A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

August 2000/September 2000

Vietnam Veterans of America - Regional Reports

Region 1 Report

Year One

By John J. Miner

In my first year as regional director, I have learned that we need to find a positive way to show our chapters that they are important not only to their communities, but to their states, regions, and to national headquarters. I have also learned that we donít always pass on to the next person who is elected to an office all of the information that would help to generate positive effects. I have attended state council meetings in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. I hope to get to Rhode Island and New Hampshire soon.

We have had two regional conferences the last two years--one in Vermont and one in Connecticut. I am looking for a state to come forward next year. Contact me at: Jminer@vvh.state.vt.us 

Region 2 Report

Truckers, Felons, and Good Ole Boys

By Larry Klein

When the 1999 Anaheim National Convention ended, it was time to get down to business. First, I found myself on the road with Ron Sherman and 18 Wheels of Hope. It felt great to see his 18-wheeler depart mall parking lots full of food heading out to shelters to feed the needy. Then it was off to the first of two trips to the Nittany Lion Inn in State College, Pa., to attend the State Council meetings. The same with New York and New Jersey.

Somewhere along the way, I found myself in Buffalo with Chapter 77, putting my two cents in with the planning for the Leadership Conference (like they really needed it). There were several Board of Directors meetings as well. I also found myself in prison a couple of times--not as an inmate, but as a guest for some very nice ceremonies.

Then it was back to New Jersey and the dedication of Chapter 151. Iíd have to say that the milestone during my first year was the installation of the Delaware State Council. Last but not least was the trip to Buffalo to attend what will go down in history as one of the best leadership conferences ever held by VVA.

Iím sorry that I was out of circulation and couldnít make as many State Council meetings as I would have liked, but you can be sure I was with you in spirit. Thanks to all for your kind thoughts during my downtime and for all the kindness shown me during my trips throughout the region.

I want everyone--not just Region 2 members--to understand very clearly that you have a team of regional directors looking out for you, the grassroots members of the organization, on a daily basis. We have our own breakfasts to discuss issues prior to departing national Board of Directors meetings, and we communicate with each other over the Internet and by phone. Before we sit down to a Board meeting, we have discussed the issues and are better prepared to represent you as a body.

With the next convention less than a year away, it is important that your concerns be brought to our attention so we can put our heads together and address them in our next regional directorís report. Feel free to contact me at LKlein1946@aol.com .

Region 5 Report

Keep The Faith

By Jim Weir

Region 5 keeps rolling along. We have two new state council presidents to welcome aboard--Anna Marie Rutallie in Indiana and Don Cannon in Michigan. We are looking forward to new and exciting things to develop with them. They will be filling some big shoes. The Ohio State Buckeye crew is still out there making things happen. It was good to see them at the Leadership Conference in Buffalo.

The Illinois State Council again proved its togetherness when Butch Huber got sick at the Leadership Conference. The Illinois contingent got Butch and Jeannie on a plane ASAP and made arrangements for someone to drive their car home for them. J.D. Davis immediately took over the State Council obligations at the conference and everyone else from Illinois pitched in where needed. Great teamwork--great team.

Michigan service director George Claxton has done it again. More than one million dollars has been awarded to his officeís clients this year. This is very good for veterans.

Your Region 5 director is getting healthier every month. The doctor says the COPD didnít kill me, so it looks like in about a year Iíll be back doing whatever is normal for me. Itís really great to wake up and breathe in the mornings.

Keep on helping our brothers and sisters. Most of all, keep the faith. You can reach me at jweir@hotmail.com 

Region 6 Report

By Richard V. Bergling

As I complete my third year as your director, I want you all to know that we as a region have grown in several ways. We have added six new chapters and we are now as big in chapter strength as Region 2.

We have, in a meaningful sense, come closer together as a region. You have elected good people to be state presidents and you support them.

I also feel that we as a region have had an impact on what goes on in Washington, D.C. We are Midwesterners and sometimes that doesnít sit easy with the powers that be. I know that when my term is up next year that you will elect a person who will vote on your behalf. Thatís what you demand, and it is what you deserve.

You will start seeing this column regularly. I hope that you will voice your opinion on the issues that we as regional directors put to you. For example, we would like some feedback on committees and regions.

1.) Do we have too many committees and task forces? If you feel that there are too many, how would you want them regrouped?

2.) Do you feel that we should have more regions or fewer? If more, how many more? How would you redraw the regional lines?

Please contact any regional director to have it put on our agenda as a topic to bring before the Board of Directors.

Region 7 Report

On Track

By Allen Manuel

I have just completed my first year as Region 7 director. It was an exciting year. I would like to thank every member in my region who welcomed me at all the State Council meetings.

Communication is very important, and our region has done a great job in this area. I attend all State Council meetings and most State Council conventions in Region 7. Three State Council presidents have been re-elected: in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Walter Orten was elected president of the Arkansas State Council. Best of luck to all officers. Mike Burden, the past president of the Arkansas State Council, received the Region 7 Veteran of the Year Award for 2000 for his outstanding work on veterans issues.

I would like to thank Chapter 77 in Buffalo, N.Y., which went beyond the call of duty by furnishing transportation for those who attended the Leadership Conference in August. We were welcomed by members and associates and received carnations at the airport. This is outstanding. Region 7 is proud of Chapter 77.

Region 7 has a new chapter in Oklahoma, two new chapters in Arkansas and in Louisiana, and three in Texas. We have come a long way in the past year, but we are not finished. As long as we keep talking about our problems and work together to solve them, we will be on the right track.

It is an honor to serve you. I welcome Patsy Varnell as Region 7 AVVA director. Welcome Home. I can be reached amanuel@asbank.com .


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