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November/December 2022 -   -  

In Service

Benilde Hall, an award-winning, multi-faceted addiction treatment center in Kansas City, dedicated its sober-living house in July to Tom Hall, a founding member of Kansas City, Missouri, Chapter 317, and the long-time chair of VVA’s National PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee. The Dr. Thomas Hall House at Benilde Hall honors Tom Hall’s decades-long work in Kansas City and nationwide on substance-use disorder and mental health issues. The facility provides housing for up to six men who have completed the Benilde Hall program, which has offered substance use disorder treatment to homeless men since 1993. Tom Hall, who headed the Addiction Counseling program at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College where he taught addiction counseling classes, today sits on the VA’s Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans, which works with the VA secretary on PTSD, alcoholism, other substance abuse issues, post-war employment, and family adjustment.

South Metro Denver Chapter 1106, after a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, this year once again took part in the annual Cherry Creek School District’s homecoming Veterans and Military Appreciation Football Game. More than a dozen chapter members helped plan the event, which took place on October 1 before the Cherokee Trail vs. Overland High School football game at Legacy Stadium in Aurora. The chapter helped set up the Military Block Party before the game, which included the display of a Black Hawk helicopter, and a POW/MIA Missing Man table and ceremony, as well as a dinner for veterans, active duty personnel, and their families. “VVA Chapter 1106 has been invaluable with their assistance and involvement,” said Cherry Creek School District Events Coordinator Christy Everson. “It’s a good match for both of us, and we expect the relationship will continue to be fruitful as the years progress.”

Charlie Miller, the president of Huntsville, Alabama, Chapter 1067, the largest in the state, received the VVA Alabama State Council Veteran of the Year Award on October 8 at a ceremony in Birmingham.

The Florida State Council has set up a Disaster Relief program to help members of Lee County Chapter 594 and Charlotte County Chapter 1037 and their families who took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian, the devastating Category 4 storm that hit those two southwest coast areas on September 28. VVA members, chapters, and state councils can help by sending donations to VVA Florida State Council, Attn: Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Fund, 2465 U.S. Highway 1 South PMB 48, St. Augustine, FL 32086. For more info, email Florida SC President John McGinty at president@vvafsc.org

Sussex County (Delaware) Chapter 1105 donated $300 in October to the Home of the Brave Foundation in Milford, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans by providing food, counseling services, access to healthcare, transportation, and affordable housing with the goal of helping with their transition into permanent housing and financial independence.

Among its recent charitable donations, South Bay Chapter (California) Chapter 53 helped support the local Wheelchair Regatta, which offers disabled veterans a day of boating activities at a local yacht club, and the local Thank a Vet homeless veterans program. The chapter also presented a $1,000 check to help rehabilitate the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento.


Once again this year, many VVA chapters across the country held ceremonies marking National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which was commemorated this year on Friday, September 16, as well as during the weekend of September 17-18. Here’s a rundown on some of the events:

Members of Alliance, Ohio, Thomas A. Mangino Chapter 157 joined other local VSOs for a commemoration on Sunday, September 18, at Freedom Square in downtown Alliance featuring a traditional POW/MIA table ceremony. Chapter President Bob Akins, who served in Vietnam in 1968-69 with the Army’s 864th Engineering Battalion, was the Keynote speaker.

Green Bay, Wisconsin, Chapter 224 sponsored a candle-lighting ceremony in Green Bay on September 16. “Twenty-six people from Wisconsin are not accounted for yet,” Chapter President Ken Juza told greenbay.com. “Being that we are Vietnam veterans, it’s close to our hearts to remember the people that didn’t come back from the Vietnam War. We’d like everyone to remember those that never made it back.”

Clinton Township, Michigan, Chapter 154 began its annual twenty-four-hour POW/MIA Vigil at Resurrection Cemetery Friday afternoon with the chapter’s Honor Guard posting at the cemetery’s POW/MIA Memorial. After that, a bell was tolled every hour on the hour to commemorate the 48 Michigan service members still listed as missing in the Vietnam War. The opening ceremonies on Friday evening featured Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient James C. McCloughan of Saugatuck, Mich., as Keynote speaker. The chapter has been conducting the event since 1986.

Flint, Michigan, Chapter 175 President Joe Mishler was the Keynote speaker at ceremonies on National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the Michigan Remembers POW/MIA Memorial in Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi, Mich. The event was sponsored by Debbie Pineau McClain and Marty Eddy, the president and coordinator of the POW Committee of Michigan.

Berks County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 131 co-sponsored a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Reading City Park on Friday, September 16 in conjunction with the POW/MIA Forget-Me-Nots of Berks County. The vigil, which began at 7:00 p.m., included a reading of the 62 names on the memorial, three of whom remain missing. As each name was read, a rose was placed at the base of the memorial.

Westfield Liberty (Massachusetts) Chapter 219 held its annual POW/MIA candlelight vigil at Parker Memorial Park in Westfield beginning on 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. The park is the home of memorials honoring those who served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Chapter member Fred Benda Jr. played the bagpipes during the vigil, which also included Chapter President Ken Lafreniere ringing the chapter bell, a reading of the names of Massachusetts POW/MIAs, and a POW/MIA table.

Central Jersey Chapter 233 held its annual POW/MIA 24-Hour Vigil in Memorial Park in Metuchen, N.J. “As long as I’m alive and we’re alive we are going to remember these people,” said chapter member Jim Hixon, co-chair of the Vigil. “We were there, and it could have been us. It’s hard to explain without getting emotional. I could have never come home. I’ll never forget that.”


Denton, Texas, Chapter 920 awarded seven $1,500 scholarships for the 2022-23 school year. The recipients, all of whom are grandchildren of chapter members, are: Alyssa Laughter and Gerald Earl Balsley IV (who attend the University of North Texas), Whitney Palasota (Texas A&M University), Annie Kay Palasoa (Abilene Christian University), Eloit Jones (Baylor University), Audrey Fink (Texas Woman’s University), and Logan Washburn (Texas A&M Galveston).




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