BVA Leadership and You
by Sam Huhn
Our BVA Bulletin has recently emphasized
the long history of our organization, which recognizes 66 years of
service on March 28.
Throughout that rather amazing
history, BVA leaders have always been blinded veterans themselves. Since
its inception, the pride of the organization has been the will and
drive of its members to help, serve, and lead one another with as little
direct assistance from the sighted world as possible.
Men and women who have served their
fellow blinded veterans since 1945 have come from a wide variety of
backgrounds and upbringings. They have brought with them different
interests, goals, talents, beliefs, and means of serving. Despite these
personal differences, they have shared in common the desire to make life
just a little better for their comrades who have experienced vision
Acting on this common desire, BVA
leaders of the past and present have taken painstaking steps to let
other blinded veterans know that they are not alone in their struggle to
maintain an active and dignified quality of life. They have attended
BVA regional group meetings, making their voices known. They have
invited speakers from local, national, state, and local agencies to
explain the benefits blinded veterans have already earned and how the
bureaucracy can be navigated so that such benefits can be rightly
received. They have also represented BVA at other events and meetings
sponsored by nonmilitary organizations of and for the blind.
In even more specific ways, blinded
veterans wishing to help one another have utilized their writing skills
in organizing and composing regional group newsletters. They have also
taken the time to talk with their fellow blinded veterans, serving as a
sounding board and sharing their own personal histories that recount
their sudden or gradual loss of vision. In addition, many have taken
charge of fundraising events and campaigns while still others have
become resident experts with the BVA bylaws. Still others have become
their regional group gurus as to how the group can best function.
Why not step up to the plate and take a
turn at bat in service to BVA? This first step can get us out of the
house with something to look forward to. It can benefit the more than
158,000 of us, member and nonmember alike, who are struggling but still
striving to do our best.
Sam Huhn is currently BVA’s National Vice President and a former Director of District 3.