Chapter 83 Events

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.


Return To Vietnam

Chapter 546, Vietnam Veterans of America, invite all Vietnam Veterans and their guests to a special program at VFW Post 2931, VFW Road, Ellendale, DE.  The program will be held on Saturday, 03/24/2012 at 9:30 a.m., immediately following Chapter 546 monthly meeting.  This special program will be narrated by Vietnam Veteran, Neil Burke who has several DVD’s from his visit back to Vietnam in 2007.  The program will cover many areas in South Vietnam as well as areas in North Vietnam.  A buffet breakfast will be available.

Google Map To VFW Post #2931

Local Vietnam Veterans to honor one of their own on Nov. 11

October 29, 2011
Contact: David Skocik

On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m., members of Kent Co. Chap. 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, will honor the memory of one of their own at the Kent Co. Vietnam memorial on S. Little Creek Rd., Dover.

Larry Fletcher Potts

Lt. Larry Fletcher Potts

Marine 1st Lt. Larry Potts grew up in Smyrna. In 1972 he and Air Force 1st Lt. Bruce Walker were shot down while taking part in the rescue attempt of a downed Air Force pilot in Vietnam.

The mission involved the search for Air Force Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton, a missile expert shot down over enemy territory while on a reconnaissance mission.

The search for BAT 21, the aircraft’s call sign, was a mission in which six rescuers would lose their lives before Col. Hambleton was rescued. Their heroism and tenacity resulted in a book and a movie, both of which incorporated BAT 21 in their titles. The 1988 movie starred Gene Hackman and Danny Glover.

Vocalist Lori Christiansen will sing the National Anthem. Brooke Tucker, the 12-year-old granddaughter of Chap. 850 member David Dill, will play Taps at the ceremony.

Brooke, a 7th grade saxophone player in her school band at W.T. Chipman Middle School in Harrington, heard Taps on a television program and asked her grandfather about the haunting melody. She borrowed a trumpet, learned to play the notes and asked her grandfather if she could perform at the ceremony. Her offer was immediately accepted by Chap. 850 President Joe Startt Jr.

“We were honored to accommodate her, and look forward to her debut,” said Mr. Startt. “Larry Potts put himself directly in harm’s way to save the life of another. I’m certain he would be honored to have this young lady reaching out to honor him.”

In addition to area Vietnam veterans, attendees will include members of the Potts family, elected officials and the public. State VVA Council President Paul Davis will also attend and make remarks.

Dave Skocik, Chap. 850 member and newly-elected president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition, will serve as emcee.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend.


Bike And Car Show

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, Delaware Vietnam Veterans of America will sponsor their second annual Bike and Car Show at the Delaware Veterans Home in Milford.

Gates will open for registration at 9am with the event officially opening at 10am and closing at 2pm.

There will be trophies and cash awards for cars and motorcycles in each of three categories: Pre-WWII, The Vietnam Era and The Sand Wars.

Additionally, there will be a Best of Show award for the vehicle that receives the largest number of votes. Judging will be by popular vote and ballots will be handed out as attendees enter the event.

Last year almost $1,500 was donated to the residents of the home. This year organizers hope to at least double that amount. Vendors are welcome and a $50 fee will be charged for entry. For more information call 302-242-2232.

Nam Jam Tickets on Sale

Nam Jam tickets are now available for sale. Contact any VVA chapter 850 member for your tickets to this great event. Tickets are limited so don’t delay.

You can also order tickets online at

Bands for Nam Jam

All four bands for Nam Jam have been contracted. They are, Sand Creek, The Funsters, Semi Blind and Nothin But Trouble. Check their links below.

This represents a huge variety of music. From Big Bands to Sinatra, The Rolling Stones to Trisha Yearwood. These great people have all agreed to do this show at rates that are considerably less than they are accustomed to making. We want to thank them for their generous support and invite everyone to come out and see some of the best music to be played in Delaware.   Nam Jam starts at 200pm Saturday July 9th at the WL Fox American Legion Post in Dover.

Chapter 850 Craft Show

“Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. Step right up folks and see the greatest show in the world!”  Well, it may not be the greatest show in the world but it’s shaping up to be a good one. The vendors are signing up daily and the variety of their crafts are amazing. So far, we have blanket makers and furniture makers, Tupperware and home decor, handbags and totes, light switch plates and paper crafts. We have jewelry and seaglass, wood crafts and Native American arts, Mary Kay and decorative paintings. Breakfast and lunch will be available along with coffee and sodas. If you know of anyone who has been considering reserving a space, encourage them to do so soon. The spaces are limited and they are going quickly. For space reservations and more information, contact Crystal at 302 222 3530.  Remember VVA Chapter 850 Craft Show is Saturday June 18th 10 am to  pm at Walter L. Fox American Legion Post in Dover.

Trip to the Wash D.C. Vietnam Memorial


I reconfirmed the date of June 4th with Dawson’s bus service today. The bus will pick us up at the North End of the Old Blue Hen Mall, near the Firestone store, at 9 am. We will return at 5 pm.

We will not be stopping for lunch as there are plenty of street vendors available in the area of the monuments.

As a reminder, we have about 25 seats still available. The trip is open to friends, family and generally anyone interested. Please do what you can to help fill the buses. If there are any questions, call 302-242-2232 and I’ll do what I can to get your answer for you.

There have been questions regarding the buses and their access/accomodations for those with wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices. Dawson’s has assured me their buses are handicapped accessible and there will be plenty of storage for these devices under the seating area.


DC/Wall trip postponed.

The National Weather Service is calling for high winds and a possibility of severe thunderstorms, in the entire region, starting tonight into tomorrow. Due to the obvious discomfort and potential for  a hazardous trip, we have postponed the trip until June 25th, 2011. We will still meet at the Blue Hen Corporate Center at 845, for a 9am departure. And the bus will still return us to the same location at 5pm the afternoon.

I appologize for this late inconvenience but felt it was best to error on the safe side. Please be reminded that there are still seats available and if you have requested seats be reserved the tickets can now be purchased in advance.

Thank you, everyone, for your support and patience.

Follow Us On
Delaware VVA Website  Delaware VVA YouTube  Delaware VVA Flickr Photos  Delaware VVA Twitter
Welcome to the Delaware Vietnam Veterans Blog Site. You can find important information about Events, Meetings, Chapter News, etc.