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Parkinson’s Disease Research

Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers

The VA recently established six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers or “PADRECCs.” Each PADRECC delivers state-of-the-art clinical care, conducts innovative research, and offers outreach and educational programs to all veterans currently enrolled in the VA. Eligible veterans include those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and those who have just started to notice PD-like symptoms.

PADRECCs also treat veterans diagnosed with other movement disorders, like essential tremor. PADRECCs are in Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; and San Francisco, CA.

For veterans who cannot travel to a PADRECC, the VA also has more than 51 Consortium Centers—VA clinics that offer specialized Parkinson’s disease and movement-disorder specialty care. These Centers are staffed by movement disorder specialists or clinicians with vast experience and interest in the field of movement disorders. These VA Consortium Centers work collaboratively with the six PADRECCs to ensure the highest level of care for all veterans. To find a VA Consortium Center near you, go to https://www.parkinsons.va.gov/Care.asp

VVA National Leadership Conference


Please join us for our 2022 VVA National Leadership Conference at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Greenville, South Carolina. Features of the conference include an Awards Banquet, seminars, and much more. For more information or to register visit the official conference website here. Special conference hotel rate is available. Learn more here. 

Registration can be done online or by mail. Please download the registration form here. Send completed forms via e-mail to: lc@vva.org. Forms may also be mailed to VVA National Office: 8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: Leadership Conference Registration

We Want You to Join us in Greenville, South Carolina, for VVA’s National Leadership Conference—and Hope That We Can Help You Get There!

We are offering the following cost-saving incentives* to those who register for the hotel and conference by July 15:

  1. We will waive the conference registration fee for VVA attendees —You will no longer have to pay the $75 registration fee.
  2. You will need to cover 2 nights of lodging. VVA will cover up to 4 nights of additional remaining lodging once you have covered the first two nights.

*You must register by July 15 to qualify for the above incentives.

How you will be reimbursed:

  • You will pay for the registration fee and your full hotel stay upfront.
  • You will be reimbursed within ten days of submitting your expense form to the national office.
  • At the Leadership Conference, you will be given a “LC Incentive Reimbursement Form.”
  • On the form, you will be asked to indicate the number of hotel nights for which you are seeking reimbursement. Remember, you pay for the first two nights, and VVA will cover up to four nights, as well as the registration fee.

Event Details:

August 9, 2022 – August 13, 2022

Contact Information:


Four Vietnam Veterans Awarded the Medal of Honor

VVA Applauds the Recognition of Four Vietnam Veterans
Awarded the Medal of Honor
(Washington, D.C.) — “Vietnam Veterans of America commends President Joseph Biden for
yesterday’s recognition of the incredible acts of heroism of four U.S. Army Vietnam veterans by
upgrading their previous awards to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military medal for
valor and bravery,” said VVA National President Jack McManus.

Of the 66 surviving Medal of Honor recipients today, 48 are Vietnam veterans. Our Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients represent an entire generation of Vietnam servicemembers who waited
too long to receive the welcome home and the recognition they deserved,” McManus said. “And
while this public acknowledgement of these heroes is long overdue, coming half a century after
these soldiers left these fields of battle, it’s also vital to keep remembering all those military
servicemembers who put everything on the line to defend our nation and our values.”

“The story of each of these men is truly inspirational,” McManus added. “They embody the men
and women who enter our armed forces, prepared to give their lives. This official gesture toward
setting the record straight is one way that we can honor them and remember their service.”

Staff Sergeant Edward N. Kaneshiro received his posthumous MOH for actions while serving as
an infantry squad leader with Troop C, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, near Phu
Huu 2, Kim Son Valley, Republic of Vietnam. On Dec. 1, 1966, while on a search and destroy
mission, the squad was attacked. Sgt. Kaneshiro destroyed one enemy group with rifle fire and
two others with grenades, enabling the orderly extrication and reorganization of the platoon and
ultimately leading to a successful withdrawal from the village.

SP5 Dwight W. Birdwell’s MOH recognizes his actions while serving with Troop C, 3rd
Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on January 31, 1968.
Tan Son Nhut Airbase was under attack, and the enemy disabled or destroyed many of the unit’s
vehicles, including SP5 Birdwell’s tank commander. Under heavy enemy small-arms fire, he first
fired the tank’s weapons and then dismounted and continued fighting until receiving enemy fire
to his face and torso. SP5 Birdwell remembers, “I stood on top of my tank with my M-16 rifle to
fire at the enemy. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted to do my job.” After refusing evacuation to
lead a small group of defenders to disrupt the enemy assault, Spec. 5 Birdwell finally boarded a
medevac helicopter, only to crawl out the other side to continue aiding in evacuating the wounded
until he was ordered to seek attention for his own wounds.

SP5 Dennis M. Fujii received the MOH for his actions while serving as crew chief aboard a
helicopter ambulance during rescue operations in Laos and the Republic of Vietnam from
February 18-22, 1971. During a mission to evacuate seriously wounded Vietnamese military
personnel, SP5 Fujii’s medevac helicopter took on enemy fire and was forced to crash
land. Although injured, he waved off a rescue from another helicopter and remained behind as
the only American on the battlefield. During that night and the next day, although wounded, he
administered first aid to allied casualties. On the night of February 19, he called in American
helicopter gunships to assist in repelling an enemy attack. For more than 17 hours, he repeatedly
exposed himself to hostile fire as he left the security of his entrenchment to better observe enemy
troop positions and to direct air strikes against them until an American helicopter could attempt
to airlift him from the area.

Major John J. Duffy received the MOH for his actions while serving as senior advisor to the 11th
Airborne Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Airborne Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, from
April 14-15, 1972. Two days earlier, the commander of the 11th Airborne Battalion had been
killed, the battalion command post destroyed, and Major Duffy was twice wounded. The only
American left with a squad of South Vietnamese soldiers, he refused an order to evacuate, telling
his superiors, “I will be the last man out.” For the next 48 hours, despite additional injuries, Major
Duffy continued directing operations and fighting. After an enemy ambush, he led evacuees,
many wounded, to an evacuation area. Only after ensuring all evacuees were aboard the
helicopters he had called in, did he board as well.

Mammoth Toxic Exposure Push in Congress

As reported May 5 by Steve Beynon for Military.com, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) is aiming for a seismic move to open up care and disability to a half-century worth of veterans sickened by toxic exposure, in what could be one of the largest healthcare efforts on Capitol Hill in years. The House is looking at 15 bills, ranging from incremental improvements to help veterans navigate bureaucracy at the VA to expanding healthcare to those exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, radiation, and other toxic environments. Takano said the bills “offer a blueprint” for a legislative package.
Read More…

Tester To Be New Chair of Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

Senator continues to fight for veterans in Montana and across the nation in new leadership role 

(U.S. Senate) – After years of serving Montana’s veterans and fighting to deliver quality care and benefits to the nation’s men and women in uniform, U.S. Senator Jon Tester will take over the gavel as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the new Congress. Tester will lead his first hearing tomorrow as Chairman on the pending nomination of Denis R. McDonough to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), and continue his partnership with Republican Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) who will serve as Ranking Member.

“Serving as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is an honor of a lifetime, and I’m grateful for the chance to lead the committee on behalf of Montana’s veterans and all who’ve served our nation proudly,” said Chairman Tester. “I’m looking forward to continuing the bipartisan partnership Senator Moran and I have built, and am ready to roll up my sleeves along with our committee members and veterans advocates to hold the VA accountable, cut red tape, and provide quality care and benefits to those who’ve sacrificed on behalf of our freedoms. Taking care of our veterans is a continuing cost of war, and I’m prepared to get to work in this new role to ensure Congress follows through on this sacred duty.” 

Tester has been a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee since he joined the Senate in 2007. For years, Tester has been a champion for veterans in the Senate, working with various Veterans Service Organizations to push critical initiatives such as the expansion of benefits and care for those exposed to Agent Orangethe Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Actthe Deborah Sampson Act, and the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans, Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.