Our 11th National Convention
is now in the VVA history book. More than 600 delegates gathered
together in St. Louis and debated the issues, chose leaders, and
set the course for VVA for the next two years.
I want to thank all who have
served at every level in VVA for the past two years. Your
contributions to the success of VVA were recognized throughout
the Convention. Our delegates conducted the business of the
organization with professionalism and respect for each other.
I am grateful to those who
voted for me and have given me the opportunity to serve you as
President for another two years. I pledge to live up to your
I want to welcome each of
those who were chosen to serve with me and assure them that each
of them is important to fulfilling our mission. I hope we can
present ourselves as examples of our motto: "In Service To
I must say a word to those
who ran for office but were not elected. You also play a
significant role in our success as an organization. I sincerely
hope that you continue to be part of our family.
Two races were decided by
only one vote. This is a bold reminder to those of you who were
delegates - and those of you who were represented by those
delegates - that each of your voices is critically important to
Thank you for your support,
energy, and dedication to veterans.
Other highlights included the
guest speakers, the VVA and arts awards recipients, the USO troupe
that performed before dinner at the Saturday Night Banquet
celebrating our 25th anniversary, and the Beatles tribute band
that played after dinner. Thanks to all the delegates, AVVA
members and VVA national staff for working together to make it a
Recently the committee and
Task Force chairs have been approved by a vote of the Board of
Directors and are ready to fulfill their responsibilities. I am
eager to begin working with the new board and the committee and
Task Force chairs to carry out the Resolutions you have adopted
and to lead VVA as a team in our ongoing efforts to secure justice
for all veterans. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Please keep our fellow
veterans ad their family members who have been ill or have left
this earth in your prayers. We are losing too many friends too
early in their lives. We all need to be thankful for what we have.
We cannot - and we must not -
forget those serving today, our sons and daughters and fellow
God Bless America. Peace.