(Pictured L to R): Elizabeth Bates, VP AIVMI, Traver Kennedy, Board AIVMI, Jan Scruggs, President VVMF, Stephen Bowers, President AIVMI, Brian Patterson, President USET
Washington, D.C. – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership with the American Indian Veterans Memorial, Inc. (AIVMI), a non-profit organization spearheaded by Stephen Bowers of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The organizations will work together to build the Education Center at The Wall, and to create an exhibit within the Education Center to honor the proud and historic tradition of American Indian, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander veteran military service to our nation, particularly during the Vietnam War.
VVMF and AIVMI signed a Fundraising Agreement partnership during the opening ceremonies of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Semi-Annual Meeting hosted by the Wabanaki Nations of Maine. The meeting is being held in the picturesque seaside town of Bar Harbor, Maine.
As part of VVMF’s capital campaign to raise the remaining $87 million for the construction of the Education Center, AIVMI will launch the “Honoring First American Veterans” (HFAV) Campaign among the 566 federally recognized tribes, and the American Indian, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander businesses and their corporate partners.
In addition to raising funds for the Education Center, the campaign will also be collecting missing photographs of First American Veterans who fell in Vietnam, as well as photograph remembrances of American Indian, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander veterans who served in America’s wars from the Revolutionary War through the current conflicts in Southwest Asia. The Campaign is being chaired by Stephen Bowers who served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Vietnam War (1969-70).
“This is a major undertaking that will ultimately lead to the opening of the Education Center,” said VVMF Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs. “It will be a fitting home of an honorable tribute to the generations of First American Veterans who fought and sacrificed for this great nation, and helped to make it the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Stephen Bowers expressed the excitement within the American Indian, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander communities for the HFAV Campaign and said, “I am confident that there will be an overwhelming and supportive response from across the country.”
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.
The Education Center at The Wall will be a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With plans to begin construction in 2016, the Center is a technologically-innovative learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact that the Vietnam War and other wars had on their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall, honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served. The Center will also celebrate the legacy of service that links the heroes of America’s past to those still serving today.
Learn more about the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.vvmf.org or by calling 866-990-WALL.
For more information about the American Indian Veterans Memorial, contact Stephen Bowers, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Tel: 954-966-6300 x11482, Email: email@example.com. To make a contribution online, go to www.aivmi.org and select the “Donation” button.
USET, a group of federally recognized tribes whose mission is to enhance the development of federally recognized Indian Tribes, was the first tribal organization to support the American Indian Veterans Memorial Initiative to put a veteran statue on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Approved by Congress, and signed into law by the President in December 2013, a veteran statue will be located on the grounds of the National Museum of American Indians.