A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

October 1999/November 1999

Membership Notes

A VVA Staff Report


Greater Hartford Connecticut Chapter 120 helped dedicate the monument, "In Recognition of Those Dedicated to the Service of Our Country,'' at the East Cemetery in Manchester. The monument was paid for by an anonymous donor.

Genesee County Chapter 175 in Burton, Michigan, dedicated the Reflections Monument at Bluebell Beach. The memorial, which resembles the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was built with the help of a large number of community supporters.

Indian Springs, Nevada, Chapter 558 at the Southern Desert Correctional Center has built a memorial for all the service branches. The memorial features flags honoring POWs and MIAs. Chapter members made all of the memorial's components by hand.

Members of Media, Pennsylvania, Chapter 67took part in the ceremonies at the opening of "The Wall That Heals'' in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, Oct. 7.


Fortunate Sons Chapter 176 in Centralia, Illinois, donated $1,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the name of chapter life member Bill Carr. The chapter also collected $110 for AVVA's Project Friendship.


Calvin W. Heath of Putnam, Connecticut, was recently awarded the Silver Star for his gallantry in action in March 1968. The decoration was presented by Rep. Sam Gejdenson (D-Conn.) during ceremonies at the Chelsea parade. Heath's former company commander, Paul Bucha, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, attended the ceremony.

The New Jersey State Council presented its Sister of the Year Award to Carol Ioannides of Chapter 233 in Sayerville, New Jersey. Ioannides, an LPN, volunteers for many chapter projects, including fund-raisers, family events, parades, and hospital visits. It is the second consecutive year that a Chapter 233 member has won the award. Chris Harned won it in 1998.

Timothy B. Kauffman, outside sponsor/delegate for Phoenix Chapter 726 located at the Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City, Florida, was inducted into the Legion of Honor of the Chapel of Four Chaplains in a ceremony at VVA's Ninth National Convention in Anaheim.

Harry Kutchner of Freedom Chapter 430 in Philadelphia was elected Junior Vice Commander of the United Veterans Council in Philadelphia. Two years ago, Harry was presented with the council's prestigious Casper J. Knight, Jr., Award.


Ned Broderick was the guest speaker at the Bennington College Lecture Series on the Vietnam War, held Oct. 10. Painter and president of the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, Broderick described the museum and its collection. The lecture series is jointly sponsored by Chapter 601 in Bennington, Vermont, and Bennington College. Prior to the lecture, Region 1 director John Miner and his wife, Joyce, took Broderick on a tour of the Bennington Museum.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation presented its 1999 Author Lecture Series at the Vietnam Educational Center. Guest authors included Charles Waterhouse (DMZ to Delta and Marines & Others), Paul Drew (Vietnam Veteran's Reflections), George J. Veith (Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War), and Paul Scipione (Shades of Gray and M.A.R.S.: Calling Back to the World from Vietnam).

Morris Green, Chris Pitt, and John Morris of Chester County Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, were members of the committee that presented The Wall That Heals at West Chester University in November. The university also sponsored a fall lecture series that featured Diane Carlson-Evans, author Joseph Galloway, and Col. Harry Summers, Jr., editor of Vietnam magazine.


Riverside, California, Chapter 47 members Rudy Cabral and Debbie Masters accompanied the Jurupa Valley High School Air Force Junior ROTC to Kansas City where the group competed in and won the National Drill Team Championship.

Chapter 303 in Columbia, South Carolina, donated $108 to the World War II Memorial fund. VVA members have pledged to donate one dollar for each name on The Wall.

When Gen. Douglas MacArthur decreed that no weapons of any kind could be returned to Japan following the surrender of Japanese forces in 1945, 1st Lieutenant Bob Sauve was given an ancient Samurai sword by a Japanese Army captain. After fifty-three years, Sauve returned the sword to its owner in Tokyo last year. Sauve was a guest speaker at Northern Virginia Chapter 227 and presented a film of the historic meeting.

Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia ran an article in its newsletter about the deployment of U.S. Navy SEABEES to Kosovo. The SEABEES are building berms, bunkers, security towers, and other facilities under the operational control of the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division supporting Task Force Falcon.


James Branum, president of Chapter 806 in Blackstone, Virginia, reports the chapter food bank is going strong. The chapter distributes five hundred boxes of food each month to the needy in Nottoway County. Inmates on work-release from nearby Nottoway Correctional Center and Junior ROTC students from Nottoway High School aid in the effort.The chapter recently moved into its new headquarters at Fort Pickett.

Heart of America Chapter 317 in Kansas City, Missouri (a host of the Eighth National Convention in 1997), administers a Redistributed Telecommunications Equipment Program in conjunction with the Pan-Educational Institute (PEI) and the Cristina Foundation. The project refurbishes and redistributes computers from large corporations that have upgraded their equipment. The computers are given to disabled veterans, the disadvantaged, at-risk populations, schools, teachers, and other non-profit agencies. For more information, contact the chapter at 818-561-8387 or vva317@aol.com

Charlie Davis of Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278 was recently appointed director of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board by Gov. Mike Huckaby. Davis served as assistant director of the state Alcohol Beverage Control after retiring from the Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Department after twenty-seven years.

Judi Greig, president of Chapter 820 in Bend, Oregon, received her chapter's charter from VVA president George Duggins while attending the Regions 8 and 9 Conference in Sparks, Nevada, in June.

Rock River Chapter 236 in Janesville, Wisconsin, held its sixth annual Golf Outing and Family Picnic in August at the Blackhawk Golf Course. The invitation said, "Non-Golfers Welcome.'' The event was well attended by golfers and non-golfers alike.

Chapter 691 in Merced, California, sent seven members to Sacramento to participate in the Veterans Appreciation Day ceremonies at the State Fair. They participated in the flag-raising at 10:00 a.m. and finished the day by marching in the parade at 6:00 p.m.

Brothers In Arms, the newsletter of the Robert E. Wheelock Memorial Chapter 327 in Stanhope, New Jersey, published a breakdown of where Operation Ranch Hand sprayed the 8,165,491 gallons of herbicide used in Vietnam. The figures, divided into corp areas, include LZs, base camps, and other locations. The breakdown was provided by Gary D. Moore, chair of the Michigan Agent Orange Commission.

Quad Cities Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois, provided the honor guard for the interment of MIA James Schimberg in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The chapter learned about the Saturday service just two days prior to the ceremony and received a thank-you note from Chapter 568 in Cedar Rapids for providing the honor guard on short notice.

Chapter 331 in River Falls, Wisconsin, had a pancake feast at the Ellsworth Polka Fest. Chapter members pitched in to flip flapjacks and assemble the wooden dance floor.

A campaign to place plaques in remembrance of POW/MIAs at every highway rest stop in the country has been launched by the POW/MIA Freedom Fighters. For additional information, contact Johnny Pancrazio, Illinois State Council POW/MIA chair, at 309-788-1773 or namvet13@aol.com

Bill Falkner, Brian Speich, and Gary SchoenBorn of Chapter 101, WisConsin Rapids, Wisconsin, joined other Wisconsin VVA members marching before 100,000 spectators in the Sept. 19 parade in Wisconsin Dells. Chapter member Fred "Sarge'' Wells provided food before and after the parade.

Chapter 553 in Harvey, Louisiana, presented a POW/MIA wall clock to former POW Giles Norrington, a Navy pilot who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1968 and released in 1973.

James G. Zumwalt, author of the forthcoming Bare Feet, Iron Will, a look at the Vietnam War from the NVA's point of view, was guest speaker at the Oct. 21 membership meeting of Chapter 227, Dean K. Phillips Memorial Chapter of Northern Virginia, in Vienna, Virginia.

Members of the Shore Area Chapter 12 in Allenhurst, New Jersey, took part in the unveiling of the Vietnam War stamp at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel.


Rochester, New York, Chapter 20 held its eighth annual clothing giveaway Oct. 9 at the Vietnam Veterans Thrift Store in Rochester. On hand were veterans benefits counselors and health-care specialists who helped needy veterans with VA enrollment. The event was cosponsored by the Rochester VA Outpatient Clinic, the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency, and the American Liver Foundation.

Chapter 626 in Helena, Montana, cosponsored the 1999 Montana Homeless Standdown Sept. 16-17 at the Ft. Harrison Army National Guard training facility in Helena.More than twenty social service agencies provided homeless veterans and their families hot meals and a place to sleep, along with physical, mental, and dental care.

Members of Greater Hartford Chapter 120, including Elwood "Woody'' Lechausse and Billee Culin, volunteered at Connecticut Standdown '99, Sept. 24 at the Rocky Hill Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The chapter has been an active participant in every Connecticut Standdown since the event's inception in 1992. This year 903 veterans attended the standdown, which is sponsored by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Rick Will, Sr., VVA Maryland State Council POW/MIA chair, represented VVA at Farm Aid  99 Sept. 12 at the Nissan Pavilion in Prince William County, Virginia. Will and fifty-three other veterans presented host Willie Nelson with a ceremonial pitch fork showing their support for Farm Aid's work to preserve America's family farms.


Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, is an active participant in the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program. Chapter member Mary Lou Nemetz was struck by a car while picking up trash along the roadway and is recovering from her injuries. She has received get-well cards from VVA members from all over the country and from all the national officers and staff. Send best wishes to: NemetzML@aol.com

John F. McGowan of  Chapter 12 in Allenhurst, New Jersey, reports that he is "alive, but not yet well.''  John got sick at the National Convention in Anaheim but is on the road to recovery. 

E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org


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