THIS IS VASAA



Q: What does VASAA mean?
A: Veterans' Association for Service Activities Abroad [VASAA] was a not-for-profit tax-exempt war veterans' charitable organization. Begun by Christian veterans of the Viet Nam War, it was incorporated under the laws of Utah and IRS Regulation 501c(19). VASAA was also recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) by the U.S. State Department, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and various nations. The Association was founded in 1982 as a result of a specific plea for help from former allies in Viet Nam.
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Q: What does the VASAA logo represent?
A: The Logo shows the chapel at Bien Hoa Air Base built in 1965 by American servicemen who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The open doors and windows represented that the Association was open to all who believe in helping those in need.

 

Q: Is VASAA still active?
A: No. The Founders agreed in 1983 that when the Association accomplished its major objectives, it would cease operations. The formal Farwell to VASAA was held at Ft. Douglas, Utah on 6 June 1998.

Q: What were the goals or objectives of VASAA?Brochure #2
A: (1) Provide a fraternal association and forum for Military veterans of any period of service; (2) assist, if requested, with family reunification procedures as established under UNHCR; (3) compile the history of the experiences of veterans in major military events [Viet Nam, Southeast Asia, Middle East, WWII, etc]; (4) assist families of former allies through compassionate service projects; (5) participate in projects with other NGOs, PVOs or special humanitarian networks.

Q: Was VASAA affiliated with or subordinate to any other organizations?
A: No; however, VASAA did cooperate with NGO, PVO and humanitarian networks to exchange information gained through experience which may benefit others. In addition, the Association cooperated with government and private agencies concerned with refugee resettlement..

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Q: What projects or assistance programs did VASAA accomplish?
A: Since its beginning in 1982, VASAA completed approximately 100 refugee cases totalling more than 500 people through immigration and family reunification programs. VASAA also provided financial, medical and educational aid to a wide variety of clients from Iran, Ethiopia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos as well as Viet Nam. VASAA located and made contact with more than 20 LDS families in Viet Nam long thought to be missing or dead. Through humanitarian projects in Viet Nam, Mexico, Ukraine and Africa VASAA provided special assistance that benefits uncounted numbers of people. VASAA sponsored special training in the United States for doctors from other countries. Doctors, nurses, dentists, educators, and businessmen as well as veterans who participated in service projects abroad.

Q: Did members have to belong to any particular religion to become a member of VASAA?
A: No. People of many faiths who believed in VASAA's humanitarian goals were numbered among us. Membership was not restricted because of race, religion or national origin.

Q: What were the criteria for memberships in VASAABrochure #4?
A: Membership categories included Regular or Associate Member. Regular memberships were available to those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during any period, including reserve, National Guard or cadet at a recognized military academy. Associate memberships were available to all others including: civilian advisors, foreign service employees at embassies or consulates, contractors, civilian employees of military services, as well as those individuals who served in the uniformed military services of their homelands. Also eligible for Associate Memberships were relatives and friends of military veterans and others who believe in the humanitarian goals of VASAA.

Brochure #5Q: Were there membership costs?
A: Yes. Membership subscriptions were reviewed annually by the Governing Board and were changed as the need arose. At present, (June 1994), the subscriptions were set at an annual donation of $30 in U.S. currency. LIFE Membership subscriptions were $350 (which can be spread over a 12-month period). These subscriptions provided members with voting rights in the Biennial General Assemblies, participation in VASAA retreats and a subscription to the VASAA periodical The Lost & Found.

Brochure #6Q: How was VASAA organized?
A: The Governing Board, all non-salaried volunteers, served for two-year terms. They were elected at the Biennial Business Meeting. The officers were president, two vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer, historian and executive administrator. Others were appointed to specific duties on the Executive Committee.

 


Q: What percentage of donations to VASAA were used for salaries or administrative costs?
A: There were no salaried employees of VASAA. Officers received no payment for their time and service to the Association. All moneys, contributions, donations, etc., paid costs such as postage, air freight, buying and sending clothing, medicines, equipment, etc. to sustain projects. In addition, they helped in reproducing documents required for our clients and publishing a newsletter to our membership. The overhead of maintaining an office and records storage space was donated, allowing us to conduct normal business without excessive administrative costs.

Q: Did VASAA sell its membership lists to other companies or associations?
A: NO! We maintained strict confidentiality of our records.

Q: Did VASAA hold regular meetings?
A: A General Membership and Business meeting convened with our Biennial Assembly during even-numbered years. Special meetings were convened when warranted or requested. VASAA members followed our progress through the Association's periodic newsletter, The Lost & Found.Brochure #7

Q: Was it possible to participate on a VASAA Service Team in Viet Nam or other countries?
A: Yes! VASAA members and friends began sending teams to Viet Nam beginning in 1985. Our first team to Europe served in five projects Ukraine in 1994 and 1995. Major projects in Ukraine and Viet Nam also continued in 1996.

Q: Since VASAA ended its work, what is available for those who want to participate in humanitarian projects?
Brochure #8A: Those interested in taking part in a such projects should have valid passports, a supply of current photos which can be used for visa requests and insure that their inoculation record is current for world-wide travel. Team members need to be in good health. Those interested in humanitarian projects may write to specific organizations which conduct projects for further information. There are several networks of NGOs and PVOs which are listed on the Internet. One such network in which VASAA participated is now known as UNITUS. It can be contacted through its Program Director, James Jacob, telephone 801-932-2404, FAX 801-932-2406, e-mail james.jacob@unitus.com. Another agency is Humanitarian Resource Center of North America, 1600 South Empire Road, Suite 700, Salt Lake City, UT 84104. Tele: 801-977-0444; e-mail: HRCNA @Worldnet.att.net. Those interested in an approved project in Mexico may contact Mrs. Gloria Call at (505) 822-0704 or by e-mail at radiantfutures@juno.com

Q: Are VASAA records available for research?
A: Yes. All records, files, and correspondence created during the existence of VASAA [1982-1998] were donated to the archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 2000. Contact Michael Landon, Archivist, at 801-240-5923 for research access and procedures.Brochure #9

Q: Has anything been published about VASAA's work and experiences?
A: Yes. Articles have appeared in "The Ensign Magazine," "This People," and in various newspapers. Chapter 16 of the 1999 book From The East by Dr. Lanier R. Britsch [Deseret Book] contains considerable information. Theses written by students from University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Weber State University also tell much information about VASAA.

Q: Is VASAA still available for consultations or guidance on what it accomplished?
A: Yes. Send requests and specific questions to VASAA at the address below or telephone (801) 278-7496. Leave your name and telephone number and a VASAA representative will return your call when possible.


VASAA
4334 South 2950 East
Holladay, Utah 84124-3738
Tele & Fax: (801) 278-7496
E-mail: vasaa8298@gmail.com
Web: http://www.vasaa.org

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