The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress
The Crucible of
BY THOMAS H. COREY
As we approach another
convention, we will elect leaders for the next two years and look
for future leaders who will serve at all levels of the
organization. Historically, VVA leaders have been developed and
tested at the local chapter level, where our members hone their
leadership skills in management, fund-raising, procedure and
planning, and grass-roots organizing.
There are those who step forward to accept the support of their
peers to serve as officers and directors, and there are those who
identify with particular issues and become educated in the
specifics of those issues.
They serve as working members of committees, where they become
familiar with developing solutions to problems and making
recommendations to the board of directors on policy positions.
They become skilled at presenting carefully considered positions
to legislators and the public.
After a period of local leadership, some of our members move up to
the state council level where they learn and practice the theories
of oversight and the importance of vision by putting the skills
they learned at the chapter level to work for the larger body.
Then our future leaders step up to the national level where they
put all their knowledge to use as officers, directors, and members
or chairs of committees and task forces. The knowledge they gained
through years of service at the chapter and state council levels
serves the organization well. We can ask for no better training
ground than the grass roots of our organization.
I have watched this growth of leadership for more than 20 years,
and I continue to be impressed by the talent and range of
knowledge our membership possesses. But a well of knowledge and
skill remains untapped.
There are many reasons why some members do not identify themselves
and their talents. Many are working and simply do not have the
time required to participate fully. Others are busy with community
activities that provide an overall benefit to veterans by
improving the conditions for all in the community.
VVA has been the point of the spear for changes in the arena of
veterans affairs for a quarter century. That position demands a
commitment of time that not all of us are able to make. That does
not mean that any of us are any less dedicated to our goals and
To those of you who lend your skills and talents to VVA, I thank
you. Our members thank you as well. Without your devotion, Vietnam
veterans across the country would not have the benefits and
services they now enjoy. Without your passion and enthusiasm, our
successes would not have occurred.
To those of you who have that enthusiasm and have ever thought
about serving your fellow veterans, their families, and
communities, I ask you to step forward. Tell your chapter or state
council president that you are willing and able to serve and that
you want to help take VVA to the next level.
We look to you to step forward as you did 30 years ago and offer
yourself In Service To America with VVA. On behalf of our members
from Maine to Florida, Georgia to Hawaii, Puerto Rico to Guam, and
the Philippines, I urge you to answer the call to serve.
Remember our troops and their families, because their lives remain
at risk, and we must never forget them.
God bless our troops and the United States.
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E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org