Tag Archives: VVA

Middle Village service held for burial of 100th indigent Vietnam veteran

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) continue to support their brothers and sisters in arms, even after death. On Friday morning at Hess-Miller Funeral Home, Chapter 32 of the VVA held a ceremony for their 100th indigent veteran.

Edsell Smith served in the United States Marine Corps from 1972 to 1976, and when he died this year he was survived by no family members. When a member of the military dies with no family members, the VAA takes responsibility in burying their fellow veteran.

“We are the organizational friends of indigent veterans, which in essence makes us the family of the veteran,” said Paul Narson, president of Chapter 32 of the VAA. “We hold a ceremony for the veteran and we will go to Calverton National Cemetery and inter him. We will fold the flag, present the flag to a member of the organization. We bring the flag back to our headquarters and hang it on the wall with a plaque with his name on it next to the other 99 veterans.”

Smith’s coffin was draped with an American flag at Hess-Miller Funeral Home as members of the VVA presented the colors.

“I believe this chapter has done a real public service by highlighting this issue,” said John Rowan, national president of the VVA. “And making sure that, at least going forward, that no one gets lost in the shuffle.”


Memorial Moving Wall is moving experience

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Dara Drake


Jane Pescatore said it brought tears to her eyes.

The Middle Village resident was one of many who attended the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall on Friday, June 29, when it went on display to the public.

“This is just such a beautiful thing – it brought tears to my eyes – and I’m glad it could be brought to the neighborhood for everyone to see” said Pescatore.

With residents, elected officials and others present, members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) read the names of the 37 soldiers who hailed from Queens listed as prisoner of war or missing in action (POW/MIA).

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” said Paul Narson, president of the VVA #32 of Queens, which worked in conjunction with the Veterans Day Parade Committee, Maspeth Federal Savings and the United Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth to bring the half-sized replica of the Memorial Moving Wall to Juniper Valley Park through Monday, July 2.

This was the Wall’s second visit to Queens – it was on display in Cunningham Park in 2004.