by Sam Huhn
I was truly honored to be elected your National President at our 66th National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. I assure you all that I will do the best that I can to represent you with dignity and integrity. Thank you for your votes of confidence and support.
BVA, like other charitable organizations, is going through a period of higher expenses and lower donations. We will nonetheless weather the storm with a more proactive Board of Directors and an emphasis on fundraising by our new Executive Director, the latter of whom will already be on board when our members receive this issue of the Bulletin. Despite our upcoming challenges, both in the short and long terms, challenge is nothing new for BVA and its membership.
Outgoing President Kekahuna at his side, newly sworn-in National President Sam Huhn prepares to officially adjourn the 66th National Convention.
We have two new members on our list of National Officers and three new District Directors. All of the individuals have been tested on the national as well as the regional group level. We are pleased to welcome them to their new leadership roles. We warmly welcome the Reverend Clyde Jackson as our newly installed National Chaplain and Charles Davis as the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Many thoughts have come to mind for me this year in contemplating our convention just passed. Perhaps because of the convention luncheon that is so appropriately named after him, one such personal musing has focused on our beloved and renowned former chaplain, Father Thomas Carroll. I continue to be impressed with two of his noteworthy tenets—first, that we as BVA members must never let our blindness enslave our families and, second, that rehabilitation is our pathway to independence.
Although these principles are rather basic and easy to agree with, they are much more challenging to internalize and relate to our own set of problems and personal situations. I hope we can each work to overcome the obstacles that confront us individually and take Father Carroll's words to heart. Our lives will be much more rewarding if we do.
The change in seasons reminds us of what is important in our lives. I would hope that the recent Veterans Day caused individuals, and our nation as a whole, to remember those who have served and defended our freedom.
I also hope our members had an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the season of Thanksgiving this year. I know this holiday is usually confined to just a day or two, but it may serve us well to continue to feel and express gratitude throughout the remainder of 2011. May we all frequently give thanks for our blessings of family, friends, and nation.
May we also remember and be grateful for our current service members who are still on active duty. May we never forget, especially at unique times of the year coming soon, those who have returned home following an injury. If we have or can create the opportunity, we must thank them for their service and let them know that BVA is in their corner.
Whether we celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or some other religious holiday at the end of the calendar year, I wish—for all of our blinded veterans and their families—joy and a continued hope that mankind will one day live in complete peace. I wish for us also, no matter our disability or struggle, a heartfelt peace from within.