Established in 1969 by seven Black combat Vietnam veterans with 122 chapters nationwide, The National Association For Black Veterans, (NABVETS), is a ‘Congressionally’ chartered Veterans Service Organization (VSO) which recently welcomed to its ranks the ‘Armour Lawrence Greater Bay Area NABVETS Richmond California (ALGBANRC) Chapter 127.
NABVETS was founded to address the gross marginalization of Black veterans, a problem that remains very prevalent today. ALGBANRC Chapter 127’s name and purpose is-comprised of several distinct facets. One which serves as an educational conversation piece or ice breaker that allows members, potential members and regular citizens to discover, dialogue about and appreciate the phenomenal and often forgotten historic contributions of African American veterans throughout America’s military pilgrimage
Such are the noted cases of United States Marine Officer Vernice Armour, the first African American female Combat Fighter Pilot. Then there is the auspicious Air Force Officer Robert H. Lawrence Jr., the first African American Astronaut. Each time we convene we honor and salute the venerably legendary service of these two remarkable African American veterans as well as all the other African American veterans.
Another aspect of ALGBANRC Chapter 127 is founded in the dedicated purpose of providing support, assistance, services and camaraderie for all veterans, veterans of color in particular. Helping to restore the hope for a better quality of life for addicted veterans, homeless veterans, unemployed veterans, disabled veterans and the shadowed warriors who are the forgotten veterans.
Leading by example is our mantra, to show through our deeds and actions that we seek to pay homage to, recognize and organize to empower our sister and brother veterans who through the pain of malicious social neglect, institutional exploitation and service connected compensation claim denials are left feeling abandoned by the country and citizens for which they fought, sacrificed and died defending.
Our vision intends to promote programs and projects specially designed to remedy the day to day plights, mental hardships and economic disenfranchisement of veterans of color. To champion as advocates for the rights and benefits of veterans who have succumbed to the pressures, stress and ravages of years and years of administratively engineered frustrations geared to deny them of their due entitlements.
Finally, the most prominent facet of ALGBANC Chapter 127 is our desire to forge and encourage lucrative fund-raising events, community outreach, faith based collaborations, Veterans Advocacy Partnerships (VAPS) youth ambassador mentoring, academic enrichment opportunities (scholarships), and aggressive pursuit of earned entitlements, benefits and rights of all marginalized veterans, veterans of color in particular. Ultimately our goal, the mission of this group of disabled Black veterans is to exemplify the personification of service and assistance to every veteran in need while uplifting and enhancing their quality of life. In closing, we ask that you bear in mind that, “we have done a lot, but not enough for our veterans who deserve so much more.”