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Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, January/February 2022 -   -  

Unprecedented Convention

First, I want to thank all the delegates for their vote of confidence in electing me once again as your AVVA National President. I took a much-needed two-year rest, and I am ready to once again lead us in another productive and successful term.

The Convention proved to be history making and unprecedented. Project Friendship was once again successful and, for the first time in AVVA’s history, VVA dual members have been given the right to vote at the AVVA chapter level on all matters, including elections.

I hope this change will encourage VVA members to join us. We were together in the beginning as VVA members until 1999; now as we near the end, let’s all be together once again. But this time VVA members are invited to join us. We welcome VVA members; we love you, and have stood by VVA’s side for more than forty years. And we will be there until the end.

The Paper Safe has been, and continues to be, our most successful program. We have just placed another order for 10,000 copies. I thank all of you who have patiently waited for them. Funding, and then a paper shortage, hampered us from printing sooner. Your order should be filled soon, if it hasn’t already. The Paper Safe is available to all veterans and their families just for the asking. Contact Nancy Switzer at switzer3@frontiernet.net

Once again it is time for at-large, state, and chapter elections. January through June in even-numbered years is our election season. The election policy can be found on our website, www.avva.org or you may contact your state official for assistance. The process is a simple one; however, it’s also an important one that must be adhered to.

As AVVA returns to a more-normal routine, we will be revitalizing our Secondary PTSD (PTSD2) program and our Spousal and Survivors Benefits program. Peer-support programs are AVVA’s way of educating families on the long-term effects of war by teaching them how to recognize the symptoms of secondary PTSD, by offering support through sharing experiences, and by lending a kind ear.

Our benefits program provides the tools needed to bring knowledge to families with chapter-sponsored informative seminars in local communities. Both programs, along with our Agent Orange town hall meetings, help and support families through education. There are hundreds—possibly thousands—of families who need our help; helping them in these small ways makes our efforts worthwhile.

I am looking forward to AVVA’s new accomplishments. In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

With an open mind and hard work, AVVA has a bright future. We will not just survive. We plan to thrive.




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