|Vietnam Veterans of America|
At the invitation of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Chapter 203 President Charlie Hobbs, VVA National President Jack McManus joined the chapter for the city’s 73rd annual Armed Forces Day Parade May 6. “It was an honor to be part of Chattanooga’s Armed Forces Day observance and attend the parade and luncheon,” McManus said. On May 27 and 28, the chapter held a Vietnam Veteran and Spouse Appreciation Days event in the parking lot of a local Walmart. Marking 37 years since receiving its VVA charter, the event included displays of the Tennessee Vietnam Memorial Wall, In Memory Plaque, and the Georgia Plaque, and music from the Vietnam War era, as well as a free food wagon, VVA and AVVA membership tents, and an AVVA silent auction.
On April 30, Greater Cleveland Chapter 15 and West Shore Chapter 249 joined with the Berea (Ohio) Veterans Outreach Office to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War at a solemn ceremony at Coe Lake in Berea. VVA members and others read the names of the 424 Cuyahoga County service members who lost their lives in Vietnam, and veterans shared tributes to the fallen. Members of the Greater Cleveland Vietnamese community, including veterans of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, also spoke during the ceremony.
Bill McCloud, who is an Oklahoma at-large member, received the 2021-22 Adjunct Faculty Teacher Award from Rogers State University’s School of Arts and Sciences in May. McCloud, who served with the 147th Assault (Support) Helicopter Company in Vietnam in 1968-69 and is the author of What Should We Tell Our Children about Vietnam?, teaches U.S. History and Political Science at Rogers State in Claremore, Oklahoma. His 2017 book, The Smell of the Light, is a highly praised collection of 106 poems that chronologically cover his year in the Vietnam War. He also is a prolific contributor to this magazine’s online Books in Review II page, specializing in fiction and poetry.
VVA member Ron Osgood’s Emmy-winning documentary, Just Like Me: The Vietnam War/The American War, a film that weaves together the stories of Americans and Vietnamese who took part in the war, was shown on Wednesday, May 25 at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. The screening was sponsored by Chicago Chapter 242. There was a brief discussion after the screening and a Q&A with Osgood, a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University’s Media School.
On May 1, members of Rockland County, New York, Chapter 333 held the second in a series of street fairs in front of a local Dunkin Donuts. Members set up the chapter tent at 7:00 a.m., enjoyed coffee and breakfast, and then put in a full day of fundraising for chapter community service projects, including its nearly ten-year-old effort to purchase special hand cycles to donate to veterans with above-knee amputations or spinal cord injuries following their service in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event brought in $760, making a total of nearly $1,300 in donations for the two events. The fundraising, chapter member Roy Tschudy said, was “only a small part” of the event. “Interacting with the public at large, engaging with people of all ages, we endeavor to promote our chapter in more than a few ways. That time long ago when we returned from war and were greeted without a smile or handshake has now been replaced with gratitude and respect shown toward us.”
At its monthly meeting in May, members of Rutland, Vermont, Chapter 1 voted unanimously to donate $1,000 to the Rutland Historical Society to recognize the organization’s help in archiving the chapter’s materials. That includes newsletters, photographs, and newspaper articles that are now accessible on the Historical Society’s website, https://rutlandhistory.com ... The Society has stored other chapter archival material on Internet Archive, the non-profit online library that contains millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more at https://archive.org
In May, Janesville, Wisconsin, Rock River Chapter 236 presented 25 scholarships. That included 21 Chapter-sponsored scholarships; two Tim Kettle Memorial Scholarships; one Max Perkins Memorial Scholarship; and one Albert Kath Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Chapter members Mike Eggleston, Al Pacheco, Roger Manecke, Rick Waugh and Garry Meister presented the scholarships to the recipients at their high schools.
Northern Virginia Chapter 227 held its annual Memorial Day barbeque on Sunday, May 29. The following day the chapter followed another annual tradition, a wreathing-laying service at 8:00 a.m. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., after which chapter members met for a family breakfast at a diner in Arlington, Virginia.
Greenville, North Carolina, Chapter 272 enlisted the help of local Boy Scouts, their leaders, and families to decorate some 2,000 veterans’ graves at five Greenville cemeteries with small American flags for Memorial Day. “We’ve got to keep this tradition going so we don’t forget where we’re going and where we came from,” said Clint Elbert, Chapter 272’s first vice president. “Let your children know it’s a price that we have to pay. Look at Ukraine today, what they’re going through. We don’t realize what a price that we have to pay for freedom.”
Paducah, Kentucky, Chapter 337 held its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Dolly McNutt Plaza in downtown Paducah. The memorial contains the names of 46 local service members who lost their lives in Vietnam. The chapter placed 25 crosses and American flags at the memorial to honor deceased chapter members. Berks County (Pennsylvania) Chapter 131 members marched in the Kutztown Memorial Day Parade, which took place for the first time in three years because of the pandemic.
Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278 held a Memorial Day service at the local Korea/Vietnam Memorial, which the chapter built and dedicated on Veterans Day 1988. During the ceremony volunteers read the names of local service members who died in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. “I was a Marine in Vietnam,” said Chapter President Gregory Beck. “I served in the infantry for eight months and I lost several friends there during that time and it’s important to me to remember them and to be here with my other brothers. Our hearts are mended together, our minds kinda scattered, but that’s just the way it is.”
Western Massachusetts Chapter 111 held its annual Memorial Day candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Park in Chicopee. The park contains 15 brick pillars, each of which honors a service member from the city who died in the war. Chapter and family members read the names on the pillars and the dates of the deaths. Also honored: all Vietnam War MIAs, including 39 from Massachusetts. “Chicopee is, and always will be, a veteran-proud city,” Mayor John L. Vieau said at the vigil. “Chicopee will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
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