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Resolution GA-21: What It Is

Rex Moody, © Michael KeatingIn the last issue of The VVA Veteran I explained what Resolution GA-21, “Changing the Name of Vietnam Veterans of America” isn’t; the purpose of this article is to explain what it is.

The short answer is Resolution GA-21 is the first step of an initiative to remove “Vietnam Veterans” from the name “Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.” to entice Post-Vietnam-era veterans to join the renamed organization, and then to open membership in the new organization to them. A second purpose of Resolution GA-21 is to officially determine that VVA will not become a last-person-standing organization. 

Changing the name of VVA and changing membership requirements in VVA requires amending the VVA Constitution by an affirmative vote of 2/3rds of the delegates at a VVA National Convention. Resolution GA-21 only initiates investigation of the requirements necessary to make those changes.

Let’s take a line-by-line look at Resolution GA-21, which consists of three sections; Issue, Background, and Resolved. The italicized text is directly quoted from the Resolution. 

The Issue section reads: Require VVA’s leadership to investigate what is required to change Vietnam Veterans of America’s name and then open up membership to include all veterans after the Vietnam era.

This section is very brief, and does not include what issues would be resolved by changing the name of VVA, and it does not explain what benefits would be gained by opening membership to new veterans. 

The Background section reads: There has been much discussion over the last 15 years about VVA being a last person organization. But no formal vote has been taken. A NO vote on this resolution would make it official.

This section is poorly worded. The first sentence indicates there has been discussion for 15 years. The second sentence indicates no formal vote has been taken, and the third sentence indicates a NO vote would make “it” official. The “it” is not defined, but it is inferred that if the Resolution passed with a YES vote—which it did—that VVA would not become a last-person-standing organization.

The Resolved section reads: Require VVA’s Officers and Board of Directors to investigate the requirements to change the name of Vietnam Veterans of America to a name that would entice Post-Vietnam-era veterans to join the renamed organization and then open up membership to these newer veterans. The proposed changes would be presented to the delegates at the 2021 Convention for ratification.

This is straightforward because it requires VVA’s Officers and Board of Directors to investigate the requirements to change the name of VVA to something that would entice Post-Vietnam-era veterans to join the organization and then open up membership to younger veterans. The 2021 VVA National Convention is specifically included in Resolution GA-21 as the action date, so any amendments to the VVA Constitution associated with changing the name of VVA or the membership requirements need to be presented to the delegates at that Convention. 

To date, the status of the tasks assigned to VVA’s Officers and Board of Directors (and later to the Constitution Committee) by Resolution GA-21 to investigate the requirements to change the name of VVA and then open up membership to recent veterans has not been reported at a National Board of Directors meeting or to the membership. 

Additionally, VVA’s Officers and Board of Directors have not provided documented analysis or a plan to support any benefit associated with the changes outlined in Resolution GA-21. The risk associated with changing the name of the organization to remove the words “Vietnam Veterans” needs to be thoroughly evaluated and clearly presented to the members for their consideration. Once the name is changed, Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., will no longer exist. If the new organization does not attract a sufficient number of younger veterans to sustain it, the new organization will not succeed.

The CSCP encourages each VVA member, VVA chapter, and VVA state council to consider and discuss the proposals included in Resolution GA-21, and to form their own opinions about the actions included in the Resolution. It will be important for VVA leadership at all levels to hear and understand the support or opposition from the VVA membership regarding changing the name and opening membership to Post-Vietnam-era veterans.

Please remain interested in the subject and in contact with your chapter, state council, and regional director to ensure your voice is heard.





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