Four of our members went to Orlando to help sell Chapter Products for the VVA State Council of Michigan and one of our members attended leadership classes.
2010 Vietnam Veterans of America National Leadership Conference To represent our Chapter at the National Leadership Conference, August 11-15, 2010, was a genuine honor for me. Anytime a group of Vietnam Veterans can assemble anywhere for any reason is a good time, and the gathering in Orlando, FL was no exception. I was proud to be one of the 225 delegates who attended the conference. Also, it was good to be in the presence of other chapter members, namely John Riling, Tom Brown, Bill Boudreau, Debbie and Moe Swope, who did an outstanding job selling products to our brothers and sisters.
Vietnam Veterans of America President, John Rowan challenged all of us to become strong advocates for VVA concerns, especially those that have a direct impact on ourselves, our families, and our fellow comrades who, in some cases are struggling to make ends meet, or are having difficulty receiving much needed disability compensations. Moreover, we should do everything we can to get the word out to non-military organizations in our community who may have veterans as members but may not be aware of the many VA services available to them. In other words, we, as a military veterans' organization have a responsibility to ensure that other veterans know about the health options awaiting them, if they register at their local VA facilities. The Leadership Conference is a compilation of “How To” seminars. In other words, seminars on how to run a productive board meeting as the board President; how to be an effective Secretary; how to accomplish the Treasurer’s duties; how to interpret parliamentary procedures as a board appointed Trustee; and how to plan and prepare board meetings and subsequent agendas. The Leadership Conference “Is Not” a platform where VA disability claims, and the actions being taken to speed up the claims backlog is discussed; it is not a place to discuss Agent Orange, or other Toxins which impact thousands of veterans from past and current wars; it is not a forum for electing National officers; and it is not a meeting to hear Congressional and other National leaders tell us how they are “helping” us to achieve our National and local VVA goals and missions! Although, the Leadership Conference is beneficial as a procedural, parliamentarian forum, in my opinion, it is not essential to have a chapter delegate physically present at the conference, unless it is in the local area. As a result of not sending a delegate, the money used for travel, accommodations, and meals could be used to donate to VA hospital facilities, sister chapters, community fund-raisers, and various chapter causes. In closing, I recommend that in future, we receive National Leadership Conference materials through the mail, and we, as a board will decipher what is, and is not, relevant for our uses and purposes.
2nd Vice President,
VVA Chapter 528 Board of Directors