PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Local Vietnam Veterans are featured at Channel City Club 9/9/15 event with PCVF

Vietnam Veterans Recall the War

Personal Stories are combined with the history of
the Vietnam War at a Luncheon & Symposium on September 9

(Santa Barbara, CA) In the fifth collaboration with the Channel City Club, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation has a vibrant program planned on the Vietnam War. On Wednesday, September 9 at 11am at The Fess Parker, “Vietnam: The War and Its Veterans” will have eleven local people - eleven veterans and one spouse - on stage to tell their stories, talk about the history, their branch of service, along with some lesser known facets of the Vietnam War. Adding their personal stories and photographs to the historical footage, headlines of the day, movie clips and music of the era will set the tone for what will be a most unique and informative program. “Our motto “Never Forgotten” gets applied and demonstrated every day with the many programs and events the foundation supports, but, when you can hear the authentic stories from the people who went through a war, it’s a much deeper experience,” said PCVF co-founder and co-director Hazel Blankenship. Call the Channel City Club (805)564-6223 or email to to make your reservation now.

Artifacts and memorabilia from the Vietnam War in the PCVF collection will be on display. The foundation owns a flag of Vietnam, which has many Vietnam veterans’ signatures on it. There’s room for more and anyone in the audience, who served in or during the Vietnam War, is welcome to add their signature on this iconic piece of history. Portraits of the men and women who served, some who lost their lives, will be up for viewing; U.S. uniforms alongside Viet Cong uniforms; and large models of the aircraft from the period. You won’t be able to miss the local VVA Chapter 218’s Huey that did service in country and PCVF’s WWII jeep “Pierre” as they’ll be stationed just outside the entrance to the ballroom. Get there at 11:30am when the doors open to take full advantage and have the time to look at the museum pieces. Talk to the members of the board from the foundation about the things on display – you’ll find them wearing their name badges with the foundation logo.

“We hope to give the audience a new appreciation of what we airmen, soldiers, and sailors did in Vietnam,” said co-founder of PCVF, John W. Blankenship. He was a Navy pilot in Vietnam. John continued, “All of our speakers who are veterans will surely open a new perspective on the war to everyone who attends.” The program is set up to cover the history of the war in four segments, followed by speakers who represent each branch of the armed services and the USAF nurse to talk about all the women in Vietnam who were nurses, volunteers or were serving. This Vietnam program has the first three women to be included in these symposiums.

Previous events like this were focused on World War II where the fighter pilots, and bomber boys were honored and famous dates such as Normandy’s D-Day; and the Marine Corps battle on Iwo Jima were looked back on by veterans who were there – everyone who was at one of these events cherishes the experience of being in the company of these brave, yet modest men.

Local veterans who are speaking include: PCVF co-founders Lt John Blankenship (USN), and Hazel Blankenship (CIA), PCVF Board President Col. Phil Conran (USAF); Board members Brigadier General Fred Lopez (USMCR), Jose Ramirez (USMC), Joe Danely (US Army), and Dennis Peterson (USMC); along with Sgt. Peter Bie (US Army); LTJG Steve Penner (USN); Capt. Fred Clough (US Army); Carol Fritz (spouse to member of USCG); Lt Col. Patricia Rumpza (USAF). This new band of brothers and sisters will bring poignant, heartfelt, sad and wonderful moments to life. From the battlefields to the memorials, it’s all covered. Come and join us and let them know how much you appreciated their service by saying “Welcome Home.”


WHO: Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation
in collaboration with The Channel City Club

WHAT: “Vietnam: The War and Its Veterans 50 Years On”

WHEN: Wednesday, September 9 @ 11:30 a.m.
(Registration begins @ 11 am)

WHERE: The Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort ~ in the San Rafael Room
633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., SB 93103

INFO: RSVP (805) 564-6223 no later than Friday, September 4
Or e-mail:

COST: $40 per person – No tickets sold @ the door

ABOUT: History comes alive at the luncheon & symposium featuring eleven of Santa Barbara’s Vietnam Veterans and one spouse telling personal stories, along with an encapsulation of the history of that war interspersed with music and films from and about the era. Local Veterans in the presentation include: Peter Bie, John & Hazel Blankenship, Fred Clough, Phil Conran, Joe Danely, Fred Lopez, Steve Penner, Dennis Peterson, Jose Ramirez and Patricia Rumpza. Carol Fritz will also speak on behalf of her husband who served in the Coast Guard. Registration starts at 11 am, door open at 11:30 am - get there early to see all the interesting memorabilia and more. Luncheon is over by 1:30pm.
TIP: Look for the Huey helicopter and WWII jeep’Pierre’ just outside the entrance to the hotel’s Ballroom — GREAT Photo Opp !!


Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and the Channel City Club Present:
“Vietnam: The War and Its Veterans 50 Years On”
Wednesday, Sept. 9 Registration begins at 11 am
Ballroom open at 11:30a Luncheon concludes at 1:30pm
The Fess Parker, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., SB, CA 93103
Tickets: $40
RSVP to 805 564 6223 or
Deadline to RSVP Fri., Sept. 4. No tickets sold at the door.

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