Greetings, VFW Family:
First, we want to thank each of you for your continued dedication and support to the mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S and the VFW Auxiliary. We look forward to working with all of you in our time serving as Commander-in-Chief and National President of our two great organizations. With this in mind, we wanted to officially inform you of our campaign for 2016-2017: The VFW Mental Wellness Campaign. You may have heard us discuss this at our National Conventions, but allow us to explain in more detail, as we are hitting the ground running to support our service members, veterans, and families coping with invisible wounds.
A report published just last week by the Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that as many as 20 veterans choose to end their own lives every day. This is a national tragedy that cannot continue. Thankfully, our physical presence in communities from coast to coast and around the globe, as well as our years of advocacy expertise, mean that the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary are uniquely poised to address this critical issue. We have already partnered with two outstanding organizations, Give an Hour and the One Mind Foundation, to help raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research, and provide intervention for those affected by invisible injuries and emotional stress.
So today, we are asking for your support and the support of the VFW Posts and Auxiliary Units in your Department to help us kick off the VFW Mental Wellness Campaign in your communities through what we’re calling “A Day to Change Direction.”
On October 8, 2016, the VFW and Give an Hour will be hosting the first annual “Day to Change Direction,” which will be a day to share resources with your Post and Department members to “Know the Five Signs” of emotional distress, then join together to complete a community service project of your choosing.
Our generous partners at Give an Hour have already commissioned a web page for “A Day to Change Direction,” where you can pledge your support to this event: www.changedirection.org/VFW-service-project. Simply scroll to the bottom and fill in “Partner Pledge.” We also have VFW staff standing by to help you coordinate events in your area. Please contact VFW National Programs Director Lynn Rolf, email@example.com, with any questions you may have about this initiative.
To learn more about Give an Hour, the national campaign to Change Direction, and the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering, visit: www.giveanhour.org and www.changedirection.org.
To learn more about One Mind and their efforts to support research efforts and innovation in treatment for invisible injuries, visit: www.onemind.org.
As we draw closer to October 8, you will hear from Lynn and his team with more details about the week, as well as ideas on how to make your “Day to Change Direction” a success. In the meantime, please visit www.changedirection.org/VFW-service-project and make your pledge to support this critical effort, and please share with Lynn any unique service project ideas you may have that could help make “A Day to Change Direction” a success.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
No One Does More For Veterans
Unwavering Support for Uncommon Heroes