From the Desk of the President
I am both honored and humbled to have been selected by the Board of Directors to be the new Washington Artillery Veterans Association President. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of patriots that serve on the board and who are committed to perpetuating the organization through fellowship and stewardship. Our organization reached a significant milestone by electing the first two female Soldiers to the board; SSG (R) Paula Toups and CPT Jessica Lacoste. I had the honor of serving with both of these fine Soldiers in Iraq in 2010 and they were instrumental in the success of the 256 Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Task Force Thunder led by the Washington Artillery. These are fine examples of how our Veterans Association has benefited by the Army policy of authorizing females to serve in combat units. Their leadership experience coupled with their professional demeanors will greatly enhance our organization. The remaining Board Members are comprised of some of the finest men to have worn the uniform in service to our country, so I know that we are in good hands.
I am committed to preserving the ideals and vision that the founders of the Washington Artillery Veterans Association had back in 1965. They envisioned a social organization with the purpose of maintaining the bonds established through service together and to perpetuate the organization by maintaining a relationship with the active battalion. WAVA social events and monthly meetings provide that opportunity for fellowship and bonding. The monthly meetings are intended to be a festive venue in which former members of the battalion can share in food and drink while they rekindle past relationships and regale in common stories from their past. Likewise, the meetings provide an opportunity to meet members of the active battalion and to share in their tales. Although the names will have changed; I am sure that we will find that the stories told will be very similar in spite of the gaps in each other’s service. Our responsibility at these events will be to capture these stories and to weave them into the tapestry of our history which makes the Washington Artillery the most unique artillery battalion in the Unites States.
My only request is that each of you reach out to a former member of the battalion or WAVA member who no longer attends and ask them to come to a meeting. I am committed to creating an atmosphere that is fun and inviting because I want them to attend many more meetings so that we fulfill the founder’s intent of perpetuating the organization.
Brian P. Champagne