John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #26
May 3, 2002
The office of the President of the Korean War Veterans Association is much more than any person should try to rise above. It is also a great honor for someone to assume that position by being the legally elected candidate.
It would be a disgrace for someone to be elected that is not eligible according to our By-Laws. Anyone who does not represent all of the Korean War Veterans is not worthy of being called our President. Good leaders are generally not controversial but lead by their good deeds, not by alienating Members who he or she represents.
In my interchange with Presidential Candidate Dick Adams, he has shown me he has the experience, knowledge, integrity and personal character to lead us for the next two years. I have found him to be open to suggestions and has a personal concern for all the Members in the K.W.V.A. He has my vote and support because there is no one else running who cares for us as Members of the Korean War Veterans Association.
Why is it that only Members who go to the Executive Board and General Meetings know what is going on and the rest of the 17,000 plus Members don't know anything except what is put in the Graybeards? There have been many issues brought up at these Meetings we never get to read about. From all of the information I have received it has shown me that the Graybeards is censored and you only read what the Editor puts in the magazine. The Graybeards magazine is our official publication and should be open to all of us for proper reports and our own reasonable use. Maybe it is not under the guise of the free press but it is the Membership's magazine.
I feel if we did not have a censored magazine our Members would have been better informed and a lot of what is going on today would not be happening. This reminds me of the old saying, "I feel like a mushroom, kept in the dark and fed a lot of manure." It is a good saying and a lot of our Members have told me they feel this way.
A procedural change should be considered so important matters would be sent to Departments and Chapters for them to evaluate. A better informed Membership is healthier and generally gets more involved. The low showings at our Meetings is a direct result of the lack of concern and communication by our National Officers. We have the means and a start could be with a more open Graybeards magazine.
Another Member has been threatened by Mr. Coon for questioning Mr. Coon's ten campaign stars. This is public information. There were several mistakes made about the granting of campaign stars, but it would not be an issue if Mr. Coon had not flaunted them to all our Members and others. To me this shows disrespect to the thousands who have earned the right to proudly wear them on their Korean Service Ribbon whether it is one or more. A fellow Member in our Chapter was hit by shrapnel on his third day on the line. He wears his three stars proudly, right with his Purple Heart.
I have been informed by a sitting Director that there are four Members of the Executive Board who have been appointed by Mr. Coon. Under Article III, K.W.V.A. By-Laws, Section 2, A - Voting, it states "Appointed officials of the Executive Council do not have a vote." According to the present makeup of the Council only nine Directors can cast a vote with the President voting only to break a tie. Has this rule been followed at the Meetings? With the vacancy of the 1st Vice President's office and the appointments of six on the Board I can see that Mr. Coon gets anything done that he wants. From the Minutes of the Mid-Winter Executive Council Meeting, Jan. 14/15, 2002 held in Las Vegas, Nevada as reported in the March/April Graybeards, the votes cast were eleven to thirteen. This means appointed Members voted illegally and the Meeting was improperly conducted and should be null and void. Again our By-Laws were not followed. Why the disregard for our By-Laws is beyond me. What kind of an organization do we have when our By-Laws are not adhered to? Do we have an organization that does what it wants to do with no respect for the rule of law, our By-Laws?
This is another reason for a necessary change of command. Dick Adams will go by the rules when he is elected President.
We should call ourselves the Gang of Hundreds. Think of all the good we can do with that many Members working in consort to make the K.W.V.A. better.
Why can five officers and an ex-officer be permitted to use our official mailing labels? Who pays for this? Is this what is called, "I'll take care of my buddies"? By this being permitted the idea of a fair election is thrown out the window. Mr. Adams and others who support him do not have the special consideration to get K.W.V.A. mailing addresses and labels. I feel this is an illegal use of K.W.V.A. services and the recipients of these labels should reimburse the K.W.V.A. and be expelled for malfeasance in office. The abusers should resign their official office and all should do so before they are so charged. And that includes the President who OK'd their use.
What other wrongdoing is going to happen while our present President is still in office? And this guy is running for reelection to the office of President of our K.W.V.A.
This election is the most important activity I have had the pleasure to help. The removal of Harley J. Coon from the office of President either by a Challenge to the Election or by voting for Mr. Richard "Dick" Adams should be of primary concern to all the good members of the K.W.V.A.
Please pass my letters on to others by what ever means you have at your disposal. Copy if you wish. Your personal opinion is greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger