more about her background. Nguyen=s family left Vietnam 12 years ago. "It also improved my relationships with my family," she said. "I learned how they each see the war."  

HOMELESS VETERANS

Liberty Bell Chapter 266 took part in a national Homeless Memorial Day Service. The chapter honor guard took part in the ceremonies that paid tribute to homeless veterans who died in shelters and on the streets of Philadelphia. Also taking part in the ceremony were National Board member Marsha Four and Pennsylvania State Council Secretary Sandy Miller.

DONATIONS

Redondo Beach, California, Chapter 53 received a donation of $2,500 from Rudolf and Darlene Kreienbaum for the construction of an additional sign identifying a stretch of the Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. The money will provide a sign in the northbound lane of the freeway in Marina Del Rey.

Chapter 101 in Wisconsin Rapids donated a portable public address system and wireless microphones to the Veterans Memorial Project at the High Ground. The chapter also donated $100 each to the Veterans Assistance Project at King Veterans Home and the PTSD unit at the Tomah VA Hospital. 

ODDS =N= ENDS 

Chapter 842 presented a POW/MIA Flag to the city of Tupelo to be flown at a new park and to the city of Smithville to be flown above City Hall. 

Eck Spahich, a member of Chapter 404 in Borger, Texas, has been appointed to the local draft board. Medal of Honor recipient Alfred Rascon, Director of the Selective Service System, made the appointment.

Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown issued a Proclamation in November proclaiming November 10-12, 2001, Veterans Incarcerated Art Show Days. It says in part, "To recognize and support the unique creative talents of our nation=s veterans providing a supportive venue for incarcerated veterans to display their talents and express themselves through the arts," this show, sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America, will benefit a scholarship fund for children of Vietnam veterans.== San Jacinto Chapter 343 in Houston and the Ramsey I Affiliate members produced the show. 

The Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Chapter 290 sponsored a Vietnam Veterans Reunion and Appreciation Banquet in November. The event featured American veterans of the Vietnam War and their South Vietnamese comrades. Chapter member Steve Hennes, Director of the Whitney Senior Center, and Phuc Phan, President of the Vietnamese Community of St. Cloud, were co-chairs of Veterans for Unity and Freedom, the coordinating group for the event. 

GIVE TIL IT FEELS GOOD 

Chapter 172 in Cumberland, Maryland, donated 60 coats and 100 ditty bags for veterans in the homeless unit at the VA in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

National Education Subcommittee Chair Tom Hall, a member of Chapter 787 in Tampa Bay, Florida, had the good fortune to win two tickets to a Buccaneers football game in December. Rather than use the tickets himself, he presented them to George Bramlett and his son Joey, who are in the VA Homeless Program. Chapter members passed the hat. George and Joey went to the game with $25 for food and beverages.■

   


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