Matthew Kampainen, DAV WI Commander
"The harder the conflict the greater the triumph"
George Washington, 1st President of the United States and Commanding General of the Continental Army.
In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to say, I hope that all of our members, families and friends have an enjoyable holiday in these unique times! Turning on the television, going on-line or visiting a neighborhood grocery one cannot help but be reminded that we are in the midst of a global pandemic. While we have received wonderful news regarding a vaccine, we still have some unchartered territory ahead.
I am captivated by the above quote from George Washington, one of our founding Fathers. Washington was immersed in challenges as the Commanding General of the Continental Army, as a rebel colony, it declared war against the reigning Super Power of that era. General Washington did not have the manpower, superior weapons or resources at his disposal as did the British Empire. However, through the power of a dream, tenacity and superior leadership, the Continental Army was able to win the war. This brought forth the creation of a Nation, never seen before in civilization.
Going back to Washington’s quote “the harder the conflict the greater the triumph”. In 2020, and beyond we appear to have our own battle happening. Instead of it being the Red Coats of England, it’s a virus named COVID-19. For the time being, we cannot immerse ourselves in memories of old, reminiscing about past events, while flailing our arms, saying “what are we to do??” and potentially falling back from our basic mission. Due to the constant bombardment of information regarding COVID-19, it can be easy even for the best of us to get overwhelmed.
As indicated in Washington’s quote, it boldly challenges each of us, as Leaders to step forward, think outside of the box and remain actively engaged. We are truly blessed, living in a time of unprecedented technology. This is a great occasion to use it to our advantage. I encourage the use of Video conferencing and social media to stay engaged with our membership. Also stay connected with your local health department and find out what are the best parameters for your members to stay healthy yet pursuing our mission of being of service to our Veterans. The question needs to be asked “Not what we can’t do but instead what we can do.”
As your Commander, I would like to share these new Best Practices of the COVID-19 epoch among our Chapters and membership. When we reflect back through the rear-view mirror of history, this time period, this generation, will be able to experience the self- satisfaction of the “Greater Triumph”. Remember, together we make a difference in the lives of Veterans!