VVA 862 "Recent" ACTIVITIES for 2015


AVVA / VVA 862 2014 Picnic

was held August 20th at Industry Park

"Special Thanks" to all those who came out and helped along with those who stayed around and help Clean Up after the picnic was over.

"Thank You Again"  Phil Morris - Chairman 2014


2014  - Veterans Bridge Dedication  - We are waiting for some good Pictures! The last few years we have been watching this bridge be built between Fallston & New Brighton. It has finally come to an end.


  VVA 862's "Biggest Story" for 2013

John Wakeley’s idea  of “Honor Wagon’ becomes reality


             AVVA 862 member John Wakeley works up at Greater Pgh Airport in Airport Operations. John is always watching things that go on around him. Mind you now, John had  (2) two tours with the U S Army, so he had no other way to look at this other then being a Veteran himself. One day he noticed one of our local  KIA’s being removed from an airplane which got his attention. Curiosity got the best of him. He wanted to see how they did it. Since September 11th 2001, the hearses are not allowed on the ramp anymore to pick up the caskets. Now John is glued to watching the baggage handlers and the removal of this casket. He watch them take it and place it on the baggage cart, as he worded it, “like a Set of Golf Clubs”  He goes on to explain that the baggage carts are not the cleanest. After John watched all this, with Blood beginning to boil, he felt that something needed to be done. He went back and talked it over with another co-worker Mark Chamoditz. Mark talked to people at the Airport Authority office and convinced them to donate a baggage cart for refurbishing. John sat down with Paper & Pencil and started drawing up some ideas.


On August 21st, John walked into our VVA 862 BOD meeting and explained everything that goes on at the airport any time the remains of one of our fallen heroes comes home and how they were handled. He explained his idea and showed sample pictures of what he’d like to see on it. He explained that he’d already got a cart donated and wanted to know if any of our guys wanted to take this project on.  Rich Kamzelski & Rich Tindell decided to do this project themselves. After more discussion, our BOD voted to approve $1,000 to get this cart started.  They went and picked the cart up and took it to Kamm’s garage where they began to start on it.  Larry Googins and Jerry Fisher happened to be up at Hall Industries talking to them about the Veterans Bridge and the cart came up in the conversation.  The fellow at Hall Industries told them, you know we take care of all them carts at the airport. We’d be willing to help you with your project.  Well. The rest is history.

As you can see by the picture, with the businesses that did the work, it came out absolutely perfect. “Special Thanks” goes out to the following businesses. Signs by Sam, Pfaff Custom Welding LLC, the Airport Authority, Beachem’s Sandblasting Service and Hall Industries from the Franklin Twp / Ellwood City area.  We also found out that Harold Hall  (founder of the business) is also a veteran.

Rich Kamzelski stated that, what was hard to believe was that most of the businesses who worked on the wagon donated everything. Hall Industries completed the refurbishing Free of charge.


John Wakeley has come up with several ideas through the years but nothing as strong as this.

With the  VVA Logo on it and Our VVA Motto “Never again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another” this “Honor Wagon” will last a long time after we are gone.                                                                                        


You will see all 5 Branches of the Services and Pennsylvania National Guard has also been added.


                                                       Hopefully some other cities will see this and do the same thing.    


             Thank You” to  all who worked on this.    

   It was “Greatly Appreciated”.



  VVA 862's "Biggest Story" for 2011

President Obama recognizes Vietnam Veterans of America, Beaver County,

  Pa. during his Presidents Address on Veterans Day 2011 at Arlington.


SALEM - Jeremy Carr was wondering if President Obama would be proud of him when he helped out Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #862 clean up a portion of Pennsylvania state Route 65 last spring. His mother, Terri Carr, who resides in Beaver County, Pa., said Jeremy, who lives in Salem, kept asking about it. The 23-year-old, who has Down syndrome, spent the entire day on cleanup detail with the veterans and it was still on his mind days later. So his mother, a Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force veteran herself, decided she would find out and wrote the President. "I still am in kind of shock over the whole thing," she said Saturday. "I'm surprised the letter got read." Carr said a White House speechwriter called Thursday night. "They said they might use it in his speech," Carr said.   

The President gave his Veterans Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday and made more than a passing reference to Jeremy. The President suggested that people who want to support veterans go to Serve.gov.

"If you're a civilian looking for new ways to support our veterans and our troops, join Michelle and Jill Biden at Joining Forces.gov," Obama said. "Find out what you can do. There is no such thing as too small a difference. That effort you make may have the biggest impact. I say this because recently, I received a letter from a Vietnam (-era) veteran.

"She wasn't writing to tell me about her own experience. She just wanted to tell me about her son, Jeremy. Now, Jeremy isn't deployed, Jeremy's not a veteran, or even in the military at all, as badly as he wants to follow in the footsteps of his family and enlist. You see, Jeremy has Down syndrome.

"So Jeremy chooses to serve where he can best - with his local Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter in Beaver, Pennsylvania. He calls them 'the soldiers.' And one day last spring, Jeremy spent the day with several of these veterans cleaning up a local highway. He worked tirelessly, wrote his mother. He never asked to take a break. He didn't stop to talk about his beloved Steelers. He didn't even ask for anything to eat or drink. He only asked for one thing, several times - 'Mom, will President Obama be proud of me for helping the soldiers?'

"Well, Jeremy, I want you to know, yes, I am proud of you. I could not be prouder of you, and your country is proud of you. Thank you for serving our veterans by helping them to continue their service to America. And Jeremy's example - one young man's example - is one that we must all now follow. Because after a decade of war, the nation we now need to build is our own. And just as our Greatest Generation left a country recovering from Depression and returned home to build the largest middle class in history, so now will the 9/11 Generation play a pivotal role in rebuilding America's opportunity and prosperity in the 21st century.

" Carr coordinated a Veterans Day event in Beaver County and was unable to view the President's speech live, but said she's watched the speech repeatedly online and cries every time. Jeremy told her, "Mom, people all around the world heard President Obama talk about me." Carr said she told Jeremy, "You're right, I didn't think of it that way." She said Jeremy, who attended the Robert Bycroft school and currently works at Employment Development, Inc., has always wanted to join the army. "He has two cousins currently in the service," she said, adding that one in the Air Force in England called to say how proud he was. "I'm still not quite sure what to say," Carr explained. "People keep calling me to let me know how pleased they are and calling him letting him know."

She said the VVA Chapter #862 commander was in Florida and watched the speech and the President's reference to the chapter in Beaver County. He said to tell Jeremy how proud they were of him.

"It's quite and honor," Carr said. "It definitely is."

Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net         “Special Thanks” to Larry Shields from the Salem News in Salem, Ohio for this article.

Please Note: In January, The Carr's, Jeremy and his brother Bob and his Mom Terri will be traveling to VVA National Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. Arrangements are "In Progress" for Jeremy to meet up with President Obama whether it be in Sliver Springs or the White House.

Please "Click" on the Link Below to see the Video that was supposed to be on 20/20 on December 23rd, 2011



 Vietnam Veterans of America Memorial Highway 

Picture above is from the Ceremony that took place on Rt 18 during the Dedication of the Vietnam Veterans of America Memorial Highway. Just north of the Beaver Falls exit on the Pa Turnpike “Special Thanks” to Rep Jim Marshall for getting  this project done! VVA 862 is very proud to have this section of Highway Renamed in honor of our VVA Organization. This section of Rt 18 starts at the Beaver Falls Turnpike Exit and goes north to Koppel, Pa.


Other "Events" that VVA Chapter 862, We take part in every year!

VVA Chapter 862 Golf League

Our "VVA 862 Golf League" will resume Monday April 13th, 2015  and Thursday April 16th, 2015 and lasts through October!

 This will continue every Monday & Thursday.

Monday Tee Time

Thursday Tee Time

"Stonecrest" Golf Course - 3:30 PM "Fox Run" Golf Course - 3:30 PM


VVA and AVVA Visits to Friendship Ridge

Several times a year, we meet downstairs with small gifts to give to the Veterans who are living here at Friendship Ridge. We then go into each room and great each Veteran with a "Smile" and a "Handshake". When you start talking about what they did while they were in the service, Their eyes light up and they know we care about each one of them. We can always use more help. Please watch this Web Site and your newsletter for details.

Hi-Way Clean Up

T"Hi-Way Clean Up"  for the   Rt 18 in Wampum, Pa.
 Keep your eyes on this Website & Newsletter for the dates.
 Come and help out. It's always a fun time, and along with that, "You get to keep whatever you find".

We just found out that Charles Ray is now Chair of this Committee.

If you have enough people, it really does not take that long.
We need 16 people to cover it comfortably.



Memorial Day Parade for May 25th, 2015

We will be marching in Beaver. Please come and join us.

Line up will be behind in front of the ESB bank. 9: 00 AM

Parade will start at 10:00 AM


Once again this  (2014) year VVA 862 attended the Memorial Day & Veterans Day Parades held in Beaver.

The Veterans Day Parade last year (2013) as in Beaver, Pa. This year was to be the 1st time we were in Charge of the Parade. About 5 years ago the Beaver County Commissioners asked us if we would like to sponsor the Parade. All members of VVA & AVVA were welcome to attend along with any other Veterans from all Wars are invited to march with us. We also have a vehicle to use for those who are unable to march.   This year Parade chairman was Rich Kamzelski. With the addition of the Huey Helicopter making 6 Flyovers, The Parade was Outstanding.

PLEASE NOTE: Probably as soon as this "Veterans Day Parade" is over, we will make a stop at the Rochester VFW for refreshments and then go our Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Beaver, for the "Agent Orange Balloon Release" at 12:00 Noon. Your all Welcome to join us!!!


The VVA 862 Great "Duck Race"

Was held this year on Saturday, August 23rd 2014.

"Special Thanks" goes out to the Duckman (Bill Laughner) who has Chaired this Committee since the beginning in 2000 up to and including 2014. Since then we have raised close to $100.000. He has done a fantastic job with this project. We have been able to assist many Veterans from "All Wars" because of his efforts and time to keep this project running every year.

When this first started, and he walked up to us and said, and I quote "Do you wanna buy a Duck" We all thought it he was crazy.

This has turned out to be one of our biggest Fund Raisers of the year for VVA 862.

Next years Duck Race will be held on August 22nd, 2015.

The new Hookstown Fair Chairman is now Cliff Hawes. Please give Cliff the same cooperation as you did Bill Laughner.



The Vietnam Veterans of America, Beaver County Chapter 862 is in the process of adding more Bricks to our Memorial Walkway at our Vietnam Memorial in Beaver. This memorial is your chance to honor veterans of the armed services, loved ones and friends (both living and deceased) with an "In Memory of" brick. You may also want to honor your American Legion Post, your Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and/or all Veterans Service Organizations. This Memorial Walkway was started in 2009 and will be continuing each year.. We will update every year with new engraved bricks being installed in the spring. Please go to our Chapter Newsletter which you can do on the web to download the forms need to fill out for these bricks. If your interested in purchasing a brick, Please Contact Bill Laughner at 724-843-6828.


Ride to the Wall  in DC

Starting in 2005 we have had a group who ride to Washington DC for the large "Ride to the Wall" ceremony. On the Memorial Day weekend, we leave from the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe in Vanport, early on that Friday morning. We arrive in the mid afternoon. Saturday is used for those who want to visit Washington DC. Some have even taken a ride down to the United Sates Marine Museum in Quantico VA, approx 30 miles away. Some take their bikes, Others use the METRO. The hotel we stay at is the Hyatt Arlington. Only 4 miles away from everything. METRO is right around the corner. On Sunday morning (5:50AM) for those who want to participate in the "Ride to the Wall" those people head to the Pentagon Parking lots of which there are 3. After the ride, many head back to Beaver County. Some stay till Monday for the service at the Vietnam Memorial at noon, then head home. Makes for a great weekend if you've never done it.
2013 was the last year that Lee Corfield organized this trip.


Our Annual Local POW MIA Runs: 

In 2009 the  "Ride to the Wall" September 5th 2009, left the Rochester VFW in Rochester Pa and ended at Thompson Park in East Liverpool, Ohio where the "Moving Wall" was on display. Over 2000 Motorcycles attended this ride. This will go down as one of the largest Motorcycle Rides in Beaver County.

In 2010 & 2011, & 2012  the POW MIA Ride had approx 325 Riders which traveled through Beaver County and stopped at the POW Bracelet in Beaver for a short ceremony, then everyone headed back to the Rochester VFW to claim their Prizes.

This year 2014, we had the "Wall That Heals " on display at Quay Park. We held our Annual POW Ride. With 1643 members still missing from the Vietnam War, we were looking for that many to Ride. Everyone was give an "Arm Band" with one of the 1643 names on it. We found out later we had over 2000 riders take part in our ride. It was a huge success! Thank you to all who took part.


PLAN AHEAD - In 2015, VVA 862 will have our yearly POW MIA Ride

Approx Date for that Ride should be September 12, 2015.

Watch the Newsletter for the Correct Date

Sign ups will be 12:00 Noon. They will leave at 4:00 PM

This is a Ride you won't want to miss.


32nd ANNUAL KOKOMO VIETNAM VETERANS REUNION - Sept 18th thru 21st 2014

VVA Chapter 862 has been attending this for the past 13 years. On the 3rd weekend of every September, Members from VVA 862 travel to Kokomo Indiana to attend the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Reunion. Recently (2014) we had over 100 people attend. This event gets larger every year. Activities include a very special "Opening Ceremony" on Friday morning where all the FNG's "Fresh New Guy's" are asked to come forward and carry the very large American Flag to the Memorial Site which is hung between 2 telephone polls for the entire weekend while the reunion is going on. After the Opening Ceremony, they have Live Entertainment, which includes several bands from around Indiana. Saturday night they bring in the "Blues Brother's from Chicago, Illinois. Then you can go shopping for those old military items in the "Big Tent" which includes everything you can think of, including Hats, Patches, Clothing, Pins, Badges, books that Vietnam Veterans have written, Flags, Banners, Lets just say "If you don't find it there, It doesn't exist. Then many of us take on the challenge of walking around the different campsites, looking for your emblem or banner that you served with. Example: 1st CAV, 1st Marine Div, 3rd Marine Div, 82 Airborne, We do have people camp at the site, but most of us stay at the Courtyard Marriott in Kokomo about 8 miles away, only about a 15 minute ride. On Sunday Mornings after a full breakfast, we head home Beaver County. Makes for a very Memorable Weekend. Every year we try to encourage more members to come with us and take part in this "Special Vietnam Veterans Reunion".


Veterans Day Balloon Release - "Every year on Veterans Day"

To Recognize, Remember, & Honor all the Veterans that have been effected by Agent Orange.
Everyone is invited to participate in this effort of coordinating balloons, doves, or butteries to be released all across the nation.
Every one releases balloons at 12:00 PM EST
November 11th
Where: Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Beaver Pa. Contact Bobbie Morris 724-643-5725 or bobby514@comcast.net


Next TET PARTY - Feb 21st, 2015

The FEZ Broadhead Road, Hopewell, Pa. Doors open 5:00 PM Music by "Rudy Zetz & Voices" Tickets $25.00 each.  This usually sells out, so Don't Delay, Get yours today!!!  Click on the Tet Party details on the Main Page. If you want a Table of 10, Cost will be $250.00 per Table.
Tables are Not Reserved until the money has been turned in. This way, You don't have to run in the door and look for a table.
Every Reserved table will have a Name assigned to it.


Christmas Tree at our Viet Vet Memorial in Beaver We will be setting a Christmas Tree at our Memorial in Beaver at 6:00 PM Christmas Eve and keeping it up until around 12:00 NOON on Christmas Day. Being we are No Longer allowed to put up a Tree as we have done for years in Beaver, Under some new ordinance, your not allowed a Christmas tree unless in is manned. We will be having members stand guard  between those hours listed above. Frank Petz will be in charge of this. If anyone want to come, Please contact Frank Petz

This Picture was taken on Christmas Eve 2011.

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