VVA 126 invites you to join our brotherhood of fellowship and service!
QUESTION - MANHATTAN RESIDENCE/WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN VVA 126?
Membership is open to U.S. armed force veterans who served on active duty (for other than training purposes) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.
- Individual Member - 1 year: $20
- Individual Member - 3 years: $50
- Life Member-Ages 49 and Under : $250
- Life Member-Ages 50-55: $225
- Life Member-Ages 56-60: $200
- Life Member-Ages 61-65: $175v
- Life Member-Ages 66+: $150
- Optional Time Payment plan- $50 down, $25/month
To join our Chapter, print a Membership Application and send it to: Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 126, 346 Broadway, Suite 810, New York, NY 10013.
Please include a copy of your DD-214 with your membership application.
QUESTION - ANY SPECIAL PROCEDURE FOR SUBMITTING VVA 126-SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS?
Membership also includes a subscription to award-winning newspaper, The VVA Veteran, bringing you updates on issues and legislation affecting veterans, as well as unique articles on the people, places, and history of the Vietnam experience.
One of our Members shares his reflections on being a part of our Chapter.
I commanded a combat infantry company with the 25th Infantry Division for about six months in Vietnam during 1970.
I returned to the States early one morning in February 1971. I had been in the Army for almost five years. Six hours after I stepped off that return flight at an Air Force base near Seattle, I was a civilian.
I did not fly home to Minnesota and my parents. My father told me a blizzard was blowing and the temperature was below zero. Instead I went to San Francisco, for about a week. When I finally reunited with friends and family, I discovered, to my great surprise, that no one was interested in my story, my year in Vietnam. Since I had no idea what I wanted to do next, and since there wasn't much going on economically, I began traveling. It was not until I was living on a Greek Island nine months after I'd returned, that I found somebody interested in what I had to say.
And he happened to have been another Vietnam Vet.
Ten years later I was standing on the curb in New York City watching the Veteran's Day Parade march past. It was cold and I was wearing my Army Field Jacket. One of the marchers pointed at me and asked if I was a Vietnam Vet. I nodded. He asked me to join them. As we marched down Fifth Avenue, I filled out a form to become a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Joining that organization made a big difference in my life, both as a veteran, and as a citizen of New York.
Angel Almedina, the man whose name embellishes the Chapter’s masthead, was not only a pioneer in the Vet Center movement, but the founder of the Manhattan Vet Center. I am not sure what part Vet Center's played in denoting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a malady, but I do know that their existence was a direct response to that disorder surfacing in the life of Vietnam Veterans. Until 9/11 when one mentioned PTSD one usually thought "Vietnam Veteran."
Unbeknownst to me my own Vet Center experience began by attending one of the first Chapter meetings in a room provided by Angel on the upper West Side. I don’t remember what was discussed at that meeting or whether Angel attended, but my Vet Center experience continued one Tuesday a month, ten months a year, for three decades.
These guys spoke the same language that I did. No longer would I have to explain what a night defensive position, a laager site, was, nor an RPG, an APC. They knew what the blue line meant, the difference between a slick, a gun ship, and a dust-off. Just sharing the same language meant that we shared the same experiences, the same feelings, both about the past, yes, but more importantly, in the present.
I often wonder how much the effects of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have been muted because I've been meeting with these guys once a month for over twenty years. And it is not as if we've spent the time telling war stories, no, we've been trying to get the Chapter banner to the next parade, or organize a softball game with another veterans group, or think up a novel way of raising money for the Chapter.
I'm indebted to these guys, my fellow Chapter members, and I'm proud to be able to meet with them on the Third Tuesday of the month, ten months each year. They have made me a better person.