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Meet the officers of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1009, John Robinson, secretary, Veron Strebeck, president, Dale Williams, vice-president and Roy Messick, treasurer. Daily Sun photo/Katecey Harrell

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1009 is the Corsicana chapter for veterans who served in Vietnam. The group was established in 2008 and meets every third Tuesday of the month.

The chapter recently changed its meeting hall to the Sirloin Stockade and held its first meeting at the new location on Tuesday June 18. Meetings start at 7 p.m. and guests are encouraged to get there early to eat and socialize with members.

The next meeting will be held on at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 at the Sirloin Stockade.

Their mission statement remains true: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

Some of the primary projects the VVA are involved with is transporting veterans to VA hospitals for medical treatment and building wheelchair ramps and other handicap accessibility features available to the public at any location.

The group donates funds to students continuing their education, as well as Hope House, local food pantries, volunteer fire departments and the Corsicana ROTC. Along with their other community projects, they also make time to speak with veterans in assisted living and retirement homes.

The chapter is heavily involved with the youth, and have made donations to Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, as well as scholarship opportunities for high school students. This year, two students received scholarships, Alexis Harrell of Kerens and Joseph Williams of Mildred.

The VVA Chapter 1009 has contributed to many community organizations and will continue to make a difference in the lives of students and veterans.

The VVA has also partnered with the Angels of Corsicana Troop Support, directed by Jean O’Connor, a group responsible for the mailing of supplies to troops across seas monthly. The Angels of Corsicana have also partnered with many local churches, and is run solely with the help of volunteers and donations. They hand-make over 100 stocking and 400 ‘boots’ during the holiday season and usually support between 20 to 30 troops throughout the duration of their deployment.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1009 will have a booth set up at the Corsicana Airsho on September 7 at the Corsicana Municipal Airport. The VVA will have an arrangement of shirts, hats and coins for sale, as well as raffle tickets. Entry and parking is free for veterans, active military personnel and their families. The gates open at 8:30 a.m.

The United States entered the Vietnam War in February of 1961. The war would continue for roughly 20 years before ending in May of 1975. The harsh conditions and guerrilla warfare tactics led to the physical and mental deterioration of troops. 30.9 percent of male veterans and 26.9 percent of women developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and nearly the same amount of men and women would experience “partial” PTSD. It wasn’t until 1979 that the United States recognized the high number of Vietnam era veterans struggling to readjust to civilian lifestyles.

If you or someone you know is a veteran that needs support, contact Tim Easley, Navarro County Veteran’s Service Officer. Easley helps veterans get their benefits and also hosts a weekly PTSD meeting. The latest meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25. Anyone who thinks this could be beneficial for them, please contact Easley at teasley@navarrocounty.org for more information.