Veterans For Peace
Vietnam Spring Tour
April 16 – May 2 2015
Each spring members of the Hoa Binh (Peace) Chapter 160 of Veterans For Peace (VFP) welcomes up to 20 Veterans & non-Vet peace activists & spouses to come for a 17-day insider’s tour of Việt Nam. This year’s includes the 40th Anniversary of Reunification Day commemorating of the end of the Resistance War Against America (Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or the Việt Nam War (Chiến tranh Việt Nam) on April 30th, 1975.
The mission of the tour is to address the legacies of America’s war & form lasting ties of friendship & peace as well as tour this beautiful country. Each person is asked to bring a minimum of $1,000 as a donation for VFP Chapter 160’s humanitarian projects in Việt Nam: bomb clearance, chemical warfare victims, hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. The tour includes visits to the recovery & assistance projects supported by VFP. They also meet with Việtnamese families & war veterans struggling with Agent Orange (AO), Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) & poverty. The $1,000 minimum donation is mandatory. We also encourage donations from individuals, & their organizations, not going on the tour. These non-tour donations have accounted for more than half of the $110,000 donated so far.
The Hoa Binh Chapter of Veterans For Peace is well-known & respected in Việt Nam. The Chapter is the first & only overseas chapter of American Veterans living in Việt Nam! The 2015 tour is the 4th tour they have sponsored. So far 39 people (25 veterans and 14 non-vet spouses & peace activists) have gone on previous Spring tours and delivered $110,000 in aid ($65,000 from non-tour folks).
2015 Tour Costs (Note: all coordinators, contacts, tour leaders are volunteers, no one is paid):
- In-country tour cost of $2,300 per person (17 days, 16 nights), all-inclusive; Single Room for each tour member;
- Airfare to & from Việt Nam (optional group flight approx. $1,000);
- The $1,000 Minimum Donation for VFP Hoa Binh Chapter 160 humanitarian projects.
- Visa fee of $100.
Việt Nam Tour Coordinators
- Suel Jones – Former Marine Việt Nam War combat vet, 1968-69; lives in VN half of each year since 1998; volunteers in Da Nang with Việt Namese victims of Agent Orange (AO), of whom there are 3 to 4 million nationwide today. President of Veterans For Peace, Hoa Binh Chapter 160.
- Chuck Searcy – Army VN vet enlisted, military intelligence analyst 1966-69; lives in Ha Noi full time since 1995; International Advisor for ProjectRENEW, which clears UXOs (unexploded ordinance – cluster bombs, landmines, other ordnance). Vice President of Chapter 160.
- Chuck Palazzo – Marine VN combat vet, 1st and 3rd Force Reconnaissance 1970-71; lives full-time in Da Nang since 2008; volunteers with AO victims. Secretary-Treasurer of Ch. 160.
US San Francisco Tour Contact/Coordinator
Nadya Williams –Director of Communications for VFP San Francisco Chapter 69; Associate Member since 2003; lived in Việt Nam for 3 months in early 2008.
Cell: (415) 845-9492
Tour Deposit $200 or Donations
Payment By Check
Veterans For Peace Việt Nam Tour Coordinator
1436 Grant Avenue, Apt. 10, San Francisco, CA 94133
Checks payable to “Veterans For Peace, San Francisco Chapter 69”
Memo Line ” Việt Nam“
Veterans For Peace, Hoa Binh (Peace) Chapter 160’s Viet Nam Projects Donations from annual tour participants, plus non-tour organizational & individual donations, are divided up among these organizations.
- Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has a special unit for Agent Orange (AO) Babies & Children; Tu Du has taken in hundreds of abandoned, severely disabled orphans over the years.
- Project RENEW Initiated in 2001, to clear UXOs in Quang Tri Province, also aids victims, teaches children & adults how to be safe & implements income-generating projects for victims & their families; since 2013 has a Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) Mobile Outreach program, which also aids Agent Orange victims.
- Việt Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) Helps AO victims in the heavily-sprayed A Luoi (“Ashau”) Valley, Quang Tri Province, Nha Trang & throughout Việt Nam; has medical & residential centers, housing construction & poverty alleviation projects, vocational training, special education programs, etc. AO damage now continues into the 4th generation!
- Da Nang Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (DAVA) is a VAVA chapter with a special relationship with VFP Chapter 160; works in heavily-contaminated Da Nang City (home of a former major US base), has day care centers & schools for AO victims.
- The Friendship Village, Ha Noi is a residential, medical & vocational center for Agent Orange victims, disabled children, Việtnamese Veterans & their family members affected by AO.
- Farm Animal Project provides a cow or water buffalo to Agent Orange-affected farm families in the Hue & A Luoi Valley areas by partnering with Hue University & their “Hearts of Hue” program to fund: purchase of the animal, training in care, materials for the animals shelter, feed & veterinary care.
VFP Ch. 160 Members/Việt Nam Tour Leaders
- Suel Jones – Initiated the Cow/Water Buffalo project; has volunteered for more than a decade with Agent Orange victims. President of VFP Chapter 160. Volunteers directly with DAVA, VAVA & the Farm Animal Project.
- Chuck Searcy – ProjectRENEW’s international adviser since its start in 2001.
- Vice President of Chapter 160. Volunteers directly with ProjectRENEW, the Farm Animal Project & VAVA.
- Chuck Palazzo – Honorary member of DAVA. Secretary-Treasurer of Ch. 160. Volunteers with DAVA, VAVA & the Farm Animal Project.
- Don Blackburn – Former Army 1967-68 in Ben Cat and Cam Ranh; returned to Việt Nam in 2004; lived in Ha Noi, Hue, and now lives in Nha Trang; member of American Committee for The Friendship Village Project in Ha Noi; teaches at VAE in Nha Trang; fundraises for an orphanage in Hue, for VAVA & other organizations. Core member of VFP Chapter 160. Volunteers with The Friendship Village in Ha Noi, with VAVA, an orphanage in Hue and teaches in Nha Trang.
“I’m not particularly interested in figures, but in Washington there is a memorial to the US deaths in the Viet Nam War and it is 150 yards long. If the same memorial was built for the Viet Namese that were killed is would be 9 miles long.”
– Philip Jones Griffiths, British Viet Nam War photojournalist