From its 1899 founding, the VFW has been at the service of war-weary soldiers; from tending to seen and unseen wounds, winning compensation for unjust war injury, and lobbying for needed post-war benefits. Those benefits essentially created the American middle class.
The VFW has done a lot, and we have a lot to be proud of. However, recently, many young veterans of the current wars have sharply criticized the VFW for not modernizing, and rightly so. The VFW deserves this criticism. In fact, some veterans have gone so far as to suggest that the VFW is no longer needed, that it is obsolete. It almost is, and if the VFW doesn’t fundamentally change its ethos and command climate, it will die on the vine. But it should not die.
We need it because it still offers veterans tremendous benefits and is a beacon of progress in the history of veterans’ affairs in the United States.
We very recently secured a new Post home. This has created a wonderful chaos of phone calls, work estimates, ideas, hopes, and new conversations about how this new space will be used. Despite the current environment and young veterans' hesitation to join a brick-and-mortar fraternity organization of any kind, there is still a real need for our continuing presence in the community. We cannot underestimate the power of an actual physical space, a real place to gather, to pay respect to our common symbols of service, and to give back to their fellow Americans. These physical spaces remind our communities that our veterans live among us, and it creates a bridge to the civilian world we must inhabit upon our departure from active duty.
Please let us know your thoughts, ideas and opinions as we move forward, even if you don't want to join us at the moment. We really need our younger brothers and sisters to make #2601 their own and enrich our new space with their own experiences and commitment. This will be your future Post. You will be the ones to carry on our programs for our fellow veterans. You will be our leaders. We really need to hear how you feel about this as we move forward.
Creativity and lifelong social bonds happen when there is a place for groups to meet and socialize. All of the older veterans are staking their future on this plan. If something is not done now, everyone in the community loses a precious resource. We can’t give up on the VFW; our new vets must accept the torch as it was passed to us. We have much to learn from each other.
E Pluribus Unum!
Thank You. We hope to see you.