No. 01-01  
      IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      JANUARY 2, 2001                           (301) 585-4000


WASHINGTON, D.C.-(January 2, 2001) - Vietnam Veterans of America national president George C. Duggins today hailed the nomination of Anthony Principi by President-elect Bush to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. "This is a very good choice for Vietnam veterans and for all veterans," Duggins said.

"Mr. Principi has the experience and expertise to be a strong advocate for those who served the nation during war and peace."

Duggins pointed out that Principi, a 1967 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, commanded a Navy River Patrol Force in the Mekong Delta and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, among other decorations, for his Vietnam War service.

In 1989 he became the first deputy secretary of the VA, and in 1992 was named acting secretary of the department. He also has been chief counsel and staff director of the U.S. Senate's Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs Committees. Most recently, Principi, who is a California telecommunications executive, has chaired the Congressional Commission on Military Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance.

"That's a long and impressive track record in dealing with veterans' issues," Duggins said. "Over the years, Vietnam Veterans of America has had a good working relationship with Mr. Principi. We very much look forward to his swift confirmation by Congress and to working closely with him again."

VVA's point of contact for additional information is Mokie Pratt Porter at (301) 585-4000, Ext. 146. 

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is  "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."   



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