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  • The VVA Veteran-AVVA Report
    in the lobby of the Convention center all day but no one came forward If not claimed by October 30 the proceeds will be added to the AVVA Scholarship Fund Our Silent Auction made 1 200 for our scholarship Project Friendship with help from AVVA and VVA presented a check to Step 2 House for 2 600 along with material items Fisher House will receive a check for 3 000 in October at the Board Meeting We presented a DVD player to the Veterans Guest House a place for veterans and their families to stay while receiving treatment from the Reno VAMC Several items also were provided to David Mitchell Washington State Rep for the Veterans Home in his state All the donations have been put to good use and AVVA members can be proud of the hard work they put into the Conference in Reno National Fellowship Awards BY JUDITH G BOLIO AWARDS COMMITTEE CHAIR At the 2005 AVVA Leadership Conference in Reno Nevada the Associates of Vietnam of America presented four Fellowship Awards The awards went to The VVA Florida State Council in recognition of its rapid response to the needs of Florida s veterans families and communities during the 2004 hurricane season The AVVA Florida State Association in recognition of its rapid response to the needs of Florida s veterans families and communities during the 2004 hurricane season and its volunteerism in the All Babies and Children ABC Program Joyce Koprowski for coordinating the relief efforts of the AVVA Florida Association for organizing the quilt making project and for going to communities no one else would with supplies and relief Joyce also was recognized for spearheading the ABC Program in which children who were affected by the 2004 hurricanes received Christmas gifts Dwayne Sogis VVA Chapter 563 s Chaplain and an AVVA member from Petaluma California who goes out every day to work for his state community and chapter He has Certificates of Appreciation from the DAV Volunteer Program of Sonoma County Special Olympics Senior Services Nutrition Dining Site Petaluma People Services Center and the Salvation Army Disaster Services Santa Rosa Corps Sogis was presented the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 2004 Five Winners BY JUDY VARGO SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR This year the AVVA Better Chance Scholarship made awards to five students the largest number that AVVA has awarded to date The committee looks carefully at the applications and makes certain that each includes all of the required documents The awards this year went to 1 000 Scholarship Joseph Michael Cobb Divide Colorado will be attending Colorado State University where he will pursue a career as a forest ranger 500 Scholarships Amanda Sporrer Pittsburgh Pennsylvania will be attending the University of Kentucky where she will major in special education Charlyanne Nester Chester Pennsylvania will continue her studies toward a degree in nursing at West Chester University Leah Mazzacone Hyde Park New York is attending the College of St Rosa where she is working toward

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/avva.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran - PTSD/SA Committee Report
    the review issue see the Government Relations report Keep in mind that this is all about money Rep Steve Buyer R Ind chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently stated Many veterans stop going to therapy treatment once they have received their 100 percent PTSD disability claim The fact of the matter is that PTSD and other related mental health issues represent long term VA health care costs not short term costs such as those associated with a broken arm We also know that the longer PTSD goes untreated the worse it can become over time and subsequent treatment costs will rise Add to this mix the fact that many if not most VA facilities have neither the appropriate number of professional mental health staff or resources programs beds or funds to provide adequate mental health services despite VA claims to the contrary For example at VISN 15 at the Kansas City VA Hospital in 1996 there were 41 2 F T E s full time equivalencies of staff time dedicated to 55 clients diagnosed with PTSD In 2005 there are 21 2 F T E s assigned to more than 1 000 clients Weekly group therapy sessions consist of hundreds of clients packed into standing room only rooms If you re lucky you can schedule a one on one 30 minute therapy session once every three months Given these facts why do you think veterans would stop seeking long term VA mental health services In other news In July 2004 a report in The New England Journal of Medicine estimated that 17 percent of service personnel returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom had PTSD related symptoms But Dr Al Batres who heads the VA s Readjustment Counseling Service Vet Centers believes the rate is now higher and growing

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/ptsd.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran- Arts of War
    the mayhem and who at times dispassionately and at times emotionally recounts what happened on the scene and what happened to the antiwar movement following what became the first violent anti Vietnam War protest on a college campus BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY The feature film The Beautiful Country directed by Finnish born Hans Petter Moland is a true multinational production It was shot in Vietnam and the United States It stars Damien Nguyen who fled Vietnam for the United States with his family in 1974 when he was three years old and features British born actor Tim Roth the ultra American Nick Nolte and Chinese actress Bai Ling The renowned Illinois born director Terrence Malick Badlands Days of Heaven The Thin Red Line co produced the film and Filipina American Sabina Murray wrote the screenplay with Lingard Jervey The best part of this visually arresting film which was released by Sony Pictures Classics in New York and L A July 8 and soon will be in theaters nationwide is the performance of Damien Nguyen as Amerasian Binh on an odds defying quest to find his American father Nguyen who is not Amerasian plays his part as though he were born to it a physically scarred overly large half American who puts up with unrelenting hostility in his home country and unrelentingly difficult odds on his journey from Vietnam to America in 1990 He plays the part with a dignified stoicism punctuated at times with barely controlled rage at the often cruel acts perpetrated upon him Most of the other actors more than hold their own with Nguyen most memorably young Tran Dang Quoc Thinh who plays Binh s half brother Tam and Nick Nolte who plays and this is giving nothing away Binh s Vietnam veteran American father Another highlight is the cinematography by London born New Zealander Stuart Dryburg especially in the film s opening Vietnamese village and countryside scenes and the New York City streetscapes ARTS IN BRIEF The novelist Walter Kirn offered his list of the ten best books about war ever written in the August GQ In his list in which The Iliad is No 1 Kirn includes books by five Americans one of which Philip Caputo s A Rumor of War comes in at No 9 The other American offerings are Stephen Crane s The Red Badge of Courage No 4 Hemingway s For Whom the Bell Tolls No 6 Joseph Heller s Catch 22 No 7 and Kurt Vonnegut s Slaughterhouse Five No 8 Kirn has Tim Page s photo book Tim Page s Nam at No 10 No one asked me but I can think of at least a half dozen books about the Vietnam War I d list above Page s excellent book To wit Neil Sheehan s A Bright Shining Lie Tim O Brien s The Things They Carried O Brien s If I Die in a Combat Zone Gen Hal Moore and Joe Galloway s We Were Soldiers Once and Young Lew

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/arts.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    11 hours 19 95 the story of a POW rescue mission in Vietnam is that it has been released as an audiovisual book That is it s a single CD that can be listened to on any portable or car MP3 player DVD player or iPod type device and can be read or listened to on any personal computer The book which is read by William Shatner looks just like a hardbound book on your computer with pages that turn To find out more go to www avbooks com Reviews EBooks jsp A SORT OF PEACE W D Ehrhart the poet and writer whose work is shaped by his experiences as a U S Marine in the Vietnam War has collaborated with another Vietnam veteran Don Fox on A Sort of Peace Echoes and Images of the Vietnam War It s a book of photographs and poetry that originally appeared on the Today in Literature website You can take a look at www todayinliterature com The collaboration is now available in a full color chapbook Fox Photo Arts 20 It s made up of eight of Fox s photos most from Vietnam and Ehrhart s verse For more info write to Fox Photo Arts 1611 Wheatstone Dr Farmington NY 14425 or go to www wdehrhart com NONFICTION IN BRIEF The novelist Clyde Edgerton The Floatplane Notebooks et al has just written Solo My Adventures in the Air Algonquin 296 pp 23 95 an engaging autobiography Edgerton s love affair with flying began when he was four years old and his mother took him on a trip to a local airport It picked up steam in 1962 when Edgerton signed up for Air Force ROTC as a University of North Carolina freshman His goal to become a fighter pilot The Air Force though turned him into a Forward Air Control pilot during his 1970 71 tour He flew over the Ho Chi Minh Trail out of Nakhon Phanom Air Base in Thailand It was often dangerous work and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in an unsuccessful rescue mission The Search for Peace in Vietnam 1964 1968 Texas A M University 406 pp 40 is a compilation of 22 essays by top tier Vietnam War scholars on the many peace initiatives all of which went nowhere that arose during the first four years after the big American build up Editors Lloyd C Gardner Rutgers University and Ted Gittinger LBJ Library include well documented revealing entries by among others Robert K Brigham and George Herring on the 1987 Pennsylvania Peace Initiative Ivan Gaiduk on the Russians role in peace talks and retired Army Col Herbert Schandler s take on the Pentagon s role in peace negotiations after March 31 1968 Michael Archer enlisted in the Marines in the summer of 1967 By the end of the year he found himself dug in with the 26th Marines at Khe Sanh Archer tells his Vietnam War story exceptionally well in

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/books.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    the Dorn VA Medical Center later in the month And the chapter s Sergeant at Arms Robert Taylor purchased an American flag and a POW MIA flag to replace the worn flags at Columbia s Memorial Park Wolf G Biedenfeld the president of San Jacinto Chapter 343 in Houston received the Grand Lodge of Texas A F and A M Masonic Community Builder Award in June Biedenfeld s service includes seven years with the U S Postal Service 20 years with the U S Public Health Service seven years with the Texas Employment Commission and nine with the Texas Veterans Commission He served for 29 years in the military including active duty National Guard and Army Reserve In addition to his work with VVA Biedenfeld volunteers with the Boys Scouts and his church AVVA member Kerry Ehrhart of Ocean County New Jersey Chapter 855 has designed a Vietnam Service Ribbon women s bracelet made from Australian crystal and the chapter has been selling the bracelets at New Jersey State Council meetings For information on how to order one call 856 810 3743 James Gregory the president of Charleston South Carolina Chapter 780 and two other chapter members attended a memorial service for Gen William Westmoreland in downtown Charleston The event was well attended with many local military and political leaders and an honor guard representing each service Gregory said No matter what your thoughts may be one must give credit to an old warrior who fought in World War II Korea and Vietnam London Ohio Chapter 746 held its ninth annual Military Ball in April The chapter honors a veteran s family every year at the event and this year six members of the Theil family were the special guests John E Theil of London who received two Purple Hearts and the Silver and Bronze Stars serving with the Army s First Infantry Division in Vietnam was killed in action on December 8 1967 He was credited with maintaining radio reports while under fire and repelling a Viet Cong contingent single handedly said his brother Ben who attended the ball Members of Chicago Northwest Suburban Chapter 311 raised more than 3 000 at this year s one day Flag Tag Day Sale held on July 1 at three big intersections in Des Plaines More than twenty members and volunteers worked an 11 hour day led by Chapter President Brian Mulcrone Vice President Jim Johnson and Treasurer Paul Kobeluch SCHOLARSHIPS At the June 11 Florida State Council meeting three 500 scholarships were awarded The recipients were John Gunter IV from Melbourne Lacey Smith from Dunedin and Monica Cerra of Clearwater All three will be attending colleges in Florida this year and are dependents of disabled Vietnam veterans Chapter 351 Appleton Wisconsin presented scholarships in May to students at Neenah and Appleton West High Schools The recipients were graduating seniors Nicole Krejcarek and Stephanie Jacklin Upon completion of their first semesters in college with a 2 65 GPA or higher each will

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/mem_notes.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    calls it his mobile command center Everything I learned in the Army everything I learned in Vietnam I m putting to use he said And it s working Mentally this is a war I m fighting a war right now I m back in Vietnam I m in my element That s what s strange It s like I used to say back then I can shoot move and communicate There is tension in his voice when he speaks The words rush out as if in competition for a limited amount of oxygen that the lungs insist on rationing One wrong decision one wrong move and 80 people his employees and their families are worse off than they are now he said If I mess up they re on the street I gotta take care of my people I can t let them get on the street That s all I m trying to do you know All I want to do is take care of my people Three of his employees are missing He doesn t know where they are or if they re safe One of the best marine electricians you ll ever see calls from Mississippi His house has been destroyed He needs money and asks for a loan Andras tells him to get to Louisiana and he ll put him to work but he can t afford to loan him any money Another young man calls from a shelter and says he can t make it to work because his wife is pregnant and he won t leave her A 22 year veteran employee has to be told three times how to do his job because he goes through the day in a daze like so many people in the Gulf Coast do now disconnected from the reality they once knew After the hurricane hit Andras told his employees that the lives they all knew were over He said Let me explain something to y all The life we had does not exist anymore We all have to start from scratch He reminisces on the very nice existence he used to have a time when everything he needed was at his disposal telephones computers offices suppliers Anything he needed all he had to do was pick up the phone That was the old life the one that doesn t exist anymore An old friend a Marine veteran of Vietnam is feared dead somewhere in the wreck of his shrimp boat Andras figures he ignored the storm warnings He d ridden out other hurricanes on his shrimp boats and he probably tried to ride this one out as well He was that kind of man Three Purple Hearts PTSD If he rode out this storm he s dead Dennis said I haven t heard anything from him He s a very close friend When I first met him he didn t want to talk to anybody He was very hostile I got him to get 70 percent

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/feature_Andras.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    the same Skip Skivington of the Saturday Evening Post article the war hero of the legendary battles fought by the 101st Airborne Division in Europe in those dark days of WWII the father of the young Vietnam soldier who was declared MIA on Mother s Day 1968 who was my buddy the young man who carried the PRC 25 for Snoopy 6 our own William Skip Skivington Skip was the young man in the now faded photograph That photo was taken by me on one of the many hills that surround the killing fields of the Hiep Duc Valley in the northern sector known as I Corps Skip and I supported our platoon leader 1Lt Fred Ransbottom Snoopy 6 Recon Platoon Echo Company 2nd Battalion 1st Infantry Regiment 196th Light Infantry Brigade 23rd Infantry Division Americal Skip had joined our recon platoon after Tet 1968 and was assigned to be the RTO for Snoopy 6 He was young perhaps just 18 years old I had just turned 21 and the soldier in our recon team we called grandpa was 26 Such were the days of our youth when we counted our years by the number of days and weeks we survived Skip was proud of his warrior heritage His dad had marched jumped and fought with the famed Screaming Eagles and he was now ready to take his place in his family s history of service to their country All of us know the sad story of loss in combat some of us have a closer relationship to it than others It is a reality that soldiers learn to cope with under the most trying circumstances On the other hand a loss of a loved one who is a soldier is grief in its worst form In November 1969 I found my way to the home of the Skivingtons to offer my deepest condolences and to share with them what information I had regarding the battle of Kham Duc and the loss of their son on Mother s Day 1968 I will never forget the sorrow I felt as I witnessed the pain and anguish of a mother for the loss of her precious son and to bare witness to the strength of a father whose own war experiences told him that this could not be happening to him and the bewilderment of younger brothers who tried to be brave young men as their big brother Skip would have encouraged them to be In reflection perhaps I was a witness to this to help me in my darkest hour which came earlier this year on January 22 when my family received the horrible news that our son 1Lt Nainoa Keali ihokuhelelani Hoe had been killed while leading his platoon on a patrol in the battle for Mosul Iraq In the past 37 years very few days have gone by that I did not pause to reflect upon the families of the men of my Recon team who are still MIA the strength they have shown their incredible resolve to seek out answers to the many questions dealing with their lost loved ones and to wonder how they could do it I now know Each day is a separate challenge to be faced and overcome Fifteen years ago I took my 12 year old son Nainoa to Washington D C We visited the museums and the famous historical sites and monuments We visited The Wall where I introduced him to the men of Recon Team Snoopy who were lost at Kham Duc It was not the first time he had heard the story but I think standing there upon those hallowed grounds is when he first fully understood its meaning in a way that 12 year old boys do Thirteen months ago as a fresh young 2nd Lt with jump wings on his chest and the coveted Ranger tab on his left shoulder Nainoa called Dad I got 2nd Platoon Charlie Tigers of the Gimlets He knew the history of the 3rd Battalion 21st Infantry 196th Light Infantry Brigade Vietnam To be part of his dad s legacy to command a rifle platoon in the battalion which served in the 196th Brigade was all he hoped for more so that they were on a war footing preparing to deploy When I had stood with my son at The Wall I never imagined that he too would be bound to it some day For on Panel 54 is the name of American hero 1Lt Edward F Guthrie of Idabel Oklahoma Ed died on May 2 1968 while leading the 2nd Platoon C Company 3 21 Infantry Charlie Tigers in the Battle for Nhi Ha Village near the DMZ His CO Tiger 6 Capt Denny Leach now a retired Brigadier General recalls Ed never asked his troops to suffer any hardship that he himself would not endure He was always up front and had his face in the mud just like his shooters He led by example and was incredibly brave He never beat his chest and there was no bravado on his part He was a proud warrior but was very humble and always gave his troops the honors for the platoon s heroics I could not have asked for a better platoon leader Lieutenant Guthrie was the only officer killed from Charlie Tigers while the Battalion served with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam between 1966 and 1972 Like Lt Guthrie my son was killed while leading the warriors of 2nd Platoon C Company 3 21 Infantry To date he is the only Gimlet Officer to die on this deployment With just over a month of duty left in Iraq pray with me for their safe return Is it fate after 37 years that the platoon leaders of 2nd Platoon C Company 3 21 Infantry are now linked together across two generations because of their commitment to duty honor and country along with the noble desire to make a difference

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/feature_KeynoteHoe.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    what VVA can and can t do with respect to Veterans Incarcerated He was also there to praise the work ethic developed by these veterans Health care as it relates to Veterans Incarcerated is a tough one he said We have no way of keeping track of the resources available in each state Some provide a certain level of care to veterans others do not and we VVA are not in a position to demand anything from state governments or institutions One of the main concerns of those preparing to be released is what kinds of support systems are available in their communities Koprowski explained that if there is a VVA chapter in their community they should contact that chapter and get involved Some sixty men scheduled to be released in the near future are service connected disabled and fear that obtaining meaningful employment is their greatest challenge Many have gained skills and certifications in various fields ranging from heating ventilation and air conditioning to the manufacture of automobile motor mounts in the prison industry program Chris Sissom who was a machinist s mate in the U S Navy from 1990 93 used the skills he learned in the Navy to finish courses offered by Ashland University and receive his certification in HVAC I d like to open a small business when I get out and do air conditioning service and repair he said Christopher Ferrel is best known to VVA members as the man who used his airbrush skills developed in prison to paint the huge banner that served as a backdrop during VVA s 11th National Convention in St Louis Ferrel has been in Mansfield since he was 16 and looks forward to his parole hearing in 2008 The self taught artist whose work adorns the quarters used by the chapter and Associates for meetings and work parties is sought out by schools and churches to produce banners Chapter President John Johnson was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley Kansas from 1969 72 He has spent his time studying real estate and is a non certified real estate agent waiting for the day he is released to take the state test to qualify for his license If there is something you want done he declared You have to do it yourself The range of questions and issues brought up with Koprowski included job training before and after release and federal and state laws and regulations dealing with obtaining training medical services VA benefits and discharge upgrades If you left the military with a less than honorable discharge the chances aren t very good that you ll be able to upgrade that bad paper Koprowski told the group William Morris is a third generation veteran having followed his grandfather and father into uniform Morris spent ten years in the Navy and ten in the Air Force I gave as a civilian and that hasn t changed said Morris whose father is a member of VVA Chapter

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_09/feature_Mansfield.htm (2016-02-16)
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