Chapter 1036 is located in the active adult community of “The Villages,” which is in central Florida. The Villages is one of the fastest growing communities in Florida and is spread over three counties: Lake, Sumter and Marion with a population of over 110,000 people. It is estimated that over 17,000 veterans are living here.
Currently Chapter 1036 is the largest VVA chapter in the state of Florida with over 450 members, and the 9th largest chapter in the country. We were selected as the National Chapter of the year in 2013-2014. We are a block that can and is making a difference. We have provided assistance to area food programs as well as becoming an active partner in Veteran programs. We are involved in local schools, providing scholarships and materials about the Vietnam War.
Our goal is to raise funds and return these funds to the local community and veterans in ways that will enrich their lives.
For too many years we have been portrayed as drug addicts and mal-adjusted individuals in society. We were rejected by our peers and fellow veterans of prior wars, when we came home. But the majority of us succeeded, had families, good jobs and became productive Americans. We became private patriots, proud of our service but not welcomed as an American hero, like our fathers.
Now that we have retired from our careers we must make sure that this never happens to another generation. It is our duty to lead and direct them on a proud path when they return. To assist them in receiving what they deserve from our government and aid them to get back into the mainstream of society both at home and in the workplace.
It is also important that we aid our fellow brothers and sisters who are not as fortunate as we have been. To visit the hospitalized, and help the needy. We must also serve the communities surrounding The Villages through our deeds and gestures. It is important to educate the young people of our sacrifices as the last generation of soldiers drawn from the general population via draft.
We have a big task, but the officers of Chapter 1036, feel that our membership is up to the task.