Section 1 - Introduction
Prior to the establishment and promulgation of these Bylaws, membership in the BVA was categorized as regular, associate, affiliate, honorary, and next of kin. Life membership for all categories was authorized.
Over the years, next of kin members were authorized certain seats on the Board of Directors. The reasoning was three-fold: First, in honor of their loss and suffering; Second, in recognition of their significant achievements and accomplishments in furtherance of the BVA official motto, The First Duty is to Remember; and Third, with the understanding that a time would come when no Beirut Veterans existed other than in the memories of those left behind. To remain in perpetuity, changes were and are deemed necessary.
Section 2 – Categories of Membership
With that in mind, membership shall be as follows, until October 22, 2023 (subject to vote as set forth elsewhere herein, or any appropriate Amendment):
Regular: There are three types of Regular Membership:
- Veteran, which shall be open to those persons that served in the United States Armed Forces or other Departments or Agencies of the United States, and who served in or around the environs of Beirut, Lebanon, between July and November of 1958, June and August of 1976, August of 1982 to August of 1985, July and August of 2006, and during other times as established by the Board of Directors.
Environs in this context shall mean any member of the Armed Forces or Departments and Agencies of the United States stationed in what is now referred to as U.S. Europe Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command that provided direct hands-on support to individuals entering or exiting the Beirut, Lebanon area of operations.
- Next of Kin, which shall be open to the families of those that died in or around Beirut, Lebanon, while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, between July and November of 1958, June and August of 1976, August of 1982 to August of 1985, July and August of 2006, and during other times as established by the Board of Directors, may be afforded free membership and life membership upon request.
- Family, which shall be open to the Spouses (to include widows/widowers, whether remarried or otherwise), Parents, Grandparents, Siblings and lineal descendants of Regular Veteran members.
All Regular Members have voting privileges.
Affiliate, which shall be open to persons or entities desiring to assist the corporation achieve its purposes through financial means or otherwise;
Honorary, which shall only be authorized by the Board of Directors to those persons who have demonstrated extreme support to the BVA, or their past or present conduct so impresses the Board of Directors that it deems such membership be granted.
Membership Classification changes on October 23, 2023 or at other times if approved by the members at an Annual Meeting: On October 23, 2023 at 0001 hours, the following changes in membership shall occur if approved by Amendment:
Regular Membership shall be open to all persons desiring to effectuate and carry on the purposes of this corporation, to include all former Regular Members and all former Next of Kin Members. All Former Regular Members, Next of Kin Members and Family Members shall automatically become “Regular” Members under this provision.
Affiliate and Honorary Membership shall remain the same.
Life memberships in each category are hereby authorized, and those holding the same prior to these Bylaws shall be recognized as such in this corporation. Life membership shall only be authorized for living persons.
In the event the United States shall order or authorize United States Armed Forces to conduct military operations, including combat, humanitarian, and other kinds of operations, in or around the environs of Beirut, Lebanon, to include adjacent waters and airspace, at any time in the future, the Board of Directors may add those dates to membership.
Section 3 – Dues
Membership classes and dues shall be set by the Board of Directors. Lifetime memberships are limited to natural persons. A reserve for lifetime dues may be established by the Board of Directors. If established, each year a portion of these life dues may be released for use in the operation of the BVA. The portion shall be computed according to a formula established by the Board. A membership year is January 1st to December 31st but may be pro-rated.
Section 4 - Terms of Membership
Membership shall be for one calendar year. Policies regarding pro-ration, grace periods, initiation fees, and other membership-related matters shall be set by the Board.
Members who fail to renew their membership at expiration and who do not renew for a period of sixty days shall no longer be considered in good standing. Such lapsed memberships may be reinstated upon payment of dues. Members experiencing financial difficulty may retain membership upon request or suggestion to, and approval by, the Membership Committee if established or Membership Chair, or the Board of Directors.
Section 5 – Membership of the Board of Directors and Officers
The Incorporator shall appoint eight (8) Board Members in addition to himself to serve until replaced pursuant to these bylaws. Thereafter, the Board of Directors shall consist of those nine (9) members elected by the membership as dictated herein.
The appointed Officers of the Association are not Board Members.
Those persons elected to the Board of Directors, elected or appointed as an Officer, or appointed by the Board to hold office or Committee Chair will receive a Life Membership upon completion of the first term to which the person was elected or appointed. All terms of office run from October 23-October 22 of the given year(s).
Those persons so elected or appointed prior to these Bylaws shall be afforded the same privilege retroactively, but without repayment of any prior annual dues paid.
Section 6 – Voting
Regular Members in good standing shall be eligible to vote for board members, officers if not in contravention to other directives of these Bylaws, and on matters properly before the membership for vote. Voting rights are limited to living persons.
Voting by Proxy: Eligible members may vote by proxy at general membership meetings. The proxy must be executed in writing, signed by the grantor of the proxy and naming the eligible member who is authorized to vote on matters at a specific official meeting of the membership. The proxy shall be recorded by the Secretary and made part of the official minutes of the meeting. Only one proxy vote per contested position may be cast by an eligible member in the election process.