REGION 2 REPORT
Why I Do What I Do
BY LARRY KLEIN
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.