VETERANS AGAINST DRUGS TASK FORCE REPORT
Heroes In Kids Eyes
BY HERB WORTHINGTON, CHAIR
Against Drugs Task Force has just come off its very successful
Leadership Conference in Nashville. Those of you who could not
attend the conference missed a great demonstration. Thanks to Dave
and Elaine Simmons, the whole VAD committee, especially Deborah
King-Williams, and VVA chapters in Tennessee, we recruited a dozen
Boy Scouts and their leaders for a VAD lesson. They didn't know
what was going to happen, but they were great. We were fortunate
to have many different VAD locations pitch in and give ideas and
demonstrate techniques with the Boy Scouts. The session flew by.
We were there about an hour and a half and it felt like a
half-hour. This was also the first time that we had many
spectators show up, and we didn't lose a single person during the
seminar. It proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are many
VVA and AVVA members interested in America's youth.
We were also extremely fortunate to have Medal of Honor recipient
Gary Beikirch appear as a special presenter. Gary is one of
those special people who never stops giving back. He took time
from his private life to come to the Leadership Conference and
speak at the seminar. He is a guidance counselor at a middle
school. Always giving of his wisdom and faith, he has become a
true friend of the VAD program.
In order to demonstrate this program to those who could not attend
the Leadership Conference, the VAD Committee is offering to go to
state council meetings and regional meetings to put on
demonstrations. If you are interested, please contact Herb
firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss and plan a demonstration.
After the seminar, the Scouts posed for pictures with us and asked
Gary to sign the VAD caps we presented to them as thanks for
participating in the program. They went to many other veterans in
the lobby and asked for their autographs also. I was puzzled. I
inquired why they wanted everyone's signature, and I was told that
we are heroes in those kids' eyes.
Due to budget constraints this year, we have had to cancel three
conventions and conferences we were scheduled to attend. We will
try to go next year. The Latino Police Association, the Purple
Heart Association, and the Enlisted Association of the National
Guard all offered us display space at their meetings. As the
program expands into different areas, we promote VVA, AVVA, and
our committees and services. We have found that Vietnam veterans
are more respected then ever before. People are interested in our
personal stories. They are judging us on our merit and knowledge.
That is exactly how the VAD program also is spreading.
In order to fund and expand this program, you need to tell us what
you are doing with the VAD in your area. Send photos. We will be
sending out a survey sheet to everyone who has a VAD kit. Helping
us will help you. Without your help and input, this program cannot
community service and the desire to help our nation's young people
stay off drugs and away from violence and gangs, we are making a
difference. Now that many of us are grandparents, we have another
generation to worry about, one that we can help. So don't just sit
there; help a kid. In helping, you are helping yourself in more
ways than you can imagine.
Contact us today for information on how to get started in your
area with a VAD program. If you already have one going and want to
brag a little, tell us about yourself and the people involved.
Show everyone how successfully the program is working. This is
your time to shine.