VVA 126 invites you to join our brotherhood of fellowship and service!
With over 81,000 members nationwide, the VVA provides a community of fellowship with people who share your experiences, share your needs, and share your hopes for the future.
Join us for the camaraderie, volunteer opportunities, and community service we provide.
Be as active as your time, talents, and interests allow.
For those of you that cannot join us here in New York, simply become a proud VVA 126 member, knowing your membership helps work for you and your fellow Vietnam veterans.
Membership is open to U.S. armed forces veterans who served on active duty (for other than training purposes) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.
If you don’t meet the regular membership requirements, you can join the chapters Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA).
Members of the AVVA include families, friends, and supporters of Vietnam veterans, and veterans from before and after the Vietnam era.
Life Time Membership - $50
To join our Chapter, first fill out and print this Membership Application,
Then send it to:
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 126
PO Box 203
New York, NY 10010-0203.
Please include a copy of your DD-214 with your VVA membership application.
Membership also includes a subscription to the award-winning newspaper, The VVA Veteran, bringing you updates on issues and legislation affecting veterans, as well as unique articles on the people, places, and history of the Vietnam experience.
I commanded a combat infantry company with the 25th Infantry Division for about six months in Vietnam during 1970.
I returned to the States early one morning in February 1971. I had been in the Army for almost five years. Six hours after I stepped off that return flight at an Air Force base near Seattle, I was a civilian.
I did not fly home to Minnesota and my parents. My father told me a blizzard was blowing and the temperature was below zero. Instead I went to San Francisco, for about a week. When I finally reunited with friends and family, I discovered, to my great surprise, that no one was interested in my story, my year in Vietnam. Since I had no idea what I wanted to do next, and since there wasn't much going on economically, I began traveling. It was not until I was living on a Greek Island nine months after I'd returned, that I found somebody interested in what I had to say.
And he happened to have been another Vietnam Vet.
Ten years later I was standing on the curb in New York City watching the Veteran's Day Parade march past. It was cold and I was wearing my Army Field Jacket. One of the marchers pointed at me and asked if I was a Vietnam Vet. I nodded. He asked me to join them. As we marched down Fifth Avenue, I filled out a form to become a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Joining that organization made a big difference in my life, both as a veteran, and as a citizen of New York.
Angel Almedina, the man whose name embellishes the Chapter’s masthead, was not only a pioneer in the Vet Center movement, but the founder of the Manhattan Vet Center. I am not sure what part the Vet Center's played in denoting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a malady, but I do know that their existence was a direct response to that disorder surfacing in the life of Vietnam Veterans. Until 9/11 when one mentioned PTSD one usually thought "Vietnam Veteran."
Unbeknownst to me my own Vet Center experience began by attending one of the first Chapter meetings in a room provided by Angel on the upper West Side. I don’t remember what was discussed at that meeting or whether Angel attended, but my Vet Center experience continued one Tuesday a month, ten months a year, for three decades.
These guys spoke the same language that I did. No longer would I have to explain what a night defensive position was, what a laager site was, nor an RPG, or APC. They knew what the blue line meant, the difference between a slick, a gun ship, and a dust-off. Just sharing the same language meant that we shared the same experiences, the same feelings, both about the past, yes, but more importantly, in the present.
I often wonder how much the effects of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have been muted because I've been meeting with these guys once a month for over thirty years. And it is not as if we've spent the time telling war stories, no, we've been trying to get the Chapter banner to the next parade, or organize a softball game with another veterans group, or think up a novel way of raising money for the Chapter.
I'm indebted to these guys, my fellow Chapter members, and I'm proud to be able to meet with them on the third Tuesday of the month, ten months each year. They have made me a better person.
Bill Fischer Shares His Reflections on Being a Part of Chapter 126
Click Here to Download Application Form
Note. You can fill out this application form and print it online.