The Veterans of Foreign Wars and its many posts are active in our communities.
“Annually, the 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.” We also provide $2.5 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year.
To continue this tradition, we need to grow our posts. How do you do that? Build on your successful programs and demonstrate to the community that your post is active, interesting, and welcoming.
Here are some ideas and new procedures announced at the recent (July) Flying Squadron Training session. VFW Program information handouts will be available at the upcoming district meeting on August 13th in Durham.
Organization: District Commanders are the local, direct line representative of the Department of North Carolina. Have a question about policy, procedures, or just need help? Contact him first. If he doesn’t have the answer, he will work with the Department to assist you and your post.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Programs: Deadlines for application submission to the posts are November 1st. This includes Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen and Teacher of the Year. Application forms are now available for download from National. Learn more from National.
- Posts need to be advertising and soliciting participation now. Schools are about to reopen and teachers are preparing for school year programs and projects.
- Home School students are an excellent source for program participation. District Posts have found that they are eager to enter. In fact, we have had several winners in this category from District 6. One went on to national competition in Washington, DC.
All State Team: There is a new, additional requirement for All State Post. It is New Member Sponsorship. When a new member is recruited and approved, a member of the post is now assigned as his sponsor. This should be the recruiter of the new member. Duties include (1) providing information on post and its elected officers, (2) post and VFW programs, and (3) upcoming events. The sponsor should stay in touch with the new member to see how they are doing. They should also be available to answer questions or assist anyway that is needed.
Adopt a Unit: If your post has adopted a unit, but did not file a program report on adopt a unit activity for the last year, then the information was purged from the system and a new application needs to be filed out. Contact Jim Clark, 910-425-0915, to check if your unit is still active for your post.
Deployed Units: Funds are available for “coming or going party” for deployed units. Coming home parties must be within 3 months of returning. This is a great opportunity to build a relationship with local National Guard units in our district.
- Post bylaws now must be available for review by the district commander. If none are available for viewing it will be deemed that there are no by-laws for your post. All post members should have a copy of the Post bylaws. A copy should also be available at each post meeting.
- Bingo inspections will be conducted at each post, where applicable. The appointed managers are to be present for these inspections.
Membership: A DD Form 214 is not the only source of proof of elegibility. Other examples are: copies of orders, medals (purple heart, bronze star), in uniform with patches, letter with return address with APO/FPO address, theater locale photos of candidate showing presence. Do not let anyone advise you that the DD Form 214 is mandatory for membership.
- Example: A new candidate in our district served two 12-month tours in Korea. His issued DD Form 214 did not indicate a service ribbon for a conflict. This may often be the case for officers. The solution was a copy of his Army Officer Record Brief. It contained two entries showing 12-month tours in Yong San, KS. This record supports his eligibility for membership.
District computer training. Your Sr. Vice Commander has volunteered his assistance to any and all who would like help with their new vfwnc.org website and weblog.
- Training will be held in the morning before the district meeting and will cover accessing on line reporting, department web mail, and post sites.
- You don’t have to wait for the meeting to get help. You can contact him now for one-0n-one training.
- Post bloggers or webmasters can get a look at some of his tricks and resources by checking out his on-line Toolbox.
- Sign-up for a Skype account and you can call him toll-free and eliminate long distance charges.
- Bring your laptop to the District Meeting. There is wireless available and you can work on your site as you learn.
And now, an inspiring message of what is happening elsewhere at other VFW Posts. We’ll take a look at Providence, Rhode Island, and Post 12095. It is the story of a post rebuilt by United States Marines.