MAY - JUNE 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 MAY 2020 MEETING
VVA #278’s May meeting will be held Sunday, May 17 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road. The meal will be our Pizza/Chicken meal, we ask members to bring a side a dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Updates on Veterans’ issues; Committee reports; 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair"; VVA 278’s Memorial Day Service; Chapter elections: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, 3 Directors, 2 delegates & 2 alternate delegates to the TSC; AVVA will elect their chapter Representative; 4rd Annual "Wagons for Veterans"; Events & Activities; etc., etc.
REMEMBER: Sunday, May 17 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA #278’S JUNE MEETING
VVA #278’s June meeting will be Sunday, June 21 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge. This will be a pot luck dinner. We ask members to bring a covered dish and/or a dessert to share. Topics to be discussed will include: Veterans’ issues updates; Committee reports; Events & activities for 2020; Report on Texas State Council meeting; etc., etc.
Remember: June 21 at 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge @ 3702 New Boston Road.
VVA #278’s July meeting will be held Sunday, July 19 @ 1:30 pm at the Elks Lodge.
NOTE: All planned events and meetings are tentative depending on the COVID-19 situation!
VVA #278 MEMBERSHIP
As of April 30, 2020, VVA #278 has 153 members: 150 Life; 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: Phillip Darity and Jhomara Estrada (AVVA). 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: We are helping the Elks Lodge place & take up flags displayed over 6 holidays thru the year. We helped a veteran with rent. We’ve had to cancel our 3rd Annual "Wagons for Veterans," our 3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Day, and so far our April meeting among a few other events and it looks like we might have to cancel and/or postpone our 24th Annual "Veterans Information Fair,’ and possibly our 37th Memorial Day Service, but stay tune for those last two if we do, remember the National Moment of Silence on Memorial Day, May 25. VVA #278 has won two rifles through the Elks Lodge # 2771’s 52 week drawings!
PRISONERS OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION - POW/MIA - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
As of April 29, 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 April 29, 2020, there are still 7,589 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War: 99 from AR; 142 from LA; 140 from OK; 415 from TX; 5763 from the USA; 908 from the USAF; 276 from the USN; & 642 from the USMC.
As of April 29, 2020, there are still 71075 Americans unaccounted for from World War II, 847 from AR; 978 from LA; 1219 from OK; & 3624 from TX; 16,697 from the USA; 20,073 from the USAAC; 31,077 from the USN; 2715 from the USMC.
There are 6 Americans unaccounted for from Iraq Theater and other conflicts in the Middle East.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!
24th ANNUAL "VETERANS INFORMATION FAIR" (MOVED TO JUNE 20)
On Saturday, June 20, 2020, the Texarkana Area Chapter #278 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (VVA #278) will host our 24th 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.
For more information please call: 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
Note: This has been moved to June 20.
*H.R. 6082, the Forgotten Vietnam Veterans Act. This important legislation would allow veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, to receive wartime benefits. More than 3,000 veterans served in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, ten of whom were killed in action.
*S. 850: Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act of 2019. This important bill would expand beneficiary travel to certain veterans receiving care in Vet Centers and for vocational rehabilitation, and reauthorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grant program to transport highly rural veterans to VA medical centers. This bill would require VA to develop, within the next year, a national protocol to reduce delays in conducting volunteer drivers' physicals.The bill would also require the Government Accountability Office to study VA's transportation program to ensure it is cost effective and working effectively in conjunction with other transportation programs such as the DAV transportation network.
*H.R. 2201: To modify the presumption of service connection for veterans who were exposed to herbicide agents while serving in the Armed Forces in Thailand during the Vietnam era, and for other purposes.
* H. Res. 729 & S. Res. 420: Encouraging the President to expand the list of the DVA of presumptive medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange to include Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, hypertension, & hypothyroidism.
*S. 2950: Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act of 2019. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to concede exposure to airborne hazards and toxins from burn pits under certain circumstances, and for other purposes. In the last issue of the VVA Veteran there is an article on how to be an efficient advocate.
MEMORIAL DAY 2020, TEXARKANA
Memorial Day is the day set aside for Americans to remember and honor those Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in the uniform of the United States military while on duty. Again, this year we will have four (4) Memorial Day services in Texarkana. The first one will be Sunday, May 24 at Memorial Gardens on Hwy 67 East, out past the airport. This service is hosted by Memorial Gardens and the Texarkana Area Veterans Council and will begin at 2:00 pm. The next service will be held Monday, May 25 at 11:00 am at the Miller County Courthouse. It is hosted by the American Legion. Immediately after that service we will form up for the annual Memorial Day Walk which will take everyone to the Korea/Vietnam Memorial where we, Vietnam Veterans of America # 278, will host the next service beginning at approximately 11:45 am. This will be our 37th Memorial Day service at this site. You might want to bring lawn chairs. The last service will begin at 2:00 pm at Hillcrest Cemetery on Hwy 67 West hosted by Texarkana Funeral Home. We encourage everyone to attend these services!
For those who cannot attend these services (and those that do), the National Moment of Remembrance will be observed at 3:00 pm local time all across America. Please take a moment and remember those that gave their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms and liberties we have! They deserve at least that much! Remember those that gave so much!
MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS, AWARDS, AND UNIT HISTORIES
A New Congressional Research Service Publication on U.S. Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories
The Congressional Research Service has just published a short reference document that might be of interest to many: Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources by Mese F. DeBruyne and Barbara Salazar Torreon.
The guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides information on locating and replacing military awards and medals. Included is contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications, including related CRS reports. Go here to download the Publication https://fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RS21282.pdf
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.
HOW DO I GET HELP FOR A VETERAN WHO'S IN CRISIS?
Find out how to get support anytime, day or night
If you're concerned about a Veteran in crisis, connect with our caring, qualified Veterans Crisis Line responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This service is private, free, and available 24/7. To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime, day or night:
· Call 800-273-8255, then press 1.
· Start a confidential chat.
· Text 838255.
· If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-799-4889.
If you're concerned about a Veteran who's homeless or at risk of becoming homeless , call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838 for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You or the Veteran can talk privately with a trained VA counselor for free.
NOTE: ALL PLANNED EVENTS AND MEETINGS ARE TENTATIVE DEPENDING ON THE COVID-19 SITUATION. Keep a watch on our facebook page: Vietnam Veterans of America # 278 and your emails. If you’re not receiving my emails, send me your email address to: USMCgreg@aol.com. Thank You!
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
May 7: TAVC meeting
May 10: Mother's Day
May 16: 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 5-6: TSC meeting, Beaumont
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
MORE VETERANS' RESOURCES
TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION'S VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER: Tiffany Griffie - 903-823-3327MILLER COUNTY VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER: Thomas Ornberg - firstname.lastname@example.org - 870-330-9847
Vietnam War 1954–1975
Written By: Ronald H. Spector
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Vietnam War, (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Called the "American War" in Vietnam (or, in full, the "War Against the Americans to Save the Nation"), the war was also part of a larger regional conflict (see Indochina wars) and a manifestation of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies.
At the heart of the conflict was the desire of North Vietnam, which had defeated the French colonial administration of Vietnam in 1954, to unify the entire country under a single communist regime modeled after those of the Soviet Union and China. The South Vietnamese government, on the other hand, fought to preserve a Vietnam more closely aligned with the West. U.S. military advisers, present in small numbers throughout the 1950s, were introduced on a large scale beginning in 1961, and active combat units were introduced in 1965. By 1969 more than 500,000 U.S. military personnel were stationed in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and China poured weapons, supplies, and advisers into the North, which in turn provided support, political direction, and regular combat troops for the campaign in the South. The costs and casualties of the growing war proved too much for the United States to bear, and U.S. combat units were withdrawn by 1973. In 1975 South Vietnam fell to a full-scale invasion by the North. The human costs of the long conflict were harsh for all involved. Not until 1995 did Vietnam release its official estimate of war dead: as many as 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., inscribed with the names of 57,939 members of U.S. armed forces who had died or were missing as a result of the war. Over the following years, additions to the list have brought the total past 58,200. (At least 100 names on the memorial are those of servicemen who were actually Canadian citizens.) Among other countries that fought for South Vietnam on a smaller scale, South Korea suffered more than 4,000 dead, Thailand about 350, Australia more than 500, and New Zealand some three dozen.
Vietnam emerged from the war as a potent military power within Southeast Asia, but its agriculture, business, and industry were disrupted, large parts of its countryside were scarred by bombs and defoliation and laced with land mines, and its cities and towns were heavily damaged. A mass exodus in 1975 of people loyal to the South Vietnamese cause was followed by another wave in 1978 of "boat people," refugees fleeing the economic restructuring imposed by the communist regime. Meanwhile, the United States, its military demoralized and its civilian electorate deeply divided, began a process of coming to terms with defeat in what had been its longest and most controversial war. The two countries finally resumed formal diplomatic relations in 1995.
Myth: Common Belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.
Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.
Myth: The common belief is that the fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.
Fact: The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served. Although the percent that died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II ....75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled
TO ALL WHO SERVED DURING THE VIETNAM WAR: THANK YOU & WELCOME HOME!
JOIN VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA (VVA) & ASSOCIATES OF VVA
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