BY THOMAS H. COREY
We are all very much looking
forward to the 2002 biennial Leadership Conference, which runs
from August 15-17 at the El Conquistador in Tucson. This is an
unparalleled opportunity for new and old VVA members to come
together for the betterment of themselves, their chapters, and the
entire organization by taking part in the conference's many and
varied seminars and workshops, listening to the words of our guest
speakers, and interacting with other Vietnam veteran leaders from
around the nation. The conference's extensive agenda may be found
on VVA's website, www.vva.org
click on the Tucson icon.
We have heard plenty of feedback
from members who have attended our Leadership Conferences, letting
us know that they have provided excellent opportunities to pick up
information to take back to chapters and State Councils. We design
all the workshops, seminars, and other Leadership Conference
programs with the input from our members. That's why all the
events focus on what is most important to most VVA members.
Joe Galloway, the former Vietnam
War correspondent, longtime Washington journalist, and the
co-author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young, will be the
keynote speaker. At the Awards Luncheon, we will present the
annual VVA Member, Chapter, Incarcerated Chapter, State Council,
State Council Newspaper, and Chapter Newsletter of the Year
awards. Hollywood director and screenwriter Randall Wallace--Braveheart,
Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers - will receive the
President's Award for transforming Gen. Hal Moore and Joe
Galloway's book into a riveting film.
Other events include the annual
charity Golf Tournament, with funds going to VVA's Mike Nash
Scholarship Fund, and a full day on Wednesday of Advanced Service
The Leadership Conference presents
an opportunity, also, for VVA to publicize our positions on issues
that are important to our membership. These issues are addressed
at all levels in VVA. This list of activities undertaken by our
chapters and State Councils is a long and impressive one. They are
working hard in many areas, including education in schools,
support of Gold Star Mothers, Sons and Daughters in Touch,
visiting veterans in VA hospitals and nursing homes, coordinating
memorial services, mounting Honor Guards, and being present for
our returning service members' remains.
I have said it before, but it's
worth repeating again: I am proud of the chapters and State
Councils that have made extra efforts to reach out to their
communities, to veterans and their families, to those who do not
know of VVA, and to those who still live with the loss from war.
As we leave summer, it is my hope
that everyone has had a chance to take some time with family and
friends. Please be sure everyone you know is registered to vote.
Remember our service members. God Bless. Peace.