Civic Action Earns Foundation's Praise
TAN SON NHUT -- The Seventh Air Force civic action program has been chosen to receive the Freedoms Foundation George Washington Honor Medal for its achievements during 1969.
The program was cited for distinguished service in the special category of governmental agency work.
Headed by Lt. Col. Servando J. Velarde, the 7th AF civic action program is implemented through offices at each base staffed by an officer, at least one noncommissioned officer and a Vietnamese national.
Personnel in 7th AF participated in 2,755 nation-building projects through the civic action program in 1969. In 1,551 of these projects, 7th AF was the prime manager.
Air Force efforts are closely related to the Republic of Vietnam government's Revolutionary Development Program and are based on needs determined by the Vietnamese, not the Americans.
Work in education, social welfare, sanitation and public works accounted for 66 per cent of the 1,551 projects, while education alone amounted to about 25 per cent of the total.
Youth activities, construction and repair, village and hamlet administration, agriculture, refugee care and the Chieu Hoi program were the remaining project areas.
Altogether, 1,460 institutions were assisted, including 662 schools, 149 medical facilities and 423 orphanages.
Statistics on the medical civic action program indicate 259,889 medical and dental patients were treated and 58,471 immunizations given.
The civic action program, by Colonel Velarde's estimate, has come in contact with about five million of the Republic of Vietnam's 17.5 million people.
In a letter congratulating civic action personnel on winning the award, Gen. George S. Brown, 7th AF commander, wrote, "Their outstanding effort is a significant contribution to the pacification and development of the Republic of Vietnam."