February 03, 2005

Friends and Members—

This has been a very busy week on top of being sick with flu—just now up and about—and the perennial it seems email problems.


In my last update I discussed dues, income, and magazine costs in considerable detail. Year end reports are just now being completed and I am checking my math about “what was supposed to be against what actually was.” I will have some corrections and updates available for you later.

Two news-type reports follow which will let all of the membership know of some of the activities which are types of things that are always going on for our Association.

KWVA Liaison Activities

Seated at table with Jeff Brodeur above are VFW state officers, including DAV Massachusetts Adjutant Tom Daley and DAV Massachusetts State Commander Leo Mooney.
(Click picture for a larger view)

Jeff Brodeur, KWVA National Liaison to KVA, represented the KWVA at the Veteran Center’s Community Summit to understand the needs of returning combat soldiers. The event, held February 2, 2005, was hosted by William Keating, Norfolk County (Massachusetts) District Attorney and the US Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Centers.

Tom Kelley, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Veterans Services Commissioner of Massachusetts, was the keynote speaker. US Marine Jeremiah Sparks, returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom, was a guest speaker and spoke on the subject of “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

The Conference was held at Lantana's Restaurant and Conference Center, Randolph, MA. Police and fire chiefs throughout Massachusetts were in attendance, as well as VA officials from Brockton, Boston and Washington, D.C. All service organizations were represented and many Massachusetts state veteran agents were also present. Presently units from the 2nd US INFANTRY DIVISION (KOREA) are involved in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and some of these troops will be affected by PTSD as the result of their service.

National Convention, Annual Meeting and Reunion Planning for Shreveport, Louisiana, October 2-5, 2005

Byron Dickerson and I visited Shreveport, Louisiana, and Barksdale Air Force Base on Monday, January 31. The site and arrangements will be recommended to the Executive Council, March 15 in Reno. It is proposed that the National Convention, Annual Meeting and Reunion be held at the Isle of Capri Casino, Bossier City, Louisiana, October 2-5. The Barksdale Air Force Base Retired Activities Office (RAO) and ARK-LA-TEX Chapter of the MOAA will co-host the Convention.

Byron and I were happy to meet with Colonel Steve dePyssler, USAF Ret, who heads the Barksdale RAO. Steve is a very interesting and highly qualified “conventioneer.” He is considered by most to be the best RAO Director in the entire Defense Department.  Many of you may expect to receive mail and possibly email from Steve as he gets cranked up on our National Convention and begins early promotion of the affair.  I have invited Secretary Jim Nicholson, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to be our guest speaker for the Banquet, October 5th, and the invitation has been “penciled to his calendar.”