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 loss.

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.