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Remembering Vietnam My War Story - Bill Nelson
My War Story - Marsh Carter
My War Story - Nancy Sinatra
My War Story - Sen. Chuck Hagel
My War Story - Ron Nessen
- Planned Giving
|For Immediate Release
Feb. 13, 2009
Contact: Chuck Searcy
PROJECT RENEW™ BREAKS GROUND FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL IN TUONG VAN VILLAGE
Three American Vietnam Veterans Provide Funds to Build New School
Washington, D.C. – Project RENEW™, the international humanitarian program sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, is breaking ground on Feb. 18 to build a new school in Tuong Van Village, Vietnam, and three Vietnam veterans who work closely with the Memorial Fund have pledged much of the money needed for construction, reported Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Memorial Fund.
The three veterans are Marshall Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange; William Murdy, chairman and CEO of Comfort Systems USA; and William Soza, chairman of Security One Bank. All three serve on the Corporate Council of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
The groundbreaking will take place on the site of the new school at 10 a.m. Taking part in the ceremony will be Robert Frank, treasurer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund; Vu Xuan Hong, president of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, officials from the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee and local officials of Tuong Van.
The current school in Tuong Van Village is nearly 30 years old and hard to access during the rainy season. Also, it is too small to accommodate the entire student population, so the school day must be split into half-day sessions to accommodate all of the young people who want to learn.
The new building will contain three rooms to allow all of the village’s children to attend a full day of lessons, which is required by the government. The weather-proof facility will have room for all of the current students and room for the growing student population, providing a clean and safe environment for nearly 400 children to learn and thrive.
“Ever since the Memorial Fund returned to Vietnam with its first delegation in 2000, we realized that there was much work to be done to make the country safe and prosperous for its citizens,” said Scruggs. “The construction of this primary school is just another thing we are doing through Project RENEW to provide friendship and assistance to the people of Quang Tri Province, and we are grateful for the support of our fellow Vietnam veterans in this endeavor.”
Marshall Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served 14 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, including two combat tours in Vietnam—from 1966 to 1967 and from 1970 to 1971. He received the Purple Heart, the Navy Cross and the Bronze Star.
William Murdy, chairman and CEO of Comfort Systems USA, is a graduate of West Point and the Harvard Business School. He served in the United States Army from 1964 to 1974, including two tours of duty in Vietnam.
William Soza is a Vietnam veteran who is chairman of Security One Bank and a member of the George Mason University Board of Visitors. Previously, he was principal of Soza Associates, CPAs and before that was chairman and CEO of Soza & Co., Ltd., an information technology and consulting company he founded in 1969 as an accounting firm.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund first brought a delegation to Vietnam in April 2000 to mark the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the Vietnam War. During that trip, it became apparent that the Vietnamese people needed help, especially with the removal of the more than 300,000 tons of UXO and roughly 3.5 million land mines that remained in the country.
Since then, the Memorial Fund has hosted delegations to bring more visitors to Vietnam and highlight the growing activities of Project RENEW, which was begun in late 2000 as a response to that first delegation. Since that time, the humanitarian project has grown, providing medical, economic and awareness assistance to the people of Quang Tri Province. Through Project RENEW, the Memorial Fund provides medical care, including artificial limbs for land mine victims, removes unexploded ordnance, provides income assistance and has built schools, libraries and community centers.
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, the Memorial Fund is an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Its initiatives include educational programs for students and educators, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation’s veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam. The Memorial Fund is also building The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
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