The Auxiliary's View... 

by Joyce Thornton-Gilbert

We had a great time as we joined forces in Portland. In addition to the officers listed on the contents page of this issue, we also elected Ted Noddin as BVAA Sergeant-at-Arms, Rose Marie Johnson as Parliamentarian, Norma Link as Membership Chair, and Hazel Compton as Scholarship Chair.

As an Auxiliary Board, we discussed upcoming events and one in particular that might be especially fun and profitable in bringing in scholarship revenue. You will hear more about this in upcoming Auxiliary’s Views.

The Auxiliary was originally organized to support BVA. Lack of interest in joining this group is an area of concern. Many who seem anxious to help blinded veterans do not seem to grasp the potential we have to do so, especially in the area of education. The larger the Auxiliary, the more support this group can provide in scholarships to spouses and children of veterans.

Without your membership and active support, the Auxiliary may cease to exist. We will then be unable to help families as we have in the past. As your voice in the Bulletin, I ask you to consider joining BVAA National and your closest regional group. Then promote their efforts by doing more than holding hands with your spouse in BVA regional group meetings.

Blinded veterans need the dignity of being independent. You as a friend or family member must lend your support and caring where it will do the most good.

Once again, please remember to call a lonely veteran. Many of our older blinded veterans are sitting alone every day and the phone never rings. Although some keep company with television, talking books, and their computers, all the electronics in the world cannot take the place of a friendly voice that is concerned enough about them personally to say hello and to ask them how they are doing.

One of our veterans down here in Fort Myers, Florida, uses Monday morning to make calls. He has made many friends and, at the same time, spreads the message that an organization exists to help and support blinded veterans. Many of you might try to do the same thing. Give it a go! Your day will be richer for it!

My black labradoodle, Amy, and I wish you good luck and Godspeed in the months ahead. Please also send ideas and suggestions for inclusion in this column to Joyce Thornton-Gilbert, 953 Strongbox Lane, North Fort Myers, FL 33917.