June 2001/July 2001
A VVA Staff Report
Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently listed the
names of the 74 Washtenaw County residents killed in Vietnam on a page of
its newsletter. The chronological list begins with George F. Vlisides, who
was killed January 27, 1965, and ends with John D. Eddy, who died January
11, 1972. The list also includes the names of six chapter members who have
died since 1988.
Rock Island, Illinois, Chapter 299 member Kathleen D.
Tennis is spearheading the drive to erect a memorial to Purple
Heart recipients on Memorial Walk at the Rock Island National
Cemetery. Additional information can be obtained by contacting her
Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia will take
part in the 16th Annual Donald W. Jone Flag Memorial at Silver
Lake Park. More than 58,000 American flags are placed in the form
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one for each name on The Wall.
Heart of Texas Chapter 801 in Brownwood, Texas, is
selling engraved brick pavers to raise funds for the Brown County
War Memorial at Memorial Park in Brownwood. If you would like to
make a donation, call 915-646-7155 or 915-646-7625.
Chapter 185 in Orono, Maine, is undertaking the
construction of a Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall called
"Mobile Memories." The memorial will be made of
Plexiglas and will contain the names of the 343 KIAs from Maine.
If you would like to support this project, contact Rich Tauer at
South Jersey Chapter 825 in Mays Landing, New Jersey,
reminds us of the origin of Memorial Day in the June issue of the
chapter newsletter. On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan, Commander In
Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order 11,
proclaiming May 30 as "Decoration Day." His proclamation
read in part: "Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather
around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds
above them with choicest flowers of springtime. Let us raise above
them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this
solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom
they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's
gratitude--the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan."
Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven conducted its
annual Memorial Day Eve ceremony at the Chicopee Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Park. The services included a POW/MIA Candlelight
Members of Nassau County Chapter 82 in Hicksville,
New York, took part in the annual Hicksville Memorial Day
Chapter 691 in Merced, California, participated in
services at the Courthouse Park in Merced. Chapter member Bill
Roberta was featured in a color photo of the event on the front
page of the Merced Sun Star.
Members of Sumner County, Georgia, Chapter 240
participated in Memorial Day services that drew veterans from
Robertson, Trousdale, and Macon Counties.
Delaware Chapter 850 in Clayton chaired the
Smyrna/Clayton Memorial Day Parade.
Chapter 702 at the California Veterans Home in Yountville
hosted its fifth annual Watchfire outside the home’s cemetery
from May 27 through Memorial Day. The Watchfire is a Revolutionary
War tradition in which communities kept bonfires burning through
the night as beacons for returning citizen-soldiers. The chapter
uses the event to raise public awareness about Memorial Day and
Americans still missing from all this nation’s conflicts.
Chapter 165 in Bellingham, Washington, used Memorial
Day as the occasion to formally name the chapter in memory of
founding member Ron Davenport, who died recently.
Members of Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville
took part in their ninth annual Memorial Day service at Highland
Memory Gardens in Mt. Washington, Kentucky.
Osceola County Chapter 755 in Kissimmee, Florida,
took part in Memorial Day ceremonies at Osceola Memory Gardens and
Las Vegas, Nevada, Chapter 17 had veterans service
representatives from the Nevada Office of Veterans Affairs and
from VVA at the chapter hall on Memorial Day and on Flag Day, June
Jack Thomas was recently presented the Bronze Medallion by the
Chapel of Four Chaplains. The award is granted for outstanding
contributions to the well-being of others on the national or
international level, to world peace, and to interfaith and
interethnic understanding in keeping with the spirit of sacrifice
of the Four Chaplains.
Rockland County, New York, Chapter 333 sponsored an
educational community service project, "Mementos Left at The
Wall," in April. Chapter members, in conjunctions with the
Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum and the U.S. National Park
Service, went to Suffern High School to present the powerful
program before 1,350 students. The event included students and
faculty reading letters left at The Wall and a history of
the war presented by Vietnam veterans. Chapter members
subsequently took the program to Suffern Middle School and Spring
Valley High School.
In April, Chapter 787 in Valrico, Florida,
conducted a ceremony honoring local Vietnam veterans at
Bloomingdale High School. The event included interviews of Vietnam
veterans by students from Armwood, Bloomingdale, and Sickles High
Schools. The interviews are included in the second volume of Oral
Histories of the Vietnam War. The project is the brainchild of
chapter president Tom Hall and is for sale. To order, contact Hall
Rock River Chapter 236 in Janesville, Wisconsin,
awarded twelve $300 scholarships to local high school graduates
who are the children of Vietnam veterans. Receiving aid were
Alyson Dilley, Matthew Meyer, Rachel Sandee, Emily Scherwitz,
Krystalynn Williams, Kirsten Schou, Melissa Hopper, Rebecca
Grigsby, Katie Kettle, Thomas Waite, Susan Sutherland, and Shannon
Mariellen Ketterer, the owner of Punk’s Ice Cream Shoppe in
Baden, New York, donated the Memorial Day proceeds to VVA
Beaver County Chapter 862 in honor of her older brother, John
"Mickey" Futato, a Vietnam veteran who died in 1992. Her
seven employees volunteered their time that day so their wages
also could be included in the donation. Chapter President Skip
Haswell said the money will go toward bringing The Moving Wall to
Beaver in September.
Chapter 855 in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, continues
to add to the chapter food bank. Passover and Easter food basket
deliveries consumed much of the supply, but the chapter is busy
rebuilding its stores.
Colonel Francis McGouldrick Chapter 260 at the Orient
Correctional Facility in Columbus, Ohio, donated 20-pound
turkeys and canned goods to the Columbus Veteran Center, the
Orient Church, and Sterling House Hospice. In March, the chapter
presented certificates of appreciation to G. Brunton, S. Tillett,
Sgt. P. Trombley, R. Calhoun, K. Smith, M. Polen, and L.
Tuberville for their efforts "beyond the call of duty"
in support of chapter activities.
Chapter 787 reported a nationwide campaign to collect old
wireless (cell) phones for distribution to domestic violence
victims. The phones are refurbished to dial 9-1-1 and one
non-emergency number, such as a domestic violence shelter. If you
have an unwanted or outdated cell phone contact Donate Phone at
1-888-901-SAFE (7233) or visit their web site at
Chester County Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania,
provided several dozen coats and bags of clothing for residents of
the Coatesville VA Hospital. The chapter contacted the Vanguard
Group, the area’s largest employer, and enlisted the company in
the effort to provide basic clothing as part of the corporation’s
annual "Outfits for Offices" drive. The chapter is
collecting business clothing for vets transitioning out of
rehabilitation programs. In April, over 30 suits and 100 shirts
Odd ‘N’ Ends
Rochester, New York, Chapter 20 celebrated its 20th
anniversary with a gala celebration on May 19. Vietnam veteran
comedian Blake Clark provided the entertainment at the event.
National President George Duggins, AVVA National President Nancy
Switzer, and New York State Council President John Rowan attended.
Chapter 172 in Cumberland, Maryland, held its annual
chapter picnic in June at Hidden Springs Campground in Not Close
To Anything, Pennsylvania. According to the announcement in the
chapter newsletter, The Point,"No assault weapons,
knives, or explosives will be allowed this year."
On May 6, Suffolk County, New York, Chapter 11 held its
11th annual Gold Star Mothers and Fathers Breakfast at the
Sheraton Smithown Hotel. More than 170 people attended the event,
which was conceived after current chapter President Rich Kitson
and other chapter members attended a Gold Star Mothers ceremony in
1991. Each parent at the breakfast was given a yellow rose with a
gold ribbon to symbolize the friendship and love that veterans
have for them.
Chapter 384 in New Orleans and Chapter 550 in
Meraux co-hosted the Louisiana State Convention in Metairie
Carol Ann Bass, an Associate of Chapter 120 in Hartford,
Connecticut, was ordained a minister in the United Church of
Christ in June. A member of Sons and Daughters In Touch, she is
the daughter of Maj. Seymour R. Bass, who was killed in Vietnam
May 14, 1968. "As a member of the next generation from the
Vietnam War, my ministry is not only one of remembrance, it is
also one of healing, honor, and hope," Bass said. She will
donate a portion of the ordination offering to homeless veterans.
The Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, paid tribute
to Vietnam veterans in May. Chapter 303 in Columbia
helped plan the event. Frank Weick, Alta Milling, and newest
chapter member Gary Baker set up displays. Milling made 30 yellow
bows with streamers to represent those South Carolinians listed as
West Shore Chapter 249 in Bay Village, Ohio,
featured Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gray as guest
speaker in May. Gray, who attended 12 different Army
schools--including Artillery, Infantry, and the Command and
General Staff College--retired with 33 years’ service, including
two tours in Vietnam. In 1966, he served with the 101st Airborne
and in 1970 with the 82nd Airborne.
Baltimore Chapter 451 hosted a 226th birthday party for the
U.S. Army in June at the chapter home in the Fort Holabird
The Washington State Council had information booths at
the Washington Arms Collectors Gun Show in April.
Members of Beaver County Chapter 862 in Freedom,
Pennsylvania, did their part in the recent Adopt-A-Highway
program. Picking up trash were Blaine Allinder, Bob Doughty, Bob
Eiler, Frank Guzman, Ralph Hague, and Tracy King. Joining them
were Monty Montgomery, William Winkle, Bill Muns, John and Sharon
Namath, John’s granddaughter Christin Cox, and Associate Cheri
Phoenix Chapter 726 in the Polk Correctional Institution in
Polk City, Florida, was recently presented with a full set
of white leggings for the chapter color guard by local DAV Post
Chapter 343 in Houston took part in the 20th Annual
Good Friday Fish Fry in April. This is the chapter's first year as
a participant, but that didn't stop them from raising the most
money. Over 2,000 fish filets were fried during the event.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall will be hosted at
the Kissimmee (Florida) Lakefront Park October 25-28. Chapter
755 is hosting the presentation.
During the Fourth of July week, the Traveling Wall will be in
McPherson, Kansas. Members of Chapter 809 in Salina,
Kansas, will host the July 7th activities, including a program
honoring all area KIA’s from that part of Kansas and the Gold