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From the National Office
By Joe Miller
Dear Friends and Comrades,
Welcome to the Fall/Winter 1999 issue of The Veteran! This has been another busy and fruitful period for the activists and supporters of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
VVAW members from the National Office and the active chapters in Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, and Milwaukee participated in the annual two-day Summer Homeless Standdown in Chicago. Many also came out to work the one-day Winter Standdown in November. Both events included help from large numbers of young people from high school and college.
The Chicago Chapter meets on a regular basis and has sent people into local high schools and colleges to talk about the Vietnam War and the realities of military life. Chicago VVAW has also continued to host regular Memorial Day and Veterans Day events, which have drawn more and more media attention in recent years.
The Champaign-Urbana Chapter meets on a regular basis and continues to function as the base for production of The Veteran, the maintenance of the VVAW membership database, and hosting of VVAW's web page and e-mail lists. Members there also continue their regular work with anti-racism efforts on the University of Illinois campus and in the larger community.
The Milwaukee Chapter, following the Memorial Day events, worked at the Locust Street Days Festival in that community. Members also participated in protests against the bombing in Serbia. The chapter also sent folks to Chicago to help in the standdown.
The Clarence Fitch Chapter in New York/New Jersey has reactivated itself with regular chapter meetings that began in April, and it looks to be more visible in the area.
The most recent National Steering Committee Meeting in October decided to revamp VVAW's structure to better reflect our current reality and to precipitate organizing and action. VVAW has had regional coordinators as part of its organizational structure for a while, but it was agreed that they don't reflect the current true nature of the organization. It was decided to establish a list of local contacts to replace the regional coordinators.
Therefore, we are making a call for local contacts from among active, dues-paying VVAW members. If you are interested in being listed as such a contact, please send your name and complete contact information to the National Office post office box in Chicago. The National Office will make the final determination of this contact list and it will appear in future issues of The Veteran as well as on our web page.
We expect more and more speaking engagements around teaching the Vietnam War. We need more people to be actively involved, to speak to the press and to other vets. Our struggle of more than thirty years is still not over, and we need to be able to reach out as broadly as possible. Step up and join us in these continuing struggles. We look forward to hearing from as many of you across the country as possible.
Joe Miller is a national coordinator of VVAW
and a member of VVAW's Champaign-Urbana Chapter.