The National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS) is pleased to announce that Pulitzer Prize winner Melvin Claxton and the family of his late co-author Mark Puls have agreed to donate to NABVETS 100% of the 2016 royalties from the e-book version of “Uncommon Valor: A Story of Race, and Glory in the Final Battles of the Civil War.” In Uncommon Valor, Claxton and awarding-winning historian Mark Puls tell the story of African American farmers, laborers, and tradesmen who were willing to sacrifice their lives to end slavery, and win respect for their race at a time when much of America shunned them.
Claxton called the donation a small down payment on the great debt owed black soldiers who have risked all for the freedom of their fellow countrymen from the inception of America.
The Uncommon Valor e-book is currently on sale for $9.99 at the following links: http://www.amazon.com/UNCOMMON-VALOR-Story-Patriotism-Battles-ebooks/dp/B01AA307H2=sr_2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=145219044&sr=8-2&keywords=melvin+claxton and http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1072473899.
NABVETS FIGHTING FOR BLACK VETERANS IN AMERICA’S MOST SEGREGATED COMMUNITIES
Some people wonder why the “Nabvets- National Association for Black Veterans” was created in Milwaukee Wisconsin back in 1969. Well, it turns out that Milwaukee is one of America’s most segregated cities – it was then and it is now. And the consequences of Milwaukee’s form of Apartheid is seen in Wisconsin’s high incarceration of Black men (the highest percentage in the country), the joblessness of Black men (leads the country), and infant mortality (leads the country and is comparable to sub-Sahara African). To fight back, Black Veterans united under the tent of NABVETS. Today, 108 Chapters later, NABVETS is going strong. And, no matter the racial hotbed – Milwaukee, Benton Harbor, Cleveland, Little Rock….NABVETS continues to make an impact in cities across America.
Over 100 Veterans Received Assistance with Their Claims
(Fayetteville NC): NABVETS congratulates the Region VIII Commander, Richard D. Kingsberry and the Command Council members for a well-attended Region VIII Quarterly Conference.
On October 25, 2014, NABVETS Region VIII held its Quarterly Conference in Fayetteville North Carolina. Region VIII includes the states of Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington D.C and West Virginia.
Regional Quarterly meetings are critical and important venues for developing and implementing strategies to grow chapters, recognize and define leadership and build trust and camaraderie among the Regional Command Councils.
National Commander Kornegay says that the Conference “was attended and one that will be remembered in Fayetteville for years to come, by member’s and other veterans from across the State.”
Director Cheryl Rawls the VA Regional Director at Winston Salem, NC was a special guest speaker and gave a stirring and energetic speech on the status of claims in her VA Region. She also provided valuable information on how Veterans and VSO’s can assist in the processing of the Veterans’ claims. Director Rawls specifically recommended that NABVETS Claims VSOs use the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) to file claims as the FDC has a priority within the VA and, consequently, will likely provide veterans with a quicker decision on their claim.
Director Rawls also brought several veteran service representatives; who proceeded to process claims, on the spot, for over one hundred veterans.
Ronald McDaniel was also a guest speaker. He is from the Fayetteville Vet Center and spoke on the History of the Vet center, why it was established, and why combat veterans, active duty soldiers and their families should use the Vet Center’s in their communities.
NABVETS greatly appreciates both Director Rawls and Mr. McDaniels for speaking at the conference.
And, in the tradition of a Region VIII Quarterly Meeting, a delicious southern feast – that included barbeque (vinegar) based, baked chicken, barbeque baby back ribs and the trimmings – was enjoyed by all.
Some Commander’s from Region VIII received certificates of appreciation from the National Commander and some members received their Silver-Life Time Certificates.
According to National Commander Kornegay, he greatly “appreciates all that [NABVETS members} do, and [he is] confident that if we commit ourselves to NABVETS, this organization will grow and be the best veteran service organization in the country.”
“There Is Power in Unity”
AFRICAN AMERICANS, PROSTATE CANCER AND AGENT ORANGE
FACT: Veterans who develop prostate cancer and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their prostate cancer and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system. Some men may have urinary problems, but some men don’t have symptoms early on. If you have any health concerns, talk with your health care provider. The greatest risk factor for prostate cancer is increasing age. Other risk factors include having a father or brother with the disease and being African American. Prostate cancer is often first detected with a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test or digital rectal exam. Talk with your health care provider about your risk and the pros and cons of screening.
To learn more about your rights as a veteran and to learn more about treatment, visit a local Veterans Administration medical facility or call the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) at 1-877-NABVETS or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. VA Benefits Available to veterans and their family members:
- Veterans with prostate cancer who were exposed to herbicides during service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care. Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam.
- Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of prostate cancer may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.
A 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at higher risk for prostate cancer, but they are more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease.
Read the abstract for the publication, Agent Orange as a risk factor for high-grade prostate cancer. View more research on health effects of Agent Orange. – See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/prostate_cancer.asp#sthash.nNuThXQY.dpuf
Every now and then, there are men and women who so dedicate themselves to a cause that their lives become the very filament that defines that cause. In the case of NABVETS, the sweat and dedication of William Sims is the fiber upon which the expanding matter of NABVETS is built. In fact, there is no ground or air or space in the house of NABVETS where Mr. Sims has not stepped, slept, cleaned, prayed, smiled or cried. And in mutual accord, where only the magnificent mountains and the expansive sky dwell in comparison, Mr. Sims is surrounded by NABVETS and NABVETS is surrounded by Mr. Sims.
Mr. William Sims is a Founder of the Interested Veterans of the Central City (IVOCC), the precursor organization to NABVETS. Milwaukee is, of course, where Mr. Sims and other veterans legally incorporated IVOCC back in 1969. But, for Mr. Sims, the “founding” of IVOCC occurred not in the racist hot zone of Milwaukee but, rather, in the dangerous and forbidden black jungles of Vietnam. There, amid the toxic clouds of war, existed no unemployment, housing discrimination or income disparity. There was only widespread desperation, unimaginable fear, bloodshot hatred, equal access to suffering and fox holes – with everyone and everything in them. There, where suffering was so constant and normal, a young soldier could easily forget just how oppressed he was in the debilitating experience of Milwaukee’s urban ghetto; until, that is, he returned.
Mr. Sims, who had survived death more than once, came back to a Milwaukee African American community that was dying or, at least, badly hemorrhaging. The manufacturing jobs were leaving the city, taking with them the tax base and the middle class; and leaving in its wake joblessness and despair. In Vietnam, Mr. Sims was a Point Man for his unit, keeping them out of the path of danger and protecting them when danger was exposed. In Milwaukee, there was no Point Man for the African American community; it was getting hit from all sides and casualties were mounting. It is in this environment that Mr. Sims and six other Vietnam veterans dug themselves a proverbial fox hole from which to launch a counter-attack against urban blight, poverty and despair – they called this counter-attack, the IVOCC.
There is nothing simple about Mr. Sims: Before going off to war he was an artist and while a soldier he became an expert marksman, a Point Man and an ambush specialist; while in combat he wrecked great havoc and destruction upon the enemy but in peace he has been a creator of institutions that empower communities and given hope to many. And, yet, he remains humble: When recalling his time in Vietnam, Mr. Sims says that “I am here for a reason…God has a reason for me to be here…I’ve always felt that way.”
In 1973, Mr. Sims was standing at 14th and Atkinson talking with Mr. Robert Cocroft and Mr. Thomas Wynn (two other NABVET legends) about plans to convert the IVOCC into the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS). Mr. Sims recalls that as the three men spoke about the possibilities, he began to cry and cry, and cry…like a baby. He said he could not stop crying because he was overwhelmed at what NABVETS would mean to so many Black Veterans. He told Mr. Cocroft and Mr. Wynn that he would “dedicate the rest of his life” to building NABVETS and promoting its mission; and for the past 40 years he has done just that, with every fiber of his soul.
In addition to being a Founder of IVOCC and NABVETS, Mr. Sims is also a Founder of the Center for Veterans Issues, Inc. and the Eclipse Magazine. And he is not done yet: Mr. Sims recently started a web-based radio station, called the “Eclipse Radio”; he’s working to develop a NABVETS Community Development Credit Union; he recently completed an aquaponics project; and he is working on acquiring a building in Milwaukee to be the “Global Headquarters of NABVETS.” Between the Bingo games he organizes, you can usually find Mr. Sims at Vets Place Central eating his famous fried chicken with men and women veterans who may have been, not to long before the feast, homeless.
NABVETS salutes Mr. William Sims and his determined resolve, dedication and spirit for being a Champion for the rights of Black Veterans.
NABVETS is proud to announce that the NABVETS Delaware Chapter has been selected to receive an award at the NAACP – Wilmington Chapter 50th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet. The award is bestowed on those individuals and groups that work around the clock to bring hope, justice and peace to the community. The NABVETS Delaware Chapter is being recognized for its mission to advocate and assist Black, other minority and homeless veterans.
The Delaware Chapter is a prime example of NABVETS leadership in action. Led by Chapter Commander Nolan Lewis, the Delaware Chapter has given Black Veterans in Wilmington a voice in their community through its programs and partnerships, including; Stand Down, job referrals and job fairs, honoring of WWII veterans, the Adopt-A-Family program, and Operation Gratitude.
Again, NABVETS congratulates the Delaware Chapter in Wilmington for its accomplishments and thanks all of its members for their dedication to the Mission of NABVETS.
To learn more about NABVETS, visit our website at www.nabvets.org.
The event is on Sunday November 2, 2014 at the Downtown Doubletree, 8th and King St, Wilmington DE. Social hour begins at 4 and program at 5.
To obtain contact information for the Delaware Chapter, click here.
Thomas “Tom” Wynn Sr. was a determined visionary and a Veteran who strongly believed that the most significant way for Veterans, particularly Black Veterans, to improve the quality of their lives was to improve the quality of life for others. He believed that giving was the key to receiving, and who better to give than Veterans – men and women who had sacrificed so that people in their country could live in freedom, vote without encumbrance, live the American Dream and have hope for a better future. And he believed that Black Veterans deserved much better than to be treated as second class citizens when they returned to their communities from war.
Tom Wynn wanted to make a difference – and he did! In 1973, he and other veterans who were involved in the Interested Veterans of the Central City (IVOCC), an organization committed to addressing critical issues in Milwaukee’s central city, led efforts to create the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS). For the next thirty years, Tom Wynn would dedicate his life to working with other veterans to build NABVETS into an organization with the capacity to empower Black veterans and the communities in which they live. Tom Wynn passed in 2004 but ten years later his spirit lives on in every NABVET Chapter across the country.
Thomas H. Wynn Sr. was an ardent champion for addressing the core issues that shackles too many Black Veterans and their families into chronic poverty and hopelessness – education, economic empowerment, affordable housing, access to affordable transportation and access to health care. Tom Wynn not only advocated for justice, equity and inclusion but also demanded that Black Veterans be treated with the dignity that they deserve. He was a tireless and passionate champion for Black Veterans, and for all people who needed assistance and hope.
NABVETS is, indeed, the vessel that carries the dreams of Thomas H. Wynn Sr. into communities across America. Today, NABVETS has grown to be more than 109 Chapters and thousands of members, all working to improve and transform their communities. NABVETS is, indeed, a leadership-based organization; driven by men and women with a shared vision, a passion for justice and an unyielding commitment to improving the lives of others.
Every day, in the spirit of Thomas H. Wynn Sr., NABVETS members work day and night to eliminate veteran homelessness, feed the hungry, help the weak and empower the poor. And it is because of their efforts that many Black Veterans can stand just a little taller, walk just a little further and live just a little better than they did before.
In the unyielding, boundless spirit of Thomas H. Wynn Sr., we move forward.
NEW NABVET CHAPTER IN LITTLE ROCK GIVES BLACK VETERANS A VOICE
Little Rock Arkansas, located on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Central Arkansas on the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, is now home to NABVETS Little Rock Chapter #0108. Little Rock has a metro population of over 800,000 people and African Americans make up 42.1% of Little Rock’s population.
Little Rock is famous not only for its beautiful landscape but also for its place in the struggle for freedom and equality. In 1957, the Little Rock Nine were nine African American students who were denied entry to a public high school. Segregationists, supported by the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, and the State Guard initially prevented the students from entering the school. The students and community prayed, resisted and stood their ground until President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened and provided the students with safe passage to the school.
This event occurred just after tens of thousands of Black soldiers fought and died in WWII and the Korean War so that their country could be free of oppression and discrimination. Those veterans who survived the Wars returned home – to places like Little Rock – to find the same old racist system of oppression that their forefathers had endured. Those veterans weren’t going to take it anymore and you can bet that they were determined to stand with the Little Rock Nine and challenge the racist Governor and all who supported him, every step along the way. In the end, we, the American People, prevailed against a bitter racist tendency that cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue or endure.
From NABVETS and all the Black Veterans who fought for freedom, thank you Little Rock Nine for having the courage to stand up to racism and bigotry, and leading the way towards justice.
NABVETS Chapter #0108 is now established in Little Rock to provide the many Black Veterans there with a vehicle to make a positive impact in the community, every day.
The NABVETS National Command Council voted to host the 2016 NABVETS Convention in Baltimore Maryland. Baltimore was chosen for a number of reasons, including; the City’s reputation for hospitality, its tourist destinations, its proximity to the Nation’s Capital and the presence of several NABVETS Chapters in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.
The leadership of NABVETS looks forward to seeing its members at the 2016 Convention. The NABVETS 2016 Convention will take place in August 2016 and will include workshops, guest speakers and pertinent information for Veterans.
Check back to the website for more information on the 2016 Convention.
National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS)
2014 National Convention: New York
Brooklyn, NY, August 20, 2014: The National Association for Black Veteran’s Inc. (NABVETS) held its Bi-Annual Convention in Brooklyn, NY 14 – 17 August 2014. The event was hosted at the headquarters of the Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ,) under the direction of Wendy McClinton, BVSJ President & CEO. With representatives from NABVETS chapters, state and regional commands, as well as the National Command Council, there was tremendous energy and unity of purpose throughout the conference. This energy and unity in purpose provided for a renewing of focus and establishment of goals and changes that will continue to move NABVETS forward in its mission.During this Historical event BG (Ret) Cocroft, one of the Founders and the First National Commander of the National Association for Black Veteran’s, Inc. (NABVETS,) stated to the National Command Council that he had decided not to seek re-election to the position of NABVETS’ National Commander, preferring instead to foster younger leadership. The National Command Council then elected Richard S. Kornegay, from Fayetteville, NC, a US Army retiree, three (3) time Vietnam Veteran, and a 2012 Awardee of President Obama’s Whitehouse Champion for Change as NABVETS’ new National Commander. Commander Kornegay’s Challenge to the Membership and the newly elected Commanders is that we continue what we do in creating a positive lifestyle for Veterans, their families and communities, and to commit to an intensified concentration on recruiting and providing services in our neighborhoods, so as to continue to be one of the finest Veteran service organizations in the country.
The full results of the National Command Council elections are as follows:
National Commander ……………………………………….Richard S. Kornegay
National Vice-Commander. (Programs)……………………Dr. Franklin DB Jackson
National Vice-Commander..(Convention)………………….Rev. Dr. James Greenwood
National Vice-Commander (Communication)………….….Joe Wynn
Nation Vice-Commander (Fundraising)……………………..Wendy McClinton
Region I Commander…………………………………………Lloyd Burroughs
Region II Commander………………………………………..Ulysses A. Sheppard, Sr.
Region III Commander……………………………………….Col. (Ret) James Scott
Region IV Commander……………………………………….Mike Beal
Region V Commander………………………………………..Richard S. Kornegay
Region VI Commander……………………………………….Shedrick Jones
Region VII Commander………………………………………Wendy McClinton
Region VIII Commander……………………………………..LTC (Ret) Richard D. Kingsberry
Region IX Commander……………………………………….William (Bill) Jackson
Secretary……………………………………………………….Mary E. Elliott
National Chaplain……………………………………………..Bishop Leon McClain
Editor in Chief Eclipse Magazine……………………………..…Alvin Fagan
Emeritus Member / Founder………………………………..……William Sims
Emeritus Member……………………………………………..Richard Rodgers
At Large Member…………………………………………………….Clarence (Tiger) Davis
At Large Member……………………………………………….……..James Bishop
Emeritus Member/Past National Commander…………….BG (Ret) Robert Cocroft
This was, by all accounts, a historic and energizing convention. Attendees left this great event empowered with a renewed sense of focus and dedication to meet the challenge issued by newly elected National Commander Kornegay and bring their level of service to Veterans, their families, and communities to new heights.