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

October/November 2003
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Photo:Michael Keating
Recognizing Our Women Veterans
BY THOMAS H. COREY

Milestones have become fairly commonplace for Vietnam Veterans of America, and each marks a particular crusade we have engaged in and earned hard-won victories.

This November marks the ten year anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and we should all take pride in our support and encouragement for this long overdue recognition of the role of all women in Vietnam.

From the beginning of the quest to have a proper monument acknowledging the contributions and sacrifices of our women veterans of included in the area of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, VVA was there.

We contributed financially to the creation of this tribute, and we were intimately involved in aspects of its design, its approval by the Washington, D.C., Fine Arts Commission, as well as the struggle to convince those who challenged the very idea honoring the women who served with us. Testimony by VVA helped persuad Congress to pass the legislation for the Vietnam Women's Memorial.

We worked with the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project board and Glenna Goodacre, a New Mexico sculptor, to see that a fitting and appropriate symbol of service, courage, dedication, and sacrifice was erected.

On November 10, 2003 VVA will join with thousands of our fellow Vietnam veterans, men and women, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the dedication of this outstanding monument to every woman who served.

Just a few weeks ago I was in Vietnam as a member of a VVA Veterans Initiative delegation. During the mission we met with members of the Veterans Association of Vietnam and presented them with a letter of appreciation recognizing their members who have come forward as witnesses with previously unknown information that has permitted the American Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, JPAC (formerly Joint Task Force-Full Accounting), to explore new leads and sites in an effort to resolve the fate of missing Americans.

The Veterans Association of Vietnam expressed their sincere appreciation for the information provided by former American soldiers on over 8,000 missing Vietnamese. This information has lead to the recovery of many remains of Vietnamese, some who have been positively identified and returned to their families for proper burial.

While in Hanoi we were accorded the distinct honor of participating in a Repatriation Ceremony where the remains of four additional Americans were returned to the United States for identification and eventual return to their families. It is a measure of our success and respect that we were asked to help in this very moving ceremony.

Each of us can be proud of our work, but we cannot stop now. If you have any information that can lead to the identification of Vietnamese remains--information about burial sites, identification cards, or other war memorabilia you may have acquired during the war--please send it to VVA in care of the Veterans Initiative so we can return it to the Vietnamese to give to the families. Each item you turn over may also account for a missing American.

We will continue to watch over those serving today and all who have served.

Peace.

   

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