• 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
The Vietnam Veterans of America 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



VA Merchandise sales had a good performance again for August. Thanks to Don Miller and several volunteers, we were able to make pretty good sales.  I believe we also acquired another member.  Of course, who could resist Don’s sales pitch?
As you probably already know, this month the VVA held its National Convention in New Orleans (Nawlins, as they say it). I have been to two Leadership Conferences but this was the first National Convention for me, my wife, and for Jon Luker. Meni was the delegate representing our AVVA. Jon Luker, Sandie Wilson, Ken Rogge, and I were delegates representing our VVA Chapter. The temperature and humidity were in the low nineties almost every day. It rained two or three times a day. Needless to say, we tried to stay inside as much as possible during the day. Unfortunately, the Convention was split between two hotels across the street from each other—the Marriott and Sheraton. Meni and I stayed at the Marriott. Everyone at the hotel was friendly and helpful, so our stay was pleasurable. We did get to see a few of the sites while we were there, although not as many as we would have liked. We were able to visit the World War II Museum. We both vowed to return because we did not have enough time to see every exhibit. It was an excellent place to visit.  We highly recommend it. We also took a trip to Café Du Monde to try their world-renowned beignet donuts; strolled down Bourbon Street at night (wild!); and visited the French Quarters. A lot of my time was spent sitting and listening to all the resolutions being read and argued about and then, finally, voting on its passing or failing. Most were minor issues about which I will not go into detail here. You can go to the VVA National site and peruse them at your leisure.  (https://vva.org/2017-convention/)


newsletteraward 2017 Convention Sheraton 2017 Convention Registratio
Jon Luker accepting the E-Newsletter Award VVA Convention Hotel VVA Convention Registration


Elections for National officers and board members also took place. Our own Sandie Wilson retained her At-Large seat on the National Board of Directors. A 5th District caucus was held so we could listen to each of the candidates for VVA National Board membership. The caucus ran until 10:00 at night. That was done so we did not have to come back the next day to finish listening to the candidates. The AVVA also held a caucus which Meni attended as our Chapter AVVA delegate.

 Several awards were given out during the Convention General Session:

  • Achievement Award: John Riling, Michigan State Council President
  • State Council of the Year: Ohio
  • Commendation Award: Tom Reinhart, Michigan
  • Member of the Year: John Burgess, Chapter 1087
  • Chapter of the Year:   Tennessee Chapter 1078
  • Newsletter of the Year:   Fresno Chapter 933
  • E-Newsletter of the Year:   Ann Arbor Chapter 310
  • Website of the Year:   Denver Chapter 1071

The Heritage Festival was a great success thanks to the many volunteers who came out to help sell raffle tickets and products. Several volunteers were there every day, all day. Thanks to Vance McCrumb and Don Miller for taking leadership on those efforts. We sold all 3,000 of our raffle tickets and had pretty good sales with Merchandise. The weather was very nice all three days. I also understand we picked up a new member or two—that being one of our missions for putting on these events. Vance reported that:

“Tom Fifield’s son, Steve, stopped and left with our 25th Anniversary Challenge coin. He reported that his dad is doing well and is scheduled for surgery in the near future.”

He continues:

Dennis Davies’ son, Benjamin, visited us Friday. Paul Dumsch’s daughter, besides Wendy, came by as well and Jerry Sim’s youngest daughter, Jerrylyn.

Jimmie Wade’s daughter, Laura, and, I believe they were either family or friends of Eddy Conrad stopped by to reminisce.

Sandy Martinez came by and spent some time visiting.

It was old home week at our booth and it’s great seeing our extended chapter family members. They do remember us!”

The Pig Roast is coming up on September 10. Two days later, on September 12, we have Merchandising sales at the VA Hospital. We could really use the help again to pull them both off.

Until next month, God bless, and keep our active military in your prayers along with the many emotionally and physically hurting members.


Dave Draper
USAF C-130 Loadmaster

To read the September  newsletter click > Here