The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

January/February 2003

Why I Do What I Do


Since the elections in August 2001, I've traveled to eight State Council meetings, three national Board meetings, two chapter anniversaries, one installation dinner, two National POW/MIA recognition ceremonies, a Veterans Day monument dedication ceremony, a Leadership Conference, and I broke bread with the President of the United States. Surprisingly, this only amounted to a little under 6,500 miles seen through a windshield. My only regret is that I never got a chance to see my brothers and sisters in Delaware because of a death of a good friend
followed by the death of a member of my wife's family. I'll be down to see you all shortly.

I'm often asked why I do what I do. My first response is that I was elected by the delegates of Region 2 to represent them and part of that representation is to participate in the things that are important to the members of the region. The second response is easy - I love what I do. It is an honor to be a National Board Member of the greatest veterans organization there is. One of the greatest pleasures of my life is to be able to represent the finest members of the best region in VVA.

With three new chapters receiving charters in the past 14 months, I have been very happy with the hard work and dedication of those who have made it possible. I hold membership in VVA among one of my highest priorities, and I am very concerned about the retention and the ratio of loss to gain in VVA and Region 2 - an average loss of two members to every one new member.

Part of every application that explains who we are states, "VVA is the only national veterans organization congressionally charted and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families." With the magic word being "exclusively," I ask that you keep it in mind when you speak to potential members or run into or contact old members when they say that they belong to unit organizations or other veterans organizations. Tell them that is good, then ask them what do their unit or other veterans organizations do exclusively for them and their families? I believe that after you get through explaining, they will agree that VVA is the only place to be.

I have a dream and Region 2 can lead the way. The dream is to some day have enough members in VVA to be able to adopt a name on The Wall. Everyone takes a name and is given one year to find out every possible thing about that individual. Then after one year, we take all the information, put it in one big book, and place it in the Smithsonian for future generations to see. It will remain a dream unless we can raise our membership to 58,249. I ask Region 2 to help make this dream a reality. 


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