August 29, 2011

Guest Post: Reflections on the 66th BVA Convention in Las Vegas

Image: BVA Logo

The 66th National BVA convention was held August 16th - 20th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most people fly to Las Vegas, but Dale [my Husband] and I took Amtrak to Las Vegas!  It was a very interesting trip, leaving early in the morning, and arriving late Tuesday night.  Most of the trip was by train, but over five hours was on the bus which was extremely exhausting.  However, it was an adventure, and if you are wondering, yes, we flew back home. 

The convention was held at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas which has been totally renovated with restaurants and shops.  Some of the cool new features of the Golden Nugget are the aquariums and the slide through the shark tank!  For those of you who are not familiar with Las Vegas, down town is the Old Fremont Street which is now covered and is a huge light show at night.

The convention kicked off with opening remarks by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki and other dignitaries from the state of Nevada.  The Secretary commented on the progress that has been made throughout his administration during the past two and ½ years including service claims, benefits, homeless veterans, and the role of women veterans.  He was very charismatic and enthusiastic as he spoke with bold straight forward remarks, and I was very proud to be a woman veteran of the United States Navy. After all of the fabulous speakers, the National BVA president, Dr. Roy Kekahuna called roll for all of the delegates representing each state and region and the convention was in full swing.

There were many sessions, research information, and vendors to keep each one of us very busy.  I attended the Father Carroll luncheon and Dr. Greg Goodrich was the key note speaker.  Gayle Watson also gave a very interesting and informative session about the role of the VA Blind Rehabilitation Centers, which was received with great enthusiasm.

One of the many highlights for me was meeting new veterans, reconnecting with many WBRC Alumni, and visiting the Hospitality suite. The Northern California BVA chapter was well represented by President Felipe Flores and other board members.  It was a great convention and very worthwhile to attend.  Next year the BVA convention will be held in Galveston, Texas.  If you would like more information about the National convention please visit the following web site:

CLICK HERE for a LINK to Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s BVA Convention Opening Remarks


Guest Post By: Anita Stone, VRT
WBRC Living Skills Instructor
BVA Life Time Member, Northern California Chapter

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