Vets outline Moving Wall fundraising efforts

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BRATTLEBORO — After months of inactivity on the fundraising front, two donations were made to aid in efforts to bring the Moving Wall here next year.

Len Derby, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Tristate Chapter 843, reported getting a total of $65 last week during a meeting Thursday night held at the VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034. About $5,402 had been raised at the time and the chapter received a $2,500 pledge.

The half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was set to come at the end of this week but it is postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it's coming Sept. 16 to 20, 2021.

Some potential donors are interested in contributing closer to the event, said Derby, who also anticipates the possibility of fundraisers over the year. The wall costs about $6,000 to host but associated expenses could bring the total needed nearer to $15,000.

In an interview before the meeting, Derby said the fundraising campaign had come to "a complete halt in May."

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Money can be donated via gofundme.com/f/vietnam-veterans-of-america-moving-combat-wall. Contributions also can be sent to The VVA Memorial Fund, 1161 Collins Road, Brattleboro, VT 05301. More information is available at vva.org/tag/chapter-843.

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Derby said permission was obtained to use Moore Field in front of Fulflex, the same site planned for this year.

"We're really looking forward to it next year year," he said.

He expects to put up signs at Moore Field this week to let people know the event was postponed.

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The couple bringing the wall will hold on to a down payment. The hope is to have free food and lodging for them.

One of the concerns of host the wall this year had to due with the age of Vietnam veterans. They are mostly in their 70s, an age group deemed to be more at risk for the virus, Derby said.

Since March, other communities around the United States also canceled or postponed hosting the wall.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.


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