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Vietnam Wall in Van Nuys Today Through Sunday


   AVTT-TheWall    OG Logo revised_090909

 Los Angelenos Pay Respect to America's Fallen Heroes   
Free Exhibit On Display Today Through Sunday  

Van Nuys, CA - October 16, 2009 - Hundreds of Los Angelenos joined Gold and Blue Star Mothers and MSGT (ret.) Edward Chema, an 85 year old Veteran of three Wars, to erect the replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and honor our fallen Warriors at Thursday's Opening Ceremony of the Operation Gratitude-American Veterans Traveling Tribute Event. The Exhibit will remain on display today through Sunday at the corner of Victory and Louise in Van Nuys.

Go Country, KKGO's, Shawn Parr and Ashley Paige will be on the site to greet visitors at The Wall today, Friday, from 11am to 1 pm

Motorcyclists and Classic Car owners are invited to park their vehicles on a special section of the Exhibit grounds and have their pictures taken with their bikes and cars in front of The Wall.
Major General John Harrell, Commander of the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base and California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield will speak at the Memorial Service on Sunday at 11:00am.  MSGT (ret.) Chema will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the "Ventura Girlz" will perform the National Anthem, followed by a Condor Fly-Over and a Parade of Honor past The Wall.  
Operation Gratitude ( ) is partnering with The American Veterans Traveling Tribute ( ) to present this free and unique opportunity for the Southern California community to pay respect to America's fallen heroes and at the same time express appreciation to our warriors currently serving in harm's way.

Today through Sunday, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be on display in the large lot adjacent to the National Guard Armory at the corner of Victory and Louise in Van Nuys.  The AVTT Exhibit includes a SeptemberThe Wall Photo 11 tribute, a Cost of Freedom display of Gold Dog Tags (identifying each service member killed since Vietnam), and the centerpiece of the exhibit: An exact replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall (80% scale), displaying all 58,253 names of the men and women killed in the Vietnam War. 

The entire event is free to the public.   All ages are invited and encouraged to attend this first-ever display of  The AVTT Exhibit in Southern California. 

Operation Gratitude volunteer activities will occur simultaneously inside the Armory in preparation for the assembly and shipment of Holiday packages the following weekend. AVTT Exhibit attendees (ages 12 and older) are invited to participate in all Operation Gratitude Prep and Assembly activities in the Armory.

Operation Gratitude will provide letter writing materials for children and adults to express their appreciation to Service Members deployed overseas during the Holidays. Snacks, volunteer information and scarf-making lessons will also be available at the Operation Gratitude tables at The Exhibit site.

Girl Scouts will be offering Trophy Nuts for donation to our troops through the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Gift of Caring Program. 

Donations for the Holiday Drive Care Packages are encouraged.

Suggested items to donate:
Beanie Babies 
Beef Jerky (single-serve packages)
DVDs and CDs 

American Veterans Traveling Tribute Exhibit Hosted by Operation Gratitude


Friday October 16: Open 8am-8pm
9am-3pm:   School Visits
11am-1pm: KKGO Country's Morning Co-Hosts Shawn Parr and Ashley Paige 
3pm-8pm:   Open Viewing

Saturday October 17: Family Day
8am-8pm:  Musical and Dance Performances
12-3pm:    Kogi BBQ Truck and 'Get Shaved Ice'  
1pm:         Color Guard and Formal Greeting   
                 Guests: City Controller Wendy Greuel  
                              Gold Star Wives

Sunday October 18: Open 8am-6pm
11am:       Memorial Service officiated by Rabbi Mordecai Finley of Ohr Hatorah Synagogue
                          and Pastor Glen Kreun of Saddleback Church
                Guests: Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, Stan Chambers
                Speaker: Major General John Harrell
                Condor Flyover
12 Noon:   Parade of Honor Past The Wall
1pm-5pm: Open Viewing
5pm till finished: Volunteers invited to help dismantle The Exhibit
17330 Victory Boulevard: Van Nuys, CA 91406
Corner of Victory and Louise

Parking next door at the Skate Park and Encino Farmer's Market from 12 Noon-8 pm daily
Additional parking available at Birmingham High School
Handicapped parking available in the National Guard Armory Parking Lot
For more information about the American Veterans Traveling Tribute: 
For more information about Operation Gratitude: 
For more information about the Operation Gratitude-AVTT Event: or

About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude ( is the California- based 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages of snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and on Naval ships at sea.  Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and to express to all our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $11 to assemble and ship. By the end of 2009, Operation Gratitude will have shipped more than 500,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.

About American Veterans Traveling Tribute ("AVTT")
AVTT ( is a veteran-owned project that travels the USA to provide a forum for communities to HONOR-RESPECT-REMEMBER all who have sacrificed their lives for our country's freedom. In so doing, AVTT also honors all Veterans and those currently serving, by letting them know they will never be forgotten. AVTT is funded through sponsorship fees, donations, and sale of merchandise at events. Donations to support AVTT's mission are qualified charitable tax deductions through The Traveling Wall Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.  

Organization:   Operation Gratitude 
Contact:          Carolyn Blashek

Contact:           Marty Martin

Organization:    AVTT 
Contact:           Don Allen