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  • The VVA Veteran: Membership Affairs COMMITTEE REPORT
    Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS september october 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Affairs Veterans Benefit Update Arts Of War Book Review Ask The Parliamentarian AVVA Springfield Convention Election Committee ETABO Fellowship Awards Homeless Veterans Report Letters The Locator Membership Notes Minority Affairs Parade POW MIA Report PTSD Report Public Affairs Convention Resolutions Reunions Scholarship Committee TAPS VVAF Women Veterans Dine Dance Art Cornucopia Honoring The Next Generation Rack Em Up PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec Membership Affairs COMMITTEE REPORT The Work Continues BY BILL MEEKS JR CHAIR Special thanks is necessary to VVA President John Rowan for nominating me as the chair of the Membership Affairs Committee and to the VVA Board of Directors for approving my fourth consecutive tour of duty representing you on membership matters Although the composition of the committee awaits final approval by the VVA Board during its October meeting the work of improving membership recruitment and retention has continued since the Convention The committee will present its VVA Chapter Membership Development Plan to the Conference of State Council Presidents and the VVA Board of Directors at the October meeting and the committee hopes to have that plan on the VVA web site in the near future The contract to publish the 2008 VVA Membership Directory is being finalized Harris

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/member_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans Benefits Report
    attorney that has now been secured and for which VA is currently in the process of preparing implementing regulations Ironically the same arguments used against judicial review almost twenty years ago were also used against the legislation that would restore the basic right to be represented by an attorney in 2006 and 2007 It is worth noting that one of the other veterans service organizations that was one of the principal opponents of judicial review now favors full and unfettered access to the federal judiciary for veterans who are ensnared in the VA system We believe that eventually as the rather silly arguments against attorney representation prove not to be true as even the limited right is implemented all of the veterans service organizations will come to agree with the rightness of our position Fortunately for veterans this all started to change in December of 2006 What follows is a Fast Letter issued by Bradley Mayes the VA s Director of Compensation and Pension This letter provides information regarding attorney representation and will likely be used until the final regulations have been promulgated At the time of this writing it is unclear when the final regulations will be instituted This letter provides guidance to claimants regarding their right to hire an attorney and may be useful to many veterans in need of an attorney representation to secure their VA benefits Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration June 6 2007 Fast Letter 07 15 Subject Public Law 109 461 This letter provides information concerning the new legislation governing the recognition of agents and attorneys representing claimants before VA Enclosure One provides general answers to questions employees may receive during interviews or when answering telephones Background On December 22 2006 the President signed Public Law 109 461 Section 101 of Public Law 109 461 the Veterans Benefits Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006 amends chapter 59 of title 38 United States Code governing the recognition of individuals for the preparation presentation and prosecution of claims for benefits before VA The provisions shifting the entry point for paid representation are effective on June 20 2007 and the provisions relating to fee assessments and review of fee agreements are effective upon publication of VA s final rule Summary of New Legislation Section 101 of Public Law 109 461 makes the following amendments to 38 U S C 5902 5903 5904 and 5905 Eliminates the current prohibition on the charging of fees for services of an attorney or agent provided before the Board of Veterans Appeals Board makes its first final decision in the case As amended section 5904 will allow accredited attorneys and agents to charge fees for services provided after a notice of disagreement NOD has been filed with the VA Regional Office RO in the case Authorizes the Secretary to collect an assessment from an individual recognized as an agent or attorney under Section 5904 in any case where VA pays the agent s or attorney s fees from

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/Vet_benefits.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Arts of war
    Army Sgt Richard Monroe Pruett Navy Fireman Apprentice Joseph Gerald Krywicki and Army Spec 4 Wesley Alvin Stiverson Krywicki was killed on Sept 13 1966 in South Vietnam and his name was inadvertently left off the initial list of those on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pruett who was wounded in Vietnam on May 27 1969 died on February 28 2005 The Pentagon which has final say in these matters deemed that his death came as a result of medical complications related to his war wounds The same situation applied to Stiverson who was wounded in Vietnam on April 6 1971 and who died on March 30 2005 The three additions which bring to 58 256 the number of men and women listed as KIA in the Vietnam War were added as close as possible to their dates of casualty so these servicemen can remain in the company of those they served with Jan Scruggs the head of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund said The three new names became official when they were read aloud during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at The Wall on Monday May 28 Also on The Wall front on May 22 the VVMF unveiled the exhibits that will be part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center the underground under construction educational facility that will become part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial visitors experience The exhibits include a wall of photos of the Vietnam War fallen along with images letters and other remembrances left at The Wall in their honor a selection of the more than 100 000 items that have been left at the Memorial a visual and written history of the Memorial and interactive stations aimed primarily at young people that will provide information about the war The Wall and Vietnam veterans The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center will be a place that touches the heart and teaches the mind said VVMF board member Harry Robinson enhancing the Memorial experience for people of all ages and walks of life taking them on a journey through layers of storytelling and history BOOTS TO BOOKS Army veteran Bruce Solheim who teaches at Citrus College in California and is the institution s volunteer veterans coordinator tells us that in September the school will offer the nation s first college course designed to help returning veterans make the transition back to civilian life The course titled Counseling 159 Boots to Books covers combat stress Post traumatic Stress Disorder and other issues affecting veterans returning from deployment It is a joint effort of the college and the East Los Angeles Vet Center A war is going on and it is psychologically impacting some of our soldiers who will eventually return home and become students said Manuel Martinez a Vietnam veteran who is the course s instructor and who is a readjustment counseling therapist at the East L A Vet Center As far as I know there has never been a psycho educational model that has systematically addressed these issues while providing

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/arts.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Books In review
    become a folk hero author Frances Fire in the Lake FitzGerald notes in her illuminating introduction to the new book in English which has been translated by Andrew X Pham That s the good news about this heartfelt diary that exposes a young woman doctor s deepest emotions from April of 1968 when she was the 25 year old chief physician at a VC field hospital in the Central Highlands until her death by a bullet wound in June of 1970 at a clinic in the Nai Sang Mountains The diaries give an illuminating picture of what life was like among the enemy guerrillas especially in the medical community That said the diaries make for less than gripping reading The entries veer from one topic to another dwelling too much on Thuy s thoughts about her significant other ROBICHEAUX XVI James Lee Burke s latest Dave Robicheaux detective The Tin Roof Blowdown Simon Schuster 352 pp 26 is another masterpiece of the genre In this the 16th Robicheaux Burke again concocts a riveting tale centering on his flawed but quietly heroic Cajun sheriff s deputy and Dave s runaway truck buddy disgraced ex New Orleans cop Clete Boyer whom Dave describes as a beer soaked blue collar knight errant Burke spins out a page turner filled with memorable characters many of them super sleazes as Dave and Clete risk life and limb and their sanity to solve a nasty series of crimes in and around the Big Easy and New Iberia Parish where Dave lives and works This one s set just before during and after Hurricane Katrina As usual Dave and Clete s service in the Vietnam War is a constant theme As he navigates his way through the murky waters of Katrina s aftermath Dave constantly is reminded of his dangerous tour of duty as an infantry LT in the worst of the Vietnam War The book in fact opens with two pages of Dave talking about his dreams that always contained images of brown water and fields of elephant grass and the downdraft of helicopter blades Burke s best work has been called Faulknerian This tale redolent with the cries and whispers of the southern Louisiana landscape in extremis and the deeds of a series of good and bad characters fits that bill It s a great read and a great piece of fiction FICTION IN BRIEF The much praised literary novelist Jane Smiley who won the Pulitzer for A Thousand Acres sets her newest book Ten Days in the Hills Knopf 449 pp 26 among the Hills of Beverly in 2003 The book which the critics loved centers on a 58 year old Hollywood director named Max and nine other characters including his new wife ex wife daughter stepson and agent They spend ten days together endlessly talking politics movies books health regimens and relationships They also engage in lots of sexual activity What s the point The critics said it was satire and a send

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/books.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN
    JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN Points Of Information BY MIKE SWIFT VVA PARLIAMENTARIAN Q What do we do if the elected secretary does not come to a meeting A The minimum officers for a meeting are a presiding officer and a secretary Robert s page 21 line 5 In the absence of the secretary a secretary pro tem should be elected Robert s page 443 line 27 Q What is the difference between a motion and a resolution A The difference is the formality with which a resolution is written A main motion is frequently offered as a resolution either because of its importance or because of its length or complexity Robert s page 100 line 35 When special circumstances make it desirable to include a brief statement of background the motion should be cast in the form of a resolution with the background or reasons incorporated in a preamble that is placed before the resolving clauses Robert s page 102 line 12 Q Can a member at large attend any chapter meeting A The chapter meetings I have attended have been open meetings with guests and non members observing but not participating in the procedure unless specifically invited to do so A chapter has the right to determine who may be present at its meetings and to control its hall while meetings are in progress Robert s page 625 line 10 Non chapter members can be excluded at any time from part or all of a meeting of a chapter or from all of its meetings Such exclusion can be effected by a ruling of the chair in cases of disorder or by the adoption of a rule on the subject or by an appropriate motion as

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/parliment.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    Ask The Parliamentarian AVVA Springfield Convention Election Committee ETABO Fellowship Awards Homeless Veterans Report Letters The Locator Membership Notes Minority Affairs Parade POW MIA Report PTSD Report Public Affairs Convention Resolutions Reunions Scholarship Committee TAPS VVAF Women Veterans Dine Dance Art Cornucopia Honoring The Next Generation Rack Em Up PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec AVVA Thanks for the Springfield Memories BY MARY MILLER PRESIDENT I hope everyone had a safe journey home from Springfield It was a busy week at the AVVA Leadership Conference and the VVA Convention AVVA had its luncheon awards presentation and a slate of informative seminars If you had a chance to get away for some sightseeing one of the places to go see was the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum The residents of Springfield were very friendly and accommodating I would like to thank all the many AVVA members who worked as volunteers at our Silent Auction Product Sales and Yahtzee game Our Silent Auction was fabulous this year We had photographs crafts done by our members and many other things My heart felt appreciation goes out to all who donated items Another group which I call Jim Blount s AVVA Army helped set up the VVA Convention floor on Tuesday before the Opening Ceremonies as they have done at many VVA conventions A whole group shows up and runs around the floor counting seats and taping the initials of the states to make sure all the delegates have chairs Some years it runs long into the night

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/avva.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: VVA’s Convention in Springfield
    If you can t be great it s better to be long The father in question would be the legendary Woody Guthrie Arlo Guthrie got through that one verse then did the entire tune and had VVA members singing the last chorus along with him The second song When a Soldier Makes It Home he said was written during the Russian war in Afghanistan but deals with issues familiar to Vietnam veterans The chorus resonated particularly well Halfway around the world tonight In a strange and foreign land A soldier unpacks memories That he saved from Vietnam Back home they didn t know too much There was just no way to tell I guess you had to be there For to know that war was hell The Opening Ceremonies for the first time in VVA Convention history featured performances by two big national acts Big Rich and Lee Greenwood Country rockers Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich opened the show with a rousing acoustic rendition of their big hit Eighth of November which pays tribute to the 173rd Airborne troopers who fought in a particularly vicious battle on November 8 1965 Following that Niles Harris the former 173rd trooper who inspired the song took to the stage to greet the delegates and emphasize the commitment that Big Rich have to honoring Vietnam veterans After members of VVA Chapter 534 from Springfield presented the colors the St Andrews Society of Central Illinois Pipe and Drum Corps marched through the hall offering a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace in honor of Vietnam War POW MIAs Lee Greenwood then performed his hit God Bless the U S A Other highlights of the Opening Ceremonies included a video tribute to long time VVA leader Randy Barnes VVA President John Rowan making his entrance inside a Vietnam War era deuce and a half presentations of the President s Award for Excellence in the Arts to Big Rich and to Lee Greenwood welcoming remarks from Springfield Mayor Timothy J Davlin and a rousing Keynote Speech by two time Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune syndicated columnist Clarence Page who was drafted into the Army in 1969 and served as an Army journalist with the 212th Artillery Group at Fort Lewis Page urged the delegates to continue to live up to VVA s motto In service to America The Vietnam War he said did not have a defined end as your service does not have a defined end Arm yourselves with information he said especially when dealing with the VA I don t care if you re liberal or conservative or somewhere in the wobbly middle Page said Believe in something It s our right and our privilege as Americans and also our duty He ended his speech with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr We all have a task Let us go out and do it with divine dissatisfaction The 626 delegates got down to business on Wednesday afternoon debating a series of resolutions and proposed

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/convention.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: ETABO COMMITTEEREPORT
    PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS september october 2007 The Veteran Departments Featured Stories President s Message Government Affairs Membership Affairs Veterans Benefit Update Arts Of War Book Review Ask The Parliamentarian AVVA Springfield Convention Election Committee ETABO Fellowship Awards Homeless Veterans Report Letters The Locator Membership Notes Minority Affairs Parade POW MIA Report PTSD Report Public Affairs Convention Resolutions Reunions Scholarship Committee TAPS VVAF Women Veterans Dine Dance Art Cornucopia Honoring The Next Generation Rack Em Up PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec ETABO COMMITTEE REPORT An ETABO Vision BY ALAN GIBSON CHAIR Normally these reports show the accomplishments of the committees However in this day of electronic communication most of us are kept up to date on at least a quarterly basis With this in mind we would like to set some of the areas for the new committee to keep watch of and work on beginning with the nomination and approval of the committee chair and members EMPLOYMENT Keep up the pressure on government agencies both federal and state to put into practice Veterans Preference with accountability It is still on the books but sloughed off as not necessary or really wanted Find meaningful ways to reduce the high rate of new veterans who are unemployed more than 15 percent compared to the national average of around 5 percent If this continues all veterans and the nation will suffer TRAINING Insure that the training programs established on paper by government agencies are funded placed into practice and accountability procedures established Allow veterans to use their

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/1007/etabo.html (2016-02-15)
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