VVMF Announces 2023 Board Election Results

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2023) — The Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is delighted to announce the election of four new Board Directors and the re-election to a second term for four others.  The new Directors are Keith June, Viet X. Luong, Jeff Punches and Megan Rihn Smith.  The re-elected Directors are Sharon Bannister, France Hoang, Marty Marks and Allen McCabe.  More information about each Director is included below.

“We’re pleased to add and re-elect these Board Directors,” said Board Chairman Alan Buckelew.  “They each have strong connections to the Vietnam era and the ongoing mission of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.  The Vietnam War still impacts our country in many ways, affecting families and friends.  As volunteer Board members, they are committing their time and talents to ensuring current and future generations remember the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and learn the lessons of that divisive time in our nation’s history.”

The newly-elected Board Directors are:

  • Keith June, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), has served as a volunteer with the National Park Service and at The Wall for several years.  He also serves as a volunteer at the National Museum of the U.S. Army. COL June also serves on the Veterans Advisory Council for the University of South Carolina. A firm believer in giving back, he has served on numerous boards including as president of his church board during COVID. Colonel June is a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Viet X. Luong, Maj. Gen., U.S. Army (Retired), is the first American officer promoted to general officer rank who was born in Vietnam. He and his family left Vietnam on April 29, 1975, as part of Operation Frequent Wind. General Luong is a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Jeff “Fang” Punches, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired) is a Vietnam veteran. A Naval Academy graduate and pilot, he completed 250 combat missions in F-4 jets.  He was the first F-14 Instructor Pilot at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). After a 30-year career on active duty and in the Naval Reserve, Captain Punches worked in the corporate sector and volunteered with the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  • Megan Rihn Smith is a Gold Star Granddaughter.  Her grandfather, SP4 Joel D. Coleman, is remembered on Panel 7E of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Mrs. Rihn Smith grew up at The Wall as her family remembered and honored SP4 Coleman.  She is the first grandchild of a service member listed on The Wall to serve on the VVMF Board of Directors.  Currently, Mrs. Rihn Smith is an Assistant Principal in Hanover County Public Schools, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia.

The re-elected Board Directors are:

  • Sharon Bannister, Maj. Gen. (Dr.), U.S. Air Force, is a Gold Star daughter.  Her father, Air Force Captain Stephen Rusch, is remembered on panel W2 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  General Bannister is scheduled to retire from active duty on 1 July.  She also serves as a volunteer at The Wall, helping visitors find names and understand the memorial design.  General Bannister and her sister jointly served as keynote speakers for the Memorial Day Ceremony at The Wall in 2019.
  • France Hoang and his family were evacuated from Saigon in April 1975 when he was under two years old.  His family settled in Washington state.  Mr. Hoang went on to graduate from West Point, served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, and was an Associate White House Counsel.  He now is a business leader, having been a part of several entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Marty Marks is a Gold Star daughter.  Her father, Army Brig. Gen. Richard J. Tallman, is remembered on panel W1 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  As an Army wife for 30 years, Mrs. Marks supported soldiers and their families through a variety of programs. Her support continues to this day.
  • Allen McCabe has been a Volunteer at The Wall for more than 23 years, giving more than 12,000 hours of his time to helping visitors at the Memorial.   Mr. McCabe has been involved in many activities over the years to support the Memorial, including Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony at The Wall.   He is a retired Vice President of Sales for Hughes Network Systems in Maryland.    He currently runs a small tour company which does walking tours of the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery.   Mr. McCabe was in the 1972 draft lottery for Vietnam.   He resides in Alexandria, VA.

About the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C., in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era.  To learn more about VVMF, visit http://www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.