DEFEND our Nation CARE for our Veterans PERPETUATE our Legacy REMEMBER our Missing and Fallen MAINTAIN our Memorial SUPPORT a free Korea
Membership in the Korean War Veterans Association consists of honorary members, regular members, and associate members. No person is excluded from membership because of race, color, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, or physical or mental disability, so long as the individual meets the service requirements.
On July 25, 2002 I attended my first meeting of the National Executive Council in Washington, D.C. I was told by then President Harley Coon that I could not vote on any matters until after I had been sworn in. I was the only new member who was present since at that time the voting was not known until the Council opened the ballots and those elected were read at the Executive Council Meeting. Most were second termers and I was one of the newly elected and had paid my own way to the meeting. Fortunately I was elected and President Coon had arranged for General Raymond G. Davis to swear in those newly elected Directors and Officers at the Korean War Monument later the next afternoon. I was proud to be sworn in and made it a point to borrow a blue jacket from one of the members from the Executive Council, P.G. (Bob) Morga who was finishing up his second term. I remember General Davis words about what our decisions should be based on and to always keep the membership first in our decisions.
As your President I attended a breakfast with Vice President Joseph Biden of the United States on Veterans Day November 11, 2010 at the White House and met many of the other VSO Commanders and Presidents and proudly represented the KWVA as a viable Veterans Association. I also was able to speak to Chiefs of Staff including General George W. Case, Jr. of the Army, General Norton A. Schwartz of the Air Force and Commandant James F. Amos of the Marines, and reminded two of them that they were missed at our 60th Commemorative of the Korean War Banquet in July. The two replied that they were out of town and were sorry that they could not attend. I welcomed Commandant Amos into his new position as of October 2010 saying his predecessor had attended.
I was seated on the stage at the cemetery with Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Eric K. Shinseki and Vice President Joe Biden and was introduced to those in attendance at the National Veterans Day Ceremony, as your KWVA President. Following the ceremony four members of Chapter 142, Ceremonies Chairman, Director Thomas McHugh and I presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown. We all then went to the Korean War Monument and presented a wreath there. There were many people at our monument and we were asked to pose for pictures and also we talked to many of them about the Korean War. I personally talked to four young college aged people from Singapore who wanted to know what the war was about. A large group then gathered and heard a rendition of the war that many of us, who participate in the Tell America Project of the KWVA, give at schools and community clubs. All in all it was quite a day and a proud moment for all of us.
I now hope that all those Jewish Members of the Association will accept my apologies for not mentioning the fact about your religious Hanukkah (The Festival of Lights). It begins on December 1, 2010 at sundown and ends on December 9, 2010 at sundown this year and celebrates the triumphs - both religious and military - of ancient Jewish heroes. Thanks also for the reminder and next year I will remember to include you in time for your celebration since it will be in the December 20, 2011 to December 28, 2011 time period and you may receive the magazine before or during that time.
Your Board of Directors had a Board Meeting on October 19, 2010 in Irving, Texas to continue unfinished business not taken care of at its last meeting. The minutes of this meeting is included in this November/December Issue of The Graybeards.
The Board of Directors and all of my staff wish all Korean War Veterans a Happy New Year and again
thank you for the great work you do in your communities, volunteering in VA hospitals, and helping veterans who are in need. Veterans helping veterans is what we are all about.