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

January/February 2005

A Plan For Spring


The committee has been extremely busy working on several large projects as directed by the VVA Board of Directors and President, and fulfilling the wishes of our membership.

The Public Affairs Committee was closely involved with the organization, promotion, planning, and presentation of the candlelight dedication of the In Memory Memorial Plaque. Without the participation of the committee, the ceremony would not have been successful. In words overheard at the conclusion of the dedication, it “was of, by, and for veterans. No egos were allowed.” I would like to commend our newly appointed committee vice chair Charlie Montgomery and the Communications and Publications Department staff for their outstanding contributions to the success of this event.

Local efforts in the VVA Get Out The Vote 2004 project were successful in bringing new veterans and their supporters to the polls. In our political system, the supreme power lies in a body of citizens entitled to vote for representatives responsible to them. We celebrate the success of our process and our members’ grassroots participation in that process.

VVA staffer Suton Thumprasert is a leader in the Thai community in the United States. In an effort to help his organization provide relief directly to tsunami victims in Thailand, Jim Porter created one hundred “tsunami relief” candy bars for sale to VVA members, staffers, volunteers, and others. Labels were produced and the bars were wrapped by the Communications Department. They were joined by AVVA members who also collected money for tsunami victims by packaging Nancy Switzer’s homemade chocolate raspberry creams. Suton’s tsunami relief fund is the beneficiary of more than $300 from the candy sales.

The committee will help the organization promote two VVA conferences this spring. A one-day conference at the National Press Club will bring together a group of experts to discuss the parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq experiences. VVA is uniquely qualified to present this kind of objective examination. The committee is pleased to have been asked to help present this important forum.

The PTSD and Substance Abuse Committee will present a conference on the immediate mental-health needs of veterans of the War on Terror. The Public Affairs Committee will support this project. VVA maintains our primacy in presenting timely, intellectually sound, and reasonable public discourse. We have a long history, including the Conference on the 25th Anniversary of the End of the War in 2000 (cosponsored by the College of William and Mary), and the 2002 Yale Conference on Agent Orange.

The committee is eager to join the team that will insure the success of the 15th anniversary of Sons and Daughters In Touch over Father’s Day (June 19) weekend. The Public Affairs Committee is on call for SDIT.

The Poetry Project is complete and will be included as an insert in an upcoming issue of The VVA Veteran. Although Poet Laureate Steve Mason continues his battle against cancer, he is determined to see this project completed. VVA has been asked to help promote the newly published book, Hero Mama by SDIT member Karen Spears Zacharias, who traveled to Vietnam in March 2003 with the SDIT delegation.

Awards are coming up. Remember that all VVA awards are self-nominating. If you believe you or someone else is entitled to any of the several categories of awards presented annually by VVA, it is your responsibility to submit the documentation supporting that recommendation to the Awards Committee, chaired by Charlie Montgomery. The forms are published in this issue on page 32. They can also be accessed on the web at


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Vietnam Veterans of America ® 
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