ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER
On May 29, I took my father to Washington, D.C., for the
dedication of the World War II Memorial. My father is a WWII
vet and, as you know, these memorials are important to us
all. While in D.C. on the Mall, on that beautiful, sunny
day, we were handed bottles of water, compliments of VVA. I
want you to know we noticed the labels and thank you very
My family and I attended the dedication of the WWII Memorial
in D.C. My dad is a veteran of WWII and Korea and he was
there with us, thankfully, to share in the dedication. I
wanted to thank your organization and its volunteers for
handing out the water, which came in very handy. I had a
chance to chat with several Vietnam veterans over the
weekend, and I wanted to wish all of you a Welcome Home and
thank you again.
Long Island, New York
HARD WORK AND DEDICATION
I am writing you as I am coming in from my flight back from
the WWII Memorial dedication. I had the chance to visit the
In Memory Plaque, and I was overwhelmed with emotion. My
father, James H. Turner III, recently passed away from
complications due to Agent Orange/dioxin. He was my hero,
and I have made it my mission in life to remember him and to
celebrate him. I am only 32 years old and I believe that my
age group is losing focus on the appreciation that is
overdue to our veterans and the country they served. Thank
you for your hard work and dedication to such a worthy
cause. I am not as concerned with the political aspects of
the desires by some veterans for Purple Hearts. Although I
understand their wishes, I believe that the acknowledgment
of the In Memory Plaque will be very appreciated by many.
They do not die if we remember.
James H. Turner IV
As a believer that all our brothers and sisters should be
recognized for their service in Vietnam and as a director of
the Order of the Silver Rose, I thank you for the great
spread in the May/June issue in the Vietnam Veterans
Assistance Fund Report. I hope it will help our diseased
brothers and sisters get help and approach us for an award
that is way past due.
Go in peace. Serve a vet!
I was doing a search on the Internet, looking for more
information on the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans-Melbourne
collision when I ran across "A Forgotten Tragedy: Death on
the <I>Melbourne" in the January/February issue. My husband
is one of the survivors of that terrible accident at sea and
one of the many survivors and family members who are
fighting with the DoD to have our "74" [the number of
sailors lost in the incident] inscribed on The Wall.
I have been trying for the last few years to get some
national coverage of the Frank E. Evans story. I
would like to send your article to 20/20, 48 Hours,
and other magazine-type TV shows to see if they would be
interested in the story and our fight to place Tom's
shipmates' names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Long Beach, California
I was pleased to read your article about the 1969 collision
between the U.S.S. Frank Evans and the H.M.A.S.
Melbourne. I was, however, disappointed to find the most
interesting detail about the incident missing: The
Melbourne was involved in an eerily similar destroyer
collision five years before, which resulted in the deaths of
82 Australian sailors.
To understand why this is interesting one must know more:
The Melbourne was originally constructed by the
English near the end of World War II and commissioned the
H.M.S. Majestic, but arrived too late in the war and
was therefore never commissioned. In 1955, she was renamed
Melbourne and commissioned in the Australian Navy.
Any old sailor will tell you changing the name of a ship is
bad luck. Who needs more proof?
Bernie Edelman did an excellent job of highlighting some of
us World War II old geezers in the May-June issue. He did us
proud. I watched the dedication ceremony on TV. It was
splendid from start to finish, and it made us regret that we
had decided against being there. Us old coots were already
battle hardened and better prepared to withstand the insults
to our psyches, even though the Vietnam War had many facets
we had not encountered in earlier wars. One of those was the
American public's shameful treatment of those young troops.
It left permanent scars.
In the article on VVA's three-war veterans in the May/June
issue, Bernard Edelman boldly states: "It seemed appropriate
to seek out VVA members whose time in service spanned three
decades and three wars." For some strange reason I must have
been behind the door when the "seeking out" person came
around. My service began in June of 1940, and I spent WWII
in a combat zone in Iceland, England, and France. When the
Korean War came around, I was still in the service. This was
followed by a tour of duty in Danang, Vietnam, and
retirement for a total of 32 years of active and inactive
Donald E. Smail
Greene County, Ohio
Thank you so much for the fine article in the May/June issue
on VVA members who served in World War II, which I enjoyed
very much. I am impressed with the efforts so many Americans
contributed during World War II.
It is unfortunate that so many have died, or are missing in
action, without being able to pursue their dreams. It is
also tragic so many were wounded so seriously and must carry
on with perseverance and daily personal bravery for the test
of their lives.
Again, thank you for including me among those who served
prior to, during, and after the Vietnam War.
Arthur J. Sebesta
Haworth, New Jersey