Freedom Is Not Free - Korean War Veterans Association

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Freedom Is Not Free - Korean War Veterans Association

From the President

Another four weeks

have passed and it

is The Graybeards’

time again—time to

write something that

you will not even receive until about sixty

days from now. Only those officers and

directors involved in “copy” for The

Graybeards can fully recognize the extent

of the role this venerable publication has in

the Association. We are fortunate to be

served by a top-notch Editor-Publisher

team, one dedicated to veterans. Thank

you, Art Sharp and Dr. Gerald Wadley.

In last month’s issue there was a reprint

of the article by Jimmy Faircloth, For the

Good of the Order. No other single article

in any issue since 2003 has received as

many expressions of understanding and

support. In contrast, when it first appeared

in the May-June 2005 issue, not a single

comment was received. I hope this means

that the rank and file of the KWVA are

wearying of unnecessary conflict and are

anxious to get on with Founder Bill Morris’

vision for this organization.

This issue is the annual election issue.

Ballots are distributed in this issue in accordance

with the Bylaws and under the direction

of the Nominations/Elections

Committee. Active voting members who

experience any problems in receiving a

Ballot—to which they are entitled—should

contact the Chairman of the Committee.

His name and relevant contact information

are located across the page from where you

see these remarks. Please do not contact the

editor or publisher of the magazine, or the

President. Remember, the election is the

responsibility of the

Nominations/Elections Committee. On

election matters, the magazine staff, the

President, and all other members of the

Administration take our orders from the

Chairman of that Committee.

This year is an election of Directors.

Contrary to much of the heated and more

often than not unwelcome and uninformed

rhetoric, Directors are not part of the

Administration (unless appointed to a task

other than a Board Committee). I say this in

an attempt to head off any false impressions

being legitimately drawn from the

remainder of my remarks in this issue. As I

am writing (March 14, 2007), I do not

know who all the candidates are. I do know

the ones who I am supporting personally—

just as do many of you—and I will tell anyone

who asks, again just as will many of

you.

The remainder of this article deals with

the Administration. I recently attended a

thoughtful meeting where the

Requirements of a Successful Organization

were posited:

• a Mission that matters

• a Leadership that leads

• the Necessity of Training

• a unifying Strategy

• flexibility in execution

• Risk-taking execution of operations

• High Technology support and approach

We have a Mission tracing right back to

Founders’ Day—and it matters! (A copy of

our Mission Statement appears at the bottom

of this page.) I must acknowledge that

we seem to be the only organization on the

North American continent interested in

securing our blood-bought victory and

defense in Korea, which is part of our

Mission: Support a Free Korea.

However, I am proud that the International

Federation of Korean War Veterans

Associations (IFKWVA), our allies from

1950 through today, supports the same

objective.

Louis T. Dechert

This issue is the annual election issue. Ballots are distributed in this issue in

accordance with the Bylaws and under the direction of the Nominations/Elections

Committee. Active voting members who experience any problems in receiving a

Ballot—to which they are entitled—should contact the Chairman of the

Committee.

THE MISSION OF THE KWVA/USA

DEFEND our Nation

CARE for our Veterans

PERPETUATE our Legacy

REMEMBER our Missing and Fallen

MAINTAIN our Memorial

SUPPORT a free Korea

The Leadership of the organization has

led since July 2004. Indeed, that has been a

continuing source of conflict—it is change

and (we) older folks don’t like change! But,

change is going to happen, because death

and infirmity are inevitable and more probable

as we age. We can choose to accept

change and thus become a positive force in

the legacy of the KWVA, or we can curse

change and its agents and sully our own

images/reputations and places in KWVA

history after all the “Graybeards” are gone.

Training is a continuing weakness in our

association. It will be a critical and nondebatable

requirement if we attain a

Federal Charter. And it will cost money.

There is no room for argument about training.

We have done what we could in the

past three years. It must get better.

Strategy is properly a function of the

Board of Directors (of which I am

Chairman). It is also a result of training

and longevity. Training money and a shortage

of capable members willing to run for

office as Directors—and officers—limit

the amount of effort we have been able to

spend on Strategies other than the campaigns

for a Federal Charter (since 2003)

and the care and maintenance of our

National Memorial (late in 2006).

We have exercised Flexibility in

advancing our Mission, even while trying

to catch up on years of neglect within the

organization. One example: members had

long been told—prior to July 2004—that

we had 300. The truth is that at that time we

had about 220 chapters. Reports and claims

of having more were false, leading the

Administration to coin the phrase

“Phantom Chapters.”

A similar situation existed in the matter

of the Departments. We have chapters

today which have only a few members of

Continued on page 6

3

The Graybeards

March – April 2007

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