Kenneth Berez, leader of Vietnam Veterans of America

February 15, 2013

Kenneth Berez, 64, a Vietnam veteran who worked for many years with the Vietnam Veterans of America and a related foundation, died Jan. 29 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

He had bladder cancer, his wife, Jenny Schnaier, said.

Mr. Berez served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam. He was severely wounded in 1969 during a Viet Cong ambush and spent two years recovering.

He began volunteering with Vietnam Veterans of America in 1979 and became a full-time employee of the support and advocacy group a year later. He worked on membership initiatives and headed the group’s educational efforts.

He developed an educational program for schools and worked on a program to provide prosthetic limbs to Vietnamese and Cambodian victims of land mines. From 1996 to 1998, he worked for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.

While working with the veterans group, Mr. Berez helped create an umbrella organization of 70 charitable groups called America’s Charities. He was board chairman from 1989 to 2005 and continued to serve on the board until 2011.

Kenneth Abraham Berez was born in Brooklyn and graduated from American University in 1981. He was a Chevy Chase resident.

Survivors include his wife of 26 years and their twin children, Jaime and Alyssa Berez, all of Chevy Chase; and a brother.

— Matt Schudel