firebase116 Awards Annual Scholarships!


Veterans Center 7:00 P.M.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The program was held at the Veterans Center because of rain and thunder. Mrs. Hill, Gold Star mother of David Hill who was killed in Vietnam, presented the Scholarships. She was our special guest on the occasion of her 90th. Birthday. The opening prayer was given by our Chaplin, Cindy Henderson. Richard Earley, President VVA 116 served as host for the event. Dan Joseph, the Scholarship event Chairman presented the awards to the raffle winners. This fund raising effort ensures that the Chapter has the ability to assist students each year. As always, a big Thank You, to all who support this wonderful program.

Rachel Tamas, daughter of Vietnam veteran Peter Tamas, presented her essay:


Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” It’s a phrase I’m familiar with. I see it on bumper stickers on the back of my father’s truck, proudly displaying his Vietnam service for all to admire. Most of all, I see it in his eyes. Although I’ve heard fragmented stories of what my father endured during the Vietnam War, I don’t need to ask him what he’s learned from it.

While the feelings my father has regarding Vietnam are tightly confined within his heart, I don’t have to look too closley to see his eyes swelling with tears. It’s when we watch the news, those countless images of fallen soldiers flashing across the screen. However, it’s our society’s reaction that touches him even deeper. The visible support and care for our current soldiers reaches into some dark unrelenting space, setting off unwanted feeling of bitterness and sadness. I’ve heard the stories. I know my father, my uncle and countless other other Vietnam soldiers were greeted on American soil with turned backs and hatred. They were spit oat, instead of embraced. Mocked instead of loved.

Although my father will never fully recover from the mental wounds he endured after the Vietnam War, I know the most valuable thing he has learned comes from the motto adorning his vehicle. I can see that he would rather swallow back his tears and hide the hurt, rather than allow another soldier to suffer the same hatred and rejection he once did.”


Scholarships were presented by Mrs. Hill and the officers of VVA116. Tim Manigan, Vice President; Don Toohey, Secretary; and Dan Joseph, Treasurer.

The 2013 recipients are:

Wesley Young who will attend American University in Washington, DC.

Timothy Ellam attending the University of Massachusetts, Boston majoring in Information Technology. He is the son of VVA 116 member Tom Ellam.

Rachel Tamas is a student at Fitchburg State University and is majoring in English with a concentration in secondary education.

Naelle Grudziecki will be attending Worcester State University and palns to major in Biology. She is the daughter of VVA 116 member Robert Grudziecki.

J. Barry Neas, a VVA 116 member is embarking on a new career and is attending Mount Wachesett Community College Associate of Science Degree in Automotive  Technology.

Congratulations to all. We wish them well.


The Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarships were awarded annually to recognize, encourage, and contribute to the higher education of qualified full time students. The Scholarship is presented to honor members of VVA who have devoted their energies in working toward positive change on behalf of all Americans. 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 our motto: “IN SERVICE TO AMERICA”

About jbarry

I am a United States Navy Veteran. I served during the Vietnam War from 1973-1975. I was an Aviation Structural Mechanic "E". I was raised in South Boston "Southie" Massachusetts and I now live in Lancaster, MA. My interests are photography, sailing, building and repairing computers, cars, the great outdoors, traveling and now website design. I recently graduated Mount Wachusetts Community College, I received an Associate of Science Degree in Automotive Technology. I have attended Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston State Collage and Massasoit Community College. I have a CompTIA "A+" Certificate and a CHDP title. I have retired from The Department of Revenue where I was a System Analyst. I have worked for HP under contract to The Bank of America as a Field Engineer.
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