A VVA STAFF REPORT
National Education Subcommittee Chair Tom Hall was selected
Florida State Council Veteran of the Year for 2001. Hall
serves as president of Chapter 787 in Tampa. He
received the coveted award from State Council President Dave
McMichael in December. Martin Andersen, Chapter 787 Editor of
The Outpost, received Newsletter of the Year honors at the
Haswell received Veteran of the Year honors from Beaver County,
Pennsylvania, Chapter 862 in Freedom. Haswell is president of
the chapter. He said the award belonged to everyone in the
Mantowoc, Wisconsin, County Chapter 731
had two Chapter Member of the Year Awards for 2001. Ed Stuhr was
recognized for his hard work on the local Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, and Roy Tegen was honored for his dedication to Veterans
Nassau County, New York, Chapter 82
Chaplain Rabbi Mort Pomerantz was recently presented with the
Barry S. Heimbender Award, the most prestigious honor conferred by
the chapter. Heimbender, a longtime chapter member who was twice
elected to the national Board of Directors, is remembered for his
amiable nature and his fierce support for veterans.
Southwest Montana Chapter 788
in Bozeman was honored twice when Don Murdock was presented
with Member of the Year and Editor Mary Atkins received
recognition for Newsletter of the Year. State Council President
Bev Stewart presented the awards.
Blackstone, Virginia, Chapter 806
will be hosting the Moving Wall ar Fort Pickett, Virginia. The
Wall will be open May9-12. On May 11 at 10 o’clock, a special
ceremony will be conducted to honor the relatives of those who
died. For more information, contact Chapter 806 at
Moving Wall will be exhibited in Bardstown, Kentucky, in May. Bob
Keller, Ron Eberle, Larry Culver, Mike Settles, and Ray Goings -
all members of Kentuckiana Chapter 454 in Louisville -
are involved in the planning. Bardstown is a small Kentucky
town that had 117 men - 105 of whom lived in Bardstown or its
immediate vicinity, and who comprised Battery C, 138th Artillery
of the Kentucky National Guard--called to active duty on April 11,
1968. Bardstown lost 17 men in the Vietnam War, including five at
the Battle of Firebase Tomahawk.
Phoenix Chapter 726
Chaplain Ronald L. Varner and his wife, Robin Walker-Varner,
created colorful Valentine's Day cards on their computer. After
all 83 chapter members signed them, they were given to patients at
the James A. Haley VAMC in Polk City, Florida. Included in the
Valentine package were red, white, and blue wheelchair bumper
stickers that proclaim “Vietnam Vet” and note pads. The nurses on
the ward were thanked by the chapter for their dedicated service
with a beautiful candy basket and balloons.
Urged on by the Vermont State Council, the General Assembly
of Vermont recently passed two resolutions commemorating the 20th
anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in
Washington, November 11, and the 20th anniversary and
re-dedication of the Vermont Vietnam Veterans Memorial on October
Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278
donated $100 to the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial in Angel
Fire, New Mexico. Victor Westphall and his wife, Jeanne, built the
memorial with their own funds and dedicated it on May 22, 1971,
the third anniversary of the death of their son, USMC 1st Lt.
Victor D. Westphall III. The U.S. Congress has recognized the
chapel as a memorial of national significance. The memorial is
funded by the Westphall Foundation and Victor Westphall's personal
Lewis B. Puller Jr. Incarcerated Chapter 645
at Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio, donated a
total of $5,500 to the American Red Cross's Disaster Relief Fund,
the Ohio Veterans Home, the USO, and Franklinton Senior Services.
The funds were accumulated through several of the chapter's
Cities Chapter 299
in Rock Island, Illinois, made donations totaling nearly
$31,000 in 2001. Among the 24 beneficiaries are: the Rock Island
National Cemetery, Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico, Sons and
Daughters In Touch, Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives
Memorials, Bridge the Gap Homeless Stand Down, Child Abuse
Council, and the East Moline Police Drug Book.
in Catonsville, Maryland, donated $250 to Sons and
Daughters In Touch to help pay for a trip to Vietnam in 2003.
in Columbia, South Carolina, made a donation for the
monument to the men we hated to love, drill sergeants. Chapter
President Jim Chaffin and Region 3 Director Richard Labarre
attended the dedication ceremony at Fort Jackson in which the
chapter was presented with a miniature of the statue. It is
engraved: “Dedicated to the Founding of the Army's First Drill
Sergeant School and the First Class of Army Drill Sergeants. Fort
Jackson, South Carolina, 1964.”
NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON ANOTHER
North Central Plains Chapter 374
in Mayville, North Dakota, conducted Operation Holidays and
shipped 25 crates of goods to Charlie Company, Battalion Landing
Team 1/1, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Afghanistan. The
chapter received contributions from the local Veterans of Foreign
Wars, the Railroad Retirement Board, Sam's, and Toys R Us. Sen.
Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy lent their support to the
Anoka, Minnesota, Chapter 470 Honor Guard provided Final
Honors for 130 veterans during 2001.
Shore Chapter 249
in Bay Village, Ohio, featured Maynard “Doc” Unger as guest
speaker for the February chapter meeting. The former Army Air
Corps Tech Sergeant with the 92nd Reconnaissance Squadron of the
381st Bomb Group spent 22 months in a WWII German POW camp. He
also saw service in Korea and Vietnam. Unger retired as a Chief
SERVICE TO AMERICA
Westbank Chapter 553
in Harvey, Louisiana, presented a POW/MIA flag to the city
of Jean Lafitte to be flown at the Veterans Monument at City Hall.
The chapter also gave a chapter ball cap to a New York City
firefighter who saw service at Ground Zero on September 11. They
met the firefighter in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
Yellow Freight Lines in Houston observed Veterans Day by
recognizing its employees who are veterans. Paul Washington, a
member of Houston Chapter 343 and a Yellow Freight
employee, was the driving force behind the observance. He
organized the event on behalf of the company. Twenty-seven
veterans were presented with certificates during the ceremonies .
Last year, Yellow Freight adopted a policy of flying the POW/MIA
flag every day the American flag is flown.
Steve Stremella, a member of Chapter 862 in Freedom,
Pennsylvania, retired as Police Chief of the New Brighton
Police Department after 25 years of service.
River Chapter 236
in Janesville, Wisconsin, donated phone cards for military
personnel and homeless veterans.
in Wisconsin Rapids contributed $100 for framed prints for
the Hall of Remembrance at the Tomah VAMC.
Members of Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia
buy packages of socks when they go shopping. The chapter collects
and donates them to the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and
Jacinto Chapter 343
in Houston announced that Douglas “Pete” Peterson has
accepted the position of chair of the Vietnam Center's National
Advisory Council. Peterson was the first postwar U.S. Ambassador
to Vietnam and was a POW in Hanoi for six years. The Vietnam
Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock is 12 years old.
Country Chapter 863
in Kerrville, Texas, held a Veterans Day Car Show at the
South Texas Health Care System in Kerrville. Seventy-one entrants
from 25 Texas cities participated in a show that included a parade
and food and beverage booths. All proceeds went to the VAMC.
in Glenside, Pennsylvania, reminds us that the first
military women to serve in Vietnam were nurses in 1956. Over the
next 19 years, nearly 8,000 military women served in Vietnam, and
eight were killed.
South Jersey Chapter 825
in Mays Landing hosted the Atlantic County Special Services
School District/Corbin City campus Easter Egg Hunt. The project
serves 82 students and is funded in part by the chapter.
OF THE HORSE - TET 2002
Redondo Beach, California, Chapter 53
members attended the Tet festival in the Little Saigon area of
Westminster. They sampled the sights and sounds of Vietnam in the
atmosphere of a country fair. President Jerry Yamamoto says the
things he experienced made him feel for a moment as though he was
outside of his world.
Members of Connecticut Chapters 120 of Hartford,
251 of Milford, and 647 of West Haven
attended Tet festivities at the Hartford Public Library.
Accompanied by Vietnamese veterans, the Chapter 120 Color Guard
presented the colors at a ceremony attended by Vietnamese
community delegates from Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.
Chapter 120 was presented with a plaque engraved, “In recognition
and appreciation for years of your cooperation and dedicated
support.” Each American and Vietnamese veteran was presented with
a key fob engraved simply, “Thank You.”