The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

January/February 2006
Resolutions Committee Report
 
 

Marching Orders

BY FRED ELLIOTT, CHAIR

Marching orders. That’s what my friend and former VVA Convention Resolutions Chair Phil Litteer calls the resolutions. When we discussed the duties and responsibilities of the Convention Resolutions Chair, Phil said: “The Resolutions passed by the delegates to the Convention are really the marching orders for VVA until the next Convention.”

That being the case, VVA has a lot of work ahead until we meet at Convention again in 2007.

Only five Resolutions were retired by the delegates: G-6-99 Establishment by the DVA of More Convenient Sites for Veterans Hearings; G-8-99 The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the End of the Korean War; M-4-03 Waiver of Membership Fees for Permanently Hospitalized Veterans; PM-1-03 POW/MIA Flag at National Cemeteries; and V-14-99 Encourage the Government of Canada to Accept and Honor Canada’s Vietnam Veterans. These Resolutions were retired because the sponsoring committees and the Convention delegates agreed that the intent of the Resolutions had been fulfilled and no further action was needed.

What follows is a list of Resolutions that were amended by committees and approved by the Convention delegates. In all cases, the amendments did not alter the original intent of the Resolutions but rather expanded the issue sections to be more comprehensive, or updated the background section, or added to the resolved portion to be able to take into consideration changes that may have occurred since the Resolution’s inception.

E-1895 A Comprehensive Employment Resource Development Program; P-9-01 Vietnam War In Memory Memorial Plaque Project; P-11-03 Support for Chapel Recognition Program; V-8-95 Sexual Misconduct; V-9-95 Hours of Operation of DVA Medical Facilities; WV-1-03 Support for Women Veterans; WV-2-03 Medical Treatment of Women Veterans by DVA; HTF-2-03 A “Fair Share” of Funding for Homeless Veterans’ Programs and Services; HTF-3-03 Realignment of Homeless Veterans Programs Currently Managed Within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs System; HTF-4-03 Homeless Veteran Housing and Urban Development Transitional Funding.

Only three new Resolutions were adopted by the Convention delegates:

PTSD-8-05 PTSD and Compensation Claims “Resolved, That: Vietnam Veterans of America urges that: 1. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) act decisively to revise all directives and regulations which guide the rating board’s adjudication of PTSD claims. Too much emphasis is placed on combat and the objective proof of a stressor. As a result, the wrong claims may be granted purely after finding evidence of combat service, and proper claims are often denied for failure to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the true nature of the stressor. The DVA should be obligated to conduct the often-necessary unit records search to augment frequently incomplete military personnel records. Additionally, DVA Central Office policy should be changed and enforced requiring the use of current mental-health standards regarding diagnosis of PTSD as set forth in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as published by the American Psychiatric Association.

“2. The DVA amend its regulations specifically to recognize that a delimiting rate for educational benefits can be extended if it can reasonably be shown that the veteran could not take meaningful advantage of these benefits because of PTSD, even if drugs, alcohol, or incarceration were part of the symptoms.

“ 3. In addition, through the leadership of its duly elected officers, Board of Directors, Conference of State Council Presidents, and membership, VVA must continue to direct its strongest advocacy effort to educate federal and state officials about such inconsistencies using appropriate information resources developed by VVA national office staff for such purposes.”

PTSD-9-05 Access to VA Mental Health Services “Resolved, That: Vietnam Veterans of America strongly recommends that the key players, namely the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the states’ governors, must cooperate together to better coordinate the provision of appropriate mental health programs and services for returning National Guard members and Reserve troops and their families; and that the United States Congress must appropriate the necessary funding to ensure the implementation of such coordinated effort.”

M-5-03 Support Creation of Southwest Asia Veterans Organization “Resolved, That: Vietnam Veterans of America work with the Gulf War Resource Center to finally establish a new veterans organization for the Southwest Asia veterans; that VVA provide monetary assistance for this new organization; and, further, that all VVA chapters and state councils be encouraged to assist the formation of local chapters and state councils of the new organization in their areas, thereby creating an adjunct organization that would take over our reins when we move on.”

To read the entire text of the new, amended, and continuing Resolutions as adopted by the delegates to VVA’s 12th National Convention, go to VVA’s web site at www.vva.org/OrgDocs/2005Resolutions-fnl.pdf

   

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