"Deja vu all over again." Those
words were made famous by the beloved NY Yankee catcher Yogi
Berra. His words of wisdom hit home and made you think at the
same time. Are they really that silly, or is there a simple,
direct approach that smacks you right between the eyes with
His approach was simple, honest, and direct. That is what we
have tried and have been successful with through the VAD
program. It is simple, honest, and direct. People have been
startled by VAD's success.
In the last issue we asked people to let us know how well
their VAD programs were doing. We want to brag about you, and
we want to show the membership of VVA what they can do in
their own communities. It is hard to convince folks that this
program is doing well but still needs help unless you also
help. I know that many people may not want notoriety. We need
you to swallow your pride and admit you are doing something
good for your community. I have spoken to many of you at
Leadership Conferences and Conventions. You accepted my
challenge, and you have
come back and told us it does work. Now we must tell everyone.
If we don't, this program will end, and all the hard work will
be taken over by the drug dealers.
Speaking of things that change and then come right back again
as if something new, have you heard the latest on
methamphetamines? Originally thought to be the drug of choice
for biker gangs in the 1970s and '80s, meth is having a
resurgence across the country. Laboratories are springing up
in many places, including hotel rooms. Methamphetamines are
highly addictive artificial stimulants that are sold on the
street for about $20 per pill, or $60 to $100 per gram. Meth
is often passed off as Ecstasy and is extremely addictive.
In my county in New Jersey there were two possession and
distribution cases involving meth in 2002; there were at least
16 in the last 12 monthsa more than 800 percent increase in
less than two years. It's a dangerous drug that can be
swallowed, inhaled, injected, or smoked. The high can last 12
hours, longer than cocaine. It causes paranoia, mental
confusion, and anxiety. It is also more addictive than crack
and can cause sleepless stretches that last for days. A pound
of meth sells for as much as $10,000. Fumes from the
manufacturing of this drug can cause fires and explosions.
If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will. Our kids
are doing this stuff. If we don't say enough and try to act as
role models, then we deserve what we get. When I speak to
at-risk children or kids in "normal'' environments and
schools, they listen to us in part because we, as Vietnam
veterans, have been called the biggest dope users in American
history. If we don't help, then maybe it will be deja vu all
over again, and our children and grandchildren can pick up
where they think we left off. Remember the VVA motto, "Never
again will one generation of veterans abandon another.'' If we
abandon these kids, they won't even get the chance to become
veterans, doctors, schoolteachers, or governors.
So once again in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "When you
come to a fork in the road, take it.'' But this time take the
one that gives back a little to that kid who needs some help.
Don't forget to come to the VAD seminar at the Leadership
Conference, where we will be putting on a real VAD lesson with
a local Boy Scout Troop. We also plan to have a Medal of Honor
recipient attend who is involved with the VAD program. Come
out, and we can learn about you while you learn about Veterans
Against Drugs. See you in Nashville.