Happenings In District 1
by Dennis O’Connell
Providing a report for District 1 would be much easier if I could share material not already reported in the previous issue of the Bulletin! Although I was beaten to the punch and my thunder was stolen, perhaps I can briefly recap the events again while emphasizing a couple of related points.
Our New York Regional Group participated in the Veterans Day parade last November. It was a wonderful experience for several of our members and an honor to be included now for many years in what has come to be known as “America’s Parade,” organized by the United War Veterans Council, Inc. (UWVC).
BVA members who attend conventions regularly know Enrique Sanchez. Over the years, Enrique has done an outstanding job of arranging and assuring the participation of our New York Regional Group veterans in America’s Parade.
Despite all of his dedication, Enrique still credits our participation to James Lanham, UWVC’s Support and Registration Official. Enrique informed both me and Stuart Nelson that Mr. Lanham was extraordinarily accommodating and welcoming to our veterans. He has treated us such that we feel wanted in the parade and appreciated for participating.
On another note, a fabulous Syracuse VA Support Group party was planned for early December. This event was also reported in our last Bulletin at the end of a letter to the editor from James Corcoran, who commented favorably on the food that was prepared on a day that an enormous blizzard hit the Syracuse region. The party planners were World War II veteran Joe Martone and his son, Ralph, two stellar, gracious gentlemen who have faithfully attended recent BVA national conventions together.
Expressing sincere appreciation for support and help is an important virtue and perhaps a lost art in the 21st century. This forum allows me to express my own gratitude to the likes of Enrique Sanchez; James Lanham and James Corcoran; and Joe and Ralph Martone.
On still another note, our last Bulletin mentioned the recent district realignments bringing New Jersey and Pennsylvania into District 1 and transferring out Michigan and Puerto Rico. If you are now in District 1 and have not already done so, please send your email address to both Cecilia Montenegro (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to me (email@example.com) to receive legislative updates and general BVA updates.
My final news item, a most positive one, is that remodeling of the Blind Center at West Haven, originally scheduled for last December, will finally be completed by September.
Please share interesting stories with your respective District Directors so that, in the future, they will have fresh stories and breaking news to share with the BVA membership nationally.