By Harold Rodenberger, Post 3063 Quartermaster
Last year our National Convention was attended via Zoom only. This year in August, Commander Joe Fitzgerald and I went to Kansas City to attend the 122nd VFW National Convention. Because of the continuing dangers from Covid-19, it was a “business only” convention with no Health Fair, Patriotic Parade or hospitality rooms. In accordance with local guidance, effective Monday, August 2nd we all wore masks inside.
On Saturday and Sunday, Joe and I registered and then attended various classes on recruiting, local Service Officer procedures, and Veterans and Military Services. We also visited the VFW Store to order our All-American
Monday, the ceremonies included a welcome and congratulatory speech from our C-in-C Hal Roesch, and a ten-minute video presentation by President Biden. VFW National Home’s Buddy Poppy Child, 7-year-old Aurora, surprised me by giving a speech that would have been a credit to a teenager. She then was escorted by members of the National Honor Guard as she circulated around the hall collecting donations for the National Home.
Honors were given to departments, districts and posts who achieved various “Legacy Membership” status, “Triple-Crown” winners, and All-American winners at all levels. Our post was awarded All-American status for 2020-2021.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday, we conducted important business, discussing and voting on various resolutions proposed by posts worldwide and by our national representatives.
Some resolutions were of a “housekeeping” nature. Several dealt with the definition of “quorum” and in most cases those were approved to include electronic participation (Zoom or similar) where all participants could have simultaneous communication.
Resolutions B-20 and M-9 were approved. They deleted the entire old Article IX from the Bylaws and Manual of Procedure and substituted new sections dealing with discipline.
Resolutions R-1 and R-2 in the Commemorative Tributes Section of the Ritual, added Oct 23rd – Beirut Bombing and March 29th – National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day.
We approved Resolution 201 “BE IT RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States does commit itself to the ideals of diversity and rejects bigotry of all kinds so as to strengthen the bonds of our great organization.”
Resolution 405 was approved to urge DOD to become more aggressive in its prevention efforts to reduce sexual assault and harassment, to provide victims with proper medical and mental health care, to aggressively investigate every reported incident and punish attackers as appropriate, to stop all retribution and retaliation, and to provide scrutiny to the military justice process.
Resolutions 407 was approved to support legislation for the full concurrent receipt of military retirement pay and VA disability compensation without offset and regardless of rating percentage.
Resolutions 408, 409 and 410 were approved, as they have been for many years, to support ROC Taiwan, Republic of Korea and the Country of Israel.
Resolution 413, which our post approved and forwarded to District 2 for their approval, was approved at District and at our state levels and approved by the convention. It urges the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress to recognize the contributions of Afghan and Iraqi Combat Interpreter Immigrants who stood shoulder to shoulder with, assisted and protected U.S. military service members, U.S. diplomats and government agents, non-governmental organizations, and media organizations during U.S. involvement in those countries.
Resolution 414 respectfully requests the Secretary of the Navy to name a future Naval vessel after the only Philippine Medal of Honor winner, Telesforo Trinidad.
There were approximately 35 resolutions approved that dealt with Dept of VA laws, policy and procedure and laws providing rehabilitation benefits for veterans, and also resolutions pertaining to veterans’ employment, civil service and housing problems
On Tuesday, many awards were given to VFW national officers, checks were delivered by corporate sponsor representatives and the Convention elected and installed officers for the ensuing year. Supreme Commander of the Military Order of the Cootie Darin Combs presented a $43,000 check to Chief Roesch for a new snow plow at the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Mich. Combs said Cootie membership increased by 105 percent this year, the largest increase since the organization began keeping records.
If you are interested in learning more details of the business conducted by our governing body, please go to the national website (vfw.org) click on “Media and Events” followed by a click on “National Convention” where you’ll find a streaming option or you can review the press releases.