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16 OCT 21 Memorial Ceremony WW II POW, SSgt. John Leavitt

Saturday afternoon, 16OCT21, members of VVA 989, friends and family of former WW II POW, SSgt. John Leavitt conducted a unique Memorial ceremony for him at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery (NNVMC) in Fernley. This wasn’t a “traditional” service for the former Combat Engineer, like those conducted by the Northern Nevada “Veterans Coalition” or others, and he wasn’t buried or placed in the “wall” on Saturday.

John’s family chose to remember their “Dad” in a unique way. Son Jay, Daughter-in-law Mary Lou, and his sister Joneanne (Venable) visiting from Florida bought a “Freedom Tree” for $300 and John’s name and service will proudly be displayed on a plaque there under the tree at the NNVMC.

The service was conducted next to John’s newly dedicated tree. Our VVA 989 Chaplain Rev. David Crabtree supplied prayers, our 989 singer, Kimberly Ahrens sang “Amazing Grace”, and President J. R. Stafford supplied the basics of the service. Napa, CA resident, John Young, (John’s friend from the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks), and son Jay supplied the narrative of John’s life.) Brigitte Stafford, VVA 989 Event Coordinator, said this service gave his children some “closure” and a place to visit just as if he was inurned in the wall. SSgt. John Leavitt’s tree is found under the POW/MIA flag which proudly flies over the cemetery and next to the long wall of inurned comrades found just south of “his” tree.

Members of VVA 989: Mark Bohanon, Ray Scow (and Buddy), John & Linda Dickinson, Reverend Dave Crabtree, J. R. Stafford, and AVVA Area Representative and VVA 989 Event Planner, Brigitte Stafford all aided in this very well received event.

13 OCT 21 989 Visits CG Station Lake Tahoe

Members of VVA 989 spent a beautiful autumn day at Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe. Upon arrival, 989 was welcomed by Executive Petty Officer Bowles who gave a summary of the duties and responsibility of the station crew. He pointed out Station Lake Tahoe during the boating season is one of the most active in the Coast Guard. Search and Rescue (SAR), Law Enforcement (LE) keeps their crews busy from before sunrise to after sunset. During the winter season the Coast Guard SAR boats are the only resource available to Boaters on the lake. The small crew is responsible for cooking station meals, snow removal and occasionally chasing away the Bears. Following a question-and-answer session we were given a Station tour followed by sharing lunch with the crew. After lunch a presentation was made by two 989 Members who are both CG Veterans. Retired Command Master Chief J. R. Stafford and CG Vet Rick Kaufmann presented the crew with a Commemorative Hat rack as a thank you. That hat rack displays a representation of a life ring for Motor Lifeboat 36500. MLB 36500 is a historic, 36-foot wooden motor lifeboat, which is famous for saving 36 lives in the 1952 SS Pendleton rescue, one of the most daring such events recorded in the history of the United States Coast Guard. The 36500 crew characterized the unofficial motto of SAR “So others may live- You have to go out- you don’t have to come back”. The crew immediately placed the hat rack in the station foyer. The challenges for the crew at this unique duty station are never the same from day to day.  The crew at Station Lake Tahoe takes pride in being able to get the job done. Bravo Zulu

10 OCT 21 Rest in Peace Brett G. Palmer

Services for Brett G. Palmer were held at the Lyon County Fire Protection District and at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley today.  Hundreds of uniformed Police, Fire, Sheriffs,  Sea Cadets, Coalition, Bag Pipers, Bret’s son John in his US Army Blues, and various veterans and the Patriot Guard and many other mourners paid their respects to Brett in Fernley. After official ceremonies were concluded at the Fire House, a large procession proceeded to the cemetery where Brett’s “cover” atop a horse and his “urn” were taken for one last “stroll” around the cemetery followed by mourners.  We then gathered for the unveiling of a painting of Brett which will reside somewhere at the cemetery. The present “pavilion” (where services are held today) will be torn down in the future and a new one erected in it’s place.  It’s hoped that the new pavilion will be named the Brett G. Palmer Memorial Pavilion. Pictured are Sharon Serenko, Veterans Coalition Chaplain holding Brett’s portrait.  Also, VVA 989er and Marine Corps. League Officer Susan Malone and VVA 989 President, J. R. Stafford with the wreath Chapter 989 provided for the service today. The family has asked that donations be made to “Wreaths Across America” which Brett was a big support of.  …Guessing we’ll see many of you on 18DEC21 when it’s time to put wreaths on the graves of 8,000 plus who rest in Fernley’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

2OCT21 IH Sierra Fall Rallye Grass Valley, CA Winner

At the International Harvester Sierra Fall Rallye Grass Valley, CA. the 989 Mascot Scout II shined again. Congratulations to 989 Color Guard Captain Ray Scow for bringing home the 1st Place Trophy for Stock 71-75 Scout II. Rays Scout II has the honor of pulling the 989 Flag Trailer at many events representing VVA 989. Well done!

17 SEP 21 VVA 989 Day at the Reno Air Races

The Reno Championship Air Races and Air Show was a fantastic event for the VVA / AVVA 989 Members who were able to attend. Friday’s session was Military Appreciation Day, Veterans received a complimentary ball cap from the Reno Air Races. The Flag Trailer and Outreach Booth were surrounded by a variety of military airplanes and recruiters. The Flag Trailer did a Drive-by in front of the grandstands loaded with 989 members during the Opening Ceremonies that included a Tribute to Veterans. What a great moment for 989. Buddy was a hit with the youngsters who were choosing a duck to take home. Once again, Ray and crew had set up the Flag Trailer and Booth by the time gates opened. Members were available to talk to all interested folks who stop by. Members could spend time at the Outreach Booth and had time to roam the Pits and Vendor Areas. It was a Great Day to be a part of 989, a Veteran and an American.

Rest in Peace – SSgt. John S. Leavitt

VVA 989 was saddened to learn of the recent passing of our most recent POW/MIA Honoree at Military Appreciation Night with the Reno Aces.

We were honored to have one hundred and two year old SSgt. John S. Leavitt, US Army Corps of Engineers at our September 5th POW/MIA Chair of Honor re-dedication.

 SSgt, Leavitt was captured during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and repatriated in May 1945.  He was a resident at the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks.

Rest in Peace, John Leavitt and thank you for your service to our Country.

05SEP21 VVA 989 and the Reno Aces

Military Appreciation Night

This evening was a GREAT Day to be a part of VVA/AVVA 989.  The POW/MIA Chair was rededicated with our special Guest of Honor former POW 102 year old, SSgt. John Levitte, US Army during the game. (For Full pictures and story please tap on the Red link)

Video by Mike Wells

A Message from the President of VVA Sierra Nevada Chapter 989

As President of the Vietnam Veterans of America – VVA Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, Reno, I am honored to represent more than 240 Members and Associates living in the area and some scattered throughout the country. There are wildly different political views and opinions within the membership and personal politics have no place in this message. To that end, I’m sure we are all deeply saddened by recent events in Afghanistan and pray for all those left behind.  

To our brothers and sisters in arms, and who grieve the loss of friends, comrades, innocence and youth…Know that we grieve with you. Know that your sacrifice was not in vain and your service was honorable. “Politics almost always gets in the way of the military mission as many of us found out 50 years ago. Know too, that you come home with honor and your service was not in vain.”


Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8265, press 1

Veterans, If any of you need to reach out to talk, don’t hesitate to call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8265, press 1.

 And yes, be patient as the line is being overwhelmed.  Apparently, many of our younger brothers and sisters having been on the ground in Afghanistan are now experiencing feelings that many of us felt long ago.

Image Posted with Permission from “Art by Karla “ Facebook site.

VVA 989-AVVA Participation/ Volunteer Opportunities

are Listed on the “MEMBERS ONLY” page

Members OnlyTap for link to MEMBERS ONLY page

Name Search Vietnam War (Tap on Ion)

This year, there were two additions to The Wall, bringing the total number of names on The Wall to 58,281. There were also two service members who were repatriated in 2020 and those service members had their status symbols changed on The Wall. The number of Americans still listed as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War stands at 1,584.

Chapter 989 Color Guard and Flag Trailer

POW/MIA Recognition Day was designated by Congress in 1979 to be the third Friday in September. The day honors the sacrifice made by America’s prisoners of war, those who are still missing in action and their families. While many prisoners of war returned home, thousands still remain missing or unaccounted for.

Event Flyers
6 NOV Sun Valley

Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted. We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more. – Gary Sinise
On Going Support

Northern Nevada State Veterans Home (NDVS)

Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Sparks Marina

Wreaths Across America

Scholarships for Veterans at TMCC and UNR

Homeless Veteran Stand Down

Nevada Veterans Coalition (NVC)

“Adopt a Vet” Dental Program

Military & Family Support Service- Army & Air National Guard


Donations to VVA 989 are accepted through our website or mail and are tax deductible. All donations received by VVA 989 are spent locally to help local veterans. The Vietnam Veterans of America is a non-profit, veteran services
organization (Tax ID #52-18500908). Donations are tax deductible under IRS regulation 501(c)19 group exemption 3202 for veterans organizations.
Under this group exemption, donations to the VVA, VVA State Councils and VVA Chapters are deductible as provided by Section 170 of the IRS Code.

Get In Touch


or US Mail

Vietnam Veterans of America

Sierra Nevada Chapter 989

P.O. Box 20921

Reno, NV. 89515

989 Chapter Meetings

989 Chapter Meeting is on the Third Thursday of each month, 1800 hours at VFW Post 9211, 255 VFW Historic Lane, Reno, NV

First Friday Brunch Bunch

Meet for brunch at the Gold and Silver Inn, 4th and Vine, Reno NV, the first Friday of each month at 1000 hours for coffee, conversation and comradeship. Presently Group size is limited to 40 customers. Please RSVP Red at E mail Redkittell@gmail.com for a reservation.