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

February 2001/March 2001

AVVA Report

A Matter Of Priorities

By Nancy S. Switzer, President

Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America now has its own lockbox for donations. Send donations to: AVVA, P.O. Box 64732, Baltimore, MD 21264-4732.

January was very busy at our meeting in Washington. I would like to thank Bob Maras, Veterans Affairs chair, and Margaret Wojciechowicz for taking us to and scheduling meetings to discuss issues of concern to veterans and their families. We met with Dr. Garthwaite of the VA and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.). It turned out to be very beneficial.

Margaret and I worked with Sharon Hodge to develop the first AVVA Legislative Agenda. We chose five top priorities:

1) A call for the VA to create a Veterans’ Families Service Coordinator to provide services to address a range of issues from homelessness, birth defects, to secondary PTSD that affect veterans’ families.

2) Creating a special task force to do research and development regarding cancers at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The task force should also inform the families of the high risks and lasting effects of cancers that are now being discovered among those who were stationed in Camp Lejeune from 1968-85.

3) Upgrading VA Benefits to reflect actual cost-of-living rates.

4) Seeking legislation or regulations to include men in P.L. 106-419 for Agent Orange birth defects. The current law only provides for female veterans.

5) Supporting the Heather French Act of 2001.

Affiliated Chapter Representatives should be elected in April. Criteria were sent to AVVA State Representatives. June is the election for State Representatives of AVVA.

AVVA appreciates Paul Sutton’s help in obtaining a computer from the Veterans Haven in Winslow, New Jersey. Thank you all.

At the January VVA Board of Directors meeting, Bob Maras presented AVVA with its own star. A map showing the location of the star is hanging on the wall at the national office. On behalf of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, I would like to thank Bob for making AVVA a twinkle in everyone’s eye.

This year at the National VVA Convention and AVVA Leadership Conference we will be helping at least two organizations, the Montagnard/Dega Association and the Vietnam Highlands Assistance Project. Both these organizations assist the Montagnard population in North Carolina.

I am including a preliminary list of items that are needed by the Montagnards. More information will be forthcoming. Thank you as always.

Please start to collect the following items to bring to Greensboro: English as a second language workbooks, world globes, world maps, blankets, personal care kits, and school supplies.

In the next issue and in the chapter mailings, I will provide more information on our efforts to assist these people.

Thank you, as always.


E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org


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