JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, INC.
P.O. BOX 6608
TEXARKANA, TX 75505-6608
PRESIDENT: Gregory Beck
VICE-PRESIDENT: Harry Campbell
SECRETARY: Johnnie Gentry
TREASURER: Jimmy Smith
AVVA REP: Merle Morris
BOARD of DIRECTORS
EDITOR: Gregory Beck
JOIN VVA and AVVA
VVA #278's JANUARY 2020 MEETING
VVA #278's January 2020 meeting will be held Sunday, January 19 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. The meal will be pot luck/New Year’s, we ask members to bring a side dish and/or dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Updates on Veterans' issues; Committee reports; 3rd Annual Wagons for Veterans; TAVC's 21st Annual Chili Cook-off; 3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Day; 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair"; Election of TAVC delegates (3 & 2 alternates);etc., etc.
REMEMBER: Sunday, January 19 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA #278's FEBRUARY MEETING
VVA #278's February meeting will be Sunday, February 16 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge. This will be our Chili dinner meal. The chapter will supply the chili and we ask members to bring a covered dish and/or dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Veterans' issues updates; Committee reports; Events & activities for 2020; 3rd Annual Wagons for Veterans; 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair";3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Day; etc., etc..
Remember: February 16 at 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA #278's March meeting will be held Sunday, March 22 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge.
VVA #278 MEMBERSHIP
As of December 15, 2019, VVA #278 has 150 members: 146 Life, 1 Annual and/or 3 year; 3 IVI. Remember: You don't have to have served in-country Vietnam to join VVA, you just need to have served during that time (see below). We would like to encourage all Vietnam era veterans to join Vietnam Veterans of America! For $50 you can belong to the organization that represents Vietnam & Vietnam era veterans as well as other eras! We would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of VVA #278. They are: Edwin Haddock, Richard McClure, Kenneth Feuerbacher Hugh Waldroup, Jackey Pate, and Tooki Tonihka. Welcome Aboard & Welcome Home!!! I am sorry to announce that we have recently lost 2 members John Barrett and Doyle Ferguson. RIP Brothers!
Membership is open to U.S. armed forces veterans who served on active duty (for other than training purposes) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975. New rates for VVA memberships, all effective immediately: Life membership for $50.00. Three-year memberships will no longer be offered, but at the end of any current 3-year memberships, the member will be given (at no additional cost) a life membership in VVA. One-year memberships are no longer offered, and at the end of each 1-year membership, the member will be encouraged to become a life member. ATTENTION: New members: You must submit a copy of your DD- 214 form along with the application and dues payment!
Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America #278 (AVVA) has 35 members: 21 Life; 13 Annual and/or 3 year.
Together then, Together now.
We want YOU in the VVA # 278 family!!! JOIN VVA and/or AVVA!
VVA #278's ACTIVITIES
Since our last newsletter VVA #278 set up a booth at the DeKalb OktoberFest, and at the Bloomburg Cullen Baker Festival; We set up an informational table at the Texas Work Force's "Red, White & You" Job Fair; We set up an informational table at the Texas Work Force's Job Fair in Mt. Pleasant; We set up a table at an Veterans Information Fair in Mt. Pleasant; we assisted veterans and their families to the tune of $18,000 since our 2nd annual "Wagons for Veterans"($8500 from the 1st); We donated $500 to the Arkansas High Junior ROTC; We participated in the TAVC's Veterans Day Parade; We had members attend several local school Veterans Day program, I was speaker at Hooks and we presented plaques and certificates at Atlanta Elementary School; We had several members attend the annual Texarkana Gazette "Salute to Veterans"; We distributed 60 of our framed US Flags to veterans in local nursing homes; We had several members attend the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce's Veterans' Luncheon (Great job by the way CoC!); We contributed $400 and some supplies for the Farmers Bank's 2nd annual "Heart of the Red, White and Blue Military Care Package Drive; We were fed by the Banshees MC; We set up at a gun show on black Friday weekend. We bought Christmas gifts for 26 veterans in local nursing homes who have no family.
PRISONERS OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION - POW/MIA - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
The number still missing (POW/MIA) and otherwise unaccounted-for (KIA/BNR) from the Vietnam War is still 1,587. Of that number 90% were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia or Laos under Vietnam's wartime control: Vietnam-1,246 (VN-443, VS-803); Laos-286; Cambodia-48; PRC territorial waters-7. The total accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 996. A breakdown by country of these 996 Americans is: Vietnam – 672, Laos – 279, Cambodia – 42, and the PRC – 3. In addition, 63 US personnel were accounted for between 1973 and 1975, the formal end of the Vietnam War, for a grand total of 1,059. These 63 Americans were accounted for by US-only efforts in accessible areas, not due to cooperation by post-war governments in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia. A total of 287 have been accounted for from Laos, 727 from Vietnam, 42 from Cambodia and 3 from the PRC. NO IDs have been announced since July 29th. There were 684 returned alive during and after the war and 27 escaped. These country-specific numbers can & do fluctuate. Of these 1587, 15 are from AR; 24 are from LA; 30 are from OK; and 99 are from TX. USA -512; USN -353; USMC – 202; USAF – 492; Civilians – 28.
There are still 126 Americans unaccounted for from the Cold War 2 from AR; 1 from LA; 3 from OK; & 4 from TX.
As of December 16, 2019, there are still 7,603 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War: 99 from AR; 142 from LA; 143 from OK; 415 from TX; 5776 from the USA; 908 from the USAF; 276 from the USN; & 642 from the USMC
As of December 16, 2019, there are still 72,632 Americans unaccounted for from World War II, 848 from AR; 978 from LA; 1218 from OK; & 3626 from TX; 16,712 from the USA; 20,071 from the USAAC; 31,096 from the USN; 2837 from the USMC
There are 6 Americans unaccounted for from Iraq Theater and other conflicts in the Middle East.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!
US REPRESENTATIVE JOHN RATCLIFFE WELCOMES NEW CONSTITUENT SERVICES REPRESENTATIVE TO OFFICE AT TEXARKANA COLLEGE CAMPUS
Monte A. Schrader II, Constituent Services Representative for U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX), said he feels right at home in his office located on the Texarkana College campus. Schrader, a TC alum, is also a veteran and works as a liaison between federal agencies to help resolve veterans' matters. Schrader says his role as the Constituent Services Representative for the Fourth District of Texas is a job he's honored to have. Rep. Ratcliffe's regional office is located on the TC campus at 2500 N. Robison Road, Suite 190 (inside the Media Center building), Texarkana, Texas 75599. For more information or to contact the office staff, call 903-823-3173.
By the way, Monte replaced Charles Jordan at this position but Charles hasn't left – he took over as the Director of the Texarkana VA Outpatient Clinic replacing Kenda Watson who took another position with the VA in Shreveport. Congratulations to all and Good luck!!! We know all will do well & will work for veterans!
MILLER COUNTY VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER
Thomas Ornberg – Service Officer
Office Location: Miller County Veterans Service Office
400 Laurel Street, Suite 5, Texarkana, AR 71854
870-330-9847 – Phone (Note: corrected phone number from hard copy)
870-330-9936 – Fax
Call for appointment on Tuesdays & Thursday. Walk-ins Monday & Wednesday. Hours 9 am till 3 pm Monday thru Friday. Closed for lunch from noon till 1 pm. Please note there is no secretary as of now.
TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION'S NEW VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER AT TEXARKANA COLLEGE
The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) and Texarkana college partnered together and now Texarkana college is the site of a TVC Veterans Service Officer. Tiffany Griffie is the VSO. Her office is in the Truman Arnold Center Room D. Her hours are Monday thru Thursday 8 am till 3:45 pm and Fridays by appointment only. The office phone number is: 903-832-3327.
Colon cancer is often symptom-less and can be fatal if diagnosed late. If there are symptoms, they can include:
• Bleeding from your anus
• Blood in your stool
• Feeling tired all the time
• Persistent diarrhea or constipation
• Softer, looser stool
• Unexplained weight loss
• Dizziness or shortness of breath
• Persistent pain in your stomach
Early detection is so important because colon cancer is most treatable in the early stages. If diagnosed late, the survival rate is much lower. That's why taking action and getting tested if you have symptoms can make a huge difference towards early diagnosis.
TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL (TAVC) 21st ANNUAL CHILLI COOK-OFF
ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020 THE TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL (TAVC) WILL HOST THEIR 21st ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF AT THE TRUMAN ARNOLD CENTER AT THE TEXARKANA COLLEGE. AREA CHILI COOKS WILL BE COMPETING FOR TROPHIES IN THREE CATAGORIES: BUSINESS, CIVIC GROUPS AND INDIVIDUAL. THERE WILL ALSO BE A "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" AWARD AND AN AWARD FOR "BEST PRESENTATION", BOTH CHOSEN BY THE PUBLIC.FUNDS FROM THIS EVENT WILL BE USED TO PURCHASE A NEW DAV VAN (WHEN NEEDED) TO TRANSPORT LOCAL VETERANS TO THE VA MEDICAL CENTER IN SHREVEPORT, LA & TO ASSIST LOCAL VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. THE DOORS WILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT 11:00 AM UNTIL 1:00 PM. TICKETS ARE SIX DOLLARS. EACH TICKET WILL ALLOW YOU TO SAMPLE EACH CHILI AND WILL ENTER YOU TO WIN DOOR PRIZES.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND/OR TO ENTER PLEASE CALL: 903-556-1613 OR 903/628-7216 OR 903/824-2727 OR E-MAIL @ USMCgreg@aol.com /p>
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
To enter as a cooker, contact an officer of VVA #278 or a member organization of the Texarkana Area Veterans Council: American Legion # 25 or # 58, Disabled American Veterans # 222, Marine Corps League Detachment # 1149, or Vietnam Veterans of America #278, or eemail me at: USMCgreg@aol.com. Cooking will be done off site and brought to the college. Must prepare at least 3 gallons of chili. TAVC will supply the bowls, chees, onions, crackers, peppers, and drinks.
By the way, we are in dire need of volunteer drivers for these vans. To apply go by the local VA Clinic and ask for an application to be a driver or contact an officer of VVA #278 and/or TAVC. And you don't have to be a veteran to do this! The VA will furnish you a meal at the Medical Center.
REMEMBER THE ONTOS?
Ontos, officially the Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50, was a U.S. light armored tracked anti-tank vehicle developed in the 1950s. It mounted six 106 mm manually loaded M40 recoilless rifles as its main armament, which could be fired in rapid succession against single targets to guarantee a kill. Although the actual caliber of the main guns was 105 mm it was designated 106 mm to prevent confusion with the ammunition for the 105 mm M27 recoilless rifle, which the M40 replaced.
It was produced in limited numbers for the U.S. Marines after the U.S. Army cancelled the project. The Marines consistently reported excellent results when they used the Ontos for direct fire support against infantry in numerous battles and operations during the Vietnam War. The American stock of Ontos was largely expended towards the end of the conflict and the Ontos was removed from service in 1969.
WHAT DISEASES ARE NOW RECOGNIZED BY THE VA AS ASSOCIATED WITH AGENT ORANGE?
A full list of diseases recognized by VA as associated with Agent Orange can be found here: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/related-diseases/.
These diseases include:
• Cancer of the larynx
• Lung cancer
• Prostate cancer
• Cancer of the trachea
• Hodgkin's disease
• Multiple myeloma
• Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
• Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
• Hairy cell leukemia
• Ischemic heart disease (including, but not limited to: acute, subacute and old myocardial infarction; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease (including coronary spasm) and coronary bypass surgery; and stable, unstable, and Prinzmetal's angina)
• Type 2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and type II diabetes mellitus)
• AL amyloidosis (also known as primary amyloidosis)
• Parkinson's disease
• Soft tissue sarcomas
• Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, mature B-cell type
• B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia
• Precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia
• Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
• Follicular lymphoma
• Mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue lymphoma (MALT)
• Small cell lymphocytic lymphoma
• Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
• Burkitt lymphoma
• Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
• Waldenström macroglobulinemia
• Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
• Splenic marginal zone lymphoma
• Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
• Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma
• Primary effusion lymphoma
• Lymphomatoid granulomatosis
• Early-onset peripheral neuropathy
• Porphyria cutanea tarda
If you have not previously filed a disability claim for a disease VA now recognizes as associated with Agent Orange, you should file a claim for these benefits using VA Form 21-526EZ (available here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-526EZ-ARE.pdf). If you served boots on the ground, and/or now, in the Blue Water Navy, schedule an Agent Orange exam and if you have one of the diseases above file a claim – NOW! We strongly encourage you to use a Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to file a claim – don't try this yourself! See elsewhere in this newsletter about local VSOs. Also, we encourage all local veterans to enroll with the local VA Clinic if you are not enrolled. Like everything else, numbers count and indirectly you can help other local veterans!
VVA #278's FUNDRAISING PROJECT FOR 2020
VVA #278 is raffling off a Marlin Trapper, Lever action 45-70 Govt. and a Thompson Center Compass, bolt-action 6.5 Creedmoor. Drawing will be held November 29, 2020. Tickets are 1 for a $2 donation, 3 for a $5 donation, 7 for a $10 donation and 15 for a $30 donation. Tickets are available.
ELKS # 2771 FUNDRAISER
The Elks Lodge # 2771 has started a gun raffle as a fund raiser. For $50 you can enter into a drawing for 49 weeks. The first drawing was December 3 but you can still enter for the remaining weeks. If drawn, after you choose which gun your ticket goes back into the tumbler. Last 5 drawings also receive a case of wine!s
VIETNAM CASUALTIES BY BRANCH OF SERVICE
Branch • Serving in VN • % • Fatalities • % of Branch • % of all Fatalities
Army • 1,407,000 • 67% • 38,179 • 2.7% • 65.6
Marines • 294,000 • 14% • 14,836 • 5.0% • 25.5
Navy • 126,000 • 6% • 2,556 • 2.0% • 4.4
Air Force • 273,000 • 13% • 2,580 • 1.0% • 4.4
The figures show that 2,100,000 men and women who served in Vietnam, 58,152 or 2.7 % were killed. The Army suffered the most casualties, 58,179 or 66% of all casualties. As a branch of the US Armed Forces, however, the Marine Corps lost the highest percentage of its own men (5.0%) which in turn accounted for 25.5 % of all casualties or almost every one in four who served in-country. This date was compiled shortly after the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial, better known as the "Wall."
TRIP TO THE WALL
After talking with several VVA #278 members at our last POW/MIA Vigil, Mr. Carl Teel has been working on a trip to Washington, DC for those who wants to go. He has it tentatively worked out for a trip starting May 27 to June 4 (2 days travel each way) with 4 nights, 5 days in DC with 8 nights lodging (double occupancy), 12 meals (8 breakfasts & 6 dinners, rest are out of pocket). We will be leaving Texarkana on a MotorCoach (with restroom), stopping every 2 or 3 hours. There will be trips to Arlington, a couple of the Smithsonian museums and the National Bible Museum. The cost from Texarkana will be around $995 per person. And we need 40 people. I believe you will have to pay by March. What say You? I can pretty well guarantee you won't do this any cheaper except maybe by Honor Flight! And I will have that application at our next meeting.
MORE VETERANS' RESOURCES
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January 2: TAVC meeting
January 8: Wagons meeting
January 15: Elks Breakfast
January 19: VVA #278 meeting
January 22: Wagons meeting
February 6: TAVC meeting (Elections)
February 12: Wagons meeting
February 14: 21st Annual Chili cook-off
February 15: Elks Breakfast
February 16: VVA #278 meeting
February 28: Wagons meeting
March 5: TAVC meeting
March 11: Wagons meeting
March 15: VVA #278 meeting
March 21: Elks Breakfast
March 25: Wagons meeting
March 29: Vietnam Veterans Day
April 2: TAVC meeting
April 8: Wagons meeting
April 12: Easter Sunday
April 15: Wagons meeting
April 18: 3rd Annual "Wagons for Veterans"
April 19: VVA #278 meeting (Elections)
April 24-25: VVA TSC meeting (Beaumont)
May 7: TAVC meeting
May 10: Mother's Day
May 16: Veterans Information Fair/Elks Breakfast
May 17: VVA #278 meeting
May 24: TAVC Memorial Day Service
May 25: VVA #278 Memorial Day Service
June 4: TAVC meeting
June 14: Flag Day
June 20: Elks Breakfast
June 21: VVA #278 meeting
July 2: TAVC meeting
July 4: Independence Day
July 18: Elks Breakfast
July 19: VVA #278 meeting
United States Army National Guard: December 13, 1636
United States Army: June 14, 1775
United States Navy: October 13, 1775
United States Marine Corps: November 10, 1775
United States Coast Guard: August 4, 1790
United States Air Force: September 18, 1947
JOIN VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA (VVA) & ASSOCIATES OF VVA
All veterans should belong to at least one veterans organization!!