Thursday, November 17, 2016

TOP's Legacy

Dear Friends of TOP,

When TOP (Tours Of Peace) Vietnam Veterans began our mission in the 1990's, our Vietnam veterans were healthy 50-ish-year-olds, but now, there is a dwindling number of healthy Vietnam era Veterans who are physically able to participate in our intensive working Tour Of Peace experience.

Also, there is a diminishing fund base for the humanitarian work we do, coupled with red tape and administrative costs of continuing to operate.

Consequently, primarily for these reasons, TOP has recently made the difficult decision to dissolve our 501 C (3) legal entity and cease to be a registered charity.


Our most recent Tour Of Peace was the last full-blown TOP group to travel in Vietnam under the auspices of the traditional TOP itinerary.

We are grateful for the help from Senator John McCain’s staff who brought TOP and the University of Arizona VETS program together in order to continue our Personal Effects Program.  In keeping up with the legacy of TOP, The University of Arizona VETS program has pledged to continue the mission to return these personal effects to the veteran or surviving family members!   VETS is an organization run by veterans, spouses, dependents, and current service members who through their shared experiences endeavor to maintain TOP's legacy and better serve our communities.  TOP is extremely appreciative of VETS taking charge of our Personal Effects Program. Perhaps some day they will return personal effects from more recent conflicts.  We encourage you to visit VETS and the Personal Effects Program at (and dog tag list):

VETS will soon take over the TOP web site domain, blog. and Facebook page–which will focus on personal effects run by VETS.  Please continue to monitor our web site, blog and Facebook page for announcements and news (knowing that these sources will all eventually transition to the University of Arizona VETS program).  For more information, contact: 

Importantly, TOP acknowledges all those who have enabled us to accomplish many years of doing our good works with their service, volunteerism and monetary gifts:

Helping Vietnam veterans, their families (and surviving families), conducting humanitarian work, returning Personal Effects and educating the public on Viet Nam and the conflict.

We are also thankful for Vietnamese citizens who have helped coordinate and prepare for the good works we have done; as well as those who have helped TOP recover personal effects.  We have deep gratitude for all who have made these nearly two decades of good works possible–you all made a difference.

There are many of our supporters who wish for the TOP legacy to continue and are working together in order to keep some of our humanitarian projects going for years to come--such as elder homes and scholarships--as part of TOP's legacy.  We appreciate those who are ... and want to become ... involved in preserving TOP’s legacy.

Please join us keeping TOP alive in our hearts and minds by living the TOP motto, “By helping others, we help ourselves.”

Stay tuned to our Web Site, blog and Facebook page for more details.

Thank you again for your support  . . .  and please never forget us when we are gone.

With gratitude for all you have done for so many years,

Jess DeVaney

TOP (Tours Of Peace) Vietnam Veterans


Michele McNair said...

It's been my honor as the former spouse of a Vietnam veteran to be a part of TOP. Jess, you and TOP put something important in my life, a purpose, and for that I am eternally grateful. We are working on the TOP Legacy...that will not go away. I hope many others, like myself, will continue to help those in need.

ltbrin said...

Thank you, Jess, and all within our TOP family, both here in the US and those whom we Americans were so gratified to meet and be welcomed within their homeland in Vietnam, for the incredible work we have manifested together for peace in ourselves and among us, following the inspirational truth, Jess, that manifested through you that by helping others we help ourselves.

I am eternally grateful for the two healing TOP Vietnam Veterans trips I made In 2002 and 2004. I was hoping to make one more trip, but an early spiritual lesson I learned in recovery from a virulent alcohol and drug addiction in the early 1970s is that everything, the good as well as the bad, comes to pass, not to stay.

The TOP you manifested, Jess, since the 1990's is passing, but it shall remain deep in the collective consciousness of all of us who benefited from it, both us Vets and family members in the US as well as the Vietnamese citizens we helped over the years and who helped us so magnificently by extending their acceptance and forgiveness of us.I shall forever remember and be grateful for the simple dignity of the survivor of the My Lai massacre, who so poignantly dedicated her life to extending forgiveness to us veterans who visited the My Lai memorial park.

I am so pleased that the TOP legacy shall continue with the assistance of Senator McCain's office and the University of Arizona VETS program.

WELCOME HOME to all of us with each passing day . . .