VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, INC.
A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Serving Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans
who served on active duty in the U.S. military
(for other than training purposes)
between February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975,
or between August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975,
for Vietnam-era veterans.
Vietnam Veterans of America, the nation's only Vietnam veterans organization chartered by Congress and the largest and most successful Vietnam veterans organization in the country, is proud of its record of accomplishments since its founding in 1978. Over two decades of advocacy on behalf of Vietnam veterans and the continuing fulfillment of our Founding Principle, Never Again Will one Generation of Veterans Abandon Another. Those accomplishments are many and varied, as can be seen here.
Rebuilding the camaraderie of Vietnam-era veterans, enhancing a sense of self-worth and pride in service.
Holding biennial National Leadership Conferences and National Conventions that provide a forum for veterans and their families to interact with community leaders and their counterparts from across the nation. These gatherings provide an opportunity for veterans to build alliances and networks and improve the opportunities available to veterans and their families.
Creating and maintaining the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund (VVAF), a philanthropic effort that provides financial assistance to VVA, its state councils, and its chapters.
Taking the lead in working with homeless veterans, including sponsoring national and local symposia and stand-downs. The effort included working with U.S. Rep. Lane Evans to hold the first-ever congressional hearing on homeless veterans issues in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee in September 1986.
Developing a unique and effective program as a national advocate for Vietnam veterans who have been incarcerated, helping them gain access to VA benefits and services to which they are entitled as a result of their service.
Leading the fight for full accounting of POW/MIA's for more than 20 years. VVA holds as a profound trust and obligation the responsibility to account for those American servicemenbers who remain unrepatriated, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for as a result of their service to our country during the Vietnam War.
Creating the successful Veterans initiative Task Force, a veteran-to-veteran effort that, since 1991, has promoted the direct exchange of information on American servicemen unaccounted for and Vietnamese war casualties between American and Vietnamese veterans. The Veterans initiative has helped account for many missing soldiers on both sides.
Taking the lead on the entire range of women veterans' issues, including ensuring recognition of service access to benefits and appropriate medical treatment for women veterans at VA facilities. From its beginnings, VVA's advocacy and outreach on behalf of women veterans have been characterized by aggressive energy and sensitivity to the issues. Women participate and serve at all levels of VVA.
Abiding by its founding principle -- "Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another"--by reaching out and supporting veterans of other conflicts, including providing office space and support to the National Gulf War Resource Center.
Leading the fight--and winning it--for judicial review of disabled veterans' claims for benefits. Through VVA's steadfast lobbying, Congress in 1988 passed a law creating the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals, allowing veterans for the first time to appeal VA benefits denials to a court.
Spearheading a long and successful lobbying campaign to establish and maintain the Vet Center program.
Starting and running a national Veterans Against Drugs Program, which works with schools, detention centers, boot camps for youth, and other programs to help discourage America's young people from using drugs.
Providing unwavering advocacy for congressional passage of laws supporting increased job training and job-placement assistance for unemployed and underemployed Vietnam-era veterans.
Taking the lead on minority veterans' issues, including early and staunch support for the creation of the Center of Minority Veterans and the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans Affairs.
Being the major force on the issue of Agent Orange for more than two decades. VVA's Nehmer vs. Veterans Administration lawsuit, filed in 1986, forced the VA to compensate veterans for diseases linked to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. VVA was the prime mover in convincing Congress to pass the Agent Orange Act in 1991, which required the National Academy of Sciences to report on what diseases were related to Agent Orange exposure.
Being responsible for a ground-breaking 1996 law that, for the first time, provides medical care and compensation to children whose veteran parents suffer genetic damage from their military service--in this case Vietnam veterans' children with the birth defect spinal bifida, which has been linked to their parents' exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Running the Veterans Benefits Program, which provides education to veterans about government benefits to which they are entitled and trains volunteers to represent veterans with their claims to secure VA benefits.
Repeatedly representing veterans in lawsuits against the VA for violations of veterans' rights. VVA's Giusti-Bravo vs. Veterans Administration lawsuit exposed widespread discrimination against American veterans of Puerto Rican descent. As a result, the VA agreed to redecide their claims fairly, and Puerto Rican veterans won $30 million worth of retroactive benefits.
Consistently winning a higher percentage of cases at the VA's Board of Veterans Appeals than any other veterans service organization.
Working through its detailed national Constitution, which was created in 1978 and is monitored by a national Constitution Committee and a national Resolutions Committee, to stay current with the way the membership wishes the organization to operate and provide the membership with the assurance that the organization is in touch with its members.
Granting scholarships to deserving son, daughters, and other relatives of Vietnam veterans at post-secondary education institutions across the country. The scholarships total more than $10,000 annually.
Publishing its award-winning national newspaper, The VVA Veteran.
Maintaining at National Headquarters the nation's only clearinghouse of information on hundreds of state and local Vietnam veterans memorials.
Creating at National Headquarters one of the nation's most extensive libraries of Vietnam War fiction and nonfiction books, videos, CD's, audiotapes, and CD ROMs.
Visit the Vietnam Veterans of America (National Organization) website. There you will find more information on the organization, you can review an electronic library on the Vietnam war, read about benefits, events, description of VVA programs, member benefits and much more.
To visit the site go to: Vietnam Veterans of America
For the site index go to: VVA Site Index
LINKS TO MILITARY ITEMS
POEMS AND BOOKS
This page was last updated
©Copyright September 1, 2002 by M.L. McNeill
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