|Vietnam Veterans of America|
Putting VVA's Founding Principle First
Vietnam Veterans of America’s Founding Principle, “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another,” lies at the heart of Clinton County, Illinois, Chapter 269’s tireless dedication to serving veterans. Founded in 1985, the chapter today has 228 members, with new members joining at nearly every chapter meeting.
Chapter meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at varying locations, fostering camaraderie over dinner and business meetings in which we plan activities. While the average age of our members is in the mid-70s, their enthusiasm, community impact, and engagement in chapter activities defy their age.
To support our mission, the chapter conducts fundraisers throughout the year, such as spring breakfasts, golf scrambles, and quilt and gun raffles. These events raise funds to help veterans and those in need and also foster invaluable camaraderie among the members.
The funds generated from the fundraising endeavors are put to good use. We have used them to build 15 wheelchair ramps for veterans to enhance home accessibility. We also contribute to several food pantries in the county and provide support to the Joseph Center in East St. Louis, which helps veterans overcome alcohol and drug addiction.
The chapter provides quilts from Clinton County Quilters to members in nursing homes and those recovering from illnesses at home. The chapter invests in the future by offering scholarships to deserving children and grandchildren of chapter veterans continuing their education after high school.
When a chapter member or spouse dies, we attend the funeral visitation as a group, offering comfort to the grieving family and finding solace in one another’s company. We also provide the Honor Guard for military funerals, performing the gun salute, playing “Taps,” and presenting an American flag to the bereaved family.
Aware of the significance of community engagement, the chapter actively participates in county-sponsored parades, finding joy in the smiling faces and waves we get from the crowds.
On National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, the chapter organizes a meaningful trip to Perryville, Missouri, for members and spouses to Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial, a replica of The Wall in Washington, D.C., where they pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War.
Clinton County Chapter 269 takes immense pride in living up to VVA’s founding principle, and we fervently hope to continue this noble mission as long as possible.
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