(Washington, D.C.)–Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) President John Rowan said today that VVA cannot make any endorsements of political candidates for any elected office.
“VVA’s Constitution and our not-for-profit tax status strictly prohibit the national organization, as well as local VVA chapters and state councils, from making any such endorsements,” Rowan said.
“Occasionally, confusion arises when individual VVA members--whom we encourage to be politically active--are identified as representatives of our organization. To preclude any misunderstandings, as required by our membership, we must get the word out to clarify the record,” Rowan said.
Rowan stated, “The federal tax code is very clear in this regard, and any implication of improper activities could cause us to lose our tax exemption and not-for-profit status. As long as no VVA endorsement of a political candidate is given or implied, individual VVA members are encouraged to participate in the political process. As private citizens, we have every right to do so.”
Vietnam Veterans of America, founded in 1978, was formed, in large part, to fight for and affect laws and policies to ensure that our nation’s veterans receive the benefits they have earned and need. With chapters and state councils nationwide, VVA is the only Congressionally chartered, national Vietnam veterans’ service organization exclusively comprised of Vietnam-era veterans. VVA’s commitment to all veterans is exemplified in its founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” VVA continues to maintain advocacy in the veterans affairs arena as its top priority.