VFW National News

With our Oct. 28 “A Day to Change Direction” event and Veterans Day right around the corner, the holidays quickly approaching and many new VFW initiatives on the horizon for service members, veterans and their families, fall is already proving to be an extremely busy and productive time for the VFW and its members.

With more information available within the email below, here’s a snapshot of a few important initiatives already upon us:

• If you know of a youth interested in their share of more than $3 million in scholarships and awards, the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay entries are due to VFW Posts on Oct. 31.

• If you’re a student veteran interested in advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, the clock is ticking. The application deadline for the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is Oct. 20.

• If you’re a student veteran, or know someone who is and could use some help paying for school, the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” application is due on November 15.

The easiest way to stay up-to-date with all of the VFW happenings is by following the VFW on social media. If you don’t already, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and more!


Your VFW Membership Team


Please help us make a huge impact this year!! Spread the message

On October 28, 2017, the VFW and Give an Hour , the lead organization for the Campaign to Change Direction, are partnering for the Second Annual A Day to Change Direction, a national day of service and action to change the dialogue on mental health for America’s veterans and American communities. VFW Posts are encouraged to host events that will educate your community about the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being. You can choose to host a screening of the documentary Into the Light followed by a group discussion or you can participate in or host a community service event. Collectively, we believe in gathering together veterans and their families, community members, and clinicians to connect in a positive environment. Furthermore, we want to use this as an opportunity to encourage all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being as well as the emotional well-being of others

A staggering 20 veterans commit suicide every day, and the VFW is committed to helping change the narrative and stigma surrounding mental health in America. In order to raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research and provide intervention for those affected by invisible injuries and emotional stress, the VFW has teamed up with the nationwide organizations Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction, One Mind, PatientsLikeMe and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to combat this critical issue.
VFW Mental Wellness Program can be found here https://www.vfw.org/mental-wellness

Step One: VFW Posts and Auxiliary interested in participating will identify a central point of contact and report this to Lynn Rolf at LRolf@vfw.org. If you want 5 Signs Cards or Mental Wellness flyers please identify a POC and mailing address.
Step Two: Identify & plan a screening of the documentary Into the Light or identify a community service project.
Step Three: Prepare for the event by using the tools below to market your event and educate yourself on the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being.
Step Four: Host A Day to Change Direction.
Step by step resources and ideas can be found at http://www.changedirection.org/vfw-service-project/

Before the service project (Marketing & Tools)
During the Service project (How to post photos)
After the service Project (Measure your impact and the VFW impact worldwide)

Lynn W. Rolf III
Programs Director
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States


Updated 9/28/2017

Good afternoon comrades. Our last Membership Focus email addressed the issue of expiring members who hold a VFW office.

We explained how a Post Commander or Quartermaster can view their roster and look specifically at Annual members who are approaching their expiration date in order to ensure that these members don’t fall through the cracks.
This week, we’re going to specifically address our Department leadership, Commanders and Quartermasters. Both of these positions have the ability through the Online Membership System to specifically see officers within their Department whose dues will expire before the end of the membership year.
As a Department Commander or Quartermaster, you will need to do the following:
1) Log into www.vfw.org with your email address and password.
2) Once logged on, click the Online Membership System (OMS) link.
3) Under the Reporting tab on the left side, click on the link for “Unpaid/Expiring Officers”.
This will show you a list of ALL Post, District, and Department officers in your Department whose dues will expire on or before June 30th, 2018. You can click on the “Dues Expire” title to sort by that column to see whose dues are coming up soon.
As a Department Commander or Quartermaster, if you see a Post officer whose dues are within 45 days of expiration, we would recommend contacting that Post’s leadership directly to make certain that they are aware of this issue.
The issue of officers who allow their dues to expire is a double-headed problem to deal with; first, the obvious issue is that a member is not renewing their dues to the Post. However, the second and possibly more serious issue is that a VFW member who accepts a role as a Post, District, or Department officer is accepting the responsibility of representing the VFW, our mission, and what we stand for as an organization. If these members are the ones falling through the cracks – that sets a disastrous precedent.
Comrades, some of our Departments have over ONE HUNDRED officers whose dues will expire in the next 90 days. We need to be on top of this issue, not at the last minute but today. Holding a leadership position in the VFW is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, and we must lead our membership by example.
Also, a few weeks ago we announced a Membership Challenge over the weekend of September 9th through the 11th. Over those three days the VFW saw over 500 new members recruited by our Posts, and we are proud to announce Larry Speelman of Richland, OR and Post 9192 of Killeen, TX as the winners of our $250 gift certificates to the VFW Store. We would like to thank all of our recruiters who went out and got the job done over those three days, and we encourage everyone to keep up that pace of recruiting!
As always, the National Headquarters is here to provide support, training, materials, and anything else you need to reach these goals. We’re just an email or a phone call away.
In addition, under the Membership Recruiting and Retention page – http://www.vfw.org/my-vfw/vfw-training-and-support/membership-recruiting-and-retention – you can find training videos, webinars, as well as downloadable forms, brochures, and posters. If you need it, we will most likely have it available on the website for you or you can order it from the Membership Department.
Matt Nute
VFW Membership Department
Ph: 1-888-JOIN-VFW (888-564-6839)