The role of the Public Affairs
Committee is to recommend to the Board of Directors policies
and procedures for internal and external communications. The
Board either approves or rejects those recommendations, and
then it is the responsibility of the Communications and
Publications (C&P) Department at the national office to
The Public Affairs Committee has had a close working
relationship with the C&P staff. This environment of
cooperation has substantially enhanced VVA's ability to
fulfill its mission.
Much of what the department does goes unnoticed, unless it
isn't done. The talent and determination in the department
accounts for the wide range of projects that it accomplishs,
including the writing, creation, production, and distribution
of press releases, public service announcements, the Veterans
Collectibles catalog, the VVA and Vietnam Veterans Assistance
Fund Annual Reports, and--of course--The VVA Veteran.
The department was instrumental in planning and executing many
special events, including the 30th anniversary of the Tet
Offensive ceremony in 1998; Rendezvous with War, the
Vietnam War symposium at the College William & Mary in 2000:
the Pentagon Papers Symposium at the National Press Club in
2001: the Yale Conference last September: and the March To
Remember on Veterans Day 2002.
Often the C&P staff is directly involved in development of
policy papers and positions. That strong, consistent message
insures that Vietnam Veterans of America is a credible and
dynamic voice for veterans.
The C&P staff is dedicated and hard working. I encourage those
attending the St. Louis Convention to seek out staff members.
Mokie Porter heads the department and is also editor of The
VVA Veteran. Michael Keating is our staff photographer,
and he assists with editing the paper. Marc Leepson is our
arts editor and a staff writer. Carol Engle is our webmaster.
Unfortunately, Xande Anderer, our art director, will not be
attending the convention. Nor will Pam Turner, associate
editor, or Hadiza Alio, our editorial assistant.