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  • The VVA Veteran: AVVA Report: Happy Tenth Anniversary, AVVA
    Veterans Restoration Project VVA Chapter 333 Cold Case Letters President s Message Government Affairs TAPS Region 3 Report Constitution Committee Report Membership Affairs Report Region 9 Report Convention Resolutions Committee Report AVVA Report VA Voluntary Services Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Elections Comittee Report Veterans Benefits Committee Report Arts Of War Calendar Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions 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 Happy Tenth Anniversary AVVA BY ELAINE SIMMONS PRESIDENT It is hard to believe but AVVA is celebrating its tenth anniversary It seems like only yesterday when the VVA State Associate Liaisons Regional Associate Liaisons and the National Associate Liaison were called together in Orlando Florida to form a new organization We worked very hard that weekend in January 1999 through it all we stayed on task and the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Inc was born During that long unseasonably cold weekend we developed a mission elected interim Officers and a Board of Directors approved a logo agreed on the motto of Together Always and created bylaws Many were unsure and skeptical about our success We were blessed with the guidance and support of the VVA National Officers Board of Directors and the many VVA members across the country who stood by and encouraged us As I think back to those very early days I remember the energy drive and enthusiasm we all shared Our founding President Nancy Switzer never waivered in her belief that we could and would make this work The first Board of Directors meeting of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/avva.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: VAVS Committee Report: VVA's VAVS Wants You
    Committee Report Elections Comittee Report Veterans Benefits Committee Report Arts Of War Calendar Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions 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 VVA s VAVS Wants You BY JUDITH McCOMBS NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE As the VA health care delivery system has changed so too has the diversity of available VAVS volunteer assignments There are at last count 117 VAVS official assignments covering every service subdivision and administrative section Each facility also creates additional unique assignments Not all assignments have to be on site but all must have VA supervision to conform with statutory requirements At one facility a VVA volunteer has six assignments not out of boredom but to tailor the facility s needs with the volunteer s availability This flexibility is key to a successful program In the most recent fiscal year VVA s volunteers worked at 125 facilities However we had certified representation at fewer than half of those facilities and not all of them had a full complement of representation An organization is authorized to have one rep and three deputy reps at each facility with volunteer activity and they must attend quarterly VAVS committee meetings Some of VVA s reps and deputy reps are long timers while others joined the program recently What these reps and deps have in common is commitment dedication and leadership At Battle Creek for example Larry Prososki arranges patient trips to sports venues in Detroit river cruises for women veterans and picnics and barbecues on site He travels 300 miles with all of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/vavs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report: Voices
    MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec VETERANS INCARERATED COMMITTEE REPORT Voices BY T P HUBERT CHAIR The Veterans Incarcerated Committee has a lot on its plate We are glad to report that incarcerated veteran issues are finally gaining national attention As a new generation of veterans emerges nearly three fourths of a million are afflicted with PTSD or TBI or are suffering from paranoid veteran syndrome also known as pissed off veteran syndrome PVS This almost unfairly leads to encounters with the justice system PVS is further exacerbated by alcohol and other drug abuse Vietnam veterans have 40 years of experience with the justice system So we really should not be surprised by the attention on veterans and the criminal justice system We are uniquely situated to provide insight on how not to do it There are more than a half million Vietnam era veterans who have been convicted of drug related offenses along with those convicted of more serious offenses because of undiagnosed and untreated PTSD Although it s a little too late for us we are encouraged by today s emphasis on diversion and treatment instead of the conviction and incarceration approach we encountered VVA national staff received an invitation from the National Commission of Correctional Health Care to submit a presentation proposal for the Updates in Correctional Health Care conference to be held April 4 7 in Las Vegas The NCCHC was seeking innovative prison mental health programs for presentations at its annual meeting and for publication in the Journal of Correctional Health Care One emerging issue in corrections is the plight of geriatric prisoners Prisoners over 60 are now the fastest growing segment of the prison population presenting unique issues for prison administrators According to census figures

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/incarcerated.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Elections: Attention Prospective Candidates
    the State Council or Chapter level during any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention at which such candidate seeks election Candidates for At large and Regional Board of Directors must meet the requirements to hold office as set down in the VVA National Constitution Article I Section 4 Paragraph B 1 and 2 for Regional Directors and Article I Section 4 Paragraph B 1 and 3 for At large Directors as revised July 19 2007 To Wit To qualify for election a candidate must have been a member of the Corporation in good standing for a continuous period of not less than the twelve months immediately preceding the opening of the National Convention at which candidate seeks election The candidate must have held an elected position at the national state or chapter level for any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention Candidates for Regional Board positions must reside within the region they wish to represent ANNOUNCEMENT DATES The time period this election announcement covers is from January 1 to April 30 2009 LETTER OF INTENT Prospective candidates must submit Letters of Intent to the VVA Elections Committee by April 30 2009 Letters of Intent must include the candidate s name address home and work phone numbers and the position he or she is a candidate for A prospective candidate may announce and run for only one position With regard to the paragraph entitled Eligibility prospective candidates for National Officer and Board positions must include in the Letter of Intent a signed statement that includes the National State Council or Chapter positions they have held and the dates they held these positions The Elections Committee began accepting Letters of Intent January 1 2009 at the following address VVA ELECTIONS COMMITTEE c o Adolph Gardner 7 Crum Road Walkersville MD 21793 8018 IMPORTANT NOTES All Letters of Intent must be postmarked on or before April 30 2009 All Letters of Intent must be sent to the Elections Committee s Walkersville Maryland address Any Letter of Intent that does not meet the postmark requirement or is sent to any other address will be considered invalid and will not be accepted by the Elections Committee CANDIDATE S PACKETS The Elections Committee will begin mailing Candidate s Packets to those prospective candidates who have submitted their Letters of Intent from January 1 2009 To avoid possible loss or destruction of these packets they will be sent via Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested These packets contain information instructions and rules regarding the conduct of the election process that are of vital importance to every candidate Included in these packets will be some forms Candidates are required to complete the forms and return them to the Elections Committee NOTE The Candidate s Packet will include a Cut off Date Calendar that lists events and dates that are very important to each candidate s campaign for office Failure

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/elections.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veteran's Benefits Committee Report: It's Time To Clean House
    my belief that a complete revamping of that troubled segment of the Department of Veterans Affairs is long overdue An article by John W Allman of the Tampa Tribune highlights the fact that nearly 500 benefit claims records were set to be destroyed shredded VA Regional Offices in Cleveland St Louis Columbia South Carolina St Petersburg Florida Detroit and Waco Texas have been identified as offices of concern It is obvious that controls were not in place to protect applicants from the possibility that applications for veterans benefits would be properly processed let alone processed at all Although the managers have recently instituted new procedures to protect applicants by ensuring that documents are not shredded it may have arrived too late We don t know if any records were actually destroyed A complete review at all VA Regional Offices must be undertaken to ensure that no application was destroyed However we may never know the answer since a paper trail may not exist In a system that doesn t hold anyone responsible for actions that harm veterans the time has come to clean house As the Obama administration takes over veterans will see a change in the top leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs However that cosmetic change is not enough Mid level managers in the Veterans Benefits Administration must be held accountable for establishing a culture within the department that treats veterans as an enemy unworthy of receiving benefits A top to bottom analysis must be undertaken and even career employees should not be exempt from dismissal The Under Secretary for Veterans Benefits the Director of the Compensation and Pension Service their deputies and staff must be held accountable for decisions that they have recommended to senior staff that have established a perception of being anti veteran The

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/veteransBenefits.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Arts of War: Tropic Thunder and A Touch of (Donut Dolly) Home
    Tropic Thunder in your local megaplex last summer check out the DVD which was released November 18 That is if you re in the mood for an over the top slapstick send up of the Hollywood glitz machine This is the film which Ben Stiller co wrote directed and stars in that was accused of among other things demeaning people with intellectual disabilities Playing a self important third rate action film star Stiller brags about his role as a mentally disabled guy in an awful movie he starred in to try to get people to take him seriously and get an Oscar nomination Robert Downey Jr plays an egomaniacal Australian actor who has his skin dyed to play an African American in the movie within the movie There was concern before the film opened about Downey playing in black face with all the racial stereotyping that entailed And there was worry from some quarters that the lone Vietnam veteran in the film good old Nick Nolte as Sgt Four Leaf Tayback was a one dimensional Nam vet Hollywood stereotype No worries though about any of this The whole movie is played for laughs and makes fun of arrogant greedy self aggrandizing Hollywood types The Stiller Downey dialogue deals with their half baked ideas about acting not about making fun of the mentally challenged The Downey character himself has some of the funniest lines at the expense of his dopey idea of playing a black man Plus the real black guy in the squad Brandon T Jackson playing rap star Alpa Chino gets off tons of zingers at the Downey character s expense And then there s Nolte who looks like the screwed up Vietnam veteran from hell a grizzled cammie wearing gray beard who lost both hands in the war and whose book on the topic is the subject of the movie I started to bristle when I saw that his tattered uniform had unit patches from both the First Cav and the 82nd Airborne and cringed at lines such as beds give me nightmares when he was asked why he liked to sleep outdoors Not to spoil the plot let s just say those concerns of mine vanished about halfway through the movie A few times it appeared as though things were getting serious but no character got off more than one or two straight lines before something weird and often weirdly funny happened That included Tom Cruise emoting like crazy as the studio exec from hell There is a ton of violence in the movie accompanied by some graphic blood spattering that would not be out of place in a Rambo movie That aside Tropic Thunder is good clean fun Well not all clean There is an abundance of fart jokes committed by Jack Black I laughed at every one of them NEW DONUT DOLLY DOC The documentary filmmaking husband and wife team of Cheryl and Patrick Fries whom VVA honored with an Excellence in the Arts Award

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/arts.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Books in Review: DeMille, Connelly In The News Again With Blockbuster Novels
    of action and lots of military detail all of which no surprise rings completely true For more info and to order go to www warriorsinc com Books cfm Townsend s Solitaire Redburn Press 265 pp 14 95 paper the third of former Marine Dan Guenther s Vietnam War trilogy of novels after China Wind and Dodge City Blues is set in the 1980s in Yellowstone National Park In it Guenther examines two tour Marine Vietnam veteran Sam Gatlin s readjustment blues Stephen Coonts former Navy Vietnam War A 6 pilot and the creator of Flight of the Intruder keeps churning out the techno thrillers His latest Deep Black Arctic Cloud St Martin s 435 pp 7 99 paper which deals with an ultra secret NSA mission and which he co wrote with William H Keith Retired federal judge Eugene Sullivan s legal thriller The Report to t he Judiciary Forge 384 pp 24 95 draws on the author s experiences including serving as a White House lawyer under Richard Nixon and as a West Point educated decorated Army officer in the Vietnam War Part of Joe Domenici s first novel Bringing Back the Dead Thomas Dunne Books St Martin s 288 pp 24 95 is set in Vietnam in the latter stages of the war The plot of this thriller involves six Green Berets getting together 35 years later on a dangerous mission in Florida Retired Navy Chief William E Sneed s Black Oil Chief USN iUniverse 370 pp 20 95 paper deals with big doings on a Navy ship steaming home from the Philippines in 1978 Sneed served a brown water Navy tour in Vietnam aboard the U S S Dyess in 1966 and on the U S S Bennington in Vietnam in 1968 The author s website is www writerbillusn com Robert Reynolds Firing at Shadow s Publish America 258 pp 21 95 is an autobiographical novel about Vietnam where he spent 27 months beginning in 1966 in a Navy physical security unit in Danang VVA member Martin C Coy s Not All So Tall Tales Xlibris 66 pp 10 paper 20 hardcover consists of eight short stories three of which Repeat Play The Reunion and Medals deal with veterans issues The author s website is http martincoyfirstbook com Dennis Wesley Clark s Hard Way Home Booksurge 381 pp 20 99 paper examines American POWs who escaped from Vietnam after the war Clark served in the Army in Vietnam as an artillery Staff Sergeant JT Caldwell s The Chaplain s Assistant God Country and Vietnam iUniverse 297 pp 18 95 paper is based on the author s 1970 tour of duty in Vietnam as what else a chaplain s assistant For more info go to www thechaplainsassistant com Terry Leiden s Get Back in the Game An Inspirational Story of Cancer Survivors Savannah River Press 251 pp 16 95 paper is the fictionalized story of five prostate cancer patients and their battles against the disease Leiden who served

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/books.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Membership Notes
    Montrose Campus of the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System On December 21 Chapter 49 held its annual candlelight vigil in the Lasdon Park Vietnam Veterans Memorial the chapter s way of honoring during the holiday season those who did not return from Vietnam Region 3 Director Bruce Whitaker and S outh Carolina State Council President Avery Taylor were on hand in November for the official VVA Charter presentation to newly formed Chapter 1017 in Walhalla South Carolina Chapter 1017 is South Carolina s tenth VVA chapter VETS CONNECT Members of Ft Hood Area Chapter 1000 in Killeen Texas are working with the Texas Military Family Foundation to support our active duty troops Every Tuesday chapter members Bill Wittaker Willy Williams Gene Smith and John Footman along with AVVA chapter representative Lynn Kennedy provide snacks coffee and tea to soldiers at Fort Hood s Soldier Readiness Processing Center Sometimes soldiers try to pay us but we tell them their money is no good here Kennedy said One Army chaplain told us You think this a small thing but believe me to them it is a big thing To us it is the least we can do to honor their sacrifice and devotion to our country Warren Fitts the vice president of Baytown Texas Chapter 922 coordinated an effort to send homemade Christmas cards put together by students at the Sterling and Goose Creek Memorial High School Key Clubs to our troops overseas For several years I have been honored to help these great young people get their cards to our wounded warriors and to our troops in the field Fitts said It is so nice to be able to help out and get homemade cards to our troops and the troops feedback hits the heart While in Washington D C to commemorate Veterans Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial members of Chapter 12 in Allenhurst New Jersey took time out to make a visit to recovering service personnel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center I feel that every veterans organization should make a trip to Walter Reed and welcome these brave soldiers home Don Davison a Chapter Board member said MEMORIALS Ed Brown and Frank Crist of the Eddie Uhlmansiek Chapter 10 in Reading Ohio were on hand October 1 at the Lebanon Correctional Institution for the dedication of a Veterans Memorial which was constructed with funds raised by incarcerated Chapter 592 The ceremonies were led by Chapter 592 Lead Adviser J T Hall and Chapter President Robert Conway The Color Guard Paul Masi Tony Sparaco Mike DiGuiseppi Bill Torres and Stu Behan of Nassau County New York Chapter 82 posted the colors and paid tribute to veterans of the Korean War at the July 27 re dedication of the Massapequa Park Korean Veterans Memorial Chapter 82 President Joe Ingino spoke at the ceremonies Fairmont West Virginia Chapter 874 recently donated three flag poles and American flags to the city of Monongah West Virginia for its Veterans Memorial The Chapter 874

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0209/memberNotes.html (2016-02-15)
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