GENERAL ORDER NO. 5
October 8, 2019
SEPTEMBER TOP INDIVIDUAL RECRUITER:
David Mendoza, Post 3104 (8 New members!)
He will receive $50 VFW Store Gift Certificate.
AUGUST TOP POST
South Hadley Post 3104 (8 New members!)
The post will also receive a $50 VFW Store Gift Certificate.
DEPARTMENT OF MASSACHUSETTS 100TH ANNIVERSARY:
The Massachusetts Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will be turning 100 on December 12th, 1920. A committee has been formed, chaired by Sr. Vice Commander Russell Jobe to coordinate efforts by the Department and its Districts to celebrate this occasion with events throughout the year. Stay tuned to more details in future General Orders.
EMAILING OF GENERAL ORDERS
Posts are now authorized to receive the monthly General Orders via e-mail. One requirement is the
information must be shared with the post members. Complaints of not sharing the information will
result in the post being put back on the mailing list.
Any members wishing to receive the monthly general orders via e-mail only must contact the
State Adjutants office and you will be added to the mailing listing and receive them monthly.
: Members are reminded that under the subscription dues model, an annual member’s dues expire on the last day of the month of which they paid the previous year. Annual members are encouraged to renew their dues prior to their anniversary month to avoid a lapse in continuous membership.
If an Officer or Committee member fails to renew their membership before the last day of the month they renewed in the year before, they shall forfeit eligibility to hold any office for the remainder of the administrative year. This situation creates am administrative headache for the post and should be avoided. Please keep track of your officers and make sure they are renewed in time, or better yet, have them upgrade to a Life Membership!
Every effort should always be made to renew the membership of continuous members and sign up new and recover former members during the entire year to help keep the post healthy and vibrant
The National Bylaws provide for only one type of membership: ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP. There are no provisions in the National Bylaws, nor is there any authority or justification for issuance of Club Membership cards, Associate Member cards, Honorary Membership cards, Courtesy Membership cards or any other special type of cards. Any Post issuing such unauthorized cards, or conducting club operations open to the general public, endangers its standing with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization. Officers signing outlaw cards admitting non-members to VFW premises are subject to disciplinary action. National and Department officers cannot defend practices that conflict with VFW Bylaws or procedures.
STATE MEMBERSHIP: Membership is vital to the success of our organization and to the services we provide. Most of the time getting a new member is as easy as saying hi and where did you serve? Every community has younger veterans who are eligible, and it should be the priority of every post and every member to let them know the VFW is here and ready to serve them.
Commander-in-Chief Doc Schmitz has laid down a challenge to all VFW Posts for the month of October 2019! This month, it’s time to use the TRICKS of recruiting and retention to earn the TREAT of being entered into a $1,000 drawing for your Post.
For this month’s Commander’s Challenge, the top ten Posts in each division with the highest increase in total membership percentage between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 will be entered into a drawing for $1,000 to be deposited into the Post account! Sign up new members, reinstate lapsed members, and collect dues from your annual members who are coming up for renewal, and your Post could be one of those eligible for this incentive! Get that membership drive going and show our veterans that we DARE TO CARE about membership goals!
Attention of commanders is directed to section 703 of the National By-Laws which requires that each accountable officer be bonded with an indemnity company in the sum at least equal to the amount of the liquid assets for which they may be accountable. Too many posts have missed the August 31st deadline this year! If yours is one of them, do the right thing and get it turned in to the Department. This applies even if a third party does the bonding!
Section 518 provides that the Department Inspector shall require that each Post be inspected in accordance with Department and National guidelines. The purpose of the inspection is to assure that the Post operates in a manner that supports the purposes set forth in the Congressional Charter, complies with the By-Laws, preserves the financial integrity of the Post and protects the interest of the member. Every Post is expected to be inspected at least once each year.
It is the duty of the District Inspector to notify the Post Commander, Quartermaster, Adjutant and Trustees of the date and time that the inspection is scheduled. The inspector should allow you enough time to prepare for the visit. The Post inspection will go a lot smoother if it is conducted at some time other than a Post meeting night. If, for any reason, a Post cannot be inspected thoroughly, a report stating the facts must be submitted. It is the responsibility of the Post Quartermaster and Post Adjutant to provide the records necessary to complete the duties of Inspector. When the inspection of a Post is completed, the Post Inspection Form will be made out in triplicate. The yellow copy will be mailed to the Post Commander and a copy should be retained for your files.
: If you are looking for forms, try these links first! Also, forms are available on our state website, www.vfwma.org, under Member Tools.
For all Veterans & Military Support program information and forms, use provided link below:
VMS Formstack Links:
• Virtual Pins: https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/virtualpinrequest
• VFW Website Solution: https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/websolutionapp
• AUX Website Solution: https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/auxwebsolutionapp
• Chairman Report: https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/vms_chairman_report
• MAP Grant Application: www.vfw.org/MAPGrantApplication
• MAP Grant Report: www.vfw.org/MAPGrantReport
• Adopt a Unit Application: www.vfw.org/AdoptAUnitApp
• Adopt a Unit Report: www.vfw.org/AdoptAUnitReport
• Programs Donation Form: https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/vfw_programs_donation.
OICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN NATIONAL AWARDS.
Every Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen first place Department winner will receive a National scholarship or award. The new amount for the Voice of Democracy National Awards now total $154,000 and the Patriot’s Pen National Awards total is now $55,000.
NEW VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN THEMES
. The 2019-20 themes have been chosen by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief William J. “Doc” Schmitz. The Voice of Democracy and the Patriot’s Pen theme will be “What Makes America Great.” The new 2019-20 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen entry forms are now available on the VFW website.
Additionally, anyone (including students, parents, teachers, and chairmen) can download and print the student entry forms for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen by visiting the below links:
Voice of Democracy: http://www.vfw.org/VOD/ Patriot’s Pen: http://www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen/
NEW VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN BROCHURES.
For Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen brochures, posters, awards and more, visit the VFW Store: http://www.vfwstore.org/category/programs/voiceofdemocracy for Voice of Democracy and http://www.vfwstore.org/category/programs/patriotspen for Patriot’s Pen.
NEW SMART/MAHER VFW NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHER AWARD DEADLINE DATES
. The VFW wants to recognize the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers (teaching at least half of the school day in a classroom environment) who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively through the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award program. Now is the time to begin locating exceptional teachers for your Post to nominate for the next
competition. Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, VFW Posts, supervisors or other interested individuals (not relatives). Self-nominees are not eligible.
Please verify that all websites, publications, announcements, etc. has the correct teacher award entry deadlines for the 2019-20 program year. The dates are October 31, 2019, for entries to the Post, November 15, 2019, for completion of Post judging, December 15, 2019, for completion of District judging, January 10, 2020, for completion of Department judging and the Department winners are due to National Headquarters by January 15, 2020. The entry forms are up on the VFW website and are available in the VFW Store.
*****NEW SMART/MAHER VFW NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHER AWARD SUBMISSION CHANGE.********
POST LEVEL NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHERS AWARD
– submit an entry in all three categories (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) advanced to District judging. (Any Post can donate $75 to National in lieu of each entry**.) **Donations made to replace a Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, National Citizenship Education Teachers Award and towards Veterans & Military Support Programs Services as listed above will only be accepted through the following link. Do not donate through your Department or by any other means. https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/vfw_programs_donation
NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHERS AWARD – submit an entry in all three categories (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) advanced to Department judging. (Overseas District donate $100 to National in lieu of each entry**.)
**Donations made to replace a Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, National Citizenship Education Teachers Award and towards Veterans & Military Support Programs Services as listed above will only
be accepted through the following link. Do not donate through your Department or by any other means. https://VFWPrograms.formstack.com/forms/vfw_programs_donation
VFW NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVANT AWARDS
Departments are asked to submit three nominees (one for each career area) to the VFW Programs office no later than Feb. 1, 2020. VFW Programs will create citations for the following awards in each Department:
• VFW National Law Enforcement Award • VFW National Firefighter Award • VFW National Emergency Medical Technician Award
Each Department will receive their three awards and should contact their recipients to arrange a presentation. Department Commanders may present the awards at their Department Convention, but are encouraged to also present the award in front of the recipient’s peers at a professional association event, city council meeting, etc. The purpose of the second venue is to expose these VFW awards to the general public and especially other law enforcement personnel, firefighters and
EMTs, many of whom are veterans eligible for VFW membership. Order plaques and citations for public servants from the VFW Store www.vfwstore.org/searchresults?q=public%20servant
NOTE: “NEW” VFW PUBLIC SERVANT AWARD CITATION POST ENTRY FORM. This form has been developed to assist VFW Post Safety Chairmen with an entry form to hand out to the local Fire Department, Police Department, etc. to assist interested individuals in nominating one of their own. The entry forms along with the required documentation are to be returned to the local VFW Post for their judging. Once the winner in each category have been chosen, the Post will forward those entries on to the next level of judging. Simply visit vfw.org, log in to My VFW, then look under Member Resources, click on VFW Training & Support, then click on Community Service & Youth Programs, then look under Public Servant Program.
VETERANS IN THE CLASSROOM MONTH IN NOVEMBER:
VFW and VFW Auxiliary members are encouraged to volunteer in their schools to talk about their military and home front experiences to students. Invite your local military recruiter to join you to talk about military service today. Additional information can be found in the 2019–20 VFW Community Activities and Citizenship Education VFW Chairman’s Manual. Simply visit vfw.org and LOG IN (or create an account if you do not have one).
After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the “My VFW” page where you will click on VFW Training & Support and then Community Service, Youth Scholarships & Activities where you’ll have access to
the “CHAIRMAN MANUALS.” Participate in this activity during the week of Veterans Day, which is part of “National Veterans Awareness Week,” as designated by Congress. Find Pledge of Allegiance
pencils and coloring books, plus other citizenship education tools at the VFW Store www.vfwstore.org/category/programs/citizeneducation
Call for VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) Male and Female Volunteer of the Year Award Nominations
Each year the Executive Committee of the VA National Advisory Committee for the VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) recognizes a Male and Female Volunteer of the Year. VFW Department leadership and VFW VAVS Representatives along with the VA Medical Facility Chiefs of VAVS are encouraged to submit nominations for the VFW VAVS Male and Female Volunteer of the Year to the VFW Director, National Veterans Services. Nominations must be submitted no-later-than close of business Nov. 27, 2019. VFW Department Commanders, Adjutants, Adjutant/Quartermasters will be receiving a notification letter with details about submission and nomination criteria/requirements. For more information and assistance, please contact the VFW at 202.543.2239.
CONDUCT A VETERANS DAY PROGRAM ON NOVEMBER 11.
Organize a community event on Veterans Day honoring all veterans. For a ceremonial procedure, refer to the information found in the VFW Community Activities and Citizenship Education VFW Chairman’s Manual. If you should need a Veterans Day speech, please go to: vfw.org/MY-VFW/Patriotic-Holiday-Speeches. Click here for Veterans Day merchandise www.vfwstore.org/category/more/specials/veteransday
VETERANS IN THE CLASSROOM MONTH IN NOVEMBER. V
FW and VFW Auxiliary members are encouraged to volunteer in their schools to talk about their military and home front experiences to students. Invite your local military recruiter to join you to talk about military service today. Additional information can be found in the 2019–20 VFW Community Activities and Citizenship Education VFW Chairman’s Manual. Simply visit vfw.org and LOG IN (or create an account if you do not have one). After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the “My VFW” page where you will click on VFW Training & Support and then Community Service, Youth Scholarships & Activities where you’ll have access to the “CHAIRMAN MANUALS.” Participate in this activity during the week of Veterans Day, which is part of “National Veterans Awareness Week,” as designated by Congress. Find Pledge of Allegiance pencils and coloring books, plus other citizenship education tools at the VFW Store www.vfwstore.org/category/programs/citizeneducation
: If you are not already an Action Corps Advocate, we urge you to sign up to receive our VFW Action Corps Weekly which will keep you informed about the work we are doing on your behalf on Capitol Hill. By staying connected, you will be the first to know what is happening in
Washington regarding legislation that impacts the lives of veterans and their families, and you will be able to assist in our grassroots efforts by responding when we send out any Action Alerts.
To become an Action Corps Advocate and receive the VFW Action Corps Weekly, sign up at: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.
: Make sure you ‘like’ and ‘share’ the VFW Department of Massachusetts Facebook page. We post updates, links, contest reminders, events, etc. for you. Share the good news of the VFW: https://www.facebook.com/vfwma/
DATES TO REMEMBER
October 31st Deadline for entries to posts for VOD, PP and Teacher Award nominees.
November 2nd Auxiliary Council of Administration Meeting Millbury Post 3329
November 9th Council of Administration Meeting Somerville Post 529
November 10th Bourne Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony
November 11th Veterans Day
December 9 Canton Hospital Christmas Party
BY COMMAND OF: COMMANDER