John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #15
December 6, 2001
Letter to Some Officers and Other Interested Members of the Korean War Veterans Association
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
Mr. Harley Coon and Director Don Byers requested that I not send them my Open Letters. I immediately took their names off of my regular mailing list. Some of my
Letters were received by the above and some were returned. One from Mr. Coon was opened, with another letter inserted, resealed and put "Return to Sender". There was no additional postage. My point is how are Mr. Coon and Mr. Byers going to know what they will be making a judgment on if they don't accept my
Letters to read them?
I will continue to repeat some of the e-mails I have received.
1) Mr. Ken Buckley from Maine is calling for an end to the idiotic antics of the governing body. He and others will call for a re-instatement of "expelled" members and for a National Board of Review composed of Chapter members to investigate or look into what has transpired and bring back recommendations which may help solidify this rapidly deteriorating organization. He feels that radical changes are needed immediately. He would or will suggest that a pro tem Board be appointed to administer the affairs of this runaway club until a "general election" is called for "new" officers. He further stated a need for a full accounting of all finances, a full fiscal and managerial report on the operation of the Graybeard magazine. Salaries, travel, and other non-reported expenses, should be fully explained to the membership. I will include the Quartermaster supplies. His overall assessment of the present governing body is that it is a runaway group of individuals who care little or nothing about the membership, only their own inflated importance.
I don't believe these are troublemakers as I am lead to believe when they too are trying to get to the truth. We are individuals at heart but we have the same well meaning for the K.W.V.A. Two months ago I didn't know Ken Buckley; now I'm glad I do.
2) From an e-mail dated Oct. 5, I will use part of it. "He [Coon] should be bringing factions together rather then act like a scolded school child. His leadership has brought much harm to the image and integrity of the KWVA at all levels. For the Executive Board of National to acquiesce to Mr. Coon's demands shows weak character."
3) From an ex-Director: "The organization to which I was once proud to belong has now sunk so low that I feel that my expulsion from the board carries a certain cachet. There can be no disgrace in being excluded from that group. John, join me in wearing their dis-approval as a badge of honor. That an organization could sink so low as to threaten legal action for the simple act of dissent is shameful. If there is libel or slander, cite it!"
4) Another e-mail, in part. A very learned member examined our By-Laws governing "Expulsion" and his verdict was it looks sloppy. "Sherman Pratt's assertions to the contrary there is no place for this sloppy piece of legalize designed to help a certain clique rid the organization of the non-conformers, especially amidst their own ranks: Tramonte, Rittenhouse, Pappas, and co. . . . The KWVA apparently scoffed at Rusty Tramonte's special meeting [St. Louis], but Mr. Coon was the one who distanced himself from the meeting and termed it a disruption of affairs."
5) From J.S. 5th R.C.T., in part: "Once I read that the KWVA would not print a letter that went against the Assn, that was when I no longer was interested in what was going on. As I knew we would never be told or would find out anything that was a deep secret within the organization. Sort of reminds me of Congress. They know what is best for themselves. The thought of the self appointed censor we have still gets to me, as the KWVA is the only veterans group I belong to, [that] has one. Kind of tells me, while the dog is p----g on my leg, in reality it is raining. . . . . The idea is, just pay your dues and keep your mouth shut." [Some wording was changed out of respect to the writer and readers.]
6) One member took it upon himself to contact Mr. Pratt to bring harmony to the K.W.V.A. and to try to get a resolution, to some issues pending with Mr. Tramonte and myself:
First Mr. Coon and Council would agree to reinstate "Rusty" Tramonte if he makes a request and terminates his lawsuit. Mr. Tramonte states first that Mr. Coon resign, second, a full apology for what was put in , and portions left out of the Graybeards, and that Mr. Tramonte had no way of responding to the membership through the Graybeards. Then he would have to contact his law firm for legal consultation because this case is in a Federal Court. It is up to Mr. Coon and company to come forward by their actions and through their attorney. Also reverse all the so-called official meetings back to the St. Louis meeting in Oct. 2000. Mr. Coon was notified with ample time and signed postcards returned stating he would not attend the meeting. There was a quorum present and the meeting was declared illegal by JA Sherman Pratt.
On the question about me and the action pending in Jan. 2002, plus the threat of a libel suit against me: as written, I quote, "Harley would drop the action against John if he stops his e-mails." Unquote. My answer is, I will never give up my right to my Freedom of Speech and Expression, period. Mr. Coon can drop the actions if he wishes but I feel going back to status quo will not benefit the K.W.V.A. A shake-up of leading officers and some staff is necessary to stop the complaints and to bring back the respect and cohesiveness the K.W.V.A. justly deserves and will not survive without.
I have taken it upon myself to pass on information and to seek the truth because no one else stepped up to the plate for whatever reason.
After not seeing any articles in the Graybeards that could have been of interest to all I felt the information we received was censored for reasons I gave previously. From the e-mails I have received I am proven right. As a result of my
Letters I and others are labeled troublemakers and everything I write is hearsay or misinformation. I would like for someone to prove it. Apparently I have more faith in my fellow Korean Veterans than Mr. Coon and Mr. Pratt do.
There was no recourse for me other than write my Open Letters. I hid nothing nor did I encourage anyone what to write.
This is my assessment of why we (the K.W.V.A.) are in such a mess. Sometimes it is hard to face up to the truth because after someone has been living a lie for many years the truth has no meaning anymore. Lies are nothing more than a cover-up so others will not know the true facts. Often a person has to lie to get by. Before long they can't change. It's been said, "Confession if good for the soul for it takes a burden off ones shoulders." That's why there are Chaplains in prisons.
Just in on Dec. 2: Mr. Coon has sent a response to Director Dick Adams in regards to his letter of Nov. 26 on "Change of By-Laws": "Dick please mail or "E" mail the names of all the members or people that are questioning the procedure used to amend the by laws. This amendment was done in the proper manner. Harley J. Coon"
Again I say, can we not question what is going on in the K.W.V.A.? Why would Mr. Coon want a list of these questioning members or people? I always thought members were people but with all the scientific experiments going on I might have missed something. Is this like Santa's list where there are bad boys and good boys? What leader in any organization would want to know "who" questioned the procedures used to amend the By-Laws? What has happened to our democratic right to question anything? In the past I have refrained from saying this but now I too feel like a big sweep needs to take place in the upper echelon of the K.W.V.A. There are just too many good well-meaning members who are being sacked, insulted, degraded and falsely accused by Mr. Coon and his supporters. This is totally out of line and as I said before, not healthy for the well-being of the K.W.V.A. I think the power felt by his position makes him feel like he can do no wrong and by showing the good things that others have done for the K.W.V.A., and him taking credit, gives him the false sense of authority which he has no right to.
I would like to see Mr. Coon resign and all the actions that have been taken since the St. Louis Meeting reversed so we can become the organization Mr. Norris wanted it to be. Then and only then an appointed By-Laws Revision Committee with recommendations from the members included should revamp the national By-Laws. Included in that should be a full accounting by an outside auditor of the financial health of the K.W.V.A. Upon completion of the By-Law changes, a booklet of our National By-Laws should be sent to each and every member.
Being fully aware Mr. Sherman Pratt has the responsibility of being the Legal Advisor of the K.W.V.A. I have the feeling he is causing confusion by his personal responses to some of our members' suggestions. After Mr.. Pratt stated he "believed" Mr. Coon and the Executive Board "might" consider Mr. Tramonte's reinstatement if he would drop his suit against Mr. Coon and several others, and I would have the charges against me dropped if I would quit writing my
Letters he rambles on with the following.
Mr. Pratt states this was "his impression" of what Mr. Coon and the Council "might" look at with "sympathy" depending on Tramonte's "attitude" and representations. . . . if he is as "combative and disruptive" as before, then I suppose his chances for reinstatement are slim, and certainly so if he persists in his law suit against the K.W.V.A. Mr. Pratt's use of his legalese and opinions are not the wishes of Mr. Coon and the members of the Council for he cannot speak for them or vote for them. Then Mr. Pratt stated, "I think I could peresuade [sic] Harley to drop the matter if K [Kronenberger] keeps his rhetoric more subdued as at present."
Since when does Mr. Pratt have the right to put words into Mr. Coon's and the Council's mouths? With the use of the words believed, might, could have, my impression, suppose, sympathy, attitude, combative and disruptive and many more expressives coming from Mr. Pratt and then offering a judgment call as to what "might" happen is nothing more than Mr. Pratt's way of trying to explain something and I feel he has overstepped his bounds. He is supposed to advise, not give his opinion. Mr. Pratt's legal double talk can only have a bad effect on the K.W.V.A.
Since Mr. Coon decided he didn't want anything to do with me I try to rely on what others hear from him. Mr. Pratt states, "He [Mr. Coon] has already sent a letter rescheduling the hearing for next July instead of January." I called a Director and he said, he did not get a letter from Mr. Coon about a change of date. More loose talk. Keep your schedule as planned if you will, and check in with Mr. Dick Adams, Director. He is a Past President and he will make a "good next President".
Your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger