GREENFIELD – A longtime advocate who has worked on behalf of Vietnam War veterans for years, brings his passion to the service of a national organization.
David Hine was appointed to a four-year term on the board of directors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the nonprofit organization that founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1982. The fund also leads several others. initiatives for the Vietnam War. veterans and their families while working to educate all generations about the impact of war.
âIt was an honor to be considered and voted on, but it was also a complete surprise and shock,â said Hine, a retired Vietnamese-era air force veteran. in 1990 after 20 years.
In 2005 and 2019, Hine helped bring to Greenfield The Wall That Heals, the mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. go with each of the more than 58,000 names on the memorial. Her late brother-in-law, Vietnam War veteran Charles Murnan III, is part of the fund’s In Memory program, which includes a ceremony in Washington, DC, and a personal online remembrance page for award recipients.
âI just try to promote everything they do because I think it’s a great organization,â Hine said. âWe have to make sure we don’t forget our Vietnam veterans. “
Hine helped create the Hancock County Veterans Park in 2010 in downtown Greenfield. Last year, at its request, the city funded several Agent Orange commemorative banners that hung downtown on August 10 and near Agent Orange Remembrance Day, which will also return this year.
Hine had his high school mates killed during the Vietnam War.
âA lot of my friends from that time are Vietnam veterans,â he said. “And now it looks like more of my friends are dying from Agent Orange cancer. A lot of people don’t know about Agent Orange cancer, and we need to get the word out about it.”
US forces spread the chemical in Vietnam to defoliate areas the enemy was using as cover and to destroy their subsistence crops. The herbicide was then linked to a host of medical complications, including several cancers.
Hine was in Franklin a few weeks ago to see The Wall That Heals during his visit there and spoke to Jim Knotts, Chairman and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, who asked him if he wanted to be considered for a position on the board of directors. Hine said he would and Knotts called him in late June to congratulate him on his appointment.
Hine joins four other new members on the 15-member board, which meets quarterly. He said most of the members are Vietnam War veterans, Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, or Gold Star girls who lost their parents during their military service.
âSo to be chosen is a huge honor,â Hine said.
Alan Buckelew of Los Angeles, the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, welcomes Hine and other appointees.
“They each have strong ties to the Vietnam era and the ongoing mission of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund,” Buckelew said in a press release. âAs volunteer board members, they dedicate their time to making sure that the younger generations remember the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and learn from this dividing period in our country’s history. “
The board’s responsibilities include helping lead the organization’s mission of raising awareness and education about the Vietnam War and its veterans, leading strategic planning, monitoring programs, reviewing past activities and formulating recommendations for the future.
âI think everyone knows those who came back from Vietnam were treated very, very badly, so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again,â Hine said. “We want to educate them about the war, the ramifications and results of war.”