MARCH - APRIL 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 MARCH 2020 MEETING
VVA # 278's March meeting will be held Sunday, March 15 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. The meal will be our St. Patrick's Day meal, 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; 3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Day; 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair"; VVA 278's Memorial Day Service; etc., etc.
REMEMBER: Sunday, March 15 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA #278's APRIL MEETING
VVA # 278's April meeting will be Sunday, April 19 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge. This will be a pizza party. We ask members to bring a dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Veterans' issues updates; Committee reports; Events & activities for 2020; Report on the3rd Annual Wagons for Veterans; 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair"; Texas State Council meeting; Election of chapter officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, 3 Directors, 2 delegates to TSC. AVVA will elect their chapter representative.; Review of Wagons for Veterans; etc., etc..
Remember: Remember: April 19 at 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA # 278's May meeting will be held Sunday, May 17 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge.
VVA #278 MEMBERSHIP
As of February 24, 2020, VVA # 278 has 153 members: 150 Life; 3 IVI. We've had two more members pass away: Daniel Cherry of Maud, and Coye Barber of New Boston. Rest in Peace! 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. He is: William Anderson. Welcome Aboard & Welcome Home!!!
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. New members: You must submit a copy of your DD- 214 form along with the application & dues payment!
Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America # 278 (AVVA) has 35 members: 22 Life; 13 Annual and/or 3 year. AVVA Dues: 1 year: $20.00 3 Year: $50.00 (saves $10), Life Member Dues Schedule: Age 59 years and under $175. Age 60 and above $100, Payment Plan: (requires $50 down, and $25 per month until paid in full.)
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 has set up a booth at a gun show, participated in the Texarkana Area Veterans council's 21st Annual Chili Cook-off where the chapter took 2nd Place in the civic category, three of our members took 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in the Individual category & one took home Best Presentation & People's Choice! Congratulations! We presented two more framed flags to veterans in nursing homes. We assisted several more veterans with various aid – rent, medical expenses, food & utilities through our Wagons for Veterans fund, bringing the total assisted in 2 years to a little over $30,000!. We set up a booth at the local Mardi Gras celebration. And we were presented with the "Extra Mile Award" by the Texas Veterans Commission! We donated $250 to the Bowie County Special Olympics. We are helping the Elks Lodge place & take up flags displayed over 6 holidays thru the year.
PRISONERS OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION - POW/MIA - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
As of February 21, 2020 the number still missing (POW/MIA) and otherwise unaccounted-for (KIA/BNR) from the Vietnam War is still 1,587. Of that number: 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. 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. Operation Homecoming: Between Feb. 12 and April 4, 1973, U.S flights returned 591 POWs to American soil from Hanoi, North Vietnam. 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 February 21, 2020, there are still 7,597 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War: 99 from AR; 142 from LA; 142 from OK; 415 from TX; 5773 from the USA; 908 from the USAF; 276 from the USN; & 642 from the USMC.
As of February 21, 2020, there are still 72,627 Americans unaccounted for from World War II, 847 from AR; 978 from LA; 1219 from OK; & 3626 from TX; 16,695 from the USA; 20,076 from the USAAC; 31,080 from the USN; 2769 from the USMC.
There are 6 Americans unaccounted for from Iraq Theater and other conflicts in the Middle East.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!
AIRBORNE HAZARDS AND OPEN BURN PET REGISTRY FOR VETERANS AND SERVICEMEMBERS
Veterans eligible for the registry can also get an optional no-cost, in-person medical evaluation. Ask your VA primary care provider or call 877-222-8387 to get started with an environmental health coordinator.
Is this for me?
•The registry is a database of information about Veterans and Servicemembers collected through a questionnaire.
•OEF/OIF/OND/OFS Veterans and Servicemembers who have deployed to the Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990 as well as those who have deployed to Afghanistan or Djibouti after September 11, 2001 can use the registry questionnaire to report exposures to airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires, or pollution during deployment), as well as other exposures and health concerns. Participants: 193,952
Why sign up?
•Create a snapshot from which to identify changes in your health.
•Print and use your completed questionnaire to discuss concerns with your provider.
•Learn about follow-up care and VA benefits.
We urge all eligible veterans to sign up on this registry!!!
AGENT ORANGE REGISTRY HEALTH EXAM FOR VETERANS
VA's Agent Orange Registry health exam alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to Agent Orange exposure during their military service. The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively.
About the Agent Orange Registry health exam
This comprehensive health exam includes an exposure history, medical history, physical exam, and any tests if needed. A VA health professional will discuss the results face-to-face with the Veteran & in a follow-up letter.
Important points about registry health exams:
•Free to eligible Veterans and no co-payment
•Not a disability compensation exam or required for other VA benefits
•Enrollment in VA's health care system not necessary
•Based on Veterans' recollection of service, not on their military records
•Will not confirm exposure to Agent Orange
•Veterans can receive additional registry exams, if new problems develop
•Veterans' family members are not eligible for an Agent Orange Registry health exam.
Eligibility for Agent Orange Registry health exam
These Veterans are eligible for the Agent Orange Registry health exam:
•Veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of time.
•Veterans who served aboard smaller river patrol and swift boats that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam (also known as "Brown Water Veterans")
•"Blue Water Navy" Veterans who served on a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia as defined in Public Law 116-23.
•Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) anytime between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971.
•U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases near U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, & Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
•U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975
. •U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned a military occupational specialty whose duty placed him or her at or near the base perimeter.
Other potential Agent Orange exposures
•Veterans who may have been exposed to herbicides during a military operation or as a result of testing, transporting, or spraying herbicides for military purposes. Learn about herbicide tests and storage outside Vietnam. Contact your local VA Environmental Coordinator about getting an Agent Orange Registry Exam.
HONOR VIETNAM VETERANS DAY WITH COMMEMORATIVE BOOK
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29. To honor the over half-million Vietnam-era Texas veterans, a special Texas limited edition Vietnam War 50th Commemoration book A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty, and Sacrifice is available to them at no charge. To receive the book, Texas resident Vietnam-era veterans and their family members may either contact their local Texas Veterans Commission Claims or Health Care Advocate, call 1-800-252-VETS (8387).
NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS DAY
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29 and is a way to thank and honor our nation's Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
There are 5 objectives with Vietnam Commemoration and the other four are:
•Highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war
•Pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens
•Highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war
•Recognize contributions by our Allies.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day will be observed to honor and remember U.S. Armed Forces personnel with active duty service between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location of service. Vietnam Veterans of America # 278 will host the local observation on Saturday, March 28 at the Korea/Vietnam M Memorial located at 7th Street & State Line Avenue in downtown Texarkana. The program will begin at 1:00 pm. All local Vietnam era veterans and their families are invited to attend.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. WELCOME HOME BROTHERS & SISTERS
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.
MORE VETERANS' RESOURCES
VA Urgent Health Care Benefits
VA Mission Act
TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION'S VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER : Tiffany Griffie - 903-823-3327
MILLER COUNTY VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER: Thomas Ornberg - firstname.lastname@example.org - 870-330-9847
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
March 4: Wagons meeting
March 5: TAVC meeting
March 14: Gun Show
March 15: VVA #278 meeting
March 18: Wagons meeting
March 21: Elks Breakfast
March 25: Wagons meeting
March 28: VVA # 278's Vietnam Veterans Day
March 29: Vietnam Veterans Day
April 2: TAVC meeting
April 8: Wagons meeting
April 12: Easter Sunday
April 14: Texas Work Force's Job Expo
April 15: Wagons meeting
April 18: 3rd Annual "Wagons for Veterans"
April 19: VVA #278 meeting (Elections)
April 24-25: VVA TSC meeting (Beaumont)
April 25: Scout-a-Rama
April 29: Wagons meeting
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!!