Veterans Incarcerated and in the Justice System Committee Update January/February 2019

Dominick Yezzo, Veterans Incarcerated and in the Justice System Committee Chair

BY DOMINICK YEZZO, CHAIR

In 2019 there will be transition and change. We will vote on proposals to dismantle VVA or transition VVA into a new national Veterans Service Organization. I encourage you to vote to transition VVA. I write today to remind you of all the work the Veterans Incarcerated and in the Justice System Committee has accomplished and to ask for your support.

I want VVA to transition into a new national Veterans Service Organization. I want my committee to survive. I want the work done for veterans incarcerated and veterans facing conviction and veterans being released from prison to continue. I want the committee to live. We can give all that we have worked for to fresh, young veteran leaders who will carry on what we have begun. We can run toward the future with young leaders standing on our shoulders.

Our committee serves veterans with PTSD and TBI, the special wounds of war. There is as much need today as ever. The collateral damage of war results in temporary anxious bouts of inability to reason properly. That temporary inability to reason can cause a veteran to commit a crime. Men and women who served America deserve to have America serve them. We must survive because we are needed.

At the Student Veterans Conference in Orlando in early January I met members of the next generation of leaders. I met young men and women who will be the Masters of the Universe in twenty years. I met strong young veterans who are asking questions. I met the next cadre of leaders, and I felt proud.

Hundreds of veteran leaders in the U.S. are ready, willing, and able to continue our work. We need to attract them and we need to do it now. We need to hand them our power, our assets, our legislative prowess, our legal strength, and our history of fights for medical care with the VA.

Amazon, Google, Raytheon, Accenture, and many other large corporations were at the convention searching for student veterans to hire. The companies are smart because they are hiring veterans. VVA could recruit young leaders from the same talent pool. Such young people could use our resources to continue our work.

And so, 2019 holds transition for us. I ask for your support. Help me preserve this committee and the work to which we have dedicated ourselves.


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