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VVA126 Luncheon May 16th, 2024

We assembled at a long table set for 22, in the private Washington Room, in Fraunces Tavern

Fred called the gathering to order at 1:25 PM and asked Marty to lead us in the pledge and Michelle to lead us in singing God Bless America.

Fred followed with an appropriate invocation.

We had an excellent 3-course lunch, nicely served, and we were treated to a complimentary drink of our choice by the chapter.

We had 7 Board Members - Dana, Edelman, Gasior, Lacassagne, McGowan, Moreno Woodrow, 5 Chapter Members - DiChiara, B.Hart, Mondello, Schloeman, Richard Sterner, and 8 AVVA Members - Chung, DellaFave, Levi, Kee Kim, MinHoLee, DS Kim, Song, and one other.

Fred asked each attendee to briefly introduce themselves.

 * Mike spoke about the VVA126NYC Foundation and its mission to fundraise to help organizations reduce PTSD and end Veteran Suicide.

 * He also spoke about the “Letters from Home” book by Bernard Edelman, which has many of the letters from Vietnam etched into the glass wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza. He related that this wall meant more to him than the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington DC.

 * We were encouraged by Joe Mondello to watch “Tour of Duty”, free on the H and I channel, and also the video “Taking Chance”.

 * We were also encouraged to read “The Village” by FJ West, The true story of seventeen months in the life of a Vietnamese village where a handful of American Marines and Vietnamese militia lived and died together attempting to defend it. Our Vince McGowan’s combat actions are featured in this book.

Another good read is” The Tribe” by Sebastian Junger. The book explains why combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

 * Ed Schlorman spoke about Operation Warrior Shield, including when they honored our Vietnam Mertal of Honor and friend Paul Bucha and also upcoming events. He again offered service dogs to those in need.

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