National VFW Convention

As Post Commander, I attended the convention in San Antonio.   This is the third convention I’ve attended and I am finally getting a pulse on the National VFW organization.  While there are a lot of speeches (this year sounded like I was attending the Republican Party Convention with Rick Perry and Mitt Romney making partisan speeches), there is only one agenda item that concerns you directly as a member of VFW, the proposed amendments to National By-Laws, and Manual of Procedure.  There are a couple of amendments that I would like to pass on that were brought to the floor for vote after much discussion.  The first was changing the timing of member dues.  Dues are currently based on calendar year with the bills going out in July in order for everyone to be paid up by December.  Now, dues will be for a full 12 months based on the actual month the member paid.  The Quartermaster now will have members with memberships expiring throughout the year.  I felt this was an awkward way to track dues, but it was passed.  Another change affecting Posts are that Post Officers will now be elected in May.  With the National Convention being moved to July and Department’s convention in June, this is going to put the time squeeze on Posts that meet late in the month so installation of officers may now take place at the same meeting of the voting.  One of the most controversial proposed amendments which did not pass was to have a study of allowing males to join the Ladies Auxiliary (which would become the Auxiliary).  The men allowed to join would be the spouses or sons of female VFW members.  As of now, only female family members of male VFW members are allowed to join the Ladies Auxiliary.  While voted down this year, this is an amendment that will continue to come up in the future.  The final proposed amendment I wanted to discuss came from the Washington Department and District One was to have VFW support the reinstatement of the draft to minimize the multiple deployments now being required of our service members.  A Senior Vice Commander from Hawaii opposed the resolution saying that draftees made poor service members.  I will have to remember to tell that to the draftees who were on my track in Nam, particularly the MBA from NYU.  Also, nothing was mentioned about the sky-rocketing suicide rate which is the result of multiple deployments.

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