John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #11
November 4, 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.
A letter from an Ex-POW's wife states, "Freedom is not free......freedom was granted to us 2000 years ago by a man who also was ridiculed and defamed and persecuted on hearsay evidence." I agree with her on that. The part that was left out was the persecuted one was looking for the truth and fairness for all. It was an occupying force who did not want to hear what he was saying to the multitudes. Sounds all too familiar to me. Am I to be persecuted (expelled) for wanting the truth and fairness or do I get nailed to the cross like others have. Thanks ma'am.
I had a nice talk with our good Director Mr. John M. Settle and he granted me permission to print the following. First a letter from Mr. Don H. Gee, Business Manager of the Chosin Few, dated Nov. 27, 2000: "Dear Mr. Settle, This is to confirm you are a member in good standing in The Chosin Few." Then a letter to Harley J. Coon from Mr. Settle, dated Dec. 1, 2000: "Mr. President: The enclosed statement confirms my standing in The Chosin Few. An apology from you is in order for making the statement, 'that I had been kicked out of The Chosin Few.' Signed John M. Settle, National Director, K.W.V.A." The statement that Mr. Settle had been kicked out of The Chosin Few is a personal insult to all who was there. Could this be due to the fact Mr. Coon was told he did not qualify to be a member and was turned down because he was not there as he so stated? Or was it because Mr. Settle was running for Director and had opposing views to Mr. Coon? Which ever reason, or both, it stinks to high heaven.
There is much more I have documented from Mr. Settle that I have his permission to print but out of respect to him due to his recent health problem I will use it at a later date. He is doing OK and we give him our best.
I will now print and number some of the replies from my last Open letter.
1) A Member called the Las Vegas gathering a "One goat roping contest". This was not meant in a disparaging way but only to express his feelings about the Hearing against me, orchestrated by Mr. Coon.
2) From the President of a new Chapter: "John, keep it up. The membership needs to know the real truth about what's happening to our great organization. I am sharing your letters with my Chapter so that they can make up their own minds. I can tell you that they are all in your corner. Thanks for being "Man" enough to bring out all the dirty laundry."
3) "Hi John you can count on me to support you. Good luck to you and I also feel that our chapter in Fl. are with you. Frank"
4) "I received your open letter and find it interesting. Jack"
5) "Sic em! You tell it like it is. Keep up the good work. You have a lot of support here in Florida.
6) "I can only hope you continue to stir the pot. constructive criticism should never be censored in an organization such as the KWVA (I was going to say ours, but from what I'm hearing maybe it's not ours at all!) you've given me pause to rethink my opinion of the status quo. Yours in Comradeship Pat"
7) "John, in regards to your 10th open letter, it is equally or more informative than all the others. I do not like to see dissension within the ranks, but neither do I like to see a dictatorship run an organization. I find the best way to combat such foolishness is to stick with the organization and bring out the truth. Do not waver; do not quit just because somebody else currently holds the reins. I am a 30-yr Navy retiree and belong to many organizations. Many times I have thought about quitting because of a rouge officer, but later have been glad I stayed. Stick with your principles. I'm solidly behind your endeavors to keep the membership informed." Don't worry. I'm not quitting.
8) "Received your letter. I wonder why the meeting is being held in Las Vegas? Could it be that the Assn. will be paying for it and the weather is much nicer this time of the year in NV. Beats holding it on the East Coast." Maybe Mr. Coon thinks our good Members won't travel that far to go to a meeting. I think he is going to be in for a big surprise.
9) One of your best John. I was off the air for a couple days. Well now! In comradeship, Tom"
10) "I look forward to your letters. I know you put a lot of time in it but your words are well received. The veterans are reading them. I appears to me that you have you own Old Box Of Memories, just like the ones I wrote about. Warmest Regards Bill Allen Ex-POW Korea " Thanks Bill. Your letter was fondly received and you sound like your words are from your heart.
11) "John, Keep your chin up and stay positive! We're all behind you except the Coonites! You have struck a nerve and Mr. Coon is running scared. Why is he calling a General Membership meeting now with the Ex Council? This is a last minute trick to counter the opposition and now Gen. Davis is being pulled in. He will get his hands dirty if he becomes involved. Gen Davis said at the July, 2001 council meeting (I was present) " the KWVA needs to mend bridges and come together as a viable Veterans organization again" Is this the way to do it? Maybe Harley learned something in the "Camp" we don't know about, Brain Washing!"
12) "Hang in there John. I am on your side. Sparky Hall an old Korean Vet from 1950-51"
Plus a couple that just say, "Thanks John". There was one particular letter commenting on the fact that Mr. Coon had his picture in The Graybeards just before our Federal Election. If that was what Mr. Coon wanted to do, for whatever reason, it was not against any rule that I am familiar with. It seemed ill timed for it was politically one-sided. It did bring back memories from long ago. When I returned home from the Army in Nov. 1952 I needed a civilian job. I carried the local Xmas mail until I got soaked and was ill in bed. After the Holidays our mailman told me to fill out an application to work at our local Post Office. I took the test and got over 100% with my 10% Veterans points. Our Postmaster was a W.W.II war hero who lost a leg and was appointed to the job because of it. I had a nice interview and was never called for work. What got me was the question he asked me about my political affiliation. I didn't have any. Then he said, "Oh, you're not a registered Republican?" I said , "No and I can't see what that has to do with me working in the Postal Service." That ended the interview and I didn't get the job. I had worked as a Company Mail Clerk, Base Post Office Section Clerk, Division Postal Supervisor, graduated from Postal School and established a Postal Service at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and passed the test with points to spare but did not get the job because I did not belong to his Party. Since that time I have voted from my heart not my wallet and stayed clear of politics. Like I said in a previous
letter I joined the K.W.V.A. because at that time it was not political, and it should not be. Now it appears someone is playing politics and that is a major cause of dissension because it pits one side against another. Then there is the subject of dirty politics against anyone who has an opposing view. I have stated in every
letter I was looking for the truth and fairness to all in the K.W.V.A. and I will continue to write my Open letters towards that end.
After receiving several phone calls about the upcoming meetings in Nevada, I checked the Notice on page 6, Sept/Oct 2001 Graybeards. This is supposed to be the official Executive Council and General Membership Meetings to be held at the Imperial Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. After reviewing the Notice I see there is no phone number listed and no address given. Also only "40 rooms have been reserved" for K.W.V.A. Members. Upon checking with the Imperial Hotel the number of rooms available is now 230. Further investigation has shown that the "Bobbie Smith Travel Agency" of Kettering, Ohio (Mr. Coon's home town) is the agent to call for reservations. It is only open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Their web page is: < http://www.bobbiesmithtravel.com/ >, phone: 1-937-297-1623. I find this highly unusual for in the past the Members called the hotel personally for their reservations. There are 2,700 rooms in the Imperial Hotel and it is on "The Strip". The address is 3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. The Reservation phone at the hotel is 1-800-634-6441; the Group phone is 1-800-351-7400. Note that the proper name is Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.
I find the Notice on page 6 to be so incomplete as not to be an Official Notice to our Members but I urge all who are concerned as much as I and many others to make their reservations and attend the Meetings for the good and future of the K.W.V.A. There was no Agenda Notices sent to some if the Directors if not all of them. Even if there was correct information put in the next Graybeards, from past experience of getting our magazine, there would not be sufficient time (30 days) to call the Meetings. Whether this was an honest mistake of the person or parties involved cannot be determined at this time. Or was it a ploy by the caller of the Meeting to create confusion so only a select few would show up at Las Vegas? Your vote is important. If Mr. Coon gets away with this then no one will be safe as a Member of the K.W.V.A.
Make your reservation. There are plenty of rooms available, if not there, elsewhere. Thank you.
In a letter dated Oct. 31 from Kwar1950@a... to Charley Price, Mr. McMannus states, "I had a investigator check the facts against these accessions and I find that 100% of these letters are nothing more than a bunch of lies." Mr. Price answered his letter and challenged him. I feel sorry for Mr. McMannus and if he can't see the light of day, how unfortunate.
Your presence is needed in Las Vegas and your vote is critical. Take your K.W.V.A. ID. Card or the latest Graybeard with your name and number on the label. Someone might be checking them this time. If you feel as strongly about the K.W.V.A. as I do, you should see the K.W.V.A. in action.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger