THE VO-67 ASSOCIATION
OBServation SquadRON Sixty Seven
In 2004, the V0-67 Association ("Association") established a scholarship fund in recognition of the increasing cost of higher education.
*The 2013 competition is now underway*
Members of this unique United States naval air squadron, formed during the Vietnam War, seek to continue to "Make a Difference". This special arm of the VO-67 squadron, the VO-67 Association, includes both Charter squadron members and Associate members who agree with the purposes of the Association.
The scholarship grant is awarded annually in recognition of all VO-67 squadron members both living and deceased.
One scholarship will be available annually in the amount of $1000.00 (One Thousand Dollars) to assist covering the costs of post secondary education ( i.e., tuition based vocational school , community college, four-year college/university or graduate/professional school). Future awards may be increased in number or amount as the budget permits. In addition, scholarship criteria may be subject to change in the future.
Judging of essays is done by eight scholarship readers using a double blind method. Total scores are known only to the committee co-chairman.
Applicants must be a family member of an active VO-67 Association member. This includes Charter, Associate, Life or Honorary Life members.
Requirements and Application form can be downloaded from this VO-67 web page. Please distribute copies to any V0-67 Association family members and encourage those eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Please consider joining the VO-67 Association. An Application is available at: Membership Application
If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, please contact the scholarship chairman, Jack Valenty, at (858-586-7767) or e-mail Jack at email@example.com
Deadline April 4, 2013
With the problems we face in this country today,
what questions would you ask of our founding fathers to get guidance for the future?
VO-67 2013 Scholarship Application PDF 16KB
VO-67 2013 Scholarship (purpose, amount, requirements, criteria, selection process, etc.) Requirements PDF 45KB
V0-67 Association -Scholarship Chairman
10691 Oakbend Dr.
San Diego, CA. 92131
Richard DeCuir - Col. Jimmie Butler - Tom Craven
George Hilkens - Mansour and Lisa Salahu-Din - Mike and June Walker
Victoria Allen"With the problems we face in this country today, what questions would you ask our founding fathers to get guidance for the future?"
If given the opportunity to ask our founding fathers any questions queries would come rolling in like waves on the shore. The main question that comes to mind is; is the Constitution a living document? Our Constitution is one that other countries model their own after, and that is something to be proud of. We have so much going on in the country that we all call home, that we always reference back these ground rules for guidance. The freedoms that other countries envy were set by these men. They also have missed out on some of our greatest achievements due to technology and human drive to move forward. Were those original documents meant to stand the tests of time?
That being said, may it be time for an update? Would they be open to possibly rewriting the Constitution, using their core values as our foundation? We have more and more people seeking religious freedom and opportunities that are only available in our country. This country was founded on core values of religious freedoms, but we had owned slaves and took their freedoms. The statement, "That all men are created equal", was it meant for everyone, even now? It may have taken time but we, as a current nation, have overcome most segregation of the past. The bill of rights is now being offered to a wider group of cultures in our country.
This nation was founded on the belief of the ability to practice what you will, but to know that rules are what govern us, and that is what we will follow. It has been proven true and to be successful; to be taken too literally and to extremes also can cause strife within a nation. At this time, fathers, we are dealing with wars in other nations to bring them democracy so that they may live to life we do. Meanwhile at home, we as a nation are dealing with poverty, unemployment, tax arguments amongst our politicians, and grief upon those who depend on the aid of the government. Our vets , who have fought for the documents I am writing about today, are not being taken of the way they should for laying their lives on the line for us to enjoy our freedoms. How would you feel to hear how large our debt is at this present time? Would you even know how to help us make even a slight impact on it?
Our government has become more diverse than anyone could ever imagine. We have racial and gender differences fully represented in Congress and the Senate showing how diverse we are as a nation; it has brought a somewhat optimistic tone to the nation. We are still making strides to take this further, all due to the ideas of freedom you gave to us. What is often mentioned, especially in the parties of government, "What is your definition of the division of church and state?" Religion is a passionate topic for many, along with politics, that it has escalated the simplest of arguments in to wars. How would you feel about troops being sent overseas to fight against countries who believe so strongly in their way? That we lose many of our own troops just to try to deliver them freedom, democracy… choice?
Fathers, would you even want us to alter the Bill of Rights or the Constitution? We have made some amendments to the Constitution, but how many more should we add before we just think of revising or writing a new set of laws? Do you think it would be a good idea to allow just basic ground laws that all states abide by and are allowed then to make their own? I know we like to think we can, but states are still fighting for something that the federal government can easily take away from them and in turn break the state's laws. I'm not talking about slavery, religious persecution, or murder for just any reason being legal. I'm talking about the ability to decide is what they can tax to increase revenue or how many guns they can own. I was always taught that the ability to vote would give a group of people the ability to decide what makes them happy.
What I truly want to ask is how can we, as a nation, understand better what you intended by writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Are we on the path you intended us to be on?
Veronica Reynolds"Renewing Patriotism in Young Americans"
The tragedies of 9/11 confirmed a level of patriotism that proved America is still the greatest country in the world and no matter what happens we'll rise to the occasion. Since then, we have seen dangerously low levels of pride in our country and patriotism, especially the loss of confidence in our elected officials. America is a country built on freedom, not free things and everyday people risk their lives and sometimes die to get into the US, not to escape it. Patriotism is a devotion to the ideals of our founding Fathers, as described in the Declaration of Independence. One of the best ways to renew your patriotism is to read the declaration again. It is all there, true patriotism is motivated by a sense of responsibility for one's self, their family, and the future of their country to resist government abuse of power. The best ways I would encourage my peers to renew their patriotism is to register to vote when they turn 18 and learn the laws and be informed, protect our civil liberties, visit their State Capital and US Memorials and most importantly, support the values America was founded on, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
One of the greatest rights we have in America is our right to vote. If we do not like the way our government representatives are running "our" country, it is our patriotic right and duty to vote them out of office. One of the biggest myths young people in America have, are their doubts that their one vote matters. All citizens, regardless of age, race, and culture or income level have a say in our America and I want to encourage my peers to get informed on the issues our country is facing and vote. All citizens have representation in the laws that govern our country, but only if we vote. What better way is there for us to show our patriotism, than to participate in the process of running our country?
I will encourage my friends and fellow students to protect our civil liberties, by revisiting and embracing with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the most important rights the citizens of a country have and are guaranteed by the laws of our country. These historic US documents prove how brilliant and uncompromised our founding fathers were in the creation of this great country. It is important to stay informed and exercise our rights and liberties. Freedom of free speech is one of the most important rights we have. To speak without the fear of persecution must always be protected. It is not un-patriotic to disagree with policies or voice our opinion, it is necessary. Never give into fear by allowing media or government to take away any of our liberties.
I think a fun way to renew patriotism in my peers would be to encourage them to visit their state capitals, visit US memorials, history museums and speak to veterans. There are so many stories of courage and bravery that protected the America Dream. I have never heard of another country that is described as "The Dream" other than America and we can't let it go. As young Americans, we need to embrace the foundation of our country was built on and buckle up, because it's never has been an easy ride and it never will be, but its well worth it. It still gives me goose bumps when I think about the spirit of scruffy starving rebels who were lightly armed, had little training, and usually no uniforms, kicking the butt of one of the world's super powers and well trained army, the Redcoats.
I want to inspire my peers to support the values America was built on. In America "all people" have the right to freedom and human rights. The best way to renew patriotism is to never let anyone make you feel afraid and therefore take away your freedoms. What is the meaning of liberty, life and happiness to an American? Regardless of your philosophy or political outlook, being an American embodies certain rights and responsibilities, provided by our system of government and the way we choose to pursue our shared values.
In conclusion, I feel the best way to renew patriotism in my peers, is to get back to basics and revisit the foundations America was built on. We need to be reminded of the fight we had to become this great nation, the sacrifices and bravery of all Americans along the way to maintain our freedoms. We need to stay informed and engaged in the process of running our country. I know every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner, I cry just a little with a sense of pride and patriotism.
Marissa Womack"Should all young Americans be required to serve our nation for at least two years in either a military or civilian capacity? Yes, or no and why"
I do believe that all young American's should be required to serve our nation for at least two years in either a military or civilian capacity. This is not only because every day about seven thousand of our nation's students become dropouts. Nor is it only because a disproportionate amount of the poor and minorities make up our enlisted military, and not even is it because it might take a crack at lowering our obesity rates, although these are all valid reasons. I believe this because I come from a family of service: my mother, the nurse who puts everything she has into her patients, my father, the police captain who truly cares about the people he protects, both my grandfathers, who have served in Vietnam, one as infantry, and the other in the navy, and my step grandfather, who devoted his whole life to helping people. I have grown up around and been shaped by people who have sacrificed themselves for something greater, just as the men of the VO-67 squadron did in 1968 as they flew above one of the most heavily guarded trails of the war, no doubt with the risk of death always looming around them. Compulsory service will benefit Americans both collectively and individually, as a nation and as people.
Every year my step grandfather organizes and helps with making Christmas food baskets for the poor in our community. Last year, he took me along to help out. Arriving at the warehouse before the sun came up, I saw the other people, from all ages and ethnicities, who were also there to help. I stood off to the side with my cousins and talked, not thinking too much about the other people there. When the work began we all made a large assembly line to fill the boxes with food. Somewhere amid bagging rice, counting apples, and hauling turkeys, I saw something amazing happen. The before separated and quiet group of people became one. We all laughed and talked, sharing stories and smiles as we worked together. It was as if service to others banded us together, and there was a sort of knowing in the air that we were doing something greater than just putting food in boxes. I will never forget this experience, and it taught me a valuable lesson: working together for a cause with others erases the boundaries between people, pulls them together and makes them stronger as a group. In the same way, compulsory military or civilian service will collectively strengthen us as a nation. Being brought together for a greater cause, regardless of race, ethnicity, or status will unify the deeply divided nation we are in today. Imagine our entire nation's youth all working together, regardless of differences. Whether it be fighting for our freedom abroad or fighting here to make America a better place, after two years our nation's youth will return stronger and more unified, ready to take on the problems of the future working together.
Mark Twain once said, "Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Having experiences outside of one's comfort zone broadens and textures the mind. My Grandpa told me about his experience in Vietnam, "You see things you don't always want to see… but it makes you who you are". I myself have acquired a broader view of the world just through working with a fourth grade class at an elementary school in a less fortunate area of town. Working with the kids for a semester, getting to know them personally and seeing another side of life really did open my eyes. I believe that everyone should have experiences such as this, and compulsory military or civilian service would do just that. Service shapes a person in two important ways. It strengthens character, and widens their view of the world. Our youth today need a healthy dose of both. I have personally seen how the work of many of my family members has made them into incredibly strong and resilient people. My father is one of the wisest people I know, and my mother faces obstacles with confidence and adaptability.
I think that America could use more people like these, people of service. I am proud of my family, and cannot wait to continue our history of service to others. I am proud of my country, and believe that at least two years of military or civilian service to our nation should be required of our youth. It would demand hard work, and heavy sacrifice. But, I also believe that for the benefit of the United States of America, it is well worth it.
Roy Taylor Gore"Why Is Freedom Not Free"
When pondering the question why is freedom not free, many things came to mind. The first thing that popped in to my head was the fiscal cost of freedom, the money aspect of living in a free country. But as I began to think deeper and began to break down the cost, it was more then just capital that American citizens must pay to remain free of oppression. Payment is not taken only from the pocket, but from the heart and minds of the American public. The biggest loss that takes a heavy toll on all Americans regardless if you have a loved one in active duty is the lives taken in the constant fight for freedom during and after active duty. The loss of ones life in active duty is not the only detriment to a lone soldier fighting the battle for freedom. When done with active duty they are at times left with disruptive conditions that can affect them for the remainder of their civilian lives, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of limbs or other vital human functions. The cost is not only left to the men and women serving, but also to their family and friends waiting for them at home. It is often that during wartime soldiers are forced to leave their needing families to serve their country.
The biggest toll taken on American soldiers is without doubt also the ultimate sacrifice that one could give to their country, their life. You could visit any memorial for any war that the United States have been involved in and have emotions evoked of sadness, distress, and pride. These feelings are without a doubt strong but hold no valor to the feelings that come directly from the deepest part of your heart when visiting any military cemetery. Fortunately, I have never experienced the loss of a loved one due to the struggles of war, and could only imagine the strength of feelings invoked by visiting military cemeteries. With the estimated numbers of lives lost in Vietnam being 50,000 these statistics will not allow anyone to say that there are no costs of freedom.
Even those that do return from war are often plagued with the detrimental physical and psychological aftermath of serving for this wonderful country that we have been given the privilege the live in. When a soldier returns with a missing limb or a paralysis from a damaged spinal chord their lives cannot return to the civilian lives that they previously held. These physical deformities inhibit veterans from returning to work and to their family and societal role. Just as common as physical problems that arise from serving in the military psychological problems come back to the United States such as post-traumatic stress disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and numerous other stress disorders. These disorders not only affect the veteran plagued with the disorder but also their entire family, and the society that they are returning to.
The cost of freedom that most directly affects me personally is the single parent left to tend for the entire family. When my grandfather courageously left to serve over seas in the Vietnam War he was forced to leave my grandmother to take care of the affairs at home. She also took a courageous role and took four kids into adulthood. Stress was not only put on my grandmother but on my father and aunts. My father was put in the position of man of the house at a young age and with my grandfather only able to be a strong male presence for short periods of time, this task was a daunting one. Although my grandmother took the single parent role head on and still does very well keeping the family close, it has always been said that when he was able to see to his family matters, around the house went much smoother. We are all thankful for the sacrifices that my grandfather gave for the country that we are all proud to live in, however these stresses put on the families of soldiers is another cost in the high price of freedom.
The fact of it is, freedom is not free. The numerous costs noted only are a few that collect from the soldiers serving, the families of the soldiers, and the citizens of this wonderful country we all live in. These costs are inevitable and will forever be on the hearts and minds of every proud American for generations to come. Without them we will not be able to walk the soil of America with the freedoms that we do.
"What does Veteran's Day mean to you?"
When any young adult is first asked "What does Veteran's Day mean to you?" the automatic answer is no school or work. But that is not what the holiday is about. Veteran's day was created to remember the end of World War I, but it has come to represent every war that has taken place since then. Thinking about how times have changed in ninety years is astounding, but one fact remains, the men and women who serve for our country still deserve to be honored for everything they give to our country. On Veteran's Day, we should reflect on how much sacrifice and loss some Americans go through to fight for our country. My grandfather served in the Korean War in the early 1950's and consequently, he missed the birth of his eldest child, who happens to be my mother. Not only did he miss the birth of his only daughter, my grandmother delivered and began to raise my mother on her own. When my grandfather returned home, his daughter was completely unaware of whom he was, but he was very conscious of all that he had missed. The sacrifices my grandfather made were to benefit his country. All veterans and their families went through some struggle when they were sent to war. Veteran's Day reminds me of how lucky I am for not having to deal with someone close to me go off to war. I have yet to deal with the stress or sadness of seeing a loved one go off to war, not knowing in what condition they will return. I am proud of all of those who have gone through this, though, because it takes a great deal of courage and strength. To leave behind your entire life to fight for America or to be able to let someone close do this is so selfless. In the big picture, it's one life fighting for millions. November 11th is just one day dedicated to our veterans, but the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year should not go without recognizing them. Without these good people, none of our lives would be how they are. The veterans could have saved us from terrorists or from feuds with other countries. They have prevented destruction not only here, but in many other countries who needed a helping hand. Many have lost their lives for us and we should realize how lucky we are that those men and women are willing to do that for America. After writing this essay, I know that on this coming Veteran's Day, I will give thanks to the veterans who have given me the life I now live and for all the sacrifices they went through to allow me to live it.
Christine F. Williams
"A Nation to Build a Dream On"
To me, a student of conflict resolution and international studies, Veteran's Day represents an occasion to celebrate those who have devoted their time and energy to protecting our nation from physical and ideological violence. It is a day to honor those who have perished in service while cherishing those who continue to serve. As my personal experience with the military has increased over time, each Veteran's Day becomes more nuanced than those in years past.
As a young girl, Veteran's Day meant saluting the flag, spending time with family who served our country, and, very importantly, eating hot dogs. It was a day of sheer pride and joy that I knew in my heart was momentous, but did not yet fully appreciate for lack of experience. As I grew older, Veteran's Day came to represent a culmination of admirable feelings for the military and the young men and women who strive to maintain it. Those feelings have come to mean far more to me on Veteran's Day than the hot dogs of my youth.
In college I gained significant respect for the military. When I was an undergraduate, I saw the opportunities the Army afforded my best friend who decided to join the National Guard when he felt urged to serve his country. I watched him gain a strong sense of purpose and identity through cleaning up Hurricane Katrina's wreckage in Louisiana, and more recently through his deployment to Kuwait. The military has given him standards to live up to, and he lives up to those standards with flying colors.
This past semester I learned more about the structure of our military and its many roles. I was surprised to find that in addition to protecting our country from war, the military also helps with peacekeeping operations and humanitarian efforts. While I remember hearing about my friend's adventures with Hurricane Katrina, I was struck by his emotional progression and sense of community within his unit. Since I was so overwhelmed by his personal experience with the army, I did not stop to marvel at the versatility and logistical capabilities of the U.S. military! To call our military a well-oiled machine would do a disservice to those of us whose lives it has touched. However, with its increasing mandate to protect against all types of threats as well as its advanced technology, and organized, coordinated field operations, no wonder America remains safe from physical and ideological threat. If I was not convinced of the importance of the U.S. military before coming to this university, I certainly am convinced now.
This past Veteran's Day I was able to appreciate the military on so many levels. While my taste for hot dogs has waned over the past years, my admiration for our country continues to blossom. We civilians of the United States are extremely indebted to those who carry the torch for the United States, democracy, peace, and protection without ever letting its flame flicker.
Christine F. Williams
Cathryne M. Smith"What is a Hero?"
The dictionary defines a hero as someone of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds. When most people think of a hero, they think of the men and women serving in the armed forces, or the men and women who gave their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001. For most people this is true. I, however have a somewhat expanded view of a hero. My expanded view of a hero is the many wives and husband who are married to service personnel. I grew up in a military family and my father was deployed away for months at a time. This is very trying on a young family, especially when the military family is so far away from their extended family. I can remember as a child the tears as my dad would leave wearing his flight suit and black boots carrying his duffle bag. These were very trying times for my mom, but we knew that this was the way things were, we were a military family. Running a household as a married single parent I saw my mom serving the role as mom and dad, caregiver and disciplinarian. This was the way that things had to be done. I give my mom a lot of credit, as well as the many other military spouses. This life is a difficult but rewarding life. My mom will be the first to tell you that she could not have seen this country if it were not for the military, although most of the sightseeing was done through a car window at about 60 mph. Who else could give you the adventure of having a toddler, a six month old baby, being pregnant with your third and a dog that just had puppies, and by the way your husband just came home with orders to move you across the county to California (you are currently in Massachusetts). Most wives would be freaking out with just half of this dilemma. Military wives take this situation as part of their way of life. They start packing up their good china, gathering health and school records, exchanging addresses with the other families who will eventually be doing the same thing she is doing. These moms also have to wipe the tears of their children as she tells them they can write to their new found best friend in the world. Mom will also be the one to reassure her children that there will still be McDonalds on the other side of the country and that you will make new friends at your new school. Mom will also be there when her children have to make the decision as to which toys will go into the moving van and which ones will fit in the car after all of the traveling necessities. Behind every military family there is one pillar that holds up the weight of their family, for me this would be my mom.
Cathryne M. Smith
Amanda Kennedy"Is America still the best country in the world?"
Before one can answer the question of "Is America still the best country in the world?" one must first ask if America ever was the best country in the world. We can go back to 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered this great new land. He took word back to Spain of a new land that could be conquered and used for trade routes and colonies. Over a century later the second successful settlement began by a group seeking religious freedom. This group, of course, was the Pilgrims who stumbled upon Plymouth Rock. From then the new land and population grew to support thirteen colonies who were ultimately under the control of the British. Despite being a very young union, in 1776 we declared our independence from one of the major world powers which lead to full out war on our own soil. Our brothers fought that war to defend those truths which they felt to be self evident; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those founding fathers envisioned a country of freedom, of opportunity, of prosperity. A country that had more regulations for the government than for the people. Their idea can be summed up in one word; democracy. From that moment on, America has made it a priority to make those ideas available to everyone world wide."Amanda is now a Member of the Army National Guard"
Over the past 230 years, it's not a stretch to say that many things have changed. However, the most noticeable are the superficial things like technological advances. As a nation, I believe our direction and vision have not changed all that much. The finest man to ever come from Illinois said it best in 1863 when, with a heavy heart he spoke out "…that government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." To this day we still fight battles to make the world safe for democracy. We are a neighbor to the world, willing to lend our garden hose whenever needed. Not only are we a power to the world, but we are foremost a power to our people. Unlike many [socialist] countries, we offer endless opportunities for self improvement. It started back with the Pilgrims. The Indians didn't just give them fish, instead they taught them how to fish. Education (academic or vocational) has since become an intrinsic value in the American lifestyle.
Amanda is the Niece of ATN-2 John Hartzheim Crew-7
KIA with VO-67
Amanda graduated from college in Dec 2009 and joined the guards in Feb 2010. She became the First Sergeant being in charge of 300 students after one week at Fort Lee after showing her great leadership abilities. She hopes to go on to become an officer. She wants to thank the VO-67 brotherhood for helping her with scholarship funds and for giving her the inspiration to become a soldier.
Jessica Squires"How I Demonstrate my Patriotism and Love of Country"
Patriotism is a big part of my life. I have grown up in a very patriotic family. My great grandfather and grandfather served in WWII, while my other grandfather served in Vietnam. Now, my father is fighting in the Iraq War. These men in my life have shown their patriotism by fighting for our country. I demonstrate my patriotism in different ways. I may not be in the military, but I'm very proud of my country and my family for doing what they have done for this land. During high school, I started a letter campaign for our troops in Iraq, conducted a support our troops day, and participated in patriotic activities in my city.
I have always been very supportive and proud of the military. During my sophomore year in high school, I started a letter campaign for an Army Unit. I rallied all my friends and fellow students to write a letter to some of the soldiers fighting in Iraq. After I received all the letters, I sent them along with a box full of snacks and games for the troops in Iraq. I felt so proud of the troops. I was doing what I could do to show that I support them and support my country.
I ended up moving to a different city during high school. I was now living in a military town. Seeing all of the military around me got me thinking about how I could show my love and patriotism even more than I had been. So, I decided to conduct a day at my school to support our troops. I made a couple thousand yellow ribbons and handed them out during lunch time. It was a great feeling to walk down the hallways and see that just about everyone had a yellow ribbon on them, showing the love and gratitude for the military and our country. I love putting so much of my time and energy into showing my support.
I show my patriotism and love by participating in a lot of activities that my city offers. Every Memorial day, I will be found at a local cemetery where fallen men have been buried. I go there to show my gratitude for what these men fought for. They fought for the United States and I always want to show them that I appreciate what they have given to this country. I also go to the parades that honor our Veterans. It is always nice to go there and see all the men together who fought for this country that I love. It's a great feeling to look in the crowds and see a crowd full of flags blowing in the wind.
Patriotism is a feeling of pride that I feel inside. It's not only a feeling, but an action. To get up and show how much I love my country is one of the greatest sensations that I have ever felt. Patriotism will always be apart of my life because I love my country.
Doug Steffy - Jessica Squires - Staci Dillahunty
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