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



We welcome letters to the editor for publication in The VVA Veteran. We are interested in your criticism as well as your praise. Letters may be edited for purposes of clarity or space. Regrettably, because of the volume of mail we receive, we are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished material.

On May 29, I took my father to Washington, D.C., for the dedication of the World War II Memorial. My father is a WWII vet and, as you know, these memorials are important to us all. While in D.C. on the Mall, on that beautiful, sunny day, we were handed bottles of water, compliments of VVA. I want you to know we noticed the labels and thank you very much.

K. Dunlap
Via e-mail


My family and I attended the dedication of the WWII Memorial in D.C. My dad is a veteran of WWII and Korea and he was there with us, thankfully, to share in the dedication. I wanted to thank your organization and its volunteers for handing out the water, which came in very handy. I had a chance to chat with several Vietnam veterans over the weekend, and I wanted to wish all of you a Welcome Home and thank you again.

Carolyn Corcoran
Long Island, New York


I am writing you as I am coming in from my flight back from the WWII Memorial dedication. I had the chance to visit the In Memory Plaque, and I was overwhelmed with emotion. My father, James H. Turner III, recently passed away from complications due to Agent Orange/dioxin. He was my hero, and I have made it my mission in life to remember him and to celebrate him. I am only 32 years old and I believe that my age group is losing focus on the appreciation that is overdue to our veterans and the country they served. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to such a worthy cause. I am not as concerned with the political aspects of the desires by some veterans for Purple Hearts. Although I understand their wishes, I believe that the acknowledgment of the In Memory Plaque will be very appreciated by many. They do not die if we remember.

James H. Turner IV
Via e-mail


As a believer that all our brothers and sisters should be recognized for their service in Vietnam and as a director of the Order of the Silver Rose, I thank you for the great spread in the May/June issue in the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund Report. I hope it will help our diseased brothers and sisters get help and approach us for an award that is way past due.

Go in peace. Serve a vet!

Billee Culin
Via e-mail


I was doing a search on the Internet, looking for more information on the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans-Melbourne collision when I ran across "A Forgotten Tragedy: Death on the <I>Melbourne" in the January/February issue. My husband is one of the survivors of that terrible accident at sea and one of the many survivors and family members who are fighting with the DoD to have our "74" [the number of sailors lost in the incident] inscribed on The Wall. I have been trying for the last few years to get some national coverage of the Frank E. Evans story. I would like to send your article to 20/20, 48 Hours, and other magazine-type TV shows to see if they would be interested in the story and our fight to place Tom's shipmates' names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Mary Manley
Long Beach, California


I was pleased to read your article about the 1969 collision between the U.S.S. Frank Evans and the H.M.A.S. Melbourne. I was, however, disappointed to find the most interesting detail about the incident missing: The Melbourne was involved in an eerily similar destroyer collision five years before, which resulted in the deaths of 82 Australian sailors.

To understand why this is interesting one must know more: The Melbourne was originally constructed by the English near the end of World War II and commissioned the H.M.S. Majestic, but arrived too late in the war and was therefore never commissioned. In 1955, she was renamed Melbourne and commissioned in the Australian Navy. Any old sailor will tell you changing the name of a ship is bad luck. Who needs more proof?

Mikhail Sneevy
Alexandria, Virginia


Bernie Edelman did an excellent job of highlighting some of us World War II old geezers in the May-June issue. He did us proud. I watched the dedication ceremony on TV. It was splendid from start to finish, and it made us regret that we had decided against being there. Us old coots were already battle hardened and better prepared to withstand the insults to our psyches, even though the Vietnam War had many facets we had not encountered in earlier wars. One of those was the American public's shameful treatment of those young troops. It left permanent scars.

Charlie Green
Via e-mail


In the article on VVA's three-war veterans in the May/June issue, Bernard Edelman boldly states: "It seemed appropriate to seek out VVA members whose time in service spanned three decades and three wars." For some strange reason I must have been behind the door when the "seeking out" person came around. My service began in June of 1940, and I spent WWII in a combat zone in Iceland, England, and France. When the Korean War came around, I was still in the service. This was followed by a tour of duty in Danang, Vietnam, and retirement for a total of 32 years of active and inactive duty.

Donald E. Smail
Greene County, Ohio


Thank you so much for the fine article in the May/June issue on VVA members who served in World War II, which I enjoyed very much. I am impressed with the efforts so many Americans contributed during World War II.

It is unfortunate that so many have died, or are missing in action, without being able to pursue their dreams. It is also tragic so many were wounded so seriously and must carry on with perseverance and daily personal bravery for the test of their lives.

Again, thank you for including me among those who served prior to, during, and after the Vietnam War.

Arthur J. Sebesta
Haworth, New Jersey


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