A LEGACY OF LEADERSHIP: THOMAS H. WYNN Sr.

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 NABVETS CHAPTER IN LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS, CHAPTER #0108

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.

Onward!

NABVETS 2016 Convention to be held in Baltimore Maryland

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.

NABVETS Elects New Leadership, Focuses on the Future

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.
1 2