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

June 2001/July 2001

2001 Candidate Statements


Thomas H. Corey

I ask for your support of my candidacy to serve as your president.

The last four years serving as your vice president have been both very rewarding and challenging. I have had to make many difficult decisions, but I believe that the best interests of the membership have been served by those decisions.

I make no promises other than continue to serve in the best interest of you, others who served, and the Vietnam Veterans of America, as I have for the past 20 years.

My commitment is to address our issues the best way possible. Working together, we have been able to make significant progress toward accomplishing our goals.  This is due to our many dedicated members addressing and supporting the right issues, and we wil continue to increase our record of accomplishment, even as we wait for congressional and DVA support.

As we have been in the past, I assure you VVA will be the leading voice for health care.  We will continue our advocacy for all veterans who need our assistance. In spite of our relatively small membership, we are very well respected, not only in Washington but around the country as well.  Our strength is our ability to choose our battles, prepare for our mission before we move forward, and refuse to compromise our fundamental principles.

We can and should be proud of the level of respect we have earned, in the Congress, throughout the Administration, and among other VSOs. Our well-prepared positions on issues and our clear record of achievement has placed us in the position of being a principal voice for change in veterans' community strengthens our position of leadership.

We have an obligation to educate Congressional and Administration leaders that to deny adequate funding for quality health care, benefits, and other earned services is to violate a sacred trust with the nation.

We have a great deal of work ahead of us to meet the challenge of anticipating and providing the continuing needs of America's veterans and their families, and it is our responsibility to speak up for those veterans who don't have a voice.  We will continue to meet our obligation to those still unaccounted for and their families who need our continued support.

Thank you for your support.

I served in the U.S. Army, 1st Air Cavalry, Vietnam, May 1967 - January 31, 1968, and was medically retired in May 1968 due to wounds received in 

Vice President

Edward (Ed) Chow, Jr.

I enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1956, and then upon graduation from college in 1962, received an Army commission. I served in Germany and then as a Captain in Vietnam 1966-67. I joined VVA in 1984, serving as Washington State Council President 1986-1990 and as the first Chair of the State Council Presidents 1987-89. I was elected At-Large National Director from 1991-93, serving as Chair of the Vietnam Affairs Committee.

I bring experience from the public and private sector. I was Director, Emergency Services for Washington State (including coordination of 10,000 Search & Rescue volunteers) from 1979- 1981, and from 1989-1992 was City Administrator, Kent WA ($65 million budget). I was appointed to Secretary Jesse Brown's management team at Department of Veterans Affairs in 1993, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy/ Senior Advisor until retirement in 2001. While working on national policies of importance to all veterans, I was able to reflect the concerns of VVA. Since retirement, I have established a consulting firm. I have also successfully run my own businesses and worked in the securities industry, registered with the NY Stock Exchange.

My financial and management experience will contribute to the leadership role required of the Vice President. As a veteran advocate, I have represented veterans' issues before governmental agencies and legislative bodies at the local, state, and national levels. I believe VVA must take an active role with agencies and organizations that deal with issues, such as health care, that affect our membership.

Marvin Freedman

For 16 years, I've had a consistent record of commitment, service, achievement and leadership to VVA. I take pride in never losing sight of my primary responsibility: to represent the grassroots of VVA. I've done so during five terms as President of Chapter 220, as Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Council and as National Government Affairs Chair and Region 6 Director on the National Board of Directors.

I'm not a politician or bureaucrat. I'm a veterans advocate--have been for 19 years. I know how to get the job done and have a proven record of accomplishment in Wisconsin and on Capitol Hill.

I've always believed VVA National exists to serve VVA's grassroots: VVA's members, chapters and state councils. On the National finance Committee, I've earned a reputation for demanding and working toward accountability by National--from VVA's first effective budget process to being an architect of VVA's new Budget Oversight and Contingency Fund policies. I've also demonstrated my management skills on the National Board and as National Government Affairs Chair. Skills developed during thirty years as a public interest advocate.

I've always had a vision for VVA's future and it's well reflected in the VVA strategic plan which I helped develop on the original Strategic Planning Committee.

I'm running for Vice President because I have the experience to do the job and do it very well. Simply put, I wish to serve--to continue my record "In Service to America'' and in service to Vietnam Veterans of America. 


Agnes Feaks

The candidate did not provide a statement

Rocky Gothard

  • Vietnam in 71-72 with C Co., 31st Combat Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade.Member National Board of Directors, Region 8.

  • Member of National Benefits, Membership, and Public Affairs Committees. 

  • Member of AVVA Board of Directors, Special Advisor.

  • Executive Vice President Chapter #867, Grants Pass, Oregon.

  • Have started ten new chapters, forming two new state councils in Wyoming, and Idaho, and adding around 400 new members "In Service To America". The first chapter I formed was Chapter of the year for 2000. 

  • VVA Certified, and VA Accredited Service Officer

  • Office Administrator of the Lane and Josephine County Service Office.

  • Past Secretary of the Conference of State Council Presidents.

  • Past President of the Oregon State Council.

  • Life Member of VVA, and AVVA.

  • Life Member Disabled American Veterans.

  • Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

  • Married to Yes, Adrienne, Father of two boys, four girls, oldest Rocky II 28 yrs, youngest Adriana 2 yrs.

  • B.S. History and Geography.

  • Associate Degree in Building Inspection PHI THETA CAPA Member.

  • I.C.B.O. Certified Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Fire Code Inspector.

  • Retired from Home Depot, Contractor Sales.


  • Find the Funding for the Service Officer program.

  • Work on forming the last five state councils to make VVA finally a National Organization.

  • Foster better communication from the grass roots to the Board.

  • Insure that VVA represent all Vietnam Veterans and their dependents.

Mary Ellen White

Many years ago, a Vet Center Social Worker pulled me from "the closet," reluctantly, to participate in a workshop on the new topic of PTSD. Sometime during that "era," I received a brochure about a new veterans group called Vietnam Veterans of America. I finally joined in 1987.

My VVA experience includes helping start Chapter #490 in 1989, presently serving as Secretary and newsletter editor, founder Iowa State Council and first elected President then Secretary, Director-at-Large National Board 1997 to 1999.

I grew up on an Iowa farm, #6 in a family of 10 boys and 2girls, attended a one-room country school, tried to follow my brothers to the Navy but instead joined the Army. My time overseas includes Germany for 2 years and Vietnam in 1967-68 at the 24th Evac Hospital on Long Binh.

After the Army, came 5 kids and now 7 grandchildren. I've been employed at my local hospital for the past 23+ years, presently working in Intensive Care.

Currently, I serve on the Iowa Veterans Council, a group made of various veteran service organizations, and am past Chair. Appointed 1996 by the Governor to Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs, reappointed in 1999, future Chair.

I support VVA's continued pursuit of veterans benefits legislatively with more emphasis on our health care needs as an aging population.


Wayne (Doc) Reynolds

  • Served in Vietnam in 1968-69 with 95th Evacuation and 22nd Surgical Hospitals.

  • Member Board of Directors of Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund.

  • Secretary of Conference of State Council Presidents.

  • Member of National VVA Constitution, Employment Training Business, Veterans Affairs, and PTSD Committees.

  • President of Alabama State Council of VVA Since 1998.

  • President of Chapter 511 in Athens, Alabama.
    Doctor of Education Degree from Auburn University, Master's Degree in Finance.

  • Retired Public School Superintendent. Served as Superintendent for 12 years.

  • Owner and CEO of his own Business since 1996.

  • Life member of Disabled American Veterans and receives VA Disability Payments.

  • Life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

  • Married to Carol for 31 years. Father of Two and Grandfather of One.

  • Oldest of Twelve Children.

  • Active in Community and Church.

When elected as your National VVA Treasurer, I will be:

  • Dedicated to serve each member consistently, I will be accessible and committed to each member's needs.

  • Determined to increase the amount of funding for Veterans Benefits. We need to increase the percentage of our expenditures spent on services to members.

  • Decisive in assuring our organization continues to represent all Vietnam Veterans. We must stand together and secure the benefits we were promised and we earned when we served our country.

  • Diligent in working with other Officers, Board of Directors and State Councils. I am a "team player" and will focus on that ability to improve our organization. 

Richard V. Bergling

Since being involved in VVA the last 16 years, I have held a number of positions at all levels of the organization. 

I served with the U.S. Navy both off the coast of Vietnam and on the river boats of the Mekong Delta. I have been married for 31 years and have two children that are now on their own. By trade I'm a Toolmaker machinist for 30 years.

We are in my opinion, at a cross roads in VVA. In order for us to be effective we must be lean and mean. I look at our organization and see maybe 15-20 years to do what we can, namely getting the entitlements that every Veteran has earned and leaving a lasting legacy of what we did and why we did it. We must also make sure that the Gulf Vets get their organization up and running to carry on.

I'm asking for your vote in August, not because I know everything and how to fix it, but I would like the opportunity to try. Remember the decisions we make now will have ramifications for a long time and we don't have that luxury.

Thank You.

Jim Bouley

As the incumbent national treasurer I would like to point out the good things that have been accomplished during the last two years. For the first time in the history of VVA, this year, our net assets are on the plus side. This is no small accomplishment and it was done through the efforts of many members of the finance committee and board of directors who saw the wisdom in this new course where we did not spend every dollar we took in. 

How did we get where we are now? We did so by establishing sound fiscal policy by implementing such things as the budget oversight process whereby we have a constant continuing monthly oversight of spending in the national organization. We have done it by assigning greater amounts of budget dollars to new fund-raising activities like our direct-mail campaign in which we are now spending nearly ten times more than we were two years ago. Last year the direct-mail campaign brought in nearly $1.30 for each dollar spent. We are now targeting our direct-mail campaign messages more specifically to what the donor's interests are, as we have completed a donor survey. We need to continue to build our reserve fund, which did not exist two years ago, from the over $600,000 it is this year to the $3 million it should be.

There is much more I would like to tell you. There are many things which are exciting for our future (like the expansion of the service program), and I would like to continue as your treasurer as we have not yet reached the financial goals and objectives to ensure a bright future of accomplishment for VVA.

National Board of Directors - At Large

Robert Wayne Maras

I am a candidate for the position of at-large member on the national board of directors.

We need to choose people who have demonstrated leadership. As a board member the last four years I have lead by example and deed.

VVA has developed a plan of action, and we must follow that plan. As veterans we have an obligation to serve, and be willing to meet new challenges.

I serve as Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the National Health Care Task Force, both critical to our success as a veteran's organization.

As a member of the board I am unconditionally committed to increasing membership and advancing our credibility as a veteran's service organization. I am also committed to assisting our Associates because they are the backbone and strength of who we are as veterans.

We must cherish our Founding Principle, Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another, and this holds true for our Associates as well. 

It takes teamwork to make an organization grow and become strong.

We need to expand our sources of funding, eliminating our dependence on a single source of revenue. We must devote our best efforts to this important area.

With your help and guidance I believe we can grow and become stronger and more effective. If we are to survive we must "Begin With The End In Mind." This means we must choose our course wisely, and maintain that course no matter how difficult.

Welcome Home and Semper Fi.

Steve Mason

In seeking to retain my position as a member of the BOD At-Large, I write briefly of myself that you may better vote your conscience. Twenty years with the VVA, the positions I hold from grass-roots' to flagpole' provide me a well-focused picture of our organization; its function, its purpose and its realistic, attainable goals. Serving on the BOD, I am also President of the Oregon State Council, President of Chapter #754 (incarcerated), Chaplain of the OSC, and National Poet Laureate.

A graduate of OCS, I served in the Mekong Delta '66-67. Stateside, I commanded two companies and later served as Brigade S-1. I left active duty a Captain. A CIB and jump-wings' speak to the character of my service. A published author (Bantam Books and Simon & Schuster) I am happily married to my best friend, have four children and two rascal grandchildren. Life is full. Almost.  I am a man of conscience and of reason.  I am also a man of moral courage and of commitment. The men and women for whom we advocate suffer more each year. Time is not allied with us. Age and ill health are sad companions to a confused past which leave many hopeless and helpless. We must work together to ease this pain and displace intolerable isolation with validated dignity and meaningful purpose. Your vote for me is an urgent call for all whom would speak truth to power.

Jerry Klein

I am announcing my candidacy for the position of Director at Large. I currently hold the position of Director at Large, having served for two terms, and I hae chaired the VVA National Veterans Benefits Committee for the past two years.

I serve on the National Government Affairs Committee, Veterans Against Drugs Taskforce and the Health Care Taskforce.

My military experience: I served in Vietnam from 8/67 to 8/68 with A company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division as an infantryman.  

My prior experience in VVA includes experience on the State Council level as State Council treasurer in New York and State Legislative Coordinator. On the Chapter level I have held the position of President, founding Vice President and treasurer.

During the past term as Chair of the Veterans Benefits Committee important issues that affect the veterans benefits claims process have been addressed and successfully completed.  The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000, Diabetes regulations, Hepatitis C regulations, Special Monthly Compensation for Women Veterans, Birth Defect Legislation for Women Vietnam Veterans were supported and were achievements for VVA.

The Veterans Benefits Program has been expanded and the course was presented in a regional setting in the Northwest. That concept will be available in the future.  However, much more needs to be done.

I am seeking another term on the Board of Directors to continue the work of the past two terms.

Gary N. Varnell, Sr.

Gary N. Varnell, Sr. was born and reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he graduated from Central High School in 1965.  In July 1966, Gary enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and took basic training in San Diego, California.  In 1967, Gary went on active duty and was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, aboard the USS Nicholas, DD449.  The Nicholas and her crew served in Vietnam from February thru August of 1968.  The Nicholas served as plane guard detail on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf; saw duty on the Naval Gunfire Support Line firing over 1,500 rounds, and served two tours of duty on North SAR off the coast of DMZ. At the end of that tour of duty in Vietnam Gary received an early release prompted by a military reduction.

In 1969 Gary married his wife of 32 years, Patsy S. Bingham. Together they have three children. In 1994, Gary joined VVA Chapter 524. Gary served Chapter 524 in a number of capacities, including secretary, board member, WATCHFIRE chairman for two years, and was elected to two terms as president. Gary was elected as the Oklahoma State Council President in 1998 and was re-elected to a second term in 2000.

Gary presently serves as Chair of the National POW/MIA Committee for VVA, is on the board of the Oklahoma Vietnam Veterans Memorial known as FIREBASE HOPE, being built in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and is also Post Commander of American Legion Post 17 in Sand Springs.

Marsha Four

I served in the Army Nurse Corps (1968-1970).  From July 1969 to August 1970, I was assigned to the 18th Surgical Hospital, first at Camp Evans and then at Quang Tri, RSVN.

In 1993, I initiated Philadelphia Stand Down, serving as its Executive Director until 1999.  This led to my career change in 1996. Until that time, I worked in hospital nursing.  

Since 1996, I have worked as the Program Director for Homeless Veteran Services at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center.  My responsibilities include a 95 bed transitional residence for homeless veterans and a day service center for homeless veterans. 

I joined Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 67, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in March 1987, and served my chapter as a Director, Vice-President, Convention Delegate, and State Council Delegate.  At PA State Council I serve as VVA's VISN-4 MAC Representative and as Homeless Veteran Committee Chair.

In 1999, I was elected at our National Convention as a Director-at-Large on the National Board, also serving as Chair of VVA's National Women Veterans Committee, Vice-Chair of our Task Force on Homeless Veterans, and a member of the Government Affairs Committee and the Health Care Task Force.  In March 2001, I was appointed to the VA Women Veterans Advisory Committee,.

I am married with three boys and reside in Springfield, Pennsylvania.

I hold honesty and integrity in highest regard. If elecvted, I pledge to continue my work for VVA and veterans with commitment and responsibility to duty.

Adolph T. Gardner

I joined VVA in 1986 and became a founding member of Chapter 304 in Frederick, Maryland. I have held Chapter offices of Secretary, Treasurer and President. At the State Council level, I served one term as vice-president and two terms as President. While I was State Council President, Maryland received the "State Council of the Year Award" in 1992. I was elected in 1993 as Region 3 Director and served until 1997. Currently, I serve in the following positions National Board of Directors, Chair of the National Resolutions Committee, Maryland State Council delegate and Chapter 304, Board of Directors. 

Previously, I chaired the National Veterans Benefit Committee, National Veterans Incarcerated Committee and was the vice-chair of the National Resolutions Committee in 1999. On June 10, 1994, I received the "Governor's Citation" for my work with veterans in Maryland. Appointed by the Governor, I'm serving my second term as a Commissioner on the Maryland Veterans Home Commission. Presently, I serve as President of "The Maryland Trust for Vietnam Veterans." 

In 1966, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in Thailand from 1969-1970 in the 38th Air Rescue/Recovery Service as Crew Chief/Flight Engineer. My wife, Kaye, and I reside in Walkersville, Maryland.

My goal is to continue to advance the concerns of veterans and their families. I want to take my experience in working with veterans' issues to the National Board of Directors, and work appropriately to expand the influence and programs of the VVA. I'm seeking your support so I may work for you.

Douglas Perkins

Greeting brother and sister, I am Douglas Perkins and I am running for Director at Lange. I'm divorce I have two children and three grandchildren. I'm retired. I proudly served with the U.S. navy from 1968 to 1989 when I retired. While serving with the navy I was station onboard the USS Wabash AOR-5 from 1970 to 1972 in territory water off Vietnam as Naval GunFire Support.

I join VVA Chapter 48 in February 1994 and have been actively involved since that day. I have serve on the Chapter Board of Director since 1994. In 1995 serve as 1st Vice President. In 1996 was elected President which position I am still serving. I have been involved with various committee at the chapter level POW/MIA, Fundraisings, legislative, just a few. At the State level Chair of POW/MIA, Constitution and by-laws, Scholarship, and Membership task force. At the National level POW/MIA and Veterans against Drug. Also serve as Special advisory too Policy and procedure for AVVA.

My stand in VVA is to serve the membership. I have always been an enthuastic and avid recruiter Retention is one thing we need to look at. Healthcare issuers is another. The VSO program is very important we need more VSO to serve our veterans. Communication at all level needs help. These are the areas I would work to improve. I support VVA'S strategic Plan and would like to part of the team to help implement it.

I would Appreciate your vote.

Dick Southern

I am seeking the office of National Board of Directors at Large. I have served in the Army as a medic from January 1966 to January 1968. I have been a member of VVA since 1996 and have held the office of Secretary in my local Chapter 391 since 1997. I was a Chapter Representative to the California State Council from 1998 until I was elected Central District Director in June of 2000. I was also a Chapter Delegate for the National Convention in Anaheim. In October of 1999, I was appointed Membership Affairs Chair for the State of California and still hold that position. I have chaired successful events for my Chapter and for the California State Council. If elected, I would like to bring more input from the West Coast to the National Board and would want to take a fresh look at all phases of the National organization and let the general membership have a more active role in the decisions that are made. I would also like to see the reporting of the National board Meets come out in a timelier manner, so the membership will know of the action of the BOD.

I ask for your vote and promise that you will always have an advocate for more membership input to the national board of director of the Vietnam Veterans of America with me as an at Large Director. Thank you.

John (JD) Davis

I am a candidate for Director At Large. I served in the United States Army for 6 years. In Vietnam (68-'70) with the 199th Light infantry Brigade (pointman, machine gun team leader and squad leader). I transferred to the 191st Aviation Assault Helicopter Company as a door gunner on gunships until June, 1970. I received the Combat Infantrymen Badge, Distinguished Flying Cross and Army Accommodation medal with V device and 2 oak leaf clusters.

Member of VVA since 1987. I held/hold offices of Chapter Vice president and President (5.5 Years), State Council Treasurer (8.5 yrs), served on the National Veteran's Affairs Committee and the Region V Disciplinary Review committee and Illinois State disciplinary chair. I have attended 4 leadership conferences and 3 National Conventions. I serve on the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Rededication committee.

For two years. I represented VVA to the best of my ability. I accepted invitation and attended POW/MIA ceremonies at Scott Air Force Base; Veteran's Day ceremonies in Branson, Missouri; annual rededication of the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial, attended Region 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 meetings, the President's meetings, and all National Board Meetings/ functions. I have met with government leaders in Washington to discuss Veteran's issues and have been interviewed by local newspapers. 

I have the full support of my family. I will be committed to the position of Director At Large. I will represent the grass roots of VVA and I vow dedication to help fight the VA for better services.

Calvin P. Gross

Region 2 Director, National Board of Directors, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) twice.
Director at Large, National Board of Directors, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) currently.
Chairman of Employment, Training and Business Opportunities. This Committee has produced four publications for veterans and their families self help:
Independent Learning 
VVA's Guide on Veterans' Employment
VVA's Guide to Veterans' Preference
Micro-Business Opportunities with the co-operation of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Member of the Board for Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund.
Served on the U.S. Department of Labor's advisory board to the Secretary of Labor.
Past President and Second Vice President of the New Jersey State Council.
Served on the Board for the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home
October 1993, "The Chapel of Four Chaplains" Humanitarian Award, inducted by Marine Corp League Dept. of NJ.
November 1995, New Jersey General Assembly, "Assembly Resolution" for Stand Down organizing participation.
Recipient of a 1998 Congressional Black Caucus "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" "Veterans Brain Trust" award winner for service to veterans and his community.
United States Army 1966 to 1968, Germany and Vietnam. 

Calvin P. Gross is Founder and CEO of Gross Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Gross is a dynamic team leader, whose achievements have consisted of exceeded expectations. Calvin is retired after spending seventeen years as a senior Marketing, Product and Sales Manager for AT&T/Lucent Technologies at their world headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ. Calvin has 24 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and Training with Xerox, American Hospital and AT&T and most recently at Lucent Technologies. Calvin and his wife of twenty-seven years have two children. 

William (Will) Schwartz

The candidate did not provide a statement.

Bruce Linnel

Many of you already know me from my work with the VVA Talklist.  Others know of my work as Executive Director of a nonprofit, grassroots, Vets Outreach Center in MA.  Many of you are also aware that I've been a VVA Service Rep for nearly 5 years now. So how did I get here?

I grew up in the AF, and then enlisted in the AF in '67. My 1st duty assignment was the 1st Special Operations Wing, England AFB, LA, followed by a year with the 1982 Comm Sq., Ubon, Thailand. Honorably Discharged in '71, I set out to find out what it meant to be a civilian. Six years later I entered college before I lost the GI Bill, and earned a B.A. in Psych, summa cum laude. A VA work-study during college is when I first began to help vets & led to several years as a veterans activist.

In '92 the Board of the Vets Outreach Ctr. offered me the Directorship, & I've been there ever since. It was as director that I received the training as a Service Rep giving me a powerful tool with which to help vets.  Desiring to give something back to VVA, I became involved at the State Council, founded a chapter (841), & began helping with the Talklist.

My Board supports my campaign, & will give me the time needed awat from work. I ask that you, too, support my campaign.  It would be an honor to serve you.

Alan Gibson

I was born July 5, 1939 in Webb City, MO and graduated from the High School there in 1957. After a year and a half of college I joined the US Army where I attended Basic in MO and AIT in AR. After various assignments during 20 years of military service to include tour in RVN (69- 70) retired, finished a BS degree, sold real estate; life insurance; stock, bonds & mutual fonds; taught high school social studies then accepted the opportunity to work at the Columbia, MO VA Hospital as a DVOP for 12 years. Helped establish Welcome Home Inc and programs to help homeless veterans with a hand up. Am presently on Long Term Disability. Have had the honor of serving as a Chapter Pres, Sec & Teas. and State Council VP and President (five years). Am on the National Finance, A/O and ETaBO (vice-chair) Committees and am one of the VVA representatives on the "Task Force For Veterans Entrepreneurship". Am married have 7 children and 6 grandchildren. Will be vocal in representing the membership to insure all veterans receive quality of life opportunities, that the membership and their voice is the controlling entity of the organization. Your input is what determines the destiny and legacy of VVA. I look forward to serving you in whatever manner you feel can accomplish the best results for VVA.

Randy Barnes

The candidate did not provide a statement.

Region 1

John J. Miner

My name is John J. Miner: I am running for Region One Director

Born: Bennington, Vermont, Feb 22, 1948 thru Present

Married: 29 Years have Two Sons and a Daughter

Enter Army right out of High School July 1966 Spent 4 months in Fort Dix, then one year in Viet Nam, came home spent 6 months at Fort Bragg and then back came to Viet Nam for second tour came home in June 1969 discharged in Calif. Came back to Vermont. While in Viet Nam. I served with MACV in Saigon and second time in Delta with Advisory Team #84.

Vietnam Veterans of America: Charter Member Chapter #601, President, Chapter #601, April 93-April 96, Chapter Treasurer April 96-Present, Council President Oct. 95 Present, Elected to fill unexpired term Region One Apr 99-Aug 99, Elected Region One Director Aug 99 present

Present job: I have worked at the Vermont Veterans Home for the past 13 years and have enjoyed it a great deal. Visiting with our older veterans has given me a great deal of insight and has helped me in dealing with the issues that we, as veterans, face, no matter what our age.

Region 2

Larry Klein

Hi Region II and all my Brother and Sister VVA and AVVA members. I am a 20-year retired DAV. Served in Vietnam, (66-67) with the 11th ACR.

Been married to my wife Sandy for 12 years, am the father of 6 and grandfather of 9. Joined VVA as a member of Chapter 296 in 1991. Served in several elected and appointed Chapter positions including 6 years as Chapter President. As Chapter delegate I've attended SC meetings, served on SC committees, attended Region II conferences, and three National Conventions. In 1997 I was presented the NYSC Central District Conspicuous Service Award, and in 1998 the NYSC Barry S. Heimb3ender Memorial VVA Veteran of the Year Award.

When elected I said that my first mission was to get a SC formed in Delaware, make myself as visible and contactable as humanly possible, and have no disciplinary problems reach national level.  Delaware has a SC; outside of attendance at NBM I have driven over 12,000 miles visiting SCs and Chapters, and an proud to say that there have been no disciplinary problems either at Region or National level. As your representative I pull no punches at NBOD meetings and I will not vote on issues because the majority does. I am nhot a yes sir no sir person and your best interests are foremost in my mind. There are still things that need to be done, and I ask Region II to give me TWO more years to do them.


Fara M. Sanchez

My military career started when I was born. You see I was born in Puerto Rico at Rodriguez General Army Hospital during my father's tour of duty. After his tour of duty we moved to West New York, New Jersey where I graduated from Memorial High School in June of 1967. Both my parents were very active in veteran organizations and I grew up knowing everything about veterans. Due to my growing up around the military and veterans, this led me to enter the Women's Army Corps in July 1967.

I did basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama and was an experience I will never forget. Our credo was Wisdom, Acceptance and Courage (WAC). Upon completion of basic training, I went to Fort Sam Houston, Texas for 91B20 (Medical Comparison) training and became permanent party. My duties included working on the wards, in the emergency room and escorting in-coming soldiers on medivacs. At that time, Fort Sam was world renowned for its burn unit and trauma/amputee units. Although I continued to put my name on the list to go to Vietnam, they only sent nurses.

My training continued when I went back to school to become a Dental Assistant. I was transferred to Fort Gordon, Georgia and then on to Fort Rucker, Alabama where I was discharged in March of 1970 at a Specialist Fifth Class.

I joined the VVA in 1989 and have served in various capacities. My desire is to help all veterans any way I can.

Region 3

Charlie Montgomery

Who's Charlie? Where's Charlie? Well, Let me tell you about Charlie Montgomery.

Since joining Vietnam Veterans of America in 1987 I have devoted much of my time and energies to serving this organization, our community and veterans in many capacities. I have served as President as well as other positions. I am serving as President of the Virginia State Council, served as Director At Large and Region 3 Director for Vietnam Veterans of America. During my years on the National Board I have served as the National Membership Chair. I also was a member of the National Membership Committee from 1995-97. Membership has always been my passion because I feel our membership is important to us. I have also served as a member on the Veterans Initiative Task Force.

I feel with my involvement, experience and knowledge gained through the years with Vietnam Veterans of America, I can now be a stronger leader to serve our membership as Region 3 Director. I have participated 100% as my role of Regional Director. Being Regional 3 Director I have put the region in the forefront of the organization. Our Region has been recognized in many ways throughout the organization. I have worked with the present leaders in Region 3 for the last twelve years. I believe we should continue together as a region to become a much stronger and more vocal region in Vietnam Veterans of America.

In closing, I pledge to you I will serve Region 3 with honor, dedication, and enthusiasm as I have done so for the last two years.

Richard LaBarre

I served in the Army from 1969 to 1971 and the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. I attended the University of Kentucky, graduated from Old Dominion University and did graduate work at the University of South Carolina.

A life member of VVA, I've held the positions of President of Chapter 303, President of my State Council and Region III Director. I have attended six national conventions and every Region III Leadership Conference. I have also been active on local, state and national level concerning veteran affairs, including an appointment to the Special Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs of the DVA.

As a VVA Board Member, I actively represented the interest of all Region III members. I traveled to every state and actively sought the advice of our members, chapters and state council officers and bought those concerns to the attention of VVA national. I was not afraid to stand up to national and take an opposing position when the regional view point differed from national's.

I am a businessman and a single parent with a 18 year old son and a 15 year old daughter, I have remained active in veteran's affairs at all levels. It is my belief that VVA is strong only if our chapters and state councils are strong. I also believe that VVA Constitution and Code of Disciplinary Procedure are binding on us all. As your Region III Director, I will re-build a strong regional coalition that represents our beliefs and ideals.

Region 4

John T. Koprowski

I first became involved with the Vietnam Veterans of America in 1986 and since then it's been a great tour of duty.

Personal info, will I am a 62-year-old retiree, married to Joyce, have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. I served 24 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retired as an MSgt E-8 and yes, I served in every clime and place including I Corps 67-68 with the 1st Marine Division.

Since I've become involved with Vietnam Veterans of America, I have served as sponsor of Chapter 195, an incarcerated chapter from 1986-1995. From 1990-1994 I served as secretary of the Florida State Council, and then as 1st Vice President from 1994-1995, and President from 1995-2000. I presently serve on the Board Directors for the FSC and the foundation (FVVA) of Florida.

 I still believe that the members are the most important persons in our organization, the grass roots level is where it all starts, because without YOU, there is no organization. YOU are the life and YOU are the blood.

I would appreciate your support to be your representative as Region IV Director. I can promise you that I will do what's best for YOU and the Vietnam Veterans of America-and be there for YOU.

Tito Molina Ramos

The candidate did not provide a statement.

Region 5

There are no candidates for this office.

Region 6

There are no candidates for this office.

Region 7

Alan J. Manuel

The candidate did not provide a statement.

Region 8

Jimmy Grissom

I enlisted in the Army in 1971. Assigned to Ft. Ord, CA, I completed Basic and AIT as an 11C20. Immediately upon graduation I was sent to Vietnam. I first served as a "grunt" with 101st Airborne Div; 1/327th based out of Camp Eagle until the 101st stood down. I was transferred to the 1st CAV Div; 2/5th as a "grunt" until 2/5th stood down. I completed my 2-year tour with the "Big Red One" in Ft. Riley, KS. I joined Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 686, Moses Lake, WA in 1996. I was appointed as Membership Chair for the Washington State Council in 1997. In 1998 I was elected Vice President, Washington State Council. In 1999 I became the State Council President and in 2000 I was reelected to the same position.

Receiving compensation as 100% Disabled Veteran, I understand the need for a quality benefits program with highly trained Service Officers. Since becoming President of the WASC my goal was to establish such a program. Since taking office, the State Council has established two full-time paid Service Officers in the regional office, conducted the first VVA training program on the West Coast, and has established themselves as a premier VSO. My goal if elected is to attempt to establish the same quality programs in all of Region 8 and at the same time increase membership and establish State Councils in the States that have none. 

Region 9

Alan E. Cook

I'm seeking another term as Region 9 Director, because two years has not been enough time to accomplish the goals I set at the beginning of my term. One of my main goals was to establish new chapters in the states of Hawaii and Utah. Hawaii has a chapter and Utah is close, I next want to add State Councils for the two states. Another goal was to increase the communication within the region by holding Regional meetings.

As a national organization it is time for us to step forward as a Veteran's service organization and work for the needs of all veterans. We need to insure our health issues are addressed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. We need to get Information out to all veterans regarding hep-c and agent orange health issues.

My VVA experience is: Member since 1985. Life member, Chapter and State Council Treasure, Treasurer VVAF, National Board of Director at Large, and currently Region 9 Director.

I've been a Corporate Controller For an Investment Banking Firm for the past twenty one years. I have been married to Cindy for twenty one years. I have a daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren.

I served in the US Army from 1971 to 1974, Vietnam service 1972-1973.

I anticipate another two years of growth and communication within Region 9. As a national organization this is the time Vietnam Veterans Of America becomes a Household name.


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