Chapter 83 Events

VA Veteran Town Hall Meeting – November 14th

The next VA Town Hall Meeting is on Nov. 14 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to be held at the Levy Court Building in Dover.  The meeting will be proceeded by a Veterans Benefits Resource Fair from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Veterans Town Hall - Nov 14th, 2016

VA Veteran Town Hall Meeting

The event allows Veterans to provide feedback on VA programs and receive information about VA benefits and services.

VA Veterans Townhall 2016

Veterans Job Fair – August 22, 2016 & September 1

A Veterans Job Fair hosted by the Delaware Congressional Delegation, Senator Thomas Carper, Senator Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney, on Monday, August 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Wilmington University’s Dover Campus. Another Job Fair is also scheduled for September 1st, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Middletown Fire Hall in Middletown, DE. View Senator Carpers Newsletter below.

Veterans Job Fairs' - Sen Tom Carper Newsletter 08-05-16

Vietnam Dog Handler to keynote War Dog Memorial Dedication on Aug. 22

Contact Dave Skocik 736-8500 cell

Vietnam Dog Handler to keynote War Dog Memorial Dedication on Aug. 22

DOVER – The keynote speaker for the Saturday, August 22, 10 a.m., dedication of the War Dog Memorial at the Kent County Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road, Dover, will speak from experience and be joined by current handlers and their dogs.

Vietnam Dog Handler Bob Biss

Vietnam Dog Handler Bob Biss

Wilmington native Bob Biss will forever remember King, the German Shepherd who protected him during three tours in Vietnam between 1968 and 1970. They served with the Army’s 212th Military Police Sentry Dog Company in Long Binh and Vinh Long.

“This is not only a tribute to the highly trained K9s that have saved so many lives, but it is also a recognition of their handlers from all branches and in all conflicts,” said Kent County Chapter 850 president Joe Startt Jr., whose chapter built and maintains the memorial park.

USAF SSgt. Jason Spangenberg and War Dog Rico, whose images will be on the stone memorial

USAF SSgt. Jason Spangenberg and War Dog Rico, whose images will be on the stone memorial.

The memorial will feature the image of active duty Air Force dog handler SSgt. Jason Spangenberg and War Dog Rico, a German Shepherd. “We couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate for the memorial than a current handler,” said Mr. Davis, vice president of chapter 850 and state council VVA president. Mr. Davis also had a K9 partner during his career as a police officer.
SSgt Spangenberg and Rico served in Afghanistan and were awarded the Bronze Star for detecting IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices.

The unique, 5-foot black granite stone has arrived from India and will be installed several days prior to the ceremony. It will be sited near the Huey Helicopter that was dedicated on Memorial Day 2014. More than 5,000 dogs have served the US Military in Iraq and Afghanistan and other areas of the Middle East. “Max,” a current film, highlights the interest in these highly-trained, loyal animals.

In addition to Dover AFB, the ceremony will include Dover Police Department’s Private First Class Joe Bauer and K9 Gunner; New Castle County Police Department’s Officer First Class Cory Best, and K9 Diesel; Milford Police Department’s Private First Class Timothy Webb, and K9 Henk; Wilmington Police Department’s Officer Robert Steele, and K9 Neo, and possibly others. The dogs and their handlers will stand separately from the audience and be acknowledged.

Contributions for the War Dog memorial are still being accepted at VVA Chapter 850, PO Box 1718, Dover, DE 19904 with “war dog” in the memo section.


Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America to Host Memorial Day Ceremony

Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

Col. Daniel F. Merry

Col. Daniel F. Merry

DOVER – Colonel Daniel F. Merry will serve as keynote speaker at the Monday, May 25, 2 p.m. Memorial Day ceremony of Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, at the Kent County Veterans Park on S. Little Creek Road, Dover.

Col. Merry is the Commander of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations at Dover Air Force Base. AFMAO is a Field Operating Agency under Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters Air Force. AFMAO has global responsibility for all Air Force mortuary matters for current and past conflicts, operates the nation’s sole port mortuary and provides global contingency mortuary response teams in support of Air Force and combatant command requirements.

“We are fortunate to have Col. Merry available to speak and cannot think of a more appropriate representative, not only of the Air Force but of the duties that Mortuary Affairs performs for all branches, especially as we reflect on this day,” said Joe Startt Jr., chapter 850 president.

Chapter 850 built the Kent County Veterans memorial Park situated on the north end of the County Administration Building property. The 1 ½ acre site is home to a Vietnam memorial; a Gold Star Mother and Families memorial; a Korean War memorial, a future Middle East Conflicts memorial, and a planned War Dog memorial.

The park also features a “Dustoff” Huey helicopter, dedicated in 2014. Click on for more information or call 302-697-8384.

“The public is invited and encouraged to participate in this day of remembrance of those who ensured our freedom,” said Mr. Startt.


Remembering the Vietnam War: A 40-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

Contact: Dr. Sam Hoff 302-270-2101 cell; or Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell


DOVER – Thursday, April 30, will mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

Dr. Sam Hoff, George Washington Distinguished Professor, and professor of history and political science at Delaware State University, will host a 40-Year Retrospective of the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Bank of America Auditorium on campus.

The event is open to the public. The BoA building, a large, three-story structure, can be accessed from College Road, which is adjacent to the parking lot. The auditorium is on the first floor.

“Most Vietnam veterans remember it as most divisive conflict since the American Civil War,” said Dave Skocik, public affairs officer for the State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America. “Many recall being blamed for a war they didn’t start but in which they served honorably. Some were welcomed home from the jungles by being spit on. Nevertheless, about 85 percent of the 2.7 million Americans who served in-country returned to successfully claim their place in mainstream America.”

The evening’s itinerary will include:

I. A brief introduction by Dr. Sam Hoff
II. Greetings from DSU administrators
III. A keynote statement of the occasion by Dave Skocik, Vietnam Veteran
IV. A DVD of the American Humanitarian Effort in Vietnam, a 40-minute production released by the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum in 2008
V. A Moderated Panel Discussion of War Experiences and their Legacy, including

Dr. Steven Newton, Professor of History, DSU
Dr. Yinghong Cheng, Professor of History, DSU
Dr. Niklas Robinson, Associate Professor of History, DSU
Four Vietnam Veterans

VI. Questions and Comments from the audience, moderated by Dr. Hoff
VII. Conclusion by Dr. Hoff
VIII. A Post-event Reception

Delaware VVA Chap 83 Gold Star Program Receives Award

Delaware Academy of Medicine Recognition Award

Delaware Academy of Medicine Recognition Award

Saturday, April 26, 2014, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 Gold Star Program was presented with the Delaware Academy of Medicine Public Health Recognition Award.

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Judy C. Campbell, Bob Woodruff & Richard C. Campbell, Vietnam Era Veteran

Judy C. Campbell, VVA Chap. 83 Gold Star Representative, accepted the prestigious award on behalf of VVA Chapter 83.

Bob Woodruff, was the keynote speaker at the Awards Banquet and left the audience spell-bound as he described being seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq in 2007. We encourage individuals to obtain his book “In An Instance”  so you may learn of his miraculous on-going journey to recovery.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 continues to serve our veterans, Gold Star Families and community-at-large.

Like many volunteer organizations they often work silently and behind the scenes receiving little recognition and are honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award.

VVA Chapter 83 extends an invitation, to the public, for the 2nd Annual Gold Star Gala to be held 20 SEP 2014 at Dover Downs Casino & Hotel, Dover, Delaware from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door and may be obtained by contacting VVA Chapter President Tom Daws at: (302) 738-8875 or Judy Campbell (302) 593-5991.

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Executive Director Delaware Academy of Medicine, Tim Gibbs, Kathleen W. McNicholas, M.D., J.D. & Judy C. Campbell

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Judy C. Campbell, Bob Woodruff, Richard C. Campbell

Kent Vietnam Veterans to dedicate Huey on Memorial Day


Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500

Kent Vietnam Veterans to dedicate Huey on Memorial Day

John R. Sabanosh, Sr., a Vietnam "Dustoff" (medevac) crew chief and pilot.

John R. Sabanosh, Sr., a Vietnam “Dustoff” (medevac) crew chief and pilot.

A 2 p.m., ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, will see the dedication of a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

The chapter acquired the aircraft last November and have been readying it to be displayed above the Vietnam Memorial at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on South Little Creek Road, Dover.

“This will be a great day not only for our chapter, but for every Vietnam veteran in the state,” said Joe Startt Jr., chapter 850 president. “The Huey and its crews are responsible for saving thousands of lives in Vietnam, including my own.”

The keynote speaker will be John R. Sabanosh, Sr., a Vietnam “Dustoff” (medevac) crew chief and pilot who served in Vietnam from 1969-1970. More than 1,000 Dustoff pilots and crew were killed in action. Their slogan was “So Others May Live.”

Mr. Sabanosh enlisted in Army in August 1968 and trained as a Huey Helicopter mechanic who later applied for and entered flight training at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.

After completion of flight training he was assigned to the 45th Medical Co. (AA) and was assigned as a Dustoff Crew Chief/Pilot who later flew more than 1,000 missions in hostile environments, rescuing wounded from the battlefield. He was shot down five times.

Credited with saving the lives of more than 350 American GIs in addition to Vietnamese soldiers, civilians, and even enemy troops, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, 14 Air Medals, an Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal, and a Presidential Commendation.

Following military service Mr. Sabanosh served as a police officer in New Jersey in municipality, county and state capacities for 30 years, including traffic crash response, reconstruction, engineering, and training and investigation roles.

Now a consultant in those areas, he travels throughout the country for private companies and government agencies. He resides in Bishopville, Maryland with his wife Gail. They have four adult children.

The rain date will be Saturday, May 31, at 2 p.m. Click on for more information on the Huey.


Video – Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony – March 30, 2013

The Delaware Vietnam Veterans of America had a ceremony on March 30th, 2013 in recognition of Vietnam Veterans Day (which is held on March 30th of every year). The keynote speaker was Sam Chick, a former 101st Airbone infantryman who served in the Iraq War. The ceremony also unveiled the future site of the Iraq/Afghanistan War Memorial.

Photos of the event can be seen on the Delaware VVA Flickr page.

Gold Star Memorial unveiled

The following article was reprinted, courtesy of the Delaware State News

Delaware State News

Monday, Nov. 13, 2012, Page A1
Gold Star Memorial unveiled
Kent County Vietnam veterans introduce marker at ceremony
Delaware State News/ Dave Chambers Delaware Gold Star Mothers president Pauline Anderson, left, and Gold Star Families outreach coordinator Judy Campbell, both of Wilmington, proudly unveil the Gold Star Mothers and Families memorial Monday afternoon at Kent County Veterans Memorial Park as part of the Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America Veterans Day ceremony. More photos on Pages 45 and see a gallery and video at delaware. newszap. com.
By Jen Rini

Delaware State News

DOVER — The periods of war may have spanned generations, but the stories of sacrifice served as the connection.

The Kent County Chapter 850 Vietnam Veterans of America un­veiled the Gold Star Memorial on Monday as part of Veterans Day cer­emonies, as a tribute to Delaware’s families and veterans who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

Master of Ceremonies Dave Skocik, president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition and Vietnam vet­eran, recited the mantra of the Viet­nam Veterans of America during his opening statements. The mantra emphasized the organization’s drive to create a memorial to commemo­rate veterans, both young and old, who have fought in all conflicts from World War II to Afghanistan.

“Never again will one generation abandon another,” Mr. Skocik said.

Joining the gathering were legisla­tors including Sen. Thomas R. Carp­er, D-Del., Delaware Attorney Gen­eral Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, Lt. Gov. Matthew Denn and Rep. Har­vey R. Kenton, R-Milford, expressed their gratitude to the veterans and families present.

“I feel a special kinship with every one of you,” said Sen. Carper, a re­tired captain in the U.S. Navy.  He served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia and his grandmother is a Gold Star mother.

Pauline Anderson, president of Gold Star Mothers, reiterated her appreciation for the community of Gold Star mothers that inspired the memorial.

Mothers from all states honor the memory of their sons and daughters, she said, by volunteering and healing together.

“And after all these years I still get help,” Ms. Anderson said.

Keynote Speaker Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Delaware’s adjutant general, delivered an emotional speech. He commended the men and women in service for their courage and commitment to America as well as the strength of the families whose loved ones didn’t return home.

“It’s a sacrifice that only they can understand,” Maj. Gen. Vavala said, flanked by his two granddaughters.

Maj. Gen. Vavala was also honored for his sacrifices in the service. He first joined the Delaware Army National Guard in 1967 as a private.

He was presented with proclamations from Delaware’s House of Represenatives and Senate which celebrated his leadership in more than 45 years of military service.

“I’m at a loss for words. I am truly honored,” he said.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850 president Joseph G. Startt Jr. shared the story of his friend Wayne, who never made it home from Vietnam. He could never get in touch with Wayne’s family, so for years he had been looking for a way to memorialize his friend’s sacrifi ce for America.

“I’ve been thinking about him for 40 years,” Mr. Startt said. This memorial will be a form of closure, he said.

In front of the newly unveiled Indian granite memorial, Terri and Rich Clifton, of Milford, placed a brick in memory of their son Chad who was killed in Iraq.

The Abraham Lincoln quote inscribed the memorial reads: “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifi ce upon the alter of freedom.”

Mrs. Clifton softly touched the memorial before her and her husband were comforted by the crowd.

The ceremony came to a close with Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850 bagpiper Bill Frantz playing a strong, but solemn, rendition of Amazing Grace as the crowd stood, hands over their hearts.

As the crowd dispersed, Vietnam veteran Danny Seeman chatted with fellow vets, tears welling in his eyes. He also said he sees the unveiling of the memorial as an opportunity to gain closure.

Mr. Seeman, First Vice Commander, served in the second half of the Vietnam conflict and his father served through the first. His two sons are also involved with the military. His oldest son served in the marine corp and his second son just returned home from his third deployment in Afghanistan.

“They paid the ultimate sacrifce,” Mr. Seeman said of the Gold Star families. “I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a son or daughter.”

Staff writer Jen Rini can be reached at 741-8250 or Follow her on Twitter@DSNJen_Rini.

Korean War veteran Sgt. William Richardson of Dover salutes during the national anthem before he recites the pledge of allegiance.
Delaware State News/ Dave Chambers Parker Jones, 4 of Elizabeth City, NC, grandson of Chapter 850 member Peter Senft of Dover, rings the ceremonial bell as each name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is read as Chapter 850 member Woody Postle of Dover assists.
Members of the Dover Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol post the colors at the beginning of the ceremony.


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