John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #10
November 1, 2001
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
My letters have always stated that I was looking for the truth and good or bad, I will print it.
First I would like to say Mr. Coon did receive several letters complaining about my Open letters. I have copies of three and these gentlemen are supportive of Mr. Coon and what he is doing. Mr. Bill Orman from New York wrote, "Who in the HELL is John Kronenberger". Then he goes on to tell me I should spend my time talking to children about our Tell American Program. I wanted to but our Program Chairman didn't need me and besides most of the buildings are not wheelchair accessible. I sold Daisies twice a year. I definitely do not have any aspiration to be the K.W.V.A. President or any other Officer. I can't travel.
Another supporter of Mr. Coon's states that I am a real asshole. Not very nice but I wonder what an unreal asshole is like. I've never met one.
Still another says I am a whiner and wants to know if I have trouble sleeping, was I ever in the Service and to send him a copy of my DD214. Then he says, "Thank God we don't have some person leading who likes writing as much as you." He then calls me a poor slob. Like I said, good or bad; and these people all support Mr. Coon. If this is the caliber of mentality that Mr. Coon attracts, Heaven help us, the K.W.V.A. is in worse shape than I thought. All of these letters are vulgar and spiteful towards me and nothing else.
One of my many e-mails says, "I can see an Audit once a year but not every month that would make the KWVA the only Veteran Organization that Audit every month." This was in reference to Mr. Coon' statement to my Chapter President that they can change the audits to monthly if they want to. That would be in violation of our By-Laws and any change could not go into effect until July. I felt this was wrong advice for the K.W.V.A. President to say and I subsequently resigned as Chapter Treasurer. This was in my First Open letter.
Another e-mail to a Chapter President from Mr. Coon which was forwarded to me, "If you don't like the way I and my administration is administrating the organization you can do one of two things, 1. run for President or 2 get out of the k w v A and you can forward this message to your leader." I think Mr. Coon forgot he is the "Leader" of the K.W.V.A. not a State Department President. Again there is no room for a dialogue here, just "run or get out." This type of reaction by a leader of a Veterans Organization is questionable and should not be. That to me is the wrong attitude.
I had stated (hearsay) that it was reported to me there was a quorum at one of the Official Meetings counted and reported by Mr. Edwards. Three of our Members in attendance said there was not a quorum. Recently Mr. Edwards reports that he "spot checked" the attendees ID's. This is different than the previous official statement that he "checked and confirmed". Business is not to be conducted when a quorum is not present and no one has the right to change this. All business conducted without a quorum is void.
Back to the e-mail that said, "Who the HELL is John Kronenberger". I was not a line soldier, even though we were shelled several times. I was a trained Postal Clerk, later Postal Supervisor, in the 1st Cav. Div. APO 201. If that was not an important enough job to you then you probably didn't get any mail. Thousands of soldiers and their families appreciated my services. Also I was in the Illinois Reserve Militia at age 15, Regular Army age 17 serving in the Philippines and Okinawa, re-enlisted age 21 for three years. Served at Camp Drake, Japan Jan. 1950 to July 1950. Then Korea July 1950 for 16 months. I finished my enlistment at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama as a Document Section Chief. I have two Honorable Discharges on file with my DD214's plus a Discharge from the Militia. I was a Sgt. 1/C and am now a retired Korean War Veteran. I hope this answers your questions. I always treated the men under me with respect, and fairly. We were all in Korea to do a job and we did it the best we could do under the circumstances. I encouraged promotions twice for all the men in our outfit when we got a new Officer and helped to pin their stripes on them when it happened.
To question Mr. Price about his Service to his country and whether he has a DD214 is way out of line. Mr. Price is a highly respected attorney and an ex-Col. who works strongly for Veterans causes including the K.W.V.A. and he told me he has no desire to hold national Office. Again a nasty remark about a good dedicated man. And what is wrong with running for office if he wanted to? We don't need this in the K.W.V.A.
I feel honored by all who have thanked me for writing my Open letters, especially those who said they felt left out. I started writing them to find out the truth but little did I dream there were so many complaints about lack of information and some of the goings-on within the K.W.V.A.
Mr. Coon has decided to have a personal vendetta against me like he has against others. I feel any person who has opposing views or doesn't agree with him is his enemy.
Now Mr. Coon wants to shut me down by threatening me with expulsion from the K.W.V.A. and possibly suing me for defamation of character. He says I am creating dissension and disrupting the normal operations of the K.W.V.A. He is so far from the truth on this it's almost hard for me to comprehend. Never have I defamed him or the K.W.V.A. for I am a dedicated Member and my past record proves it. The dissension and turmoil were out there and I have become the messenger to inform our Members. Mr. Coon keeps saying I "don't know nothing" because I have never attended a meeting. All I know is hearsay. Of all our Members, barely 100 or less attend the General Meetings. From that, very few know what is going on because there is little allowed to be put in the Graybeards. If this hearsay remark is true, then the unsigned e-mail I received from Mr. Coon on the subject of a hearing for my expulsion on Jan. 15, 2002 is not true and to be ignored. I hope a proper notice will be put in the Graybeards for the meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In case Mr. Coon did not know, there is no K.W.V.A. file for DD214's. Only the Member or Membership Chairman who signs up a new Member is required to view the DD214 or similar proof for eligibility in the K.W.V.A. I did this about 200 times and no proof was sent along with the Application to Arlington. I am taking exception to a copy of a letter sent by Mr. Coon to ex-President and ex-K.W.V.A. Member Nick Pappas in that it was his responsibility to check John Maison's DD214 for that was required by the Member who took his Application. As far as Mr. Coon telling him "at least a dozen times" that Maison was a phony, why didn't Mr. Coon, then a Director, bring this up at an Official meeting to have him expelled? Then maybe the K.W.V.A. would not have been in the financial mess that it was. Again, laying blame on the wrong person by the leader of the K.W.V.A. does not look good.
Recently I received an e-mail stating the K.W.V.A. was losing membership and the Treasury was nearly bankrupt when Mr. Coon took the helm from Mr. Pappas. The Financial Balance Sheets as reported on June 30, 1998 and posted in the next Graybeards states the Assets in the K.W.V.A. Treasury were $390,832.57. That is not nearly bankrupt. Also Mr.. Coon says we now have over 17,000 Members. A more truthful count of a little over 16,000 would be closer. The increase is due mainly because of Sam Naomi's help with new Chapters. When Mr. Coon took office our membership was over 14,000 and there was an increase of over 4,600 Members while Mr. Pappas was President. This also was not a loss of membership. . I guess it is easier to pick on an ex-Member because that Member has no recourse to defend himself except on a personal level. I also have a letter that states Mr. Maison acted alone and that Mr. Pappas was not involved with the loss of funds while in office. To belittle his record with these kinds of remarks is not in keeping with the office of a President of a Veterans Organization. There are other Members Mr. Coon has shown unkind words to including myself.
We all have a sincere interest in the well-being of the K.W.V.A. and individually go about our business to see that the K.W.V.A. will overcome its shortcomings and be a better organization in the future. Each and every one was looking for fairness and the truth and that is no reason to be condemned for what we believe in. Thank God we live in a free country.
Here are a few of the e-mails I have received and I'll just number them for they are quoted as written.
1) "Mr. Coon has gone beyond the bounds of propriety suggesting that Mr. Gaffney, President of the Dept. of Florida, is paying the 'addees' to do his work." I can't find 'addees' in my word book. I don't even know what language this is.
2) "Comrade your letters are being forwarded to me. I have been a member of the KWVA for a number of years and last year started [a new] Chapter . I have members who are all interested [in] your ongoing battle (if I may use that word) for the rights of the membership of the KWVA.. Please continue and fully speed ahead. Yours in comradeship."
3) One that says, "Keep up the good work."
4) "Hi John, Please send me back copies of your Open letters so I can post them to the group. Keep up the good work. Regards."
5) "I have received all of your letters and am amazed at all the foolishness that is going on. I can't believe that one man can be causing so much grief. Isn't there some way we can get rid of this guy right now instead of waiting for the next election. If he can degrade Tom Gaffney then he can't be much of an individual. Tom is a pretty savvy guy. I put trust into everything that he says. Keep up the good work. We will stand by you."
6) "John, For the record you neglected to mention that a subsequent email from Harley corrected the date: "........that on Jan. 15, 2001 at 10:00 a.m. a Hearing will be conducted..........." to read: "Jan. 15, 2002." "
7) "Again thank you very much you make me feel so much better."
8) "John. I read each and everyone of your letters. All our members are also getting copies. Keep up the splendid work and thank you for "opening my eyes" about what was and is going on in our National KWVA. You have the unqualified support of my Chapter; as well as the other two Chapters I belong to! Thank you again!"
9) "John, You struck a nerve! Hang in there, you have many friends supporting you. At this rate, The only members of National KWVA will be Harley's buddies and Coonites. I am sure Harley did not write this diatribe (please explain this word to Mr. Coon). His lackey, Mr Pratt, seems to be his style." (Sent to me by a Member after he received the letter about the Jan. 15, 2002 Hearing.)
10) Partial information from another letter: "I liked Mr. Coon when I met him here in Florida about 2 years ago. Seemed like a decent man... But he really needs help. I don't know why he is so vindictive. It will kill him someday. You can read the rage in his answers to you. . . . . I pray for your vindication on all that has descended upon you. . . . . Meanwhile, keep writing. . . . . I had edited and condensed your letter and put it in our Chapter newsletter."
11) "Dear John: This guy Coon has got to be kidding. Do our national dues pay for such frivolous hearings by the Executive Council as President Coon proposes to hold in Las Vegas this January? Keep the informative "Open letters" coming."
12) One simply: "Keep them coming."
Now Mr. Coon has labeled these e-mail letters hearsay. According to him they are not to be believed. They are all from K.W.V.A. Members who I feel are sincere in their messages. I don't think these people would tell an untruth (lie) to me. None of these e-mails or other information was solicited by me.
13) A late entry. "Dear John, I have read all your letters with great interest. Frankly I became disgusted with the National KWVA after the Treasurer debacle. We have a great organization and it pains me to see individuals working their will over the will of the membership at large. I am president of a chapter. It is NOT MY chapter, it is the member's chapter and whatever they want to do, that is what I'll do. (Even if it conflicts with my desires). I find nothing in your letters defaming anybody, rather they seem to try to bring a breath of fresh air into a stale atmosphere. Everything in our KWVA should be out in the open. No secrets and no secret meetings. Regular reporting of all things should be published in the Graybeards, including financial reports and expense accounts. Keep up the good work!!"
E-mails are a wonderful tool and I feel this tells a lot from an ex-officially appointed Staff Member: "After I resigned, the period of magazine content censorship started and has gotten deeper and worse since that time. Accusations of "to label elected officials as trouble makers" and "are trying to get their hands on the Treasury" are old hat accusations. The previous President would not allow open letters from the membership to be printed without his approval. Under Coon the practice has worsened and is now nearly an evil practice in total reversal of what our national Constitution grants to citizens of this USA. Coon and Krepps is a bad combination, in my opinion. I am one of the many he has blackballed insofar as printing our opinion is concerned. I agree the magazine is largely a travelogue for Harley Coon. And a crying block for some selected members. . . . . The problems cited by John of a member properly attending the reunion [meeting] and then failing to get a hearing or to have that action properly reported in the magazine is, again, old hat strategy masterminded by the president and selected henchmen. The "charges" against [a] Director are, in my opinion, a bunch of crap. If you think bin Laden is a one-man ruler, I look at Harley as another shining example of a man who learned how to use power granted to him by a membership who are content . . . . I am astounded at "charges" being directed by Harley Coon against John Kronenberger. Talk about dictatorship! WOW !!" There was more to this letter but I don't have room to put it all in my letter at this time.
Now I am told the General Membership meeting will be held immediately after the Board Meeting. What trick does Mr. Coon have up his sleeve this time? Heaven help the K.W.V.A. if he is successful with this charade. Now is the time for our Members who believe in fairness, the truth and proper conduct to act for the good of the K.W.V.A. The more in attendance at these meetings the better for the good of the K.W.V.A.
Sometime this summer, before I decided to write my Open letters, a Director sent a letter to the Imjin Chapter asking for the Chapter to support Mr. Coon as President. The meeting had less than thirty Members present out of over 175. A vote was made and passed. Then the President of the Chapter sent a message back to Mr. Coon that stated the Chapter was 100% behind him. These figures are not true because those not present did not vote. How many other Chapters received this letter from Mr. Coon or associates I do not know. Why would a sitting President be asking for support when it was not election time? I found this very unusual for I never have heard of an Elected official of a Veterans Organization asking for support before. Maybe Mr. Coon can answer that question.
From an e-mail titled "Re: Misrepresentation" from Legal Advisor Sherman Pratt to Verlin (Buck) Rogers dated Oct. 31 2001: Mr. Pratt writes, "I have to say in all candor from what I know of the matter that it does appear that Kronenberger has been passing out very damaging information that appears in many respects to be false. If this is true, then I think our president is obligated to take some action as he has done in his letter to Kronenberger. "
Mr. Pratt's opinion is unwarranted and totally wrong in that it is his own personal comment and he does not know the amount of information I have received. As I said, most of the subject matter is from other members. I will name sources when appropriate. Does this mean they will be getting a letter about a hearing on them?
Mid January would be a good time to take a trip to Las Vegas for the weather is usually not too cold and the changes there are more family oriented. You might even win if you should press your luck.
My next letter will be personal in nature.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger