Your TAVV Dues Dues Pay Off in More Ways Than One!
My thanks to those of you who’ve contacted me concerning your TAVV membership dues. I appreciate that you’re still interested in our organization, as we’re much more than a social club. However, because of our lenient policy with regard to dues collection, many of you are still in arrears and may soon be dropped from our rolls. With an aging membership base whose health continues to decline and with no more Vietnam veterans or supporters being made, our organization duties and fundraisers are now falling to those few still standing. Folks, even brothers get heavy, and our dedicated members are beginning to stagger under the weight. Our monthly operating expense now stands at roughly $400 and covers basically three items: Kerrville VA hospital food and bingo, storage rental, and newsletter production. At $20 per year, even your dues can make a significant difference in our coffers.
A state-chartered 501C-19 tax exempt, tax deductible veterans organization, TAVV’s primary purpose is and has always been community service. Unlike many veterans organizations, we have no bar and no game room to generate income. All the monies we produce is done so the hard way; we create it from nothing. Folks, we work diligently to keep this organization viable. And all income we earn is funneled back into our local community, supporting worthy causes and providing services to veterans. If you doubt either our sincerity or our commitment, please know that our books are always available for your careful inspection. With regard to community events, TAVV is less active these days for all the above reasons. But we’re certainly not idle. Never in competition with other groups, we not only promote our own events, but also those events sponsored by other veterans organizations. You often hear veterans refer to each other as brothers, but it’s rarely as obvious as you’ll see here. TAVV exudes veteran brotherhood.
Maybe some of you question the value received for your dues. Well, here’s what you get. Over the years, we’ve seen our newsletter evolve into one of the best veteran-related newsletters anywhere. Not only aesthetically pleasing and graphically sound, thanks to our editor Donna Goodwin, but it’s also teeming with useful information contributed by our members. Our committee chairs are extremely knowledgeable in their fields, and their reports are timely and on target. What’s more, these individuals are accessible to all of you. If you have an Agent Orange or chemical-related question, 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 so that Nam vets will not go quietly into the night. Health? You won’t find an individual more compassionate and 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 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 you are dues 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.
For those of you not dues-current, this will be your last newsletter unless we’re contacted. Perhaps you’re ill or you’ve moved. Maybe you’ve died. If you don’t communicate, we must assume that for whatever reason, you’re no longer attached to TAVV. By the way, we do have dues-paying members from other cities and even other states. So if you’re still interested, 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.
The holidays are over now and 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, February 12, 2014 - 7:00 pm at VFW Post 856 — 406 E Alpine Rd - Austin, Texas 78704.