BY FRED ELLIOTT, CHAIR
VVA’s 14th National Convention has come and gone, and the delegates have spoken. In conjunction with VVA’s committees and task forces, the Convention delegates have laid out VVA’s direction for the next two years. The delegates voted to retire resolutions deemed no longer necessary, voted to accept resolutions amended by the committees, and to adopt newly proposed resolutions that they felt were appropriate.
Sixteen resolutions were retired after recommendation by the committees:
G-2-95 Legislative Coordinator Network
VB-2-95 Board of Corrections for Military Records
VB-4-95 DVA Overpayment
VB-24-95 DVA Hospice Care
G-4-97 Extension of Vietnam Ending Date and Eligibility for the Vietnam Service Medal
VB-15-99 Veterans and Hepatitis C
P-10-01 Recognition of Veterans Against Drugs Task Force
VB-17-01 Criminal Background Check for Incompetent Veterans
G-1-03 Veterans Vote Campaign
G-5-03 Vet Center Eligibility for Vietnam-Era Veterans
P-6-03 Biennial Publication of the VVA Constitution and Convention Resolutions
WV-4-03 DVA Women Veterans Program Managers
G-12-07 Establishment of a New National Cemetery in Southeastern Pennsylvania
P-11-07 Support for Chapel of Four Chaplains Recognition Program
HC-4-07 VLI, The Veterans Quality of Life Initiative
HTF-4-07 Homeless Veterans HUD Transitional and Supportive Services Only Funding
HTF-5-07 Homeless Veterans HUD/VA Supportive Housing Funding
Five new Resolutions were adopted by the Convention delegates:
WV-5-09 Women Veterans Research
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America asks the Secretary to conduct studies specific to women veterans and that Congress pass legislation to mandate such studies if the Secretary does not act:
• A long-term health study of the physical and mental health effects of in-country Vietnam service on women veterans to include an evaluation of the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in this population.
• A comprehensive assessment of the barriers to, and root causes of, disparities in the provision of comprehensive medical and mental health care by the Department of Veterans Affairs for women veterans.
• A comprehensive assessment of the capacity and ability of women veterans’ health programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs, including Compensation and Pension examinations, to meet the needs of women veterans.
WV-6-09 Women Veterans and Veterans Benefits
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America will continue its advocacy to secure benefits for all eligible veterans. VVA asks the Secretary to insure that the leadership in all VA Regional Offices (VARO) are cognizant of women veterans’ issues and conduct appropriate outreach activities to women veterans. (To see the other five items in the resolution, go to www.vva.org
HVC-7-09 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program To Remain at the U.S. Department of Labor and Be Fully Funded at $50M
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America opposes the transition of the HVRP Program from the Department of Labor and, further, that DoL should be held accountable for this program’s function, oversight, and performance. Additionally, VVA urges full funding to the authorized level for the HVRP Program.
HVC-8-09 Support for Continued Funding and Oversight of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services Program
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America strongly supports and urges the continued funding and expansion of the HUD/VASH voucher program. Further, VVA urges the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a mechanism whereby oversight of the HUD/VASH voucher program will be insured so that outcomes and the effectiveness of the program can be monitored.
HVC-9-09 Department of Housing and Urban Development Shelter Plus Care Housing Programs To Receive Supportive Service Dollars
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America urges the Department of Housing and Urban Development to restructure the Shelter Plus Care grant and funding process to mirror that of the Supported Housing Program process, whereby funding for supportive services is provided through the availability of operational and staffing dollars.
Five existing resolutions were approved as amended (only the amended portions of the resolved sections are printed here).
WV-2-05 Treatment of Women Veterans by DVA
HC-2-07 Veterans Health Care
Resolved that: Monitoring activities conducted by Quality Assurance Programs must be scientifically based and include regular and consistent review by the Under Secretary for Health, Deputy Under Secretaries for Health, VISN Directors, and the director and chief of staff of the institution. Quality data should be easily available to the public.
Additionally, DVA must provide beneficiary travel reimbursement at the government rate. DVA should report at least annually on the use and cost of fee basis and contract care, including the type of care and the reasons VA could not provide it.
Congress should remove restrictions against providing DVA medical care to non-citizen, service-connected disabled veterans.
This should include establishment of veterans’ advisory boards at the local level. DVA should report on how many facilities have such boards, how often the boards meet, how members are selected, and how meetings are publicized in the community and among VSOs.
HC-3-07 Veterans with HIV Infection
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America urges DVA to continue making available educational materials reflecting the latest research and developments in HIV care for both staff and patients at all DVA medical centers, outpatient clinics, Vet Centers, and Regional Offices.
Urges DVA to insure currently recommended treatments for HIV are available to veterans in DVA facilities or through fee basis or contract care.
Continues its commitment to serving veterans with HIV infection through its service representatives.
VB-21-95 Military Health Care
1. Affirms its support for requiring fully funded consent of military personnel.
3. Affirms its belief in leadership by example and that everyone in the theater of operations from the Commanding Officer on down should be subject to the same immunization requirements and protocols.
VB-3-95 Less-Than-Honorable Administrative Discharges
Resolved that: Vietnam Veterans of America urges the following: That statutes be modified so as to empower the secretary of each service.