Vietnam Veterans of America
The VVA Veteran® Online
May/June 2017

In this issue:

CHOCOLATES & SCHOLARSHIPS. A decade ago, self-described “worst tank driver in the squadron” Richard Brummett devised a clever and joyful ceremony built around creative mythology as a way to bring reconciliation and educational assistance to Vietnamese children living in the Vietnamese hamlet he once menaced. Giant chocolate bars fall prey to a ceremonical axe and Bigfoot makes an appearance. [on the cover]“Chocolates & Scholarships”

BARRY SADLER’S TOUR OF DUTY. Marc Leepson examines the tumultuous life of “Ballad of the Green Berets” singer Barry Sadler. Leepson—the author of a new biography of Sadler—details the somewhat-obscure story of his nine years of military service, including a 1964-65 tour of duty in the Vietnam War.

USMC Photo by J.F. Fraley/NARADISABILITY PAYMENTS & CAMP LEJEUNE’S TOXIC WATER. On March 22 the Marine Corps and the VA announced new disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to contaminated water at the USMC base at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987.

Photo: Mokie PorterTHE VETERANS INITIATIVE: TRIP 25. A delegation from VVA’s landmark program marked their 25th trip to Vietnam with travel to locations from Hanoi to Saigon to meet with government agencies, humanitarian organizations, and individuals interested in locating war dead in Vietnam.

Photo Courtesy Bud AlleyTHREE DAYS OF WELCOME HOME. When the Chattanooga-Hamilton County 50th Anniversary Commemorative Committee held a simple ceremony at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, only a few hundred attended. Afterward they asked themselves the question: What can we do next year that would attract more veterans?

“Parting Shot”

Sen. Joe Manchin III, Honorary Life Senator Two Commendations
Grant Coates and Barry Rice
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