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Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, March/April 2022 -   -  

Partnership with National BDR

The AVVA Board of Directors gathered in Silver Spring for a face-to-face meeting in January. It was good to see everyone in person after this long period of isolation and absence. We completed the budget process and accomplished new and exciting things for this term and for our future.

One accomplishment that I am particularly proud of is the official partnering with the National Birth Defect Registry (BDR). Since 1986 BDR has been the only organization collecting research data and advocating for veterans who have children with disabilities linked to exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War or other chemicals in the Gulf War. AVVA has supported BDR for many years. Now we are official partners.

If you would like to add information about your children’s (or grandchildren’s) birth defect or disabilities to the registry, go to www.birthdefects.org Your information will be held in confidence on a secure website and will not be shared with anyone without your written permission. We will put a link to the registry on the AVVA website.

AVVA is now midstream in our state and chapter elections. January through June in even-numbered years is our election period. The process is a simple one; however, it must be followed carefully. Electing a Representative or President ensures that your state or chapter has a voice in the 2023 National AVVA Convention. We are standing by to help. Let’s make our next Convention a meeting to remember by registering more delegates than ever.

Once again it is time for nominations for Member of the Year, Fellowship, and the Cathy Keister Spirit of Excellence awards. Nomination criteria, forms, and deadlines are on our website. Please don’t hesitate: Nominate a member who is dedicated and dependable; nominate a member who surpasses others in VISTA hours and community service. The recipients will be announced during the AVVA luncheon at the National Leadership & Education Conference in Greenville, S.C. Awardees do not have to be present.

AVVA’s progression and new accomplishments are yet to be fathomed. We are exploring new programs and restoring current ones. Our successes will never be determined by one person. In the words of Walt Disney: “Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort.”

Your state and chapter achievements are just as important to our growth and success as are the achievements made at the national level. All of us will share in the victories of AVVA’s future.





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Geoffrey Clifford Mark F. Erickson Chuck Forsman