Commander’s Corner (August 2022)

Greetings! I’m writing this column on a ~90-degree day, which brings me back to my recent experience in another hot location: Kansas City, Missouri. In late July, Comrades Fitzgerald, Rodenberger and I attended the 123rd VFW National Convention in Kansas City.

It was my first time attending and it was an interesting experience… We witnessed the national-level parliamentary process, met comrades from all over the country, and attended a couple workshops on fundraising and parliamentary procedures (did you know we’re supposed to say “No” not “Nay”?!). 

We also heard from engaging guest speakers, like Gen. (ret.) Martin Dempsey, Secretary of the VA Denis McDonough, and celebrity and veteran advocate Jon Stewart. My favorite speaker was quadruple amputee, Travis Mills. He brought a wicked sense of humor to his speech – I was laughing one minute and crying the next – and we walked away truly inspired!  Our newly elected Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Timothy Borland, addressed the audience as the last convention speaker and here are a few juicy quotes I wrote down:

  • “Every veteran counts.” 
  • “It’s time to pass the torch but remember who is passing the torch.”
  • “Recruit, retain and lead from the front.”

Comrade Chief Borland acknowledged that our organization is struggling because the horsepower behind the operations – Vietnam Veterans – are aging. Younger members have busy lives. I met fellow post commanders from Washington who served Post-9/11 and we’re all grappling with the same issue: how do we activate our membership to do more for veterans? I have my own assumptions but I want to hear directly from you! 

You should have received a letter from me in the mail recently or it should be arriving any day now. In it I make a couple small requests from each of our members: to take a short survey and attend at least one event this year. If for some reason you didn’t receive the letter, you can read it here. Please make your voice heard (and hey, you might win a prize for your time!).

I don’t have a fancy motto but one point I’ll continue to hammer home is that if we all pitch in a little, we can fulfill the VFW motto, “No One Does More for Veterans.” Show up and join our Post 3063 team!

In Comradeship,
Alyson Teeter, Commander