The Republic of Vietnam Leadership Committee

Date: Friday, October 25th, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location:
Dirksen Senate Office Building 50
Constitution, Avenue N.E.
Washington, DC 20002. Room: SD - G50

EVENT PROGRAM

Opening Ceremony Matt Truong – Master of Ceremony
Welcome Remark - Anh Tu Do – Vice Chair (External Affairs)
Keynote Speaker George J. Veith – U.S. Army Captain (Retired) and Vietnam War Author (English)
            (Vietnamese translation)

Speaker George F. Close – U.S. Army Major General (Retired)
Speaker Thomas J. Verbeck – U.S. Air Force Brigadier General (Retired)
Speaker Truc Nuong Huynh Brown – President of the Vietnamese Women Association of Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
Speaker Robert Smith – Chairman of the Greater Falls Church Veteran Council
Statement - Richard (Dick) Black – U.S. Army Colonel (Retired) and VA 13th District Senator
Speaker Lan Hung Nguyen – Chairman of the Vietnamese Community of Central Virginia
Speaker Lan Van Nguyen – Army of the Republic of Vietnam Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)
Closing Remark Matt Truong


Ms Anh Tu Do, representing The Republic of Vietnam Leadership Committee


 

George J. Veith
U.S. Army Captain (Retired) and Vietnam War Author

Captain George J. Veith is a former Armor officer, having served in tank units in Germany and the U.S. He has always been interested in military history, and in particular, historical mysteries. His initial foray into Vietnam was investigating the POW/MIA issue, a natural fit on both counts. One can't understand the POW/MIA issue without learning about the war, which led him to dive deeper into the conflict.

He also always wanted to write, and years ago, found some documents at the Army's Carlisle Barracks on the Joint Personnel Recovery Center (JPRC), the military's top-secret unit to recover American prisoners during the Vietnam War. Realizing that no one had ever written about these guys, he made ten trips to Carlisle going through all their Vietnam materials. Eventually he located about 80% of the JPRC weekly and monthly reports, and he was off! That research led to his first book "Code-Name Bright Light".

His second book, "Leave No Man Behind" is the memoirs of his friend Bill Bell, who led the USG's POW/MIA field investigation teams after the war. It was published in 2004.

In April 2001, his friend and translator, Merle Pribbenow, and he visited MG Lę Minh Đảo, the last commander of the ARVN 18th Division. They interviewed Lę Minh Đảo about the battle of Xuân Lộc, which took place in April 1975. His unit stood their ground in some very heavy combat, and the article on the battle was published in January 2004 in the "Journal of Military History."

Đảo was so pleased with their efforts that he begged Captain Veith to turn the paper into a book on the final two years of the war. He emphatically told him that the RVNAF had fought well, and they were not the corrupt cowards so often portrayed in the American media. Thus began a ten-year journey of research and writing that finally culminated in the book "Black April."
Captain George J. Veith has written extensively on the Vietnam War, spoken at many conferences, and testified on the POW/MIA issue before Congress. He lives in Delaware with his family.


George F. Close
U.S. Army Major General (Retired)

Major General George F. Close is currently the President of the SPECTRUM Group which is a 25-year-old 80-member strategic consulting company consisting of former CEOs, company executives, senior DOD flag officers and Federal senior executives. Prior to Spectrum he spent over 15 years as a CEO or senior executive in several companies that had large government contracts supporting the Global War on Terrorism worldwide. Prior to that, he spent over 30 years in the U.S. Army. A graduate of Pepperdine University his military education includes the Army Rotary Wing Flight School, Infantry Advance Course, USMC Command and Staff College, and the National War College. General Close’s military experience includes a combat tour in Vietnam and over 13 years of service in five different infantry divisions located in Germany (3rd ID), Hawaii (25th ID), Alaska (6th ID), and the continental United States (9th ID, 10th MTN).

Over the course of his career he has commanded two mechanized infantry companies, a light infantry battalion, an airborne infantry brigade, served as an Assistant Division Commander for Operations of an infantry division and as Joint Task force Commander.

Army staff assignments include serving as a Battalion XO, Brigade S-3, Division Deputy G-3, and Brigade XO. He has been an action officer on a MACOM staff (MILPERCEN) and Army staff (DCSPER). He has also served on the Army Secretariat as the Senior Aide-de-Camp to the Secretary of the Army and later as the Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Army. Additionally, he has served as a service school instructor at the mountain phase of the Army’s Ranger Training Program and the Army’s Rotary Wing Flight School.

Joint command and staff assignments include service as a Joint Staff Division Chief (JROC), Deputy JTF Commander (JTF 190- Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY-Haiti), and COCOM J-3 (SOUTHCOM). In this assignment he had the additional duty as the Director, Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) which was responsible for support to counter drug operations in the region. At his retirement from active service, General Close was the Joint Staff’s J7. His responsibilities included overseeing the development and implementation of conventional war plans, joint doctrine, joint exercises and training, joint lessons learned and the professional military education of the US Armed Forces. He also served as the CJCS’s executive agent and primary Joint Staff proponent for operationalizing Joint Vision 2020 including implementation and system integration.

General Close’s awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal (3 awards), the Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Bronze Star Medal, and 10 awards of the Air Medal. He has also earned the Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Aviation Badge and was a qualified Army Jumpmaster.


Thomas J. Verbeck
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General (Retired)

Brigadier General Thomas J. Verbeck has 38 plus years of extraordinary successful operational technical leadership in the United States Air Force (achieving Brigadier General) and business - Leading successfully multi-Military service and business development organizations at multiple levels (politically and technically) in air and communications/information and information technology and Cyber operations - around the globe –in more than 92 countries in EUROPE and AFRICA; throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He supported Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is an experienced Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and he was the first J3 for Cyber Operations at a Combatant Command. He has extensive acquisition/technology and Strategy Development experience and he is a Senior Executive in command, control, communications and computer systems. He is a Federal Top 100 CIO; and at NCR, he is Developing and executing Strategy, technology and business solutions development; business and strategic planning, and

customer relations. His focus/ and results are in All Governments- world-wide... to include relations building on NCR's standing as a recognized self-service technology leader ...including services to customers, offering advanced technology solutions to help meet organizations’ needs for enterprise-wide, large-scale NCR systems integration. Tom is of the Class of 1973, Virginia Tech; member of the VT Corps of Cadets, and sits as a Director of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Alumni Board.


Truc Nuong Huynh Brown
President of the Vietnamese Women Association of Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

Mrs. Truc Nuong Huynh Brown worked for the military social agency in Fort Riley, Kansas, from 1971 to 1973. She was also the President of the Vietnamese Community in Green Bay, Wisconsin from 1975 to 1978. She is also a member of the Anti-Communist Action Team (ACAT) since 2007. Her husband is the late Major David Brown.

She currently serves as the President of the Vietnamese Women Association of Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia since March 2016.


Robert Smith
Chairman of the Greater Falls Church Veteran Council

A native Chicagoan, Robert “Bob” Smith joined the U. S. Army in early 1966 and arrived in Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day after being happy to arrive in Vietnam from the grueling 26 days on a troop ship. As an 18 year-old, he found that being away from home for the first time was not so bad because the Vietnamese citizens were so warm, nurturing and family oriented. Volunteering for an extra six months of duty, he felt the pressures of war during the TET Offensive at Chi Lai and Danang, bonding closely with the Vietnamese soldiers.

Completing his term of duty, he graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois becoming a Journalist in Austin, Texas. There, he attended the University of Texas at Austin obtaining a Masters of Education. Later, while raising 7 children, he worked for USA Today and taught high school special education science classes with Fairfax County public schools until retiring in 2013.

As a volunteer and Post Commander with the American Legion, he was named Virginia's "Legionnaire of the Year" in 2001. He also served six years as Commander of the Falls Church Veterans of Foreign Wars. As a founding member of the Greater Falls Church Veterans Council, and its current Chairman, he continued his close friendship with Vietnamese soldiers and families that settled in Northern Virginia.

For more than a decade, the Vietnamese and American communities have bonded closer together working on community projects and enjoying shared social events.

In 2004, the Greater Falls Church Veterans Council was formed by veterans from local posts of the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The local Republic of Vietnam veterans joined in 2007.


Richard (Dick) Black
U.S. Army Colonel (Retired) and VA 13th District Senator

Senator Richard "Dick" Black has been in the Virginia House and Senate for 16 years. He served 32 years in the Marines and in the U.S. Army JAG Corps.

He was responsible for military justice throughout Africa and the Middle East for several years. In 2015, Colonel Black was singled out as an enemy of ISIS, which called him "The American Crusader." Black was a Marine officer in Vietnam. He flew 269 combat missions as a helicopter pilot, and his aircraft was hit by ground fire on four flights. He was also in fierce ground combat with the 1st Marine Regiment, directing jets that dropped over 1,000 bombs on communist positions. He made 70 patrols as a Forward Air Controller, fighting deep inside enemy territory. Black was wounded and his radiomen were killed attacking enemy positions.

Senator Black is an attorney. He graduated from the U.S. Army War College and the Army Command and General Staff College. He served in the Office of the Judge Advocate General at the Pentagon, and was responsible for justice and discipline throughout the U.S. Army. He prepared Executive Orders for the President, advised the Senate Armed Services Committee, and testified before committees of Congress.

Senator Black is an expert on the Middle East. He has met privately with the Presidents and senior government officials of Lebanon and Syria, attempting to end bloodshed in the region. Black earned an accounting degree and a juris doctor at the University of Florida.

Colonel Black is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

His military awards include three Legions of Merit, the Purple Heart, 13 Air Medals, and the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" for combat valor. He holds two Presidential Unit Citations and wears the naval aviators’ wings or gold.


Lan Hung Nguyen
Chairman of the Vietnamese Community of Central Virginia

Mr. Lan Hung Nguyen came to the United States as a teenager with his family following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Settling in Virginia Beach, he attended Princess Anne high school and later graduated at North Carolina State University with a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He immediately joined Dominion Energy (then VEPCO) and has just recently retired from after thirty-seven years.

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Vietnamese Community of Central Virginia.


 Lan Van Nguyen
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

Lieutenant Colonel Lan Van Nguyen of the former South Vietnamese Army graduated as an officer in the Dalat Military Academy of South Vietnam’s 17th class. He spent twelve years during the Vietnam War in combat operations with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s Special Forces and 81st Airborne Ranger Group.

After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, with North Vietnam violating the Paris Accords by attacking and occupying the South Vietnam, he was confined for thirteen years as a prisoner of war (POW) in various reeducation camps.


 

"In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service.

We honor and remember their sacrifice."


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