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  • Desert Life: Nevada Incarcerated Chapters
    replaced them with cheap high rises surrounded by ugly uninviting open space No high rises here these structures cling to the earth They re the kind of buildings that make you feel cheap and dirty just walking inside And the grounds are just that ground Out here on the desert these housing projects are surrounded by all the trappings of a single minded city Or maybe a single master coal town Silver State Industries runs several vocational business centers at the Correctional Center There s a business that makes mattresses another does meticulous work restoring automobiles One shop makes executive desks from beautiful woods to individual specs another fabricates modular office units in a variety of veneers and fabrics Part of the inmates incomes goes to a Victim Restitution Fund The prison hospital is modest in size compared to any hospital outside but it s new clean and efficient A specially designed psych ward permits guards to keep close watch on traumatized inmates One wing is set aside for women inmates from other facilities In its early days when Chapter 719 was just a satellite of Nevada State Prison Chapter 545 the founding VVA members would look out over the dusty yard and scout for aluminum cans Those cans began a project The VVA crew picked up more cans and asked others for their discarded cans That single minded dedication to making something from nothing led to Chapter 719 s first outreach effort a contribution to the Eagle Valley Children s Home a facility for severely disabled children The can drives have continued since they began in 1991 each culminating in a charitable contribution Now scrap paper is also collected It s bundled up then stored near the body shop When a truckload has been accumulated it s hauled off Prison Break was a United Way fund raiser that Chapter 719 put on for four years For one day the yard was transformed into a carnival with a midway featuring games of chance and entertainment as well as food concessions offering chicken pizza hot dogs and ice cream cones Then a new warden got nervous and killed the program All these activities have raised modest amounts of money Each allowed the chapter to make modest but steady contributions to charities on the outside In 1996 the chapter decided to focus its attentions on a single local school Letters were written to area schools and few positive responses were received But then a letter arrived from Stead Elementary in Stead Nevada saying it would be happy to accept the chapter s help Promptly 320 in school supplies was sent to the second grade Since then Stead Elementary has remained a favorite charity of Chapter 719 On occasion the chapter has received funds from the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund that matched the chapter s contributions to Stead One year they wrote a check for 3 000 Not all the chapter s efforts have looked outward however Like the Nevada State Prison chapter

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/feature_NV_incarceratedB.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Desert Life: Nevada Incarcerated Chapters
    yard Visitors are a rare enough treat for the chapter but the chance to wander around and show off their gardens paintings handicrafts and koi ponds and to interact with the VVA folks will be talked about for a long time Likewise the walking tour of the Northern Nevada Correctional Center the following day with Chapter 719 and staff also was memorable Validation and recognition mean so much more for those behind bars and fences Vietnam Veterans of America and its associates constitute a viable and growing social organization within the Nevada Department of Corrections In addition to Chapters 545 and 719 there are two active chapters in the Las Vegas area and another active chapter at the Lovelock Correctional Center east of Reno All these chapters work closely with local VVA chapters and the Nevada State Council The incarcerated chapters are proud of their accomplishments and their ability to improve their own lives and the lives of the other prisoners in the general population These chapters have taken to heart the VVA motto In Service to America Chapters 719 and 545 will share a vendor s table at the National Convention in Reno They will provide information about their organizations and accomplishments Additionally hobbycraft items shirts and rock art will be offered for sale Supporters from Stead Elementary School and other volunteers will man the table But all this good news is tempered by the passing on May 26 of Robert Farrar the original staff sponsor of NSP Chapter 545 The chapter lost a good friend confidant and mentor A former Army captain a Korean War veteran and a trailblazer Bob guided the chapter with meager resources and often under careful custodial scrutiny and staff suspicions Bob carefully nurtured the chapter enabling it to flourish and to develop prison

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_07/feature_NV_incarceratedC.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    makes its decision at the chapter state council or national level the elected leaders are bound to support the decision of the governing body and to the largest extent possible to further that mission Organizing and developing a chapter and taking on community projects that benefit veterans their families and the community takes the efforts of everyone working together There is an old saying in the military A convoy only moves as fast as the slowest truck In the world of veterans affairs that pace is a sure road to disaster Without all members of the team pulling together time is wasted spinning wheels We need to lead follow or get out of the way VVA chooses to lead but we must lead with one voice one consistent and persistent message and not allow ourselves to be distracted by petty personal politics or ideological differences We are all veterans Unfortunately some powerful leaders in Congress elected with the votes of many veterans are actively working to divide and pit veterans against each other They want us not to focus on the common enemy institutional apathy toward veterans that has corroded every fiber of the government and those responsible for our care and treatment We are not fools and we should not permit those in power to assume they can ignore us any longer We are veterans We earned our benefits We will tolerate nothing less than a full commitment that VA programs will be funded at levels consistent with quality and compassionate care and that legislation be enacted and signed into law binding the people of the United States through our government to provide those funds without delay There are 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators a total of 535 people from many walks of life

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/president.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran Government Relations
    to defend the Constitution and the liberties we hold dear The resources must be there to properly care for them We must leave no veteran behind This care must be considered part of a continuing cost of national defense Many of us have grown weary of the tired platitudes and empty praise of our troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan Why Because when they come home some of them physically broken too many of them mentally or emotionally shattered we hear that these newly minted veterans somehow will drain the national treasury The undersecretary for personnel and readiness for the Department of Defense is quoted as saying The cost of veterans benefits are taking away from the nation s ability to defend itself This is absurd and shameful and an apology is warranted APPLAUSE If it is the will of the American people to constrict the benefits to which veterans are statutorily eligible VVA challenges Congress here and now to propose introduce hold public hearings and debate whether America wants to limit access for certain veterans who are now deemed unworthy to receive VA health care The administration has pointed to the increases it has called for And you and your colleagues have seen fit to grant them over the past four years to fund the VA These increases however have failed to keep pace not only with medical inflation but also with increases for services by veterans in priority groups In the President s budget proposal we see the writing on the wall The enhanced restraint discussed by OMB in testimony in February before the House Budget Committee would eliminate more than one million veterans from the VA health care system one million veterans Some have no service connected disabilities but their economic fortunes may be teetering Others have service connected disabilities that are rated zero percent compensable They may be required to pay up to 500 to use the VA medical services Please note that these men and women generate 40 percent of the third party reimbursement to the VA coffers Please note too that this is not a temporary exclusion To relieve the short term pressures for priority 8 this is a planned exclusion intended for the next 20 years Chairman Buyer we must tell you that many of your public comments and statements in the past few months have been disturbing and hurtful and quite frankly insulting to many of our members APPLAUSE They have been taken as a direct and personal attack on our honor and integrity both as a group and as individuals VVA has no wish to diverge from our longstanding policy of focusing on the needs of veterans rather than on political parties partisan politics or personalities VVA wants a free open and intense debate and dialogue on issues without our integrity or that of our fellow VSOs being called into question We believe that caring for veterans is not a Democratic cause it is not a Republic effort it is an

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/gov.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    Also you should be familiar with the Credentials Committee s rules for delegates see left The registration form will be published in this and the July August issue of The VVA Veteran It also can be printed from our web site at www vva org meetings 05reno html To register as a delegate you need to complete the For Delegates Only section of the registration form Please take time to read and understand the directions printed on the form Unless you are a state council president two officers of your chapter or state council must sign the registration form Your registration will not be processed without these signatures Registering early will save time and money If you mail your delegate registration by July 7 you will receive the early bird discount of 35 off the registration fee and at the Convention you can use the express line for pre registered delegates Please do not mail registrations after July 7 After that date you must register on site at the Convention Under the Credentials Committee s guidelines no VVA membership transfers may be made during the 90 days prior to the Convention except for the formation of a new chapter or when a member s residence changes VVA transfer requests received after May 9 will be processed after the Convention The final item on your Convention planning checklist is to be sure your chapter or state council annual financial report for the fiscal year ending February 28 2005 as well as all previous fiscal years is on file at the national office Delegates will not be allowed on the Convention floor if the financial reports are missing To be sure there are no last minute problems at the Convention it s a good idea to bring along a copy of each

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/mem_matters1.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    until after the end of the Convention All challenges at the Convention will be brought to the attention of the Credentials Committee chair The chair will confer with the applicable regional director state council president and VVA membership staff for clarification of a delegate s credentials If a challenge cannot be resolved at that level a meeting of the Credentials Committee will convene and arbitrate If VVA national has not received a copy of a state council or a chapter s annual financial report that state council or chapter s delegates will not be credentialed They will not be allowed on the Convention floor until the annual financial report has been received Annual financial reports may be turned in at Convention It is recommended to bring a copy of the annual financial report to the Convention The Credentials chair will make an oral report each morning to the assembled delegates notifying them of the total number of delegates seated that day SEATING The Credentials Committee is responsible for the setup of delegate chairs on the Convention floor The host region is assigned the center front section with the host state seated in the front row or rows The Credentials chair then draws numbers for each region All efforts are made to keep region seating intact Adjustments may have to be made in the order drawn depending on the size of the region and the space available Resolution of this issue is the responsibility of the Credentials chair THE BUSINESS MEETING The Credentials Committee is responsible for establishing and certifying absences of delegates during the business meeting When the delegates are in session the Committee maintains an easily identifiable presence on the Convention floor In the event a delegate is unable to attend or is excused during the Convention his or

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/credentials.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    our mission and goals Our workshop at the 2005 National Convention is dedicated to reviewing and revising the Minority Affairs Committee strategic plan and mission implementation Reprinting the Minority Affairs Committee s information and recruitment brochure having it ready to distribute at the National Convention and working to have it included on the VVA web site Review and comment on the VA s report and findings of the recent Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans visit to Puerto Rico Support the National American Indian Veterans Association in its effort to become a congressionally chartered veterans organization Support the initiative against the VA s closure of Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico submit a letter to BRAC Commission requesting that Fort Buchanan remain open until an economic impact study is conducted and submit an amended resolution supporting the non closure of Fort Buchanan Minority Affairs Committee member Gumersindo Gomez will represent our committee at the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans issues forum in Puerto Rico in June Support the National Center for post traumatic Stress Disorder studies and findings that demonstrate how PTSD and war zone stressors correlate with race and ethnicity The Minority Affairs Committee previously submitted a letter of support to have

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/minorityAffairs.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    University Prior to her election she was active in the leadership of many organizations including the Florida Humanities Council and the American Red Cross She was invested in local endeavors and community service After leaving office she was approached to lend service to her country once again by serving as chair of the Panel to Review Sexual Misconduct Allegations at the U S Air Force Academy This panel made 21 recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force She also called for Congress to exercise its oversight authority more aggressively Her statement before Congress on September 24 2003 can be found on the VVA Women Veterans Committee web site The Report 2004 of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans is being printed and will include both the committee s recommendations and the VA s responses Please check out the WIMSA The Women s Memorial web page for a listing of events held there The Faces of the Fallen exhibit is on display through November 14 2005 Including over 1 300 portraits by some 200 artists the exhibit features a variety of media including drawings paintings sculpture relief collage and textiles The exhibit which is

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_05/WomenVeterans.htm (2016-02-16)
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