John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #6
October 5, 2001
There has been some concern whether all of the Elected Officers are on my mailing and e-mail lists. You can rest assured they are.
In my First Open Letter I listed Pres. Harley Coon, Previous Pres. Nick Pappas, Jerry Lake, Skip Rittenhouse, James F. Jones, Kenneth B. Cook, John M. Settle, Howard W. Camp, Thomas J. Gregory, Tom Clauson, Editor Vince Krepps, Blair Cross, J. Norbert Reiner and Sherman Pratt. I have since added Joseph Pirrello, George Bingham, Don Byers, Oreste "Rusty" Tramonte, Larry McKinniss, Ex. Pres. Dick Adams, Ed Grygier, and Dorothy "Dot" Schilling. Plus many of our regular members across the country.
In this letter I will try to report about some of the responses I have received.
Several members asked me if Mr. Coon is on my mailing list and as I have answered before "All the present Officers" that are listed above receive my letters. I have received many replies to my Open letters and here are some of them.
One letter that impressed me asked, "Do we have a weak Board of Directors that will allow the dismissal of anyone without just cause and due process? Are not the Directors there to direct the President? Disagreements should be 'discussed' vociferously to resolve issues in the Executive Council to reach agreement. Discharging due to disagreement is not the American Way. Working through dissension benefits everyone"
Next letter stated, "On one hand Pres. Coon says he does not get involved with Chapter business and on the other he does." This also happened in my personal concerns about audits as I described in my first letter.
Another e-mail suggests visits by National Officers to be documented. One visit did occur to the writing Chapter in the year 2000 and that was by a nearby Director. Since I am not an Officer and I have no authority to do so it might be suggested that this be brought up at an official meeting. Good luck.
I am hearing from a few writers that I am 100% wrong about our Pres. Harley Coon. That is their right to feel that way. The information and letters from concerned Chapter Officials and other members are not "my" opinions at all. I'm just the messenger.
My observations about members dwelling on issues that occurred when Ex-Pres. Nick Pappas was leading the K.W.V.A. is like beating a dead horse. It's dead and it's gone. I am worrying about what is happening in the K.W.V.A. today and the recent past. Mr. Pappas also states he is not seeking the President's office in the next election.
Another big issue is the fact that very little if any information is allowed or has been printed in our official magazine, The Graybeards. Why is "everything" not allowed that is written by our Elected Directors, to be put in The Graybeards? I checked back for three years and only the meetings and financial statements are reported. I was told it was the Official Voice of the K.W.V.A. but it appears not for all voices.
Also many issues and recommendations suggested to Mr. Pratt and Pres. Coon were set aside and never brought up at Committee meetings or any other meeting. These were promised by our "legal advisor" and President that they would be brought to the floor. It suggests that many of our members and Officers are not being heard. We have a Board of Directors and they were elected to make and vote on motions at the official meetings but that has not been the case from what I am hearing.
The present appearance of the K.W.V.A. is of a one-man party rule and I am sure this is not in our Bylaws.
Some interesting letters pointed out that Mr. Coon only appeared with politicians from one National Political Party while representing "all" the members of the K.W.V.A. This was on the front page of an issue of the Graybeards last year. I believe there was more on the inside. I hope the K.W.V.A. Officers do not show their political leanings while in office because one of the reasons I joined was because the K.W.V.A. was not into politics and is for Korean War Veterans and any and all issues concerning them; especially the MIA/POW's. I feel the K.W.V.A. is a good organization. I would like to see it better and more representative of all members.
An e-mail on 9-23-01 said I have the wrong info and I only have slanted versions from a few individuals. This might be true but when so many are voicing the same versions I question whether they are as slanted as the writer implies.
A questionable e-mail described a member in Florida as a "troublemaker and opportunist, probably looking to further his aspirations for national office". Are we not allowed to have opposing views? Only in a dictatorship are opposing views not allowed and it usually starts with the censoring of the press and other communications. What is wrong with wanting to run for National Office, if he wanted to? We still have a vote and a democratic process called an Election. Maybe this terrible person, as I was led to believe, sees the need for new blood in high places for the benefit of all our members. I congratulate each and every man or woman who wants to take on the responsibility of an Officer in the K.W.V.A. Not all appointments are god just as some of the results of elections turned out not to our liking. The e-mail that I stated was questionable said "good luck", and was unsigned.
An e-mail of Sept. 29, 2001 states, "I just received your (5th open letter) , congratulations on your voice and the right to stand up and be counted. You certainly have the right to state your case without repercussion. . . . Those who oppose or have a different view of things (not in the click) will always be castigated." It continues in his words: "My question is (What the hell did all the Korean War veterans FIGHT for all veterans for that matter ? ). I thought it was all for the right to express your opinion and vote for whomever you want, whether it's right or wrong doesn't matter. Congratulations on expressing your opinion and your freedom of speech for telling the membership about how you feel. And damn those who would try to suppress that right. Keep up the good work."
It was nice to hear again that many of our members feel like I do and it is that which keeps me motivated on my journey to find the truth and to continue to inform as many of the K.W.V.A. officers and other members what I am being told. In a two day period I received thirteen e-mails and many letters about my Fourth Open Letter. There were many questions and inquiries and I answered them all to the best of my ability.
One of my most recent e-mails implied that all I know is "hearsay". It was suggested for the "umpteenth time" that I don't know what I am talking about because I don't attend National meetings. I wish I could but again I have to state my physical condition restricts me from traveling long distances and there is little or no hope of improvement. I have an inherent trust in my fellow man and woman. I do believe I am a fair judge of a person's character and I don't feel I should disbelieve "everyone" who tells me something. Only in a court of law is "hearsay" not permissible. Besides, the information reported to me has the best interests of the K.W.V.A. at heart. I feel others know what "they" are talking about. That is their right to be heard and I will not deny it.
I have been searching for the truth and these letters are my way to pass it on to interested others. Some of you may not agree with me but I feel it is my constitutional right to express myself on these matters.
There are some of the recipients of my Open letters who have e-mail addresses that I don't have. Please send them to me if you are interested. Helps my arthritis condition.
Not once have I stated or implied Mr. Gregory and Mr. Krepps were doing a bad job in their positions. Quite the contrary. I personally told them they are doing a fine job.
Also I have talked to Mr. Coon and when he asked me, "Should I resign the job as President"" I told him, "No, that is not my position to comment on that." I have always shown respect to Mr. Coon and I would never be disrespectful of the office of the President of the K.W.V.A.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger