Press Release

August 1, 2001

No. 01-15 
301 585-4000
Cell:  301-996-8554   
Contact: Jim Greene


Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, and Steve Mason, Poet Laureate of Vietnam Veterans of America, today received Bronze Medallions at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Ceremony in Greensboro, North Carolina, where VVA is holding its tenth national convention.

Paul L. Sutton, national liaison and trustee for the Chapel of the Four Chaplains chaplain, said each recipient used unique means to provide valuable public service to American society.

Heather French, as Miss Kentucky 2000, won the coveted Miss America title in September 1999.  During her year of service, she championed homeless veterans. As a national spokesperson and advocate for homeless veterans, she traveled approximately 20,000 miles a month addressing diverse audiences in different cities. As a daughter of a disabled American veteran, she served as a volunteer with VA hospitals and has devoted much of her time lobbying lawmakers for support of homeless veterans.  Lawmakers recognizing her dedication introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2001, H.R. 936, The Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act.  While no longer Miss America, Henry continues to serve veterans.  She is the spokesperson for the Helping Vietnam Veterans Fight a Silent Enemy: Hepatitis C Campaign in conjunction with VVA.

Steve Mason is a decorated Army veteran of Vietnam who rose to the rank of captain. He is the  president of  VVA’s Oregon State Council and a member of the Board of Directors-At-Large.  Commonly referred to as the “Warrior for Peace,” he has written extensively about the warrior and his attempt to readjust.  His critically acclaimed trilogy of writings include Johnny’s Song, A Warrior for Peace and The Human Being. He also received the President’s Medal of the Veterans for Peace.

Over the past twenty years, Mason has read his works and advocated for peace in preschools, public schools, colleges and universities to offer his message of hope and mutual understanding.

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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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