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

August/September 2003
MEMBERSHIP NOTES
 
 

 

BY A VVA STAFF REPORT

MEMORIALS

Chapter 12 in Allenhurst, New Jersey reports that a 260 ton slab of pure white marble has been quarried from the historic Yule Quarry in Colorado to replace a monument marking the Tomb of The Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. The original monument, also quarried from the Yule Quarry in 1931 was found to be cracked. The original piece of marble was the largest single block of marble (110 tons) produced in the U.S. to that time. It was trimmed to 55 tons, and then shipped to Vermont for finishing. The new stone will be transported east by truck for a Memorial Day 2005 Dedication.

Nassau County New York Chapter 82 will take part in a ceremony honoring six Great Neck residents who were killed in Vietnam this coming Veterans Day. A plaque inscribed with the names of Anton D. Bloemhard, Thomas Wesley Britton, Jr., Melvin Spence Dry, Israel Martinez, Jr., Arthur Stewart Mearns, and Kenneth Michael Montone will be installed on the Wall of Remembrance at Great Neck Village Green Park.

HONORS

Dave Berard, Robert Cavanaugh, Herb Hann, Joe Hiers, and Wilbur Marisa joined fellow Mays Landing, New Jersey Chapter 825 members Sal Mazza, Bob McNulty, Charles Mueller, Gerald Selke, and Don Souder at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Distinguished Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal award ceremony at Atlantic Cape Community College where they were recognized for their outstanding contributions. Congratulations to each for their service to the veterans community.

Tom Finnerty of Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was awarded the Order of The Silver Rose honors at the Pennsylvania State Council meeting recently. At the same meeting Chapter 266 Jerry McManus accepted the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Year and the Pennsylvania Chapter Newsletter of the Year awards on behalf of the members of the chapter.

HOMELESS

Bob Ashborn of Castaic, California, Chapter 355 reports the chapter will participate in the Antelope Valley Stand Down in October. The three-day event at Antelope Valley College will provide access to employment, health, counseling, and legal aid services.

Northern Virginia Chapter 227 provided a $600 grant for an apartment security deposit for a homeless veteran. The veteran's medical condition depleted his finances and prevented him from working. With the help of the Vet Center and friends, he has been able to obtain a teaching position, which will remove him from the homeless ranks.

SCHOLARSHPS

Chapter 810 in Chillicothe, Ohio awarded a $500 scholarship to Rebecca Ashworth, daughter of Mr.  & Mrs. Joe Ashworth.

Dale Schroeder and Dick Luchsinger of Chapter 731 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin (www.vetsofamerica.org) presented a $500 scholarship at the beginning of summer.

VVA Chapter 688 in Union County, New Jersey awarded scholarships to local college students.  Susan Carro (Penn State University), Alyson Martucci (Fashion Institute of Technology), Karen McCourt (Boston College) and Jeremy White (Salisbury University) were presented with $500.00 each.  Tim Dougherty (Montclair State University) and Gina Hruska (Union County College received $100 scholarships.         

EDUCATION

Chapter 82 in Hicksville, New York has made a commitment to the VVA Education project by including the AVVA Education Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) List registration form in LZ Nassau, the chapter newsletter.

Kate O'Hare-Palmer, James Cutri, Richard Jones, and Dennis Harlan of Chapter 223 in Santa Rosa, California participated in a presentation to the junior class at Sonoma High School in June.

Union City, New Jersey, Chapter 688 visited Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School for the ninth consecutive year.  This year's event included a joint program with Millburn High School.  Chapter members Frank Chupko, John Ferry, Frank Maselli, Jim Pressman, Tom White and Mike Wisnewski shared their Vietnam experiences with seventy-five 11th-grade history students. Following the classroom presentation, the students and veterans traveled to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational where the students placed roses at the memorial in memory of twelve local men killed in Vietnam. 

DONATIONS

Southern Ocean County Hospital in Manahawkin, New Jersey received a new POW/MIA Flag to replace their worn out flag from Chapter 855 in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey.

The Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) in Rochester, New York received a donation of $15,000 from Chapter 20 in Rochester. Chapter President Nelson Peck presented the check to VOC Director and former national board member Tom Cray. The money was raised by the chapter at their golf tournament in June.

MOVING WALLS

Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois will participate in a presentation of The Vietnam Wall Experience, a 240 foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when it is displayed at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago in August.

Members of Genesee County Chapter 175 in Flint, Michigan devoted so much time to supporting the The Moving Wall presentation in July that they were forced to suspend publication of the chapter newsletter, Viet Vet's News & Views.

NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON ANOTHER

San Jacinto Chapter 343 in Houston, Texas has donated $2,750 to a variety of agencies that support programs for military personnel and their families. The projects include pre-paid calling cards for the troops, care package programs that provide toiletry and comfort items for deployed personnel and financial aid to families of deployed troops.

Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven in Springfield took part in the Korean War Commemorative Parade in Brattleboro, Vermont in August.

Chapter 223 supported a fund raising luncheon sponsored by Moms of Military Service Members in Sonoma County. The funds raised will help to purchase comfort items for military personnel deployed around the world.

Marine Corps Sergeant Stephen Dion, Jr., and his wife Karen, were saluted at a June reception held by Chapter 787 in Tampa, Florida. Sergeant Dion recently returned from service in Iraq and is the son of Joyce Koprowski, wife of Region IV Director John Koprowski. Dion shared stories of the long march to Baghdad, and the demands of combat in the heat and sand of Iraq.

The 253rd Transportation Company of the New Jersey National Guard is deployed in Iraq. Members of Chapter 602 in Erma, New Jersey have established a Food and Furniture Bank, including some financial support for members and families of those who are deployed. The chapter has received donations of more than $15,500 in food and furniture, and $5,600 in cash contributions from the community to support this project.

CHILDREN

Sumner County Chapter 240 in Gallatin, Tennessee is a major participant in the Teddy Bear program in Sumner County. The project provides stuffed Teddy Bears to fire, police, and rescue units in the county for distribution to children who are the victims of domestic violence and child abuse. The bears help calm and comfort them during a traumatic time in their lives. The chapter collected over 3,000 stuffed animals last year and is busy restocking their ATeddy Bear Closet. If you are interested in helping support the project contact Jim Richards at 615-824-7341 or jim4167@yahoo.com

ODDS & ENDS

Dan Wilson, Floyd Casey, Dave Shelton and Mike Young of Bevo Chapter 611 in St. Louis, Missouri were certified in the Missouri Military Funeral Honors Program.  The group will provide Final Honors to veterans in weekend funeral services held within a 50 mile radius of St. Louis.

Shasta County Chapter 357 in Redding, California is proud of their participation in community activities in the county. The chapter sponsors Fishing Days for local youth and is involved with Support The Troops events in the community. The rallies often conclude on a hillside above a state freeway where a huge American Flag and yellow ribbons with the names of local men and women in uniform are displayed. The chapter dedicated the Shasta County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge in March of this year.

Chapter 767 in Racine, Wisconsin took part in the annual clean-up at the Veterans Memorial in Pritchard Park in late spring. The chapter helped spread over 70 cubic yards of mulch and took part in trimming bushes and shrubs at the site. The chapter was joined by members of the Southeast Wisconsin Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) and the Racine County Tavern.

Chester County Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania took part in the Dogwood Days Parade. Kathy Shields, Dave McTavish, Larry DeLorme, Bob Gallagher and Barry Amole represented the chapter in the event.

Plymouth-Canton Chapter 528 in Plymouth, Michigan held the 2003 VVA Challenge Golf Outing at Hickory Creek Golf Club in June. Members of Chapter 310 joined chapter members in the event that saw Tom Mullins, Bob London, Dick Knight took team honors with a score of 68. Other winners in the event included Bill Abbey, Doug Hanna, Rich Whipple, Bob Lamoureux, and Debby Bradley.

John Freedom and Scott Widing of Chapter 175 organized the cleanup of the Vietnam Veterans Park on the Flint River. This is the 21st year the chapter has taken part in the cleanup project.

Steve Parsons, the sage of Tri-State Appalachian Chapter 172 in Cumberland, Maryland ponders our social and cultural notion of who our heroes are. Parsons questions our adulation of athletes and movie stars and the plight of the Army PFC in Baghdad who, "will be facing real violence and visit violence on another human being"

Chapter 278 in Texarkana, Texas hosted the Region 7 meeting held in July. Region VII is comprised of our members in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Chapter 590 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania held their annual picnic Cannstatter Volksfest Verein in July.

Chapter 925 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina received their Charter in a ceremony in July attended by state council President Alta Milling, Frank Weick, and Paul Ruh, all of Chapter 303 in Columbia. Chapter 925 President Jim Magyarosi brought a ceremonial sword to cut the cake during the ceremony.

Chapter 203 in Chattanooga, Tennessee is organizing a bus trip to Washington, DC for Veterans Day 2003. If you are interested in being part of the journey contact the chapter at vva203navy@aol.com

Chapter 601 in Bennington, Vermont has introduces the Veterans Against Drugs program  to schools in Bennington. Chapter President John Miner reports that Bennington Police Chief Richard Gauthier is encouraged by the project because it goes beyond just saying "drugs are bad" and seeks to build core values for a successful life.

Richmond, Indiana Chapter 777 donated $500.dollars to the Wayne County Veterans Council to help buy a new van to transport veterans to doctors and hospital.

CORRECTION

In the previous issue, we mistakenly identified Delaware County (Pennsylvania) Chapter 67 presenting a Flag Memorial. The memorial project is, in fact, presented by a veterans group not affiliated with VVA. We apologize for the error.

 

   

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