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

August/September 2003

Losses, New Beginnings


In May and June, five Region 7 members died within a two-week period. Mike Burden passed away, a great loss to the region. He was one of the strongest advocates for veterans that you could find. He always put veterans ahead of everything, no matter how sick he was. He was a great leader in his school and always was there to teach about the flag and veterans. We will miss Mike Burden. We also lost Kurt Haffer and Dallas Dixion. Region 7 will never forget those individuals.

The Region 7 Conference was held in Texarkana, Texas. The turnout was outstanding. AVVA held its leadership class led by Patsy Varnell, Region 7 AVVA Director, while we went through amendments and resolutions. Barry Hagge was our speaker, and he did an excellent job. Candidates for national office came to the conference and made presentations. We had a banquet on Saturday with a great speaker. Awards were given out. Wayne White of Oklahoma received the Region 7 Veteran of the Year Award. Chapter of Year went to Chapter 467, Arkansas; Chapter 215, Louisiana; Chapter 751, Oklahoma; and Chapter 910, Texas.

A week before the National Convention, I had major surgery and my doctor would not let me travel. It was extremely hard for me to miss the Convention, but I must take care of my health. Richard DeLong took my place and kept the region moving forward. He did a very good job, and I thank him very much for his help. I would like to thank the Region 7 membership for their support in reelecting me to another term.

Region 7 has come a long way, but we are not through with our programs. I would like to thank Bob Baker from Texas for all the wonderful work he has done in getting a new chapter started. I also would like to thank VVA, AVVA, and SDIT members for their wonderful cards, telephone calls, and all the beautiful flowers that were sent to me when I had surgery. I never realized that I had such big family. Thanks for everything you have done for me and my family.


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