(Washington, D.C.) – Chris Noel and Bobbie Keith, two women who entertained the troops in Vietnam, will receive the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts at VVA’s National Leadership Conference on Saturday, July 19, in Greenville, South Carolina. The honors will be presented at the conference’s final event, the Awards Banquet, at the Hyatt Regency Greenville, the site of the Leadership Conference.
Chris Noel gave up a promising Hollywood career in 1965 to host her own radio show on the Armed Forces Network in Vietnam. “We’re honoring Chris for her morale-boosting radio show, her frequent visits to the troops in the war zone, and for her post-war work as a Vietnam veterans’ advocate,” said VVA National President John Rowan.
Bobbie Keith, known to Vietnam veterans as “Bobbie the Weather Girl,” volunteered to do tongue-in-cheek weather forecasts on AFVN Television in Saigon while working for the USAID in Saigon in 1967. “Bobbie was a big hit on TV,” Rowan said, “and for three years, she also went out to countless fire support bases, landing zones, and to ships in the Gulf of Tonkin and in Vietnamese waters to give our troops a morale boost.”
The Leadership Conference brings together hundreds of Vietnam veteran advocates from around the nation. They will take part in four days of seminars, meetings, and other activities. Opening Ceremonies will be held Wednesday, July 16. VVA’s supporting organization, the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, will hold its biennial convention and national elections, and the Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW) will have its founding National Convention concurrently with the Leadership Conference.