TAVV: all income earned the hard way & funneled back into community
For some of you, this will be your last newsletter. So I’m rerunning a variation of my last month’s column in hopes that I’ll reach those of you still in arrears. Perhaps you aren’t getting the message. We’d rather have you in TAVV than not, as your membership serves as a vote for veterans rights and benefits.
Many of you have contacted me concerning your dues, and I thank you for the response. I appreciate that you’ve chosen to remain active, as we’re much more than a social club. However, because of our lenient policy with regard to dues collection, we’ve allowed many of you to get behind in your dues. Though it isn’t entirely your fault, some of you are in danger of being dropped from our rolls. With an aging membership base whose health continues to decline, our organization duties and fundraisers are now falling to those still active. Folks, even brothers get heavy, and our dedicated members are beginning to stagger under the weight.
Our monthly operating expense now stands at roughly $470 and covers basically four items:
(1) Kerrville VA hospital food and bingo;
(2) storage rental;
(3) liability insurance; and
(4) newsletter production.
At $20 per year, even your dues can make a significant difference in our coffers. Unlike many veterans organizations, we have no bar and no game room to generate income. All income is earned the hard way and funneled back into our local community, supporting worthy causes and providing services to veterans. We work diligently to keep this organization viable. If you doubt either our sincerity or our commitment, please know that our records are always available for your inspection.
Although TAVV’s primary purpose is and has always been community service, we’re less active these days due to membership non-participation. But we’re certainly not idle, concentrating more recently on veterans needs. Never in competition with other groups, we not only promote our own events, but also those sponsored by other veterans organizations. TAVV has always been about veteran brotherhood.
To those of you who question the value received for your dues, consider the following. Our newsletter has evolved into one of the best veteran-related newsletters anywhere, thanks to our editor Donna Goodwin. It’s teeming with useful information contributed by our members. Our committee chairs are extremely knowledgeable in their fields, and their reports are timely. What’s more, these individuals are accessible to all of you.
- Agent Orange or chemical related questions? AO Chairperson Kathy Miterko is more than happy to assist.
- POW information? Harold Leung, our Treasurer and POW Chairman can enlighten you.
- Parades and local veteran activities? Events Chairman Danny Kaiser keeps TAVV in the public eye.
- Health? You won’t find an individual more concerned about your physical wellbeing than Navy Corpsman Joe ―Doc Boatman, our Vice President and chairman of our Homeless Veterans Committee.
Mental Health? Joe’s wife Jennie Boatman is our resident psychologist.
- VA and Clinic related issues? Our TAVV Service Officer and former Patient Representative Minnie Garcia can steer you in the right direction.
- And last but certainly not least, there’s legislation. John Miterko, who created the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations is our TAVV Secretary and veterans representative at the State Capitol.
Folks, TAVV has a really great staff of veteran information providers. And if these members are willing to do what they do for you, the least you can do is keep our doors open for others. Please pay your dues.
Now, concerning legislation. When John Miterko and his coalition representatives (TCVO) canvas the halls of the State Capitol, they do so for you. You 100% disabled veterans who pay no property tax on your homestead can thank John for that. He worked on that proposition for years. When the TCVO leadership lobbies your elected ―servants,‖ they represent over 600,000 Texas veterans, all members in good standing from 35 Veterans Service Organizations, including TAVV. As long as your dues are current, they represent you. Of course, you can always ignore your responsibilities and let others carry you, but, folks, that’s not exactly fair. If you’re interested in TAVV and can’t afford the dues, we can work around that. Hardships are nothing new, and we’re more than willing to assist. But we do need to hear from you.
Again, for those of you not dues-current, this will be your last newsletter unless we’re contacted. If you don’t communicate, we must assume that for whatever reason, you’re no longer interested in TAVV. By the way, we do have dues-paying members from other cities and even other states. So if you’re still wanting to participate in your future as a veteran, please respond, so that we can better serve our veteran community. We can’t be everything to everybody, but it’s not for want of trying.
As Spring approaches, veteran activities will commence. If you’re able, please attend our meetings.
See you on Thursday.
Don Dorsey, President
The Austin Chapter of Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans (TAVV) meets Thursday, March 12, 2014 - 7:00 pm at VFW Post 856 — 406 E Alpine Rd - Austin, Texas 78704.