News Release: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to Honor Volunteers

08 September 2006

The Libby Hatch Volunteer Recognition Award will be given to World War II and Korean War veteran Sid George of Springfield, Va., during the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, announced the organization's Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs.

The luncheon will take place at noon on Sept. 9 at the International Spy Museum’s Zola Restaurant, located at 8th and F Streets, N.W.

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi will be the featured speaker at Saturday’s luncheon. A combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, Principi served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George H.W. Bush and was named Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush. He served in that role from 2001-2005.

Other speakers at the luncheon include: Vikki Keys, National Mall & Memorial Parks superintendent; J.C. Cummings, architect-of-record for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and Gen. Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.). Ted Hatch, brother of Libby Hatch, will present the award.

This year’s recipient Sid George has volunteered at The Wall for 18 years. Although he was serving in Korea during the Vietnam era, like most Americans, he was affected by the conflict. “I have close ties to The Wall because a relative and close friends have their names on the Memorial,” he said.

George volunteers during a number of The Wall ceremonies, including Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Father’s Day and the Christmas Tree Ceremony. He enjoys interacting with the visitors who come to see The Wall and share their stories. He specifically remembers a man who travels from California every year to touch his brother’s name on Christmas Day.

Sid George enlisted in the U.S. Army five months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and remained until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1966. His wife Jane and other family members will be on hand to watch him receive this honor.

The Libby Hatch Volunteer Recognition Award is presented annually to an individual who provides outstanding service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The award is named for long-time Memorial Fund employee Libby Hatch, whose dedication to the Memorial was extraordinary. She died in 1998.

“The Libby Hatch Volunteer Recognition Award and the Appreciation Luncheon are two small ways the Memorial Fund can express its gratitude to the extraordinary individuals who help out at The Wall throughout the year,” said Scruggs. “They help locate names, make name rubbings, speak to school groups and console those who lost loved ones in Vietnam. The value of all they do for us cannot be measured.”

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, through a series of outreach programs, the organization works to preserve the legacy of The Wall, to promote healing and to educate about the impact of the Vietnam War and is building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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