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VFW NATIONAL COMMANDER PUTS POSTS ON NOTICE
Below is a message from VFW National Commander
John W. Stroud:
I am extremely disturbed by the recurring reports from the field as well as the media’s portrayal of the VFW as an organization that is comprised of old and out of touch veterans who would rather drink in a dimly lit canteen than open their doors to our younger veterans. The VFW’s mission is far too important; our objectives and causes for which we work far too critical; and the current situation of the veteran population far too dire to let the negativity of a few divide us and dilute our efforts. We must empower the younger veterans to be forces of change within our organization while lending them the institutional knowledge to be effective leaders for future generations of veterans.
The fact remains that the stereotypical, dingy, dark and smoke filled VFW Post and canteen do exist, but they have no benefit to our organization, provide no aid to our mission nor to the veterans we strive to help and serve. These Posts are in the minority of our organization, but in order to shift the paradigm we must challenge every member to hold their Post accountable. It’s time for our membership to be emboldened into action and to push their Posts to strive for the high ideals that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was founded upon.
Accordingly, I am charging my current Department VFW Commanders to be advocates of change and to challenge the officers of the subordinate units within their command to be more than officers — challenge them to be leaders cognizant of the current challenges today’s veterans face. To do this, our VFW Posts must change their operational tactics to better reflect the modern crises younger veterans are facing on their new “battlefield” – the homefront.
For those members and Posts who would rather serve themselves than the countless veterans who are in need, remind them that this organization exists for the benefit of all veterans rather than those of an entitled few. I want to make it clear that I will willingly provide my complete support to any of my Department Commanders who move to shut down any Post, or remove from our leadership rolls, anyone that is not committed to the goals of the organization. They simply don’t belong here. The need is too great for a dynamic and modern VFW that can continue to advocate and respond unhesitatingly to the needs of all veterans in the 21st century and beyond. To do less, would be an unconscionable betrayal of our responsibilities as Americans and as veterans.
John W. Stroud
VFW National Commander
King® Franchisees to Launch VFW Unmet Needs Fundraising Campaign
The annual fundraiser enters its eighth consecutive year
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (October 30, 2014) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation is pleased to announce that for the eighth consecutive year, Burger King® Franchisees across the country will host a fundraiser to benefit the VFW Unmet Needs program during the month of November. Patrons of participating BURGER KING® Restaurants are encouraged to donate $1 or more to the Unmet Needs program with the purchase of their meal. Through its annual fundraiser, Burger King® Franchises have contributed more than $2.6 million to the program to date.
The Unmet Needs program assists service members and military families during times of financial hardship by providing financial grants to help with basic necessities like rent, mortgage and utility payments, vehicle repair, medical expenses and groceries/basic assistance. Since 2004, the program has provided approximately $5 million to aid U.S. service members.
“BURGER KING® Franchisees want to ensure that America’s military service personnel and their families will never be forgotten in their time of financial crisis. The money contributed by our loyal customers helps military families make ends meet during these tough financial times. BURGER KING® Franchisees have pledged to be there for our military families until all needs are met,” said Mike DeRosa, a franchise owner, and spokesperson for the group.
“Participating BURGER KING® Franchise owners and their customers are incredible, patriotic Americans who truly understand the financial challenges that military service personnel and their families often experience. Through their commitment to this campaign, the morale of thousands of U.S. troops has been greatly boosted,” said VFW Foundation Manager Richard Freiburghouse. “Our brave heroes have often personally sacrificed so much for us all and we welcome the opportunity to do everything we can to provide them this vital assistance.”
A list of participating BURGER KING® Restaurants can be accessed here.
WASHINGTON (August 26, 2014) — The national
commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is
hopeful that the initiatives announced by President Obama today will
provide the necessary course corrections the Department of Veterans
Affairs urgently needs to properly care for the nation’s veterans,
service members and their families.
The initiatives will recruit more VA doctors and nurses, ease transitioning issues between the Department of Defense and the VA, bolster mental health services, continue to reduce the disability claims backlog and homeless veterans’ population, and enhance veterans’ housing, education and employment opportunities.
“Washington cannot solve every problem veterans face,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, of Hawthorne, Nev., “but Washington can help pave the way for veterans to better transition back into their local communities. The VFW looks forward to working with new VA Secretary Bob McDonald and his staff to end this nationwide crisis in care and confidence, and we hope the president’s new initiatives will provide the necessary course corrections the VA urgently needs to properly care for our nation’s veterans.”
Vietnam War 50th Anniversary
As was discussed at our VFW Programs
workshop in St. Louis, we are asking all VFW Posts to participate in
the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partner program. The
Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and
local communities, veterans' organizations and other nongovernmental
organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring
our Vietnam Veterans and their families. As a Commemorative Partner,
VFW Posts are encouraged to participate in the Commemoration of the
Vietnam War by planning and conducting events and activities that
will recognize the Vietnam Veterans and their families' service,
valor, and sacrifice.
Events and activities should be dignified, memorable occasions that show a sensitivity and appreciation for the solemnity of war and the losses suffered by many. Commemorative Partners should communicate how their events will achieve the Congressionally-mandated objectives of the program. Events or activities should meet one or more of the Congressionally-mandated objectives of the program, and as a minimum, with an emphasis on objective one.
1. To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
2. To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces.
3. To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.
4. To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.
5. To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.
For VFW Posts interested in becoming an official Commemorative Partner, they must submit an application and a signed Statement of Understanding. Applications are available at www.VietnamWar50th.com on the Commemorative Partner Program. The approval process is usually less than 30 days. Partners will be kept informed through electronic notifications. Once approved as a Partner, the Commemoration will provide organizations with a starter kit of materials for developing and implementing their programs. If you have any questions regarding the Commemorative Partner Program application process, please direct them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to our VFW Posts becoming partners in assisting a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam Veterans and their families. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Kevin C. Jones
Director, VFW Programs/NMS
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
406 W 34th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111