• Chuck and his wife Ann

  • President and Charlie heading to the East Room

  • Chuck and his son Mike

  • Chuck and his daughter Jeanna

  • Medal of Honor

  • East Room For The Medal of Honor Ceromony

Vietnam Veterans of America,
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11, & 15
E-Newsletter of the Year 2017
Chapter member LTC. (Retired) Chuck Kettles receved the Medal of Honor - July 2016
President’s Message
Dave Draper


Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for our Gary Lillie Recognition Dinner being held on April 21st. They are only $10.00 this year. Contact George Perrault to get your tickets. They will also be available at our next meeting and at the door. I have already received VIP RSVPs from LTC Kettles, an Iraq Veteran, Miss Michigan, and Miss Washtenaw County. That should be worth the ten bucks itself. And then there’s the food.

March started out again with good Merchandise sales at the VA Medical Center. The income was about the same and so was the camaraderie. The new crew is off to a great start and are making adjustments to the flow of setting up. They will be pulling the trailer to the Medical Center each month, which will save a little time from having to unload the trailer twice. They have gotten permission to unload/load the trailer at the Emergency entrance, which is actually closer to where we sell the merchandise. They have also found that they have the use of the Canteen’s flatbed carts. So, now things flow much smoother. The Canteen office has also told them that they received approval to have the vendor area set up closer to the Canteen office and traffic flow there is said to be much better. The space is reportedly a little larger too.

    Meni and I took a trip to the Yankee Air Museum. I had received word that the World War II Museum had an exhibit there. We had visited the WWII Museum while we were attending the Convention in New Orleans last year and thought highly of their presentation there. They used what little space they had very well with information stands and three repeating movie screens. If you get a chance, stop out to look at it. It is worth the visit. It will be there until May 15. I was a little disappointed that the Vietnam Era displays were disrupted. Looks like they are putting another display in across from the Vietnam one. Hopefully they will reconstruct the Vietnam display when done with the other. The sandbags were still there so it makes me think that it will be restored.

    On the 29th of March Al Merritt I manned an information table at the VA Medical Center as the VA celebrated Vietnam War Veterans Day on the third floor of the Freedom Building. Al and I handed out challenge coins, membership applications, Chapter brochures, and business cards. As a surprise to us, the VA had invited LTC Kettles to the event to perform the pinning ceremonies for the fiftieth anniversary of the Vietnam War. The Colonel signed his name to various requests before the event started. It was very crowded in the small space that was provided. During the three-hour event, I’m guessing that three or four dozen people came to get pinned, to swap war stories, and to have a little cake. Brian Hayes of the VA Public Affairs office opened the ceremonies with a “thank you” for our service and then introducing LTC Kettles. Mr. Kettles was very gracious and stood for the whole three hours as he pinned Veteran after Veteran. Some of the younger people there were musing that their feet were a little tired from standing and wondered how Mr. Kettles could endure the standing for that long. This event may have been good for our Chapter also. I brought fifteen membership applications and twenty brochures, and they were all gone well before the event ended. Al Merritt and I talked to many of the visitors and several of them hinted that they might join our Chapter. Each prospective member was given our new challenge coin. Towards the end people were asking if they could purchase our Chapter coin, which we gladly said yes. I brought twenty-five coins and had two left at the end of the day. We sold eight of them. Well, lesson learned. We will bring larger quantities of brochures and applications to our next event like this. We were fortunate that we were the only VVA chapter represented at this event! I want to give a special thank you to Al Merritt who stayed with me during the whole event, and for bringing some memorabilia with him which was a hit with the Vets. Also, a big thank you goes to The VA’s April LaRock for putting this event together. She also assisted LTC Kettles by handing him the pins as the recipients came forward. I hope to have a few pictures posted to the website by the time you read this.

    In April we have our Annual Meeting, the final nominations, and elections on the 8th. On the 10th we will have our monthly Merchandising sales at the VAMC. On the 21st we will have our thirty-first annual Recognition Dinner.  We will also be celebrating two military birthdays. The Air Force Reserve birthday on the 14th, and the Army Reserve birthday on the 23rd.

    Have a great month ahead and think Spring!!

Dave Draper