A new year has come upon us and it
has already started out very well. Happy Fifth Anniversary,
AVVA. Our membership is up 300. We owe it all to the fabulous
work that our membership is doing to make the public aware of
who we are. We have two states incorporated, Illinois and
Nevada. Soon to come on board are Florida, Maryland,
Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. That is
outstanding. If anyone needs membership tools, please contact
the national membership office.
This year we will hold our third
biennial meeting in Nashville on August 5. We will have a
great meeting and a celebration of our first five years.
a message from Mokie Porter, national Communications Director,
that she had received word that two children whose father was
injured in Iraq did not have coats, mittens, or hats. Many
families of wounded soldiers are staying at a hotel connected
with the Walter Reed Hospital. We purchased two winter
jackets, two hats, two pairs of mittens and two stuffed
animals with blue hats. Mokie, Mike Keating, Carol Engle, and
son Scott, delivered them to the children.
That is a
small task compared to some of the things that our membership
has done. For instance, Texas sent out many cards to the
servicemen and women. New York Chapter 20 helped pay for
postage for care packages.
583 Alpena, Michigan, started the Operation Holidays Program
in 1991 to help needy veterans in their community. In 1993,
Chapter 274 in Cheboygan, Michigan, joined in their effort and
in 2001, Chapter 882 in Hale, Michigan, came on board. They
opened it up to all the counties in Northeast Michigan and
formed Operation Holidays Foundation. The Toys for Kids
program gave five toys each to 1,886 children in nine
counties. Darrell Parrott is the Program Director with AVVA
and VVA working side by side.
past five years we have built the foundation for a successful
organization that continues to strive and do good work
alongside Vietnam Veterans of America.
November 2003, Lois Harvey passed away after a brief illness.
Lois was the Georgia State Representative for AVVA. She was a
true friend to everyone she came in contact with. Her sweet
smile and her tenacity for helping veterans and their families
will be sadly missed. Lois had just attended our Board meeting
in August, during which the Board of Directors unanimously
approved an Agent Orange Survey for wives, significant others,
and the children of Vietnam veterans. We will continue her
quest for answers.
member Jan Gilmer, affiliated with Northeast Georgia Chapter
772, Gainesville, Georgia,
said: "The things about her that
will always stand out, in my mind, are her love for her
husband, Alan, her family, and her heartfelt devotion for
veterans. While Lois's focus was strongly on Vietnam veterans,
her love for all veterans and their families was true, deep,
and genuine. She would spend many hours helping all veterans
in need, and she did so with kindness and a true love for
veterans. Lois was one of the most genuine people I have ever
had the honor of knowing and working with."
member, Marsha Fletcher said, "I worked with Lois for several
years. She was one of
the most dedicated and motivated
people I have ever known. The thing I respected about her most
was her 'don't take no for an answer' attitude. If the issue
was important enough for Lois to spend her time on, she kept
chipping away at problems, always looking for the best
solution, always keeping the veteran first in her thoughts.
Lois blessed the lives of each person she touched. I am
thankful she touched mine."
VVA PROJECT FRIENDSHIP
our project will raise funds for the upkeep and maintenance of
the Gold Star Mother's home. Our Gold Star Mothers need us.
Please start raising funds. By August, I hope we can generate
the necessary sum.
also help women and children at a domestic-abuse shelter. If
you are planning on being at the National Leadership
Conference or AVVA's Biennial Meeting, please bring some
toiletries and/or toys and games for the children.