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Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, September/October 2022 -   -  

Many Highlights at the Conference

The 2022 National Leadership & Education Conference is history. It was good to see our members participating in the educational sessions. Here are a few AVVA highlights.

During the Conference, AVVA presented two seminars. The first, “The 3-Rs to Recovery: Rekindle, Refresh, Reactivate,” was a resurrection of our existing programs. Our newest program, From Heartbreak to Hope, made its debut. This new peer-support program is designed to bring healing to the families of deceased veterans and to families with veterans in Hospice Care. That seminar was well attended and well received. I want to thank Tom Hall, Ph.D. for his expertise in helping us develop and introduce this program to our members.

On Thursday, AVVA held its Awards Luncheon. Sharon Hodge, VVA’s Director of Government Affairs, and Chuck Byers, VVA’s Veterans Healthcare Committee Chair, were our luncheon co-speakers. They did an outstanding job speaking about Caregiving. After the luncheon, we held the annual AVVA Membership Meeting.

The Commendation Medal is AVVA’s highest honor. This year’s recipient was Ann Rice of Tennessee Chapter 240. The annual awards were presented by the Awards Chair, Mary Anne Newman. Member of the Year was presented to Diana Schaack, (Florida Chapter 1048). The Fellowship Award recipient was Wynella Bethards (Kentucky Chapter 454).

VISTA awards were presented by the Program Chair, Kathy Andras. The member with the most volunteer hours was Linda Meyer (Tennessee Chapter 1004); second highest was Nancy Briggs (Arizona Chapter 1011); and third was Terry Novak (Pennsylvania Chapter 542). Region 3 collectively submitted the most volunteer hours. Tennessee walked away as the top state with Chapter 1004 receiving recognition for the most chapter hours reported.

Fellow Countrymen, located in Greenville, was our Project Friendship recipient this year. AVVA presented a check to them for $17,000 during the closing ceremonies. I want to thank everyone who responded with a contribution; we exceeded our goal and collected more than we ever have for a Project Friendship recipient.

The entire Conference was a success. As Mattie Stepanek put it, “Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” - AVVA was delighted and proud to be a part of this unified achievement.




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