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

October/November 2004
Photo:Michael Keating
To Care For Our Sons and Daughters

At VVA's Founding Convention, David Bonior, a veteran and member of the U.S. Congress for 25 years, stated:

"Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another."

This Veterans Day, perhaps no words more clearly describe our commitment and  our pledge than the image on the cover of this issue.

I met Jesse, the young soldier in the wheelchair depicted on our cover, during last year's Veterans Day activities when VVA took soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He had been injured in Iraq and was seeing his father's name on The Wall for the first time.

I had the opportunity to spend time and speak with Jesse. We talked about his dad and how it troubled him that he had never met him. We talked about what this meant to him, a young soldier answering his country's call, much the same as his father had 35 years ago.

After out visit to The Wall, we had dinner with Jesse and the other wounded soldiers.  They described their struggles to receive proper care and other problems they had to face.

Unfortunately, many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, some of them our own children and grandchildren, must confront the same problems that we, their parents and grandparents, encountered when we returned from Vietnam and that we still face today.

We commend those of you who are able to visit the men and women at Walter Reed, the Bethesda Naval Hospital, the VA hospitals, and the other military medical centers across this country. This is part of our mission: to assure these men and women, that they will have someone next to them each step of the way.

The extent of catastrophic injuries are overwhelming some facilities, forcing long waits for service, treatment, and even surgery in some cases. PTSD is real and it is affecting our returning troops. 

Whether it be winding their way through the bureaucratic maze, holding their hand, gaining their trust, or letting them tell you things they won't ell anyone else. We understand; they it in our eyes. They know we understand because we have been there. It is our duty to be there for them.

Together, we continue to fight for disability compensation for our wounded veterans snd all who served. Mandatory Funding of the VA Health Care system is out Number One priority to insure continued health care for our current and future veterans.

Please remember those who have died, those who are ill, those who serve today, and their families.

We pray for better days. Peace.


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