by Roy Kekahuna
It is my honor and privilege to serve as your National President for the upcoming year. My goals for this year are simple but, without the help of the members of this great organization, they will remain my goals and my goals only.
The first goal is to increase the membership. This goal I borrowed from my predecessor and our Immediate Past National President Dr. Norman Jones, Jr. The second goal is for the Blinded Veterans Association to continue as a strong advocate for blinded veterans. I hope that membership in BVA can be a great honor for those who join.
BVA was not founded simply because a group of veterans wanted to organize a social club. By the same token, none of us has chosen individually to be eligible for membership. Being totally blind, legally blind, or low-vision is not something any of us wanted in our lives.
Nevertheless, this is the hand that life has dealt us. In response, we must make of our lives the best we possibly can. As a life member, a District Director, and National Officer over the past 18 years, I am pleased to state unequivocally that I have walked and still today walk among giants.
Together, we will leave behind the “Silent VSO (Veterans Service Organization) Syndrome” as we become an organization to be reckoned with and a leader among VSOs. We are the voice for the younger blinded veterans entering our ranks. Let us seal their future in positive notoriety, positive changes, and positive leadership at all levels of our organization. Let us make BVA a positive household name among all blinded veterans and their families. Let the world know that the giants of BVA are caring for and helping one another.
It was a pleasure to once again see so many of our members, this time gathered in our Nation’s Capital. We had a great time reminiscing with each other since our last face-to-face meeting. The highlights for me that stole the convention spotlight included the many tours and outside activities that were available, the quality time I spent in the Hospitality Suite, and the record-breaking exhibitor turnout.
As Co-Host for the 66th National Convention to be held in Las Vegas next August, I hope to see all of you once again. The Southern Nevada Regional Group is already hard at work to make it a sterling event. Their current motto is “Come One, Come all--The Greatest Show in Town is about to Begin”