Welcome to Vietnam Veterans of America Major Louis F. Guillermin Chapter 436

Our Meetings are held at the VFW Post 845, 4601 West Lincoln Highway, Downingtown, PA 19335. (610 269-8818)

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month except July and August.

  Bad weather cancellations are sent by email or you can call the VFW post for updates.





It was with great pride that VVA 436  announced  scholarships in the amount of $1000.00 to Mathew Crawford and Bethany Light at our June membership meeting


Crawford, from B. Reed Henderson High School, will be attending The Pennsylvania State University this fall, pursuing a business/ finance degree.


Light, from Phoenixville High School, will be attending Liberty University this fall, pursuing a nursing degree.


The Vietnam Veterans chose Bethany and Matthew, among a number of applications for their exemplary essay on the effects of being raised as part of a military family.


Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 436, is honored to award these scholarships to Bethany and Matthew and wish them success in their endeavors.

Below, VVA436 President Dr. John Maher, MD and  Scholarship Chairman Jed Burns present Bethany with a check for $1000.00 and one of our Chapter's Challenge Coins.  Proud members of her family participated. Our other scholarship winner, Mathew, was unable to attend because it conflicted with his graduation ceremony.  Jed provided a check to be presented the graduation ceremony.  Congratulations to both!

Also at our June meeting.....


Below, the evening's speaker, Ms Chanel Santiago, of the MontCo Veterans Outreach Program, accepts a Challenge Coin from VVA436 Director Bud McCullough and VVA336 President John Maher.


On July 12th the Chester County  Historical Society's  invited members of VV 436 to see their display on "The '60s.  Below are members of VVA436 near the Vietnam exhibit.

Below and attached is the the finalized rough of the By-Laws.  The only addition that we made was to bold and Italicize Section 1.4 F. "Delegates" to show that we added this section to the By-Laws.


Please give them a final review so that we can complete this exercise.


We still need to decide as to what version of Section 2.3 and Article VII we want to include. We're open for feedback.  Please give your feedback to ANY officer of VVA436. This will be on the September meeting agenda









ARTICLE I: Name and Purpose

1.1 NAME: The name of this chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America shall be "Vietnam

Veterans of America, Major Louis Guillermin Memorial Chapter #436".

1.2 FISCAL YEAR: The fiscal year of this Chapter shall be from the first day of March to the last

day of February of the succeeding year.

1.3 PURPOSE: The purpose of this Chapter shall be to promote the welfare of veterans of military

service of the United States of America and their families, thus fulfilling our obligation to

insure that the lessons learned through service and sacrifice is never forgotten.


A. "National Constitution" shall refer to the Constitution of the Vietnam Veterans of

America, Inc., adopted November 9, 1983, as amended. ,

B. "National" shall refer to the National Headquarters (or corporation) of Vietnam

Veterans of America, Inc.

C. "State Council" shall refer to the Pennsylvania State Council, Vietnam Veterans of

America, Inc.

D. "Board Member" shall refer to any one of the Officers or the Directors of the Board.

E. "Directors" or "Board" shall refer to the Officers and Board of Directors of the


F. "Delegates": At a regular meeting, the Chapter members may elect up to four (4)

members, as needed, to represent the Chapter at meetings or conferences, such as

the State or National VVA Conferences; and such delegates shall be considered Directors.

G. The "Chapter" shall refer to the Chapter #436 (Article 1.1)

ARTICLE II: Members and Membership Meetings

2.1 INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS: Individual membership in the Chapter is open to any veteran ofthe

military service of the United States, who served on active duty during the period of

1961 to 1975 or who served in the Indochina Theater, irrespective of time of service, or to

any individual authorized to be an individual member by the National Constitution.

2.2 ASSOCIATE MEMBERS: Any individual, who is not eligible as an Individual Member, but is

interested in the principles and the practices of the Vietnam Veterans of America; and who

subscribes to the purpose of this Chapter, shall be eligible to become an Associate Member.

Associate Members shall not have the right to vote on any matter, nor shall they be eligible to

hold elective positions or be elected or appointed as a voting delegate to the State Council or

National Convention.


The Chapter shall follow the National Constitution as it pertains to fees and dues.


The Board may determine the amount of dues and other fees imposed upon members

two {2} months in advance of imposing those dues or fees. Subject to this section, the Board

may also establish regulations governing the collection of dues and fees. Any member, who

is delinquent in the payment of dues for more than ninety (90) days, shall be suspended from

membership. Such a delinquency shall be based upon the later of either the mailing date

of the dues notice or March 1" of that year. In situations deemed appropriate, or upon the

recommendation of the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Board may waive the Chapter dues

for an individual. Such a waiver shall obligate the Chapter to pay State Council dues and

National dues for said individual, unless they are waived by State Council and National.


(a). The regular general membership meeting will be held on the second {2} Wednesday

of the month, exclusive of July and August of each year.

(b). The presence of ten or more members shall constitute a quorum for a regular


(c). The Board of Directors shall meet at least four (4) times per year.

(d). A simple majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum for Board


2.5 ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS: The annual meeting of the Chapter shall be held in April as

determined by the Board. At this meeting, the members present shall elect the Executive

Officers and the Board of Directors, as permitted in the National Constitution, and may

transact any other business that may be properly brought before the meeting.

2.6 SPECIAL MEETINGS: Special meetings of the members or Board may be called by any Executive

Officer or by any three (3) Board Members. The agenda of the special meeting shall be limited

to the topic previously set.

2.7 RULES OF ORDER: All Board and Membership meetings shall be conducted in accordance with

Robert's Ru le of Order.

2.8 MANNER OF ACTING: Except as otherwise provided herein, a simple majority vote of those

present is sufficient to pass a resolution, action or other business. Each individual member,

who is entitled to vote, including the Board of Directors, shall have one vote. Proxy votes

will not be permitted. In the event of a tie vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.


2.9 NON-MEMBERS: The Board of Directors may establish rules for allowing or prohibiting the

attendance of non-members at meetings.

ARTICLE Ill: Board of Directors

3.1 BOARD OR DIRECTORS: The Board of Directors shall consist of the Executive Officers as follows:

President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and a minimum of

five (5) Directors.

3.2 DUTIES OF THE BOARD: By its nature, the Board is the executive body of this Chapter. The

Board maintains its health and direction within the guidelines of the National

Constitution and the By-Laws of Chapter 436.

A. It shall be the responsibility of the Board to provide clear standards of conduct that

are appropriate to individual Chapter functions.

B. Each member of the Board of Directors shall take an active role in the direction and

operation of the Chapter.

C. Ad Hoc committees will be established as needed by the President.

3.3 TERMS OF OFFICE: All elected offices shall be for one (1) year.

3.4 VACANCIES ON THE BOARD: For any reason, vacancies on the Board will be filled by

appointment by the Board at the next regular Board Meeting.

3.5. QUORUM AND MANNER OF ACTING: A simple majority of the Board of Directors in office shall

be present at each meeting to constitute a quorum. The acts of a majority of the Board Members

present at the meeting, at which a quorum is present, shall be acts of the Board. The Board

shall act only as a Board at a duly convened meeting.

3.6 SALARIES, FEES, AND OTHER REIMBURSEMENTS: No Director, Officer, or member shall

receive a salary, fee, or any other payment from the Chapter, except for the reimbursement of

expenses as approved by the Board.

ARTICLE VI: Executive Officers

4.1 PRESIDENT: The President shall be the chief executive of the Chapter and shall, subject to the

Board of Directors and the Chapter:

A. Preside at all meetings of both the Board and the membership.

B. Appoint all chairpersons of committees, except the chairperson and members of the

Nominating Committee, and shall be ex-officio of all said committees except the

Nominating Committee.

C. Establish committees as required.

D. Hear reports monthly from all committees as to their progress toward stated goals.

E. Appoint the Sergeant-At-Arms and Chaplain when required.

F. In conjunction with the Board, the President shall plan Chapter operations and prepare a

calendar of events. This should occur within sixty (60) days of the installment of new




(a) 1sr VICE PRESIDENT. In the absence of the President, or in the event of the President's

inability or refusal to act, the 151 Vice President shall perform the duties of the President.

When so acting, the 151 Vice President shall have all powers of, and be subject to all of

the restrictions of the President:

A. Assist the President in all executive duties.

B. In the event of the death, removal, or resignation of the President, the 1st Vice

President shall assume the positions designated by the logical order of


C. Perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may prescribe.

(b} .2'0 VICE PRESIDENT: In the absence of the 1st Vice President, or in the event of the

1st Vice President's inability or refusal ta act, the 2nd Vice President shall assume

and perform the duties of the 1st Vice President ond, when so acting, shall have all

of the powers, and be subject to all restrictions, of the 1st Vice President.

A. Assist the President and/or 151 Vice President in all executive duties, as needed.

8. In the event of the death, removal or resignation of the 1st Vice President, the

2"d Vice President shall assume the positions designated by the logical order of


C. Be responsible and accountable for the management of any Special Funds

Accounts established or designated by the Board af Directors under Artlele VI

(OTHER ACCOUNTS}, and shall collaborate with the Chapter's Treasurer and

any audit committees in assuring the security of those funds and the accuracy

of the accounts.

D. Perform other such duties as the Board of Directors my from time-to-time


4.3 SECRETARY: The Secretary shall record and maintain all of the proceedings of the meetings of

the Board of Directors and Chapter Meetings in a file kept for that purpose, and shall perform

like duties for the Executive Committee, when required.

A. Give, or cause to given, notice of all meetings for which notice is required.

B. Operate under the supervision of the Board of Directors or the President and perform

other duties as may be described by them. In the event of a conflict, the Secretary shall

act in accordance with the instructions of the Board.

C. Hold and maintain all papers, correspondence, etc., as instructed by the Board, the

President, and the National Constitution.

4.4 Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of all funds and securities of the

Chapter and all funds and securities in any way generated, collected, or obtained in connection

with Chapter activities, except for those designated in Article VI of these By-Laws.

(NOTE: Reference to Article VII was removed in this rough copy).


A. Be responsible for such funds and securities, and the disbursement thereof, as

outlined in the National Constitution.

B. Keep full and accurate accounts of all receipts entrusted to his/her care in books

belonging to the Chapter.

C. Disburse funds up to $250.00 from the General Fund, as set by the membership, for

any chapter activity. All disbursements exceeding that amount shall require specific

Chapter approval.

D. Semi-annual audit of Treasurer's books by two alternating general members.

4.5 All Chapter records must be returned to the Chapter upon completion or termination of an

Officer's term in office.

ARTICLE V: Committees


A. The President shall appoint the chairperson of the ten (10) current standing committees.

They include Membership, Public Affairs, Governmental Affairs, Veterans Affairs,

Constitution, POW/MIA, Agent Orange, and any such committees established in the

future by National.

B. As outlined in the National Constitution, its mission statement, and as set forth in

Appendix A of these By-Laws, each committee shall strive to achieve its individual goals

5.2 AD Hoc COMMITTEES: Ad Hoc Committees may be established at any time by the President

and shall continue until their purpose has been completed.

5.3 COMMITTEE VACANCIES: The President will assign Committee Chairpersons when required.

5.4 COMMITTEE REPORTS: The Chairperson of each Standing and Ad Hoc Committee shall report

the actions of those Committees at all business meetings.

5.5 NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: The Nominations Committee shall consist of no more than

three (3) members appointed by the President to a one (1) year term in November of each year.

Members of the Committee shall not be eligible for any office in the election, when they are

serving on the Nominations Committee. The Committee shall nominate at least one (1)

candidate for each office to be filled. Further nominations may be made by any member.

5.6 SPECIAL COMMITTEE: Product Sales

A. The Chapter shall establish a committee to be known as the Product Sales Committee.

B. The total expense of the committee shall be established by the Board of Directors.

C. The committee shall be required to:

1. Render a complete report of inventory and cash balance at each membership


2. Transfer to the General Account all funds received.

3. As outlined in the National Constitution, abide by all stipulations regarding audits.


ARTICLE VI: Other Accounts


(a). May establish a separate account to be designated for any specific activity considered

necessary to the Chapter. The maximum amount of cash for the account shall be

established by the Board of Directors.

(b). Fund-raising and any such special accounts shall be overseen by the Second Vice

President, who shall collaborate with the Treasurer and any audit committees in

assuring the safety of those funds and the accuracy of the related accounts.

6.2 THE COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE for such accounts shall be required to:

A. Render a complete report of activity and cash balance at each membership meeting.

B. As outlined in the National Constitution, abide by all stipulations regarding audits.

ARTICLE VII: Amendments

7.1 These By-Laws may be amended at any regular or special membership meeting of the Chapter

by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those eligible members attending, provided the amendment(s)

has/have been submitted in writing to the Constitution Committee at least thirty {30) days prior.

The proposed amendment shall be read to the membership at each regular meeting held prior

to its introduction. It is the responsibility of the Committee to introduce a proposal's

amendment, its report, and recommendations to the floor. The Second Vice President is

ex-officio chairman of the Constitution Committee.


These By-Laws may be amended at any regular or special membership meeting of the

Chapter by a two-thirds {2/3) vote, provided the amendment(s) has {have) been submitted in

writing at the previous meeting. The Constitution Committee Chairperson shall introduce the

amendment(s) along with its report and recommendations regarding the proposed changes.



CONCLUSION: If and when officially approved and put into clean, updated format, the

new document shall be attested to, dated, and signed by the Executive Officers. The

original shall be kept in the Chapter's records, and a clean copy of the newly updated

Chapter By-Laws will be placed on the Chapter's website for easy accessibility by the





Committee shall receive and approve applications from individuals and others wishing to become

members of the Chapter. It shall be alert to build the membership of the Chapter by pointing out

the advantages and services to members. The committee shall also establish procedures by which

an individual member's status as a veteran may be authenticated and maintain, for the Secretary,

for DD 214 forms or other proof of military service tendered by any member.

2. PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Public Affairs Committee shall act as a liaison between the

various committees of the Chapter and the news media, and it shall publicize in the community the

role, purpose, goals, activities, and projects of the Chapter.

3. GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Through a program of education, the Governmental

Affairs Committee shall seek to improve the social, economic, educational well-being, and physical

welfare of the Vietnam-era Veterans, and other persons, through the legislative process at the local,

state and federal level. The Committee shall monitor legislative activities and represent the opinion

of the Chapter Membership at public hearings and with public officials.

4. VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Veterans Affairs Committee shall present Chapter programs

with a variety of subjects, and special interests, related to Veterans Affairs. The Committee shall

coordinate its activities closely with the President, other officers, and Committee Chairpersons.

s. COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMITTEE: The Community Service Committee identifies essential social

needs related to Vietnam-era Veterans, their families, and others. It shall also identify related

projects in the community and shall stimulate appropriate Chapter involvement of resources to

meet the needs of, or assist in the projects.

6. ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Economic Affairs Committee shall develop programs that

will make the economic and employment sector aware of the needs of Veterans in employment

and business. It shall seek to improve the well-being of Veterans through such programs.

7. MINORITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Minority Committee shall identify and develop programs of

awareness and of interest to minority veterans of the Chapter, and shall seek to expand the

membership of minorities in the Vietnam Veterans of America. The Committee shall coordinate its

activities closely with the President, other officers, and Committee Chairpersons.

8. CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE: The Constitution Committee shall serve to advise the Board of

Directors as to matters of interpretation of the provisions of the National Constitution, State Council

By-Laws, and these By-Laws.








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