Not gonna go to The Wall..!
Regarding the below message...
This (below message) nullifies my decision to not attend the 25th Vietnam Memorial Wall Dedication Anniversary event in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2007... I will have no part of this carnival atmosphere... I find the whole thing to be degrading and dishonoring to all those on The Wall... (Will kerry have fonda as a special guest)... I will honor my Brothers as I have for many years by solo visits to The Wall and to the many National Cemeteries and War Memorials around this Country... Also, I am ashamed to be a member of an organization such as the V V A... I guess I should have done my homework before joining... I'm sure that this organization has done right over the years for many Vets, as the VFW & the American Legion have... But, if you recall, both of these (VFW & American Legion) denied membership to the returning home Vietnam Veterans many years ago..!
This will be my last email that will contain, in my signature, the Vietnam Veterans of America logo as I am no longer proud to be a member... I am returning my membership card today with a copy of this email... My New York license plates with the V V A logo will be removed and replaced with United States Airborne Paratrooper NY State plates as soon as possible... THIS organization of Brotherhood (Paratroopers), I know as a matter of fact, to be honorable..!
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is acting as the lead organization for the 25th Vietnam Memorial Wall Dedication Anniversary event in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2007.
Who appointed VVA to lead the program, or how it was done is unknown to me but I expected a soleum, consecrated event. If this event is simply a "celebration of a dedication" that is one thing, but if it is intended to honor the more than 58,000 fallen warriors, the program on November 10, 2007 is unacceptable.
It is appropriate to honor and remember our fallen warriors and their family members with a dignified program. Unfortunately, the carnival type approach involving politicians of questionable character and the heavy corporate involvement VVA is pursuing does not reflect the dignified nature of a memorial event.
As has been publicly reported,
Senator John Kerry, an individual that publicly slandered, betrayed, and acted as a traitor to Vietnam warriors and the United States has been invited by VVA to help publicize the event. Senator Kerry's involvement in anything related to Vietnam Veterans, even mentioning his name, invites ill will if not rage. Vietnam Veterans of America leadership reflects an insensitivity, and yes, moral betrayal to our fallen Vietnam warriors, families and living Vietnam veterans by taking the action to invite Senator Kerry and other betrayers of Vietnam warriors to participate in the Anniversary event
Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, but an individual that has done everything he can to betray our current warriors in harms way is one of the speakers. "VVA's founding principle is "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another." Yet, VVA invites Senator Hagel, a veteran of Vietnam service to speak about a previous abandoned generation while he abandons the current warrior generation. Perhaps Senator Hagel will recognize our military won the war in Vietnam before Congress surrendered?
Mr. John Rowan, President, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a former member of Senator Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War. (VVAW) In a recent email he stated: "If you would like to make a $300,000 donation to cover the cost of this event (DC government charges for everything, plus other expenses) then we would not have to look for sponsors."
Take a look at VVA web site http://www.vva.org/25thEvent/sponsorship_brochure_1AA.pdf and read for yourself what the $300,000 buys. Below is one example of what a corporate sponsor receives (buys). Banner carried in the "parade", sponsor a float, VIP seating at opening ceremony, VIP seating at the "reviewing" stand...on and on. There are also $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 sponsorships with the same perks except number of seats. Note, $10,000 donation buys one seat with the full range of perks.
Top Gun Leadership Inner Circle - $75,000 to $100,000
A contributor of $75,000 to $100,000 will be recognized as a "Top Gun Leadership Inner Circle Benefactor" and will receive the following:
• Premier sponsor banner carried in parade with the option to sponsor a float of your choice
• VIP parade seating on stage at the Opening Ceremony and recognition from the podium
• 10 seats at the pre-parade VIP breakfast; your contribution will be recognized in remarks at the VIP breakfast, and you will receive prominent signage
• VIP seating on Reviewing Stand
• Mention in VVA's Annual Report and in VVA's member publication
• A $100,000 contributor receives a full-page color advertisement on the back cover of The Wall's 25th anniversary commemorative magazine, and a $75,000 contributor receives a full-page color advertisement on the inside front cover
• Sponsor logo in the 25th anniversary section of VVA's website that includes a link to sponsor website
• Inclusion in all pre-and post-parade promotional releases, including press and online releases
• Framed appreciation certificate
• Numerous photo opportunities with VIPs and honorary guests, as well as an on-camera greeting in the Official Parade Video"
Parades, VIP breakfasts, advertisements, press releases, fail to reflect a solemn foundation that is focused on remembering, honoring, paying tribute to over 58,000 warriors that sacrificed their lives for America's freedom, honoring our missing, and their families. What VVA is planning reflects a typical Washington, D.C. use of a hallowed, consecrated memorial as a stage for a political, corporate gala and parade, which advances personal, corporate, and political agenda?
According to VVA, the event is "To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial..." and that's what the planning reflects...celebrating a "dedicaton" anniversary, not a memorial of our Vietnam fallen.
This event is tailor made with a carnival atmosphere, pomp and circumstance, to fit the political and corporate participants. Without parades, special seating, vip breakfasts, and other perks, the $300,000 Mr. Rowan cites could well be $30,000 and it could be focused on honoring our fallen warriors, not politicians and corporate sponsors.
Other events during the 6 -11 November week may reflect a memorial tone but the November 10, 2007 Anniversary theme does not reflect the memorial recognition it should.
God bless the memory of our fallen, missing, and their families.
Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret.,
http://www.eaglesup.us - Where there is no offense, there is no effect.
...If You Can Read This... Thank A Teacher......If You Can Read This In ENGLISH......Thank A VETERAN...
"The American Paratrooper exists to give the enemy soldier the best chance to die for his country."
-- Gen. George Patton
US Army Paratrooper
A Co, 2nd Bat, 505th PIR,
3rd BCT (Panthers), 82nd Abn. Div.