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September/october 2008

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BY ELAINE SIMMONS, PRESIDENT 
With the help and guidance from our State Representatives, Presidents, and Alternate State Representatives, the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., has set upon a new and exciting path for the future. The delegates at the Fifth Biennial Meeting in Greenville developed and finalized two plans to expand the growth of AVVA.

Plan 1: This plan allows AVVA members who are affiliated with a VVA Chapter to continue exactly as they have for more than nine years. They will continue to elect an Affiliated Chapter Representative every April to be their spokesperson and to be affiliated with their VVA Chapter. They will continue to report directly to their elected AVVA State Representative or President.

Plan 2: This plan allows members of AVVA who are currently affiliated with VVA Chapters to incorporate as chapters of AVVA. AVVA Chapters will be independent, will elect their own full slate of officers, hold their own meetings, be allowed to maintain and manage their own finances, comply with all state requirements as a nonprofit organization, and administer projects and programs of their own. They will continue to work integrally with their VVA Chapters. They will report directly to their elected AVVA State Representative or President.

Additionally, AVVA has approved a test plan for the next two years that will allow incarcerated AVVA members to participate and affiliate with VVA Incarcerated Chapters. This program will give incarcerated Vietnam veterans the opportunity to mentor younger incarcerated members of AVVA and also will allow members of AVVA who are incarcerated to work with VVA Incarcerated Chapters on the many worthwhile community service programs that they participate in. This new program begins immediately.

AVVA is excited to announce that we are in the process of developing two new programs: The AVVA Veteran Benefit Program and the Leadership Program.

We are finalizing the necessary paperwork that will be filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs that, when approved, will recognize AVVA as a veterans service organization. Once AVVA obtains this classification, many doors that are presently closed will open to us. One of those doors will allow AVVA to offer training and the opportunity to become Accredited AVVA Service Representatives and Accredited AVVA Service Officers.

At the request of many members, the AVVA Officers and Board of Directors have created a new AVVA national committee, the Leadership Development Committee. It will be given the tasks of examining and describing the roles and responsibilities of each elected office and preparing written guidelines. These guidelines will set out when to file necessary reports; what a successful Affiliated Chapter Representative does to make AVVA members well informed, excited, and productive; how to submit proposals to change the National Bylaws; why it is important to keep in touch with members; and how to run a productive meeting, among other things.

This committee also will be available to AVVA members to help with suggestions on membership recruitment. We are looking forward to several great new seminars at our next Leadership Conference developed by the new Leadership Development Committee.

On behalf of the Officers, Board of Directors, and members of AVVA who attended the Fifth Biennial Meeting in Greenville, I would like to thank the Officers, Board of Directors, State Council Presidents, and the members of Vietnam Veterans of America for their help, guidance, and support. AVVA also will be forever grateful for the help that we have come to rely on from the VVA national staff.

Finally, to the members of AVVA and VVA in South Carolina who devoted hundreds of hours of hard work and effort in making every one of us feel welcome, we will always remember Greenville as a warm and hospitable, friendly place. Thank you.

The Gift Of Your Friendship
BY Mary Miller, AVVA Past President
At the AVVA Biennial Meeting and Luncheon and the VVA Leadership Conference in Greenville, I received many gifts and honors. My wealth is in all the family and friends I have made while serving VVA and AVVA. There were so many names signed on the cards I received, and I do not want to forget any. So I am sending this thank-you to everyone. You are dear to my heart and I thank all of you.

 

 

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