June 1, 2003

403 Lee-Jackson Highway PO Box 2067
Staunton, Virginia 24402
540 886 8112 FAX 540 886 1732
In Virginia 800 888 3521


Comrades and Sisters, I've sat at this computer for 30 minutes now in disbelief that this will be the last article I write as the Department Commander. Where has the time gone? As I put these words to paper, I find myself reminiscing about a year that was packed full of travel, adventure, surprise, education and accomplishment.

A lot more problems than I would have liked were uncovered and for the most part resolved. As all past Commanders know the brief time we are in office will not completely resolve all problems. So therefore, as I pass the torch I pass the problems. As you all should know by now I am in this organization till the end. As a Past Commander I will uphold my obligation to assist when and where I can.

As we head into our convention on the 19th of June, I will be doing my usual, and that is going slow like a turtle as I have the past year. So if you see me in the hall ways of the Sheraton, please give me a boost.

Its been an eventful year, and some items we had no control over.

A lot of work has gone into the convention planning this year and I hope to see a lot of you there.

Membership is at a stand still now, but we can make our goal of 100%, but if it means you are going to pay for members that you aren't even certain if they are LIVE OR NOT then I say DO NOT DO IT. Yet, if you have members in hospitals or nursing homes then I urge you to look after their membership and not let it falter. As I recall, I believe this is why we are here!

To Commanders at all levels I would recommend you have your Service Officers attend the Service Officers Class to be given by the Department Service Officer Fred Fralin on Saturday the 21st of June. At this class the attendees will be assisted in the process to file a claim and will be given the newest edition of the Service Officers Manual. If your Service Officer plans on attending please notify the Adjutant/Quartermaster so that he can compile a list for the Service Officer. This class promises to be informative.

Please note the time of the award ceremony on Thursday. It will be at 6:30PM which is a half hour earlier. We have designed a system we think will cut time down and we will not be in attendance all night.

In closing I wish to thank all the members of the Department of Virginia VFW and It's Ladies Auxiliary for the courtesies as I traveled this great state, And for the many cards, letters, and flowers during the six times I was in the hospital over the past year, and the recent death of my sister. Thank you all so much for the memories!

A reminder about "All State Team." The tickets for the banquet will be given to the "All State" Commanders and Quartermasters when they register. Once they receive their tickets they will be assigned to a table for the banquet. The checks will be given on Sunday, after the elections, to those "All State Commanders and Quartermasters who have: (1) Registered at the Sheraton for the convention starting Thursday, 19th of June. (2) Answered to three (3) random roll calls during the course of the convention. If you do not attend the convention for whatever reasons your hat, pen set, pin, will be sent to you, without the check. "NO EXCEPTIONS." Checks are given to help defray the cost of attending the convention.

By now all elections should be over, and your election reports sent in. Please make sure that has been done. When I last checked with the HQ staff there were a lot of Posts still delinquent in sending them in. Also, please make sure you do not owe the Department anything that will prevent you from voting.

All Line Officers are requested to wear white dinner jackets and black slacks for the banquet on Saturday night at the convention.

Lawrence (Larry) Mattera
State Commander


I would like to thank all the members who have worked hard on membership this year. As of May 16, the Department is at 97.62%. We still have time to renew and recruit members. The membership recruiting year does not end until June 30. I ask that all Posts continue to help the Department reach 100%. We only need 848 members. Call or visit all your members who have not renewed and ask them to please continue to be a part of our organization. Sign up new members and reinstate others. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Together, we can get it done.


For the membership year 2004, the Department of Virginia will be participating in Direct Dues Processing. The renewal notices will be sent to members and they will be instructed to send their check and the notice to National Headquarters. Posts will receive their portion of the funds directly form National. Members will still be able to renew at the Post but please encourage everyone to support the Direct Dues Process. Department Officers will be coming to Districts to educate Posts on the process. Please take advantage of the training. District Commanders and Post Officers will be sent letters informing them of the training schedule.

Pete Snelling
Membership Chairman



Items to be published in the General Orders must be in State Headquarters by the 20th of the month before publication. Headquarters can accept handwritten, typed and faxed information, BUT we would prefer to receive your input as an electronic document that we can insert directly into our draft of the next edition. Changes of address or phone numbers within the Department must be submitted in writing or by e-mail.

Audit reports must be signed by at least two trustees before they are submitted to State Headquarters or they will be returned for correction.

DONATIONS - Please send your donations (WWII Memorial, National Home, Operation Uplink, etc.) to VFW State Headquarters, PO Box 2067, Staunton, VA 24402. National Headquarters will credit individuals and posts from the detailed list of the gifts and donors state provides.

BUDDY POPPIES - Our efforts to get rid of excess inventory at state headquarters is working. It is working so well that I have started reordering poppies. Since the new poppies cost more than the old ones did, we are going to have to raise the price. EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 2003 Buddy Poppies will cost $105 per thousand, this will include shipping. Orders received before 1 July will be filled at the current price of $90 per thousand even if we do not get them mailed until after the first.

Operation Uplink - I will continue to do my best to get cards to support the good works of our posts and auxiliaries but I need your help. If you call Kansas City directly to request calling cards, they are going to refer the request to state headquarters before they prepare any shipment of calling cards. A copy of the most recent information about Operation Uplink, and the new form for ordering Uplink calling cards was attached to the May General Orders. A copy of the form is included in the attachments to this month's General Orders. Please use this form for all requests for calling cards.

REPORTS AND FORMS - The forms for State Convention Delegate Registration and National Convention Hotel Registration can be found on the state web-site. If you do not have email please call or write State Headquarters and we will send the forms to you.

GENERAL ORDERS - In an effort to control the cost of producing and mailing the general orders each month the mailing list has been reduced to the State Line Officers, District and Post Commanders and Quartermasters, Past State Commanders, and Department President. For others who want to receive a copy of the General Orders each month we are once again offering subscriptions. The cost for 2003-04 will be twenty dollars for the year, or two dollars per issue. A subscription form is attached to this month's General Orders. Checks, money orders, and credit cards will be accepted in payment. If you receive a hard copy of the General Orders and have the ability to print satisfactory copies from the internet please call us or email us at <> so we can remove your name from the mailing label file.

LIFE MEMBER REBATE FOR 2004 - National headquarters has advised that for calendar year 2004 the Life Member Rebate for plan A, B, and C [those who became life members before the increase in 2000] will be $3.50; the rebate for plan D [those who became life members after 2000] will be $5.50.



SECOND - 8-9-03 - Post 392 VIRGINIA BEACH, meeting 12:00 Noon

THIRD - 9-6-03 - Third District Headquarters, meeting 2:00 PM, meal to follow

FOURTH - 8-10-03 - Post 637 HOPEWELL, Meeting at 1:00 PM, meal to follow

FIFTH - 9-28-02 - Post 1115 HILLSVILLE, Lunch 12:00 Noon, meeting to follow

SIXTH - 8-17-03 - Post 5311 CHRISTIANSBURG, Meeting at 2:00 PM

SEVENTH - 9-14-03 - Post 621 LURAY, Meeting at 11:30 AM

EIGHTH -9-14-03 - Post 2524 CULPEPER, Meeting 1:00 PM


TENTH -9-7-03 -Post 9274 FALLS CHURCH, Meeting 1:00 PM

ELEVENTH - 9-14-03 - STAUNTON POST 2216, 11:30 A.M.

TWELFTH - 9-7-03 - CLINTWOOD POST 8979, 11:00 A.M.



Post 7157 - Meeting will be changed from 3rd Wednesday 10:00 AM to 3rd Monday night at 7:00 PM

E-Mail Changes:
Post 632 Ray MacLennan -
Post 1033 -
Post 9965 Gus Villalobos, Commander - Villa@MSINETS.COM


June 19-22, 2003 State Convention, Richmond; the Sheraton West, 6624 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23230. Rates are $79.00 per night. Telephone 800-325-3535, FAX 804 285 8418.

July 11-13, 2003 State School of Instruction, Lynchburg; Holiday Inn Select, 601 Main Street, Lynchburg, 24504. Rates are $69.00 a night; telephone 434-528-2500

July 26, 2003 Satellite Training, various sites

August 23-29, 2003 National VFW Convention, San Antonio, Texas

September 11-14 2003 Commander In Chiefs Homecoming, Mystic, Connecticut

September 19-21,2003 Fall Council Meeting, Lynchburg; Holiday Inn Select, 601 Main Street, Lynchburg, Virginia, 24504. Rates are $69 per night, telephone 434-528-2500

Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2003 Southern Conference, Biloxi, Mississippi

January 16-18, 2004 Winter Council Meeting, Williamsburg; Clarion Hotel, 500 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185. Rates are $52 per night, telephone 800-666-8888, FAX 757-220-4662.

June 17-20, 2004 State Convention

August 14-20, 2004 National VFW Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio

August 20-26, 2005 National VFW Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah


The Minutes of the 2002 State Convention record that the following item was tabled for consideration at the 2003 State Convention.



Section 1301 - Formation

A Post, if the By-Laws of the Department having jurisdiction so provide, may form an association separately constituted as a subordinate unit. The Department in which the Post is located shall charter such unit. Such association shall be subject to the rules established by the respective Department Convention, Department Commander and Post.

Departments are not authorized to issue charters to units other than those sponsored by a Post. Formation, control and disbandment of these associations, as well as suspension or cancellation of charters, shall be in the manner prescribed in the Manuel of Procedure and as may be provided in Department By-Laws not inconsistent with the Manual.

Section 1302 - Eligibility

Membership in the Mens Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars shall be limited to husbands, widowers, fathers, grandfathers, sons, grandsons, brothers and half brothers who attained that status prior to age sixteen (16) of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Members must not be less than sixteen (16) years old.

Persons eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall not be eligible for membership in the Mens Auxiliary.

Section 1303 - By-Laws, Rules of order and Order of Business

The By-Laws adopted by any such auxiliary shall not conflict with the Congressional Charter, By-Laws, Manual of Procedure, Ritual, or laws and the usage of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States or Department. Such By-Laws shall conform to rules prescribed by the respective Department and Post.



Section 1301 - Organization and Disbandment of Mens Auxiliaries.

(a) Formation. Mens Auxiliaries may be hereafter formed in accordance with the following provisions and such other provisions as may be required by Department By-Laws.

No Mens Auxiliary shall be formed, unless approved by two thirds (2/3) vote of the Post membership present at a regular or special meeting, due notice of proposed formation having been given the entire membership in writing at lease one week prior to a regular meeting, or special meeting called for the aforementioned purpose. Each Mens Auxiliary shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Post under which it is affiliated. It shall also be subject to the jurisdiction of the Department Convention, Council of Administration and Commander of its respective Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States with respect to matters of authority.

Each Mens Auxiliary shall function in accordance with the By-Laws of the Department issuing the charter and the Post with which it is affiliated or lawful orders issued by Department Council of Administration or Department Commander.

(b) Suspension and Discontinuance. The Department Commander may suspend, for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days, or cancel the charter of any Mens Auxiliary, upon the recommendation of the Post to which the Auxiliary is affiliated, or under such other conditions as may be provided in Department By-Laws.

A Post may, by vote of eighty (80) percent of its members present at a meeting following a written notice mailed or delivered to each member of the Post in good standing at least ten (10) days before said meeting, vote to request cancellation of the charter of its Men's Auxiliary. The notice must be the contemplated action and reason therefore. If the Post votes to request suspension or cancellation of the charter of its Mens Auxiliary, it shall certify in writing and forward same to the Department Commander.

While the Charter of a Mens Auxiliary is suspended, said unit shall not be permitted to function and officers thereof shall be without authority.

(c) Disposition of Property. In the event of a surrender, cancellation or forfeiture of a Charter of a Mens Auxiliary, all official records, money and other property shall immediately become property of the Post.

(d) Reports. The President of the Mens Auxiliary shall, within thirty (30) days after induction into office, submit to the Post Commander an itemized report of financial status of the association over which he is presiding officer. Such reports shall be acknowledged by the Post Commander during the nest regular meeting and may be read to the members assembled. The Auxiliary shall also provide the Post with the names and addresses of its members. At least annually, the Post shall provide the names and addresses of Auxiliary members, and such other information as may be required by Department By-Laws, to the Department issuing the Charter, which information shall also be provided to National Headquarters.


We are in a new reporting year. Give your new Post Commander a head start and report your activities for Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, and any other projects you completed in May. It is too late to report events in April and earlier. Do not report events now for June and later. Add your email address to the form and I will acknowledge receipt of your report. In addition to mailing the report to the address at the bottom of the form (available in the Forms section of the state website), you may email your report to me at or use the on-line report at

Two hundred fifty-four Second Half reports were received from 156 posts. The final status for the Second Half, Year 2002 - 2003 is as follows:

DISTRICT 1 - Posts not reported: 8629, 9358, 9636 (75% of 13 posts reported)
DISTRICT 2 - Congratulations: 100% reported
DISTRICT 3 - Congratulations: 100% reported
DISTRICT 4 - Posts not reported: 7897, 8048, 8228, 9618 (85% of 25 posts reported )
DISTRICT 5 - Posts not reported: 644, 2820, 7443, 8243 (70% of 14 posts reported)
DISTRICT 6 - Posts not reported: 484, 7854, 8184 (85% of 19 posts reported)
DISTRICT 7 - Posts not reported: 4698, 8613 (85% of 13 posts reported)
DISTRICT 8 - Posts not reported: 472, 7728, 9835, 9865 (65% of 11 posts reported)
DISTRICT 9 - Posts not reported: 2719, 7969 (85% of 13 posts reported)
DISTRICT 10 - Congratulations: 100% reported
DISTRICT 11 - Posts not reported: 4204, 4989, 7157, 7578, 8479, 9480, 9794, 10773 (60% of 21 posts reported)
DISTRICT 12 - Posts not reported: 1994, 4301, 5715, 6975, 8652, 10298, 10611, 10673 (of 14 posts)
DISTRICT 13 - Posts not reported: 2613, 8697, 8717, 9887, 10295 (65% of 14 posts reported)

The following is a suggested Letter to Your Editor by National Headquarters for Flag Day. Print on VFW letterhead and send out as soon as possible.

Letter to the Editor
Your Name Address
Telephone number

Show Pride on Flag Day The U.S. flag can be seen flying everywhere to honor those who died in the war on terrorism and as a symbol of unity. Many individuals asking questions about proper flag etiquette have contacted the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and we appreciate their questions. As we approach the official day honoring our flag on June 14th, Flag Day, it is a great opportunity to show our pride. To assist in displaying our nation's symbol, I would like to share a few guidelines: " A flag displayed on a car should be fastened to the right side bumper, antenna or to the window. " If displaying a flag on a wall, the blue field should be in the upper left corner and the flag should never touch the ground. " When displaying an all-weather flag outdoors, 24 hours a day, there should be a light near it at night so it is not in complete darkness. " Above all, when the flag becomes worn, please replace it. For additional flag etiquette, visit the VFW website at or contact your local Post Commander. Remember, Old Glory has been flying for more than 225 years and will be flying for many, many years in the future. Thank you for showing your patriotic pride. God Bless America!

Your name
Title Veterans of Foreign Wars
Town, State

J. Gary Wagner
Americanism Chairman


The following Post's have not submitted Safety Reports for the 2nd Half as of May 20, 2003:

District 1: 2296, 7167, 8629, 9358, 9636
District 2: 100%
District 3: 100%
District 4: 7897, 8048, 8228, 8446,9618
District 5: 644, 873, 2820, 8243
District 6: 484, 7854, 8184
District 7: 4698, 8613
District 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 7728, 8208, 9835, 9865
District 9: 7969
District 10: 8815
District 11: 4204, 4989, 7157, 7578, 8279, 8479, 10773
District 12: 1994, 4301, 5715, 6975, 8652,10611
District 13: 2044, 2613, 8169, 8717,1095

Vic Weaver
Safety Chairman


The link shown below has the most up to date information on Guard/Reserve units mobilized for the war (Just scroll through the list to find Virginia).

Posts with mobilized units in their communities are encouraged to contact those activities to see if/how they can be of assistance to the units or the dependents.

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - National headquarters has provided two internet address you can use to express your support for the men and women currently serving in our armed services.

The Department of Defense has established as part of the National Military Appreciation Month.

The National VFW has established, to collect messages that will be sent to various branches of the services through the Adopt-a-Unit program and the Military Assistance Program.


The following Posts HAVE NOT been inspected:

DISTRICT 8: 472, 1177, 4468, 8208, 9865
DISTRICT 13: 1827, 8717, 10295

Ed Cluney
State Inspector


"National Bylaws, Section 213 - Arrearage.

Any Post in arrears for National, Department, County Council or district dues, poppy money, supply money, or other financial obligations, or failing to have the office of Quartermaster properly bonded in accordance with Section 703, or failing to submit properly completed quarterly Post Trustees Report of Audit or Post Election Report shall be deprived of all representation in County Council meetings, District, Department and National Conventions. Such representation shall be restored promptly upon proper adjustment of such deficiencies."


"National Bylaws, Section 222 - Delegates, County Council, District, Department and National Conventions.

The form to reporting the State Convention delegates and alternates from your post are attached to these General Orders. Your post may pre-register your delegates by sending the completed form and a three dollars for each delegate listed to state headquarters. Please time your mailings to arrive at headquarters by Friday 13 June to help ensure we have all of the pre-registrations in hand when we arrive in Richmond.


The VFW year 2003 is coming to an end and I want to thank all Department members who took the time to get involved on legislative matters affecting Veterans at the National and Commonwealth level. Further, I want to particularly acknowledge the support I received from our Department Commander, Larry Mattera, without exception, the other Senior Officers of the Department. They led by example. Last, but not least, I extend my sincerest thanks to the following members of the Legislative Committee for their productive efforts regarding the Department's legislative agenda. These individuals are:

Ernest Glynn Waynard Caldwell Ed Essertier
Earl Harris, Jr. James Kerr John King
Charles Pulley J. B. Young

The turnout of VFW and Auxiliary members in Richmond on 16 January 2003 for our annual Legislative Day on the Hill was the largest in recent years. We were well received. On that date, we met with Governor Mark Warner and visited the offices of all 140 members of the General Assembly where we wither met with the concerned legislator or his/her staffer. All were briefed on the contents of our VFW Issues booklet. The foremost issue brought to the attention of the Governor and members of the General Assembly was the inadequate funding of the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite our best efforts, the approved budget for FY 2003 - 2004 (1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004) for the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs did not meet the needs of the Veteran community.

Statistical information on compensation and pension cases in Virginia, compiled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), clearly shows that there is a severe shortage of Claims Agents in many parts of the Commonwealth. This shortage has been exacerbated by staffing cuts to the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs since 1 July 2002. The inadequate funding of the Virginia Department of veterans Affairs was the biggest disappointment of this past legislative year. At the National Level, senior department officers and members of the Department Legislative Committee visited members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill in the fall of 2002 and the late winter of 2003. Without exception, VFW members were well received despite the hectic schedules of our U.S. Senators and Representatives.

The Priority Goals of the VFW for 2002 -2003 were discussed with every member of the Virginia delegation. Copies of cited Priority Goals have been widely distributed and also included in the General Orders and will not be repeated in their entirety. However, since they are top priority, two goals regarding the USDVA Budget are included below:

*Secure a mandatory funding structure to guarantee adequate dollars as well as enhanced planning options for the USDVA; and

*Ensure needed funding is authorized and appropriated for the continuing operation and enhancement of the entire Veterans Healthcare Administration.

These two goals were discussed in detail with the Congressional delegation. During the course of the past VFW year Legislative Committee members conducted other visits with members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation.

From late July 2002 through mid January 2003, Department Commander Larry Mattera and myself participated in a series of meeting throughout the Commonwealth hosted by the Governor's Advisory Commission for Veterans Affairs (GACVA). Commander Mattera was a member of the Leadership Advisory Council that assisted the GACVA. Cited commission was charged with:

*Reviewing the agencies, programs and boards currently serving the Veteran community;

*Assessing the current and future needs of the Veteran community;

*Identifying current and potential funding sources for Veteran services; and

*Recommending the structure, strategies and systems for the most effective delivery of services to Virginia's Veteran community

Many of the recommendations of the GACVA were incorporated in legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.

Lastly, I accompanied the Department Commander to meetings hosted by the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs throughout the past VFW year. A range of subjects were covered at these meeting.

John. P. McAnaw
Legislative Chairman


Comrades and Members of Ladies Auxiliary please help your Commander and President reach 100% in Membership. Pat needs less than 100 members to make it and Larry needs fewer than 700. This is remarkable considering he started the year with a huge deficit. Larry has rendered a great service to the Department this year by removing an individual that was detrimental to the Department. He has also requested us to only send in membership for living - breathing members. I hope every member fells admiration for Larry as I do.
Please help him make his 100%.

Tom W. Hines
State Judge Advocate


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone for their cards, letters and phone calls during my illness.
E. Ray Chappell


We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of State Junior Vice Commander Michael J. Hoiness, he will be sadly missed.

We also extend our deepest sympathy to the Hawthorne family on the loss of Agnes Hawthorne, wife of Past Department Commander James R. Hawthorne.


MAY 20, 2003

His eligibility to membership having been questioned under the provisions of Section 108 of the National By-Laws and the veteran having failed to submit proof of campaign medal service which would qualify for membership, it is hereby ordered that the name of John G. Bosely, Life Membership No. 0351498, be removed from the rolls of John C. Culvin Post No. 1827, Charlottesville, VA and his membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States terminated for reason of ineligibility.

By order of
Raymond C. Sisk


MAY 20, 2003

His eligibility to membership having been questioned under the provisions of Section 108 of the National By-Laws and the veteran having failed to submit proof of campaign medal service which would qualify for membership, it is hereby ordered that the name of Buddy A. V. Lewis, Life Membership No. 0507299, be removed from the rolls of Ballard Pruitt Post No. 647, Danville, VA, and his membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States terminated for reason of ineligibility.

By order of
Raymond C. Sisk

Official: By Order of:
Fred L. Wolking Lawrence F. Mattera
State Adjutant State Commander

School of Instruction Agenda July 11-13, 2003 General Order Subscription Form
Operation Uplink Phone Card Order Form