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Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, March/April 2023 -   -  

Expanding Our Reach

Since the introduction of our newest peer-support program, Heartbreak to Hope, our program chair has held many online training sessions and everyone who has taken the training has successfully completed the course to become Heartbreak to Hope peer-support organizers. Now we are ready to take this to a new level that encompasses statewide participants being introduced to the program.

State Presidents and Representatives may have members interested in learning more about this newest support system and who need help receiving the information needed to begin, so I encourage you to contact your members for feedback and then contact Nina Schloffel at neenr@att.net to schedule an online group session. After the introductory session, those who want more information and training will be given the opportunity to do so.

This year’s Project Friendship will be the National Birth Defects Registry located in Orlando, Florida. Our official campaign will begin during the April Board of Director’s meeting. BDR is the only organization collecting research data and advocating for veterans who have children with disabilities linked to exposure to Agent Orange and to toxic chemicals in the Persian Gulf War. Please help up reach our goal with a donation. We can only do it with your generosity and support.

The upcoming Convention is the time for amending any part of the AVVA bylaws that have become outdated or obsolete. This year we will be looking at every bylaw and determining the status of each. In our Thursday business session, the delegates will decide whether to accept or reject additions, deletions, or amendments to the bylaws. Those decisions will determine our governing bylaws for the next two years.

If your state and chapter held an election last year, you are entitled to send one voting delegate to the National Convention. The delegate registration form is on the AVVA website. It is very important to adhere to the deadline date, which is on the form. No late registration will be accepted. Remember: A delegate must also register for the Convention; there are two separate forms sent to two different addresses.

AVVA presents three awards each year designed to acknowledge the work and dedication of our members. Nominees will be accepted until May 31 for Member of the Year, Fellowship Award, and the Cathy Keister Spirit of Excellence Award. The recipients will be announced during the AVVA Awards Luncheon in Orlando. Winners do not have to be present to win. VISTA volunteer frontrunners will also be announced and recognized for their service at the same event.




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Geoffrey Clifford Mark F. Erickson Chuck Forsman