The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

August 2002
 
   
 

Membership Notes

A VVA STAFF REPORT 

HONORS 

Rhode Island State Council President Larry Goucher heaped praise upon a fellow Vietnam veteran, citing his "professionalism, candor, and enormous sense of humor." Goucher notes that regardless of the event or location, this dedicated servant is always there. With his camera, notebook, and recorder in hand, Bob Pizzano documents the issues and activities in his home state of Massachusetts and throughout Region 1. Pizzano is editor of  The Bay State Vietnam Veteran. Goucher calls Bob Pizzano an unsung hero for "his selfless dedication to bringing awareness to the veterans and their concerns." 

The annual banquet of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 436 in   Phoenixville was the scene of a special presentation. President Morris Green   presented the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award to Jennifer Hubsch. The award recognizes selfless service to humanity without regard to race, religion, or creed. Hubsch was honored for her work coordinating a Thanksgiving Day dinner for over a hundred veterans in the Coatesville VA hospital at the Stadium Grille in West Chester. Non-ambulatory patients were served the same meal at the hospital. Meals also were donated to local shelters.


EDUCATION 

It took 9 years, 10 months, 18 days, 5 heart attacks, open heart surgery, and countless days in ICCU and CCU before Ed Cournoyer, Jr., of  Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven in Springfield graduated from Western New England College with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. But he did it.

The Commo Bunker, the newsletter of Chapter 731 in Manitowoc,   Wisconsin, crackles with news of another successful year for chapter educational outreach efforts at Lincoln High School. Included in the program is a flag-folding demonstration and a bagpiper. The chapter is already preparing for the 2003 school year.


SCHOLARSHIPS

Manitowoc Chapter 731 awarded two scholarships this spring. Bradley J. Vogel of Kiel, Wisconsin, and Corey D. Duchow of Reedsvile were the recipients of the grant to further their educations.

Big Sky Chapter 334 in Billings, Montana, awarded scholarships to Nikkole Locke and Annie Krenzer. Locke is the daughter of Raymond and Louise Locke. Her father served with 5th Transportation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, in Vietnam in 1967-69. Krenzer is the daughter of Lester and Connie Krenzer. Her father served with the U.S. Army, 355th Aviation Company, in Vietnam in 1968-71. Each scholar will receive $1,000. 

Chapter 753 in Swanton, Vermont, awarded two college scholarships to high school seniors. John Flood received the $1,000 Lyndon Murray, Sr., Scholarship, and Nicole Rogers of St. Albans was awarded the $1,000 Chapter College Scholarship.


NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION
OF VETERANS ABANDON ANOTHER
 

Rhode Island's Lincoln High School had its first graduating class, fewer than one hundred students, in 1966. There were only two Lincoln High grads who died in Vietnam, David P. Evans and Robert Lancaster. Both died in 1970 just a couple of months apart. On May 26, the park across from Lincoln High School was dedicated in honor of David P. Evans. Among those who took part in the ceremony were Evans's mother, wife, and the son who never knew his father.

Rhode Island State Council President Larry Goucher presented a folded American flag to the Evans family. A plaque now bears Evans's name and recognizes him as the first from Lincoln High to make the supreme sacrifice. VVA  members and members of the Lincoln Police Honor Guard and the Rhode Island National Guard took part in the ceremonies. 

Glenside, Pennsylvania, Chapter 590 reports that the effort to locate and recover remains from the Korean War is being aided by the memories of former soldiers of that conflict. A reprinted story by Bryan Oller says that following a successful recovery mission at the Chosin Reservoir last year when the remains of 17 American were recovered, Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii personnel are asking Korean War veterans to look at maps and photographs of Korean War battlefields. They hope memories will be strengthened and some may recall where they buried buddies. Oral history has become an important tool for those looking for answers in the effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans who remain listed as POW/MIA since the conclusion of World War II.


COMMUNITY SERVICE 

Incarcerated Chapter 616 in Mansfield, Ohio, raised money for the Mansfield Domestic Violence Shelter. Inmates were encouraged to have their photos taken in exchange for a small donation to the chapter project. The chapter then matched that amount and eventually donated more than $3,700 to the shelter. Staff Adviser Parris Windham said: "VVA saw the Domestic Violence Shelter as an organization whose mission is to help keep families safe and provide a haven of safety for them as they deal with abusive living in a temporary environment."

Howard Goldin, education chair of Chapter 333 in New York City, reports that the chapter sponsored a Martial Arts Expo at North Rockland Senior High School. Some 250 people attended the event and saw demonstrations of six different martial arts disciplines.  Chapter member Bill Winder is a fourth degree black belt and conceived the idea, which is a fund-raiser for the chapter Reservist Relief Fund. The fund provides relief for Rockland County citizens who suffer hardship as a result of being called to active duty since September 11. Winder was wounded twice while serving in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine in 1968-69 and has been awarded the New York Police Department Medal of Honor.


WATCH FIRES 

Chapter 333 and Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, participated in Watch Fire activities during the Memorial Day holiday. The fires are lit at midnight and burn for 24 hours, reminiscent of the practice used by the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Veterans stand watch throughout the Watch Fire program. Chapter 333 has secured four permanent watch sites in Rockland County. In Ann Arbor, members of Chapter 310 also performed a Flag Retirement ceremony, respectfully burning worn and soiled American flags as prescribed by the U.S. Flag Code.


MEMORIALS 

Merced, California, Chapter 691 is proud of the new marble sign designating the area of Courthouse Park as a memorial area, officially called the "Merced County Veterans Memorial."  

Chapter 81 in Roanoke, Virginia, organized a spring bus trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the apex of The Wall were Fred Falin, Dallas Praax, and Doug Burnette.


ODDS 'N' ENDS 

Medal of Honor recipient retired Marine Corps Col. Wesley Fox was Keynote Speaker at the 2002 Virginia State Council convention, where he signed copies of his book, Marine Rifleman

Colby L. Shoemake served on one of the 82-foot cutters that comprised Coast Guard Squadron One in Vietnam and wants to display a cutter as a memorial to the squadron. Many of the decommissioned boats have been sent to the Republic of Georgia. If you have information or would like to be part of this effort, contact Shoemake at shoecl@peoplepc.com

Chapter 172 in Cumberland, Maryland, held the second annual Chapter Chili Challenge at Hidden Springs Campground in May. The event was governed by International Chili Society rules, which forbid beans in the chili.  

Southwest Montana Chapter 788 in Bozeman reminds everyone that the 48-star flag flew longest, from July 4, 1912, to July 3, 1959. In 1912, two white stars representing Arizona and New Mexico were added, and in 1959 two additional stars representing the entry of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union were added. There have been no modifications to the American flag since that time.

If your veteran has fallen victim to Agent Orange-related illnesses, you are entitled to receive the Order of the Silver Rose. VVA member Gary Chenett is National Director of the volunteer program and encourages you to contact the Order of the Silver Rose at http://silverrose.org

Chapter 866 in Springfield, Massachusetts, sponsored a trip by six Boy Scouts to the Woburn Sportsmen's Association. The scouts had no previous weapons experience, but by the end of the day all had qualified for NRA Marksmen certification. Another trip is planned for October. 

Hicksville, New York, Chapter 82 held a Fluke Fishing Trip in July. No reports on whether they actually fished for fluke or whether it was a fluke that they caught anything.  

Chapter 862 in Freedom, Pennsylvania, is selling duck tickets throughout the summer in front of the Giant Eagle and JR's Warehouse, both in Rochester. 

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Chapter 437 participated in the Miss Wisconsin Parade in June. The chapter color guard followed cadence called by Bill Benedict.

The VVA North Dakota State Council will hold its 20th annual picnic in July at the Willowood Park in Mayville-Portland. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dancing are on the agenda. The price is $10 per person or $15 for the entire family. 

The VVA Illinois State Council held a golf tournament as part of the activities at the annual state convention in Moline in June. Hackers were encouraged to play the wide-open course with few trees and only one water hazard.


MOVING WALLS 

The Moving Wall was presented in Easthampton, Massachusetts, in July. Chapter One-Eleven was a sponsor of the event.

Northern Virginia Chapter 227 hosted John Gibbs, an Australian Army veteran, over the Memorial Day weekend. Gibbs served in Vietnam in 1970-71. The chapter also heard a presentation from Silver Spring, Maryland, Chapter 641 member Larry Zimmerman in June. Zimmerman was an aerial photo interpretation officer who identified enemy targets on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.


ON THE INTERNET 

Chattanooga, Tennessee, Chapter 203 announced that the Veterans On Line Application (VONAPP) web site is http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp The site allows you to apply for   benefits directly over the Internet. 

Chapter 120 in Hartford, Connecticut, is the latest chapter to put its newsletter on line. Check it out: http://members.aol.com/chapter120news/julo2.htm

   

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