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

July 2004

Wonderful, Fulfilling


I would like to thank a special State Representative, Kathy Bright of South Carolina. At the
Region 3 conference "Sug," as she is known, raised $250 for the National AVVA Scholarship Fund. She did this by having a silent auction, making afghans and dolls, and by giving five- minute back rubs for $5. Thank you for being an outstanding AVVA member.

I hope to see lots of you in Nashville at the biennial meeting and the VVA National Leadership Conference. There are many seminars available to teach you the duties of secretary or treasurer, and to offer membership, government affairs, and legislative ideas. We are also holding a training session on coping skills for loving your veteran.

I would like to thank the membership of AVVA for allowing me to serve as President. It has
been a wonderful, fulfilling nine yearsfour years as the VVA National Associate Liaison and five years as the President. It has been a whirlwind experience developing the new AVVA. I would like to thank the officers: Mary Miller, Vice President; Fran Davis, Secretary; and Bill Williams, Treasurer. They have given their all to all of you.

I could not have done all this without a great team, the nine Regional Directors: Kathi Tauer, Region 1; Margaret Wojciechowicz, Region 2; Elaine Simmons, Region 3; Mary Yeomans, Region 4; Judy Bolio, Region 5; Jeani Wells, Region 6; Patsy Varnell, Region 7; Sandra Pitcox, Region 8; and Sonja Holybee, Region 9. The are outstanding. They have put in many days of work, many frustrating hours, and they have also taken care of their families. Thank you.

It is with sadness that I report Bill, Kathi, Margaret, and Jeani will be stepping down from their positions. They volunteered to work hard to make this organization a great one. Thank you for your unconditional friendships. If you see them at the Leadership Conference, give them all your hugs and thanks.

The experience of meeting, talking, and e-mailing with so many VVA and AVVA members has been truly great. I hope you know that I will always be here to correspond and to visit VVA State Council meetings. I am not going away. This will enable me to work hard for the programs that I feel need to be made solid. So, if you need me, call. I will always be there for you all.


Illinois Involvement

Associates in Illinois are very passionate about what they do for veterans, their families, and their communities. In the past year, AVVA members with their affiliated chapters have attended many veterans' funerals; put on and attended benefits for many causes, including helping cancer patients and their families who are in financial and emotional need; and attended all kinds of ceremonies, including flag ceremonies, centennial ceremonies, and ceremonies to send our troops off to war.

The Associates of Illinois has been a member of the committee for the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial Vigil every year since its inception. The Illinois AVVA also serves on committees for Homeless Stand Downs in different parts of the state and on the committee for Vetsam (an information day for veterans and seniors), among many other groups.

The Illinois Associates participated with the Treasures For Troops Campaign, which sends
donations and items through the Red Cross to our troops all over the world; Shoes That Fit, which provides funds to buy school-age children new shoes; the Toys For Tots; and the Angel Tree Foundation, which provides monetary donations to help families who cannot buy Christmas gifts for their immediate families.

Illinois Associates and veterans who are incarcerated at Taylorville, Illinois, work together
growing vegetables, which they donate to homeless shelters, churches, and other organizations.

I am very proud of the Associates in Illinois who have stepped forward to do the work that is needed in the affiliated chapters, the AVVA state organization, our communities, the state of Illinois, and our nation.


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