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

November/December 2005
S
ERGEANT AT ARMS REPORT
 
 

Always Prepared

BY GRANT COATES

Greetings to all. I am the new national Sergeant at Arms of Vietnam Veterans of America. For the past five years I have been the Deputy Sergeant at Arms, under Harry “Sarge” Schaefer. Sarge passed away in May from cancer traceable to exposure to Agent Orange. We knew each other for 18 years, shared many experiences, and became a pair in many endeavors.

When Sarge was appointed Sergeant at Arms, he asked that I be his deputy. He was always serious, and I wanted to have fun. Both of us strove to place the mission before ourselves. Whether the job was helping set up the operations center for the staff, coordinating checkpoints for credentials checks at Conventions, or making sure that one of us was always at a National Board of Directors meeting, we both were eager for the mission.

Always onward. Mission before self. These are more than sayings to me. It’s a creed I follow to the best of my ability. I was taught toujour pręt, always prepared, while attending New York Military Academy during my high school years in upstate New York where I grew up. I was taught never to forget the mission and remember always to place the welfare of the team before self while in the Army. These qualities are not matched in the civilian world at the same level as they were in the military. The same motives are the cornerstones for all members of Vietnam Veterans of America.

As in the military, the mission must be completed. I will complete the mission of the national Sergeant at Arms to the best of my ability. My past experiences, from the military high school I attended, my six-and-a-half years of active duty as a sergeant, my 23 years as a police officer, seven years as a deputy, and 20 years as a member of Vietnam Veterans of America have taught me the necessity of leadership, dedication, and self-motivation. I will maintain decorum at all functions of the Board of Vietnam Veterans of America, and I will fulfill the orders of the President.

   

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