A VVA STAFF REPORT
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.
Chapter 777 provided turkeys to local homeless shelters
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
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
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
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.
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.
Chapter 101 in Wisconsin Rapids collected
nonperishable goods for distribution by the Department of Social
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Lane Baptist Church and will be open to the public September
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
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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