June 2001/July 2001
Public Affairs Committee Report
From Anaheim to Greensboro
By Jim Doyle, Chair
The 1999-2001 Public Affairs Committee is due praise for its
work serving the needs of our membership. While you are in
Greensboro, take time to thank the following people who served as
members and special advisers on the 1999-2001 Public Affairs
Committee: Alan Cook, John Miner, Jack Thomas, David Bradley,
Charlotte Rebillard, Joe Saxman, Herb "Sarge" Hankerson,
James Maddox, Will Schwartz, Charles Mitchem, Rocky Gothard, Nancy
Switzer, Joyce Miner, Mary Miller, Larry Klein, K.R. Zack Earp,
Dennis Koehler, Tom Hall, Bruce Linnell, Steve Mason, Mike
Gaffney, Virgie Hibler, Steve House, Elaine Simmons, Adrienne
Gothard, and Dave Simmons. A personal note of thanks goes out to
staff advisers Mokie Pratt Porter and Michael Keating. Their
assistance and guidance has been invaluable.
Space prevents me from listing all the accomplishments of this
group, but it is fair to say the membership has been served well
over these past 24 months. We are fortunate to have so many
devoted people who willingly sacrifice their time to the causes
that mean so much to us.
It has been an honor to serve as chair and a real joy to serve
with a such a fine group of people. Whatever success the committee
has enjoyed these last two years is entirely their doing.
The first priority of the committee was to expand communication
between all levels of the organization. To this end the Single
Point of Contact (SPOC) List was developed. Each chapter and state
council was asked to provide the name of an individual responsible
for receiving information directly from the committee for
distribution to the membership. Joyce Miner is to be commended for
her outstanding management of this list.
The VVA Talk List, under the guidance of Bruce Linnell, has
established clear guidelines for usage and expanded the number of
subscribers. The list still is confined to a few regulars, but the
committee hopes that usage will continue to grow.
The VVA web site (www.vva.org) is in the process of being
redesigned to provide a fresh look and easier navigation. A new
section, "About The War," was added to the site with
more than 70 pages of Internet links to a wide variety of
resources and opinions. VVA General Counsel Michael Gaffney is to
be congratulated for sharing his personal electronic resource
library with us.
April 2000 saw the committee organize and plan an observance of
the 25th anniversary of the end of the war during the
Board of Directors meeting in Washington. The committee also had
the vision to advocate for a three-day symposium jointly sponsored
with the College of William & Mary. "Rendezvous With
War" featured historians, journalists, and Vietnam veterans
who shared their stories with an audience that was completely
absorbed in the presentations. Many people worked tirelessly to
organize and present this symposium, including Wallace Terry and The
VVA Veteran staff.
Leadership 2000 in Buffalo featured a standing-room-only
workshop on the mechanics of developing a speakers bureau and the
tools necessary to manage it effectively and efficiently. The
completion of a Speakers Bureau Guidebook, to be
distributed to all chapters in Greensboro, has fulfilled a
decade-long commitment to providing support to chapters. Special
recognition must go to the Education subcommittee: Jack Thomas
(chair), Tom Hall, Mary Miller, Dennis Koehler, and Zack Earp.
On June 5 the committee was pleased to present a one-day
symposium on the Pentagon Papers at the National Press Club.
Daniel Ellsberg was the keynote speaker and former U.S. Senator
Mike Gravel, who took the unprecedented step of reading portions
of The Papers into the official Senate record, was the luncheon