FOUR SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED BY VVA CHAPTER 116

FOUR SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED BY CHAPTER 116

Veterans, the public, and citizens joined with Chapter 116 of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) for the presentation of the 2012 Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarships. The ceremony was held at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, July 10, at the Vietnam Memorial at Carter Park in Leominster.  Mrs. Helen Hill, Gold Star Mother, and Dan Joseph, Scholarship Chairman, presented scholarships to the sons and daughters of Vietnam veteran and one student from Leominster High School. All are attending college. Following the short program, there was refreshments at the Leominster Veteran Center, 100 West Street.

Dan Joseph, Scholarship Committee chairman and Treasurer of Chapter 116, Vietnam Veterans of America, said that the VVA, has for the last 29 years, presented more that $115,000 for higher education to sons and daughters of VVA members.  This successful annual project is the longest running project for VVA Chapter 116.

2012 Recipients are:

 
  • Olivia Bennett, the 2012 Legacy Award winner from Leominster High School. She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute majoring in Biomedical Engineering.
 
  • Sean Toohey will continue his studies at Elms College, Chicopee, MA, majoring in History.
 
  • Jessica Simmons is a student at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, MA majoring in Human Services.
 
  • Mary Kate Simmons will be entering her senior year at Fitchburg State University majoring in Special Education.


MRS HILL AND 2012 VVA 116 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

The Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarship is awarded annually to recognize, encourage, and contribute to the higher education of qualified Chapter 116 members children.  The Scholarship is presented to honor members of VVA who have devoted their energies in effecting positive change on behalf of all Americans.  Many Vietnam Veterans were unable to attend college because of circumstances and the very weak nature of the GI Bill available to veterans after their service.  Also, as a tribute to their continued service and to those who have lost their lives, this Scholarship program is in keeping with the spirit of VVA’s motto: “IN SERVICE TO AMERICA.”

RECIPIENT SEAN TOOHEY READS HIS ESSAY

VVA’s ambitious agenda has always aimed to find creative, pragmatic solutions to the programmatic concerns of Vietnam-era veterans, their families, and the community.

 For more information visit our web site: http://firebase116.org, or contact Richard Earley, President VVA Chapter 116 at: [email protected]

Helmets to Hardhats

Making a successful transition from the military into the civilian workforce can be difficult. Transitioning military veterans face the same challenges as any other job hunter – getting their résumé to the right people, learning how to sell themselves, tracking down promising leads, following-up with employers, headhunters, job placement agencies… etc. Not many people are comfortable with this process and veterans have the added stress of trying to translate the skills they learned in the military into language that civilian employers can understand. The process can feel overwhelming, especially if it seems like meaningful help is unavailable.

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) was formed for this reason and is dedicated to helping National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members connect to quality career and training opportunities in one of America’s most challenging and rewarding industries – the construction industry.

To participate in H2H, simply visit the program’s Web site at www.helmetstohardhats.org and click the “Get Started” button to create and activate your profile. Once your profile is activated, you can browse hundreds of career and training opportunities and forward your profile to career providers electronically from the H2H site. If you have questions about a career in the Trades; don’t see the career you’re interested in or have questions about the application process, call us at 866.741.6210.

Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV)

Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV) is an all-volunteer movement assisting returning veterans to begin their civilian careers or educational pursuits by acquiring and distributing the necessary start-up tools. Founded with the gift of a fishing boat that began a commercial fishing career for a returning Iraq veteran, the foundation is expanding its outreach to other industries to assist our returning military.

Our model is unique and based on a sustainable, “pay-it-forward” dynamic. We support veteran entrepreneurs so they can establish businesses that thrive, so they can then hire more veterans creating quality jobs and career opportunities. Once the new business is profitable, WVFV becomes a beneficiary through contributions back into the organization including “gifts in kind.”

When we all actively help build and support veteran-owned businesses that hire other vets, then contribute to the model so even more entrepreneurs can succeed – the result is ongoing, long-lasting economic success and personal happiness – stronger families and stronger communities.

WVFV is currently developing relationships in many industry sectors to secure necessary products for distribution. All donations of products or services are directly distributed to veterans and all financial contributions are used to acquire, prepare or enhance those items to be gifted.

If you’re a veteran – thank you for your service! And welcome to our website and to our team. We’re here to help you continue your mission of service alongside ours.

MISSING FROM VIETNAM WAR IDENTIFIED

WELCOME HOME – Joseph Christiano, Derrell B. Jeffords, Dennis L. Eilers, William K. Colwell, Arden K. Hassenger, Larry C. Thornton.

MISSING FROM VIETNAM WAR IDENTIFIED

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of six U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, were recently identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. Joseph Christiano, 43, of Rochester, N.Y.; Col. Derrell B. Jeffords, 40, of Florence, S.C.; Lt. Col. Dennis L. Eilers, 27, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chief Master Sgt. William K. Colwell, 44, Glen Cove, N.Y.; Chief Master Sgt. Arden K. Hassenger, 32, of Lebanon, Ore.; and Chief Master Sgt. Larry C. Thornton, 33, Idaho Falls, Idaho, will be buried as a group July 9, in a single casket representing the entire crew, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

REST IN PEACE BROTHERS.

On Dec. 24, 1965, the crew was aboard an AC-47D aircraft nicknamed “Spooky” that failed to return from a combat strike mission in southern Laos. After a “mayday” signal was sent, all contact was lost with the crew. Following the crash, two days of search efforts for the aircraft and crew were unsuccessful.

In 1995, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team investigated a crash in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Local villagers recalled seeing a two-propeller aircraft, similar to an AC-47D, crash in December 1965. A local man found aircraft wreckage in a nearby field while farming, and led the team to that location. The team recovered small pieces of aircraft wreckage at that time and recommended further investigative visits.

Joint U.S./L.P.D.R. investigation and recovery teams re-visited the site four times from 1999 to 2001. They conducted additional interviews with locals, recovered military equipment, and began an excavation. No human remains were recovered, so the excavation was suspended pending additional investigation.

In 2010, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. recovery teams again excavated the crash site. The team recovered human remains, personal items, and military equipment. Three additional excavations in 2011 recovered additional human remains and evidence. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used dental records and circumstantial evidence in the identification of their remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.