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Are DD-214s still kept on file at the VVA National office?
No, any DD-214 sent to the VVA National office (Membership Dept) for proof of eligibility for membership will have certain data (dates of service, branch of service, date of birth & whether service was in Vietnam) recorded in the VVA database and the DD-214 is destroyed.

How long is a submitted DD-214 held in the VVA National office?
VVA’s National Membership Department will not maintain original or copies of members’ DD-214s.  All DD-214’s sent to the National Membership Department will be reviewed and the necessary information will be input into the database.  The VVA Membership Director or Administrator will insure that information from the DD-214 is properly entered into the database, and that the DD-214 is subsequently destroyed within 30 days of receipt.

How does VVA guard against identity theft and loss of personal information from the VVA database?
In order to safeguard our members from possible identity theft and loss of personal information, VVA Membership Department will destroy all DD-214’s provided by members, chapters, and state councils in a timely manner.  All DD-214’s, while being processed, will be safeguarded and kept under lock and key until properly destroyed by the membership department.  To further insure the privacy of our members, the VVA database will be under password security and the membership office will remain locked when employees are absent.

Are social security numbers entered into the VVA database on new memberships and what about those entered in the past?
No, they are no longer entered into the VVA database for new memberships and all social security numbers have been purged from the VVA database recorded in the past.

Who determines whether a VVA Chapter Start-up Kit is issued?
VVA National BOD March 1992 – Motion #12: That Chapter Start-up Kits only be sent to State Membership Chair or State President or Regional Director in states without State Council.The state council president must give prior approval on the distribution of all Chapter Start-up Kits.

Upon completion of a chapter start-up kit for a new chapter, or anywhere in the process, is the chapter required to show proof of being registered with the appropriate Secretary of State as being incorporated within the respective state; prior to any VVA Chapter or acceptance of paperwork for a VVA Charter?
The process for charter has to be completed before the paperwork can be submitted to the Secretary of State and the IRS. The new chapter upon completing the charter process has provided clear proof of the eligibility of the veterans listed on the petition, sworn to abide by the VVA Constitution and the Code, plus the payment process is completed also. The SC President has signed off that every item in the kit is complete, the proper individual state contact for veteran organization start-up has been informed by the VVA Membership Dept. and approval of that start-up has been returned to VVA. Now, the chapter is part of VVA, incorporation can proceed at the state level and the IRS can issue a tax number. The paperwork for both is included in the start-up kit, once chartered the responsibility for compliance falls to the State Council as per the VVA Constitution and the Membership Dept has never ventured beyond the charter process in the past.

Can a forming chapter request a particular number for their new chapter?
The VVA Membership Dept. does not honor these requests, upon receipt of the completed chapter start-up kit, your chapter is assigned the next available chapter number and that is the policy. 

Can a forming chapter submit the new members for processing to the VVA Membership Dept. before the chapter start-up is completed and if so, why would VVA process these memberships ahead of time before the completed process?
Sometimes it takes months to complete the start-up kit, sometimes the interim leadership will submit these new members to be processed and there are a couple of reasons for assigning these new members to the forming chapter before the chapter start-up is completed: 1) new members provide proof of service, payment and expect a membership card; 2) payment may be by check or credit card and the checks need to be deposited ASAP and the credit card payment submitted/approved in a timely manner.

Can a membership transfer be done over the phone or by e-mail?
No, membership transfer requires a signed membership transfer form from the member requesting the transfer.

How come a chapter is not notified of a member’s transfer before they appear on our roster and why is it almost impossible to have the transferring member’s DD-214 sent to the new chapter?
Considering that the “Member Transfer Form” has three (3) copies to accomplish the task of notifying everyone (VVA National, former chapter & new chapter), it has been an ongoing battle to get the former chapter to forward the transferring member's DD-214. Also, since VVA National doesn't keep DD-214s on file anymore, the VVA Membership Committee has been forced to revise the "Member Transfer Form" and the revised form now states; "Note: If the transferring member is not a life member, then the member should supply the new chapter with a copy of his or her DD-214." The VVA Membership Dept. will make every effort to provide notification of the member’s transfer and our online version of the form is on the VVA web site under forms.

Can a VVA member or anyone else request a copy of the state council/chapter membership roster?
Not without the prior approval of the State Council/Chapter President.

Can a Chapter President, VVA member or anyone else request a copy of the state at large membership roster?
VVA National BOD Motion #36: That all inquiries to the national office for at-large membership lists be directed to the appropriate state council president.No, control of the state’s at large roster requires the prior approval of the State Council President and the request may be subject to certain conditions (single mailing attempt, members within certain Zip codes & no phone numbers released, etc.) imposed by the State Council President.

Who determines the official mailing addresses for state councils/chapters for VVA distribution, membership roster and membership rebate checks?
The State Council/Chapter President control the official mailing addresses, the VVA membership database has only two (2) designated official mailing addresses: 1) VVA distribution & rebate checks; 2) VVA membership rosters.

Where does a state council or chapter send their completed financial and election reports?
Both reports are sent to VVA National (Attention: Membership Dept) at 8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Suite 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or you may fax to the Membership Dept at 301-585-3019. Some state councils or chapters choose to send by certified mail w/green card attached to verify that it was delivered to VVA National and that expense is your decision.

What address is VVA new memberships or renewals sent to when payment is involved?
All VVA new memberships or renewals with payment (money order, check or credit card) should be sent to VVA, Att: Membership, P.O. Box 64299, Baltimore, MD 21264-4299. Cash should never be sent as payment!

What address is AVVA new memberships or renewals sent to when payment is involved?
All AVVA new memberships or renewals with payment (money order, check or credit card) should be sent to AVVA, Att: Membership, P.O. Box 64732, Baltimore, MD 21264-4732. Cash should never be sent as payment!

If a VVA/AVVA new member’s card is not delivered within a reasonable amount of time (after mailing), who do you contact and what information is needed to resolve the problem?
The VVA/AVVA database is managed by the VVA Membership Dept and the phone numbers are 1-800-882-1316 or 301-585-4000 or the e-mail address is membership@vva.org. Have the individual’s name, date submitted, type of payment and with this information the matter can hopefully be resolved in a timely manner.

Can a VVA Chapter require that an SF-180 Form be signed by an individual seeking membership in VVA?
VVA National BOD June 1990 Motion #23: To authorize the Chapters when there is a question on the authenticity of documents presented by an individual that they have the authority to demand the signing of a SF-180 (request for military records) and without that signature the person will not be considered for full membership.

Can a VVA National, State Council or Chapter require that an SF-180 Form be signed by an individual already a member of VVA?
VVA Code of Disciplinary Policy & Procedures, Section IX – Procedures for Fraudulent or Altered Proof of Service, paragraph A: In order to preserve the integrity of Vietnam Veterans of America, and its membership, this mechanism will be used to address fraudulent or altered DD Form 214/215’s, or other proofs of service, used to obtain membership in VVA, or used after membership has been obtained, that causes discredit to VVA. The procedure is outlined in the VVA Code of Disciplinary Policy & Procedures and should be followed to the letter.

Does a Chapter have to submit an individual’s DD-214 to VVA National on an individual (IND) membership from the Chapter level?
VVA National BOD January 1998: National will no longer require a DD-214 from a member when the application comes from the Chapter level. This does not include incarcerated chapters. Life members still must submit a DD-214 to process life memberships. A SF-180 will alleviate this problem. With that in mind, also consider that the VVA Membership Committee revised the VVA Chapter Transmittal Instructions in 04/2004 to codify the rules for proof of service and provide further clarification on this procedure for the membership. The VVA web site, on the VVA Chapter Transmittal Form, on page # 2, paragraph 3 - Proof of Service states; All applicants for VVA membership must provide documentation showing branch and dates of service. A copy of the applicant's DD-214 is the preferred documentation. Other documentation (such as a discharge certificate, orders, awards) may be accepted if a DD-214 is not available. The DD-214 is kept in the chapter files for individual members (IND). For life members (LMT or LMP), incarcerated members (IVI), and permanently hospitalized (PHV) members, a copy of the DD-214 must be submitted to the national office. 

What are the eligibility requirements for membership in VVA and the eligibility requirements for Guard/Reserve service?
VVA National BOD April 2003 Motion #25: The term “active duty” in the VVA Constitution means that the applicant completed the initial training required by the applicant’s branch of service and was found fit to be assigned to active duty for the remainder of his/her obligated service. In the case of an applicant who served in a Reserve or Guard component, active duty means that the applicant was called to federal active duty in a status other than active duty for training.

Evidence of greater than 180 days of active service (as shown on the “Total Active Service” or “Net Active Service This Period” line of the DD Form 214) generally qualifies the applicant for membership. The Membership Affairs Department may determine that, even with more than 180 days of active service, an applicant served only in a training status and is not eligible for membership. Applicants with less than 180 days of active service, who were separated due to a service-connected disability, are eligible for membership.

In the case of denial of an application for membership, the applicant may appeal the decision, in writing to the National Membership Affairs Committee. The denial of membership must be in writing and must inform the applicant of the right to appeal to the National Membership Affairs Committee within 90 days of receipt of the denial of membership. The VVA National Board of Directors will have the final decision.

Can an AVVA member with the membership class status of “Other” (OTH) vote on matters during an AVVA meeting or vote in duly conducted AVVA elections?
No, the membership class status of “Other” (OTH) is for veterans who hold membership in VVA and these AVVA members are not allowed to cast a vote on AVVA matters nor vote in AVVA elections.

 

 

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