I’ve often heard the
word, “Legacy” used
in reference to the
aftermath of the
Korean War. There are family legacies,
individual legacies, organizational legacies
and on and on. One of the stated
objectives of KWVA is to “Perpetuate our
Legacy.” One of the ways we do that is
through our “Tell America Program.” But,
our numbers to carry out this mission are
declining. We are losing more members
than we gain. That trend gets steeper as
the years pass.
Some chapters have turned in their
charters for lack of members or at least
members who are willing to serve as officers.
The obvious and inevitable outcome
of this trend is the eventual demise of
KWVA as we know it.
Recruitment of War and Defense veterans
has been emphasized over and over
since I’ve been involved in KWVA.
Unfortunately, we haven’t reversed or
even slowed our declining membership
trend. As the saying goes, “Don’t keep
doing the same thing and expect a different
There are those who maintain that is as
it should be. They reason that there are no
Civil War or WWI associations left, and
none, or very few, WWII associations
exist. It is inevitable that the KWVA
should also just fade away. I disagree and
hope that there are many others who share
This begs the question of what to do to
maintain and grow the KWVA so our existence
will be assured into the future and
members will continue to “Perpetuate the
Legacy.” First, all of us need to continue
being proactive with our efforts to recruit
new members, including War and Defense
veterans and KATUSAs, who are now eligible
due to our recent by-laws change.
Over and above I’ve asked our by-laws
Chairman, Narce Caliva, to prepare a bylaws
revision that would allow direct
descendants of War/Defense veterans’ eligibility
for Regular Membership. Radical?
Maybe. But there are a lot of our offspring,
especially first and second generation,
who show genuine interest in and are
appreciative of what their dads and granddads
(in some cases, mothers and grandmothers)
did and are still doing in Korea.
They are searching for ways to
“Perpetuate the Legacy!”
Therefore, I am recommending that we
open our membership doors to these wellintentioned,
patriotic, energetic, and
vibrant individuals to become regular
members of the KWVA.
The Graybeards magazine has a section
called, “Feedback/Return Fire.” I’d
really like to get your opinion of this recommended
by-law revision. The Board
will be discussing and voting on this proposed
revision in June. Let them know
how you feel about revising our eligibility
requirements for regular membership in
KWVA to include direct descendants.
Another departure from the past that
will be considered by the Board in June is
how to use electronic media to reach a
younger generation of potential members.
Our Membership Chairman, David Clark,
has found and is continuing to seek vendors
who can help us move electronically
into the 21st century. Hand in hand with
that is a proposed redesign of the KWVA
I’ve heard it said that the KWVA website
is too busy, making it hard to find a
specific subject for which the user may be
searching. At this time, two competing
proposals will be presented, discussed,
and voted on. The Board will listen, ask
questions, discuss, and vote for one. I
would be remiss if I did not inform you
upfront that these proposals carry a significant
price tag. As Yogi Berra allegedly
said, “When you come to a fork in the
road, take it.” That is exactly what I hope
we do. We’ll find the money.
This is one other step we need to take
to enhance our membership. To do otherwise
will result in KWVA going the route
of the proverbial old soldier and just fade
away. Our legacy is too important to let
that happen without being innovative and
finding creative ways to make a course
correction. Let us not join the dinosaurs.
On this idea, too, I’d like your feedback.
Lew Ewing intends to step down from
the KWVA Secretary’s position. This is a
huge loss! Lew took over as Secretary
from Frank Cohee while Larry Kinard was
our President. He had served a three-year
term on the Board, most of which was in
the position of By-laws Chairman, before
assuming the position of Secretary.
We have been privileged to have Lew
as our Secretary. He has done an outstanding
job. I relied immensely on his judgment
and exceptional ability to prepare for
and keep our Board and Membership
meetings running smoothly and efficiently.
Lew leaves huge shoes to be filled. I
am appealing to our members to recommend candidates for KWVA Secretary to
I would appreciate being notified if you
know of someone who is qualified and
willing to assume this responsibility. Lew
will fulfill the duties of Secretary in preparation
for our June Board meeting, but has
indicated that he would like to have his
replacement in place in time for the
October membership meeting.
By a recent vote of the KWVA Board
of Directors, the Korean War Veterans
Memorial Foundation was given the “go
ahead” to reach out to our chapters directly
for contributions toward making the
Wall of Remembrance (WOR) a reality.
This is yet another step in “Perpetuating
When the WOR is completed and dedicated,
literally thousands who visit the
Memorial each year will look upon a visual
presentation of those who gave their all
in the cause of freedom. The WOR, as you
may recall, will list the names of the
36,574 US soldiers killed in action (KIA)
during the Korean War, as well as the
number of casualties of both the UN and
Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army
(KATUSAs), those who were prisoners of
war (POW), and those who are missing in
My chapter, Kansas #181, recently
gave $500 toward the WOR. Take a careful
look at your chapter’s finances and
make a decision to contribute according to
your resources. Be proactive! Don’t wait
to be contacted. Act now!
I urge each chapter and each KWVA
member to consider a donation to the
WOR. This is our Memorial; it should be
made as meaningful as possible. The mailing
address is KWVM Foundation, 10301
McKinstry Mill Road, New Windsor, MD
21776-7903. KWVM is a 501c3, nonprofit.
“Life sends us a challenge to test our
willingness to change. At such moments,
there is no use in pretending that nothing
has happened or in saying we are not
ready. The challenge will not wait.” Paulo
VOTE! VOTE!! VOTE!!! VOTE!!!!
Tom Stevens, President
Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. (KWVA/US)