FEBRUARY - MARCH 2019 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 FEBRUARY MEETING
VVA # 278's next meeting will be Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 1:30 pm at the Texas Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. The meal, our Mardi Gras dinner, will begin at 1:30 pm. We ask members to bring a covered dish &/or dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Veterans' issues updates; Committee reports; Our 2019 fundraising project; Upcoming set-ups and events; the 2nd annual "Wagons for Veterans" & the disbursements made out of this fund; Hosting a VVA Texas State Council meeting (April 26 & 27, 2019); etc. I will also have our new chapter t-shirts at the meeting: M, L & XL are $15, 2X are $17. I will also have VVA hats for sale at $5.00 each.
REMEMBER: Sunday, February 17 at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA # 278's MARCH 2019 MEETING
VVA # 278's March 2019 meeting will be held Sunday, March 17 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. The meal will begin at 1:30 and 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; 2nd Annual Wagons for Veterans; etc., etc..
REMEMBER: Sunday, March 17 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA # 278's April meeting will be Sunday, April 21 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge.
VVA #278's MEMEBERSHIP
As of December 31, VVA # 278 has 147 members: 134 Life, 11 Annual and/or 3 year; 2 IVI. Remember: You don't have to have served in-country Vietnam to join VVA, you just need to have served during that time. We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new members of the VVA # 278 family: TOMMY NORTON, LEROY NEWSOME, JESSIE BOST, and DENVER COLLUM. 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. 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 will no longer be 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 has 35 members: 21 Life; 14 Annual and/or 3 year.
Together then, Together now.
VVA #278's ACTIVITIES
Since our last newsletter VVA # 278 set up a booth at a local gun show November 23, 24 & 25 where we distributed information and worked on our fundraising project. Through our "Wagons for Veterans" fund we assisted a younger Marine veteran with utility bills and toys for Christmas for his children and we assisted a local veteran who had hit a wild hog while on his Harley going to work and messed him up. We also enjoyed a meal prepared by the Banshees' Motorcycle Club for Vietnam veterans. We again assisted the Hero's Pantry in purchasing hams for their Christmas baskets. We provided Christmas gifts to the local veterans (31) who are in local nursing homes who have no local family. We assisted the Texarkana Area Veterans Council in delivering 5 Christmas baskets and as VVA delivered two other Christmas baskets, one to a widow of an Afghanistan veteran along with toys for her two children, and to a Vietnam veteran. We also delivered toys to the First Bikers Church for some of their kids. These toys were courtesy of the local Toys for Tots. We had several members assist the Marine Corps League # 1149/Marine Corps Reserve Unit with the local Toys for Tots program. VVA # 278 was nominated for "Best Non-Profit" in ALT Magazine's Best of the Year Awards! We took 2nd place! We voted to sponsor a hole for the Elks Golf Tournament. We made a donation to Girl Scout Troop # to buy Girl Scout cookies for the Hero's Pantry. We paid to sponsor a hole at the Elks Lodge # 2771 golf tournament. We set up at a gun show January 26 & 27.
22nd ANNUAL "VETERANS INFORMATION FAIR"
On Saturday, May 18, 2019 (Armed Forces Day) the Texarkana Area Chapter # 278 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (VVA # 278) will host our 22nd Annual "Veterans Information Fair" at the Texas Elks Lodge # 2771 at 3702 New Boston Road. It will be open to the public from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. This "Fair" is to assist veterans, active duty, Reserve & National Guard personnel & their families obtain information from a variety of sources on VA benefits, programs, & other assistance and programs for them & their families. Agencies to be invited will include: Texas Veterans Commission, Texas Work Force, VA Outpatient Clinic, VA Medical Center (Shreveport & Little Rock), Vet Center, Social Security Administration, VA Field Office personnel, Arkansas Veterans Affairs, Arkansas Work Force, Texarkana College and Texas A&M Veterans Counselors, Veterans Service officers, Agency on Aging, Hospice of Texarkana, East Funeral Home, Congressional aides, Lone Star Legal, American Red Cross, Texarkana Funeral Home, and other agencies that may have programs that pertain to Veterans, Active duty, Reserve & National Guard personnel and/or their families.
There is no charge for this service. All area veterans of all eras, all active duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel and their immediate families are invited and urged to attend.
or more information please call: 870-773-8279, 903-556-1613, 903-824-2727 or 903-628-7216 or email: USMCgreg@aol.com or go to the VVA # 278 website at: www.vva278.org or our Facebook page at: Vietnam Veterans of America # 278
CIGAR BOX GUITARS
VVA # 278 has a member, Tom, who is interested in starting a program to help veterans with their PTSD. He has proposed to start a program for veterans to build Cigar box guitars. He is an accomplished guitar builder and wishes to share his experiences to help veterans. Tom is a Vietnam veteran, helicopter pilot. First, we are looking for veterans (all eras) who might be interested in this program. We hope to keep the costs down to zero but there might be a slight charge if we have to go to the kits. Donations and grants would help keep these costs down. Secondly, we are looking for a place to meet and build. If anyone someone in the construction program at Texarkana college this would be an ideal location, or if someone has a good sized wood shop they wouldn't mind letting us use. And thirdly, we are looking for donations of cigar boxes, broken gun stocks (to be used for the necks) and other materials. Please contact us if interested or have any information on our needs. Thank You!
2nd ANNUAL "WAGONS FOR VETERANS"
When? Saturday, March 30, 2019. Where? The Four States Fairgrounds in the area of the Oasis. What? This is a fundraiser to raise funds to assist local disabled and needy veterans of all eras. As of this writing we have assisted local veterans to the tune of $8705 from last years' event and have a couple of more applications pending. You can come out and see 18 or more chuckwagons (and other displays like the Iron Munchers, Corvette Club, Jeep Junkies, etc.) hear local bands, gates open at 9:00 am, (looking is free) and for just $10 for adults, $5.00 for children 12 and under, eat from a varied menu of food cooked the old fashioned way - in cast iron pots over an open fire. Will start feeding at 12:00 noon. Live auction. Also the day of the event they are having barrel racing in the rodeo arena plus we are looking at having a "Veterans 5K Walk/Run" that morning in an adjacent area. We are also looking at having a car/jeep/motorcycle show. We are having meetings the 2nd & 4th Wednesday at 6:30 at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. if you would like to attend. We are looking for sponsors for the wagons and items for the live auction plus volunteers the day of the event. We have several categories for sponsors: $500 (receives 6 wristbands), $250 (receives 3 wristbands), $100 (receives 1 wristband). Each of these will have a sponsor sign by the wagons. The wristbands allow one person to eat. We are also looking for local bands who are willing to donate their time to this cause.
Come out and help us help veterans and enjoy some great food and entertainment! Friday evening, March 29, we will host our 3rd annual "Vietnam Veterans Day" ceremony at the Oasis at 6:00 pm. Come out and show your support for Vietnam veterans and their families! This is in conjunction with the 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War.
PRISONERS OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION - POW/MIA - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR: As of November 20, 2018 the number still missing (POW/MIA) and otherwise unaccounted-for (KIA/BNR) from the Vietnam War is 1,590. Of that number, 90% were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia or Laos under Vietnam's wartime control: Vietnam-1,247 (VN-452, VS-795); Laos-288; Cambodia-48; PRC territorial waters-7. The total accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 993. A breakdown by country of these 993 Americans is: Vietnam - 671, Laos - 277, 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 1,056. These country-specific numbers can and do fluctuate when investigations result in changes to loss locations. Of these 1590, 15 are from AR; 24 are from LA; 30 are from OK; and 101 are from TX. US Army -512; US Navy -354; US Marine Corps - 202; US Air Force - 494; 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 Jan. 25, 2019 there are still 7,671 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War: 100 from AR; 142 from LA; 143 from OK; 427 from TX; 5841 from the Army; 908 from the Air Force; 276 from the Navy; & 645 from the USMC.
As of January 25, 2019, there are still 72,747 Americans unaccounted for from World War II, 848 from AR; 977 from LA; 1218 from OK; & 3631 from TX; 16,733 from the Army; 20,090 from the Army Air Corps; 31,144 from the Navy; 2860 from the USMC.
There are 6 Americans unaccounted for from Iraq Theater and other conflicts in the Middle East.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!
TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL'S 20th ANNUAL CHILLI COOK-OFF
ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019 THE TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL (TAVC) WILL HOST THEIR 20th 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: 870/773-8279 OR 903/628-7216 OR 903/824-2727 OR E-MAIL @ USMCgreg@aol.com
We are also looking for volunteer drivers to drive these vans! We have two vans and would love to have around 15 volunteer drivers so we can make daily trips to the Shreveport VA Medical Center and use the other van to transport veterans to the local VA Clinic. To sign up for this contact us or the Texarkana VA Clinic.
TRIP TO WASHINGTON DC TO THE WALL
We are working on a trip to Washington, DC to see the Wall (Vietnam Veterans Memorial), the Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery and maybe a few other sites. We are looking at April 9, 10, & 11, 2019. If you are interested let us know! We are looking at Amtrac and have a fantastic travel agent from Hideaway, TX working on this for us! With getting on Amtrak in Texarkana there is no "direct" route for us to go. The best time and route that we can get is 17 hours to Chicago....17 hours to DC and then same back. Therefore leaving on the 9th we wouldn't be getting to DC until late on the 10th and then 2 days getting home. What we are looking at is $176/pp though for the roundtrip.
ASSOCIATES OF VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA
Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA) is a national, nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to advancing the awareness of issues affecting Veterans, their families, and their communities. AVVA strives to ensure that ALL veterans attain the honor, respect, and benefits they deserve. We lend our expertise, support, and leadership to all veteran related programs, community service, and social activities, while remaining actively involved in our own programs and educational endeavors. AVVA is made up of Veterans of all eras, families and friends of Veterans, and all persons who support Veterans' issues. AVVA is a catalyst for action, healing, reconciliation, mutual support, and fellowship. With more than 9,800 members, we are a thriving and strong organization. AVVA is a non-partisan, tax exempt organization.
CALENDAR OF EVENTSFebruary 7: TAVC meeting (elections)
February 9: Set up at Texarkana Harley Davison
February 15: TAVC Chili Cook-Off
February 16: Elks Breakfast
February 17: VVA # 278 meeting
March 2: Mardi Gras Festival
March 7: TAVC meeting
March 9 & 10: Gun Show
March 16: Elks Breakfast
March 17: VVA # 278 meeting
March 29: National Vietnam Veterans Day (Four States Fairgrounds)
March 30: 2nd Annual "Wagons for Veterans" (Four States Fairgrounds)
April 4: TAVC meeting
April 20: Elks Breakfast
April 21: VVA # 278 meeting
April 26-27: VVA TSC meeting
May 2: TAVC meeting
May 18: 22nd annual "Veterans Information Fair & Elks breakfast
May 19: VVA # 278 meeting
May 26: TAVC Memorial Day Service
May 27: VVA # 278's Memorial Day Service
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!!