Our History

On March 29th 1973, the last remaining American troops departed from Vietnam, taking with them the bittersweet memories of combat and camaraderie.

58,316 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice, and in the five boroughs of New York we suffered the enormous impact of losing 1,741 men and women.

 

Their names now grace our Walk of Honor at the New York City Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

And yet, out of the ashes and battlefields left behind, a new battle was launched to gain our rightful status. Thus, in 1983, Vietnam Veterans of America, Angel Almedina Memorial Manhattan Chapter 126 (VVA 126) was founded by a diverse group of Vietnam Veterans frustrated at the public’s apathy to our service.

We know what returning veterans face. We have been through it before and we know that, despite all the rhetoric, returning veterans will face major problems.

VVA 126 will be here for as long as it takes to make sure that those who serve our country receive the care and respect they have earned.

As the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter in Manhattan, we have much to be proud of in our accomplished 35-year history:

  • Commission member of the 1985 Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Parade in NYC

  • Founding member of the New York City Council Veterans Advisory Board

  • Instrumental in creating and maintaining the NYC Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

  • Advised the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs in planning and executing City- supported programs serving our military and veterans, including Fleet Week and the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade

  • Led revival of annual NYC Veterans Day Parade, now the largest in the nation

  • Organized Operation Stand-Down, helping 25,000 homeless veterans in NYC

  • Helped open the first NYC Veterans residence (Borden Avenue, in Queens)

  • Provided educational services for over 35,000 veterans as a Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program Board member

  • Protected the Manhattan VA Hospital from closure, ensuring access to vital medical services for thousands of NYC veterans

  • Supported youth programs promoting service, including Junior ROTC and Stories of Service

  • Helped the Vietnamese and Amerasian community embrace American culture and society.