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Lynch declares Oct. 20 to be Chris Noel Day in NH

Friday, December 28, 2012

Gov. John Lynch declared Oct. 20 Chris Noel Day in New Hampshire in recognition of her many years of service to U.S. soldiers and veterans.

Noel, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was honored for her role in supporting troops during the Vietnam War and her lifetime of advocacy and service, including the founding of Vetsville, a shelter for homeless vets. Noel arrived at VFW Post 1670 in Laconia amid the roar of motorcycles and waving of flags as the N.H. Patriot Guard Riders escorted her in. She entered through a flag line and took the stage where state Veteran Advisory Committee Vice Chairman Bobby Boneske and VFW State Cmd. Greg Lynch presented the Governor’s Proclamation to Noel in front of more than 100 veterans and their wives.

“This is an unexpected honor. I’m so happy to be here and thankful that the governor gave me this chance to meet so many great New Hampshire vets,” Noel said.

Following the ceremony, Noel conducted a book signing, pausing to speak with each veteran or spouse about their time in the military even though the line to see her was growing longer. Noel is a movie star of the 1960s. She made films with Steve McQueen, Jackie Gleason, Elvis Presley and many more, was a pinup girl, a model, and had the life of glamour and stardom. But in 1965, Noel visited a hospital in San Diego, where the injured from Vietnam were recovering, and it changed her life. She gave up Hollywood and joined the Armed Forces Radio network where, from 1966-71, the “A Date with Chris” radio show made her voice the most broadcast voice in the world. She visited troops on the front lines in Vietnam, had her helicopter shot down twice and the Vietcong even placed a $10,000 reward on her head. After the Vietnam War, Chris spent her life serving as an advocate for veteran issues and established a nonprofit to help address the challenges of homelessness. Today, there is a movement to nominate Noel for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and recognize her for the many years of service to country she has given. New Hampshire became the first state to proclaim Chris Noel Day, a distinction we can be proud of. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1670 Laconia gave great honor to Noel, and in turn brought honor to themselves and all who served our country. Because of her special role during the difficult days of Vietnam, Noel brought special attention to that time, those servicemen, and the healing still under way. It was a proud day for Noel and New Hampshire’s Vietnam-era vets.

– Submitted by Dan Marcek, founder and president of Vetflix Inc., a Brookline-based company. For more information, visit www.vetflix.org.

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