We were excited about showing I Married the War on October 6th at the Vietnam Security Police Association‘s (VSPA) annual reunion, held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. Little did we know how warmly and enthusiastically we and the film would be received, and the gracious hospitality we would experience.
Our longtime friend and advocate, Larry Fleming, was there to greet us upon our arrival, along with VSPA president Jerry Nelson. From that moment on, all our needs were met, and we never left the hotel because of the many engaging conversations with all the new friends we made. The group’s enthusiasm for the film and its message was extremely gratifying. Several wives and veterans spent a good amount of time brainstorming how to get I Married the War out to a wider audience.
After showing I Married the War, Dr. Kimberly Bayes-Bautista, director of the Vet Center at Ft. Hood, Texas, led a compelling discussion with the group. One of the gentlemen in the audience asked “How can we help our wives?” The first answer, in short, was to communicate with her. The second response included, “If she suggests you get counseling, then go get counseling.” The discussion broadened from there.
Then, on behalf of VSPA, Larry Fleming presented us this beautiful plaque which we shall always treasure.
Personnel from the Phoenix Vet Center were on hand with their bus, and helped VSPA members process claims and offer guidance for other services. It was heartwarming to see the large number of veterans who benefited.
One thing about VSPA that impressed me immediately was the strong group of wives. They call themselves the VSPA Sisterhood, and they really do look out for each other all year long. They have a meeting of their own at every reunion, and typically arrange for presentations with the latest information of interest to wives of veterans. These women are truly inspiring. Their motto is “Taking care of those who take care of their own.” They gifted me with these beautiful pins, making me an honorary member of the Sisterhood.
And the following morning, Ken and I were off to Tucson for the next screening!