First I would like to thank Jack Haigwood from
Chapter 649 in Batavia, Ohio, for stepping up and taking over
the Buckeye State Council Secretary position. Jack officially
took over in February. I have been able to attend meetings in
all four states in Region 5. Thanks, Jack, and good luck. I am
confident youíll be an asset to the State Councilís Board of
In February, I attended
Michiganís State Council meeting in Lansing. I didnít let anyone
know I was coming, so everyone was surprised to see me. My
thought was that as a National Board member, I answer to our
members. I am not some executive to be coddled, but someone who
is available to help bring issues to the national office from
the states and information from national to the states. The flow
of information needs to go both ways. I spoke about the upcoming
Veterans Disability Benefits Commission and urged all who could
attend and testify to do so.
I also attended the Buckeye
State Council board meeting in February. Jack did a good job
during his first meeting as the new Secretary. I again talked
about the Benefits Commission and the need to make our presence
known. I am happy to report that Ohio State Council President
Dave Whaley is in much better health after surgery.
March took me to the
Illinois State Council meeting. Butch Huber fined me for no real
reason, as he does everyone at his meetings. I attended a
service representative training course for chapter coordinators
and service reps. I was really impressed with the presentation.
They used role play, slide presentation, and question-and-answer
periods. I again spoke about the Veterans Benefits Commissionís
upcoming meeting in Chicago.
I attended the Indiana
State Council meeting in March at the old Fort Harrison. They
have both a meeting room and a product sales room. Itís nice to
go to Indianapolis. I have brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles,
and cousins all around.
On April 11, I traveled to
Chicago for the much-anticipated Veterans Benefits Commission
Town Hall Meeting.
Representatives from all
four states in Region 5 attended and gave testimony. Although it
was my birthday, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else
because of the need for veterans to continue to receive the
benefits they earned. This will have an effect on us and on all
I thank all who attended,
whether they testified or not. The support for our veterans
means a lot. Keep up the good work in Region 5.