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

December 2001/January 2002

Membership Notes

A VVA Staff Report


Georgianna Krell-Carter was recognized for being elected president of the American Gold Star Mothers by Coral Gables, Florida, Chapter 121. The chapter is named in memory of her son, PFC Bruce W. Carter, the only Medal of Honor recipient from Dade County.

The color guard of Nassau County Chapter 82 in Hicksville, New York, took part in a POW/MIA candlelight vigil held September 15. The unit joined the Nassau County Police Bagpipers in a ceremony that also recognized the sacrifices of those who were lost on September 11.

The state of Maine has created a unique way to honor veterans. The program, "Vote in Honor of a Veteran," was established so that people can vote in memory of a Maine veteran. Region 1 Director John Miner discussed the program during the VVA National Board of Directors meeting in October. For information on how you can establish a similar program in your state, contact John at jminer@vva.org

The Whatcom County United Veterans Council recently named Ray Lewis, president of Chapter 165 in Bellingham, Washington, Veteran of the Year.

In Service to America

Bergen County, New Jersey, Chapter 800 in East Rutherford raised $1,000 from members for the New York Police and Firefighters Fund.

Paul Sierra, a member of Quad-Cities Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois, spent two weeks in New York City as a Red Cross volunteer. Sierra worked at Ground Zero feeding and caring for fire and rescue workers.

The Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, Chapter 855 Color Guard presented the colors at a memorial service for Robert C. Kennedy, a Vietnam veteran who lost his life September 11 at the World Trade Center. Members taking part were Guard Captain Bob O’Rourke, Don Pape, Chuck Hoff, and Dick Dedham. AVVA members Lee Forlaw-Hoff, Annemarie Manna, and Bob Lyons assisted. AVVA member Lana Winter presented a flag to Kennedy’s family.

Chapter 590 in Glenside, Pennsylvania, sold hot dogs and raised $500 that was donated to the New York Police WTC Disaster Fund.

Jim Thorne, president of Chapter 542 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reports that the chapter took part in a memorial service for the Penbrook Fire and Police Departments on September 16. Larry Cross performed the "Battlefield Cross," substituting a police badge with black ribbon for the steel pot and dog tags. When Eileen Johns sang "God Bless America," the crowd joined in. Larry and Carol Carter, Dave Kling, Don McAfee, Dave Donmoyer, Bill Smith, and Art Johns also participated in the services.


Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chapter 310 members wielded rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and brooms in early November sprucing up the county Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Jim Sharp was crew chief for the work detail.

Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another

Las Vegas, Nevada, Chapter 17 hosted a long overdue recognition ceremony for 107-year old World War I veteran William Brown. Brown was presented with the French Legion of Honor medal by French Consul General Joseline Declausade for his service as a member of the U.S. Expeditionary Force. Brown arrived in France on June 14, 1918, and served in the artillery division.

Chapter 190 in Atmore, Alabama, participated in a Patriotic Christmas Card Drive for active-duty servicemen and women. The chapter, chartered in 1985, launched a similar project in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm.

Chesapeake Chapter 712 in Annapolis, Maryland, is promoting Operation Yellow Ribbon for members of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 158th Cavalry of the Maryland National Guard based at the Annapolis Armory. Members of the unit are serving in a peacekeeping assignment in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chapter is making window decals available to increase public awareness of the service of the Cav troopers. They also maintain a Web Journal that includes entries by some of the soldiers in A Troop posted directly from Bosnia: www.vva712.org/projects/bosnia/index.htm 

Moving Walls

Osceola County, Florida, Chapter 755 in Kissimmee hosted the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall at Lakefront Park in October.

Floyd Greenwell of Chapter 594 in Fort Myers, Florida, co-chaired the committee that hosted the Moving Wall in November. National President Thomas H. Corey gave the keynote address.


Westbank Chapter 553 in Harvey, Louisiana, supported an AVVA project that provides school supplies and some clothing for Norbert Rilleaux School students.

Chapter 590 in Glenside, Pennsylvania, urges support for the Tree of Lights at the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children. The school is a unique, state-funded institution offering quality residential education to the children of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania veterans. The annual fund-raiser underwrites outside activities not covered by state funds. Additional information is available at www.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Military_


Members of Chapter 776 in Bettendorf, Iowa, grilled and sold brats and hot dogs in Davenport to raise money to place a thousand new American flags in the classrooms of Scott County. Tom Uthoff, Carolyn and Arlen Beck, John and Sherry Bishop, Mike Stevens, and Ed Gilmore joined together with Greg Pauline, David Woods, Lyle Peterson, Ron and Jan Sebastian, and Martha and John Lavelle for the two-day event in November.

Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois, contributed to the Rock Island National Cemetery beautification program. Perennial and annual plants were installed along the Memorial Walkway and at the new Women's Monument.


Chapter 303 in Columbia, South Carolina, is helping Palmetto State Purple Heart recipients by reminding them that their college-age children are eligible for tuition assistance from the state. County Veterans Service Officers can help with the paperwork. Take a certified copy of your DD-214 and a copy of your child's birth certificate.

Hospitalized Veterans

Western Massachusetts Chapter One-Eleven took part in the annual Soldiers’ Home Christmas Party in Holyoke. The home is one of two operated by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Affairs.

Community Service

Chapter 855 has adopted the Love A Golden pet therapy program. Chapter member Lana Winter is secretary of the New Jersey branch of the organization. She and Lee Forlaw-Hoff, Joyce Forlaw, and Nicole Salvo visited Green Acres Manor with six dogs. Residents had waited expectantly for the dogs to arrive. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Winter at 609-971-5267.

Richmond, Indiana, Chapter 777 passed out turkeys to homeless shelters to feed the needy again this year. Holiday boxes also were distributed at Christmas filled with food to help families make it through the holidays.

Tampa, Florida, Chapter 787, VVA’s Chapter of the Year, has expanded its Thanksgiving Basket program this year from 14 to 25. The project identifies needy veterans and their families and treats them to a full Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the fixings.

Chapter 261 in the Lima, Ohio, Correctional Institution raised $900 for POW/MIA Awareness projects by selling sandwiches to inmates. Chapter members also planted a garden and donated the bounty to the Northwest Area Food Pantry in Lima.

Chapter 583 in Alpena, Michigan, celebrated the tenth anniversary of its "Feed a Family" and "Toys for Kids" program. The program began in a basement in 1991 with a $250 donation. Since then, the chapter has fed 659 families and provided toys to 2,079 children. The project has raised over $82,000 in its ten years.

Hicksville, New York, Chapter 82 collected toys for its annual Holiday Toy Drive for children with physical and developmental disabilities. The drive was dedicated to the memory of Bobby Kretzmer and Karen Shoffstall, who helped the committee get started and devoted many hours to its success. Shoffstall died several years ago; Kretzmer died suddenly in March.

Odds ‘n’ Ends

Chapter 414 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, recently celebrated its 13th anniversary. In his President's Message, President Jim Carey thanked those who helped the chapter grow and prosper. "Without our Associate Members and their valuable efforts, concern and devotion to us and VVA, what we accomplished could not have been done," he said.

The Chapter 436 Honor Guard led the West Chester University Homecoming Parade in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The chapter received a thank-you note from Steve McKiernan of the university that said in part, "It was an honor to have VVA Chapter 436 as Honor Guard for this year’s parade. It was an honor to have these vets on campus, and we will continue to link with Vietnam Veterans in our community."

Chapter 436's Dick Huzzard, who served with the 87th Engineer Battalion in Cam Rahn Bay 1965-66, races a Micro Sprint car at Lanco Speedway on weekends. The car proudly carries the VVA logo on its wing.

Genesee County, Michigan, Chapter 175 held a concert featuring Little Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him"). The concert raised money for chapter operations. John Lovelady, Don Austin, and Margaret and Bob Wise joined Gary Huber, Al Pearsall, Greg Maul, and Don Dale to make the event a success.

Wisconsin Rapids Chapter 101 took part in local Veterans Day activities.

Aloha from Chapter 858 in Hawaii. Chapter members were active in an effort to clean the Korean and Vietnam Memorials on the State Capitol grounds in Honolulu in October. The memorial, dedicated in 1994, features two winding walls and terraced pedestals, one for each war. The names of Hawaiians killed or missing in those conflicts are inscribed on the pedestals.

Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville has good news and bad news. The bad news is Chaplain Charlie Watts resigned as First Vice President. The good news is he did so to complete his theological studies in order to become an ordained minister.


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