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March/april 2010

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Return To Orlando


Eleven years ago, Associate members of Vietnam Veterans of America gathered in Orlando, Florida, to create a new organization: Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America. In some ways, it seems like only yesterday, but as we have grown and developed, we have remained true to our original mission and vision. 

Less than a year ago, on July 17, 2009, AVVA received the news that we had been granted Veteran Service Officer status and would be able to serve veterans and their families in ways that we never dreamed possible. 

Now we find ourselves returning to this beautiful Florida city for AVVA’s sixth Biennial Meeting. This summer, we will again elect the National Officers and Regional Directors who make up the National AVVA Board of Directors. The AVVA State Representatives/Presidents will debate proposed changes to the AVVA National Bylaws.

All proposed bylaw changes must be submitted to the chair of the Bylaws Committee before April 13. Contact: Pat Furno at W1080 Roosevelt Rd., Oconomocow, WI 53066-9516 or by email at

Anyone interested in running for National President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, or AVVA Regional Director should read the section of
the Policy and Procedure Manual that outlines candidate qualifications and requirements. The Election Committee has sent an Election Packet to every AVVA State Representative/President. If you are a State Representative/President and did not receive a packet or if you are a member of AVVA who might run, please contact Elayne Mackey, Elections chair, 7407 Candlelight Dr., Riverside, CA 92509-6905 or email her at

State Representatives/Presidents should carefully review their Election Packets. You are the designated delegates to the Biennial Meeting. Please submit your completed Delegate Registration Form to the Election chair as soon as possible.

Circumstances sometimes happen that prevent a State Representative from attending the Biennial Meeting. State Representatives should list an alternate delegate. Each State President also should list an alternate, and that person should be the state Vice-President.

AVVA will again present awards at our luncheon in Orlando. Anyone interested in nominating a member of AVVA for AVVA Member of the Year or for the AVVA Fellowship Award should contact the AVVA Awards Committee chair, Frances Rowan, at 2371 Ryan Ct., Grants Pass, OR  97527-4235 or

AVVA will hold an Orlando fund-raiser for our Better Chance Scholarship. The theme is “Back to the Future.” We also will be awarding scholarships at our luncheon in Orlando. Contact your AVVA Regional Director for more information on applications.

This year’s AVVA Project Friendship will be “Support our Troops.” This organization—which is supported financially by many members of AVVA in Florida and several Florida VVA chapters—sends candy, phone cards, reading and writing materials, videos, and music to military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. All financial donations will be used for shipping these packages.

Finally, I congratulate the AVVA Finance Committee and the AVVA National Board of Directors for their hard work and dedication in working on the The VVA Veteran dilemma. It now looks like funds will again be available to send The Veteran to AVVA members who do not have a copy already coming to their home. State Representatives/Presidents worked hard to identify AVVA members in their states who did not live in a household that was receiving The Veteran. Thank you to everyone for this caring and compassionate work.



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