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March/April 2007

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The Long Journey Home
Final Honors for Two Kham Duc Heroes

In the fall of 1968, the writer Joan Didion met World War II veteran Bill Skivington in Las Vegas at the 101st Airborne Association’s 23rd annual reunion. She wrote of that meeting: “He reached into his coat pocket and brought out a newspaper clipping, preserved in clear plastic, a story about his son: where he had gone to school, the report that he was missing, and before he put it in his pocket again, he looked at it a long while, smoothed out an imagined crease, and studied the fragment of newsprint as if it held some answer.” [read complete article]

The National Purple
Heart Hall of Honor

At New Windsor Cantonment, just north of West Point, George Washington’s troops encamped for the last time at the close of the American Revolutionary War. To honor the service of his men, he selected a few to receive a small purple cloth Badge of Merit. In 1932, the new Purple Heart Medal, which took its shape and color from Washington but added his profile, was presented to 150 veterans of World War I on the same grounds. [read complete article]

Where Are They Now?
Jim Rogers
Founding Board Member and Pioneering Agent Orange Researcher

On April 26, 1984, after returning from a trip to Vietnam, VVA National Board Member Dr. Jim Rogers filed a report to the Board in which he laid out the case for the toxic effects of Agent Orange. That document, “Agent Orange Research in Vietnam,” stands as a historic manifesto for VVA and for all Vietnam veterans.

Rogers, a physician, wrote in his report that “in most heavily defoliated areas, the natural flora has not yet returned. Sparse grasses now grow in areas which were once heavily forested. This profound change, together with the direct toxic effect of the [Agent Orange] chemicals, has resulted in the local and regional disappearance of many species of large predatory animals and birds.”[read complete article]

What a Drag It Isn’t
VVA Logo Adorns Top Fuel Dragster

You don’t need the perceptive powers of Sherlock Holmes to spot company and organization logos displayed at car racing events in this country. They’re all over the place, from the cars themselves to the head-to-toe apparel of the drivers and pit crews.

If you go to one of the twenty-three National Hot Rod Association POWERade Series drag races this year, don’t be surprised to see VVA’s logo among the fields of colorful, eye-catching logos. That’s because drag-racing philanthropist Evan Knoll has dedicated a Top Fuel dragster in memory of the 58,000 Americans who perished in Vietnam, along with those still listed as missing in action, as well as the 2.8 million living American veterans of the war. [read complete article]



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