Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53

"Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."

Welcome to LZ 53 -- Southern California

Chapter Officers

Board Members


LZ 53 Editor

Steve Mandel

LZ 53 Webmaster

Jerry Orlemann

AVVA Liaison

Kyle Orlemann




3rd Tuesday of the month

VFW Post 1622
1865 Lomita Blvd
Lomita CA 90717

Board Meeting
12:15-12:45 p.m.

General Meeting
12:45-1:45 p.m.

Note: There are no meetings during the month of December.



Since 1995 the Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53 has been awarding scholarships to graduating seniors from local South Bay high schools. In addition to encouraging and supporting continued education, the Chapter is trying to heighten awareness of the Vietnam War, the men and women who served there, and the huge impact it has made on the United States, then and now.

Each scholarship applicant was required to interview a Vietnam Veteran and submit an essay based on the interview.

We are proud to announce the Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53 Scholarship Award recipients for 2021:

Rachel Arakawa, West HS

Mikayla Hendrick, West HS

Alejandro Martinez, Redondo Union HS

Brennan McKeaney, Redondo Union HS

Zachary Zawacki, Mira Costa HS




Effective October 1 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded the VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Cargivers (PACAFC) to include Vietnam Veterans.

The expansion of PCAFC will include eligible Veterans that have a single or combined service-connected disability rating by VA of 70 percent or higher, regardless of whether it resulted from an injury, illness or disease.

This is a notable change to the definition of serious injury from the current regulations, among other improvements aimed at standardizing the PCAFC and improving transparency in the program.

"The expanded regulation addresses the complexity and expense of keeping Veterans at home with their families who provide personalized care,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This will allow our most vulnerable Veterans to stay with their loved ones for as long as possible."

For more information visit


We're looking for somebody (or -bodies) to help administrator our chapter website as a backup to our current webmaster.  It's very important to have such a backup in case something happens to our current webmaster.  We have experienced such tragic circumstances in the past and wish to keep it from happening again.  And it would be a plus (but not a requirement) if you can build or edit websites.  For more information contact our current webmaster Jerry Orlemann.



You are eligible for membership if you served in the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty (other than for training purposes) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.

Price of Membership

Effective October 20, 2018, there is only one class of VVA membership - LIFE! - for $50.00.

Just fill out the application form - you can do it online (be sure to put '53' in the optional space for Chapter) - download and sign it, then mail it with a copy of your DD-214 to Vietnam Veterans of America, PO Box 64299 ∙ Baltimore ꞏ MD ꞏ 21264.


Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA) needs our support and is looking to increase their roles of 'dual members' (VVA members who are also non-voting members of AVVA). VVA members can become life members of AVVA for $50.

Their motto - Together always. - expresses their view and support of Vietnam Veterans.


A Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

My Vietnam veterans! I saw you there. You had been in my village scouting and fighting the enemy. I saw you standing tall heroically . . . (To read further and hear the voice of this grateful individual please click here.

Events Calendar

Contact Us

By mail:

Vietnam Veterans of America
South Bay Chapter 53
4733 Torrance Blvd. #553
Torrance, CA 90503

Or call: 310-540-8820

Or email:

Or for matters pertaining to our newsletter email:

Or for matters regarding this website email:

Or just join us at Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at noon.


Service: All Services
Instituted: 1965
Criteria: Service in Vietnam and contiguous waters or airspace thereover, after 3 July 1965 through 28 March 1973, or service in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia, or the airspace thereover, during the same period and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam.
Devices: All Services: bronze, silver star; Army: bronze arrowhead; Navy: bronze Marine Corps device

Notes: Authorized by Executive Order 11231 on July 8, 1965 for US military personnel serving in the Vietnam Theater of Operations after July 3, 1965 through March 28, 1973. Personnel must have served in Vietnam on temporary duty for at least 30 consecutive/60 nonconsecutive days or have served in combat with a unit directly supporting a military operation in Southeast Asia. Military personnel serving in Laos, Cambodia, or Thailand in direct support of operations in Vietnam are also eligible for this award. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was awarded for earlier service in Vietnam from July 1, 1958 to July 3, 1965, inclusive; personnel receiving that award may be awarded the Vietnam Service Medal but are not authorized both awards for Vietnam service. The front of medal depicts an oriental dragon behind a grove of bamboo trees; below the base of the trees is the inscription: REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM SERVICE. The reverse of the medal depicts a crossbow with a torch through the center and contains the inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the bottom edge. The colors of the suspension drape and ribbon suggest the flag of the Republic of Vietnam (the red stripes represent the three ancient Vietnamese empires of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China) and the green represents the Vietnamese jungle. Bronze and silver stars are authorized to signify participation in any of the 17 designated campaigns during the inclusive period.

Vietnam Advisory: 15 March 1962 - 7 March 1965
Vietnam Defense: 8 March 1965 - 24 December 1965
Vietnam Counteroffensive: 25 December 1965 - 30 June 1966
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase II: 1 July 1966 - 31 May 1967
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase III: 1 June 1967 - 29 Jan 1968
Tet Counteroffensive: 30 January 1968 - 1 April 1968
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase IV: 2 April 1968 - 30 June 1968
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase V: 1 July 1968 - 1 November 1968
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VI: 2 November 1968 - 22 February 1969
Tet '69 Counteroffensive: 23 February 1969 - 8 June 1969
Vietnam Summer-Fall: 9 June 1969 - 31 October 1969
Vietnam Winter-Spring: 1 November 1969 - 30 April 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive: 1 May 1970 - 30 June 1970
Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VII: 1 July 1970 - 30 June 1971
Consolidation I: 1 July 1971 - 30 November 1971
Consolidation II: 1 December 1971 - 20 March 1972
Vietnam Cease-Fire: 30 March 1972 - 28 January 1973

©2019 Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53