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

August/September 2003
AVVA REPORT
   
 

The Annual Fellowship Awards

BY NANCY SWITZER, AVVA NATIONAL PRESIDENT

This year's AVVA Fellowship Awards were presented during the AVVA Luncheon on July 30 at the Adam's Mark Hotel in St. Louis. This award is given to individuals who go beyond what is required, leaders who give their all. This year's awards were given to two couples.

Lynda Greene and John Kahler, Houston, Chapter 343

Lynda has been in the mental health and social services fields for more than 15 years. She hands out bags of toiletries to the homeless from her car on the way to work. She is the AVVA Texas State Representative, yet cooks meals and delivers them to a homeless family under a bridge near her home. She saves holiday cards from incarcerated veterans with thanks for the weekends she volunteers. At the same time, she holds the position of Special Advisor to the VVA National Homeless Veterans Task Force. Whether she is working in a professional capacity or making sure a homeless veterans is buried with honors, her daughter Heather Hays says it best: "My mom is cool.''

John served as the National VVA Election chair during the Greensboro and St. Louis conventions. He has also been a State Council officer for several years. Both Lynda and John have served for years as service officers. John works with the National Vietnam Legal Service Program, and both work with the Incarcerated Program in Texas, as well as the Homeless Program in the Houston area.

John and Linda were married the day before the Houston convention and spent their honeymoon at the convention. They wanted VVA friends and associates to be able to attend the wedding, so they made plans to marry hours before the convention opened.

Charlie and Nancy Montgomery, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Chapter 48

His relentless commitment to his current project is Charlie's trademark. Whether working on the chapter level or national level, his steadfast dedication is always there. Although he is busy with his many hats at the national level, he still stays involved at the local level. For the past several years he has been the chapter chair of the Haunted Forest Production, an annual community event that has raised thousands of dollars for the chapter and other charitable organizations.

The other half of the Dynamic Duo as Charlie and Nancy's chapter lovingly refers to them, is the quiet one. She balances and organizes family, community, chapter, and national involvement effortlessly. She is devoted to every person in her life. Over the past 17 years, she has held a long list of positions in VVA and AVVA. Her involvement in the chapter's Haunted Forest Production has given local adolescents 10 months of responsibility and fun instead of hanging out and getting in trouble. Her dedication to others, passion for veterans and their families, and her diversity of commitments makes it easy see why she received this award.


AVVA 2003 Scholarship Report
BY JUDY VARGO, SCHOLARSHIP CHAIR

This year AVVA awarded three scholarships to three outstanding young women. A $1,000 scholarship went to Kimberly Belkin of New York. Kimberly graduated from high school in June 1998 and is currently a junior at Hunter College in New York City. She has worked part time since she was 16. She currently has two part time jobs, attends college full time, and still maintains an A or B in all her courses. Her fields of study are journalism and psychology. Kimberly chose those fields because she felt they would give her an opportunity to help and inform people.

Two $500 scholarships were also awarded. They went to LeeAnn McCaskill and Shelly Roy.

LeeAnn graduated from high school in California in June 1999. She received her bachelor's in history in June 2003. This fall she begins working to obtain her teaching credential. Thus far, she has financed her entire education without help from her parents.

Shelly is from West Virginia where she graduated from high school in June 2003. She is currently attending West Virginia Junior College where she is pursuing a degree in business. Her goal is to help those less fortunate than herself.

We wish all of these young ladies good luck in the year ahead. We at AVVA are pleased to help them realize their dreams and goals.

   

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