This week, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) proudly presents its 18th biennial convention in New Orleans, La. Held in conjunction with the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA), the convention will host as many as 900 veterans for five days of speakers, recognitions, planning and camaraderie.
The five-day event not only helps assist VVA in steering its nationwide activities, but also helps veterans and their families cope with the legacy of service and come together in support of one another. And the convention couldn’t be staged with the help of your generous donations to VVA and ClothingDonations.org.
We’re excited to welcome Charles Figley, a Vietnam veteran who is become an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as the show’s keynote speaker. Acclaimed Native American actor Wes Saudi (Dances with Wolves) and author/environmentalist Doug Peacock (Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness) — both veterans — will also appear to collect VVA awards for Excellence in the Arts.
Paula Cinko, Rosie Gitlin and Jackie Chidsey — all veterans of Bob Hope’s tours to Vietnam — will entertain and reminisce. Veterans and their family members will be invited to share memories with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, as well as screen excerpts from the forthcoming 18-hour PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War.
VVA and the Veterans Administration will join for Veterans Benefits Claims Clinic during the show to help veterans get support, guidance and education related to pensions, education, employment and insurance. The convention will also feature a remembrance ceremony for POW/MIAs, and recognize the accomplishments of chapters and individuals.
Whether you donate lightly-used clothing and household goods to ClothingDonations.org or donate directly, the proceeds help us provide job training and housing, protect veterans benefits, help individuals cope with problems such as PTSD and substance abuse, and much more.
The convention will forge treasured memories for hundreds of veterans and help VVA direct its efforts in the years ahead. VVA programs allow veterans to connect and build a sense of belonging long after the end of what was an unpopular war. The association couldn’t do it without your donations — and the nation’s veterans thank you for your support.