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November/December 2018

Working Group I

Why are we working so hard to ensure that our VVA legacy lives on forever? We have always been a very different veterans organization, founded on a belief and necessity that we must take care of ourselves and each other. No one did it for us, so we took charge of own destiny. It was always difficult, because we were such incredible and sometimes very angry individuals, with different mind-sets and objectives. But we made Vietnam Veterans of America work like no other veterans organization had done before us. We were advocates for ourselves because no one else gave a damn.

In the years since our formation in 1978—and despite all the odds against us—we have made a significant difference in the way all veterans are treated by our country, our political system, and the VA. We fought for, and continue fighting for, legislation for improved medical care for our brothers and sisters. We tackled the horrors of PTSD and dioxin which continue to kill us, every day, and will for years to come. We have also shared a comradery of spirit that only we know, from the day we returned home to an unwelcoming nation, to the struggles of suffering unhealed wounds to our bodies, our minds, and most of all our spirit.

This is why it is imperative to plan for our future. We have accomplished so much and we need to ensure that as we get older, with our average age now 72, that newer veterans can take advantage of what we have learned and what we have provided—and in doing so preserve our incredible heritage and distinguished legacy.

Working Group I is comprised of VVA members from many states, including board members, state and chapter officers, chapter members, veteran service officers, dedicated field workers, and an AVVA officer. Each of us was chosen because of the strengths and diversity of experience that we bring to the table and our ability to operate as a positive team, open to all platforms and suggestions.

We are aware that other veterans organizations with much larger membership bases are struggling and local posts are closing. We have too much at stake to sit back and allow time and an aging membership to force closures. Our mission is to control the process and transition the organization in a measured and controlled manner.

Our strategic plan will encompass details and actions which focus on legal, financial, and practical topics associated with dissolving the VVA Corporation, including contracts, VA claims, asset distribution, preservation of the VVA legacy, chapters and state councils, and the future of our membership.

One looming issue is the date of transition, referred to as the X-Date. This is the date that the membership, as represented by their delegates, will select at a national Convention. In reality, this is not a requirement because under unusual circumstances such as loss of sufficient funding to sustain the Corporation, the National BOD has the authority to dissolve the VVA Corporation.

A goal of Working Group I is to present a well thought out and constructed strategic plan to the VVA National Board in April 2019, so it will be available to the membership at the 2019 National Convention.

When it is time to transition VVA, we’ll go out with a bang not a whimper. We will celebrate our successes and make sure no one will ever forget us. Our logo will be emblazoned into the hearts and minds of new generations of veterans, as well as our children, our grandchildren, our families and friends for many years to come. Our founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” will resonate with every future war veteran forever.

So please give Working Group I a chance. We are on your side. We are all in this together. We want the best for all of us. We are dedicated. We are strong. We are Vietnam Veterans of America.

Your opinion matters. Contact those planning for VVA’s future and let them know your thoughts and ideas.

Contact Working Group I at VVA_Transition@vva.org and Working Group II at VVA_Forward@vva.org. Videos and supporting material will be posted on www.vva.org





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