This year's AVVA Fellowship Awards
were presented during the AVVA Luncheon on July 30 at the
Adam's Mark Hotel in St. Louis. This award is given to
individuals who go beyond what is required, leaders who give
their all. This year's awards were given to two couples.
Lynda Greene and John Kahler,
Houston, Chapter 343
Lynda has been in the mental
health and social services fields for more than 15 years. She
hands out bags of toiletries to the homeless from her car on
the way to work. She is the AVVA Texas State Representative,
yet cooks meals and delivers them to a homeless family under a
bridge near her home. She saves holiday cards from
incarcerated veterans with thanks for the weekends she
volunteers. At the same time, she holds the position of
Special Advisor to the VVA National Homeless Veterans Task
Force. Whether she is working in a professional capacity or
making sure a homeless veterans is buried with honors, her
daughter Heather Hays says it best: "My mom is cool.''
John served as the National VVA
Election chair during the Greensboro and St. Louis
conventions. He has also been a State Council officer for
several years. Both Lynda and John have served for years as
service officers. John works with the National Vietnam Legal
Service Program, and both work with the Incarcerated Program
in Texas, as well as the Homeless Program in the Houston area.
John and Linda were married the
day before the Houston convention and spent their honeymoon at
the convention. They wanted VVA friends and associates to be
able to attend the wedding, so they made plans to marry hours
before the convention opened.
Charlie and Nancy
Montgomery, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Chapter 48
His relentless commitment to
his current project is Charlie's trademark. Whether working on
the chapter level or national level, his steadfast dedication
is always there. Although he is busy with his many hats at the
national level, he still stays involved at the local level.
For the past several years he has been the chapter chair of
the Haunted Forest Production, an annual community event that
has raised thousands of dollars for the chapter and other
The other half of the Dynamic
Duo as Charlie and Nancy's chapter lovingly refers to them, is
the quiet one. She balances and organizes family, community,
chapter, and national involvement effortlessly. She is devoted
to every person in her life. Over the past 17 years, she has
held a long list of positions in VVA and AVVA. Her involvement
in the chapter's Haunted Forest Production has given local
adolescents 10 months of responsibility and fun instead of
hanging out and getting in trouble. Her dedication to others,
passion for veterans and their families, and her diversity of
commitments makes it easy see why she received this award.
AVVA 2003 Scholarship Report
BY JUDY VARGO, SCHOLARSHIP
This year AVVA awarded three
scholarships to three outstanding young women. A $1,000
scholarship went to Kimberly Belkin of New York. Kimberly
graduated from high school in June 1998 and is currently a
junior at Hunter College in New York City. She has worked part
time since she was 16. She currently has two part time jobs,
attends college full time, and still maintains an A or B in
all her courses. Her fields of study are journalism and
psychology. Kimberly chose those fields because she felt they
would give her an opportunity to help and inform people.
Two $500 scholarships were also
awarded. They went to LeeAnn McCaskill and Shelly Roy.
LeeAnn graduated from high
school in California in June 1999. She received her bachelor's
in history in June 2003. This fall she begins working to
obtain her teaching credential. Thus far, she has financed her
entire education without help from her parents.
Shelly is from West Virginia
where she graduated from high school in June 2003. She is
currently attending West Virginia Junior College where she is
pursuing a degree in business. Her goal is to help those less
fortunate than herself.
We wish all of these young
ladies good luck in the year ahead. We at AVVA are pleased to
help them realize their dreams and goals.