Message, The Graybeards, page 5:
[KWE Note: The following is the text of the President’s
Message, written by Nick Pappas and published on page 5 in the
March-April 1997 issue of The Graybeards magazine. The message
explains how the Maison theft was discovered, and the steps that
were taken immediately thereafter.]
"Based upon information, provided to me by our CPA, Stan
Myrda, in November 1996, I requested an in-depth analysis of our
financial operations, instead of a normal audit, and to keep me
informed, which he did. On 7 February 1997, I received two (2)
reports, titled: 96 Reunion Compilation Report and KWVA Special
Procedures Report for FY 96. Both reports were marked "Preliminary
Draft for Discussion Only." After review of the two (2) documents,
I requested Mr. Myrda to send copies by "overnight express" to
Judge Advocate Magill for his "perusal" and recommendations.
Upon advice of the Judge Advocate and CPA, and by my letter of
direction (ref (a)], Mr. Myrda was instructed to take specific
actions and any other he deemed necessary to preserve KWVA assets.
By the same "referenced" letter, Mr. Maison was suspended
as KWVA Treasurer/Quartermaster. He was also requested to meet
with Mr. Myrda to reconcile the "findings" in the draft
reports and be prepared to explain all at the February 15-16, 1997
Mid-Winter Council Meeting. Instead, he "opted" to
resign effective 11 February 1997, stating he could not attend
the Council meeting because of illness.
At the Mid-Winter Meeting, in "Executive Session",
Mr. Myrda briefed the Draft Reports and all actions taken. He was
authorized by the Council to conduct a more comprehensive and detailed
review of the KWVA’s financial affairs and Quartermaster
operation. He was also granted a "limited" power of
attorney to deal with associated issues. These actions would give
Mr. Myrda the authority to seek additional information that was
not previously "accessible" to him, i.e., detailed
vendor bills, bank records, credit card transactions, etc. Mr.
Myrda pointed out that it was "tax season" and he could
not "totally" devote his efforts to pursue the issues
involved immediately, a point that was understood by the Council.
Further actions approved by the Council to ensure KWVA continues
to operate in FY 97 were: (1) appointed Secretary Martin as Acting
Treasurer; (2) canceled all 1-800 numbers; (3) temporarily suspended
all FY 96/97 payments for the State Rebate and Scholarship Programs;
(4) Quartermaster operations be contracted; (5) Council members
pay for their rooms at all meetings; (6) implementing the National
Commemorative M-1 and M45 Fund Raiser for the Graybeards ASAP;
(7) kept the Graybeards at six (6) issues with 48 pages, subject
to funding availability; (8) request members to donate at least
five dollars ($5.00) to maintain the Graybeards at six (6) issues;
(9) reduced other administrative costs in the FY ’97 budget;
(10) Chairman Tom Maines plan to increase membership adopted; (11)
the postal (9) noted digit/zip bar code already in effect; (12)
Chapter Newsletter competition not affected; (13) did not renew
the National KWVA Rehabilitation Flower contract.
Some members have circulated letters that contain erratic fiscal
information, insinuations and dubious demands. The Council will
only take action based upon facts and the advice of the Judge Advocate,
CPA and our Illinois "Legal Advisor," which has been
done. Not on the assumptions of "errant" dissidents
who have personal axes to grind, such as sending "confidential" KWVA
fiscal information to a New York newspaper or contacting the IRS,
respective Attorney Generals and other affected officials. Their "antics" can
subject the KWVA to possible litigation and jeopardize the investigation
and presentations of KWVA claims. The matter is in the hands of
the proper authorities for their action. We do not need "clubhouse" lawyers
continuing to muddy the waters. Furthermore, the National Officers
are NOT resigning. We were "elected" by the membership
and intend to stay the course.
The survival of the KWVA is of paramount importance at this time
and can only be accomplished if we maintain and preserve the cohesiveness
and legality of the organization. It is important for you, the
membership, to understand that during any legal/fiscal investigation,
your Council members are bound to maintain "confidentiality" to
protect everyone’s legal rights, until such time as final
conclusions are reached. To speak without "evidential" conclusions
puts the KWVA in a potential "libelous" situation.
Therefore, because of the reasons presented herein, I have "instructed" Editor
Camp not to publish "any" letters, information, etc.
received from members pertaining to this matter. After all of the
facts are determined and "substantiated" and the fiscal
issues are resolved, then the results and subsequent actions will
Our current financial status (as of 15 April) is as follows: Bills
due = $87,404; bills paid = $52,484; Cash on hand = $20,622. In
addition, any losses we have incurred over the past year are covered
by insurance. Our priorities are to continue to reduce the "deficit" and
publish the Graybeards as scheduled.
A shorter version of this message was prepared to be sent to all
members in early March. Because of mailing costs ($3,900) it was
only mailed to chapters for distribution. Also, because of limited
resources, the Graybeards will have a "temporary" new
look. On page 6 is an ad asking for members to donate funds to
support the Graybeards. If sufficient funds are contributed, Editor
Camp will be able to continue publishing in its usual format.
On a side note, I am deeply grateful to Director Cook and the
Illinois/Missouri Chapter members who moved the KWVA Quartermaster
inventory and are in the process of pricing it out for the CPA
(see page 10 for more information). Their efforts solved a major
management problem for the KWVA.
On a sad note, KWVA National VAVS Representative Bill Carr passed
away on March 31, 1997. He will be sorely missed by all who knew
In closing, the Council members and I thank the "loyal" members
for their support and understanding. With your help, we shall persevere
and overcome the present obstacles, despite the "dire" epitaphs
by a few malcontents. Please continue paying your dues.
Because of the current "funding" shortfall, members
who do not pay their "national dues" within 60 days
after the due date, are considered "delinquent" and
will be removed from the Graybeards mailing list. It is not fair
to "paying" members, including POWs, CMOHs, etc., to
bear the burden of the cost for publishing the Graybeards for members
who have not paid their dues.
The spirit shown in ’95 is still alive. The KWVA will survive."