At-Large Director

John McGinty

At-Large Director

I am asking for your vote because I believe, in some cases, we have lost our way. I can say this since I’ve been at this from almost the beginning, 1978. We started with all veterans’ organizations telling us it wasn’t a war it was a police action. Then it was combat veterans against Veterans Against the War; then we put it together, and we were going to have our own organization. The big push was POW-MIA–the bracelet, the flag, and the recognition of our brothers who were left behind.

 

Back then, New Jersey was the first state to recognize Vietnam veterans and their problems with PTSD and Agent Orange. In 1987, I was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs advisory board on the study and treatment of PTSD in Vietnam veterans. I was involved with the first Pointman Study about the dioxin levels in different Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force Ranch Hand veterans exposed to the herbicides. Marines– especially the 9th Marines–had the highest levels of dioxin in all the controlled units.

 

The first three years I joined Chapter 151 in Bayonne, and I believe everything came out of there. In 1985, N.Y. Mayor Ed Koch gave us a parade down Fifth Avenue, with Raquel Welch as the Master of Ceremonies. All of us remembered her with Bob Hope at Christmas time–It was the first time we got to meet old friends.

 

I transferred to VVA Chapter 280 of Rocklyn and Bergen Counties, where I was involved in the first State Veterans Home in Paramus. As most Vietnam veterans didn’t trust the VA, we established Vet Centers that were run by Vietnam veterans VSO. I was also establishing the Patient Bill of Rights in East Orange VA Hospital.

 

My next chapter, VVA 510 was started by Richard Ventola and Anthony Dellanno. We were the chapter that brought about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It took us five years before it became a reality, and it was dedicated on May 7, 1989. The next step was the establishment of the museum of Vietnam veterans killed in the war from the State of New Jersey.

 

The establishment of a foundation for the memorial. In 2012, I moved to St Augustine, Florida, to find out no VVA chapter in town. There’s one in Jacksonville and another in Daytona, so I formed the foundation of St Johns Chapter 1084 and got my charter within a month. I would like to thank Tony D’Aleo, Gary Newman, and Rod Philips for helping me with the formation.

 

While servings as president of Chapter 1084, Bob Dinkins approached me to rename our chapter after Leo C. Chase, Jr., the first from St. Augustine to die in Vietnam. Six years later, our new CBOC will be named VA Leo C Chase Jr CBOC. After two terms as president, I moved to the Florida state positions of State Sergeant at Arms. thanks to then FL State Council President Ben Humphries.

 

I am asking for your vote because I believe, in some cases, we have lost our way. I can say this since I’ve been at this from almost the beginning, 1978. We started with all veterans’ organizations telling us it wasn’t a war it was a police action. Then it was combat veterans against Veterans Against the War; then we put it together, and we were going to have our own organization. The big push was POW-MIA–the bracelet, the flag, and the recognition of our brothers who were left behind.

 

Back then, New Jersey was the first state to recognize Vietnam veterans and their problems with PTSD and Agent Orange. In 1987, I was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs advisory board on the study and treatment of PTSD in Vietnam veterans. I was involved with the first Pointman Study about the dioxin levels in different Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force Ranch Hand veterans exposed to the herbicides. Marines– especially the 9th Marines–had the highest levels of dioxin in all the controlled units.

 

The first three years I joined Chapter 151 in Bayonne, and I believe everything came out of there. In 1985, N.Y. Mayor Ed Koch gave us a parade down Fifth Avenue, with Raquel Welch as the Master of Ceremonies. All of us remembered her with Bob Hope at Christmas time–It was the first time we got to meet old friends.

 

I transferred to VVA Chapter 280 of Rocklyn and Bergen Counties, where I was involved in the first State Veterans Home in Paramus. As most Vietnam veterans didn’t trust the VA, we established Vet Centers that were run by Vietnam veterans VSO. I was also establishing the Patient Bill of Rights in East Orange VA Hospital.

 

My next chapter, VVA 510 was started by Richard Ventola and Anthony Dellanno. We were the chapter that brought about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It took us five years before it became a reality, and it was dedicated on May 7, 1989. The next step was the establishment of the museum of Vietnam veterans killed in the war from the State of New Jersey.

 

The establishment of a foundation for the memorial. In 2012, I moved to St Augustine, Florida, to find out no VVA chapter in town. There’s one in Jacksonville and another in Daytona, so I formed the foundation of St Johns Chapter 1084 and got my charter within a month. I would like to thank Tony D’Aleo, Gary Newman, and Rod Philips for helping me with the formation.

 

While servings as president of Chapter 1084, Bob Dinkins approached me to rename our chapter after Leo C. Chase, Jr., the first from St. Augustine to die in Vietnam. Six years later, our new CBOC will be named VA Leo C Chase Jr CBOC. After two terms as president, I moved to the Florida state positions of State Sergeant at Arms. thanks to then FL State Council President Ben Humphries.