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  • The VVA Veteran
    Colors also known as the Grand Union flag was flown by Gen George Washington It had thirteen alternating red and white stripes but the British Union Jack in the canton caused a great deal of controversy As a result it was changed by the Continental Congress to thirteen stars and stripes on June 14 Flag Day 1777 Leepson goes on to show how many flag variants follow then shows how the myth of Betsy Ross was developed He also has some riveting chapters about the post Revolutionary War variants and the flag change to fifteen stars and stripes a version that flew for more than two decades We read about the birth of The Star Spangled Banner the song that was debated in Congress for more than a century and not approved as the nation s official National Anthem until 1931 The Civil War produced much debate and flag oriented writing resulting in what was called flagmania which began after the fall of Fort Sumter This section is particularly impressive We learn about the moniker Old Glory then that in 1865 a law was enacted requiring that only American made bunting could be used for flags There are details about the nation s 100th anniversary celebrations in 1876 and ceremonies that started the movement to create Memorial Day Also revealed are many falsehoods about the flag the actions of states to protect the flag the birth of the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 the widespread use of the flag during World War I the ways the newly established American Legion used the flag in the 1920s and the interesting fact that during World War II laundries nationwide did not charge for cleaning flags The chapter on the Vietnam War is decisive in its handling of how pro and anti war

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/OffTheShelf.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    to help support overseas service personnel and their families At their March meeting members of Tonawanda New York Chapter 77 heard a program presented by LTC Hugh Van Roosen and other members of the U S Army Reserve s 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion which is based in Tonawanda The program consisted of a look at the 402nd s tour of duty in Iraq from December 2002 to April 2004 The unit took part in the restoration of public facilities communications and governmental services and helped provide humanitarian assistance COMMUNITY SERVICE Chapter 751 in Lawton Oklahoma is involved in several ongoing community service projects That includes collecting children s shoes more than a hundred pair so far for a school being built in Iraq by the Tennessee Army National Guard s 278th Regimental Combat Team Chapter members regularly attend homecoming ceremonies at nearby Ft Sill mainly for troops returning from Southwest Asia who serve with the Arkansas National Guard There are a lot of soldiers from other areas of the country and it is too far for their families to come to Ft Sill to meet them Chapter First Vice President Billy R Nash said and they are very grateful that other veterans are there to meet them Whether it is two o clock in the morning or mid afternoon there are several members of Chapter 751 present Chapter 616 the Thomas Davis Memorial Chapter at Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio presented a 500 check to the Relay for Life late last year The money will help with a breast cancer awareness campaign The chapter also is co sponsoring a POW MIA remembrance at the Cleveland Indians game September 16 at Jacobs Field Members of Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin Chapter 101 took part in their thrice yearly spring summer and fall Adopt A Highway Program on May 7 Members helped clean up along a local highway right of way with members of another local VSO San Jacinto Chapter 343 in Houston receives some 60 percent of its annual revenue much of which goes toward community service projects from concession sales it runs at Rice University baseball games The work is done by chapter members and other volunteers This year the group consisted of Carlos Uresti Carlos Chapa Henry Rutledge Ralph Seitsinger Steve Jaffe Wolf Biedenfeld William Brown Dietrich Biedenfeld Cathy Uresti Alonzo Chapa Earl Bennett Bob Hopkins Jim Dennis David Chuber Rose Martinez and Gilbert Martinez The color guard from Rock River Chapter 236 in Janesville Wisconsin marched in the Beloit St Patrick s Day Parade which was held March 13 Following the parade the chapter s Funeral Squad held its certification and refresher training MEMORIALS Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor Michigan has raised some 80 000 in the last seven years for the perpetual care fund for the Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti At its most recent fund raiser at the UAW Local Union Hall on March 19 which featured a silent auction and a performance by singer and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/mem_notes.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Double Cross At Ngok Tavak
    the small force given the task of defending the old French fort At 3 00 a m on May 10 a Marine manning a 50 caliber machine gun challenged CIDG troops approaching his position They identified themselves as friendly Moments later two NVA companies rushed in throwing satchel charges into the machine gun position and igniting mortar ammunition with flamethrowers The attack took the Marines completely by surprise Tim Brown a veteran of the Ngok Tavak battle and the prime driving force behind the long campaign to bring home and identify those Marines killed in the battle but whose bodies were never recovered suggests that a potential title for any story describing that night s events might be Double Cross Two Navy Crosses were awarded as a result of that battle and when we were interacting with the CIDG and people who were supposed to be friendly South Vietnamese forces they penetrated the wire by saying Don t shoot Friendly Friendly Brown said So in effect we were double crossed That s how the battle opened The fight lasted ten hours much of it involving hand to hand combat In 1995 when John White returned to the site he met the NVA commander who led the invading force Only then did the two men discover that at some point in the night they were mere yards from one another and didn t know it Thirteen Americans never returned from Ngok Tavak 12 Marines and a Special Forces medic who stayed to treat the wounded Capt White did not realize that the medic chose to remain with the injured men It is still not known if the medic was killed or captured He is still listed as MIA Dickie Hites special assistant to the commander at the Joint POW MIA Accounting

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/feature_NgokTavakDoubleCross.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • An Enduring Veteran to Veteran Effort
    the VITF philosophy is the belief that a soldier to soldier encounter would be more productive than anything governments might do Government to government wasn t really working Maras said We thought warrior to warrior would be a better way to build a bridge The soldier to soldier bond has been incredibly positive If someone had told me ten years ago that I d be shaking hands with someone who was once shooting at me I wouldn t have believed it The early trips made by VITF delegations were marked by apprehension Corey said that with each successive trip the tension eased Everyone watched us to see if it would be a one time thing Corey said They weren t excited to see us coming on that first trip Those first meetings were tense on both sides of the table There were still a lot of issues left over from the war But they saw we returned with more positive information and they started opening up more They wanted to see if the same people would be coming back and that s an important thing It built continuity and trust We brought stuff back in good faith and directed the Vietnamese to sites and those sites were productive In the sixteen trips made to Vietnam VITF delegations have delivered information to the Vietnamese Veterans Association on 8 694 Vietnamese KIAs 1 086 Vietnamese prisoners and two Vietnamese MIAs To underscore the importance of cooperation Maras pointed to a report from the American detachment in Hanoi A few years ago a Vietnamese man got one of our flyers and asked JTF Joint Task Force Full Accounting in Hanoi if it was a good thing Maras said JTF said it was The Vietnamese man said he knew where an American pilot was buried His plane had crashed behind the man s house and out of respect he buried the pilot The JTF sent out a team dug down a few feet hit corrugated tin pulled it back and there was the pilot still in his flight suit dog tags everything else That showed that the Vietnamese were willing to work with us as long as we were willing to work with them Maras and Corey emphasized the importance of continuity in dealing with the Vietnamese saying that the relationships built up over the years provided a sense of confidence that has proven to be productive for both sides With the Vietnamese the message carries on down through the country Corey said The Vietnam Veterans of America are here and they ve come back with more information As we go to different provinces they turn over information to us and we do the same for them Maras said information given to the Vietnamese recently led to the discovery of a gravesite holding the remains of 50 to 60 Vietnamese in Dong Ha Province He said the relationship that led to such cooperative efforts played a critical role in the recovery of the Marines

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/feature_Vet2Vet.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Tim Brown's Vow
    battlefield he said I along with others who were there at Ngok Tavak knew there wasn t anything to be done at the time It was tactically impossible to do anything But God put me in the right place and the right time I was lucky I was medevaced out of there well before the rest of them basically got slaughtered So guilt and a sense of responsibility and sense of devotion to those guys I served with gave me the drive to do what I could In 1983 he became part of the group that formed the first VVA chapter 137 in Texas It was the beginning of what Brown called really catching the passion and fire POW MIA issues energized him He researched the battles of Ngok Tavak and Kham Duc by obtaining after action reports and collecting notes from veterans of the battles He contacted men he served with One led to another and I wound up making contact with about eight veterans of my battery he said I had to rely on that and oral histories of other guys to put together the information that eventually led to the map that we provided to the government on where the bodies were left at Ngok Tavak An official at the Joint POW MIA Accounting Command said the map of the Ngok Tavak battle site drawn by David Fuentes a Ngok Tavak veteran who lives in Chicago proved to be crucially important in the location and discovery of remains As Brown made his way through the leadership ranks of VVA he made contact with families of the missing Marines and continued to research the battles In the mid 1980s following his election to the national Board of Directors he brought the Ngok Tavak Kham Duc issue to the

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/feature_NgokTavakVow.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • April 30: Reflection and Reaffirmation
    o clock rally at Upper Senate Park on Capitol Hill attended by several hundred spectators a rally that focused on Congress s inadequate and unreliable funding of VA medical programs We believe that the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War is the right time to call attention to the fact that three decades after the end of that war veterans of all eras are still battling to preserve the benefits they have and assure adequate funding for veterans health care said VVA President Thomas H Corey That message was forcefully reiterated by the rally s other speakers including Retired Army Gen George Price Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Paul Buddy Bucha VVA Board member Sandie Wilson VVA New York State Council President John Rowan and Charles Sheehan Miles a Gulf War veteran who was a founder of the Gulf War Resource Center Sheehan Miles said that in its unwavering support for the nation s newest war veterans VVA is living up to its founding principle Never Again Will One Generation of Americans Abandon Another Soon after the rally ended VVA hosted a solemn ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in tribute to those who gave their

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/feature_April30.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    Service Rawls McNelis Thompson Cigar Traditions Military Videos Truman Publishing Veterans Commemoratives Veterans Viet Nam Restoration Project VietnamBogeyman com War on Cancer Wild Card Woodman s Pal To receive information about advertising in the VVA Veteran contact J S Publications Inc 8220 Hilton Road Gaithersburg Maryland 20882 3530 301 482 0720 Fax 301 482 0726 E Mail cathy john jspublications com E mail us at TheVeteran vva org Home Membership

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/advertizers.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    at Fort Hood Texas His uncle Len L Funk a past president of VVA Chapter 227 the Dean K Phillips Memorial Chapter in Northern Virginia served 12 months as a U S Army adviser in the Plain of Reeds and an additional 10 months in Go Cong Province as the Phoenix Coordinator in 1969 and 1970 He returned to Vietnam in 1972 with the State Department as a political officer

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/feature_warriors.htm (2016-02-16)
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