In my role as President of
VVA, I also serve as the publisher of The VVA Veteran.
One of the pleasures I have in reviewing The VVA Veteran
prior to publication is reading through the submissions for
Membership Notes. Although the reports on each activity are
brief, they point out the valuable work that our members do in
our communities across the country.
Our members build and maintain memorials, provide scholarships,
and distribute personal care packets at their local VA
hospitals. They set up and maintain food pantries and emergency
fund programs to help veterans who find themselves out of work
and without the ability to pay for housing or utilities. Our
members assemble and distribute holiday baskets with food, toys,
and clothing to those in need, and they provide assistance at
homeless shelters and to those who live on the streets.
Our members are also involved helping to meet the needs and
programs of Gold Star Mothers and Sons and Daughters In Touch.
We work with families who still wait for information about loved
ones missing from our war and from other wars.
Many of you know how important our AVVA members are to ours. VVA
and AVVA work hand in hand to focus on the problems we face
together, whether it is health care for veteran or community
needs that affect us all.
As we begin the New Year, we still face many challenges, some
that have been with us for years and some that have burst onto
the scene as a result of action or inaction. The war on
terrorism - regardless of where or how it is being fought -
continues to present new and unexpected challenges and a new set
of confrontations about care and treatment and benefits.
We have not resolved the issue of concurrent receipt or the
troubling issue of CARES and the future of our Category 7 and 8
veterans' care and treatment. How is it that Congress can so
easily vote for an additional $87 billion to continue the war in
Iraq, yet it cannot find the money to properly fund the VA? How
can the administration and Congress so willingly support the
expense of war but turn a deaf ear when the cries of those who
fight the war beg for service and respect? It has fallen upon
our shoulders to make sure the administration and Congress do
the right thing.
Soon you will begin to receive information about our new
get-out-to-vote project. As the elections approach, we must
encourage voters to remember our men and women in the armed
forces and our veterans. Every two years we elect fewer and
fewer representatives who have served in uniform. It is
increasingly difficult to persuade those who are eager to wage
war that there is a cost beyond the pricetag for tanks,
artillery shells, and smart bombs.
Remember our troops, whether they are serving in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Korea, or elsewhere. They depend on our support.
Pray for their safety.
Happy Holidays. God Bless America. Peace.