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july/august 2008

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments : Featured Stories / President's Message / Government Affairs / Membership Notes / Constitution Committee / Region 3 Report / Veterans Incarcerated / Veteran Benefits / Women Veterans / Chapter 141 / Chapter 142 / Chapter 295 / Chapter 523 / AVVA Report / At The LC / At The LC - book review / Diabetes / Books In Review / Letters / Etabo / Locator / Reunions / Taps

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As you read this, many of you are attending the Leadership Conference in Greenville. This will be a great occasion because, in addition to the usual array of excellent seminars, we also will be celebrating VVA’s thirtieth anniversary.

Continuing a theme from my last message, regarding Air Force heroes, elsewhere in this issue (p.28) you will find an article about the dedication of the John Lee Levitow Veterans Health Center at the Connecticut Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. John Levitow was the first of only two enlisted airmen to receive the Medal of Honor.

While he survived Vietnam, he succumbed to Agent Orange-related health problems in November of 2002. The Connecticut Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is VVA’s own Linda Schwartz. Her leadership helped garner the federal funds for this worthwhile project.

My recent travels took me to Tennessee and Indiana. Region 3 held its annual conference in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.—the home of Dollywood. This part of the country at the foot of the Smokey Mountains is very beautiful. As always, Region 3 put on a very informative conference. Bruce Whitaker and the State Council Presidents and their delegates should be congratulated for their wonderful events. At the end, they voted to rename the annual event the “George Duggins Region 3 Conference” in honor of our deceased past President. George’s wife Blanche was at the Conference and received this honor.

The next week I went to Indianapolis to attend the Indiana State Council meeting. It was held at the home of Chapter 295. While there, I joined the chapter as they presented a check for $22,500 to the Indianapolis VA Medical Center to support the Golden Age Games, which will be held in Indianapolis this year. It is amazing what chapters can do when they put their minds to it.

It just so happened that while I was in town, the Mayor of Indianapolis, Gregory A. Ballard, a retired Marine Lt. Col., held a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans celebration at the Indianapolis War Memorial. Thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families attended, and each one was given a commemorative coin.


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