BY JOHN ROWAN
As you read this, many of you are attending the Leadership
Conference in Greenville. This will be a great occasion
because, in addition to the usual array of excellent seminars,
we also will be celebrating VVA’s thirtieth anniversary.
a theme from my last message, regarding Air Force heroes,
elsewhere in this issue (p.28) you will find an article
about the dedication of the John Lee Levitow Veterans Health
Center at the Connecticut Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. John
Levitow was the first of only two enlisted airmen to receive
the Medal of Honor.
While he survived Vietnam, he succumbed
to Agent Orange-related health problems in November of 2002.
The Connecticut Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is VVA’s
own Linda Schwartz. Her leadership helped garner the federal
funds for this worthwhile project.
My recent travels took
me to Tennessee and Indiana. Region 3 held its annual conference
in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.—the
home of Dollywood. This part of the country at the foot of
the Smokey Mountains is very beautiful. As always, Region
3 put on a very informative conference. Bruce Whitaker and
the State Council Presidents and their delegates should be
congratulated for their wonderful events. At the end, they
voted to rename the annual event the “George Duggins
Region 3 Conference” in honor of our deceased past
President. George’s wife Blanche was at the Conference
and received this honor.
The next week I went to Indianapolis
to attend the Indiana State Council meeting. It was held
at the home of Chapter 295. While there, I joined the chapter
as they presented a check for $22,500 to the Indianapolis
VA Medical Center to support the Golden Age Games, which
will be held in Indianapolis this year. It is amazing what
chapters can do when they put their minds to it.
It just so happened that while I was in
town, the Mayor of Indianapolis, Gregory A. Ballard, a retired
Marine Lt. Col., held a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans celebration
at the Indianapolis War Memorial. Thousands of Vietnam veterans
and their families attended, and each one was given a commemorative