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may/june 2009

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments : 2009 VVA Candidate Statements | Family Reunion | Last Train To Coatesville | Stayin' Alive | Memorial List | President's Report | Letters | Government Affairs | Women Veterans Committee Report | Elections Committee Report | Membership Affairs Committee Report | Homeless Veterans Committee Report | AVVA Report | Veterans Benefits Report | Veterans Incarcerated Report | TAPS | VA Voluntary Service Report | Convention Resolutions Committee Report | Credentials Committee Report | Books In Review | Membership Notes | Locator | Reunions

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Cook for his service over the last six years. While we will miss him, I know that his wife Cindy and their sons will be glad to have him back. Meanwhile we welcome Larry Frazee to the team.

When we took office four years ago we realized that there was a need for a number of administrative changes. It is just surprising how long it has taken to get some of them done.

Some of the earliest changes have been great successes. Carol Engle our Director of Information Technology, has improved our ability to communicate to our membership and the world. The VVA Veteran under Mike Keating has undergone a magnificent transformation. The advertising revenue for both of them has increased significantly thanks to Public Affairs Chair Keith King and his friends at Fox Associates.

The transformation of our product sales program has had a significant impact on our finances. This program was begun to supply our members, Chapters and State Councils with VVA items. Unfortunately, this program lost money for years. In 2008 we became acquainted with a wonderful, veteran-owned business, Medals of America, who has taken over this program at no cost to us. We just received our first residual check, putting us in the red for the first time.

Our Veterans Benefits Program had some ups and downs over the last year. But, thanks to our Director, David Houppert, Veterans Benefits Committee Chair Jerry Klein, and with the assistance of several other State Council and National Service Representatives, we were able to insure that the veterans received the necessary services. Our staff has been stretched thin, but thanks to a new car-donation program, we hope to expand our services and upgrade our technology. We also look forward to working with the new Veterans Benefit Program of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, which should become operational by the end of the year.

With a new President and Democrats in control of both the Senate and House we’ve spent a lot of time presenting testimony before the various Committees, as well as meeting with Members of Congress to tell VVA’s story. We enjoyed some success when the Republicans were in charge and we assume that we will have similar success with the Democrats in charge.

Last, but not least, we are particularly proud of establishing the Veterans Health Council along with the website, This program will reach out to veterans of the last three wars to inform them of the health issues related to their military service. This may be the single most important program VVA has ever initiated.

As the officers of VVA we have helped guide these initiatives. But, none of them would have happened without the assistance of our Directors, Committees, State Councils, Chapters, members, consultants, and, most importantly, our staff. We thank you all for making us look good and hope that you will allow us to continue our efforts.


Jack enlisted in the USAF in 1965, following high school. After basic training at Lackland AFB, he became a motion picture editor at Orlando AFB. He served for three months in Vietnam in 1967 at Phan Rang AFB and completed his tour of duty at Takhli Royal Thai AFB in Thailand.

After honorable discharge from the USAF, Jack earned a B.A. in political science from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. While there, he helped secure academic credit for military service and worked to obtain a bonus from the state for Vietnam veterans. He attended the University of Virginia and completed his course work toward an M.A. in public administration.

Jack served as a U.S. Senate aid from 1977-81, specializing in veterans and active military issues. He entered state government in 1982, and became the director of the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. Jack has been actively engaged with healing racism endeavors, the VISN 11 MAC, and homeless prevention. Since 1995, Jack has been the Adjutant of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

During his term as VVA VP, he has worked closely with all level of the organization. Some of his most interesting activities have involved heading the VIP delegations to Ukraine, Vietnam and Laos in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Jack is a life member of VVA. He served three terms on VVA’s Board of Directors, Vice-chaired the Michigan Agent Orange Commission, and represented Michigan in 13 consecutive VVA National Conventions. He resides in Dimondale, Michigan.


Your officers work as a team for the betterment of VVA.  The Information Technology Department, under Director Carol Engle, is generating significant income from advertising on We are looking forward to the deployment of an association management software package to alleviate the issues we have had to live with for 30 years.  As we prepare to move into the new National Office building in August 2009, we are ensuring that the national office staff has the technology to perform their jobs better and more efficiently. Of course the staff will be happy to have offices free of mold and with dependable heat and air conditioning.

Our award winning magazine, The VVA Veteran, has been upgraded to full color and better grade paper.   

The National Secretaries Info Center is fully deployed and used to rapidly disseminate information. 

We joined in a partnership with Medals of America to improve our Veterans Collectibles operation.  This partnership with a veteran owned, operated and staffed company provides a wider exposure of VVA and our programs along with a wider product line to our members. 

We entered into an additional partnership with Charity Funding, Inc. to create and operate the ‘VVA Car Donation Program’ to enable VVA to expand the veterans appeals program. 

‘The Team’ has developed these initiatives, but it is the 56,000 members, our Directors, Committees, State Councils, Chapters, members, consultants, and staff that are the team. We have come a long way and ask for your support to continue our efforts.


Larry Frazee is seeking a position for National Treasurer. I am married, have 2 children, 5 grandchildren & live in Pickerington, Ohio. I entered the Army Sept. 1966 & went to Vietnam, 1967 where I was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. I was a Senior Supply Specialist in Pleiku & honorable discharged in 1968.

I have 30 years of financial & auditing experience & received my BS from Franklin University & graduated from University of Wisconsin School of Banking. I retired from Huntington National Bank in 2006 where I served on various financial committees & earned numerous certifications, including my CPA.

Since 1991, I have been a member of VVA & have been actively involved at the chapter, State & National level. I am on the National Finance, Membership Affairs, & Veterans Incarcerated Committees. In addition, I am Treasurer of Buckeye State Council & Vietnam Veterans Buckeye Foundation. I am a past member of: Minority Affairs Committee, Disciplinary Review Panel Chair, District Director, Chapter Treasurer, Chapter Finance Committee & 2nd Vice Buckeye State Council.

If elected, I commit to veterans helping veterans & to develop an ongoing communication with the membership. The economy is at its worst, & VVA funding has been decreasing. We seem to be going in the right direction by seeking out sources of funding & I will continue to expand this. In addition, my goal is to see that our funding is being utilized in the best & most economical way.



In August 1969 I enlisted in the U.S. Navy. For over 30 years I have worked as a medical insurance biller and collector and was an Office Manager for 10 yrs. In 1984 I divorced and had sole custody of 3 minor children. I learned the art of negotiation and budgeting and fed a family of four on $30.00 per week. I am currently married to a U.S. Army retiree and have 14 grandchildren.

I have served as Secretary, Vice President and eight years as President of my chapter and Secretary, Vice President of District 1 and five years as President of the Indiana State Council. I applied for the first Indiana VVAF Service Officer Grant that enabled us to expand our Service Officer program from three to seven service officers.

Serving as Chair of the National Health Care Committee for the past three years, I recognized the importance of opening up the committee to include veterans who use the private healthcare medical community and the need in educating all veterans regarding maintenance of their medical records and their military medical histories taken by private healthcare physicians. 

The decisions made at the level of the Board of Directors regarding policy, procedure and finances are vital in protecting all Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding medical and veteran benefits. I respect and request the opinions and advice of all members and will continue to serve if that is the decision of the membership.


Active in scouting earning the rank of Eagle Scout at age 16, this Minnesota native graduated from high school in 1963. In October of that year I joined the Navy. Serving at various duty stations, I was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One at Imperial Beach, CA. From there I was assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock in 1966, attached to HC 1’s squadron detachment on board, discharged in 1969.

Attending college at night, I earned my degree in Transportation. Days were spent clerking for the Canadian National railroad, thirty years later I ended my railroad career as Director of Corporate Marketing. Cited for numerous awards during my career, I was elected National President of Delta-Nu-Alpha Transportation, a thirty thousand member group of professionals in 1988. I chose to close my transportation career in 2006. My time since has been devoted to family, VVA and Veterans Issues.

While currently serving my second term as State Council President of Ohio, I was elected Vice Chair of the CSCP in July of 2008. Prior to becoming State Council President, I served two years as Second Vice President at the state level. Additionally, I served as Chapter 857 President for four terms. Currently I serve on one congressional and two state veteran advisory boards.

My passion has become directed at veterans and veteran issues. If elected, I am committed to open communication with our members, continuing in the pursuit towards the betterment of VVA and all veterans.


Married wife Felicea
USMC 1965-1969
Vietnam 1967-1968
3rd Marines
VVA Life member (Chapter 272)
DAV Life member (Chapter 37)
VMW (Chapter 8)

Served on:
National BOD At Large Director 2007-2009
North Carolina State Council 1st VP 2004-2008
Chapter President 272 2002-2006
1st VP Chapter 272 2008-Present 

VAD Vice Chair
Public Affairs
Planning Committee (Greenville, S.C.) Reach out to a vet. It is not a hand out, It is a hand up!


Paul joined Vietnam Veterans of America in 1993, Chapter 654, Jacksonville, N.C. And became involved from the beginning. He held various committee chairs, Secretary, 2nd Vice, 1st Vice, Chapter President and currently is Secretary/Treasurer for the Chapter. He has also served as 1st Vice President North Carolina State Council and President, North Carolina State Council 2002-2008.

At the National level he has served as 1st Vice Chair for Conference Of State Council Presidents and currently serves as a member of Veterans Against Drugs, PTSD and Minority Affairs Committees.

A native of Keene, N.H., Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy in November 1969 as a Hospital Corpsman and was sent to Vietnam October 1972. He served on board the USS Saratoga (CVA-60) as a Ships Company Corpsman, H-Division until December 1993. He retired from the Navy in March 1994 after 24 years of service. Paul holds the following military awards:

Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (5th Award), Vietnamese Service Medal with one star, National Defense Medal (2nd Award), Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2nd Award), Navy Fleet Marine Force Ribbon and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3rd Award).

He settled in Jacksonville, N.C. and worked for Britthaven, a skilled nursing facility. Passed the RN exam in 1994.

A life member of VFW, Marine Corps League, Onslow County Detachment, DAV, AMVETS, the Fleet Reserve Association, and the American Legion.

Paul has been married 37 years to his wife Donna-Marie, they are parents of 2 daughters and have 2 granddaughters.


My military service (1968-1970) began at Fort Campbell, KY, in the Army Nurse Corps taking me to Vietnam in 1969, with the 18th Surgical Hospital. I worked in nursing until 1996. I am married with three sons and reside in Springfield, Pennsylvania. 

In 1993, I fostered the initiation of Philadelphia Stand Down, serving as ED until 1999. In 1996, I became Program Director for Homeless Veteran Services at The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center. My responsibilities include: two homeless veteran transitional residencies (95 beds for male veterans and 30 beds for women veterans); a day service program for homeless veterans; a 30 unit HUD Shelter Plus Care program; and grant writer.

I joined Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 67, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in 1987 (Director, Vice President, Convention and State Council Delegate).  I represent VVA at the VISN VAC meetings.

In 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007, I was elected to the National Board Directors and serve as Chair, National Women Veterans Committee; Vice Chair, Homeless Veterans Task Force; and member, PTSD, Government Affairs and Health Care Committees. 

In 2001, I was appointed to the VA Women Veterans Advisory Committee and appointed by the Secretary as Chair in August 2002, and again in 2004.

I believe that integrity and diverse expertise are essential ingredients on a board of directors. These elements invite healthy, thought-provoking dialogue, vital to providing strength to the organization, committee functions, and ultimately our membership, to whom we are responsible.


I am Joe Jenkins and I am running for reelection as At Large Board of Directors. I was elected in 2007. I have been a very active member of the board making all board meeting; I’m serving on Minority Affairs, Public Affairs, and Government Affairs Committees. My first term has been a great learning experience and if reelected I feel with the knowledge I’ve gain will be a great asset to the organization. In my professional career I’ve been a team builder and a team player.

I have been President of Chapter 852 since 2002. I chair Government Affairs and Emergency Disaster committees for Louisiana State Council. I am a life member of VVA. I also hold membership in VFW, American Legion and Purple Heart. I am very active in my community working with veterans and their families seeking benefits. I serve as a advisor to a veteran’s homeless shelter, I volunteer at the VA Out-Patient Clinic. I once served as the Coordinator of Volunteer Service before leaving to take care of my aging parents.

I am a graduate of Southern University, Baton Rouge Louisiana with a degree in Marketing/Management. My professional career is in Finance and Management. I was in Banking, and owner of home health agency.

I serve in Vietnam from October 1966 to September 1967 with the 11th Armored Cavalry. While in Vietnam I receive a Purple Heart and Silver Star. I am married for 39 years and have two children and four grand children.


I am a candidate for VVA National Board Member at Large.  I was raised in Indiana, graduated from high school at Kentucky Military Institute, Lyndon, Kentucky.  I attended Vincennes University in Indiana for two years, and graduated from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky in 1969.

I entered the United States Air Force in December of 1969.  I attended OCS and was commissioned in 1970.  I became a navigator on KC135 aircraft.  While stationed at Minot AFB, Minot North Dakota, I flew combat refueling missions out of Utapao AFB, Thailand, Kadena AFB, Okinawa and Hickman AFB, Guam.  I attained the rank of Captain and was Honorably Discharged in June, 1974.

I bring to the Board 32 years of service as a County Veterans Service Officer.  I work daily with veterans and their families to address their needs.  I have served and am currently serving on Advisory Committees to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.  I attend VISN 12 network meetings and have a very good working relationship with VA Regional and Hospital personnel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As an At-Large Board Member, I will bring 32 years of veteran’s advocacy and I will continue to work constructively with all VVA National Officers and Board Members to achieve the goals that VVA will strive to achieve over the next two years.


I served in Vietnam from June 1968 through December 1969. I worked with naval supply in Danang, Vietnam. I was in the Navy. I was manager of both the officers’ club and the enlisted man’s club at China Beach. I had 100 people working for me.

I was president of Minnesota State Counsel for four years. My accomplishments while leading Minnesota’s IVA were Hiring a USO who is still there. Then we required an office at the Veterans Affairs Building. Working with the commissioner of Veterans Affairs to get them to fund my USO. Work to get funded or donated at office supplies and equipment.

Now working with Chapter 1011 membership. Working on fundraising for the chapter. As part of the current BOD we have many accomplishments. The main one we are bringing spending under control. I will continue to ask the tough question for the membership. I’m proud to be serving the membership.


I served with the Marine Corps; I was a platoon radioman for Bravo Company, 1st Bn 27th Marines and my shortened tour in 1968 was located in I Corps in Vietnam. Since joining VVA in 1992 I have held numerous elected positions at the chapter, state council and national levels. I am a former President of the Texas State Council, a former At Large Director on the National Board for four straight years and I am completing my fourth consecutive term as Chair of the VVA Membership Affairs Committee. I am married to Suzie, we have three children, eight grandchildren and I am employed by Van De Wiele Engineering for the last twenty years.

Communication with our membership is my forte, working for and with our members at all levels of VVA has provided a unique source of knowledge to draw from. My creation of the VVA Leadership Handbooks for chapters and state councils has been a valuable tool for each elected officer to accomplish their duties and provide proper leadership for their membership. My past experience as a National Board Member will allow me to go right to work for our membership on VVA matters without delay or on-the-job training. Attendance at every National BOD meeting since 1999, every meeting of the Texas State Council since 1994 and my work at our chapter show my continual commitment to VVA. I would appreciate your vote at the Convention.


James Shott was born in Nova Scotia, Canada 30 December 1946. By the age of 15, he and his family had migrated to the U.S. and settled in Tucson, Arizona. After high school he enlisted in the Marine Corps, graduated boot camp in October ’66 and after infantry training, arrived in ’Nam in February ’67 Assigned to 1/7, 1st MarDiv, where he participated in 10 combat operations. He was stationed with the 5th MarDiv, Camp Pendleton after Vietnam then transferred to Marine Barracks, Newfoundland, Canada from October ’68 to August ’69. Upon discharge in Sep ’69, he became a U.S. citizen.

Reenlisted to active duty in Oct ’74 and sent to Quantico. He was assigned to OCS and after completing Sgt Instructor School, trained officer candidates. He was meritoriously promoted to SSgt (E6) while at OCS. He was transferred to Okinawa in ’77 to the 1st Marine Air Wing personnel office. From ’78 to ’81 was stationed with the 12th  Marine Corps District, Treasure Island, San Francisco. Was transferred to HQ Marine Corps, Henderson Hall to work in Recruiting Operations and while there, was promoted to GySgt (E7). From ’85 to ’92, worked as a counselor in the addictions field where he received two Navy commendation awards.

He retired at Quantico with the rank of MSgt (E8) in Oct ’92. Upon retirement, he became the program manager of the alcohol treatment department, Bethesda Naval Hospital. In ’96 was diagnosed with PTSD, treated at the VA Baltimore facility and continued care at the local Vet Center. He became active in VVA in ’93, is a life member has held office as President of chap 304, Frederick, MD and 2nd VP of the Maryland State Council. He continues to be an active member of the Substance Abuse/PTSD committee and authored a VVA workbook on substance abuse. He resides in Germantown, MD with his two sons Brendan, age 10 and Chris, age 9.


I would like to seek re-election to the office of Director-At-Large for the Vietnam Veterans Of America.

I served 3 tours in Vietnam from May 3, 1969, to July 21, 1971. My time was spent in the southern half of the country with artillery units. I started out with B battery 2/35th and ended up with A battery 2/12. These were all 155mm gun units and we were used a lot!

My after military time was spent with a communications company where I completed 33 years as a cable/fiber optics splicer.

I retired in 2005 after several complications related to Agent Orange.

Presently, I serve as mayor of Park River, ND. A small city of 1,700, we handle about $7M per year with our different departments and employ 16 people.

This position has given me the insight to handle many problems with many types of people.  This is my 9th year as the North Dakota State Council President. I also serve on the national PTSD/Suicide Prevention committee and the Public Affairs committee.

I have 3 wonderful children, Mary, an engineer in Minnesota, Tom, a deputy sheriff in North Dakota and Troy, a regional manager with H&R Block in Kansas City, Kansas. I also have 3 wonderful grandchildren.

 The past 2 years have been fantastic for VVA, The Veterans Health Council, the “new” Veteran, the 30th anniversary parade and the huge increase in our membership, just to name a few.

I look forward to serving you again as a Director-At-Large. Thank-You.


I am announcing that I plan to run for re-election for an At Large Director position on the National Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans of America.  

There have been discussions with many members of our organization over the few months and they have encouraged me to seek re-election.  I am humbled and honored by those who have agreed to support my candidacy and hope that I am worthy of the task at hand.  

Since my election at the 2007 Convention I have made a dramatic career change, as I was appointed Director of the Veterans Service Agency in Erie County, NY. I am very pleased to now serve the 100,000 veterans who live in my county.   
 The core principle of my campaign is that I will represent every member of this organization on the National Board of Directors. An At Large Director is elected by all the members of VVA and therefore has a responsibility to all the members.

I would ask that you consider passing this announcement on to your email lists and I will add anyone who wants to hear what I have to say to my campaign email list. Simply reply to

And always remember Welch’s mantra: “If you do NOTHING, then someday when you need the VA, NOTHING is just what you may get.”


Jerry Yamamoto of Harbor City, California, enlisted in the Army in June 1966 and served for two years, including service as an enlisted Psychology-Social Work Specialist at the US Army Hospital/Specialized Treatment Center at Ft. Gordon, Augusta, Georgia.

Jerry was employed by the former California Department of Public Works’ Division of Highways (now CalTRANS), Fairview State Hospital and the California Public Employees Retirement System prior to his own retirement. He is a Life Member of VVA. Since he joined VVA in 1996 he has been an active member of Redondo Beach, CA South Bay Chapter 53 where he has served as a Board Member, Vice President and Chapter President. With Chapter 53, Jerry originated the idea for the designation of California State Highway One, in two separate laws, as the Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway and as a Blue Star Memorial Highway. He served as Alternate Director of VVA Region 9 for two years before being elected as an At-Large Director on the VVA National Board of Directors in 2005. Starting in 2005, Jerry has been Chair of the VVA National Minority Affairs Committee and a member of four other national committees.  

Jerry is the father of daughter, Jamie. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the US Veterans Initiative, Los Angeles, the Redondo Beach Veterans Memorial Task Force, Congresswoman Harman’s Military Academy Selection Board, and is the Commander of the Munemori American Legion Post 321 in Lost Angeles.



Wayne graduated from Waltham Senior High School in Waltham, MA, in 1968. Too young for the draft but old enough to know that college wasn’t in the cards. Wayne enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in September 1968 and retired in October 1988. While in the Air Force, Wayne held jobs from jet engine mechanic, maintenance statistical analyst to recruiter. Wayne was assigned to such bases as Norton AFB, CA, Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN, Ramstein AB, Germany, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, RAF Alconbury, England and remote assignment from Pease AFB, New Hampshire to Bangor, Maine.

In 1975, Wayne established S.O.A.R. Mobile Car Care, a mobile car repair business. The business, he still operates today, using the skills learned in the Air Force.

After joining the VVA in 1992, Chapter 185 in Bangor, Maine. Wayne has held the positions of Chapter Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer and presently Chapter President since 2005. Since 2006, Wayne has become Maine State Vice-President. Wayne has been active with the Maine Troop Greeters since 1991; Coles’ Land Transportation Museum interviews the Veteran program, Maine State Veterans Cemetery Commission and numerous other Veteran organizations at various levels.

Wayne completed 3 Associate of Sciences Degrees from the Maine state college system (Automotive Technology, General Technology and Business Management), B.S. in Business Administration from Husson College and has completed 1 year of Masters level at Husson University (formerly Husson College).

Wayne is married to Frances Cartier, currently AVVA Region 1 Director, 2 adult children and a grandson.


I got active in VVA at the local and state levels in 1994. Over this time, I’ve served many positions to include; delegate to the Massachusetts State Council (94 – 2009), to 6 National Conventions (97,99,01,03,05,07), State Treasurer (98 – 2001), and Membership chair (98 – 2001) (4
New Chapters). I’m currently Massachusetts State Council President, member National Benefits, Membership Committees, and Council of State Council Presidents. I am privileged to be serving my 5th term as President of Chapter #866 in Springfield, MA. I’ve served on the National Minority and Government Affairs committees.

I bring 15 years of experience serving VVA, its’ members and families. For 8 years I’ve been the Senior Service Officer at the Western Massachusetts Bi-lingual Veterans Outreach Center serving Western Massachusetts.

I believe in an open door policy with No decisions made without input from all appropriate sources. I believe in accountability of ALL elected or appointed individuals and written reports with the widest possible disbursement.

I look forward to working as an active team member with ALL  Region 1 States, elected officers, and Board members. VVA is the best VSO in the country and highly respected. We have a Duty to maintain that distinction and You the members, the driving force of our Organization deserve nothing less.

When elected, I PLEDGE to work tirelessly toward these goals and with your assistance, I believe we can and will be successful!



I served in Vietnam from January to December of 1967 with the Army’s 9th Infantry and 11th Armored Cavalry. In 1983 I joined VVA, becoming a Life Member in 1987. I have served as Chapter President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director as well as a National At-Large Director. Currently, I am the Region 2 Director on the National Board.

I have been a delegate to 11 National Conventions, the Convention Rules Chair twice and am the current Convention Resolutions Committee Chair. Over the past ten years, I have served on the Constitution Committee, Healthcare Committee, Homeless Veterans Task Force, and Government Affairs Committee.  Presently, I serve on the Membership Committee and as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee.

As the Region 2 Director for the past eight years, I have learned a great deal about the Region and the Chapters in it. I feel I have made many new friends in the region and have been able to work closely with the State Councils and Chapters within the Region. I have written and distributed to all of the Chapters within the Region a Region 2 Director’s Report at least three times a year to keep the membership informed about activities at National and within the Region. I thank everyone for their support over the past eight years and ask for your continued support by electing me to another term as Region 2 Director.



I bring fifteen years of VVA leadership, experience, knowledge and commitment to the position of Region 3 Director. 

Having joined Vietnam Veterans of America in 1993 (Chapter 172) I became actively involved from the beginning.  In 1994 I was elected as Vice-President of Chapter 172 and in 1995 was elected President and held the position until 2002; was elected Treasurer, Maryland State Council in 1996 and held the position until 2000; was elected President, Maryland State Council in 2000 and held the position until 2004. Elected as Region 3 Director in 2003, I am serving in my third consecutive term.

During my tenure, I have opened the line of communications with the State Councils and Chapters by developing an e-mail distribution list, which has enabled the membership of Region 3 to be kept abreast of VVA National issues. Additionally, with time permitting, direct input has been solicited from the membership on matters presented to the National Board of Directors. 

As Region 3 Director, I will continue open communications, maintain stability, and bring effective and efficient leadership to the position and to the Region 3 membership as your representative on the National Board of Directors. I will continue to work constructively with my peers to achieve the goals of VVA.

I served in Vietnam with Delta Company 1stBn, 5thMarines, 1st Marine Division from November 1966 to December 1967.  Married for 38 years to Regina; we have 3 sons and one grandson.



I would like to thank all the members of Region 4 for allowing me the privilege of representing them at the National Board.  As your Region 4 Director, I have worked hard to be in touch with not only the state councils, but all the chapters and their members.

I was in the Navy in 1965, after a break in service, I joined the Army Reserves in 1974, and in 1980 I went back on active duty in the Army.  From 1980 to 1992, I was stationed in various locations.  My last duty station was Fort Clayton, Panama from 1987 to 1992.  In 1992, I joined the Georgia Army National Guard.  In 2004 I was medically discharged.  I have a total of over 30 years in the military.  My husband, Pete, was in the Army from 1960 until 1990.  I wasn’t in country during Vietnam, but was in combat during Just Cause in 1989 in Panama.

Both my husband and I are Life members and are with Chapter 789, Hinesville, Georgia.  I have been a chapter Secretary for four years, a chapter board member for two years, state vice president for two years, and now currently Region 4 Director.  I currently sit on two National committees, Women Veterans and Public Affairs.  My goal is to continue to work for the betterment the entire region and VVA.



Entered the United States Army in November 1966; went to Vietnam April 1967 until May 1968 with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. He was awarded the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Air Medal, one Overseas Bar, and two Bronze Stars. Was honorably discharged in November 1968.

Involvements and activities:

President and life member (joined in 1988) of VVA Chapter #284, President of the VVA Michigan State Council for six years and is currently the Treasurer and the Legislative Chair. Has been Region V Director for two years.

A life member of the American Legion Post #525; served as Commander, Finance Officer, and Chaplain. Also is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #8465; Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 12; the First Cavalry Association.

President of the St. Clair County Allied Veterans Council for ten years; Commander of the Allied Veterans Honor Guard.

Sits on the St. Clair County Board for the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Organized a trip to Washington DC so comrades could visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Driving veterans to the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor and Detroit for over fourteen years.

Was “Veteran of the Year” for the state of Michigan in 2006.

Married Penny in 1970 and have four children and eight grandsons.

He truly represents the values of an ideal veteran committed to VVA’s programs and goals; with positive community involvement and contributions to veterans’ needs.



Steve served in Vietnam for one tour with two six month extensions for a total of 22 months in country.  Assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade.  Steve became an at large member of VVA in 1986.  Steve has been a member of Chap. 115, Stevens Point, Wisconsin later he helped establish Chap. 768 in Waupaca WI.  He has served as chap. President, State Council positions such as Regional Director, Vice President and President.  Currently Steve is National VVA Region 6 Director. 

Steve is a retired State of Wisconsin Employee.  Having coordinated several programs within the Social Services Dept. at the WI State Veterans home.  He is currently a part time worker at the Veterans Assistance Program as a case manager providing assistance to homeless veterans.  Steve has been married for 33 years and has three grown children with his first grandson on the way.

Steve works hard to balance the needs of VVA state council’s in his region. He also invites state councils and individual VVA members to get involved in special projects he is involved with such as Swords to Wheelchairs, Libraries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, establishing a veterans court in his county (operational since the 1st of May) and is always interested with giving special recognition to Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War in his region.

Steve is proud of Vietnam Veterans of America and the good works we do. He once again asks for your support in the upcoming elections.



My name is Ralph Henderson I am running for region 7 Director, I am from Tulsa OK. I joined the United States Marines in 1966 and served 7 years and was discharged in 1972. I served in Vietnam from Jan 1968 to Mar. 1969, while in Vietnam I spent time on the DMZ. Sometime around Danang and Hoyin and Denba. I joined VVA in 1985 as a charter member of Chapter 216 in Tulsa. While serving in VVA I have been chapter president of 216 several times, OK State Council president for 5 years 1989-1994, I served 2 years on the national board of disciplinary procedures.

I attended the first National convention in Detroit, Rode a horse to the Convention in Houston TX. 1995, Okla. Horse mounted color guard, and in 1997 we rode to Kansas City for the Convention. In 1992 I was chair of the Oklahoma veterans council in Oklahoma City. I am married to my lovely wife Charlotte we have 5 children 10 grand children. We live on a 10 acre horse ranch 28 miles west of Tulsa where we have 4 horses. I retired in May 2008 and my wife is retiring May 2009. Now I have the time for a national job my plan as region 7 director is to see we have regional conferences every year, I would like to serve on the national board and head up a push for true judicial review. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve.


I want to thank the membership who gave me the opportunity to serve as your Region 7 Director for the last 5 terms. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed my position. When I was first elected, I promise that I would attended all state council meeting and I work all state council president to have their meeting not to concede with each other so I could attend every meeting. I have an open door to all the membership for any call or problems that needed be taken care. I would see that when I attended all BOD meeting that I represented my region in the best of their interest. After my first term I seen where it was needed to start recognize our members, chapter and I was able secure funds to have an awards system. It was very important to all membership to see that they were given awards, which was very much needed. I work with the will of the officers to be at the meeting and not having a region 7 leadership and this would be saving money for the state council and chapters.

I am requesting your support again for the position of Region 7 Director. I want to see our region continue to be above the rest of the other Region in VVA, I can make this happen with your support to re-elect me for another term. I receive the VVA Commendation medal in 2007.



Having served the last 2 years as RD my performance and experience best reflects my commitment and results. We have met and/or exceeded virtually every one of our goals under our Get It Done attitude. I have over 40 years of proven business leadership experience, proven skills, award winning results, am creative, innovative and team driven. I have been active in veteran organizations for the past 30 years and 16 in VVA. My focus is and always has been helping veterans now, leaving a legacy we can all be proud of rather than just talk about it. I am a straight shooter and do what I say I will do. I understand veterans, especially Vietnam vets as I have sustained service connected disabilities of over 100 percent. I know firsthand what veterans need and deserve. I have been blessed for over 40 years with a very understand wife. I am dedicated and retired, thus have the time available to travel our Region should you want me to continue representing you. Next to my family my passion has always been helping veterans. Above all I listen, seek and appreciate your input. Thank you for your consideration, I’d appreciate your support and you vote.


My name is Francis Rowan and I am a Candidate for Region 8 Director. I been a member of VVA since 2000 and have held many offices. I’ve been a board of director. A Chapter Vice-President and a Chapter President and a State Council Vice-President and currently State Council President for Oregon. I enlisted in the US Navy in 1963, served in Vietnam from 1964-1965 as a deep water sailor, was in the Reserves from the end of 1965 to 1968 and re-enlisted to active duty and served in Vietnam for another 2 tours 1968-1970. I was on board USS Turner Joy during the Tonkin Gulf incident and participated in the planned USS Pueblo rescue attempt, which was called off when the captives were released. I am retired, I have been married to a wonderful woman for almost 4 years. I have 5 children and my wife has 3 children and between the two of us we have more grand children and great grand children to count.

My theme for office is TEAM, Transparency, Efficiency, Accountability, and  Membership and to the best knowledge that is what we are. A team. And we should work as a team.

Transparency is the way that the membership is better informed on what the organization is doing on the whole.

Efficiency is what happens when everybody is on the same page. I believe we need to have workshops for our Chapter Presidents in how to keep their Chapters on that page.



I am a Life Member of VVA. I was elected Secretary of Chapter 391 in 1998 and still serve in that position. I was the Chapter 391 Delegate to the California State Council from 1998 until I was elected Central District Director in June of 2000. In August 1999, I was the Chapter Delegate at the National Convention and was a California State Council Delegate to the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 National Conventions. I was elected President of the California State Council in June 2002. I am now in my third term as second Vice President of the California State Council. I also moderate a number of talk lists for various parts of VVA. I serve on four National committees: Membership, Veterans Benefits, Public Affairs and Veterans Health.

When reelected as Region 9 Director, I will continue to bring input from Region 9 to the National Board of Directors and let the members in Region 9 have a more active role in the decisions that are made. I feel we must have more communication from Region 9 to National VVA and from National VVA to Region 9. I strongly believe that “Communication is the key” and that I have the skill to use my knowledge and experience in electronic communications to keep the Region 9 members informed of the issues that affect veterans and their families. I ask for your vote and promise that you will always have an advocate with me as the Region 9 Director.



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