NOCVA’s First Conference for Chamorro Veterans, Las Vegas, NV, Mar 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada, 20-21 March 2013

The first NOCVA conference marks a historic milestone in our quest to establish ourselves as an effective national advocacy organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the Chamorro people. Our mission to organize and build political clout brought together regional coordinators, staff, and supporters — 33 of them Chamorro veterans — for a common purpose: To unite, to share ideas, and to forge our future as a national organization in America.

Those who attended the conference share a belief that we can make a difference; by working together, using the political process, we can make progress on issues we care about in this country. We also share a passion and willingness to help others. This is the essence of what NOCVA is all about.

We are at the beginning of a long but important journey for Chamorros living in the U.S. Although we are relatively small in number, our collective strength, sacrifice, and contribution to the defense of our country is truly remarkable. Our service as Americans of Chamorro ancestry is a powerful testimony – it deserves respect and shows how much we can accomplish, especially if we work together.

Since the earliest migration of Chamorros to America, there has been no national organization founded by Chamorros dedicated to improving their welfare — until now. With NOCVA, we have our own national advocacy organization, connecting a grassroots network of regional coordinators throughout the 50 states, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  Also unprecedented is NOCVA’s primary mission: helping Chamorro veterans who, after serving our country, continue to experience difficulty receiving their earned benefits.

As Chamorros, we take pride in our social gatherings, which feature traditional food and island entertainment. While these efforts are significant because they honor our culture and heritage, we must also participate in activities as members of the American society. We need to get involved in our community civic and economic activities, because they are key to getting results. We need to help, guide, and assist our fellow Chamorro veterans so that they receive and enjoy their earned entitlements and benefits.

Now that our conference has ended, we hope that we will return to our respective communities with a renewed sense of commitment.  We need to continue working together on initiatives that will enable us to take our rightful place as productive and fully participating members of our American society.

Si Yuus Ma’ase,

Cel Aguigui, Larry Cruz, and Frank Blas
NOCVA Co-Founders and National Coordinators

NOCVA’s First Western Regional Coordinators Conference, San Diego, CA, Mar 2014

Western Regional Conference, San Diego, Mar 2014

(Photo by Peto Santiago)

San Diego, California, 27 March 2014

On 27 March 2014, NOCVA held its first Western Regional Coordinators Conference in San Diego, CA. The event was hosted by NOCVA’s San Diego Chapter and held at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club of San Diego.  Over 40 Chamorro veterans and supporters participated in the all-day conference.

The purpose of the 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.  The conference provided a forum to exchange ideas and information in a constructive and positive manner.  Attendees represented chapters from San Bernardino, San Diego, Sacramento, Washington State, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated and supported our efforts to make NOCVA a leader in improving the quality of life for Chamorro veterans.

To see more photos taken at the conference, visit the NOCVA-San Diego Chapter facebook page here.

For the complete article and photos, see April-May 2014 NOCVA News.