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

July/August 2005
AVVA REPORT
 
 

The Agenda in Reno
 

BY MARY MILLER, AVVA NATIONAL PRESIDENT

I hope to see everyone in Reno for the AVVA Leadership Conference. Registration is required for the seminars on Thursday, August 11. One seminar will be “Elections 101,” which will include information on elections from chapter and state representatives, presidents, and national elections. There also will be a section on responsibilities of each office. The conference will be held in one room, and seminars will go on all day. You must be registered to attend the seminars. The other seminar topics will be Health, Legislative, Public Relations, Veterans Against Drugs, and Fund-raising.

Our AVVA annual luncheon will be held after Vietnam Veterans of America’s Convention opening ceremonies. Come join us. We also are working on the possibility of visiting the Step 2 House on Wednesday afternoon. There, you will see where all the supplies that you have donated will be used. And we will be having a silent auction to raise money for the AVVA Scholarship Fund.

You will be able to see our national AVVA flag at Reno for the first time. The AVVA flag is available to all members. There also is an AVVA flag pin for sale, the proceeds of which will go toward paying for the flag. For more, go to www.avva.org

Please contact your legislators about two important subjects: Veterans Benefits and the In Memory Plaque. We need to fight to give veterans the benefits they are entitled to. The In Memory Plaque was dedicated on November 10, 2004, near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It has no identifying marker to let people know it is there or what it represents. The inscription has become obscured, it has been walked on, and it is encrusted with mud. This is a memorial for all those who have lost their lives since coming back from the Vietnam War.

Together Always.


Brotherhood & Spiritual Healing
BY FRAN DAVIS

Welcome Home…A Tribute to Vietnam Veterans” was held in Branson, Missouri, June 12-18. The idea was conceived by two Vietnam veterans, Gary Linderer of VVA Chapter 913 in Branson and Steven Presley, a retired U.S. Army Major. Linderer received a substantial contribution from Ross Perot.

Sunday, the Dignity Memorial Wall Experience from Texas was escorted to the grounds of the Grand Palace by a motorcade consisting of members of VVA Chapter 913, VNVMC members from several states, and many other bike clubs. Chapter 913 helped in the set-up, along with soldiers from a Missouri National Guard engineering company based in Springfield who recently returned from Iraq. Opening ceremonies for the Memorial Wall were attended by Mayor Lou Schaefer and other dignitaries. Anita Clark, AVVA Chapter 913 rep, closed the ceremonies with “You Are With Us Always.” An estimated 110,000 visited the Wall during the week-long stand.

Monday’s itinerary included Hits of the ’60s Show, Branson in Revue concert, and the second annual benefit fund-raising show for VVA Chapter 913. On Tuesday, the Opening Ceremony was held at the Grand Palace with Branson entertainers including the Lennon Sisters and the Dutton Family. City officials and other dignitaries greeted veterans and their families.

 A golf outing was held on Wednesday. At Thursday’s fishing tournament, sponsored by Central Pro Am Bass Anglers, pros fished with veterans. Wednesday and Thursday at the membership table, VVA and AVVA members greeted each other cordially. New friends were made, new members recruited. During the week, Lupe Alviar, Region 5 Director; Al Gibson, Missouri State President; Tom Berger, Chair, National POW/MIA Committee; J.D. Davis, Illinois State Treasurer; and Fran Davis, AVVA National Vice President, clocked in time at the membership booth. VVA and AVVA members from all over the United States visited. VVA Maryland State Council had a booth at the Vendor Village.

On Friday, the Chapter 913 Color Guard led the parade with units from Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois with VVA logos on display throughout the whole parade. Unit reunions were held during the week at various locations.

At Saturday’s Grand Finale, 15,000 spectators enjoyed the music of Joey Dee and the Starlights, Fifth Dimension, Oak Ridge Boys, Four Tops, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, the Beach Boys, and the Doobie Brothers

Appearances by Tony Orlando, Ann Margaret, Doug Gabriel, Adrian Cronauer, and Yakov Smirnoff were supplemented with satellite appearances by President George Bush, Gen. Richard B. Meyers, and active-duty personnel stationed in Tikrit, Iraq.

There were aerial assault demonstrations by the Sky Soldiers, who also offered Huey rides throughout the week. Radio personality Jim Bohannon was the MC for the 12-hour event.

   

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