General Orders and Department Communications # 8
 
GENERAL ORDER NO. 8
 
February 7, 2020
 
         
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
1. Top Individual Recruiter: John Larney, Post 1526. 10 Members
 
2. Top Post: Medway Post 1526 10 Members
 
Per your monthly membership contest, the individual is awarded a $50 VFW Store Gift Cert and the Post is also awarded a $50 VFW Store gift cert. 
 
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. Massachusetts is at 83.60%. That leaves us with 3280 members needed to just keep up with last year. In Massachusetts there are approximately 85,000 VFW eligible veterans out of a total of 365,000 living here. If they are not members of any organization, their voices are not being heard. If we want to maintain the benefits and services we have worked so hard to obtain, we must remain a loud and viable voice in front of our lawmakers. The need has never been higher. All it takes is everyone just signing up one more person or getting that member who left for whatever reason to sign back up. Let’s all work together to get to at least 100%.
One area that needs attention is our Women Veterans. Currently we have 177 women in our whole department. There are 26,818 female Veterans living in our state. Even if only 20 percent of them are VFW eligible, we are still looking at over 5000 eligible members! If you know of any Women Veterans do not hesitate to ask them about joining. Their voices matter!  
FEBRUARY MEMBERSHIP CONTEST:
Any posts that achieve 100% by February 29 (effective March 1) will qualify for a special drawing:

A. Large Posts with 50 or more members will have a chance to win $500.

B. Small Posts with 49 or less members will have a chance to win $250.
 
There are over 50 Posts that need 10 members or less to qualify! That means any of these posts could pay up their needed members and then have a chance to have it completely paid for! Give it a go and good luck!
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!
  POST INSPECTIONS:
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.
 
We are currently behind on inspections. Make every effort to get these done.
 
POST ELECTIONS:
Attention is directed to Section 217 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure covering the nomination, election and installation of Post Officers. Post-Election Report forms are being mailed to Post Quartermasters with instructions that they complete the form online through the Online Membership System (OMS) or they can complete the form and return directly to National Headquarters immediately following the election of Post Officers but not later than June 1.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: ALL NOMINATIONS ARE DONE IN MARCH AT THE POST LEVEL WITH ALL ELECTIONS HELD IN APRIL. INSTALLATIONS ARE DONE PRIOR TO THE DEPARTMENT CONVENTION BUT THE OFFICERS CANNOT ASSUME DUTIES BEFORE THE NEW DEPARTMENT COMMANDER IS INSTALLED.
If your post is not following these by-laws, please bring it into compliance. 
 
DEPARTMENT CONVENTION TO BE HELD JUNE 11-14, 2020 LEOMINSTER MA
Section 222 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure provides that delegates and alternates for the District Convention and meetings, Department and National Conventions shall be elected at a regular meeting in April . Posts are entitled to one (1) delegate and one (1) alternate for each thirty (30) members or fraction thereof in good standing in the Post as of March 31. Please ensure the election is done in April and the names of those delegates turned into the Department no later than May 1 st ! Also, if you know you are attending the convention, it is not too early to let us know! It makes things go a lot smoother if you help us out that way. For one thing your name tag will already be done and you won’t have to wait for it!
 
DISTRICTS:

Pursuant to Section 403 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure, each District shall hold an annual District Convention for the purpose of electing District officers, such convention to be held not less than ten (10) days nor more than seventy-five (75) days prior to the convening of the Department Convention. Pursuant to Section 403 of the National Bylaws – Regular Meeting, Districts shall hold at least two (2) regular meetings each year for purposes of transacting business and conducting schools of instruction. Pursuant to Section 417 of the National Manual of Procedure, District officers shall not assume the duties of their office until the Department Commander is installed. District officers shall not be installed or assume the duties of their office until proof of eligibility has been submitted and properly reviewed in accordance with Section 416 of the Manual of Procedure.
 
NATIONAL CONVENTION TO BE HELD IN RENO NEVADA JULY 18-23
Attention of Post Commanders is directed to Section 222 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure, which provides that each Post will pay, in advance, a National Convention registration fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) which shall entitle the Post to a packet of convention information and materials and one identified registered delegate for the National Convention. Each additional delegate attending the National Convention will pay a ten dollar ($10) delegate fee. Posts are encouraged to register their Post delegate(s) online through the Online Membership System (OMS) or by submitting their National Convention Post and Delegate Registration form that will be mailed to all Posts as part of the Election Report/Convention Registration mailing going out later this month. Registration forms for the 121st National Convention may be mailed to: Convention Registration, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.
FORMS:  
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:

· 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
 
ACTION CORPS:
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 .
 
COMMANDERS’S MESSAGE:
 
Comrades, I hope all is well with you and your families. I think that we are so lucky that all of this rain is not snow! Winter is definitely not my favorite time of the year and I can’t wait for Spring to arrive. Believe it or not, we only have four months left until convention! It’s time to shift into second gear and work on your memberships. We actually have 64 Posts in the State that currently need 10 members or less for 100%! Comrades, these are quick fixes. By following through with just a few hours of work and phone calls and doing the right thing, those posts with 10 or less could be 100% very quickly. Comrades, make it happen!                       
When we make our 100% for the State, this will be our third year in a row! That will be quite an accomplishment, something that we all can be proud of. Keeping in mind that membership is the key to success for all that we do in the VFW with each generation of veterans fighting for the rights of the next generation of veterans. That is the way it has always been, helping our brothers and sisters. Also, membership really affects everything we do at all levels of the VFW. Our numbers have a tremendous effect on our leader’s ability to fight for the rights and benefits of veterans and their dependents in all levels of government. As a matter of fact, our team will soon be going to Washington DC to ‘Storm the Hill’, by visiting with each of our legislators to discuss various bills that affect veterans and their dependents. Our dues help pay for the wide variety of exceptional programs that we do each and every year, our extraordinary Service Officers Program (over 2000 worldwide), scholarships, donations, disaster relief, etc. Plus, the services and good work that each and every one of you perform for your Post, your District and for your communities are worthy to be called proud VFW member. So, make some calls, help make this happen, do the right thing!  
As an incentive, I want to announce a special opportunity: for any Post that achieves 100% in membership effective March 1 st , will be eligible for one of two raffles. The first is for large Posts with 50 or more members you will have a chance to win $500. The second for small Posts with 49 or less members you will have a chance to win $250. (Please note that those Posts that have already achieved 100% will automatically be included in the drawing since they have already done their job!) This information has already been sent out to you by other means, but please share this with everyone. You have the rest of the month of February to achieve this goal! You even get a bonus day as this is a Leap Year with 29 days in February. The drawing for the 2 Posts will take place at the Council of Administration Meeting on March 14 th at the Westford Post #6539.
 
 Following the Legislative Conference on March 5th, our Commander-in-Chief ‘Doc’ Schmitz, will be visiting Massachusetts. More information will be coming out soon on these events so that you can make plans to attend. 
We have officially entered the beginning of our 100 th year as a VFW Department, which will culminate in December. The Department was actually chartered on December 12, 1920. That is quite a milestone and, Sr. Vice Commander Russ Jobe (our incoming Commander for the Centennial Anniversary) has requested that Posts and Districts actively pursue initiatives to commemorate this special event, culminating in a special event to be scheduled for some time in December. Russ has my full support on this and we hope that many of you will host and coordinate your events with us. We can also help advertise the events for you to assist in getting as many participants as possible. Russ has also commissioned a special commemorative coin that is available and that will be sold as a fundraiser for the Centennial for $10.00 each.
As I stated at our Convention Banquet last June, always be willing to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘to be willing to take that extra step’ to make it happen. If you choose to live by this, you will succeed. I can tell you that it won’t be easy. In fact, it will probably be the hardest thing to do. Remember, it’s not about me and it’s not about you, it’s about the VFW’s mission, to assist our veterans, our servicemen and women and their dependents. You’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing that you did the right thing.             


All my Best, Jeff

BY COMMAND OF: COMMANDER


OFFICIAL: ADJUTANT


NEWSPAPER DEADLINE IS April 15th
Send us your post and district event photos with captions.
(all photos must have captions describing the event and who is in the picture)
EMAIL TO: communications@vfwma.org
Attention: Comrades, Attention: Women, Attention: VFW Members

The Women’s State Liaison Officer, Ingrid Centurion will start Monthly Zoom Calls for all women in the VFW.

Our first call is scheduled for 26 February 8PM, zoom instructions will be sent out by email. Our goal by hosting monthly calls is to ensure we reach every woman in the state and hear her voice. Each month, we will have a Guest Speaker on relevant and real world women issues. We have over 280 women in the state of Massachusetts and we know that you are all incredible and exceptional. We want to hear from you this year 2020. We also want to find more women combat veterans and have them join us. Commander Najarian has made a goal of supporting and helping us find more women in the state. He is doing this by formalizing a Women’s State Committee, we are looking for women that are interested in being on our committee. Our mission is to support of all VFW members and specifically to build the camaraderie and communications lines amongst women and host more women related VFW events across the state. If you are interested in being a part of the Women’s Steering Committee, please reach out to Ingrid Centurion, at Ingrid@vetrn.org, 901-289-8158.
Attached my flier with ZOOM Instructions.
Massachusetts VFW | Website