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National Charter Efforts

Page Contents
Why a National Charter?
Legislative Process
Status of Charter
Sarbanes Legislation Announcement
Some of the Sponsors
Michigan Resolution
Full List of Current Sponsors
Nationally-Chartered VSO
You Can Help
Robert Sharrard Letter

Why a National Charter?

There are currently 48 Congressional-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States. The Korean War Veterans Association is not one of them. With official, national recognition from Congress, doors that heretofore were closed to an organization, open. For instance, some state legislatures offer veterans grants through their Department of Military and Veterans Affairs only to Congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations. In the year 2002-2003, Michigan appropriated $3,912,300 to assist Michigan veterans and their dependents to obtain benefits. In Maryland, a KWVA chapter was denied the right to purchase ceremonial rifles for its honor guard because it was not Congressionally-chartered. According to one state senator, a federal charter allows a veterans organization to participate as part of select committees with other congressionally chartered veterans and military groups and would accelerate the KWVA’s accreditation with the Department of Veterans Affairs which would enable its members to assist in processing veterans' claims. KWVA National Director for D.C. Affairs also points out that, "The KWVA has no representation in Congress because we are not chartered. The VFW, American Legion, DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America, etc., are all chartered and they hold meetings with Congressional leaders to plan and follow up on their goals, such as health care, retirement issues, compensation, world affairs, or any other worthwhile issues."

The Korean War Veterans Association applied for a Congressional charter in 1989, thanks to the efforts of Blair Cross of Bel Air, Maryland. At age 70+, Blair believed that the KWVA needed to be recognized by Congress for not only his generation of Korea veterans, but the next generations as well. He said, "a charter may never be important in my life; however, long after my generation of Korean War veterans, Vietnam veterans, and Desert Storm troops are all gone, there will still be Korean veterans. The war is still going on after 50 years [no truce was ever signed], and we still maintain a force of 40,000 military in harms way in South Korea." Since beginning the quest for the national charter, his hopes were raised, lowed, raised, and lowered again throughout the legislative process.  Just months before his death on 29 February 2004, Cross told the Korean War Educator about the KWVA’s Congressional charter efforts in the following letter:

"I first became involved when I attempted to have our local chapter participate in the Combined Veterans Organization of Maryland. Our KWVA chapter was denied admittance because the KWVA is not nationally chartered. The Combined Veterans Organization consists of all the veterans groups of Maryland. Its purpose is to enable the groups to be politically involved. At the time, I was going through the chairs to become State Commander of the V.F.W. of Maryland. I was becoming heavily involved in the Korean War Veterans Association. My experience with the VFW and other major organizations gave me the knowledge that all of them were recognized by Congress and even held special sessions with the Joint Congressional Committee on veterans’ affairs.

I proceeded to get approval from the local KWVA chapters and the national organization to apply for a charter. I contacted Senator Sarbanes office, and his staff immediately got a meeting set up with Representative Stenny Hoyer’s staff and Mr. Sarbanes staff. Both Mr. Sarbanes and Mr. Hoyer introduced Bills in the 106th Congress, and the Senate passed the Bill 100 percent. However, the House Judiciary Committee referred the Bill to the Sub-committee on Immigration and Claims, where it got held up and refused to be heard.

In 1989, when the Korean War Veterans Association first applied for a charter, a moratorium passed that would not allow Congress to issue any more charters to veterans groups. Why? Because 1989 was also the year when It seems that in 1989 when Barney Franks (D-Massachusetts) also sponsored a bill for a charter for a homosexual Vietnam veterans group. [Editor - Franks is currently well-known for his sponsorship of the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act] Congress took the easy way out by issuing the moratorium."

Blair pointed out that if Congress had stuck to the moratorium, that would have been one thing. But lifting the moritorium on different occasions to allow other groups their charters is another. "Since 1989," Blair said, "the moratorium has been waived on six different occasions to issue charters to the following:

1990 - National Association of State Directors
June 1990 - National Association of County Service Officers
October 1992 - Retired Enlisted Association
October 1992 - Military Order of World Wars
September 1996 - Fleet Reserve Association
March 1998 - American G.I. Forum.

Then in the year of 2000 a brand new organization called Armed Forces Services Corp. was also issued a charter. I realize that most of the above have larger membership than the K.W.V.A. However, we know that a lot of Korean Veterans have not joined simply because we do not have a national charter. I would also point out that I was told by Ms. Cindy Blackstone that the G.I. Forum was granted a charter simply because they were a large group of Hispanic veterans that had been discriminated against for the past 40 years. Of course she won't answer me when I ask her why they discriminate against the 1.8 million Korean War veterans who served our country during the war. She also keeps telling me that some of the Charters were attached to other Bills that were approved as a package. We do know for a fact that they show up in the Veterans Affairs Directory as having Federal Charters and receive the recognition and acknowledgment."

"I won't go into any more of their lame excuses," said Blair, "except the one that they claim Congress does not have the resources to monitor their charters. We all know that the only monitoring done on a day to day basis is done by the organization filing of a 990 Form. Let me close by saying that I thought we had a good adversary as Chairman of the Committee in the 107th Congress as Mr. Gekas of Pennsylvania is a Korean War Era veteran, however, he feels he should not go against the moritorium. All other members of Congress feel it is due the Korean veteran and I have gotten support from most of the other major veterans’ organizations."

Legislative Process

Bills are introduced into a house (senate, assembly or house of representatives) by a member of that house. The bill is then sent to committee(s) to study the impact the bill would have if implemented into law. When (and if) the bill leaves the committee it is sent to the full house for a vote. When it passes one house, it must then complete the same process in the other house. When it passes both houses it is sent to the chief executive office (president or govenor) to be signed or vetoed. A veto can be overruled by a re-vote in both houses. Most bills never leave committee. More than 300 bills are introduced for each one that is signed into law.

If you want to influence the legislative process, you must call, write, or e-mail your elected representatives. Only elected representatives can introduce a bill or vote on it.

Status of Charter

Senator Paul Sarbanes from Maryland and Representative Steny Hoyer introduced Bills in the Senate and House to grant a federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association during the 106th Congress. Senate Bill 620 passed unanimously in August of 1999, but House Bill 1671 stopped in a House committee because of a moratorium. At the time, Lamar Smith of Texas was Chairman of the committee, and refused to let the Bill out of committee for a vote before the House. In the 107th Congress, Senator Sarbanes again introduced Senate Bill 392. Again, it passed the full Senate without a discussion. However, HR 952 introduced by Mr. Hoyer was again bogged down in the judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. The Chairman of the committee was Mr. George Gekas of Pennsylvania. Gekas is a Korean War-era veteran who, while serving as Chairman of the subcommittee, was not willing to go against the moratorium.

In the 108th Congress, Senator Paul S. Sarbanes yet again introduced S478; joining Sarbanes in sponsoring the legislation this year were Senators John Warner (R-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO). S478 was passed again by the Senate. The following news release was sent out in July of 2003 regarding the passage of the Senate Bill:

For Immediate Release
(202) 224-4524 July 12, 2002

Sarbanes Legislation Announcement


Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) has announced that legislation designed to grant a Federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. recently passed the Senate as part of the 2003 Defense Authorization bill. The Sarbanes legislation will recognize and honor the 5.7 million Americans who fought, served, and sacrificed their lives during the Korean War.

The Korean War Veterans Association was originally incorporated in 1985 and, at present, is the only veterans organization comprised exclusively of Korean War Veterans (a membership of over 25,000) and one of the few such organizations of its size without a federal charter. Over the years, it has established a strong record of service and commitment to fellow Korean War veterans.

A federal charter would allow the Association to continue and grow its mission and further its charitable and benevolent causes. Specifically, passage of the federal charter legislation affords the Korean War Veterans Association the same status as other major veterans organizations and allows it to participate as part of select committees with other congressionally chartered veterans and military groups. The federal charter will also accelerate the Association's "accreditation" with the Department Veterans Affairs, which will enable its members to assist in processing veterans' claims.

"We owe our Korean War Veterans a debt of gratitude for their struggles and sacrifices on behalf of freedom and the principles and ideals of our Nation," said Sarbanes. "By granting this federal charter -- at no cost to the government -- we express the appreciation of a grateful Nation and acknowledge their service and their sacrifice." A conference committee has been appointed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the bill.

In the 108th Congress, the following persons introduced HR 1043 to the House of Representatives on February 27, 2003: Mr. Walsh (for himself, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Abercrombie, , Mr. Bell, Ms. Bordallo, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Case, Mr. Clay, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Costello, Mr. Crane, Mr. Culberson, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Farr, Mr. Filner, Mr. Ford, Mr. Fossella, Mr. Frost, Mr. Gillmor, Mr. Goode, Mr. Green of Wisconsin, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Hefley, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Hobson, Mr. Holden, Ms. Norton, Mr. Houghton, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Janklow, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Johnson of Illinois, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Lampson, Ms. Lee, Mr. Levin, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Lucas of Kentucky, Mr. Grijalva, Mrs. Maloney, Mrs. McCarthy of New York, Ms. Millender-McDonald, Mr. Mica, Mrs. Miller of Michigan, Mr. Moore, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Paul, Mr. Porter, Mr. Putnam, Mr. Quinn, Mr. Regula, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Rogers of Michigan, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Terry, Mr. Towns, Mr. Upton, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, and Ms. Woolsey.

After its introduction in the House, the bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on February 27, 2003, and then referred on to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims. Members of that subcommittee are: Mr. John N. Hostettler, Chairman; B-370B Rayburn HOB, Tel. 202-225-5727; Mr. Jeff Flake, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee, Mrs. Marsha Blackburn, Ms. Linda Sanchez, Mr. Lamar Smith, Ms. Zoe Lofgren, Mr. Elton Gallegly, Mr. Howard Berman, Mr. Chris Cannon, Jr. John Conyers, Mr. Steve King, and Ms. Melissa Hart. John Hostettler (a Republican from Indiana) has supported previous efforts to pass the KWVA federal charter bill.

On April 16, 2003, Blair Cross and others met with Congressman Hoyer and his staff to hear about Hoyer’s new approach to the problem of how to get the KWVA national charter bill out of the subcommittee it is mired in and moved over to another committee. Hoyer was working on a Bill to attach to the VA/HUD Appropriations Bill. The Chairman of the VA/HUD Committee is Mr. Walsh, who introduced the bill with Mr. Hoyer. "Until we get away from the Immigration and Claims Committee," said Cross, "we have a fight on our hands."

Some of the Sponsors

  1. Senator Patty Murray (Washington State)Senator Murray is a cosponsor of S. 999, a bill to provide a Korea Defense Service Medal to be issued to members of the Armed Forces who participated in operations in Korea after the end of the Korean War. Senator Murray is also a cosponsor of S. 392, a bill to grant a Federal Charter to Korean War Veterans Association. Status: Korean Defense Service Medal (S.999) is in the FY03 Defense Authorization Bill which is in conference committee. S. 392 passed the Senate with unanimous consent. It was referred to the House subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.
  2. Hoyer and Walsh Legislation
    News from the United States Congress

    For Immediate Release
    February 27, 2003

    Contact: Katie Elbert (Hoyer)
    Dan Gage (Walsh)

    Hoyer and Walsh Introduce Legislation
    to Recognize Korean War Veterans Association

    WASHINGTON - Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) and James T. Walsh (R-NY) recently introduced legislation which would grant a Federal Charter to the Korean War Veterans Association.

    " This legislation recognizes and honors the 5.7 million Americans who fought and served during the Korean War for their struggles and sacrifices on behalf of freedom," said Congressman Hoyer. "Granting this Federal Charter, at no cost to the government, is a small expression of appreciation our nation can offer to these men and women, and it will enable them to work more effectively to ensure that the "Forgotten War" is forgotten no more," Hoyer added. "Korean War veterans and their families deserve official federal government recognition for their service and sacrifice," said Walsh. "This legislation seeks to grant the Korean War Veterans Association a Federal Charter, allowing the organization the ability to expand the scope and reach of its programming."

    The Korean War Veterans Association has over 25,000 members and is the only veterans organization comprised exclusively of Korean War Veterans and one of the few such organizations of its size without a Federal Charter. A Federal Charter would allow the Association to expand its mission and further its charitable and benevolent causes. Specifically, it will afford the Korean War Veterans Association the same status as other major organizations and would allow it to participate as part of select committees with other Congressionally chartered veterans and military groups. A Federal Charter will also help the Association gain "accreditation" with the Department of Veterans Affairs which will enable its members to assist in processing veterans' claims. Congressmen Hoyer and Walsh introduced the legislation with over 50 cosponsors. Similar legislation has been sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Maryland Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.
  3. Sherrod Brown Support
    Brown Supports Korean Veterans Association Charter
    by U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Lorain)
    On June 25, 1950, the leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, sent his soldiers across the 38th parallel to reunite Korea under his communist rule. So began the Korean War, only five short years after the end of World War II. Determined to support the world's imperiled democracies, the United States immediately led a United Nations force to the remote Asian peninsula. One and a half million American men and women struggled side by side, serving as soldiers, chaplains, nurses, and clerks. For the next three years, these men and women bravely fought the aggressors of the North.

The Korean Conflict lasted 37 months and two days before a cease fire was declared. However, because a peace treaty has never been signed, it is the longest war in America's history. One hundred and thirty-five people were awarded the Medal of Honor for their service in Korea, the highest commemoration for combat bravery. Of these recipients, ninety-four gave their lives in the acts that earned them honor.

Many Korean War veterans feel their efforts in defense of liberty and democracy have nearly been forgotten in the five decades since that Sunday afternoon on June 25, 1950 when war enveloped "The Land of the Morning Calm." Over the last 15 years, the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) has worked tirelessly to honor these courageous soldiers. In honor of their efforts, I cosponsored legislation establishing a federal charter for the KWVA. With over 11,000 members across the nation, active chapters in every state and 21 other nations, the KWVA has been ever vigilant in making sure we remember America's "Forgotten War" and all who served in it.

Unfortunately, this important legislation has yet to reach the House floor for a vote. The men and women served by the KWVA served the United States of America. It is time their country officially acknowledge their sacrifice. I can think of no better way than to grant the KWVA a federal charter. We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans and I will continue to fight to preserve their honor in our national memory.

Michigan Resolution
Sidney Bernstein, Chapter 256, KWVA, announced on October 29, 2003, that the State of Michigan has a resolution pending with regards to the national charter for the KWVA. Bernstein told Jack Edwards, "I think we are the first State to have such a resolution. We have worked very hard to attain it. I am assured by the Senate that it will be approved. I was also given a commitment that if it did not pass Congress, Michigan will recognize us. I think and hope that once the resolution is passed and sent on to the President and Congress, the other States will follow. Please make it known to all the Chapter Commanders to follow our lead."

The Michigan resolution, offered by Senator Olshove, reads as follows:

"A resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to enact legislation to grant a federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association.
WHEREAS, As our country has marked the fiftieth anniversary of the ending of hostilities in Korea, historians, policymakers, and veterans of that difficult conflict have reflected on the impact of the war on our country and the world. Revisiting the events surrounding the Korean War has brought public attention to many aspects of what some call "the forgotten war"; and
WHEREAS, Unlike other veterans groups, the Korean War Veterans Association does not have a federal charter. Without this charter, this respected organization--the only veterans group comprised entirely of veterans of the Korean War--cannot provide the same level of services other groups can. This deficiency makes it more difficult for members and families to receive appropriate services; and
WHEREAS, Legislation to extend a federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association is pending in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 1043) and the Senate (S. 478) of the Congress. Enactment of this measure will enable the Korean War Veterans Association to provide a wider range of services, especially the processing of claims. Clearly, this long-overdue status will assist our heroes of the Korean War and express the nation's respect for their sacrifices and honor; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the Senate, That we memorialize the Congress of the United States to enact legislation to grant a federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation." R 0298 '03

Full list of Current Sponsors
COSPONSORS(119), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]:     (Sort: by date)

Rep Abercrombie, Neil - 2/27/2003 [HI-1]; Rep Baird, Brian - 6/19/2003 [WA-3];  Rep Baldwin, Tammy - 7/15/2003 [WI-2];  Rep Barrett, J. Gresham - 5/15/2003 [SC-3]; Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. - 1/20/2004 [MD-6];  Rep Bass, Charles F. - 3/17/2003 [NH-2]; Rep Bell, Chris - 2/27/2003 [TX-25];  Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. - 3/31/2003 [GA-2]; Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. - 2/27/2003 [GU];  Rep Brown, Corrine - 2/27/2003 [FL-3]; Rep Brown, Sherrod - 2/27/2003 [OH-13];  Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny - 3/4/2003 [FL-5]; Rep Calvert, Ken - 7/15/2003 [CA-44];  Rep Capps, Lois - 2/27/2003 [CA-23]; Rep Cardin, Benjamin L. - 1/23/2004 [MD-3]  Rep Carson, Brad - 3/25/2003 [OK-2]; Rep Carson, Julia - 6/19/2003 [IN-7];  Rep Case, Ed - 2/27/2003 [HI-2];  Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy - 2/27/2003 [MO-1];  Rep Conyers, John, Jr. - 2/27/2003 [MI-14];  Rep Cooper, Jim - 1/30/2004 [TN-5];  Rep Costello, Jerry F. - 2/27/2003 [IL-12]; Rep Crane, Philip M. - 2/27/2003 [IL-8];  Rep Culberson, John Abney - 2/27/2003 [TX-7]; Rep Cummings, Elijah E. - 2/10/2004 [MD-7];  Rep Cunningham, Randy (Duke) - 2/27/2003 [CA-50];  Rep Davis, Lincoln - 3/6/2003 [TN-4];  Rep DeFazio, Peter A. - 6/10/2003 [OR-4];  Rep Dingell, John D. - 2/27/2003 [MI-15];  Rep Doyle, Michael F. - 2/27/2003 [PA-14];  Rep Emanuel, Rahm - 2/10/2004 [IL-5];  Rep English, Phil - 3/4/2003 [PA-3];  Rep Etheridge, Bob - 3/6/2003 [NC-2]  Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. - 6/17/2003 [AS]; Rep Farr, Sam - 2/27/2003 [CA-17];  Rep Filner, Bob - 2/27/2003 [CA-51];  Rep Foley, Mark - 2/10/2004 [FL-16];  Rep Ford, Harold E., Jr. - 2/27/2003
[TN-9]; Rep Fossella, Vito - 2/27/2003 [NY-13];  Rep Frost, Martin - 2/27/2003
[TX-24]; Rep Gerlach, Jim - 3/6/2003 [PA-6];  Rep Gilchrest, Wayne T. - 1/20/2004 [MD-1];  Rep Gillmor, Paul E. - 2/27/2003 [OH-5];  Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. - 2/27/2003 [VA-5]; Rep Green, Mark - 2/27/2003 [WI-8]  Rep Greenwood, James C. - 7/22/2003 [PA-8]; Rep Grijalva, Raul M. - 2/27/2003 [AZ-7];  Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. - 2/27/2003 [IL-4];  Rep Harris, Katherine - 4/29/2003 [FL-13];  Rep Hastings, Alcee L. - 2/27/2003 [FL-23];  Rep Hefley, Joel - 2/27/2003 [CO-5];  Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. - 2/27/2003 [NY-22]; 
Rep Hobson, David L. - 2/27/2003 [OH-7];  Rep Holden, Tim - 2/27/2003 [PA-17]; Rep Houghton, Amo - 2/27/2003 [NY-29];  Rep Hoyer, Steny H. - 2/27/2003 [MD-5]; Rep Isakson, Johnny - 2/27/2003 [GA-6];  Rep Janklow, William J. - 2/27/2003 [SD]; Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice - 2/27/2003 [TX-30];  Rep Johnson, Sam - 3/6/2003 [TX-3]; Rep Johnson, Timothy V. - 2/27/2003 [IL-15];  Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs - 2/27/2003 [OH-11]; Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. - 2/27/2003 [NC-3];  Rep Kaptur, Marcy - 2/27/2003 [OH-9];  Rep Kelly, Sue W. - 10/8/2003 [NY-19];  Rep Kildee, Dale E. - 2/27/2003 [MI-5]; Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. - 6/10/2003 [MI-13];  Rep King, Peter T. - 9/4/2003 [NY-3]; Rep Kline, John - 6/2/2003 [MN-2];  Rep Lampson, Nick - 2/27/2003 [TX-9]; Rep Lee, Barbara - 2/27/2003 [CA-9];  Rep Levin, Sander M. - 2/27/2003 [MI-12]; 
Rep Lowey, Nita M. - 2/27/2003 [NY-18];  Rep Lucas, Ken - 2/27/2003 [KY-4]; Rep Lynch, Stephen F. - 3/4/2003 [MA-9];  Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. - 2/27/2003 [NY-14]; Rep McCarthy, Carolyn - 2/27/2003 [NY-4];  Rep McCollum, Betty - 3/4/2003 [MN-4]; Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. - 9/4/2003 [MI-11];  Rep McGovern, James P. - 3/4/2003 [MA-3]; Rep McHugh, John M. - 11/20/2003 [NY-23];  Rep Menendez, Robert - 3/18/2003 [NJ-13]; Rep Mica, John L. - 2/27/2003 [FL-7];  Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita - 2/27/2003 [CA-37]; 
Rep Miller, Candice S. - 2/27/2003 [MI-10;]  Rep Miller, Jeff - 3/18/2003 [FL-1]; 
Rep Moore, Dennis - 2/27/2003 [KS-3];  Rep Napolitano, Grace F. - 2/27/2003
[CA-38]; Rep Ney, Robert W. - 3/6/2003 [OH-18];  Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes - 2/27/2003 [DC]; Rep Paul, Ron - 2/27/2003 [TX-14];  Rep Peterson, Collin C. - 7/22/2003 [MN-7]; Rep Pickering, Charles W. (Chip) - 6/9/2003 [MS-3];  Rep Porter, Jon C. - 2/27/2003 [NV-3]; Rep Putnam, Adam H. - 2/27/2003 [FL-12]; Rep Quinn, Jack - 2/27/2003 [NY-27]; Rep Rangel, Charles B. - 3/18/2003 [NY-15];  Rep Regula, Ralph - 2/27/2003 [OH-16];  Rep Reyes, Silvestre - 2/27/2003 [TX-16];  Rep Rodriguez, Ciro - 2/27/2003 [TX-28]; Rep Rogers, Harold - 7/15/2003 [KY-5];  Rep Rogers, Mike - 2/27/2003 [MI-8]; Rep Rothman, Steve R. - 9/4/2003 [NJ-9]; Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch -
9/4/2003 [MD-2]; Rep Ryan, Timothy J. - 3/25/2003 [OH-17];  Rep Sanchez, Linda T. - 6/17/2003 [CA-39]; Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. - 2/27/2003 [IL-9]; Rep Schiff, Adam B. - 3/4/2003 [CA-29]; Rep Sessions, Pete - 5/5/2003 [TX-32]  Rep Strickland, Ted - 2/27/2003 [OH-6]; Rep Stupak, Bart - 9/10/2003 [MI-1];  Rep Terry, Lee - 2/27/2003 [NE-2]; Rep Thompson, Mike - 4/8/2003 [CA-1];  Rep Towns, Edolphus - 2/27/2003 [NY-10]; Rep Upton, Fred - 2/27/2003 [MI-6];  Rep Van Hollen, Chris - 2/10/2004 [MD-8]; Rep Wilson, Joe - 2/27/2003 [SC-2]; Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. - 2/27/2003 [CA-6]; Rep Wynn, Albert Russell - 5/22/2003 [MD-4]. 

Congressionally-Chartered VSO
The Congressionally-chartered Veterans Service Organizations (by date of charter) are listed below. The Korean War Veterans Association has attempted to seek this same status since 1989. The date of charter is in parenthesis.

Navy Mutual Aid Association (July 28, 1879); American Red Cross (January 5, 1905); American Legion (September 16, 1919); National Amputation Foundation, Inc. (1919); American War Mothers (February 24, 1925); Disabled American Veterans (June 17, 1932); Veterans of Foreign Wars (May 28, 1936); Marine Corps League (July 4, 1937); United Spanish War Veterans (April 22, 1940); Navy Club of the United States of America (June 6, 1940); American Veterans Committee (1944); American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (March 21, 1946); AMVETS (American Veterans) (July 23, 1947); American G.I. Forum (March 1948); Military Chaplains Association of the USA (September 20, 1950); Legion of Valor of the USA, Inc (July 4, 1955); Congressional Medal of Honor Society (July 14, 1958); Veterans of World War I (July 18, 1958); Military Order of the Purple Heart (August 26, 1958); Blinded Veterans Association (august 27, 1958); Blue Star Mothers of America Inc (June 1960); National Association for Black Veterans, Inc (July 1969); Swords to Plowshares: Veterans Rights (December 23, 1974).

Air Force Sergeants Association (November 18, 1997); Paralyzed Veterans of America (August 11, 1971); Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc (May 5, 1980); Gold Star Wives (December 4, 1980); Italian American War Veterans (November 20, 1981); U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. (November 20, 1981); National Veterans Legal Services Program, Inc. (1981); American Ex-Prisoners of War (August 10, 1982); Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association (October 30, 1984); American Gold Star Mothers, Inc (June 12, 1984); Polish Legion of America (June 23, 1984); Catholic War Veterans (august 17, 1984); Jewish War Veterans (august 21, 1984); Pearl Harbor Survivors (October 7, 1985); Vietnam Veterans of America (May 23, 1986); Army and Navy Union (November 6, 1986); Non-Commissioned Officers Association of America (April 6, 1988); National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, Inc (June 1990); Military Order of the World Wars (October 23, 1992); The Retired Enlisted Association (October 23, 1992); Fleet Reserve Association (October 23, 1996); National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) (?); American G.I. Forum (March 1998); Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II (?); Armed Forces Services Corp (2000).

You Can Help
Take the time to write to your U.S. Representative to encourage him to become a co-sponsor of the legislature that could make the KWVA’s national charter happen. This sample letter was compiled by Jerry Bey for distribution to Florida’s U.S. Representative. You are encouraged to use it as a guideline to write to the Representatives in your state:

Sample Letter:
Honorable (name):

U.S. House of Representatives (link to find your representative)
Wash. D.C.

Dear Rep. (name):

Approximately 1989, the Korean War Veterans Association applied for a Federal Charter. At that time, a moratorium was put into effect and we were denied the opportunity. Since that time, the "moratorium" has been waived 7 times and we're still trying!

I'm reminded of the words once spoken to Sen. Jos. McCarthy, "Have you no shame".

A number of States will not recognize us, nor allow us on certain Veterans Committees because of no Federal Charter. It's humiliating. Here it is, over 50 years since President Truman (with the tacit approval of Congress) sent us off to fight and die in Korea and we're still facing the "Forgotten War" syndrome.
There are no financial aspects to our bill (HR 1043). The Senate version was passed unanimously. There are 294,000 Korean War Veterans in the State of Florida who are seeking your help in co-sponsoring our Bill. Kindly contact Katie Ebert in Rep. Stenny Hoyer's at 202-225-4131. Please do the right thing and give us the respect that we've certainly earned from our country.

Your Name

Robert Sharrard Letter
[The following is a letter submitted to the Korean War Educator by Robert C. Sharrard, KWVA Oakland, Macomb, Wayne Post #256, 2884 Beacham Drive, Waterford, MI 48329-4500; ph. 248-334-6917.]

"Attention all Korean war veterans who are or were members of the Korean War Veterans Association.  I need your help now to secure our National Charter.  Please contact your State National Senators and ask them to attach our charter listed under S478 to an appropriation bill in the same manner that seven other organizations have to acquire their charters. 

If anyone knows their National State Senator personally, please contact that Senator and ask them to sponsor attaching our charter to an appropriation bill.  If the Senate passes any appropriation bill with our charter bill attached, it will force the bill out of the house judicatory sub-committee and we will have our National Charter. 

Also, anyone who has been a member of the KWVA and has dropped for any reason, please send your name, address, phone number, membership number, and reason why you dropped out.  If any of you have been an elected person to the executive board and forced to leave that position, please send me a letter telling me why to the address above.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated. - Robert C. Sharrard Sr., LM 1215" 

More to Come
The Korean War Educator will post more information about the KWVA's efforts to obtain a national charter as the information becomes available.


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