The Auxiliary's View... 

by Joyce Thornton

After a violent winter in many parts of the country, I think we are all looking forward to spring and summer. If I in Florida can say such a thing, I can only imagine how my friends in the Northeast, Great Lakes Region, Midwest, and Rocky Mountains must feel.

Blinded veterans and members of the BVA Auxiliary have a wonderful opportunity this year to visit the City of Roses. I am already looking forward to the breezes of the great Northwest and hope that many of you are giving the Portland trip serious consideration.

The chance to see old friends and meet new ones is perhaps the great tradition and energy behind BVA national conventions. Although few would dispute that assertion, the socializing has deeper implications than merely being able to see and talk with one another.

National conventions give us the chance to stand together for a few days so that, upon returning home, our posture is a little more firm and our stride a bit longer, all in the hope that BVA members and their families will continue to progress and flourish, taking advantage of all of the opportunities they have earned as a result of their sacrifice and service. Such opportunities relate but are not limited to technology, equipment, education, and training.

We must be ever vigilant that the sacrifices of BVA and BVAA pioneers of the past, resulting in earned benefits for our blinded veterans, never be disrespected or taken for granted. We must appreciate what we have and take advantage of the progress that has been made while addressing the needs that yet exist.

Our national conventions also serve as an important reminder to keep our priorities in order. When you do reach Portland, please find your way to the Auxiliary-sponsored Silent Auction. The event helps pay for scholarships for blinded veteran spouses and dependents. Donate an item for sale or simply find something cool to purchase and take home with you.

This particular convention, the 64th for BVA, is also the 32nd convention since the establishment of the Auxiliary in 1977. We are at that unique point in history when we can state that BVAA is exactly half as old as BVA, or that BVA is precisely twice the age of its Auxiliary! This milestone will never occur again.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider updating your membership and then joining with us at the Portland meetings and activities of the Auxiliary, including the elections later in the week. We look forward to seeing you August 18 in the beautiful, temperate Northwest!