by Joe Parker
This, I hope is the most difficult article I will write during my tenure as National President of BVA. As I received the “Gavel” at the 2017 Awards Banquet, I had no idea of the difficulties I was to face. Yes, I was in attendance at the BVA Board meeting when we accepted the proposal of reducing the staff in order to bring out budget into a reasonable attempt to balance the budget.
Without revealing anyone’s vote, I will state that the BVA Board of Directors spoke with one voice for the proposal and, as required, was presented to the BVA membership for their approval. This also passed with a voice vote and therefore was adopted.
For all of you who did not attend the convention, or were there and did not attend the business meetings, or for whatever reason did not bother to attend or vote on the budget proposals, you must accept some of the responsibility for the outcome.
The outcry from the membership has grown to a distraction from our mission of providing assistance to our fellow blinded veterans. This cannot continue if we are to be successful in our mission and obligation of our charter. We now have experienced two major catastrophic events that need our undivided attention. Both Texas and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico have had major damage to their infrastructure and affects the lives of many of our Blinded Veterans. We need to turn our attention to the mission at hand and remember our cause. “Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans”. BVA has collected several thousand dollars for this relief effort, and can use all the donations from its members to support this effort. This is a great way to get recognition for your regional group or chapter. I can only see good things happening to all those who decide to serve.
Joe Parker receives ceremonial presidential gavel from Dale Stamper at convention Awards Banquet shortly following his official swearing-in as BVA’s new National President for 2017-18. Applauding, Joe’s wife, Maureen.