MINORITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT
BY JERRY YAMAMOTO, CHAIR
The Minority Affairs Committee has eleven Convention Resolutions.
Each is critical to the mission of the committee, which is
to identify and develop programs of awareness of, and interest
to, minority veterans. We also seek to expand the membership
of minorities in Vietnam Veterans of America.
to monitor the activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs
and its treatment of, and assistance to, minority veterans
and their families.
Some Resolutions (MA-3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11) recognize
and invite the participation of minority veterans groups.
Congress has had a lengthy hearing and several laws were
introduced in 2007 that are consistent with the intent of
Since December 2006, in conjunction with
MA-7, VVA has made two investigatory trips to the San Juan
VA Medical Center and VA Cemetery. VVA has conveyed its concerns
about the deteriorating conditions of the hospital to the
VA Secretary and to the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs
MA-1-95 Language-Translated DVA Benefits Materials:
Resolved, That: Vietnam Veterans of America continues its
support for distribution by the DVA of materials outlining
benefits, programs, and adjudication guides in Spanish as
well as in other appropriate languages.
MA-2-95 Minority Affairs
Coverage in The VVA Veteran: Resolved, That: VVA continues
production of a regular minority affairs feature in addition
to the quarterly report focusing on various minority groups
in The VVA Veteran, with the understanding that such articles
are to be both educational and informative.
American and Pacific Islander Veterans: Resolved, That: VVA
continues its support for the creation of an Asian-American
and Pacific Islander working group within the DVA. VVA further
requests a study to be conducted by the DVA on the social
and psychological effects of military service on Asian-American
and Pacific Islander veterans during and after the Vietnam
MA-4-95 Native American and Alaskan Natives: Resolved,
That: VVA continues its support for improved services to
Native American and Alaskan Native veterans and their families
and to increase the awareness of the availability of services,
and furthermore, VVA shall seek legislation for appropriations
for the support of the Native American position in the DVA
Office of General Counsel.
MA-5-95 Foreign National Vietnam
Veterans Immigration: Resolved, That: VVA supports legislation
to permit free entry into the United States of any foreign
nationals who served in the U.S. armed forces and who are
Vietnam veterans seeking medical care for service-related
disabilities, regardless of length of service. This legislation
should also give disabled foreign-national Vietnam veterans
eligibility for naturalization irrespective of the 24-month
period required for naturalization status.
by Minority Veterans Welcomed in VVA: Resolved, That: VVA
continues its commitment to minority affairs programs by
encouraging all veterans to become involved at all levels
of the organization, and that VVA work more closely with
other minority veterans organizations. VVA will devote appropriate
staff and resources to continue a long-range, comprehensive
Minority Affairs program directed at recruiting, education,
and involvement. The Minority Affairs Committee will monitor
the plan outline adopted by the Board of Directors.
Puerto Rican Veterans and U.S. Virgin Islanders: Resolved,
That: Vietnam Veterans of America renews its commitment to
the continuum of health care and VA services for Puerto Rican
and U.S. Virgin Islanders and their families, and to increase
awareness of the availability of these services.
of the Services and Sacrifices Made by the Veterans of the
Territory of Guam and U.S. Pacific Islanders: Resolved, That:
Vietnam Veterans of America recognizes the contributions
made by the veterans of Guam, and commends and salutes the
Vietnam veterans of Guam for their courageous and gallant
contributions during the Vietnam War. Furthermore, VVA strongly
supports the improvement of veterans’ benefits
and health care provided to veterans of Guam and other U.S.
MA-9-97 Awareness and Sensitivity to Racial,
Cultural, and Gender-Related Equity Issues: Resolved, That:
VVA will promote active Diversity Forums and Seminar training
programs at all levels of VVA, especially during the times
that the National Leadership Conferences and National Convention
MA-10-03 Self-Determination for Puerto Rico: Resolved,
That: VVA supports legislation whereby the U.S. Congress
would define the political status options available to U.S.
citizens of Puerto Rico and authorize a plebiscite to provide
an opportunity for Puerto Ricans to make an informed decision
regarding the island’s future.
MA-11-03 U.S. Montagnard
Veterans: Resolved, That: VVA request that the Government
Affairs Committee, with the active cooperation of the other
appropriate VVA National Committees, conduct a thorough study
and formal report of the state of these comrades-in-arms
and their families. Said report shall be furnished to the
National Board of Directors no later than the Spring 2004
meeting of the Board of Directors for appropriate action
and advocacy with Congress and the Executive Branch to assist
these people, as appropriate, to secure some proper measure
Committee members: Jerry Yamamoto, Chair;
Connie Steers, Vice Chair; Paul Crowell, Ric Davidge, Johnny
Gipson, Norm Hawkins, Virgie Hibbler, Joe Jenkins, Joe Jennings,
Tom Meinhardt, Marshall Mudge, Max Nelson, Jorge Pedroza,
Felix “Pete” Peterson,
Dave Simmons, Roosevelt Ward; Special Advisers: Ed Chow,
Herberto Colon, Francisco Ivarra, Nancy Nix, Joe Wynn.