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Mebane, NC – Sep 1, Ken Sellers Reporting

This is an earlier newscast that was caught in a never, neverland. Your editor publishes with his apologies.

Greetings from the 112th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  After registration today, there were committee meetings in the afternoon and time to view the exhibits for the first time.  I am on the Finance and Internal Organization Committee and we considered 4 resolutions dealing with changing to a subscription-based annual dues program from the dues program we currently have.  The subscription-based annual dues program would have our memberships come up for renewal on the month the membership was paid for.  This would mean that every membership would be for a full 12 months and would expire not at the end of the calendar year, but at the end of the month you enrolled.  The 4 resolutions were rejected by the Committee.  Reason given for the rejection was that a proposed amendment to the National By-Laws will do the same thing.  The proposed amendment will be considered in the business meeting tomorrow and it is given a good chance to pass.

Another resolution concerning the sharing of membership information (name, address, e-mail, phone number) with the local Posts was also rejected by the Committee.  The person at the National level responsible for sharing this information stated the reason for the rejection as being that they have to be able to share it on a secure line and that is not possible at the present time.  He further stated they can now share this info with the Departments in each state because they have a secure line and require a password to view it.  He says within the next 2 years National should have a secure procedure in place to share the same information with the local Posts by e-mail.

The last resolution we considered was to implement the transition to one Auxiliary, called “The Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States”, from the current separate Ladies Auxiliary and Men’s Auxiliary.  After much discussion, heated at times, the resolution was rejected as being out of order.  It is likely a new resolution will be introduced from the floor tomorrow that will be worded differently and will be voted on.  In my opinion, based on the discussions I heard during the committee meeting and afterward, it is likely any resolution on this subject will be soundly rejected by the convention.

Tomorrow, at the formal opening ceremonies,  we will hear from the Governor of Texas and now a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, Rick Perry, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).  Tuesday, former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney will be addressing the convention along with the Deputy VA Secretary Scott Gould.

There are major concerns remaining about the VFW’s long-term financial outlook.  Inadequate annual member dues, mandated pension requirements, national financial support of Departments, and reduced non-member and member contributions continue to present challenges. Annual dues were termed “too low” by the National Council of Administration which met Saturday.  VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher said the important questions to ask are, “How many members will the VFW have in 20 years and how many members does the VFW need to stay financially viable?”  Also, emphasized was the fact that 30% of the VFW’s net revenue annually supports Departments.  Maher asked, “Are financially strong Departments subsidizing the weak Departments?”

That is all for now.  By the way, it was 107 degrees today!  The hottest day recorded this year in San Antonio!!!!

Ken Sellers, Post 1920 – Mebane, NC