NOCVA Three-Year Review

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2014 Highlights

Organization

  • Expanded network of regional coordinators to include 25 regional coordinators in 14 states and Guam.

Communications

  • Launched new NOCVA website and blog (Aug 2014); updated and improved website and blog replaces monthly newsletter and allows for enhanced and faster communication for NOCVA members and supporters. www.chamorrovets.com
  • Produced Special Edition & Supplement newsletters (Mar 2014) to mark the Chamorro Veterans Commemoration Ceremony Anniversary, March 2012-2014, NOCVA’s historic event held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. (Mar 2012).

Special Edition http://www.chamorrovets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Special-Edition-Mar-2014-NOCVA-News.pdf

Supplement http://www.chamorrovets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Special-Anniversary-Supplement-Mar-2014-NOCVA-News.pdf

 Initiatives

  • Established National Registry of Chamorro Veterans (Aug 2014), a national database that will enable NOCVA to gather basic information about Chamorro veterans to ensure there is accurate demographic information about Chamorro veterans; information will be used to apply for grants and sponsorship funding and to develop programs and initiatives to benefit Chamorro veterans.

 Conferences/Meetings

  • Held first NOCVA Western Regional Coordinators Conference in San Diego, CA (Mar 2014), hosted and coordinated by NOCVA’s San Diego Chapter, and attended by over 40 Chamorro veterans and supporters representing chapters from San Bernardino, San Diego, Sacramento, Washington State, North Carolina, and Maryland; purpose of conference was to discuss ways to further NOCVA’s mission and to establish procedures to follow as required by NOCVA’s nonprofit framework under the direction of the national office.
  • Briefed regional coordinators on status as a non-profit organization, exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (gained in 2013), and developed plan to satisfy requirements for NOCVA to legally initiate and conduct fundraising efforts.
  • Met with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland, 5th District) and staff to request for Medal of Honor consideration for Chamorro servicemembers who faced past discrimination in their award review process.
  • Attended 20th anniversary ceremony to honor minority veterans held in Washington, D.C., (Sep 2014); met new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. MacDonald.
  • Attended Washington, D.C., screening of “Island of Warriors”: Telling the Story of Chamorro Veterans (Oct 2014), an episode from the national television series “America By The Numbers,” which tracks population changes in the U.S. and tells the human stories behind the census statistics; NOCVA provided producers with specific information about the unique challenges facing Chamorro veterans (Feb 2013) and Bill Cundiff, NOCVA’s Senior Advisor on Guam, was part of a panel of veterans interviewed for the program.

 

2013 Highlights

  • Continued to expand network of regional coordinators to include 25 regional coordinators in 12 states and Guam
  • Coordinated first NOCVA mini-conference in Las Vegas, NV, to provide a forum for Chamorro veterans to network and to set goals and priorities
  • Gained approval to operate as a non-profit organization, exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; now classified as a “public charity,” NOCVA can legally initiate fundraising efforts
  • Recognized by 32nd Guam Legislature with resolution submitted by Hon. Aline Yamashita honoring NOCVA’s efforts to serve as the voice of Guam and CNMI veterans and their families
  • Met with House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman (Jeff Miller-FL, 1st District) staff to discuss issues facing Chamorro veterans both in the 50 states and Guam and to present position paper outlining areas of concern, particularly in access to healthcare and medical center issues
  • Established a Chamorro Veterans Womens Advisory Group (CVWAG) at the national level to ensure that NOCVA fully represents the interests and concerns of Chamorro women veterans
  • Appointed Frank H. Flores, founder of Project Guiding Light (PGL) Veterans Volunteer Advocacy Group, as Technical Advisor for Veterans Affairs Benefits and Compensations. By partnering with PGL, NOCVA will ensure that Frank’s legacy of selfless service to assist Chamorro veterans will continue
  • Created informational NOCVA brochure “Working Together To Empower Chamorro Veterans” to provide a quick, fact-filled overview of NOCVA’s purpose, mission and vision, and methods for achieving goals
  • Further developed “Chelu, We Remember You” Special Tribute to include a translation in Chamorro for use in honoring Chamorro veterans at funerals and memorial services
  • Launched national office newsletter, NOCVA News

 

2012 Highlights

Developed organizational structure to include national coordinators and staff

  • Created mission and vision statements, set goals and priorities
  • Established organizational business practices
  • Developed informational materials to educate public about NOCVA
  • Launched NOCVA website at NOCVA.org
  • Filed for non-profit corporation in the State of Maryland, received Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Began 501(c)(3) application for tax-exempt status

Established relationship with Veterans Affairs to represent Chamorro Veterans

  • Met with Secretary Eric Shinseki, GEN, U.S. Army, ret.
  • Participated in national-level discussion on Asian-Pacific veterans issues
  • Coordinated Chamorro veterans’ response to VA healthcare survey

Established network of regional coordinators to organize grassroots membership

  • Named 19 regional coordinators in 11 locations (California, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington
  • Developed database of members, including bios and contact info
  • Created mechanism for rapid response communication on current issues

Coordinated first-ever Chamorro Veterans Commemoration Ceremony in Washington, D.C., to honor the fallen Chamorro soldiers from the Vietnam War

  • Produced DVD of commemoration ceremony for general distribution
  • Initiated “Chelu, We Remember You” Project to contact surviving family members
  • Presented memorial gifts to people of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands

Conducted outreach efforts to spread word about NOCVA

  • Presented NOCVA overview briefings in California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington
  • Established NOCVA Booth to distribute informational materials as needed