John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #7
October 12, 2001
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
I again have shown my humanness by not addressing the ladies and also leaving out one of our Directors in my letters. My apologies to "Dot" and others and our esteemed Director, Mr. Theodore "Ted" Trusdale from Florida. Sorry about that, ladies and Ted.
I was hoping my Open letters would have some beneficial results and from what I am receiving in my return correspondence that seems to be the case. I would feel terrible if the back and forth e-mails would become a "shouting match" because this or that person has or has not any number of decorations or awards. We are all Korean War Veterans in this organization but a main difference was many of us had an M.O.S. that helped to keep us out of harm's way. Somebody had to be in the rear to supply and support the men on the line.
I was one of the lucky ones, my M.O.S. shows I was a Mail Clerk and later a Division Postal Supervisor after I got promoted. I didn't feel the importance of my job until a soldier in full combat gear asked me if I might have a letter for him because he just got out of a hospital after being treated for his wounds. I looked in the Hold Slot and there was a letter for him from home. He sat on his helmet and read his mail. Then he asked if he could stand at our outfit entrance and try to get a ride back to his unit. I told him I'd try to get him a lift. In a short time a mail clerk from his regiment came by and he was on his way. He thanked me for "his" letter.
I checked his Locator Card and learned he was wounded twice. In a few days we had a large casualty list from his outfit, because the Chinese were making a push, and his name jumped out at me. He was K.I.A. I felt sorry for him and his loved ones but I was glad to have been able to provide a letter from home that was probably his last. I felt sure he got his third Purple Heart. We were not all decorated front line troops like him but we did our jobs to help those on the line doing the fighting for all of us.
More e-mails, freely sent and freely given: "I enjoy the concept you are pursuing in writing these letters." (My question, 'What concept?') Further comment on e-mail: "I was pleased enough to consider running for National President. Still considering." End of message.
Another asks, "Your letter was read at our Chapter meeting with this question: 'Who pays for President Coon's trips all over the world?' Keep up the good work." Answer to question: I am aware Mr. Coon was allocated to spend up to $5000 for his travel expenses. This was reported in a Graybeards not long ago.
In an e-mail sent to someone else and forwarded to me, Mr. Coon has stated he will not answer any of my letters and that everything I write is more fantasy than fact, plus everything I print is "hearsay". I will not have an opportunity to find out from him any future information so I will depend on others for that. Some of Mr. Coon's remarks are in response to Mr. Charley Price's comments, not mine. I hope he can keep it straight the next time he has nothing to do with me.
As I said in numerous writings I am seeking the truth and what we as members are not being told. That has been one of the biggest complaints. Also many of our Chapters said they feel like an unwanted stepchild. Thank God I wasn't a stepchild.
It is nice to show a big increase in new Chapters and membership but without further assistance for the new Chapters many are feeling left out and that is not good for them or the K.W.V.A. I suggest a Chapter Support Committee.
I have copies of documented information that I will be using in some of my future Open letters. Maybe this will lay to rest the naysayers who told me all I know is "hearsay" and I don't know what I am talking about.
We have thousands of members and sometimes there is 100 or less who has attended some of the General Meetings, according to what I was told by hearsay, from members who, like me, don't know what they are talking about, who actually did go to the meetings. I guess from that I can assume only a "few people" in the K.W.V.A. know what is going on and I am starting to believe it.
Sometimes my wife tells me I don't know what I am talking about but she knows me and is entitled to say that. Sounds to me like a normal remark a man would hear when he's married. The U.S. from its infancy had to fight for its rights. We were "baptized in war" and even today we, as a nation, are fighting for our rights and freedom from fear. Call me a fighter, if you must, for writing these letters but if it helps to get out the truth, then I have accomplished my original intent.
Many of our members feel there are wrongs that need to be made right for the good of the K.W.V.A. and I totally agree.
There is a lot of dedicated and intelligent people in the K.W.V.A. and their abilities should be considered for the good of all whenever possible.
For the e-mail who asked about a Directory of members, including e-mail addresses: Some time ago I asked for a listing of members in our ZIP Code area so I could invite our orphaned members to belong to our Chapter. After Mr. Coon agreed that I could have a print-out from Mrs. Monson, I checked it out and I got twenty-three to join our Chapter. They did not know we had a Chapter in Southern Illinois. As long as I was Membership Chairman I checked the roster religiously and brought more men into our Chapter. I later learned where the other Chapters in the country were and who to get in touch with so some of my buddies in other parts of the country can join the K.W.V.A. My interests have always been for the good of the K.W.V.A. and I don't want to see my efforts eroded away.
Recently it was suggested we have a list of current rosters and Chapters, including the new ones, available to interested members when requested. They are to be used only for K.W.V.A. business. It was suggested an e-mail space be included on our New Members Applications. Phone numbers are. I personally am not in a position to make a motion or get further involved in this matter. What I had received on one occasion is woefully out of date now. It would be nice to know who our current Chapter Officers are, as the e-mail suggested.
To get back to the word "hearsay": My dictionary just says "rumor". In hindsight we would not have "hearsay" or "rumor" as Mr. Coon states if our Directors and several others would have been permitted to express themselves in the K.W.V.A. Official magazine. I was seeking the truth when I started writing my Open letters but I had to depend on the honesty and sincerity of my fellow members to get it. So now all I hear is "hearsay" according to Mr. Coon. He surely does not have as much trust in our K.W.V.A. Members as I do to say I am only receiving rumors.
On a more important note: I have avoided writing about the terrible attacks on our country by the despot, Bin Laden and his cohorts. The news media is doing a great job of covering it. Again we are at war, and again the shooting part of it started on a Sunday, just like the Korean War did. I want to extend my prayers to all those who have suffered in these attacks and for the well-being of our military men and women who will be carrying out their mission for all Americans and possibly much of the world. God bless them.
We as a nation are a unique mixture of people. We grieve differently and we sometimes approach a situation or a problem from a different point of view. These factors should be considered when we get together to make policy for the good of many. There is no advantage to having a closed or pre-set mind on important matters. As several of our very sincere members have stated, "This organization belongs to all of us, the members, and it should be governed accordingly." When an officer gives his word and does not stand behind it, he is not worthy of the honor of his position and should be judged accordingly and replaced if necessary. No one individual is above the law (rules, Bylaws, etc.) of the K.W.V.A. We need to work for the well-being of all and that should be our common goal.
A Review Board should be set up to check on the background of all candidates who are running for National Office as well as those selected for any appointments or replacement. There is a saying, "You will be honored for your just deeds and you will also be judged for your unjust deeds".
Writing my Open letters were intended to be on an occasional basis but there was so much interest I have been writing one once a week. Your input will help me to keep them coming but probably at a less frequent rate. I appreciate your calls and letters for without them I would not have much material to work with.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger