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Treasurer’s Report, November/December 2020 -   -  

What Ifs


What if? So what happens then?

For our generation, it’s always been a fact that shit happens. Our history has never been filled with certainties; life to us has been packed with “what ifs” and “shit happens.”

To Vietnam veterans and their families, the coronavirus pandemic is just another miserable event in a lifetime of crappy experiences that we’ve chosen to either challenge or beat back. It would be a foolish mistake to even consider that the COVID-19 hurtle is enough to seal VVA’s fate. We are battle hardened by a lifetime of challenges during which we’ve been too obstinate to accept the many preordained outcomes. We fight and we win. Screw the rest of them.

So what happens if this virus continues its destructive path into the next year and beyond? Do we throw in the towel and quit? Are the many restrictions that COVID-19 created just too big for us to overcome?

If our past is an indicator; the opposite will be true. We will adapt, we will press on, and we will take the battle forward by whatever means we can. Even now, we’re doing it at the chapter, state council, and national levels.

The VVA Board of Directors has taken the positive actions that will enable the organization to remain solvent and stable. We will continue into the next year and beyond, albeit with much-reduced resources. The BOD-directed fiscal actions are stabilizing VVA. Now we must face the challenge of deciding on VVA’s focus.

The big question is: How can we best function in this new environment? Being leaner also requires that we become better focused, clarify our goals, and determine what we want to accomplish in the time that remains.  

What if the current health and economic conditions continue or deteriorate to the extent that we are forced to postpone the 2021 National Convention? That’s a distinct possibility. It’s an issue that the BOD has discussed, and we are exploring options and alternatives. Actually, I’m not hearing many objections to having the Convention. Rather, people are asking, “How can we make it happen?” 

What if VVA doesn’t have the scheduled Convention because of COVID-19 restrictions or logistics issues? 

  • The BOD can decide to change the date and location of the Convention.
  • The BOD and Officers can stay in place until a legitimate election occurs.
  • The resolutions, elections, and constitutional amendment processes can be adjusted to conform with revised timelines. 

My own belief is that the National Convention is our highest body of governance. But if the Convention cannot occur, the duly elected Board of Directors is empowered by law to be the governing body of VVA.

We must trust that our Board will make the best decisions to get us to a Convention as soon as is practicable. There are massive details that the BOD and the Convention Planning Committee will be addressing before any firm decisions are made on the feasibility of holding the next Convention. Right now, it’s still a go for a lively National Convention in Greensboro, N.C., in August 2021. 

Let us close by noting our appreciation and respect for the Constitution Committee and its chair, Leslie DeLong. I can’t imagine a more difficult job than providing an interpretation of events that were never addressed or even envisioned in VVA’s Constitution. Then throw in a few hurricanes and tropical storms. This is real dedication. The magnitude of work coming out of this committee related to the next Convention will be mindboggling. 

Please be safe.


Bergmann & Moore




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