BY A VVA STAFF REPORT
points out in the latest edition of >The Point, newsletter
of Tri-State Appalachian Chapter 172, that Vietnam veterans
can be proud that the gestures of support for our men and women in
uniform is a direct result of VVA's Founding Principle, ``Never
Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.'' He
writes: ``This latest generation of veterans will never know or
understand what we as Vietnam veterans went through when we
returned from Vietnam, and that's the way it should be. They will
come home to an America that loves and respects them. Long after
we are gone, the legacy of respect for veterans will carry on and
hopefully never again fade.''
Regina Whitaker reports that Cumberland, Maryland, Chapter 172
President Randy Golden has authorized her to place a ``Support The
Troops'' box in the chapter office. Hard candy, toiletries, beef
jerky, and other non-perishable food items, as well as personal
care products, will be collected for distribution to our men and
women in uniform stationed around the world.
The Illinois State Council adopted a resolution declaring
their ``pride in and steadfast support of the Armed Forces of the
United States.'' Simon Sierra wrote the resolution, which is
available to other state councils and chapters who want to express
their public support for the troops. For additional information,
Charles Harris, Color Guard Leader for Chapter 734 in the
Ellis Correctional Unit in Huntsville, Texas,
reports that the chapter held a special ceremony on Memorial Day.
``Though we are in a place where we tend to be forgotten, we want
to say that we will not forget,'' Harris said. In addition to
saluting those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice,
the event also recognized those who have helped the chapter meet
its commitment to serve veterans. SFC Richard E. Wolfe (deceased),
Texas State Council Veterans Incarcerated Liaison Lynda Green,
Senior Warden Tim Morgan, Chaplain Stanley (USMC, Retired),
Volunteer Jimmy Stockton, and ``Gunny'' Margarito Vasquez (USMC,
Retired) were acknowledged.
Chapter 490 in Des Moines, Iowa, has contributed
funds to restore the Spanish-American War monument located on the
state capitol grounds. When refurbished, the memorial will be
moved to a new location near the Vietnam and Korean War monuments.
Chapter 873 in Dallas, Georgia, conducted Memorial
Day services at Carestone Assisted Living Home in Austell,
honoring the widows of World War II and all veterans residing in
the home. D-Day veteran and resident Tom Rushtin, 85, presented a
brief history of Memorial Day and recounted his experiences on
Normandy Beach. Chapter Vice President Richard Trench and
Secretary Dennis Koziel were joined by the Dobbins Air Force Base
Color Guard, which folded a flag and explained the symbolism of
each of the thirteen folds.
Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sponsored five
``Support Our Troops'' rallies in Washtenaw County. Chapter
President John Kinzinger and Secretary Gary Lillie came up with
the idea, and chapter members were overwhelmingly in support. The
first rally was held at the University of Michigan, where numerous
antiwar rallies were held during the Vietnam War. A rally was held
each Saturday until the war was over, concluding with a
celebration of ``Mission Accomplished.'' Southeast Michigan
residents donated thousands of items to our military men and women
in the Gulf, along with more than a thousand letters and cards.
Gold Star Mother Della McIntire, whose son Walter was killed in
Vietnam, took part in one of the rallies. Chapter 310 was honored
as 1999 VVA Chapter of the Year.
Near the end of March, Paul Fusco, a Life Member in Chapter 855
in Manchester, New Jersey, sent an e-mail to Assistant
Newsletter Editor Sandie Pape. In part, the e-mail said, ``It's
time to do something to show the military we are behind them.''
Two weeks later, on April 12, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans
Memorial was the site of a ``Support The Troops'' rally that
featured Gov. James E. McGreevy; Kelly Watts, director of the
Memorial; Dan Edwards, president of the New Jersey Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Foundation; and Col. Len Luzky, representing the
New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. They were
joined by VVA State Council 2nd Vice President Pete Zemlanski,
State Council Chaplain Joe Formola, and VVA chapter
representatives from across the state.
Porter County Chapter 905 in Portage, Indiana, was
presented with the Indiana State Council New Chapter of the Year
Award by State President Ann Marie Rutallie. She also awarded
chapter member John Rilea with Most Membership Award.
Region 1 Director and Vermont State Council President John Miner
reports that Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) has introduced a Senate
Resolution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the founding of
Vietnam Veterans of America and recognizing the contribution our
members have made to their communities and our nation.
Members of Chapter 767 in Racine, Wisconsin,
recently cleaned up the Veterans Memorial in Pritchard Park. The
project included spreading 74 cubic yards of mulch and pruning
shrubs and bushes in preparation for the seventh annual Day In The
Park fund-raiser sponsored by the chapter. The proceeds are shared
with the Children's Burn Camp in East Troy, Wisconsin.
Liberty Chapter 789 in Hinesville, Georgia, joined
with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) to dedicate the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, LZ Liberty at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army
Airfield in May. Guest Speaker was Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught, who
was Chief of Staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg from
June 1973 to October 1974.
St. Lucie County Chapter 566 in Port St. Lucie, Florida,
dedicated the Florida Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in June. The
theme of the memorial is ``As Long As We Speak Their Names, They
Will Never Be Forgotten.'' The 48-foot granite memorial contains
the names of 1,952 Floridians killed in the Vietnam War. It is
located in Veterans Memorial Park at Rivergate.
Delaware County Chapter 67 in Media, Pennsylvania,
presented the 18th annual Donald W. Jones Flag Memorial Display
and Ceremony in June. The event features a display of more than
58,000 American flags arranged in the shape of the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Chapter 731 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, received
thank-you notes from students who took part in chapter educational
outreach programs. Stacy Stock and Lindsay Draheim thanked chapter
members Tom Hoffman and Mike Demske for thoughtful and interesting
presentations. One highlight for Stock was when Hoffman and Demske
had students bring American flags forward as they read the names
of local men killed in Vietnam. ``I learned a lot about the things
the history book doesn't tell you,'' said Stock.
Chapter 11 in Farmingville, New York, donated two
POW/MIA flags to Kings Park High School. Principal Thomas J.
Fasano wrote the chapter thanking them for the gesture and assured
them, ``The flags will be prominently displayed and maintained in
remembrance of all who served our nation.''
Andr‚ Kuhar received the 2003 Scholarship from South Jersey
Chapter 825 in Mays Landing.
Big Sky Chapter 334 and AVVA members in Billings,
Montana, awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Ryanne Teesdale of
Bridger, Montana. Teesdale will study elementary education at
Montana State University-Billings.
Kettle Moraine Chapter 448 in Newburg, Wisconsin,
presented scholarships to Katherine Draper and Amanda Cottrell.
Chapter 670 in Columbus, Ohio, presented two $500
scholarships to area students.
Chapter 20 in Rochester, New York, awarded
scholarships to Kari Plymette and Dan McLaughlin.
Incarcerated Chapter 616 in Mansfield, Ohio, donated
more than 200 pounds of canned goods and $500 to the Buckeye State
Council for homeless veterans assistance.
$1,000 was donated by Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
to the 101st Airborne Eagle Family Support Group to help the
families of young enlisted men with bills and food while their
loved ones are abroad.
Chapter 616 recently donated $2,000 to the Domestic
Violence Shelter of Richland County, Ohio. The incarcerated
chapter's total donation to the shelter this year is $5,270.
A MATTER OF HEALTH
Chapter 855 in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, has begun
including a series of health-related articles in the chapter
newsletter. The articles are written by Tina Trager, a nutrition
and weight-loss counselor. In her first installment, she noted
that 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are the result
of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Some 70 percent of
those could be prevented with good nutrition and exercise.
As one of their first duties as newly elected officers of
Chapter 72 in Brooklyn, New York, President Luigi Masu
and 1st Vice President Mike Guerin attended a reception at
Brooklyn Borough Hall for the Kings County Memorial Day Parade in
Brooklyn. The historic building had been draped with a Garrison
Flag provided by Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Cincinnati, Ohio, Chapter 10 held its annual golf
tournament to raise money for the chapter scholarship and
Adopt-A-Child Programs. Twenty-seven foursomes took part in the
very successful event.
Members of Monroe, Michigan, Chapter 142 have no excuses
for not attending chapter functions. The chapter calendar for the
entire year is included in the March/April edition of the chapter
newsletter, LZ 142.
SOMEBODY OUGHT TO THANK THESE GUYS
Pat Pudetti of Rochester Chapter 20 writes personal
thank-you notes to chapter volunteers who helped determine
recipients of the Chapter Veterans Service Award and Special
Recognition Awards. Those serving on the Awards Committee are Bill
Meminger, Ray Melens, Bruce McDaniel, and Chuck Macaluso. Pudetti
also thanked several members who got together to do chores for a
disabled veteran. Ralph Pascale, Geno Lynsk, Nick DeLeo, Dick
Oleksyn, Jack Prinzig, and Pudetti moved furniture in the
IT'S IN THE BANK
Thomas St. Onge Chapter 571 in Hermansville, Michigan,
recently moved its new headquarters to the former First National
Bank Building in Hermansville. Chapter members have been
remodeling the structure to provide handicap access. The large
vault is used to secure chapter records and color guard rifles.
The kitchen area will be used for chapter functions. Students from
Phoenix High School in Powers, Michigan, have created a catalog of
artifacts held by the Thomas St. Onge Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Museum. The museum is located in Thomas St. Onge Veterans Park
within sight of the new chapter home.
Chapter 278 in Texarkana, Texas, held its seventh
Annual Veterans Information Fair, featuring representatives from
the Texarkana VA Outpatient Clinic, VA Medical Center in
Shreveport, Louisiana, Social Security Administration, Texas
Workforce Commission, Shreveport Vet Center, and other service
providers. The one-stop shop for veterans' services also will hold
a voter registration drive.
TALKING THE WALK, WALKING THE TALK
Chapter 218 in Santa Barbara, California, conducted
a surprise inspection recently and found some members without
membership applications in their possession. This infraction
carries a monetary fine for the guilty parties.