October 2000/November 2000
Region 8 Report
Full Speed Ahead
By Rocky Gothard
VVA's Regional Directors have come together as a team to represent
members, chapters, and state councils in their respective regions. But we
cannot do this vital job without your input. So, please let us know your
views and ideas. We want to hear from you. If you do not like what is
going on, please attack the ideas, not the people involved. It also would
be helpful if you suggested a way to solve the problem you're concerned
In Region 8 I have made trips to Alaska, Washington, Montana, Wyoming,
and--of course--throughout my home state of Oregon. Each state is up and
going full speed ahead.
During the Washington State Convention three of the state's nine
members of Congress attended. They held an event similar to a town
meeting. VVA members asked them questions, and we got some solid feedback.
It sounded as if they will take the issues of hepatitis C, Agent Orange,
and the VA and move them forward. They told us that we all need to contact
our members of Congress and let them know how we stand on veterans'
issues. If they don't hear from us, they assume we are happy with the way
In October Washington hosted a successful basic training course of
service officers in Yakima. State President Jim Grissom did a good job
putting the event together.
Montana has just opened a state office in Billings. The state
president, Bev Stewart, was the driving force behind getting this office
open to serve VVA and AVVA members in the state.
This also represents the first step in putting together a state service
organization. At the Montana State Council meeting in October I met
several members of the Black Foot Warrior Society.
They will be forming a Native American chapter in Northern Montana on a
reservation. They also have a new chapter forming in Plains.
I have just signed up 32 VVA members and six AVVA members in the new
Chapter 850 in Grants Pass. The chapter has formed primarily to operate
the county's Veterans Service Office.
Tyrone Montgomery is the county service officer. Portland Chapter 392
has put together a plan to rename I-205 between Washington and Oregon the
"Veterans Memorial Highway.'' State Council President Bob Palasch
helped organize another successful stand down in White City.
I have been working on membership in Wyoming. We have a new
chapter--849--in Cheyenne. In November I will be meeting with veterans in
Casper. This is the last step before forming a new Wyoming State Council.
Please remember to contact your regional director with your
ideas--especially those regarding which way you would like to see the