Chapter 83 News

Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America to Host Memorial Day Ceremony

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 22, 2015
Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

Col. Daniel F. Merry

Col. Daniel F. Merry
Biography

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 www.DelawareVVA.com 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.

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Chapter 850 Vietnam Veterans Create Honor Guard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 17, 2015
Contact Dave Skocik 736-8500 cell

Chapter 850 Vietnam Veterans Create Honor Guard

VVA Chapter 850 Honor Guard  Photo by Dave Skocik Front Row: Don Coffman, John Collision, Anthony Seeney, Gary Kalmus, Joe Startt Jr. Back Row: Dan Watson, Smoke Steele, Winston Burns, Ken Bodine and William Walls.  Not pictured: Mike Brown and David Graham.

VVA Chapter 850 Honor Guard Photo by Dave Skocik
Front Row: Don Coffman, John Collision, Anthony Seeney, Gary Kalmus, Joe Startt Jr.
Back Row: Dan Watson, Smoke Steele, Winston Burns, Ken Bodine and William Walls.
Not pictured: Mike Brown and David Graham.

Bedecked in their new uniforms that include jackets, charcoal grey slacks, chapter caps and ascots, Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, sat for a photo at their monthly meeting on April 16.

The unit, composed of a dozen members, was created by chapter secretary Don Coffman to provide a presence at funerals, presentations, and other chapter events.

“This team will honor all fallen Vietnam Veterans so that they are never forgotten,” said Mr. Coffman.

“We applaud Don’s initiative and work in making this happen. It took a lot of planning, practice, and coordination,” said Joe Startt Jr., chapter president and group member. “Chapter members were happy to allocate the funds for this worthy effort.”

Chapter 850 has nearly 200 members and 39 associate members. All Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans are invited to join. Associate membership is available to family and friends from the community.

Click on www.DelawareVVA.com, call 302-697-8384, or email pauldavis5233@comcast.net, for more information

WWII Veteran Belatedly Recognized

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2015
Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

WWII Veteran Belatedly Recognized

Congressman John Carney; Paul Davis; Bayard Horn; Mr. Horn's daughter Bonnie Lepson of Red Lion, Pennsylvania; with Brig. Gen. Terry Wiley, Delaware Army National Guard (ret.) looking on. Gen. Wiley presented the medal on behalf of the Secretary of Defense.

Congressman John Carney; Paul Davis; Bayard Horn; Mr. Horn’s daughter Bonnie Lepson of Red Lion, Pennsylvania; with Brig. Gen. Terry Wiley, Delaware Army National Guard (ret.) looking on. Gen. Wiley presented the medal on behalf of the Secretary of Defense.

REHOBOTH — Rehoboth VFW Post 7447 was the site of an April 11 ceremony for World War II veteran Bayard Horn. Mr. Horn of Rehoboth was belatedly awarded a Purple Heart more than seven decades after being wounded in France enroute to a prison camp in 1944. The problem was that his wounds were the result of an Allied attack on the train he was riding to the prison camp. Under previous rules Mr. Horn was ineligible for a Purple Heart because he wasn’t injured by enemy fire. His neighbor, and fellow veteran, Denny Aylor decided to appeal the decision while his 91-year-old friend was still able to appreciate it. He persisted through seven years and three turndowns before the award was approved with the assistance of Delaware’s Congressman John Carney. Mr. Horn was also presented with a coin from Kent County Chapter 850 of the Vietnam Veterans of America by Paul Davis, State VVA Council President. “We are proud of you and want to thank you for all you’ve done to defend our generation,” said Mr. Davis.

Remembering the Vietnam War: A 40-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 14, 2015
Contact: Dr. Sam Hoff 302-270-2101 cell; or Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

REMEMBERING THE VIETNAM WAR: A 40-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

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

War Dog Memorial Donation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  April 12, 2015
Contact: Dave Skocik 736-8500 cell

MOAA War Dog Memorial Donation

War Dog Memorial Donation

Dr. Ronald Sarg, chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, presents a $500 check to Paul Davis, president of the State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, toward the planned War Dog Memorial in the Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road, Dover. Mr. Davis also serves as VP of Kent County VVA Chapter 850. Lloyd Memorials of Dover has been contracted to create the memorial, which will honor all generations of war dogs. The 5-foot black granite stone will feature an etching of Dover AFB dog handler Staff Sgt. Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico. The photo can be viewed at www.DelawareVVA.com. Contributions may be made to Kent County Chapter 850 with ‘war dog’ in the memo area and mailed to VVA Chapter 850, c/o Ken Bodine, P.O. Box 1718 Dover, DE 19903. Email pauldavis5233@comcast.net for additional information. If it is completed in time, the chapter plans to dedicate the memorial during the July 1-5 visit of the Vietnam “Wall that Heals” to the Memorial Park.

Kent War Dog Memorial Campaign kicks off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  March 25, 2015
Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

Kent War Dog Memorial Campaign kicks off

Paul Davis, state council president, Vietnam Veterans of America; Ken Bodine, chairman of the Memorial Committee; and Joe Startt Jr., president, Chapter 850, display the photo of SSGT Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico. Group photo by Dave Skocik.

Paul Davis, state council president, Vietnam Veterans of America; Ken Bodine, chairman of the Memorial Committee; and Joe Startt Jr., president, Chapter 850, display the photo of SSGT Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico. Group photo by Dave Skocik.

DOVER — After months of discussion, meetings and even unsolicited contributions, the campaign for a War Dog Memorial at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park in Dover officially began at an annual fundraiser hosted by Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America.

During the March 20 sold-out dinner at the Felton Fire Hall, chapter leaders took the opportunity to unveil the photograph that will serve as the template for the planned memorial to all generations of war dogs and their handlers, according to Ken Bodine who heads the chapter’s memorial committee.

The recent photo of dog handler SSgt Jason Spangenberg and his War Dog Rico, was taken at Dover AFB by A1C William Johnson and will be used as the template for the planned memorial. It will be etched into a 5-foot black granite stone by Lloyd Memorials of Dover.

“This is not only a tribute to the highly-trained K-9s that have saved so many lives, but is also a recognition of their handlers from all branches and in all conflicts,” said Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president. “We’re especially pleased that this poster, created and donated by Dover’s Signs by Tomorrow, highlights our current veterans and their outstanding service.”

SSgt Spangenberg, who hails from Scranton, Pa., and Rico have served multiple tours in Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star Medal for their work in finding IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that saved the lives of fellow service members.

The inscription on the stone will read, “They protected and watched over us at home and on the field of battle. We are forever grateful for their undying loyalty, devotion, and faithful service. They are not forgotten.”

The War Dog Memorial will be placed next the UH-1 “Huey” helicopter dedicated last year.

Contributions may be made to Kent County Chapter 850 with ‘war dog’ in the memo area and mailed to VVA Chapter 850, c/o Ken Bodine, P.O. Box 1718 Dover, DE 19903. Email pauldavis5233@comcast.net for additional information.

The chapter plans to dedicate the memorial during the July 1-5 visit of the Vietnam “Wall that Heals,” to the Veterans Memorial Park.

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“Tea for Two” in historic Dover

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 Gold Star Program hosted a Victorian Tea on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at “Tea for Two” in historic Dover, Delaware.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Delaware Gold Star Families enjoyed a variety of tea sandwiches, desserts and teas.

In their leisure time while awaiting arrival of all guests they read a current London, England newspaper.

Each Gold Star Family member introduced themselves and educated our guest on the faithful service and sacrifice of their loved one.
VVA Chapter 83 continues their mission of Honor, Service and Remembrance.

Three guests won a door prize of English tea.

Each guest went home with a floral presentation bouquet, poem, history of Valentines Day, crystal gold heart  and lace handmade ornament.

The Gold Star Families also went home with a Gold Star Banner, personalized heart picture of their loved one and Gold Star magnet for their car.

The enjoyable afternoon was summed up by Gold Star Mother Deb Marckese, Mother of Preston Marckese:

“Judy
Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever….”

Photos:

Table set for 10

Table set for 10

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives and Gold Star Siblings holding their personalized presentation bouquet.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives and Gold Star Siblings holding their personalized presentation bouquet.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Gold Star Families.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Gold Star Families.

Each Gold Star Family went home with a personalized presentation bouquet, tote bag containing the history of St. Valentine's Day, a handcrafted Victorian crystal and lace ornament, poem, Gold Star Banner and Gold Star magnet for their automobile.

Each Gold Star Family went home with a personalized presentation bouquet, tote bag containing the history of St. Valentine’s Day, a handcrafted Victorian crystal and lace ornament, poem, Gold Star Banner and Gold Star magnet for their automobile.

Gold Star Mother of Preston Marckese, Deb Marckese sent this picture with a warm note: "Judy Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever...."

Gold Star Mother of Preston Marckese, Deb Marckese sent this picture with a warm note: “Judy Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever….”

Letters From Vietnam: WBOC Interview with Author Nancy Lynch

Recently, Nancy Lynch, author of Vietnam Mailbag, sat down and gave an interview with WBOC. The interview provides insight into the book she wrote.  Nancy was a reporter for the News Journal.  Her assignment was to communicate with veterans fighting the war in Vietnam and write a column.  She collected letters from 1968 to 1972.  These letters provide a unique perspective of the Vietnam War, through the letters of the airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines who wrote them.

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: vnamvet@comcast.net (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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 2014

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 www.DelawareVVA.com for more information on the Huey.

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