Veterans of Modern Warfare_ Inc

Document Sample
Veterans of Modern Warfare_ Inc Powered By Docstoc
					Veterans of Modern Warfare
#33107, P.O. Box 96503 Washington, DC 20090

Veterans of Modern Warfare, Inc.
Chapter Start-Up Guide

Information and support for US Armed Forces, veterans, and their families affected by wartime service


TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Title Preface Mission Statement VMW Core Values Why Form a VMW Chapter? Who Can Join Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW) Steps in Forming a VMW Chapter How to Operate a VMW Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6 Finding Members Promotional Tools Getting to “Yes”. . . Chapter Officers and Their Duties Chapter Administration Committees • Membership • Education • Public Relations • Fund-Raising Page 3 3 3 4 4 4 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12

Conclusion VMW New Chapter Formation Package/Instructions 5 6 7 8

New Chapter Agreement Form 13 VMW New Chapter Petition Form 14 VMW New Member Transmittal Sheets [separate document on website] Sample VMW Press Release 15

3 Preface

A positive, proactive attitude is essential in forming any new organization and must be carried forward during ongoing chapter operations. Chapter organizers must be prepared to lead, work as a team, and be eager to learn and share. This combination of “can do” attitude and teamwork displayed by the U.S. Armed Forces around the world has contributed to our country’s well-being. The same approach is needed now to pursue the rightful recognition and recompense for veterans’ service and sacrifices made on today’s battlefields. VMW thanks its members and supporters who have offered encouragement, provided inspiration and contributed to the formation of the organization.
Mission Statement

The mission of VMW is to provide education, advocacy, and support for veterans affected by the complexities of modern warfare.
VMW Core Values

The primary purposes of the VMW are: • Furthering comradeship amongst those who are or have been members of the Armed Forces of the United States • Honoring the memory of deceased veterans and members of the Armed Forces and aiding and comforting their survivors • Encouraging patriotism • Assisting hospitalized, disabled and needy veterans and their dependents overcome issues associated or attributed to their service in the Armed Services of the United States Any secondary activities of the VMW are: • Promoting the social welfare of the community • Promoting entertainment venues, assuring that the proper care and assistance to hospitalized veterans or members of the Armed Forces is provided • Conducting programs for, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes

4 Why Form a VMW Chapter? By forming a chapter, you are creating a voice in your area that has the backing of a National organization. You can network with other Chapters in your state or region. This network can become a greater force in helping other veterans who have served our country. Who can join Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW)? Any veteran or member of the Armed Forces of the United States is eligible to join VMW, as long as they have one or more days of military service on or after August 2, 1990. Military service must be characterized as “under conditions other than dishonorable.” New members must submit a copy of one of the following to show veteran status: (1) DD-214 (2) DD-215 (3) NGB Form 22 (4) Valid military or VA ID card (5) Other proof of qualification for membership. Certification of Military Service (NA Form 13038) from the National Personnel Records Center is the equivalent of a DD-214. Steps in Forming a VMW Chapter This section provides a systematic approach to organizing a VMW chapter and the steps do not necessarily have to occur in the order presented. All parts of the chapter kit must be completed before it is forwarded for review and approval. Step 1 – Interested chapter organizers need to meet to discuss chapter formation requirements and establish coordination and communication strategies to reach their goals. After you and your fellow veterans have completed the work of spreading the news about your intention to form a new VMW chapter, set a date for your first meeting. You will want to get the word out to everyone in your area, and here are some ways to do it: o post cards to prospective members o public service announcements on the radio, TV and newspaper o announcements on blogs and websites frequented by veterans from your area It may take several meetings before you have the commitment of the 10 members required to form a chapter, but at each meeting, you will need to demonstrate that you are prepared. Before the end of the first year, a checking account should be established to receive money raised by your local chapter, and the portion of membership dues returned to you from the national office. At the organizational meeting:



Call the meeting to order, introduce yourself and other organizers. Thank everyone for coming and ask them to introduce themselves and, if they choose, share their military experience with the group. Describe VMW as to their aims and purposes, the organizational makeup, benefits, programs and services Hold a question and answer session Ask for membership commitments Fill out membership applications Select a chapter name (optional) Select Chapter Organization Committee Officers (Pres, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, etc) Determine other Committees and their memberships Distribute membership applications and promotional brochures to recruit new members

• • • • • • • •

Step 2 – Assemble Chapter Petition forms for VMW Headquarters. Petition forms to be included in Charter kit include: o VMW Charter Petition with signatures from a minimum of 10 or more individual member petitioners o Completed membership applications with a photocopy of one of the following: current DOD ID card, DD214, DD215 or a NGB Form 22. Completed membership applications must meet the requirements stated in “Who can join Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW)” section of chapter kit for each member. o Dues: VMW HQ is not charging organizational dues until 2008. However, we are taking donations in any amount. o Chapter contact roster listing Organizing Committee officers and both street/rural route addresses and Email addresses of all members. o Commitment Form indicating intention to comply with VMW Bylaws and other governing documents (signed by Chapter Organizing Committee Chair or President). Veterans of Modern Warfare, Inc. # 33107 POBox 96503 Washington, DC 20090 Tel: 888.445.9891 Step 3 – Receive Charter, elect Chapter Officers. Once the VMW National Office approves your charter and notifies you of your chapter number, you have 90 days to elect the chapter officers. These are the officers of the chapter itself, who will take over the functions done by the chapter organizing committee officers. You must have 10 members present to elect your first chapter officers, and you must elect and certify these officers before VMW National may assist you with Step 4, incorporation.


Step 4 – Incorporation. Once the chapter officers are elected, VMN National will assist the chapter with incorporation within its state jurisdiction. Individual states have their own specific laws regarding incorporating organizations. Your local chapter will be incorporated under the umbrella of VMW, and by extension, enjoy the same federal tax benefits as VMW National does. For any funding activities, new chapters should employ simplified bookkeeping procedures such as those found in Quicken software. If your local chapter income or budget exceeds $25,000.00 per year, you should invent in more formalized bookkeeping procedures appropriate to a nonprofit agency and have professional accountants assist you with setting up your books and reviewing your book-keeping. Each chapter may receive IRS tax exempt status as a 501(c)(19) wartime veterans service organization under the umbrella of VMW, once VMW National has received this designation (application pending, as of this edition of the membership guide). However, you must keep your finances in order accordingly, in order to maintain your status and protect the tax benefits you accrue from that status. How To Operate a Chapter Finding Members VMW membership is limited to those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during the period from August 2nd, 1990 to the present day as outlined in the “Who can join Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW)” section. The principle of “strength in numbers” is most important as we work to help veterans coming home today. Ten veterans, plus their families and supporters, working together for a common objective, are far more effective than the same ten individuals doing the same amount of work separately. The following is a partial list of potential sources to search, use, or contact for chapter members.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Local business owners Professional associations Service work contacts Mortgage records Referrals Business associates Chamber of Commerce Reserve centers National Guard Parades Reunions Bumper stickers & decals Restaurants VA facility 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Public officials Trade Unions Tax records Telephone books Former members Religious groups Military bases Veterans organizations Display booths Open houses Monthly meetings Day-today contacts County/State fairs Vet Centers

People join for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons include being asked and wanting to support something they believe in. Other reasons may be more complex, such as:

7 • • • • Altruism – support of the organization in order to help others. Information – receive specialized information that is not available elsewhere. Involvement – participation, having a voice, and playing an active role in policymaking and activities of the organization. Networking – meet people, learn new ideas and skills; promote your interests or business.

Chapter organizers must be aware of what motivates a particular prospect and focus on how VMW membership can benefit the needs of that person. Promotional Tools Most members have found that personal contact is by far the best and most effective way to recruit members. It works well in an organized setting or while meeting people in personal and business travels. We also encourage chapters to submit public service announcements and advertisements for publication in your local newspaper and shoppers, and on radio and television to promote membership recruitment efforts. Getting to “Yes”… If prospective members believe in VMW’s causes and programs and want to be kept regularly informed about their issues, they should belong to VMW. The VMW Record of Achievement is an excellent way to share our programs and services with a prospective member and reinforce that message throughout the new member orientation process. Five Talking Points for recruiting new members: o VMW provides a direct voice for veterans of our generation. Veterans of OIF, OEF, GWOT, DS/S and the other conflicts of the modern era are not the “new guys” who can be listened to or ignored by older veterans. We hold all the votes in VMW, and we elect our leaders to represent our views and priorities to the nation. o VMW, through its educational and charitable entity, the NGWRC, has an institutional history going back more than a decade, making us an established, recognized, and trusted source of information and policy input for media and elected officials. o VMW is young enough as an organization to be agile, able to adapt quickly to address emerging needs and priorities of veterans and current US Armed Forces. o VMW promotes equality of participation and membership benefits for all eligible individuals, regardless of any gender, ethnic, racial, religious, reserve/guard/active duty history, or other status they may hold. Everyone who serves our country in uniform in the current era is equally deserving of a place and a voice in our organization. o VMW is a veterans’ service organization, not a social, political or foreign policy advocacy group. We do not take positions on socially divisive issues that are secondary or unrelated to our purpose. Our purpose is to assist veterans and current Armed Forces, to grant them the opportunity to speak for themselves regarding the care and benefits they have earned.

8 Chapter Officers and their Suggested Duties President: The President is the presiding officer at all meetings. The President oversees all activities of the chapter, including those of other elected and appointed officers, directors, and committees. Together with the treasurer, the president shall be responsible for all monies received by the chapter. It is customary for the president to be the spokesperson, representing VMW at all public functions, i.e., memorial and commemorative services, special activities, award presentations, and community events. The President is accountable for accurate record keeping and all officer responsibilities. Vice President: The Vice President shall preside at meetings and represent the chapter president in his or her absence. Secretary: The Secretary is charged with maintaining all records; handling correspondence, routing information and chairing disciplinary code hearings. The Secretary must keep monthly meeting minutes in a defined location. Accurate records must be kept in the case of audit. Treasurer: The treasurer is responsible for all financial transactions. This includes maintaining the chapter bank accounts. It is suggested that each account require two signatures [e.g. President and Treasurer] to withdraw funds. Accurate records must be kept to be ready for a future financial audit. Chapter Administration To promote growth and participation, Chapter organizers, members, and officers should: • Establish a permanent meeting place and time for membership and board meetings (if there is a local Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter, they are probably willing to assist with this). • • • • Create and distribute an agenda and time limit (one hour or less, total) for meetings. Business is conducted using your constitution & By-Laws, and Roberts Rules of Order. Set a date of officer elections so that the National has the list of new officers two months before the National conference. MEETINGS: Meeting order typically proceeds as follows: Call meeting to order Invocation Pledge of Allegiance Roll call of officers Minutes of previous meeting Application for membership Swearing in new members Call for bills and communications

9 Officer and committee reports Old business (carry over from past meetings) New business Announcements Benediction Adjourn Additionally: • • • • • • • Establish ideas for community projects and fundraising. Establish a permanent location for files and historical chapter information. Maintain good rapport with the local business community and the media. Plan a schedule of interesting speakers, films, panel discussions, and other activities as part of your monthly chapter membership meeting. Encourage participation of family members and other prospective members Adopt procedures to resolve disagreements “in-house” using the chapter structure. Maintain contacts with the national office for assistance in areas where the chapter leadership or members have questions.

Committees By forming committees, the local chapter helps manage its affairs, selecting members for each committee who have interest or expertise in that committee’s function. The VMW National committees, as of this writing, include Ethical Standards, Fundraising, Finance, Website Development, Public Relations (which includes Education at the national level), Membership, and Legislative Affairs, POW/MIA, PTSD/Mental Health, undiagnosed illness and related conditions (CFS, MS, etc), and Women Veterans Health. Each chapter may choose to form committees that reflect one or more national board committees to establish common priorities and implement programs at the local chapter level. Membership Committee Functions and Information: • • • • • • Manage recruiting efforts and employ techniques described above Maintain membership rosters Maintain member prospect lists with names, addresses, and telephone numbers Communicate as needed with VMW HQ and it's Membership Committee VMW membership year runs for one year from date member submits dues. This will be the anniversary date for future renewals The national office will mail membership renewal notices to members prior to their anniversary date

10 • Membership rosters are printed and mailed to the chapter official contact. Member rosters should be reviewed and filed. Alert national membership affairs, preferably in writing of any discrepancies. Chapters may request their rosters by e-mail to the membership chair. Contact VMW at 888.445.9891 to initiate this option. Include the chapter’s e-mail address.

Education Committee Functions and Information: o Maintain currency with postings on the VMW website o Report research, legislative, and benefit developments at meetings o Liaison with the Public Relations Committee members on outreach projects Public Relations Committee Functions and Information: An organized, ongoing public relations campaign is the key to building community awareness and membership. All newsworthy events—meetings, guest speakers, recognition banquets, special events, election results, committee appointments, position statements, etc.—should be announced. The following are the basic principles to follow in providing such announcements/press releases: • • • All releases should be typed on 8 ½ x 11 inch white bond paper. Identify the name, address, and telephone number of the person to contact for additional information in the upper right hand corner. Distinguish the words “FOR RELEASE” on the date you want the release published in the upper left-hand corner. In most cases, “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” is used instead of a release date. Always start the text about a third of the way down on the first page. This allows the editor to create a headline, edit, and note any special instructions. Provide who, what, when, and where information in the first sentence of the first paragraph, followed by why and how in the second sentence. All facts in the news release should be identified in their order of importance; the most important facts first. Verify and proofread your news release prior to sending. This step in the process is extremely important because typos reflect negatively on our organization. Today nearly all media outlets expect to receive press releases via fax or, in some cases, email. Probably the only time a chapter should rely on the U. S. Postal Service is when they are sending out general background information in hopes of getting someone to do a feature (not news) piece on the group. Make a follow-up telephone call a few days after you have mailed the release to ensure the city editor received it, and tell him/her you would appreciate coverage. Photographs that support the news release may increase your chance of getting coverage. Pictures of special guest(s), especially if they are well known, may be included. You may send quality photographs from a previous, related event to support your news

• •

• •


11 release. For television, photographs of your event may pique the interest of a program director who sees news stories in terms of visual impact. • Compile and establish a rapport with newspaper, radio, and television contacts, and update the contact list regularly. With a little effort, you will become the resident expert the media calls upon when they need information or a statement.

Note: Local cable access channels provide services to announce upcoming events. These local channels are great outlets because they are always looking for information. Fund Raising Committee Functions and Information: A chapter cannot function on its portion of national membership dues alone. Additional resources are needed to run a chapter, to acquire paper, printing, postage, sponsor programs and activities that keep members informed and VMW’s name in front of the public. Chapters, however, are restricted from all fundraising activities – outside of local membership dues – until you get your chapter charter and VMW helps you establish non-profit status in your state. The charter is needed so that you will know your chapter number. The rationale behind this is to limit the liability of members who join chapters. Conclusion VMW believes that today’s veterans can and must make a difference for themselves in obtaining proper recognition, diagnosis, and treatment for conditions they incurred during their service to our country. Our experiences before, during, and after deployment are invaluable to the understanding of national defense issues. Without continued strong advocacy of our causes, our military will have inadequate force protection and future generations of service members will suffer needless health consequences. Thus, creating local chapters is one important mechanism to ensure greater preparedness, better service members’ health policies, and fairness to all veterans. The VMW stands ready to assist with chapter formations, and we will faithfully facilitate the long-term viability of these chapters.


VMW New Chapter Formation Package:
The following must be completed and submitted as a packet to VMW HQ.

Dear Chapter Formation Committee Officers: We applaud your decision to form a VETERANS OF MODERN WARFARE (VMW) chapter in your community. After having read the chapter Start-up Guide, you are ready to begin the paper work portion of chapter formation. Please type or print legibly as you complete the following forms: • • VMW Charter Petition with signatures from a minimum of 10 or more individual member petitioners Completed membership applications with a photocopy of one of the following: current DOD ID card, DD214, DD215 or a NGB Form 22. Completed membership applications must meet the requirements stated in “Who can join Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW)” section of chapter kit for each member. Dues: VMW HQ is not charging organizational dues until 2008. However, we are taking donations in any amount. Chapter contact roster listing Chapter Organization Committee officers and both street/rural route addresses and Email addresses of all members. Commitment Form indicating intention to comply with VMW Bylaws and other governing documents (signed by Chapter Formation Committee President/Chair).

• • •

Double-check all information for accuracy and completeness prior to mailing. These papers become part of your Chapter's permanent file. Once completed, send the petition package to: Veterans of Modern Warfare, Inc. # 33107, POBox 96503 Washington, DC 20090
Completion of the Charter Process:

Upon receipt of the completed VMW Charter packet, we will inform the petitioning chapter that it has been approved and we will assign your Chapter Charter Number. Until this process is complete, we recommend that you identify the chapter as a “forming” chapter to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion about your status. The chapter may not solicit funds nor receive donations for tax deduction purposes from companies, corporations, or the public until the chapter is fully incorporated and chartered. However, the Chapter may always collect for membership dues and donations which are made out to and deposited by VMW National. Contact VMW at 888.445.9891 for questions on this matter or any other issue.


Veterans of Modern Warfare New Chapter Agreement Form
We the undersigned officers of the Veterans of Modern Warfare Chapter Formation Committee in (city, state) _________________________ acknowledge and agree that we: 1) Have fully read and will abide by the VMW By-Laws. 2) Will not solicit funds nor receive donations for tax deduction purposes from companies, corporations, or the general public until the chapter is fully chartered by the National VMW, and incorporated by our state. Further, we understand that civil and/or criminal penalties may result if we engage in improper fund raising. We understand that failure to abide by the above documents and restrictions may result in our VMW charter being denied or withdrawn. PRESIDENT
Printed Name Signature Date

Printed Name Signature Date

Printed Name Signature Date

SECRETARY As VMW chapter organization committee secretary in (location) ______________________ I hereby certify that at a meeting held on ___________________________ (date), at which sufficient voting members were present and approved the adoption of the VMW By-Laws. Printed Name Signature _____________________________ Date

Subscribed and sworn to before me this ___ day of _________________ 200_ Name of Notary Public My Commission Expires


VMW New Chapter Petition Form
We, the undersigned current and former service members, do hereby petition the Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW) board of directors to recognize us as a “forming” chapter. We also certify that we have reviewed the VMW By-Laws and agree to conform to the principles and guidelines set forth by the corporation and its members. Further, we attest that the following information is accurate and legal, to the best of our knowledge.
Printed or Typed Name 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Signature


SAMPLE VMW PRESS RELEASE VMW questions IOM, Media assessment of Gulf War report
For Immediate Release September 13, 2006 Contact: 888.445.9891

Gulf War Veterans are questioning how this week’s headlines became “There is no Gulf War Illness,” as a result of the Institute of Medicine report released yesterday. “I read this report: it states that many veterans suffer from a group of as-yet-unexplained symptoms, and that veterans of the Gulf War of 1991 are about twice as likely as others to suffer this condition,” said Julie Mock of Seattle. Julie is President of Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW), and she was an Army Dental Assistant deployed to the Gulf War. “It is reprehensible for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to distort its own report into the misleading implications which I saw reported as news today.” The Institute of Medicine released volume IV of its review of medical literate relative to gulf war veterans’ health today. A single sentence on page 214 of the report, states that “there is no symptom complex peculiar to deployed Gulf War veterans.” The previous 12 pages of text and following four pages of tables summarize a number of studies published over the last ten years which analyze “Unexplained Illness,” concluding that about 30% of Gulf War Veterans now experience or previously experienced this condition, and that is double the rate of occurrence among non-deployed veterans of the same period. “Why would the VA, the IOM, or the Media turn this report into a story about a semantics argument over ‘Gulf War Illness’ vs. ‘Unexplained Illness’,” said Cheyne Worley of Kansas City, an Army supply sergeant in the Gulf War and Vice President of VMW. “This report clearly documents that three out of ten of us are sick, and that our sickness is most likely related to our service in the Gulf.” In addition to recognizing the prevalence of “Unexplained Illness” among Gulf War Veterans, the OIM report also recognizes ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and CFS-like illnesses, six birth defects (in the children of Gulf War veterans), atopic dermatitis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression as conditions significantly more likely among Gulf War veterans than among non-deployed veterans. The report recommends Pre-deployment and Post-deployment Screening, Exposure Assessment, and Surveillance for Adverse Outcomes related to specific conditions such as cancer, ALS, and birth defects. After reviewing the recommendations, Worley stated, “It is disturbing that in 2006, the Institute of Medicine is presenting, as the first of three recommendations, the implementation of the same

16 tracking system which Congress mandated in Public Law 105-85 (The National Defense Authorization Act of 1997) nine years ago.” “Is the IOM implying that the Department of Defense is ignoring the law, that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Global War on Terror, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom are not being given the medical examinations and blood sampling they were promised by Congress, to ensure we don’t re-create all the unanswered questions of the Gulf War?” Mock discussed the rest of the IOM recommendations: “We agree with the recommendations that the report makes, although most of them are needs we have identified for many years now.” “It is disappointing that, with solid evidence of undiagnosed illness in the report, and many gaps in research identified, the Institute of Medicine does not make a stronger call for more research into the causes, treatment, and possible diagnosis of the illness or illnesses which it says are disabling hundreds of thousands of American and allied veterans, including many besides those who served in the Gulf War. Instead, we have headlines saying that ‘Gulf War Illness does not exist’.” --30--