A VVA STAFF REPORT
County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 862 recently presented awards to
chapter members. Edward Bernstein received the President's Award.
Mary Alice Bernstein received the Associate Vietnam Veteran of the
Year. John Namath was named Vietnam Veteran of the Year, and Bill
Laughner was presented with the Distinguished Veteran of the Year
Award. Attending the ceremonies were Chapter 862 President Skip
Haswell, Pennsylvania State Council President Jeff White, and VVA
Vice President Ed Chow.
Chaplain Father Philip Salois, recipient of the Silver Star during
his service as an infantryman in Vietnam, will receive the Knights
of Columbus 2004 Lantern Award for outstanding service to God and
country. Fr. Phil is the Chief Chaplain for VA medical facilities
WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON ANOTHER
Plymouth-Canton Chapter 528 Color Guard in Plymouth,
Michigan, took part in ceremonies honoring the first local
casualty of the war in Iraq. Army Sergeant Trevor A. Blumberg of
Canton was on patrol when two explosive devices struck his vehicle
in Baghdad. Blumberg was assigned to 1st Battalion, 504th
Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
He died on September 14, 2003.
Chapter 732 in Lima, Ohio, donated $800 to
servicemen and women serving in Iraq. The money was used to
purchase phone cards.
New York, Chapter 77 received cards from troops thanking them
for Operation Gift Lift, a chapter project begun during Operation
Desert Storm 13 years ago. This year the chapter sent 224 packages
to Company B of the 1st/111th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized),
part of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), a National Guard
unit based in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The unit is serving in
reports that Washtenaw County Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, hosted PFC Aaron Friese while he was home on leave
from assignment with the Army's 4th Infantry Division in Iraq.
Wolcott, national president of American Gold Star Mothers, visited
Vietnam in March to see where her son, Army Corporal Rex Marcel
Sherman, was killed on November 19, 1969. Sherman served with the
75th Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, in the Central
Highlands. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.
Dahill Memorial Chapter 732 in Lima, Ohio, donated more
than $6,500 to west central Ohio charities, including needy
families, March of Dimes, and the local Veterans Food Bank.
York Chapter 77 in Buffalo provided food, cash
certificates, and toys to 169 families during the holiday season.
The contributions amounted to $30,000. Since the chapter formed in
1979, it has provided a variety of services valued at $400,000 to
more than a thousand veteran families.
at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri,
handcrafted an oak shuffleboard with a two-inch-thick maple
playing surface and black walnut inlays and donated it to a local
Veterans Home. Chapter 317 in Kansas City provided
the materials and helped with the presentation at the home.
House of Cincinnati is a homeless veterans' shelter. Incarcerated
Chapter 616 in Mansfield, Ohio, donated $1,500 to
the shelter, as well as 150 pounds of canned goods.
Anthony Eugene Pendola was a few weeks short of his 18th birthday
when he was killed in the Ia Drang Valley on November 6, 1965,
less than three months after arriving in country and being
assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. His daughter, Tammy Lynn
Schaefer, and other Sons and Daughters conduct a Memorial Vigil
each year at the Springfield Memorial in Illinois. Schaefer would
like Sons and Daughters in the area to contact her at 309-208-5430
or at firstname.lastname@example.org
to participate in the three-day event.
in Tupelo, Mississippi, held a Flag Presentation Ceremony
observing National POW-MIA Day on September 19 at Veterans Park in
in Alpena, Michigan, spent the holidays feeding 949
families and providing toys for nearly 2,300 children in the
ten-county area surrounding Alpena in northeast Michigan. The
project began in 1991. Over the years, the chapter has been joined
by Chapter 274 in Cheboygan and Chapter 882
in Hale. Those who took part in the effort are Darrell
Parrott, Wayne Trapp, Bob Hecox, Rick and Debbie Cheatum, and
Doreen Oatten. They were joined
by Bob Trapp, Bernie Moransky, Don Bernard, Russ Knack, Neil
Hartwick, and David Nelsey.
County, Michigan, Chapter 175 held its gift-basket project
again this year at the local United Auto Workers hall. Bob
Carroll, Dan McIntosh, and Jean Thick were cited for their help in
making the project a success.
For those who
are deployed overseas, Tidewater Chapter 48 in Norfolk,
Virginia, turned the parking lot at Little Creek Naval
Amphibious Base into a Santa's workshop in December. The chapter
spent the time assembling toys, bikes, swing sets, and other gifts
for kids. Chapter President Charlie Montgomery would like to see
the project become a model for a national effort by Vietnam
veterans to support the families of those who are on active duty.
For additional information about the Tools 4 Tots program, contact
Charlie at email@example.com
Brown, chair of the Needy Vets Christmas Committee, reports that
Reading, Ohio, Chapter 10 distributed 17 food baskets to
veterans families during the holidays.
State Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Linda Spoonster Schwartz
attended the February meeting of Hartford Chapter 120 and
outlined her plans for improvements at the Rocky Hill Veterans
Home and Hospital. Schwartz, a former VVA national board member
and chair of the VVA Health Care Committee, told the members how
they could help provide services to the 500 residents at the
in Des Plaines, Illinois, invited two flight attendants who
worked on chartered commercial airliners bringing troops home from
Iraq to a variety show presented by members of the recently
returned soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell,
Kentucky. Members of the American Airlines cabin crew will have an
opportunity to meet and greet the soldiers following the
director of Operation New Start in Maryland, says the Homeless
Veteran Reintegration Program funded by the U.S. Department of
Labor will need the help of veterans service organizations like
VVA for the program to succeed. The facility, located in
Frederick, Maryland, hopes to help many of the 3,850 homeless vets
in Maryland. For more information, contact McGrath at
301-662-0099, ext 4320, or 301-693-2087.
in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center has had a
long and successful relationship with Stead School. The local
school enrolls many transient students.
has contributed funds to the school for several years. This year
Jamie Demosthenes, assistant principal of the school, accepted a
check for $4,000 for library books and other supplies.
President Charles Dearing accepted the Stead Elementary School
Literacy Award on behalf of the chapter members. Among those
taking part in the project are Jack Haley, Gregory
Jax, Glenn Fane, Frank LeBeau, and
Bobby Gonzales. During the ceremonies, attended by Region 9
Director Darrol Brown, the chapter also presented a $1,000 check
to the Nevada Patriots Fund.
Len Funk of
Northern Virginia Chapter 227 was joined by Vietnam veteran
historians Karen Elliott, Garrett Million, and Bob Smith in
presenting an overview of the American involvement in French
Indochina and Vietnam. Student questions focused on unconventional
warfare in urban environments as currently experienced by American
forces in Iraq.
California State Council received a visit from Craig Taylor,
founding member of Chapter 218 in Santa Barbara and
first Region 9 Director (1987-89). The council meets in Fresno.
Taylor lives less than an hour away. Taylor chaired the VVA
Veterans Affairs Committee hearings at the fourth National
Convention in Chicago in 1989.
in Greenville, North Carolina, hosts a weekly support group
for wives and significant others of veterans to help deal with the
stresses and challenges of their loved ones' PTSD. Members support
each other and help create an environment of shared feelings and
support in maintaining healthy relationships. Additional
information can be obtained at
chartered Chapter 933 in Fresno, California,
attended the rededication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in
Woodward Park, originally dedicated on July 4, 1981. The
renovation of the area was the project of Eagle Scout candidate
Brad Doak, 17-year-old son of chapter president Steve Doak. More
than a hundred people attended the event, including four of the
surviving five Vietnam veterans who dedicated the memorial in
in Bennington, Vermont, held its Cabin Fever Dinner in
February at the Mount Anthony Country Club. More than forty people
braved the snow and cold weather to enjoy dinner and listen to
comments by State Representative Mary Morrissey, State Senator
Richard Sears, and Northeast New York POW-MIA Network Chair Don
Amorosi. Newest chapter member Mike Morneault led the invocation.
in Pasadena, California, has endorsed "Welcome Home Vietnam
Veterans Day,'' a project being spearheaded by Jose Ramos, who
took part in the World Team Sports Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
bicycle ride several years ago. The chapter donated $100 to the
generations of the Sanders family paid tribute to San Jose,
California, Chapter 201 namesake Darwin J. Thomas at the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Vietnam veteran Dave
Sanders, 55, was accompanied by his son Dave, Jr., 32, and
grandson Dave III, age 12.
Gary King is a
50 percent disabled veteran with service in Korea and Vietnam. He
has created logos for his fellow veterans in that category. More
information is available from Gary at
Central Massachusetts Chapter 907 in Gardner is
sponsoring a Motorcycle Run and Chicken Barbecue on Sunday, May
30. The ride starts at the American Legion Hall in Gardner and
ends at the Turnpike Rod and Gun Club in Ashburnham. Contact
Norman Webb at
Radio, originating in Ann Arbor, Michigan, began in November on
WSDS, 1480 AM. The program is dedicated to all veterans and those
who still serve. You can catch the show on the internet at
www.1480.com each Saturday at
11:00 a.m. EST. The show is repeated on Sunday evenings at 6:00 on
the web site. For additional information, contact Dale Throneberry
Picnic, Picnic'' is the theme of a June 19 event sponsored by
Eastern Washington Chapter 686 in Moses Lake, Washington.
The potluck picnic at Moses Lake Park is free for VVA members and
$1 for nonmembers. Games, door prizes, and much more await those
who attend. For additional information, contact chapter President
Eric Morgan at 509-488-6229. Proceeds go to the Douglas F. Strait
chapter or state council provides grants or scholarships, please
send the total number of scholarships and grants and the total
amount provided in the last 12 months to
In the last
issue we incorrectly gave credit for the Arlington West Memorial
in Santa Barbara, Calif., to Chapter 218. While it is true
that members of the chapter do participate in the placing of white
crosses representing those killed in the war on terrorism at the
memorial, the project is conducted by Veterans for Peace. Thanks
to Santa Barbara Chapter 218 President Dennis Hartman and
R. Lane Anderson for the correction.