Hartford, Connecticut Chapter 120 was
presented with VVA Chapter of the Year Award at the Leadership
Conference in Tucson. The chapter formed in 1983 and has been
a pioneer in veterans' advocacy in the state.
Steve Uchniat, President of Liberty Bell
Chapter 266 in Philadelphia, was honored as
"Catholic War Veterans, Philadelphia Chapter Man of the Year,"
during the organization's 57th annual meeting.
Chapter 266 itself received the VVA Pennsylvania State
Council 2002 Chapter of the Year Award. Additionally,
chapter member Thomas C. Murtha was honored as 2002 Veteran of
the Year. He was featured on a local television station as one
Unsung Patriotic Heroes.
Murtha is chapter 2nd Vice President and Captain of the Color
Richmond, Indianana, Chapter 777
President Rick Stewart presented the burial flag of VVA Member
Frank Arkenberg to his daughter, Mrs. Larry Carr. Arkenberg
died in March, and chapter service coordinator Butch Mullen
assisted Mrs. Carr with the VA details.
Chapter 725 in Prairieville,
Louisiana was presented with the Region 7 2002 Chapter of
the Year honors. Jack Watson was recognized as Region 7
Veteran of the Year.
FOR MILITARY MERIT
Erica Fontana, a staff writer for the
Jacksonville, Arkansas, Patriot, reports Vietnam
veteran Kenneth "Mark" Harp finally received his Purple Heart
Medal. It was presented by his father, retired Maj. Louis S.
Harp, earlier this year. The younger Harp served with the 82nd
Airborne at Fort Bragg, and with the First Cavalry Division,
2nd/32nd Field Artillery in Phu Loi, Vietnam. Last year he was
diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer recognized by
the VA as service connected due to Agent Orange exposure.
Chapter 78 in Sandston, Virginia,
successfully lobbied state government officials to name the
new bridge that takes I-95 across the James River the
"Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge."
The project to name the new span began in 1999 with the help
of a state legislator. The bill finally wound its way through
the legislative process. The dedication was held in September.
TO THE FUTURE
The U.S. Army Reserve Center in Augusta,
Georgia was named in honor of Augusta native Roy W. Miller,
the only member of the 319th Transportation Company (USAR)
killed in Vietnam. The local unit was activated for Vietnam
service from September 1968 to September 1969.
IN SERVICE TO AMERICA
Northeast Georgia Chapter 772 in
Gainesville received the 2002 Volunteer of the Year Award
presented by Keep Hall Beautiful (KHB), an affiliate of the
Keep America Beautiful national organization. Chapter members
helped with recycling projects, roadside cleanup parties, and
renovation of property that has been neglected. KHB Director
Marsha Fletcher said, "These
guys know about pride, and they are still serving their
community with that same pride today."
The chapter also took part in Memorial Day ceremonies at the
War Memorial at Rock Creek Park in Gainesville.
Freedom Chapter 430 in Philadelphia
provided the Color Guard for the dedication of Philadelphia's
Korean War Memorial. Jack Thomas, Mike McKinney, Ed Speller,
Ron Kucinski, and Art Miller make up the unit.
Anoka, Minnesota Chapter 470 hosted
Memorial Day ceremonies at the Minnesota Vietnam Veterans
Memorial in St. Paul for the ninth consecutive year.
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Chapter 862
coordinated the presentation of The Moving Wall with the
dedication of the local POW/MIA Memorial. The new memorial
includes the inscription, "In Memory of Those Who Served In
Vietnam, And Those Who Remain Missing In Action."
The most prominent feature of the design is an 8 foot steel
Oregon State Council President Judi Greig has reached
an agreement with the City of Eugene to fly the POW/MIA Flag
on six days each year. Greig originally asked the city to fly
the flag every day.
Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas
will become the permanent home for one of the three
replicas of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, first created by
John Devitt. The Moving Wall has been touring the country
since 1984, and it will become part of the larger Veterans
Memorial Amphitheatrt, a $1.2 million project at the
university. For information and a slide show, go to:
The Vietnam Wall Experience was presented at
Steamboat Landing on the waterfront in Belfast, Maine,
in June. Ginny Sand-Roy, wife of two-tour Marine Bob Roy, reports that as
they approached the replica they were greeted by a gentleman
who, "walked up to Bob
and shook his hand, thanking him for serving his country."
It was the first such experience for Bob, and it was a
Chapter 285 in Merrillville, Indiana
presented The Vietnam Wall Experience in July. The event was
covered in depth by the Lake County Post-Tribune,
including several moving stories and photographs.
Northern Virginia Chapter 227 continued
its tradition of awarding $1,000 to the Arlington County
Public Schools HILT Summer School Program. The program helps
disadvantaged immigrant students attend summer school and
accelerate their cultural and educational adjustment. This is
the 11th consecutive year the chapter has supported the
program. One of the original recipients of the assistance is
now a teacher in Arlington County and a Reserve Army officer.
Springfield, Massachusetts, Chapter 866 donated seven
recliner chairs with massage to the Leeds VAMC. The chairs
will be utilized in the PTSD and orthopedics wards.
Incarcerated Chapter 616 in
Mansfield, Ohio sponsored a Photo Project, giving inmates
an opportunity to have their photographs taken for a small
fee. The chapter then matched the amount and donated $3,720 to
the Mansfield Domestic Violence Shelter.
Rochester, New York Chapter 20 donated
$5,000 to the Stars & Stripes Flag Store in June, and AVVA
members sold flags at the chapter thrift store. Stars &
Stripes Flag Store is the only veteran-owned flag store in the
AVVA Life Member Kelly Gleason of Rochester,
New York Chapter 20 recently donated 13 inches of her hair
to Locks of Love. The Florida based non-profit provides real
hair wigs for disadvantaged children undergoing chemotherapy.
For more information contact Locks of Love at
http://www.locksoflove.org or call 888-896-1588. Kelly
joins other VVA and AVVA members across the country who have
donated thier hair, including Kenny Holybee, of the
California State Council.
Paul Adkins of Chapter 47 in
Riverside, California reports the chapter donated $5,000
for a POW/MIA Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery.
ODDS 'n' ENDS
The New Jersey State Council has been
active through the summer including Memorial Day ceremonies at
the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdale, Vietnam
Veterans Remembrance Day, and the Jewish War Veterans
breakfast honoring Vietnam veterans.
The Battleship New Jersey (BB-62)
Memorial and Museum in Camden, New Jersey, is seeking
volunteers to finish preparing the ship for public display.
Some sections are open to the public, but much scraping and
painting needs to be done to restore the ship to its fighting
form. Volunteers are also needed to guide tours, educate the
public, and chaperone and host social events. Contact the
Office of Volunteer Affairs, 866-877-6262, ext. 224.
Chapter 590 in Glenside, Pennsylvania
participated in the "Touch-A-Truck"
and car wash at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington.
The event benefits the school swim team. The hit of the event
was the chapter's
huey helicopter. Chapter President Tom Frieze and members
Bruce Kooi, Stu and Bobbie Pennypacker, and Conrad
Gordon. They were joined by Ray Weston, Jerry Conway, and
Ralph Garcia reports that Chapter 698 in
Bluffton, Indiana, has requested that new streets in
the city be dedicated to local residents killed in Vietnam.
The list includes Thomas W. Bishop, Carl T Barnett, William G.
Ferguson, James C. Harris, David B. Platt, and Dennis L.
On September 1, Regina Moore of West Blocton,
Alabama, began walking from her home to the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial in Washington, D.C. Moore is carrying the POW/MIA
Flag, and the Agent Orange/Dioxin Flag to remind the American
people about the legacies of the Vietnam War. Moore is a
Vietnam veteran's widow.
Anniston, Alabama, Chapter 502 praised
the 2002 Alabama State Convention, remarking on the "great
food, fellowship, and fun."
Billy Joe Royal (" Down In The Boondocks") fame provided the
entertainment for the event.
Baltimore Chapter 451 member answered
phones for the local PBS station pledge drive in August.
Chapter Public Affairs Chair Richard Berkow was interviewed
about Operation Remember, a project to gather photos and
histories of each Marylander killed in Vietnam. For additional
information about Operation Remember, go to
Queens New York Chapter 32 member Dennis
Graham is Director of Nursing for Advanced Practice, Education,
and Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He
reports on a new screening protocol for detecting lung cancer.
The tests include a CAT scan, and are designed to diagnose the
disease in its earliest stages. There are some restrictions. For
additional information e-mail
Northern Virginia Chapter 227 commemorated
its 17th Anniversary with a presentation by chapter member Alan
Wallace. For 12 months beginning in December 1967, Wallace
served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman in the Naval Activity Support
Station, Da Nang. In 1981, he became a federal firefighter and
duty at The Pentagon heliport on September 11, 2001. The impact
of the airplane into the building was only yards from the fire
station, and destroyed the fire truck. Wallace and his fellow
firemen rushed into the building and assisted employees
evacuate. They suffered burns and other injuries in their
selfless devotion to saving lives, In Service To America.
Ruth Coder Fitzgerald, President of the Vietnam
War In Memory Memorial, reports that the project has received a
donation from the VVA Virginia State Council, and $7,500
from the state of Vermont, the first state to do so.The VVA
Vermont State Council proposed a bill to the state
legislature to authorize the gift. On July 3, a check was
presented to the State Council. The check, in turn, was
presented to the American Battelfield Monuments Commission,
which has overall management of the project and site. VVA has
supported the project since its origin. For additional
information, go to www.vva.org.