The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

December 2002
Photo:Michael Keating
A Veterans Day To Remember

VVA's March To Remember was an outstanding success. Thousands of Vietnam veterans came from Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, and all across the country. We veterans stood side by side with our families and friends to affirm a simple message: We are veterans, and we will stand and remember our fellow veterans and all who served.

Despite the rain, lightening, and tornado warnings, thousands of veterans representing many organizations joined us in the early hours of November 11 for the March To Remember. I commend all those who marched, and I am confident that the march will be long remembered by all who were touched and moved by the strength we gained from each other and our message.

Every big event needs a lot of planning, coordination, and hard work. I want to thank each of the many volunteers who selflessly gave their time, energy, and skills. I also want to thank our staff, our advisors, and our team leaders for their incredible support in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the march. These herculean efforts from our volunteers and staff assured our Veterans Day triumph.

We must commit ourselves to March To Remember every day, in every community, and remind our fellow citizens that war never ends. Our March To Remember poster eerily underscored the significance of our mission. Take a long look at the faces, compiled from photographs taken at the tenth anniversary of The Wall. At least two have passed: one took his life a few months ago; the other just recently died of cancer.

These two friends and veterans joined other dear friends: Lynda Van Devanter and Louis Richard Rocco. As detailed in this issue, both Richard and Lynda worked hard and long and often in collaboration with VVA for the rights and dignity of Vietnam veterans and for the American values they treasured.

As you read Father Phil's Taps column, note the ages of the deceased. For many, theirs were lives cut short. Whether it be from suicide, cancer, or other illnesses, many caused by their service in Vietnam, we continue to lose members at an alarming rate.

Ours is a race against time. We, too, must work hard to fulfill our commitments to ourselves and to our fellow veterans - and their families - who increasingly need our help. We are the fortunate ones, and we have been given a choice in our lives. Let’s make the best of it, as we remember those who have gone before us.

We will continue our efforts to assure support for those who need our help today and those currently serving our country who will need assistance in the future. As of this writing the VA has not received any of the necessary funds to maintain our Health Care system to meet today’s needs.

Best wishes to all of you this Holiday Season! May God bless all of us. Please remember those who need our help and prayers. We will support our troops every day.



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