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.