BY QUENTIN BUTCHER
Our mission remains true to the founding principle of
Vietnam Veterans of America: Never again will one generation
of veterans abandon another. We will stand together with
today’s veterans and support the needs of all veterans
of the Global War on Terrorism.
The goal of VetsConnect
is for VVA to reach out to current veterans of Operations
Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. We want to establish
long-lasting relationships with these veterans and show
them our support as they make the transition from their
deployment into civilian life. This is a way for VVA to
establish trust with this next generation of service members
and show that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them.
chapters are already doing a lot to support younger veterans.
Here’s a sampling.
Chapter 844, El Paso,
Texas, hosted a dinner-dance for Medical Hold Company soldiers,
hosted BBQs, and provided Thanksgiving dinners for soldiers
away from home
Chapter 761, Orlando, Florida, gave gift
cards and Christmas baskets to families and sent care packages
to service members.
Chapter 822, Marion, Ohio, held a Veteran
Appreciation Night dinner to honor returning veterans.
185, Orrington, Maine, welcomed home and said farewell
to troops at Bangor International Airport.
New Bern, North Carolina, sent care packages to service
Chapter 483, Yauco, Puerto Rico, bid farewell
to troops at the airport.
Chapter 959, Sioux Falls, South
Dakota, conducted information seminars on the educational
needs of veterans at the University of South Dakota.
957, Williamsburg, Virginia, welcomed home troops and donated
goods to veterans.
Chapter 820, Bend, Oregon, helped new
veterans with VA claims and provided referral assistance
for mental health and substance abuse.
Chapter 871, Paradise,
Montana, built a wheelchair ramp for a returning veteran.
are some suggestions for local chapters for continuing
support of our newest veterans:
Reach out to veterans as
they come home; be a friend and be someone they can talk
Send care packages
a unit when it comes home; have dinners and holiday parties
for single service members who can’t
Provide such services as group therapy led by
Conduct informational meetings for the
public on how veterans may be different after they return.
US WHAT YOU ARE DOING
Most of all, we would like to know
what you are doing to help at the local level. In addition
to publishing your programs in The VVA Veteran, we will
place them on the VetsConnect website, http: //vetsconnect.org
Send information to:
VetsConnect c/o VVA
8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Please include all pertinent data,
such as chapter number, location, what you did, how it
helped, and how many soldiers benefited. Include news articles
and photos so we can post them on the website.