John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #22
March 2, 2002
I would like to welcome the many new Members and Chapters that I have added to my Open letters list. Without having a complete list of Chapters available to me, I have had the good fortune to locate quite a few through my own efforts. Again the only information most Members are receiving has been in The Graybeards and that is limited in its content.
Even though my Open letters are "unofficial" they seem to have stirred the consciousness of many of our Members to where they are getting more involved in the K.W.V.A. My letters are of my own doing and are not censored. All information sent to me, freely given, will be included, space permitting.
I was searching for the truth when I started my Open letters and I feel like I and quite a large number of Members have found it. My letters have exposed many ongoing problems and shortcomings in the K.W.V.A.
After reading "Article I" of our National By-Laws, under "Third", we as an association have failed miserably in our commitment. Number 3 states, "To provide a means of contact and communication among the members of the association." This is not being done except in rare instances. Our main source of information is The Graybeards and its use is limited to a few and is restricted by its own censorship. I feel we are failing our Members by not providing a more "open means of information" available to all of us.
Number 5 states, "To aid needy association members and their wives and children, and the widows and children of persons who were members at the time of their death." I have not heard of any help, under this provision, going to any needy person that is eligible. There are many of our Members helping others but I haven't seen where the K.W.V.A. has helped anybody. You would think we could afford to assist some of our needy vets and /or families when we keep hearing about the $600,000.00 we have in our assets, that Mr. Coon has been boasting about.
Unless proven otherwise, I feel we have let down a lot of our Members in need. Several of the Chapters in Florida have banded together to help a family with the burial of a departed Korean War Veteran but this was on a local level not National. We personally helped this family in need since the loss of their father.
Number 6 states, "To establish and maintain a National Headquarters." Then under Article I A, "the principle office of the corporation shall be located in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. All communications shall be directed to the office." I am under the impression our National Office is in Beavercreek, Ohio and the Membership Office is in the Washington, DC. Area; this is a technical issue that should be looked into for as it appears now it would be a violation of our National Charter.
Lately there has been a lot of interest about the "Miscellaneous Expenditures" that was reported in the last Financial Statement in The Graybeards. Many of us would like an explanation what this covers.
We do not need threatening tactics when we question or disagree with our officials in the performance of their duties in the K.W.V.A. I feel the expulsion of faithful, well meaning Members whose only wrongdoing is that they disagree with what is going on, is wrong and much too harsh for a Member to be so treated. We all are entitled to our opinions and opposing views and should always have the freedom to express them for that is our right. An open dialogue would be welcome.
There will be a large slate of Candidates who will be running for National Offices, and we should be more concerned with what "their interests are", rather than what has transpired in the past. Every candidate will have a good "resume" but the needs of the Chapters and Members should be foremost while they're an officer of the K.W.V.A. We need to be looking forward when selecting our leaders, not backward. The past record of the K.W.V.A. has been laced with much turmoil and dissension. This needs to be put behind us, and with good leadership we can move forward as a proud Veterans Organization. It will be soon time to vote.
There have been some positive gains during this past 3 1/2 year period but again most of this was accomplished by the Members and Chapters. Not one person can or should take credit for these accomplishments.
I just received my Jan/Feb 2002 Graybeards and after reading the President's Message I feel I must take exception with his "personal judgment" when he states, "There are a few experienced candidates running for office." From the information I have received, with copies of their resumes, I feel there are more than a "few" experienced candidates ready and willing to be our next leaders. What is he trying to tell us with these remarks?
On the subject of term limits: our By-Laws state there is a two consecutive term limit. The Judge Advocate and Legal Advisor, Mr. Sherman Pratt, in his report on this, stated, "Term limits were not changed because the proper procedures were not followed." Then a Director brought up this issue in Nevada and it was decided that they would not respect the legal determination of our Judge Advocate and legal Advisor because they could "agree or disagree with him" for he is not a legal practicing attorney. They choose not to agree. Why have a Legal Advisor if you will not accept his opinion? With this in mind, I am told proper procedures have not been followed to effect a change on two term limits. We are all required to play by the rules (By-Laws) and no one is above this. I would rather not vote than cast my vote for someone who feels this way. Also, I think a Past President should be entitled to the same respect as a sitting President. If Mr. Coon feels he wants to be around for the 2003 Commemorative Year then I think it would be perfectly honorable for him to represent the K.W.V.A. as the Past President having completed his two terms as the K.W.V.A. President.
Last but not least, I was told by Directors who were at the Las Vegas meeting that the first day was attended by 30 Members and the second by 28. I guess if you add the two together you will have 58 which is close to what Mr. Coon reported. Of course the same people were there both days. Also Mr. Jerry Lake and I were "very instrumental" in finding out the lower room rates at the hotel and the Smith Travel Agency was not until after we reported it. Again, it appears we are getting a dose of twisted or incorrect information that is reported by our President. It looks like I am still searching for the truth from some areas.
Instead of having a Manager, as some have suggested, maybe we should have an "Oversight Committee" if we feel things are not being done right. They would then answer to the appropriate Officers and Committees with their suggestions.
Be sure to vote for you will not be counted if you do not send in your ballot.
Please let me know your personal opinions about my Open letter and any comments would be appreciated.
Freedom is not free and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger