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  • The VVA Veteran: Reunions, Etc.
    Iraq Eras Aug 20 24 Colorado Springs Contact Harry Smith 870 247 1146 smitty kilo37 com or Bill Rolke 262 780 0993 Wrolke wi rr com U S S Park County LST 1077 July 9 11 Indianapolis Downtown Hilton Reunion being held along with crews of U S S Litchfield County LST 901 and U S S Sutter County LST 1150 Contact Mike Kempf 317 842 1229 m w kempf sbcglobal net or visit www ussparkcounty com U S S Sutter County LST 1150 July 9 11 Indianapolis Downtown Hilton Reunion being held with crews of U S S Litchfield County and U S S Park County LST 1077 Contact Mike Williams 650 286 0688 soctymike gmail com or visit www ussparkcounty com U S S Litchfield County July 9 11 Indianapolis Downtown Hilton Reunion being held with crews of U S S Park County LST 1077 and U S S Sutter County LST 1150 Contact Don Lerche 309 530 8710 coale21 verizon net or visit www ussparkcounty com Navy Mobile Construction Bn Nine October 8 11 El Cortez Hotel Casino Las Vegas Contact Bobby Fletcher 1758 Golden Vista Dr Las Vegas NV 89123 702 897 6613 ICHIBANSEABEE aol com 5th Bn 60th Inf 9th Div Charlie Rangers veterans of Binh Phouc FSB Jamie Shakey s Hill Cambodia Hobo Woods Sept 11 13 Great Falls Mont Contact Wendel T Toby Chaffin 803 254 1838 tchaffin pbg bellsouth net Co B 1st Bn 26th Inf 3rd Bde 1st Inf Div 1968 70 and any other soldiers from 3rd Bde Ft Scott Kan Sept 18 20 Contact Tommy Tuggle 913 795 2931 or Pat Guy pguysmile aol com 1st Eng Combat Bn Landmark Resort 1501 Ocean Blvd Myrtle Beach S C September 13 16 Contact Bob Brink 262 639 4405 rbrink1 wi rr com or visit www diehardengineer com American Association of Navy Hospital Corpsmen 15th annual reunion Sept 23 27 San Diego All HMs and DTs welcome Contact Joe Pifer 619 464 5445 joenpj cox net or visit www AAoNHC org USMC Whiskey 1 12 Vietnam Era Aug 13 15 Washington D C Best Western Georgetown Hotel and Suites Contact John W Smith 22 Serenity La Newburgh NY 12550 845 564 7459 Prsnl72 aol com 538th Land Clearing Unit Vietnam Era Aug 7 9 La Porte City Iowa Contact Larry Dohe 785 526 7783 dohefarm wtciweb com U S S Sargo SS 188 SSN 583 Oct 1 4 Best Western Shetland Inn Suites San Antonio Contact Mike Hacking P O Box 420041 San Diego CA 92124 858 495 0562 mrhacking san rr com or visit www ssn583 com F Co 2nd Bn 7th Marines Utter s Bn Operation Harvest Moon 1965 66 Sept 22 25 Town and Country Resort Hotel San Diego 800 772 8527 Contact Tom Miller 973 887 7139 Dixiediner verizon net or Bob Gallaher 615 360 7927 SemperFi27 yahoo com 29th Signal Grp Thailand 1966 70 Sept 18 21 Las Vegas Contact Louie Lee LeMaster 702 250 1937

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0609/reunions.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: John Phelps: A Portrait Of The Western Artist
    it His muse scales the high peaks of the Absaroka Range and trudges along the Wind River Phelps paints an occasional maritime scene or still life but the bulk of his work indeed the very essence of his work centers on the Great American West Phelps records with oil and canvas the cowboys ranchers Native Americans and mountain men of that great American epoch He depicts the wildlife that brought them there bison elk and bighorn sheep John Phelps paintings have an air of authenticity that can only come from an artist with intimate knowledge of his subject After attending the University of Wyoming in Laramie he enlisted in the U S Navy and did a tour in Vietnam Phelps then returned to the Cowboy State where he became a trail guide for elk and bighorn sheep hunters all the while perfecting his craft and amassing a limitless amount of reference material The region is home to the largest herd of bighorn sheep in the lower 48 states A lifetime spent on horseback hunting and fishing is what gives such authenticity to his work Phelps even looks the part with his walrus moustache and goatee cowboy hat and western wear he could easily be mistaken for one of the subjects of his paintings After four decades of artistic growth Phelps has come into his own His oils can fetch up to 35 000 and his works are frequently named best of show when they are exhibited His paintings have been published as commemorative posters for events such as Wyoming s Centennial Celebration and Jackson Hole s Old West Days Phelps is also in high demand for privately commissioned paintings But as is the case with many artists the success of his oil paintings brought with it a desire for new challenges Phelps turned to sculpture and began producing limited edition bronzes in the 1990s Although the medium was new to Phelps his subject matter remained familiar cowboys and frontiersmen and the wildlife around them The success of these small pieces led to large scale commissions a monumental rendition of Lenoir Rhyne University s black bear mascot a nine foot statue for the Fremont County Veterans Memorial for example Perhaps most personal of all his bronzes are the eponymous Phelps Awards The award each of which features a small bronze helmet was created by Phelps for the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza in New York City The award is named for both the artist and his son Chance Phelps a Marine who was killed in Ramadi Iraq in 2004 Phelps sees the award as the intertwining of veterans from different generations and of different wars He was on hand in New York to present the first award to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in May of 2005 Chance Phelps was also the subject of HBO s 2009 film Taking Chance The film starring Kevin Bacon is based on the personal journal entries of Marine Lt Col Mike Strobl

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/phelps.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Symbol Of A Nation's Concern: The POW/MIA Flag And Newton Heisley
    C 46 transports for the U S Army Air Forces during World War II then went on to a long career as a commercial artist and graphic designer for advertising agencies in New York New Jersey and Colorado Newt Heisley created countless images during his long fruitful career One of those images which he sketched in pencil in 1971 has made an indelible mark on American culture and society That year the agency Heisley was working for received a contract from Annin Co the nation s oldest and largest flag manufacturer to design a flag for the National League of Families of American Prisoners Missing in Southeast Asia The idea for such a flag came from League member Mary Hoff the wife of Navy Lt Cmdr Michael Hoff An A 7 Sidewinder pilot Hoff had been listed as missing in action since January 7 1970 after he did not return from an armed reconnaissance mission over Laos Heisley sat at his drawing table and sketched three different designs He chose the one with a black and white image of a gaunt man in profile with a guard tower and a strand of barbed wire in the background an image that now blankets the nation Historians and vexilollogists flag experts believe that Heisley s POW MIA flag is the only non national flag that any federal government in history has mandated to be flown regularly Two laws put that practice in place The first went into effect on August 10 1990 when President George H W Bush signed Public Law 101 355 That measure designated the third Friday of September as National POW MIA Recognition Day and also officially recognized the POW MIA flag The law designated the flag as the symbol of our nation s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia In 1998 Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law that year s Defense Authorization Act Section 1082 of that law mandated that the POW MIA flag be flown over the U S Capitol the White House the Korean and Vietnam Veterans Memorials the offices of the Secretaries of State Defense and Veterans Affairs of the Selective Service System and in the grounds or in the lobbies of every major military installation every post office and all VA Medical Centers and national cemeteries on six days POW MIA Recognition Day Armed Forces Day Memorial Day Flag Day the Fourth of July and Veterans Day Heisley had no idea his flag would turn into such a ubiquitous symbol when he drew it up in 1971 In fact he was still working on the design planning to add color to the black and white image when Annin Co began production He based the silhouette on his son Jeffrey then 24 who was home on leave from Marine Corps training and getting over a bout of hepatitis Heisley chose the words You are not forgotten thinking

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/powmiaflag.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Chapter 850: A Commitment To The Fallen
    48 years as a volunteer firefighter But perhaps more than Davis knew and like many of his fellow veterans war establishes reflexes that can be triggered decades later by the right stimulus In Davis s case it was an August 7 2007 article in a local newspaper It told the story of a small band of veterans from a local VVA chapter who had pledged to construct a memorial to the twenty two young men from Kent County Delaware who had died in Vietnam Long forgotten feelings stirred him to read on and to go to the next chapter meeting The small size of the Delaware chapter surprised him As a detail oriented member of the county planning commission Davis knew the chapter faced an enormous task They didn t have a design a place or any real idea how to raise money for the ambitious project Maybe that was for the better he thought to himself The chapter was led then and now by President Joe Startt Jr a twice wounded stocky veteran with a stern voice and a never say die attitude He and several members had discussed the idea of a memorial after seeing chapters in the state s two other counties erect them Their determination and Startt s drive gave chapter members the wherewithall to press ahead and bring in new members Since then they ve pulled together to create what will be a beautiful monument surrounded by a paved reflection area The monument also will accommodate memorials to other wars from WWII forward The chapter has learned how to do architectural drawings to work with architectural and landscaping contractors to make effective presentations to county leaders which resulted in the donation of a 1 5 acre lot adjacent to the county headquarters to work with city and state leaders to meet with business leaders to gain access to public events including setting up information tables and selling raffle tickets at Dover Downs during NASCAR races to hold effective fundraisers to participate in parades to make public and classroom presentations and to work effectively with the media to get the story out and educate the public on veterans issues in general The chapter has earned the support of some high profile military people including a former Vietnam War prisoner of war the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard and a host of former and retired military folks Retired Air Force Brig Gen Jon Reynolds who was held by the North Vietnamese for more than seven years was the keynote speaker at a sold out fundraising dinner and auction last fall Several organizations are looking forward to working with the chapter in the coming months All of this outreach has resulted in overwhelming support from the community The June 10 2008 groundbreaking ceremony brought together elected officials community leaders veterans and just plain citizens These efforts have taken place in conjunction with the chapter s regular fundraisers and outreach to other veterans including the newest veterans

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/chapter850.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Your Old Kentuckiana Home: A VVA Convention Guide To Louisville
    Crab Shack Red Star Tavern J Gumbo s and the world s first Maker s Mark Bourbon House Lounge There s also a food court with the usual staples as well as bars and nightclubs including Tengo Sed Cantina Angel s RockBar Saddle Ridge and Sully s Live music is featured nightly at Howl at the Moon THE GALT HOUSE which overlooks the Ohio River is another downtown attraction Among its amenities are the newly renovated Great Lawn and the adjacent Riverfront Belvedere At the river at Waterfront Park there is the only surviving Ohio River steamboat the 95 year old Belle of Louisville which is a National Historic Landmark along with the riverboat Spirit of Jefferson The Belle of Louisville which holds 750 passengers and the 150 passenger Spirit of Jefferson built in 1963 offer cruises on the Ohio River The vessels are owned and operated by the Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government Local eateries within walking distance of the Galt House that Chapter 454 members recommend include the Spaghetti Factory and Bearno s Pizza OTHER ATTRACTIONS There is legal gambling at the newly renovated Horseshoe Casino which is a 20 minute drive from the Galt House on the Indiana side of the Ohio River VVA members with younger children can visit the nearby Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom amusement part a short drive up I 65 from the hotel There also are several downtown museums including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory at 800 W Main Street The Frazier International History Museum at 829 W Main Street offers a host of historical armaments on display live re enactments as well as tours And then there s the Kentucky Derby Museum a short drive from the Galt House at 704 Central Avenue on the front steps of historic Churchill Downs Chapter members will be available at the Galt House to answer questions give directions make suggestions and help delegates get the most out of Louisville Kentuckiana Chapter 454 A History of Results VVA Chapter 454 the host chapter for the 2009 National Convention was born at a meeting of a small group of Vietnam veterans in the late winter of 1988 The following year the chapter received its official VVA charter and began operations as Kentuckiana Chapter 454 with four officers and about two dozen members The chapter has grown today into VVA s largest Kentucky chapter with about 125 members It also is one of VVA s most active chapters As a newly formed VVA chapter we were committed to insuring that the image of the Vietnam veteran would best be served if we had an active role in the community Chapter President Robert Keller said recently One of the first things the chapter did to get things rolling was to publish a monthly newsletter the Nam Gram We are proud to note that since our founding we have issued the newsletter every month with only a few exceptions Keller said The newsletter was our largest expense and consumed

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/louisville.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Connie Steers: Still Stalwart
    tunnels connecting buildings at the Northport VA Medical Facility on Long Island in New York He s transporting a patient for a medical appointment running the shuttle vehicle just as he s done for some time At 290 pounds he s not quite the svelte tunnel rat he once was The only tunnels I fit through now are the Lincoln and the Midtown Steers laughed He admits to having some claustrophobia the result of a partial tunnel collapse near the end of his tour in Nam Connie Steers was born on August 26 1949 He was one of three children Both parents worked to support the family His father was a blue collar brewery worker Connie attended East Meadow High School on Long Island and graduated in 1967 Back then if you graduated from my school you either went to jail or the military he joked I worked in the Post Office until I got drafted in May 1969 After being shot in the leg by a sniper in June 1970 Steers went to the 91st Evac then to Japan and finally to a medical facility in Virginia After a ten month recovery he was discharged and returned to civilian life He married his sweetheart Cherie in 1971 and resumed his employment in the Post Office where he remained until he retired 34 years later Steers fought some of the demons that beset many of his comrades He turned to helping his fellow veterans and joined VVA back in the early days It wasn t originally intended as a membership organization It was set up as an advocacy group Steers said We had no money and little organizational experience What we did have was commonality of service and shared experiences from Nam I felt a lack of that in the other veterans organizations Steers immersed himself in VVA joining Chapter 11 in Suffolk County There he met Jerry Klein In a recent interview Klein VVA s Florida State Council president described Steers as one of the old stalwarts There s no ego involved with Connie He has attended every National Convention and cares as much about vets as anyone I ve known He stays out of the limelight He once ran for State Council president in New York and lost Instead of sulking he volunteered for any project that would help the Council Steers was a co founder of Chapter 82 in Nassau County He served as president from 1984 88 and treasurer from 1988 to the present day Joe Ingino the current president has known Steers for 15 years When we list committees I ask Connie to just list 15 or 16 of those he s on Ingino joked You can t ask more from a guy than what Connie does for veterans He s always up at Northport He s the one that got me involved in veterans issues He s helped with minority recruiting for VVA and is involved in the Purple Heart Association In 1984 Steers

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/steers.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Stayin' Alive: Golfing For Fun And Profit
    Chapter members armed with registration pamphlets are soliciting prizes for the silent auction that will be held during the luncheon On the day of the tournament we will sell mulligans at 5 each or three for 10 The cost to the chapter is 45 for each golfer including the luncheon Hard costs include sponsorship signs sponsor plaques and printing We are trying to get co operative ads by having golf shops put our logo and basic information on their normal advertising We have prepared flyers to post at golf courses all over the Nevada Arizona Utah area Even though this is our first tournament we hope to clear 12 500 with about 128 golfers in a shot gun start The neat thing about these tournaments is the assistance and cooperation of the course personnel We would like to invite the VVA golfing community to come and have a good time while helping us provide for a much needed Veterans Service Center Jim Brown is president of Mesquite Nevada Chapter 993 He can be reached at vetinfo vvamesquite org Golf for Fun Profit BY BILL MESSER Golf tournaments are one of the most popular and fun ways to raise funds for any organization Several fundamental rules must be followed Two of the most important are You must have a golf course and you must have golfers Planning for your tournament is very important and will be a crucial factor in its success A minimum of six months to plan should be set aside nine months to a year is ideal Seed money of 1 000 2 000 minimum is necessary to start things off properly Funds can start being raised prior to the event and then used to cover the costs associated with the tournament The Immediate cost will be a deposit for the course usually 10 percent of the number of golfers fees for example 100 golfers at 45 per requires a 450 deposit This can vary Final payment usually is due a week to ten days before the event It works nicely however if you can negotiate for payment to be made the day of the tournament When forming the tournament committee you want to make sure to include golfers Non golfers don t understand the game or the rules The number of people on the committee depends on several things Keep it simple Eight to twelve members as the core group and any number of subcommittees to address other areas should work Each step should be planned out with a time line There are professional fundraisers available who specialize in golf tournaments Depending on your specific goals it may be worth it to hire one Most require a set fee some go with a percentage of the action This guide however focuses on members and volunteers Finding a course that will work for you and establishing a date and tee off time should be accomplished early on Since there are both private and public courses you should know

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/stayinalive.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: A First Cut: Melvin Laird And The Last Years Of The Vietnam War
    the Republican National Convention Laird shared Eisenhower and Nixon s conservative values and was a tireless party activist He rose to head the platform group at the 1964 Convention which nominated Barry Goldwater deftly outmaneuvering the Republican liberals Henry Kissinger first met Laird then and considered him formidable THE PRAGMATIST Like many of his generation he was born in Omaha in September 1922 Laird fought in World War II where he served ironically enough on the destroyer U S S Maddox the ship that became famous in the Tonkin Gulf incident In the fleet Laird first met another young naval reservist an officer aboard the carrier Hancock Gerald R Ford In 1967 and 1968 a time of growing American disaffection for the Vietnam War Laird read the tea leaves better than many By the time of the Nixon presidential campaign he knew the old strategies were useless Nixon had claimed he had a plan to end the war and moves toward peace were included in the 1968 Republican platform that Laird worked on Once he became secretary of defense it fell to Laird to take the promises and convert them into something that could be sold to the American people In his Foreign Affairs article Laird writes that when he arrived at his Pentagon office there were two things that gave him some clarity One was a copy of the Pentagon Papers then still secret that filled much of his walk in safe The other was the troop request sent after Tet 68 by Vietnam field commander Gen William C Westmoreland to reinforce MACV by 200 000 men Although Westmoreland no longer commanded he was now Army chief of staff and MACV was under Gen Creighton V Abrams the request had never been dealt with While the Johnson administration had effectively denied the troop request it had never been formally rejected National revulsion at the demand when it had leaked the previous year showed Laird what could not be done He took great satisfaction from signing a memorandum denying the reinforcements as his first act at the Pentagon But there remained the question of what to do The views at MACV and at the U S Embassy in Saigon were fairly optimistic But on the key question of how long the war would continue even the most optimistic assessments expected it to go on for more than eight years the pessimists predicted it would be longer than thirteen Nixon told his first National Security Council meeting that he expected that under existing conditions the United States could hold on for no more than two Laird wanted to change that equation buying time with a fresh approach The first talk of an all volunteer military took place at that NSC meeting A couple of months later Secretary Laird formed a blue ribbon panel to examine the possibility The second pillar of the Laird strategy was American withdrawals In combination with Gen Abrams s transformation of MACV tactics to emphasize small unit

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0809/firstcut.html (2016-02-15)
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