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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, June 24, 2010, 9:00 AM ET

    Press release

    UAV appeal to American veterans of Ukrainian heritage
    By Anna Krawczuk, UAV Past National Commander
    UAV Registration Project Coordinator

    image
    Artist's view of the future site of the UAV National Monument
    at St. Andrews Cemetery in South Bound Brook, New Jersey

    UAV Registration Project

    Ukrainian American Veterans, Inc., appeal to American veterans of Ukrainian descent to come forward and be counted in the UAV Registration Project, which was initiated in 1998. Volume I of the UAV Registration Project Report 19982003 was published in 2004. Limited copies are still available at $15. The report includes listings of more than four thousand names of men and women of Ukrainian descent who served in the US Armed Forces. Three thousand names in this list came from archival sources (WWII Honor Rolls, church bulletins, plaques, etc.); the rest were gathered from registrants who submitted a UAV Registration Form and a copy of discharge paper Form DD214 or equivalent. Most of the individuals listed in the report served during the wars and conflicts of the 20th century, but those who have served in the 21st centurys war on terrorism are also represented.

    Todays all-volunteer US military includes many Ukrainian American men and women who were born and/or raised in the United States as well as recent immigrants from Ukraine. Among our more recent registrants are individuals who are currently on active duty and have been recalled and deployed to war zones numerous times. Volume II of the UAV Registration Project is being prepared for release in the near future. It will include the names of all registrants and information received from new archival sources. We thank everyone for sending relevant archival information, including photographs of monuments. We also thank family members of veterans for registering their loved ones.

    Our quest is to register and honor all American servicemen and servicewomen of Ukrainian heritage who served honorably and with distinction in the United States Armed Forces. Our mission is to register, honor, and publish the names of Ukrainian Americans who through dedicated service not only fulfilled their obligation to the United States of America but also contributed to US military history. Ukrainian Americans served in all the wars and conflicts of the 20th century and are presently in harms way, fighting the war on terrorism.

    Although participation in the Registration Project is a requirement for all UAV members, you do not have to be a member of the UAV to register yourself or your loved one. We ask that all registrants submit a UAV Registration Form and a copy of Form DD214 or equivalent. A brief biography and photo in uniform is optional but appreciated. You may request a copy of the UAV Registration Form by email at uav.registration@verizon.net or by writing to:

      UAV Registration Project
      PO Box 172
      Holmdel, NJ 07733-0172

    UAV Historic Overview

    Ukrainian American Veterans, Inc., was founded in 1948 by World War I and World War II veterans of Ukrainian descent who served in the US Armed Forces and were honorably discharged. Although some posts established by Ukrainian American veterans were formed prior to 1948, they were not organized on the national level. They were created because these veterans felt the need to be identified as veterans from a specific ethnic group, thus ensuring that the designation "Ukrainian American veterans" was represented in the annals of US military history. Most of these pre-1948 posts became an integral part of the UAV.

    image
    UAV National Monument
    designed by John Jaciw

    However, such recognition was hard to achieve and ethnic identity was hard to prove. The complexity of the history of Ukraine, which was marked by occupations and enslavement by other nations, created an "identity crisis" for Ukrainian immigrants to the United States, who were haphazardly and inaccurately assigned new nationalitiesRussian, Polish, Austrian, Hungarian, Soviet, etc. American casualties during WWII were high; more than 400,000 Americans who served on the European and Pacific fronts perished. But because of the immigration policy of designating stateless Ukrainians as members of other ethnic and national origin, to this day, we do not know how many of those who fought and died in the U.S. military were of Ukrainian descent.

    After World War II, many Ukrainians found themselves in foreign countries, often in Displaced Persons camps in Europe. The United States of America, Canada, Australia, and countries in South America accepted many post-WWII émigrés. For those coming to the United States, the dilemma continued – ethnicity was determined by country of birth (Germany, Belgium, France, etc.), and establishing accurate statistical demographics of Ukrainian immigrants became a complicated issue. That issue still exists, which is one of the reasons the UAV Registration Project is so valuable.

    During the Korean conflict of the early 1950s, many of the new immigrants of Ukrainian origin with permanent immigration status were drafted into the US Armed Forces. Many were deployed to Korea; others were stationed overseas (in other foreign countries) and/or stateside. All of them served their new country well and with honor. More than fifty-three thousand American soldiers died in Korea, many ethnic Ukrainians among them. We need your help in honoring them.

    During the Vietnam War, young men were again drafted, while women volunteered. High war casualties included Ukrainian Americans. Nearly sixty thousand names are inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall – USA in Washington, D.C. If those of you reading this appeal are a relative or friend of a Ukrainian American veteran whose name is inscribed on this memorial please inform us. You may want to visit http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm to find the information of your lost comrade or loved one. Help us! We need to include them in the UAV Registration Project Volume II.

    It was not until the break up of the USSR that Ukraine gained its independence in 1991. New "waves" of Ukrainian immigrants arrived in the United States, this time carrying Ukrainian passports for identification, which enabled an accurate record of their ethnicity and/or nationality. The 9-11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon, the heroic and tragic events that led to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania in 2001, as well as the War on Terrorism that followed, saw many Ukrainian American men and women volunteering and being deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries. We maintain contact with some of them and would like to know about others. We are proud of them and would like to tell them so! Please help us in this endeavor by notifying the UAV about any Ukrainian American currently serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Please email us at: uav.tribune@verizon.net or write to:

      UAV Tribune
      PO Box 172
      Holmdel, NJ 07733-0172

    UAV National Monument and Registration Project

    A future endeavor of the UAV is to have Registration Project become part of an Educational Center at the Ukrainian Museum of New Jersey in South Bound Brook, New Jersey. The UAV Registration Project archives will become an important source of information to visitors, who will be able to pull the name of a veteran on a computer and find a brief history of his or her service; only veterans who are registered will be in the search database.

    image
    St. Thomas Sunday April 11, 2010 blessing
    Bishop Daniel and Archbishop Antony of UOC USA in the center

    The blessing of the prominent plot of land on which the UAV National Monument will be erected at St. Andrews Cemetery took place on St. Thomas Sunday, April 11, 2010. We are very grateful to His Eminence Archbishop Antony of UOC of USA for his continuous support and to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA for donating the land.

    Each Memorial Day and Veterans Day we stand united with all Americans, commemorating, remembering, and honoring American warriors past and present. We must bear in mind that by honoring American veterans – we also honor our own. In celebration of the 4th of July, let us thank them for our freedom.


    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on Brama.com do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.


    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     

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