Don Williams

Don lost his battle to cancer and we lost a great friend and Comrade. Don was District Commander 2008-09 and a member of Post #1561. Our condolences to his wife Carol and his family.

District Memorial Service

The memorial service will be held Saturday, April 5th at the Alderwood Boys and Girls Club. We need some folks there to assist Gold Bar and Sultan in setup which is a bit more elaborate then a regular meeting. We will have a dress rehearsal at 11AM. We have lost a lot of good Comrades this past year and I want to make sure we give them the honor they deserve.

Oso Slide Victims

District 1 has reached out to the Red Cross to of-fer assistance to any veterans, their families, or active duty military impacted by the slide. We haven’t heard back but things have been chaotic during the recovery efforts. Post 1561 has been assisting and we will support their efforts as well as the Red Cross.

Student Veterans & Political Games

In the recent Legislative session in Olympia, there were two bills stalled that would provide in-state tuition for military veterans and active duty personnel. For instance, a young soldier from another state trying to complete his education while stationed in Washington must pay out of state tuition which is significantly higher than instate tuition. The reason the two bills were stalled was each party was trying to take credit for proposing it. If the Senate version was passed, the R’s would take credit and if the House version was passed, the D’s would get the credit. It’s a hell of a way to run a state. This is the letter that I sent to my Senator and Representative.

I am the District Commander for the VFW Posts located in Snohomish County. When I wear my VFW cover, I am typically apolitical, but in this case I have to break my own rules. I urge you and your counterparts in the House to put the required amount of pressure on your leadership (?) to quit the political posturing and get one of these bills passed TODAY. Not tomorrow or next week but TODAY. I am copying Rep. Mary Helen Roberts on this message. I have the upmost respect for her and I am sure between the two of you progress will be made quickly. I will be in Gold Bar this evening for a VFW meeting, and I will be bringing this matter to their attention as I will to every Post in the County as I make my monthly visits.

Shortly after that letter, at literally the 11th hour of the session, the Senate bill sponsored by the R’s passed the House and was signed by the Governor. If any of you attend any events sponsored by your local Senator or Representative and they pat them-selves on the back for passing this legislation, just be cognoscente of the fact that both parties did a dis-service to our student veterans by using this bill as a political football. Further, they should both be ashamed of their behavior in doing so.

District 1 Auxiliary Fund Raiser

The District Auxiliary needs help in filling shifts for the Smokey Point Coffee Stop. Please let Mary Davenport know if you can fill one or more of the shifts.

April 21
1 pm – 6 pm Mary D. & Verna – 425-760-0102
6 pm – 10 pm OPEN
10 pm – 2 am OPEN

April 22
2 am – 6 am Elmer J. & Danny H. – 425-232-778
6 am – 10 am OPEN
10 am – 2 pm Mrya R. & Connie D. – 206-235-0438
2 pm – 6 pm Lynn & Richey – 425-345-1457
6 pm – 10 pm Marelle R. & Louise F. – 425-760-5336
10 pm -2 am OPEN

April 23
2 am – 6 am Elmer J. & Danny H. – 425-232-778
6 am- 10 am OPEN
10 pm – 1 pm CLOSING Mary D. & Verna

MAY 5
1 pm – 6 pm Mary D. & Verna
6 pm – 10 pm OPEN
10 pm – 2 am OPEN

May 6
2 am – 6 am OPEN
6 am- 10 am OPEN
10 am – 2 pm OPEN
2 pm – 6 pm Lynn & Richey  – 425-345-1457
6 pm – 10 pm OPEN
10 pm – 2 am OPEN

May 7
2 am- 6 am OPEN
6 am -10 am OPEN
10 am – 1 pm Mary D. & Verna

May 28
1pm – 6 pm Mary & Verna
6 pm – 10 pm OPEN
10 pm -2 am OPEN

May 29
2 am – 6 am OPEN
6 am – 10 am OPEN
10 am – 2 pm Connie D. – 425-672-2581
2 pm – 6 pm Lynn & Richey – 425-345-1457
6 pm – 10 pm OPEN
10 pm – 2 am OPEN

May 30
2 am – 6 am OPEN
6 am – 10 am OPEN
10 am – 1 pm Mary Davenport – 425-760-0102 closing

VFW and the Vietnam Veteran

There were a number of Vietnam veterans who were not welcomed home by their local VFW Posts, and on more than one occasion, I have received an earful from one of them as to why they won’t join VFW. My first response is its been 45 years, let it go. My second response is VFW is made up of individuals and some of those individuals took it upon themselves to look down on us when we tried to join their Post. A bunch of us from my high school joined Post 379 in Yakima at the same time. To say we weren’t warmly greeted, would be a slight under-statement. Think of it in today’s context, you have 6 men walk through the door and say they want to join your Post. I doubt there would be even the slightest hesitation in welcoming them. In our case, there was a lot of hesitation as they scrutinize our DD-214’s before reluctantly conceding we were eligible. A year or so later, I was attending the U of W and the VA had not send me a check for my GI Bill benefits even though I had signed every form they presented to me. I worked as a surveyor for an engineering firm when I wasn’t attending classes and my crew drove by the VFW headquarters which was on Boren Avenue at that time. I had the boss swing in and I ran in a told my sad story of not seeing a check for several months. Whoever was behind the desk picked up the phone and called the head of the VA handling the GI Bill benefits for Seattle. Within a few days, I had all my checks and never had a late check again. Two individuals representing VFW leaving two entirely different impressions. So when you get a Vietnam veteran who thinks that VFW turned its back on him, you may mention to him that one individual member may have mistreated him, but not the VFW organization.

Take Your RV to Yakima

For those of you going to the Department Convention in Yakima, consider taking your RV (if you have one) and stay at Sportsman State Park. It’s just across the river from the Convention Center and we be having a BBQ on one of the evenings. Heck, at $85 a night in the Red Lion, you may be able to rent one for less.

A Snapshot of a Problem

District 1 Membership – 2005 vs. 2013

Post

6/30/05

6/30/13

Difference

% Differ

921

107

61

(46)

-43.0%

1040

289

285

(4)

-1.4%

1561

168

168

0

0.0%

2100

1,183

825

(358)

-30.3%

2554

37

33

(4)

-10.8%

7511

47

36

(11)

-23.4%

8870 & 7482*

188

214

26

13.8%

9417

105

66

(39)

-37.1%

2,124

1,688

(436)

 

-20.5%

*Merged – Totals of two Posts are combined for comparison

I guess the words from Apollo 13 were echoing in my mind when I put the above numbers down on paper “Mission Control, we have a problem”. Marty Spani handed me a copy of the District Statistics from 2005 at a memorial service he and I attended. I stuck the piece of paper in my pocket and didn’t look at it for several days. When I did, I was shocked. Being a CPA, I opened up an excel spread sheet and popped the numbers in it and what you see above is a copy of the sheet. The two periods being compared are a scant 8 years apart and District 1 has shrunk over 20%. Our largest Post, 2100, has lost more members than any of the other Posts have in total membership. Do we have to do a better job in recruiting or do we have to do a better job in retaining members? Of course the answer is both, but how to go about improving those areas is the challenge. Now I know that the party line is our WWII veterans are dying at an alarming rate. That is true but I think there is more to it than that. I was talking to one of the Post Commanders whose name will go unmentioned, and he said something that struck home with me. I am paraphrasing but it was something along the line that we as an organization need to evaluate the product we are producing and whether it meets the needs of our members. I believe the results above confirm that diagnosis. So here’s the deal troops, we can’t influence National to any degree that would produce meaningful changes, but we can change the culture in our own Posts and in our District. At the first meeting following installation of officers, I suggest you or the new Post Commander ask your members what they would like to see changed in your Post and what they want to see accomplished. Don’t worry about the Manual of Procedure and things you can’t change, worry about the stuff you can. I think the School of Instruction in August should put this at the top of the agenda although that will not be my call. We don’t need to spend any time dealing with deadlines and other minutia that can be handed out or put into an email or newsletter. We have bigger fish to fry. On the flip side of the equation, you as a Post Commander, may ask why Post 1040 and 1561 have held their membership and 8870 has increased theirs by almost 14%. I suspect these Posts had the same percentage of WWII members as did the other Posts. Facts to ponder. Finally, I think successful Posts seem to be busy Posts. There might be the chicken or the egg argument there but it is a truism. I am going to make a suggestion that each Post identify something they can do in their community which would have a significant im-pact on Post participation. Whether that is trying to put a bunch of veterans in classrooms, start a new Boy or Girl Scout troop, or build a veterans park like 1040 did, get involved and get your Post members involved. Otherwise that 20% decline will be 40% in another 8 years.

District Memorial Service – April 5, 2014

VFW
District One
April 5, 2014

Noon lunch
1 PM Memorial Service
Followed by Meeting

All Post Commanders and Auxiliary
Presidents are urged to attend
District Meetings including the District
Memorial Service. If you cannot attend,
please send a replacement.
“We need your participation.”

A typed list of Deceased Members,
with expiration date, between
March 1, 2013 and March 1, 2014
are due to Rn Haley by March 10th 2014.

 

Remember we will have practice at 11:00AM and Gold Bar and Sultan are hosting the luncheon. I am sure they would appreciate any assistance you would be willing to lend.

VFW Membership as of March 29th

Post

Life

New

Re-
inst.

Cont.

Total

Prior Year

%

N/R
LM

Prior
Annu.

Reten-
tion

921

57

2

0

2

61

61

100.00

0

6

50.00

1040

201

11

9

68

289

285

101.40

3

87

97.70

1561

104

4

2

35

145

168

86.31

1

68

61.76

2100

711

17

8

51

787

825

95.39

7

87

74.71

2554

25

2

0

3

30

33

90.91

0

5

60.00

7511

32

0

1

4

37

36

102.78

0

6

100.00

8870

152

7

4

38

201

214

93.93

3

70

72.86

9417

53

2

0

9

64

66

96.97

1

14

64.29

Totals

1335

45

24

210

1614

1688

94.61

15

Post Tallies as of March 29th

Dist 1
921 1040 1561 2100 2554 7511 8870 9417
Audit Q1-7/19 9/30 7/10 7/12 10/1 8/9 9/16 7/10 7/19
Q2-10/16 10/28 10/10 10/17 2/11 12/19 11/4 10/15 10/30
Q3-1/16 1/28 1/7 2/10  3/4 1/29 1/15 1/21 1/18
Q4-
C.S.R. Post
921 1040 1561 2100 2554 7511 8870 9417
May 5/28 6/11 6/20 8/21 7/19 7/11 5/29 8/30
Jun 7/8 7/3 8/27 7/9 7/19 7/11 6/27 8/30
Jul 8/9 8/2 8/27 7/31 8/9 8/20 7/29 8/30
Aug 9/3 9/6 9/19 9/9 9/4 9/9 8/28 11/1
Sep 10/1 10/4 10/15 10/1 10/1 10/30 9/24 10/30
Oct 11/6 11/8 11/13 11/20 12/10 11/12 10/31 1/18
Nov 12/6 12/6 12/13 12/10 12/12 12/16 12/2 11/18
Dec 1/9 1/3 1/10 1/29 1/18 12/26 1/18
Jan 2/7 2/7 2/10 3/19 3/14 1/30  3/20
Feb  3/7 3/7 3/7 3/19 3/14 2/28
Mar 3/24
Hospital Report Post
921 1040 1561 2100 2554 7511 8870 9417
May 5/28 6/11 6/20 8/21 7/19 8/20 5/29 9/3
Jun 7/8 7/3 9/4 7/9 7/19 8/20 6/27 8/30
Jul 8/9 8/2 9/4 7/31 8/9 8/20 7/29 9/3
Aug 9/3 9/6 9/19 9/9 9/4 9/9 8/29 11/1
Sep 10/1 10/4 10/15 10/1 10/1 10/30 9/24 10/30
Oct 11/6 11/8 11/13 11/20 12/10 11/12 10/31 1/18
Nov 12/6 12/6 12/13 12/10 12/10 12/16 12/4 1/18
Dec 1/9 1/3 1/10 1/29 1/8 12/26
Jan  2/7 2/7 2/10 3/19 3/14 1/30 3/20
Feb 3/7 3/7 3/7 3/19 3/14 2/28 3/24
Mar 3/24
Chaplain’s Report Post
921 1040 1561 2100 2554 7511 8870 9417
May X X X X X X X X
Jun X X X X X X X X
Jul X X X X X X X X
Aug X X X X X X X X
Sep X X X X X X X X
Oct X X X X X X X
Nov X X X X X X X X
Dec X X X X X X
Jan X X X X X X
Feb X X X X X
Mar
Dist 1
921 1040 1561 2100 2554 7511 8870 9417
Poppies 3K 1.5K 5K 2K 500 500 15K 500