August 2001/September 2001
Welcome Home To VVA
By Thomas Corey
I want to thank the 642 delegates who represented our
members at the Tenth National Convention in Greensboro,
North Carolina. Thank you all for your devotion and commitment to
the future of Vietnam Veterans of America.
I also want to thank everyone who has entrusted me with the
awesome responsibility of being your President. I accept your
challenge to reflect our common values and principles as we
continue to seek fairness and decency in the VA
system. I am honored to be VVAís leader for the next two years.
Vietnam veterans and their families deserve no less than the
security of knowing that when the nationís commitment to its
veterans is under attack, VVA will be leading the fight to
safeguard the rights and benefits to which we are entitled.
The delegates conducted the business of our organization with
professionalism and courtesy. They demonstrated respect for each
other, despite some differences of opinion. Debate on issues was
spirited and passionate, but never angry. I have attended all ten
VVA conventions--and believe me--we have come a long way since that
first one in 1983.
The delegates have chosen to confront the future as a unified
force for change. We
reunited with VVA members who had not attended a national convention
in many years, and we are happy they heard the call to come
home to VVA.
We left the convention with a very specific mandate as stated
by the delegates. Our duty as officers and board members is to
pursue the agenda framed by the resolutions. We were charged with
making fair and reasonable decisions based on information
available from a wide range of sources.
VVA will be a leading advocate for health care and entitlements
for veterans, and we will work for all veterans who need our
assistance. It is our duty to speak up for those veterans who donít
have a voice. We will continue to meet our responsibility to those
still unaccounted for and their families.
We have begun a new
stage of life for VVA. Working together as we have for 23 years,
we can challenge the future without fear of failure. Together, we
will meet our obligations to our nationís veterans.
The week in Greensboro demonstrated
that we have identified our adversary, and together we discovered
it is not VVA. There is a spirit in VVA that is renewed every two
years during our conventions. It is the spirit of unity and
purpose. In odd-numbered years we come together
like members of a large, extended family to discuss what VVA means
to each of us, where we want to go, and how to get there,
The VVA spirit is a chronicle of our common struggle to
represent the interests of our generation of veterans by
acknowledging our origins, and by honoring the memory of those we
lost, by serving those who survived. We recognize that our founding
principle imposes a condition on each of us: "Never Again
Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another."
Peace be with you.
Welcome Home to VVA..