More than 150 Vietnam veterans gather this weekend in Killeen for Vietnam Veterans of America’s semiannual Texas State Council convention.

Bill Whittaker, Fort Hood Area Chapter 1000 president, said 36 of the 37 chapters in the state are in Killeen this weekend for the convention, bringing between 150 and 170 veterans.

“These meetings get all the chapters on the same sheet of music,” he said. “It gets everybody talking and working together.”

Don Kennedy, state vice president, said the meeting provides an opportunity for the groups to gather and go over issues.

“We discuss new things in the Agent Orange bill (Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2013),” he said. “We discuss anything that is related to our Vietnam veterans that we need to let the other delegates know. We discuss a lot of various things that are out there.”

Agent Orange is a defoliant chemical that was used by the United States during the Vietnam War.

Kennedy said the convention also is an event where “brothers can meet other brothers.”

“We have a good time,” he said. “We enjoy the company of everybody. A lot of the other chapters will even get fresh ideas of what other chapters are doing and they’ll take it back to their home chapter.”

Kennedy said hosting the meeting in Killeen is successful in garnering a large turnout because of its central location in the state.

The group is meeting today and Sunday at the Shilo Inn on W.S. Young Drive.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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