October 1999/November 1999
A VVA Staff Report
Greater Hartford Connecticut Chapter 120 helped dedicate the
monument, "In Recognition of Those Dedicated to the Service of Our Country,''
at the East Cemetery in Manchester. The monument was paid for by an anonymous
Genesee County Chapter 175 in Burton, Michigan, dedicated
the Reflections Monument at Bluebell Beach. The memorial, which resembles
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was built with the help
of a large number of community supporters.
Indian Springs, Nevada, Chapter 558 at the Southern Desert Correctional
Center has built a memorial for all the service branches. The memorial
features flags honoring POWs and MIAs. Chapter members made all of the
memorial's components by hand.
Members of Media, Pennsylvania, Chapter 67took part in the ceremonies
at the opening of "The Wall That Heals'' in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania,
Fortunate Sons Chapter 176 in Centralia, Illinois, donated
$1,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the name of chapter life
member Bill Carr. The chapter also collected $110 for AVVA's Project Friendship.
Calvin W. Heath of Putnam, Connecticut, was recently awarded
the Silver Star for his gallantry in action in March 1968. The decoration
was presented by Rep. Sam Gejdenson (D-Conn.) during ceremonies at the
Chelsea parade. Heath's former company commander, Paul Bucha, president
of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, attended the ceremony.
The New Jersey State Council presented its Sister of the Year
Award to Carol Ioannides of Chapter 233 in Sayerville, New Jersey.
Ioannides, an LPN, volunteers for many chapter projects, including fund-raisers,
family events, parades, and hospital visits. It is the second consecutive
year that a Chapter 233 member has won the award. Chris Harned won it in
Timothy B. Kauffman, outside sponsor/delegate for Phoenix Chapter
726 located at the Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City, Florida,
was inducted into the Legion of Honor of the Chapel of Four Chaplains in
a ceremony at VVA's Ninth National Convention in Anaheim.
Harry Kutchner of Freedom Chapter 430 in Philadelphia
was elected Junior Vice Commander of the United Veterans Council in Philadelphia.
Two years ago, Harry was presented with the council's prestigious Casper
J. Knight, Jr., Award.
Ned Broderick was the guest speaker at the Bennington College Lecture
Series on the Vietnam War, held Oct. 10. Painter and president of the National
Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, Broderick described the museum
and its collection. The lecture series is jointly sponsored by Chapter
601 in Bennington, Vermont, and Bennington College. Prior to
the lecture, Region 1 director John Miner and his wife, Joyce, took Broderick
on a tour of the Bennington Museum.
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation presented
its 1999 Author Lecture Series at the Vietnam Educational Center. Guest
authors included Charles Waterhouse (DMZ to Delta and Marines &
Others), Paul Drew (Vietnam Veteran's Reflections), George J.
Veith (Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts
During the Vietnam War), and Paul Scipione (Shades of Gray and M.A.R.S.:
Calling Back to the World from Vietnam).
Morris Green, Chris Pitt, and John Morris of Chester County Chapter
436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, were members of the committee
that presented The Wall That Heals at West Chester University in November.
The university also sponsored a fall lecture series that featured Diane
Carlson-Evans, author Joseph Galloway, and Col. Harry Summers, Jr., editor
of Vietnam magazine.
NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON ANOTHER
Riverside, California, Chapter 47 members Rudy Cabral and Debbie
Masters accompanied the Jurupa Valley High School Air Force Junior ROTC
to Kansas City where the group competed in and won the National Drill Team
Chapter 303 in Columbia, South Carolina, donated $108
to the World War II Memorial fund. VVA members have pledged to donate one
dollar for each name on The Wall.
When Gen. Douglas MacArthur decreed that no weapons of any kind could
be returned to Japan following the surrender of Japanese forces in 1945,
1st Lieutenant Bob Sauve was given an ancient Samurai sword by a Japanese
Army captain. After fifty-three years, Sauve returned the sword to its
owner in Tokyo last year. Sauve was a guest speaker at Northern Virginia
Chapter 227 and presented a film of the historic meeting.
Liberty Bell Chapter 266 in Philadelphia ran an article
in its newsletter about the deployment of U.S. Navy SEABEES to Kosovo.
The SEABEES are building berms, bunkers, security towers, and other facilities
under the operational control of the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division supporting
Task Force Falcon.
ODDS & ENDS
James Branum, president of Chapter 806 in Blackstone, Virginia,
reports the chapter food bank is going strong. The chapter distributes
five hundred boxes of food each month to the needy in Nottoway County.
Inmates on work-release from nearby Nottoway Correctional Center and Junior
ROTC students from Nottoway High School aid in the effort.The chapter recently
moved into its new headquarters at Fort Pickett.
Heart of America Chapter 317 in Kansas City, Missouri
(a host of the Eighth National Convention in 1997), administers a Redistributed
Telecommunications Equipment Program in conjunction with the Pan-Educational
Institute (PEI) and the Cristina Foundation. The project refurbishes and
redistributes computers from large corporations that have upgraded their
equipment. The computers are given to disabled veterans, the disadvantaged,
at-risk populations, schools, teachers, and other non-profit agencies.
For more information, contact the chapter at 818-561-8387 or email@example.com
Charlie Davis of Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278 was recently appointed
director of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board by Gov. Mike Huckaby. Davis
served as assistant director of the state Alcohol Beverage Control after
retiring from the Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Department after twenty-seven
Judi Greig, president of Chapter 820 in Bend, Oregon,
received her chapter's charter from VVA president George Duggins while
attending the Regions 8 and 9 Conference in Sparks, Nevada, in June.
Rock River Chapter 236 in Janesville, Wisconsin, held
its sixth annual Golf Outing and Family Picnic in August at the Blackhawk
Golf Course. The invitation said, "Non-Golfers Welcome.'' The event was
well attended by golfers and non-golfers alike.
Chapter 691 in Merced, California, sent seven members
to Sacramento to participate in the Veterans Appreciation Day ceremonies
at the State Fair. They participated in the flag-raising at 10:00 a.m.
and finished the day by marching in the parade at 6:00 p.m.
Brothers In Arms, the newsletter of the Robert E. Wheelock Memorial
Chapter 327 in Stanhope, New Jersey, published a breakdown of where
Operation Ranch Hand sprayed the 8,165,491 gallons of herbicide used in
Vietnam. The figures, divided into corp areas, include LZs, base camps,
and other locations. The breakdown was provided by Gary D. Moore, chair
of the Michigan Agent Orange Commission.
Quad Cities Chapter 299 in Rock Island, Illinois, provided
the honor guard for the interment of MIA James Schimberg in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. The chapter learned about the Saturday service just two days prior
to the ceremony and received a thank-you note from Chapter 568 in
Cedar Rapids for providing the honor guard on short notice.
Chapter 331 in River Falls, Wisconsin, had a pancake feast
at the Ellsworth Polka Fest. Chapter members pitched in to flip flapjacks
and assemble the wooden dance floor.
A campaign to place plaques in remembrance of POW/MIAs at every highway
rest stop in the country has been launched by the POW/MIA Freedom Fighters.
For additional information, contact Johnny Pancrazio, Illinois State
Council POW/MIA chair, at 309-788-1773 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Falkner, Brian Speich, and Gary SchoenBorn of Chapter 101, WisConsin
Rapids, Wisconsin, joined other Wisconsin VVA members marching before
100,000 spectators in the Sept. 19 parade in Wisconsin Dells. Chapter member
Fred "Sarge'' Wells provided food before and after the parade.
Chapter 553 in Harvey, Louisiana, presented a POW/MIA
wall clock to former POW Giles Norrington, a Navy pilot who was shot down
over North Vietnam in 1968 and released in 1973.
James G. Zumwalt, author of the forthcoming Bare Feet, Iron Will,
a look at the Vietnam War from the NVA's point of view, was guest speaker
at the Oct. 21 membership meeting of Chapter 227, Dean K. Phillips
Memorial Chapter of Northern Virginia, in Vienna, Virginia.
Members of the Shore Area Chapter 12 in Allenhurst, New Jersey,
took part in the unveiling of the Vietnam War stamp at the New Jersey Vietnam
Veterans Memorial in Holmdel.
A HELPING HAND
Rochester, New York, Chapter 20 held its eighth annual clothing
giveaway Oct. 9 at the Vietnam Veterans Thrift Store in Rochester. On hand
were veterans benefits counselors and health-care specialists who helped
needy veterans with VA enrollment. The event was cosponsored by the Rochester
VA Outpatient Clinic, the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency, and the
American Liver Foundation.
Chapter 626 in Helena, Montana, cosponsored the 1999 Montana
Homeless Standdown Sept. 16-17 at the Ft. Harrison Army National Guard
training facility in Helena.More than twenty social service agencies provided
homeless veterans and their families hot meals and a place to sleep, along
with physical, mental, and dental care.
Members of Greater Hartford Chapter 120, including Elwood "Woody''
Lechausse and Billee Culin, volunteered at Connecticut Standdown '99, Sept.
24 at the Rocky Hill Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The
chapter has been an active participant in every Connecticut Standdown since
the event's inception in 1992. This year 903 veterans attended the standdown,
which is sponsored by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rick Will, Sr., VVA Maryland State Council POW/MIA chair, represented
VVA at Farm Aid 99 Sept. 12 at the Nissan Pavilion in Prince William
County, Virginia. Will and fifty-three other veterans presented host Willie
Nelson with a ceremonial pitch fork showing their support for Farm Aid's
work to preserve America's family farms.
ON THE MEND DEPARTMENT
Chapter 436 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, is an active
participant in the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program. Chapter member Mary
Lou Nemetz was struck by a car while picking up trash along the roadway
and is recovering from her injuries. She has received get-well cards from
VVA members from all over the country and from all the national officers
and staff. Send best wishes to: NemetzML@aol.com
John F. McGowan of Chapter 12 in Allenhurst, New Jersey,
reports that he is "alive, but not yet well.'' John got sick at the
National Convention in Anaheim but is on the road to recovery.
E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org