VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, INC
LZ WEBBER BENNINGTON CHAPTER 601
P. O. BOX 4146
BENNINGTON, VERMONT 05201
NEWSLETTER 165 A NOT-FOR-PROFIT VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION Feb 1, 2009
JOHN J. MINER - PRESIDENT - PHIL YOUNG -VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRATION -JAMES DAWSON - VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS -DENNIS GAUTHIER - TREASURER - BOB FRITZ - SECRETARY - TOM MCDONOUGH - CHAPLAIN -BRIAN VESPER - CHAPTER COORDINATOR -
MIKE DIMONDA - JIM SWEET - BILL CANNAVAN - AT - LARGE BOARD MEMBERS - SUE COOK AVVA ASSOCIATE CHAPTER LIAISON - BRUCE NILES - MIKE DIMONDA -- DELEGATES TO VERMONT STATE COUNCIL
Here we are entering the 2nd month of the year all ready, we don’t have a meeting this month, but we do have one next month on March 17th at 7:00 PM at the Vermont Veterans Home Mutli-purpose room. At that time we will have nomination of officers for the coming election in April for the next year. But I think between now and then we must ask our self are we meeting or passing the goals that this chapter has set for it self. I know that we have had some pretty high goals but this chapter worked hard on them and made them come to being.
Our chapter coordinator is a very important part of our goals in reaching out to the new veterans and making sure they are helped and just not directed to another group when we can do it for them. This month there is a day that the state council has set up for training and retraining for chapter coordinator from all of the chapters. I can only hope that the other six chapters under stand that this should be in each of there chapters. It is on Feb 28th at the VFW home of Chapter 1 in Rutland from 10:00 AM until about three. Food will be provided b y the state council and each chapter that sends a person he or she will received a check for $75.00 for expenses for the day.
This month we have no new members to report on but we do have a number of members who have sent in their dues for this year. They are Mark Sprague, Joe Krawcyk, William Brown, Bruce Hazen, David Nichols. Also Gary Forrest has become our newest life members. Again to each of you thank you for your continuing support of what this chapter does in the community, state and nation.
ABOVE & BEYOND
DE LA GARZA, EMILIO A., JR. *
Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division
Place and date: Near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, 11 April 1970
Entered service at: Chicago, Illinois
Born: 23 June 1949, East Chicago, Indiana
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company E. Returning with his squad from a night ambush operation, L/Cpl. De La Garza joined his platoon commander and another marine in searching for 2 enemy soldiers who had been observed fleeing for cover toward a small pond. Moments later, he located 1 of the enemy soldiers hiding among the reeds and brush. As The 3 marines attempted to remove the resisting soldier from the pond, L/Cpl. De La Garza observed him pull the pin on a grenade. Shouting a warning, L/Cpl. De La Garza placed himself between the other 2 marines and the ensuing blast from the grenade, thereby saving the lives of his comrades at the sacrifice of his life. By his prompt and decisive action, and his great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, L/Cpl. De La Garza upheld and further enhanced the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
The U.S. government continues to account for Americans missing in Southeast Asia from the Vietnam War. Since late 1973, the remains of over 700 Americans killed in that war have been returned and identified. Many have been buried with full military honors in accordance with the wishes of surviving family members. Efforts continue to recover nearly 1,800 Americans who remain unaccounted-for from the conflict .
SOLDIER MISSING IN ACTION FROM KOREAN WAR IS IDENTIFIED
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Sgt. Dougall H. Espey, Jr., U.S. Army, of Mount Laurel, N.J. He will be buried April 3 in Elmira, N.Y.
Representatives from the Army’s Mortuary Office met with Espey’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
Espey was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. On Nov. 1, 1950, the 8th Cavalry was occupying a defensive position near Unsan, North Korea in an area known as the “Camel’s Head,” when elements of two Chinese Communist Forces divisions struck the 1st Cavalry Division’s lines, collapsing the perimeter and forcing a withdrawal. The 3rd Battalion was surrounded and effectively ceased to exist as a fighting unit. Espey was one of the more than 350 servicemen unaccounted-for from the battle at Unsan.
Between 1991-94, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents turned over with several boxes in 1993 indicated that the remains from those boxes were exhumed near Chonsung-Ri, Unsan County. This location correlates with Espey’s last known location.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
MISSING WWII SOLDIERS ARE IDENTIFIED
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Pfc. Julian H. Rogers, of Bloomington, Ind, and Pvt. Henry E. Marquez, of Kansas City, Kan. Both men were U.S. Army. Rogers will be buried in the Spring in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and Marquez will be buried on May 30 in Kansas City, Mo.
Representatives from the Army’s Mortuary Office met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In November 1944, the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, was attacking east through the Hürtgen Forest in an attempt to capture the German towns of Vossenack and Schmidt. On Nov. 4, the Germans counterattacked in what would become one of the longest running battles in U.S. history. Rogers and Marquez, both members of G Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, were reported killed in action near Vossenack on Nov. 4. Their bodies were not recovered.
In 2007, a German citizen searching for wartime relics in the Hürtgen Forest uncovered human remains and military identification tags for Rogers and Marquez. He notified U.S. officials and a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team excavated the site later that year. The team recovered human remains and non-biological material.
Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.
VOICES FOR VETERANS RADIO SHOW
This past month we had Rep. Joseph Krawczyk who is the chairman of the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council. Joe talked about how the council got started again after a long spell. He went on to say we have put together a great hand book for veterans here in Vermont and we give them out to all of our returning veterans and to any one that would like one. All you have to do is contact the Department of Veterans Affairs in Montpelier and ask them to send one to you. 1-888-666-9844. Also the change in the Vermont Medals this year and some other things that the council has been working on with the Governor.
The last show of the Month found Tony Meillo who son has been in Iraq and the changes that he has seen in his son. Also he has been able to communate with his son thru the internet. This coming month on Feb 5th we will have a very special guest on at 9:30 AM to talk about “the warrior Project” that they are going to be starting real soon. After the talk show she will be coming to DD for coffee and talk with us there about this project. We will keep you post as to what it is and what part we may play in it. Also we hope to have other guest show up for coffee also to listen to this person. Hope to see some of you there also.
PICTURED BELOW IS BOB HANNAN AND ANTHONY MEILLO
The World War I Memorial Foundation
In 2017 the United States will commemorate the centennial of its entry into World War I. Nearly 5 million Americans served during the war, and 116,561 Americans died in defense of democracy overseas. America's support of its allies in World War I marked the first time in this nation's history that American soldiers went abroad to defend foreign soil against aggression -- and it marked the true beginning of "the American century." Yet while the later conflicts of the 20th century - World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War -- rightfully have national memorials on the Mall, there is no such memorial to "the Great War," even though more Americans gave their lives in World War I than in Korea or Vietnam. In 1931 the residents of Washington, DC dedicated a memorial to the 499 residents of the District of Columbia who gave their lives in that war. That memorial now sits neglected and in disrepair, along the Lincoln Reflecting Pool between the World War II and Korean War Memorials. It is often overlooked by residents and visitors to Washington. On March 6, 2008, Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, visited the DC War Memorial. He called for restoration of the memorial, and for its rededication as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial. The World War I Memorial Foundation was formed to make Frank Buckles' dream a reality. The mission of the Foundation is to raise funds for the restoration of the DC War Memorial, and to sponsor and secure legislation for the re-dedication of the site. Legislation has been introduced in Congress, and the Foundation has begun raising funds to establish a true national memorial. Please help honor America's veterans of World War I, by writing your Congressman and Senator
Below is a listing of the veteran related legislation introduced to date during this session.
H.0021 AN ACT RELATING TO AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE BOYS AND GIRLS STATE PROGRAMS
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to appropriate in fiscal year 2010 the one-time amounts of $5,000.00 each to the (American Legion to be used to support) boys and girls state programs..
H.0035 AN ACT RELATING TO VETERANS' PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to lower the disability requirement for the veterans’ property tax exemption from a 50-percent disability to a 30-percent disability.
H.0065 AN ACT RELATING TO HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES FOR VERMONT VETERANS
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to provide Vermont veterans with free combination hunting and fishing licenses.
H.0078 AN ACT RELATING TO SPECIAL REGISTRATION PLATES FOR VETERANS FOR USE ON MOTORCYCLES
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to authorize the department of motor vehicles to issue special registration plates for use by veterans on motorcycles.
THE PROPOSED LOTTERY FOR VETERANS
First I want to thank Rep. Mary Morrissey and Rep Joseph Krawczyk for setting up the meeting with the head of the Vermont Lottery Alan Yandow. We meet on Monday the 26th at the Vermont Veterans Home upstairs board room for just over a hour. We had a very good meeting with some give and take. The bottom line is it is up to the Legislators to pass a bill saying what we want to happen with this.
Right now Mary and Joe are working with the people that will write up the bill and as soon as I know what that number will be I will get it to you all and then you can start call your reps and senator about this bill. I also want to thank Sue Cook who came and took some notes and also took the pictures of us also.
> IT'S WINTER IN VERMONT
> AND THE GENTLE BREEZES BLOW
> SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR
> AT THIRTY-FIVE BELOW
> OH HOW I LOVE VERMONT
> WHEN THE SNOW'S UP TO YOUR BUTT
> YOU TAKE A BREATH OF WINTER AIR
> AND YOUR NOSE GETS FROZEN SHUT
> YES, THE WEATHER HERE IS WONDERFUL
> SO I GUESS I'LL HANG AROUND
> I COULD NEVER LEAVE VERMONT
> CAUSE I'M FROZEN TO THE GROUND
HR 2370 was introduced May 16th, 2005 during the 109th Congress. Its new number is HR 671.
In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act
Congressman Bob Filner has reintroduced legislation, the “In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act” (H.R. 671) on January 28th, 2009 to honor the service and sacrifice of many members of the United States Armed Forces who fought in Vietnam.
Those so recognized are veterans who died as a result of their service in the Vietnam War but who do not meet the criteria for inclusion on The Wall of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund “In Memory” program raised money to place a plaque near The Wall. The plaque honors “those who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service.” No names are on the plaque, but all names are recorded in the “In Memory Book” at a kiosk near The Wall. Families can order a copy of the book.
Through introduction of this legislation, Filner hopes to further honor our fallen heroes by presenting their families with the “Jesus (Chuchi) Salgado Medal” issued by the Secretary of Defense. Chuchi Salgado was an outstanding individual who lived in Filner’s Congressional district and died after the war as a result of exposure to Agent Orange while serving his country in Vietnam.
Due the eligibility restrictions governing which veterans’ names may be placed on The Wall, Chuchi and many, many other Vietnam veterans are not honored in this manner. Filner believes that while we are working on improving care for our newest veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must also continue to do right by veterans of Vietnam, along with those of other past wars and conflicts.
Filner has invited his colleagues to join with him in honoring these veterans. Saying, “It is critical that we remember those who have fought so gallantly and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”
This newsletter is a little bit shorter then normal but this week has been a very hard week for me not only with my wife but my mother has been in the hospital since Wednesday so please for give me on this one.
REMEMBER STAY LOW
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
YOUR EDITOR JOHN J. MINER