I thanked the commanders and chapters for the following: continuing recruiting, Chapter Action Plans, and submitting annual IRS reports on time. I thanked Southern CA Dept. Commander Dan Kash and Chuck Palmer for financing the recent FORCE-CON 2022, a salute to and honoring of all our military in San Diego. Thank you to so many on the San Diego Massing of the Colors team this past Oct. 15.
VCINC Comments and National Updates: Dave Worley
The Strategic Planning Committee continues to revise the National Strategic Goals. Soon, National will provide marketing and branding tools for each chapter to use. National continues to look for ways to better support the chapters.
Speaker: LTC Dieter Dupont, USA (Ret)
Dieter presented a well-researched and organized brief on the situation in Ukraine. His brief provided historical context of Ukraine, its relationship to the USSR and Russia, and provided a current assessment of the war situation today. His brief covered three broad topics:
– Historical Background of Ukraine
– Cold War 2.0
– NATO Transformation and Proxy War
A copy of Dieter’s brief may be requested by emailing him at DuPont@USA.com
Chapter Sharing and Training Topics
PCINC Dave Gibson from Puget Sound Chapter provided an update on their successful recruiting process. They have a formal recruiting team who use a list of prospective companions. Each year they have generally recruited 10-20 new companions. Efforts have included welcoming prospective new companions with the following steps. Some 1-on-1 time with the Chapter Commander, presenting the prospective new member with chapter news, and a commemorative photo with the Chapter Commander. Have the membership applications pre-filled to make the joining process easier at the meeting or shortly afterward. Dave recommended use of Facebook for outreach as it permits wide access, and allows chapters to post photos, news and announce upcoming events. Have patience because recruiting may take a year or two. And follow up!
Georgett Studnicka from Bradley-Hanson Chapter offered that she is pursuing new members through civic and professional organizations including non-profit organizations local to her area. She has found that it is common for these organizations to have active duty military and veterans among their members. She has visited the Chamber of Commerce and will be visiting Kiwanis to seek out new members.
San Diego Chapter Commander Barbara Peralta provided a review of the 66th Annual Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance held on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at the U.S. Army of the West Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old Town San Diego. Janet Chin, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CA-Coastal South) was the keynote speaker and the event was highlighted by the participation of the U.S. Marine Corps Band, and Color Guards from JROTC and ROTC units, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Troops, and patriotic organizations. The ice cream social that followed the ceremony was a hit. Next year the Chapter-sponsored Massing of the Colors will be held at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on Saturday, October 14th.
Holland Chapter Commander Paul Lebidine spoke of recruiting through their planned YLS, and using YLS as a venue to develop leaders among local youth and as a venue to attract new members. They plan a YLS staff of 28-35 year olds.
Holley Shaffner, the Honor Flight San Diego Public Relations Director presented an update on Honor Flight events. On Nov. 6, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., at the conclusion of the Honor Flight to Washington DC that will begin on Nov . 4, a Homecoming ceremony will be held at San Diego International Airport to welcome home participants. It is typical for 800 to 1000 people to give returning Honor Flight participants the welcome that perhaps they did not receive when they returned home from war. To date, approximately 1600 veterans from WW II and Korea have participated in Honor Flight. In September, Honor Flight began honoring veterans from the Vietnam War.
We typically do 2 flights per year at the cost of $300,000 per trip (the veteran does not pay for his/her flight). The community was very generous this year, so we had enough funding for 3 trips this year. Long range, our trips depend on funding. We are 100% donor funded as we receive no government funding and we are 100% volunteer staffed. So, right now we know our April flight will be WWII/Korea/Vietnam eras and it will be April 28-30. Past April is TBD.
Gaylord-Dillingham Chapter Commander Jason Seal offered some lessons learned and best practices for conducting a YLS. A key first step is to locate a venue. Sending out a “Letter of Instruction” no later than six weeks prior to the planned event will give organizers enough lead time to finalize YLS-associated events.
Ted Parsons presented the Region XIV Distinguished Chapter Award to Puget Sound Chapter. Capt. Ed Murphy, Commander, Puget Sound Chapter accepted the award on behalf of all companions. See the attached picture of the Award.
Ted chose the Puget Sound Chapter after considering several chapters. Over two years, 2020-2022, the Puget Sound Chapter team led by Chapter Commander LTC Heinz Haskins accomplished dozens of outreach events, recruited many many companions, and received national recognition for 15 of their outreach programs. Plus they placed in the top three chapters twice for the GA John J. Pershing Chapter of the Year Award.
CSM Jon Church shared some of the Woolsey Chapter outreach to minority youth as part of their many outreach programs.
CAPT Quinn Hawley from the Wright Chapter shared that they are planning a one-day “Inland Empire Leadership Conference,” a scaled version of a YLS in the spring at the California Military Institute. The intent will be similar to a YLS: develop youth leadership, teach team and rapport-building, instill patriotism. 100-150 participants are expected.
VCINC Worley urged every chapter to visit the Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford University, near Palo Alto, CA where MOWW records are archived. They can be downloaded by chapter. Make a reservation about a month in advance.
Next year’s National Convention will be in Annapolis, MD, followed by Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 2024.