• Chuck and his wife Ann

  • President and Charlie heading to the East Room

  • Chuck and his son Mike

  • Chuck and his daughter Jeanna

  • Medal of Honor

  • East Room For The Medal of Honor Ceromony

Vietnam Veterans of America,
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11, & 15
E-Newsletter of the Year 2017
Chapter member LTC. (Retired) Chuck Kettles receved the Medal of Honor - July 2016
Click Here To View The 2018 MLB All Star Game Opening Ceremony Honoring MOH Recipients.  Col Kettles Is The Only One In Uniform.  The Video Lead In Is A Short MOH History Followed By Announcing Each Receipient. 
President’s Message
Jon Luker

Last Man Standing

Just as an aside, it has been said that the last man standing is probably going to be a woman. By the time you read this, I’ll have returned from the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Conference in Palm Springs, California. One of the hot items on the docket will be the reports from two work groups that were tasked with helping us understand what it will take to transition through the last official days of “Vietnam Veterans of America.”

In fact, many local veterans organizations, including some VVA chapters, are struggling because the increasing average age of the active membership. As that trend goes, so does the ability to be active and do hard work; so, organizations are finding it more difficult to keep doing the events and activities they have done in the past. This is causing National VVA to think about its responsibilities to those who expect VVA to carry on that work. There are two schools of thought: First, we are Vietnam-Era Veterans. When we have all died, our work will be complete, and we hope somebody turns the lights off.

Second, we are Vietnam-Era Veterans. We were treated poorly, not considered combat veterans, and not welcomed by then-existing veterans’ organizations. We also saw that something similar happened to the Korean War veterans. So VVA built a new organization, whose founding principle states the following: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” VVA knows what returning veterans face. We have been through it before, and we know that, despite all the rhetoric, returning veterans will face major problems. VVA will be here for as long as it takes to make sure Veterans receive the care and respect they have earned. Because that work is not yet done, the work must be transitioned to a new group of people, who will continue to work according this founding principle.

Workgroup One will report on a plan for an orderly end to the Vietnam Veterans of America. They are concerned with everything, from making sure somebody does turn out the lights, to telling us when we need to stop taking new claims cases, when to stop appealing old ones, when to wind down our fundraising projects and to figuring out how to decide what to do with all the physical and financial property that will be left when the organization is officially dissolved.

Workgroup Two is focused on a smooth handoff of the VVA mission, principles, and property to individuals who will pick up where we leave off. They are looking at such things as admitting non-Vietnam members to VVA, or passing the baton to AVVA, or passing the baton to another existing organization, or building a new organization to receive our mission and resources.

The reports will be preliminary. No action will be taken until the 2019 convention. .
I am in with those who think we should find and train our replacements. We know the default position is to do little for veterans, especially considering how little veterans advocate for themselves.  Agent Orange. Many Gulf War veterans needed us to help them see the problem and the ways to address the problem.

At the Leadership Conference, I expect many people will advocate for the VVA to stop leading. I don’t get that, but that’s the problem with deciding before you hear all the facts. I will do my best to bring back an accurate version of both sides of the story. I will then pass the buck to you.

How will you want the Chapter to vote when the issue comes up at a future convention? It is your call. Your elected reFpresentative will vote the way you tell them to.

On another note, two VVA 310 events are coming up, and the people who are organizing them need your help. The Heritage Festival is 24 through 26 August. They will need help with setting up, sales, and tearing down. Please contact Larry St. Antoine for details. Also, Pig Roast organizers need to sell a lot of raffle tickets during the festival. Please contact Don Miller to help.
Then, the Pig Roast is going to be 9 September. It will take lots of work. Before the event, Don Miller and Al Dyer are gathering auction items, putting up flyers,  findingsponsors, buying supplies, etc. Please contact them to help. Then there is the all-night cooking crew. Please sign up to take a two-hour shift, if you can. Merchandise will need help setting up, selling and taking down. Then, after the event, Don and Al would like help to tear down, put stuff away and clean up.
What event do you want VVA 310 to attend or to produce in the coming years? Do you want the Chapter to do it bad enough to sign up to help?

De Oppresso Liber