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

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 speaker.


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