Well, everyone, my year is almost over. To say I wouldn’t want to have another year so I could have a "normal” command year would be a lie, but alas, this was the year I was dealt. We’ve had to "adapt and overcome” to a year like no other. We, as a Department have accomplished more in this last year than I could even imagine in a NORMAL year!! Let’s share some of our accomplishments:
Our Department is ALMOST ALL AMERICAN!!! Yep, you read that right. We have almost earned this coveted award back to back! We’re waiting on a few reports and the announcement!! This could not have been accomplished without all of your hard work as Post members!! It is amazing what someone Posts have done to reach out to former members; new members, and even their own membership to just check-in and see what they can do to help!
We have three Districts that are ALMOST ALL AMERICAN too!!! Yep, you read that right too! District 11 is in 2nd place in the NATION and District 3 and 4 are both in 3rd in their divisions!!! Shout out to District Commanders Frank Persa, Ted Streete, and Tony Whetstine for their leadership in this accomplishment!!! We need to keep those Districts in the top 10 of their divisions.
We have SOOOOO many Posts that have made All American (11 to be exact, so far) and even more that have hit the 100% club (that would be 29 more!!!) So many that you’ll find the list on my General Order on the website here! NO ONE can say that "due to COVID, we couldn’t get our membership!”
Recruiting/retaining/reintroducing (to the VFW) was the theme for our big recruiters of the state. Steve Woodward (Post Commander of 2224 in Puyallup) is our top recruiter with 177 (so far…… there’s always time to catch him!) and is #5 in the Nation. He is our Certified National Recruiter for the state, holding the #3 spot for all of them! Josh Schreck is holding the #9 spot in the Nation! Both have helped ALL our members who have asked for it, with ideas, tips, and email tricks on how to reach out to those members that need to rejoin. These methods have worked so well that they were asked to share them with other Departments!! WAY TO GO, GUYS!!!
Our Community Service reporting was revamped by Bekki McGinnis, who took on this task, knowing it was broke, and she not only changed the way you do your reporting, but she got with National to make sure what we were reporting was done CORRECTLY!! I know it was a learning curve some were not happy with, but in the end, reporting hours are being held at the standard National expects. Bekki was recognized by National for her exceptional work!!! AWESOME job, Bekki!!!
As far as Department Service Division; we have a staff like no other!!! They have, under the leadership of Todd Gruchalla, helped more Veterans and family members than all the other VSO’s in the state COMBINED!!! Next time you see one of them, thank them for their hard, dedicated work to our Veteran community!!
If you never looked at our website inner-workings (because you got stuck on this page reading my "article”) you’ve missed a HUGE upgrade in how this website can help you as a Commander, Quartermaster, Trustee, or even member. There is SOOOO much good information that Ben has included now!! I hope this continues in the years to come as it was a long time coming and it took MANY hours of work to get this to be a viable, working website!!
Thanks to our staff here at Department that has really gone out of the way to think of innovative ways to get the job done. I want to thank Ben, Josh, Paul, Todd, and Robin for their year-long dedication to the mission!!
Almost lastly, I want to thank all of my Chairmen that didn’t use COVID as an excuse to get out of doing anything!!! You all made me so proud of what you’ve done for this Department!! I KNOW that we have left the Department in better shape than we got it, and it is because of all of you and your hard work.
LASTLY, I want to thank you, the membership, for having the confidence in me leading this Department. I know a few of you didn’t want me as your Commander, but I hope that I have squelched some of your doubts about me. I kept "mission first, VFW always” in all my actions.
It has been an honor to serve the Veterans, families, and communities surrounding the VFW in this state, and I hope you all remember our mission, and "Stay Focused” this coming year!!
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank Dr. Richard Stone for the outs...