archive-org.com » ORG » V » VVA.ORG

Total: 1560

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    in place were ordered to a higher level of alert and eight air divisions plus an all weather fighter regiment were designated as forces to be drawn upon if needed Where there had been just 36 radar systems in Guangxi Province in 1964 by the next year there were 94 including China s most advanced equipment These tracked almost a hundred American drone reconnaissance flights over China by the end of 1969 The PLAF claims to have shot down twenty of them On October 5 Pham Van Dong had a key conversation with Mao Tse Tung The Vietnamese leader said that Hanoi s Politburo had decided to try and restrict the war in South Vietnam to the sphere of special war the DRV s term for insurgency and discourage the United States from passing the limited war threshold Mao had already been told by Le Duan about Hanoi s intention to send a division of its regular troops to the South and he cautioned Pham that the timing of the move would be important that they do not want us to fight a big war and that you should not engage your main force in a head to head confrontation with them Pham agreed Mao went on to analyze American troop deployments worldwide to buttress his contention that the Americans really did not want the big war But he then proceeded to advocate a strengthening of North Vietnam s coastal defenses The DRV sent its 325th Division to the South where it went into action in February 1965 A month earlier Zhou Enlai had advised the Vietnamese that we should continuously eliminate the main forces of the enemy and strive to eliminate most of the strategic hamlets before the end of the year Shortly thereafter in South Vietnam forces of the National Liberation Front struck American bases at Pleiku and Qui Nhon and brought the beginning of airstrikes that quickly escalated into the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign The large scale commitment of American ground forces began that July Those events drew the North Vietnamese and Chinese even closer together In April Le Duan and General Giap were told that the PRC recognized their need for volunteer pilots volunteer soldiers and road and bridge engineers The Chinese leadership principle would be we will do our best to provide you with whatever you need and whatever we have The PRC and DRV signed agreements governing the stationing of Chinese troops in North Vietnam and other provisions for military assistance Beijing also took steps to warn the United States against intervention in Vietnam through Pakistani President Ayub Khan and other avenues threatening escalation and a widened war Beijing and Hanoi signed an agreement providing for combat commitment of Chinese forces in North Vietnam if the Americans invaded Two points are relevant to the decisions President Johnson made in Washington The first is that there can be no doubt that Hanoi and Beijing were an effective alliance Everything the Chinese warning the agreements with Hanoi the activities of Chinese forces such as building airfields for DRV use across the Chinese border even the we rhetoric in the conversations among leaders indicates the reality of these arrangements Second American intelligence was generally aware of the closing circle When Ho Chi Minh made a secret visit to Mao at Changsha when DRV PRC delegations held talks in the summer of 1964 when Vietnamese pilots began flight training at the new airfield when Chinese troops crossed the border into the DRV all were reported in American secret channels Through 1965 there was a succession of top level analyses by the CIA and others called Special National Intelligence Estimates spurred by the measures President Johnson considered These contained repeated cautions against moves provoking China We have learned a great deal about Beijing s intervention since the war much of it from the work of Chinese American historians Xiaoming Zhang who was an antiaircraft gunner in the Chinese navy from 1970 73 Qiang Zhai and Chen Jian Zhang records in detail the activities of the People s Liberation Air Force PLAF and PLA during the period Zhai focuses more on the overall contours of China s effort Chen concentrates on Chinese diplomacy The first aerial engagements between Chinese and American aircraft took place in April 1965 near or over Hainan China and the U S differ in their reporting on whether American planes had actually intruded into China Each claims one of the enemy downed while denying friendly casualties There were some 155 aerial intrusions through November 1968 the Chinese said involving 383 American aircraft of which the PLAF claims to have downed 12 and damaged four U S records show five losses One American pilot was captured According to Xiaoming Zhang the PLAF flew 2 138 combat sorties in response True or exaggerated these figures illustrate the utility of the 25 nautical mile buffer zone along the Vietnamese Chinese border that President Johnson imposed and occasionally rescinded and which American air commanders vociferously protested At 550 knots crossing that exclusion zone took less than three minutes putting a premium on accurate navigation On the question of ground forces on April 17 1965 the PLA Central Military Command ordered preparations to send troops to North Vietnam Discussions with General Giap a few days later set the schedule In late May the Chinese government adopted its policy for troops in the DRV creating a seven member committee to oversee the effort One 20 000 man PLA unit deployed very quickly in June to build coast defenses and help in the defense of the northeast quadrant of the DRV coast That unit contained an artillery regiment and another of antiaircraft troops alongside its engineer regiments Even the engineer units had attached artillery antiaircraft and mortar elements Two more composite divisions of railroad engineer and antiaircraft units followed The North Vietnamese asked for a pair of antiaircraft artillery divisions to bolster their air defenses in the Red River Delta and around Hanoi

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1006/chinese_military.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive


  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    had been to Europe I had just flown over part of my heritage in Ireland and would be passing over the other significant segment in Poland At the same time I knew that a great deal was at stake in this trip regarding the POW MIAs from the war in Vietnam Except for the flight attendants I was the only English speaking passenger on my flight to Kiev Ukraine It was like finding long lost relatives when I cleared customs and saw Mokie Porter with Jim Connell and Walt Assur from the Defense POW MIA Office Bob Maras arrived shortly thereafter completing our official team It was immediately noticeable and quite remarkable to see the fruits of many years of dedicated effort by the members of the VI team Their knowledge of the city and its people was both interesting and reassuring Kiev is a city of three million with history on display and with growth evident everywhere After readjusting to the time change and coming down with the early stages of what turned out to be bronchitis I visited the Vietnam Afghanistan and World War II museums The losses and the sacrifices were as telling as the looks on the faces of those who had died and those who were visiting in their honor This provided me with a valuable point of appreciation for the subsequent meetings in Kharkiv The meetings with the Kharkiv Organization of Vietnam Veterans KOVV formed the essence and the purpose of the trip With a growing appreciation for the subtleties and the nuances of diplomacy I joined with our counterparts over dinner and drinks I had been advised that there would be toasts offered in a somewhat alternating manner Although I was told that the first toast was in memory of those who had died in service to country I did not know that glasses are not clinked in the process That was Lesson No 1 The gathering served all very well We would now be meeting not as strangers but as fellow veterans seeking common goals When the formal meeting ran into unexpected complications I was able to work with the team to maintain mutual respect and take the next step for VVA with the KOVV I was proud to sign a letter of cooperation with the KOVV and to discuss other matters of mutual interest I was fully aware of the significance of this meeting and the beginning of this veteran to veteran relationship Petr Serdyuk the KOVV President was firm but fair Nikolay Shershnev Anotoly Sokolov and Sergei Varyukin were the catalysts for progress along with Iliana Romanchenko their translator That was Lesson No 2 As a sign of sincerity I invited a KOVV contingent to attend the VVA Leadership Conference in Tucson While VVA is pursuing POW MIA resolution the veterans in Ukraine are eager for guidance in developing a comprehensive veterans organization and meaningful support systems for veterans and their families Given the fact that Ukraine has been independent

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1006/ukraine.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    contain significant information on the Gulf of Tonkin incident Among the fresh materials in this collection which can be found on the NSA s website www nsa gov are a lengthy history of the NSA and the incident written in 1975 by Lieutenant Commander R A MacKinnon and excerpts from two NSA texts that cover the incident Controversy over Robert Hanyok s study of the incident which the NSA declassified last November is evident from the inclusion in this selection of materials dealing with a commentary on that account by NSA Director of Records Lewis Giles dated December 5 2005 Giles does not dispute the conclusion that the second alleged attack that of August 4 1964 never happened But he insists that the agency never misled President Lyndon Johnson and that it consistently maintained communications intelligence evidence was inconclusive Giles pins the blame on Defense Secretary Robert S McNamara citing the agency s review of 1968 testimony defending American actions at the Gulf of Tonkin McNamara systematically used overkill language with COMINT The new document release also contains significant data on contemporary and subsequent efforts to investigate what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin For example the U S Senate s Church Committee which investigated every aspect of American intelligence performance in 1975 but made no real mention of the Tonkin Gulf Incident actually did attempt to ascertain the facts The NSA unsuccessfully attempted to divert Church Committee staff into focusing on less important facets of the agency s work The declassified documents include the NSA s memoranda exchanged with the committee On the other hand this collection also contains additional data on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee s review of the communications intelligence evidence and suggests that the NSA supported that review although in December 1967 the NSA director had opposed public disclosure of any successes against Hanoi s communications traffic The NSA also cooperated with a friendly CBS television producer The reporter assigned did not rate that adjective in a March 1971 segment for the program 60 Minutes which focused on the Gulf of Tonkin Among other noteworthy disclosures in this NSA document release The after action report of the Naval Security Group detachment aboard the destroyer Maddox covering the DeSoto Patrol The report notes North Vietnamese communications regarding salvaging the torpedo boat damaged in the August 2 action which was misinterpreted elsewhere as indications of an attack on the night of August 3 4 A dispatch from NSA director General Gordon Blake on August 2 that describes the damage to the North Vietnamese torpedo boats and anticipates that Hanoi will conduct a search and rescue operation to support them An interesting discrepancy between the DeSoto Patrol report which mentions possible North Vietnamese voice radio traffic and a 1967 NSA analysis that says there was no clear text voice traffic which could be associated with the attacks The Far East Naval Command preliminary evaluation of the DeSoto Patrol which indicates its successes as identifying three or four North

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1006/gulf_of_tonkin.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    I believe these drawings have at least one redeeming feature PTSD is always talked about in words rarely in pictures Pictures are a realm of communication that is preliterate in the history of humankind Pictures can show what a thousand words may never explain and maybe once shown it doesn t have to be explained at all the same way PTSD has to be shown to its skeptics I am a manifestation of PTSD and it just so happens that I can draw pictures of it so I can show you what it looks like from the inside looking out I don t regret my service in the Marine Corps or my thirteen months in Vietnam When people ask me what I am despite being a professional artist for 40 years and a university professor for 30 years my response will always be I am a Marine Roland Wolff Savannah Georgia We are pleased to feature more of Roland Wolff s illustrations on pp 17 19 Ed NEVER ENDING I was late in reading the May June issue because my Vietnam veteran brother Brian Robert Bingales my best friend died of heart failure on May 14 at the young age of 59 years only a week after his birthday After reading PTSD Again in the Eye of the Storm I wanted to shove a grenade down the throat of Dr Sally Satel Brian had six years of sobriety four years in PTSD recovery after 30 days at Menlo Park VA s National PTSD treatment center and two weeks annual refresher therapy four years in a VA Clinic PTSD group and one on one therapy two years of freedom from his 18 year drinking mate girlfriend and six months of serenity with a little happiness for once in his short life Brian was 100 percent PTSD disabled and received SSDI for less than a year Brian came home after volunteering for two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1966 68 as a Radio Operator with the 101st Airborne Division with three Purple Hearts He was called a baby killer then and now a cheater and a faker of PTSD by Dr Satel Maybe VVA s National Chaplain should send all of the Taps announcements since the column started to Dr Satel I may be wrong but since I became a Life Member of VVA the mean birth date in Taps has been the year 1948 Why Maybe Vietnam veterans are a unique generation to have not been welcomed home by our peers It will never end for us until we all are dead Ronald E Miller Rapid City South Dakota NOT FORGOTTEN Some time has gone by since my father has passed After all this time I do not want your organization to think we have forgotten you or your cause I want to thank you for giving my father the best years of his life I know he was happiest when he was involved in VVA activities The cause and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1206/letters.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec PRESIDENT S MESSAGE He Was Heard To Exclaim BY JOHN ROWAN As I write this message I am recovering from the Veterans Day weekend On Friday November 10 I attended the dedication of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor N Y Meanwhile Vice President Jack Devine represented VVA at the dedication of the new Marine Corps Museum in Quantico For the first time in many years I did not take part in a Veterans Day parade because I attended my cousin Maura Conniff McCarthy s wedding Unfortunately in the past my schedule kept me from attending her two brothers weddings and I swore I was going to make this one However that evening I was back on the job attending the Ball for the Grand Master of Masons in New York with New York Grand Master Neal Bidnick Cheyne Worley the Vice President of the Veterans of Modern Warfare and VMW s Executive Director Paul Davidson We have established a pilot project in New York with the Masons to help their members who are veterans obtain access to our Service Representatives and to provide them with information on health issues If this program is successful we will take it across the country If any of you are involved with the Masons please contact me at jrowan vva org By the time you read this message Thanksgiving Day will have passed and most everyone will be celebrating Christmas or Chanukah Our Muslim friends already have completed Ramadan while some other folks look forward to Kwanza Whatever your celebration I wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season and a joyous New Year In this issue you will find a report on the dedication of South Dakota s Vietnam War Memorial I attended this celebration with Dan Stenvold our North Dakota State Council President South Dakota may be a small state but they put on a grand celebration Gov Mike Rounds and his staff treated Dan and me like visiting dignitaries We met a lot of Vietnam veterans including members from our local chapters We hope this will lead to the development of more chapters and a state council In September I also had the privilege of attending the Veterans Brain Trust meetings of the Congressional Black Caucus run by my old friend Ron E Armstead During the hearings I learned about a new veterans health issue Apparently the surface of the runways of aircraft carriers has to be replaced on a regular basis This work is accomplished by first grinding down the old surface In the past the men who did this work were not given respirators or other safety equipment leaving them exposed to all types of toxic dust This dust also contaminated other parts of the ship While safety precautions have now been instituted many sailors were exposed to these unsafe conditions and have come down with illnesses that they believe

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1206/presidents_message.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS November December Issue The Veteran Departments Featured Stories Letters President s Message VVAF Report Government Relations Veterans Benefits Update PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report AVVA Report SHAD Project 112 Task Force Report Veterans Against Drugs Task Force Report Constitution Committee Report Convention Resolution Report Healthcare Budget Reform NamJam South Korean Veterans Arts of War Book Review Books Membership Notes Locator Reunions 4 Chaplains PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec VVAF Report Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans BY RANDY BARNES PRESIDENT VIETNAM VETERANS ASSISTANCE FUND In FY2006 the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund gave 6 000 to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans MACV to produce a DVD and video to tell the MACV story and to increase the awareness of homeless veterans and their needs in Minnesota The VVAF grant was used entirely for production and duplication costs MACV was able to negotiate the portion of the production costs that surpassed these funds as an in kind donation The DVD already has become the critical tool in the organization s fund raising efforts MACV has been helping veterans and their families throughout Minnesota for more than fourteen years It has provided supportive services in the areas of housing employment and legal counseling to more than three thousand veterans and their families MACV focuses on helping veterans who want to help themselves and make life changes Through regional offices in Duluth Minneapolis and Mankato MACV provides assistance with temporary and permanent housing job skills job placement legal issues emergency food and shelter and long

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1206/vvaf_report.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    life support is reeling under the strain We call on Secretary Nicholson to ask hard questions of those senior managers responsible for insuring that the Vet Centers are adequately staffed and funded Before newly minted veterans can show their pride as the Secretary would like the government entities charged with meeting the needs of these men and women must do their part VDBC SHELVES LUMP SUM OPTION At their meeting in October here in Washington the commissioners of the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission discarded the concept of a lump sum payment program After receiving informal comments from federal stakeholders and veterans service organizations retired Gen James Terry Scott who chairs the commission said that despite some surface attractions there is no evident benefit of a lump sum program either to the veteran the VA or the government The commission noted the steep up front costs associated with any lump sum program The commissioners then shelved the concept as an option to recommend to Congress and the President Gen Scott was very clear regarding the intent of the commission he heads It doesn t matter who appointed us he said What matters is where we are going And we are not here to take away benefits from veterans He also explained the commission s eight step process for developing evaluating refining and finalizing each of the issue papers that will be included in the commission s report to the President and Congress next October Staff will prepare an initial draft issue paper using research and legal analyses information The commissioners will review comment and revise the initial draft issue paper at a public meeting Program and legal experts will conduct a technical review to insure the thoroughness and accuracy of the analyses Staff will then revise the draft issue paper to incorporate input from steps 2 and 3 The commissioners will release the document for posting on the VDBC web site www vetscommission org and dissemination to stakeholders Stakeholders and the public provide written or verbal comment via e mail letters statements and testimony before the commission The commissioners will then deliberate and tentatively approve an option on each of the 31 research questions at a public meeting The commissioners will review and finalize issue papers after consideration of appropriate information and data from the Center for Naval Analysis the Institute of Medicine and other sources New information may result in a reevaluation of findings and options GENOMIC MEDICINE COMING TO VA The Department of Veterans Affairs has received many kudos of late Major media outlet U S News World Report is the latest to have reported that the VA the largest integrated health care system in the nation does a highly commendable job caring for 5 3 million veterans It s a managed care success story at a time when steeply rising health care premiums are causing the drums to beat again for systemic reform in the private sector The VA justifiably has much to be proud of Cognizant of the stunning advances in genomic medicine Secretary Nicholson asked the VA to form a Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee This panel of distinguished scientists physicians and academicians and veterans will be charged with making recommendations to the secretary that will keep the VA at the cutting edge in the emerging era of personalized medicine At the committee s inaugural meeting in October the Acting Undersecretary for Health Dr Michael Kussman called the field of genomics a work in progress Secretary Nicholson praised this extraordinarily accomplished group of people who will help us shape a new venture a genomic medicine program that will help move us from where we are to where we should be The committee chair Dr Wayne Grody professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and pediatrics at UCLA expressed confidence that the group will have much influence in meeting its mandate to assist the VA in adapting the advances in genomics and genomic medicine to provide the best care to our veterans as a model for the entire U S health care system The committee and the VA will be sailing in uncharted waters Because genomics can have predictive value a natural concern of veterans is If an individual is shown to have a genetic susceptibility to a particular disease like diabetes and he comes down with the disease can this be attributed to genetic causes or exposure during military service Will this in some way jeopardize his veterans benefits Vowing to keep veterans service organizations apprised of the progress made in adapting genomics to the practice of everyday medicine in VA facilities Dr Joel Kupersmith the VA s Chief Research and Development Officer promised that the VA would collaborate with the VSOs to form focus groups to get veterans to understand the promise and the potential pitfalls of this brave new world After these introductory remarks the group quickly embarked on an intensive wide ranging intellectual discussion about various what ifs of the task that lay before them One of the many vexing ethical questions that were touched upon If a veteran is at risk for a genetic cancer can the VA system pay for testing of a member of his or her family Indeed what is the VA s obligation if any to family members who are being treated by other health care professionals Another key question To what extent should the VA provide veterans with access to raw genetic data as opposed to interpretive information At future gatherings at subcommittee meetings and in focus groups these issues and many others will be aired out and haggled over And maybe they will reach a consensus that will be a boon to veterans and their families and will solidify the VA s position as a prime deliverer of quality health care to a population that has earned such care by virtue of its service ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS REDUX American soldiers will once again be forced under threat of court martial to submit to anthrax vaccinations without their voluntary

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1206/govt_relations.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Welcome To Vietnam Veterans of America
    being and the future of their children who are serving overseas They do not want their children to go through what they went through when dealing with the VA In an effort to help our members and their families I would like to provide some basic information for active duty service members serving at home and abroad Although this information applies to all active duty service members it is especially useful for those serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Death and injury are the known quantities of war In the coming years many of those who served in these regions may learn that they are suffering from other disabilities that are a direct result of their service There may be a modern version of Gulf War Syndrome due to exposure to items such as depleted uranium or other chemical biological and radiological agents Others may have suffered a minor injury while on active duty such as a back or neck injury that worsens with age And there is always the possibility of a veteran developing Post traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD may also be caused by incidents unrelated to combat For service members on active duty the information and evidence they obtain now may greatly assist them in the future in receiving the benefits they are entitled to For some this may be a refresher course in Veterans Benefits 101 For others this may be the first time you have ever considered these issues In either event if you can pass this along to one of our modern warriors please do so Traditionally veterans apply for VA benefits after being discharged from active duty Using this approach veterans rely on the VA to gather the evidence and information needed to substantiate their claim Unfortunately this method has caused problems and hardship for untold numbers of veterans In the past military medical records personnel records and DD 214s have been lost misplaced or destroyed by the various agencies charged with their safeguarding Even if these required documents are available VA often takes months and sometimes years to obtain them on the veteran s behalf Using lessons from the past tomorrow s veterans can start preparing for their future now In general veterans are entitled to compensation for disabilities incurred in or aggravated during active military service To obtain compensation or disability benefits it must be shown that the individual is a veteran Please don t laugh Every year individuals apply for veterans benefits who never served in our armed forces If the individual satisfies the veteran requirement a claim for compensation must meet three additional conditions medical evidence of a current disability medical evidence or in some situations lay evidence of an in service aggravation or occurrence and a link between the currently diagnosed condition and the in service aggravation or occurrence What this boils down to is that a claim for compensation requires evidence evidence and more evidence While it may be easy to prove known and documented

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1206/benefit_update.html (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive



  •