Message from the State Commander

 

Again, I thank all of our Posts that continued to serve our veterans and communities during these difficult times. You are what the VFW is about and we should all be proud of your committment to serve others.

 

Government enforcement of the shutdown orders was strict and several posts belonging to other veterans organizations were cited for violations of the Executive Orders causing public embarrassment to their organizations. I am proud that the VFW followed the law and had no violations.

I have rescinded General Order # 4 and issued General Order # 5. GO 5

Yesterday Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 150 allowing outdoor dining beginning on June 15, 2020. EO 150 DOH ABC

The enclosed Executive Order 150, Executive Directive # 20-104, and Special Ruling from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, mandates strict rules for Posts opening outside dining and/or beverage distribution must abide by. Please read these orders thoroughly and comply. The recent strict enforcement of these orders by government officials will probably increase with the implementation of outdoor dining. Do not cut corners in these rules.

The new social distancing regulations, which will remain mandatory for the foreseeable future, is going to force our posts to reinvent themselves to remain solvent and relevant. We shouldn’t expect our canteen, hall rental or large indoor fundraising events to generate the revenue they have in the past. We will have to host more outdoor events like food trucks, golf outings, athletic events, car washes & flea markets. Distributing Poppies will be necessary to raise funds along with conducting raffles and wear your jeans day type fundraisers with local businesses. The list goes on: hosting drive-in movies, online auctions, mow a thons, takeout food /bake sales, ect. One thing you will require to accomplish this is volunteers. You heard it before, to get more members involved we need to reengage our inactive members and recruit new. Continue to call your members, check up on them and ask them to attend your next meeting. Carry applications with you and recruit veterans you know or meet. Keep the members & community informed with newsletters to increase participation. We can no longer rely on a handful of volunteers to keep the Posts operating.

Unfortunately our Governor has again excluded veteran organizations from any CARES Act grants issued by the state. The VFW, American Legion and DAV are in constant contact with our elected officials but they can’t seem to get the Governor on board. He has failed veterans throughout this crisis and his policies have caused a disproportionate number of veterans in state care to die, failed to fill the veteran council vacancies and now for the second time, failed to assist our posts affected by the shutdown with grants. We will continue the fight and advocate to get legislation passed to benefit our posts.

The Convention is still on although it will be a 2 day event with a Memorial Service Thursday night at the Wildwood Vietnam Wall Memorial, and a business session /elections on Friday. Registration will be held Wed & Thurs 8 to 4 at the Days Inn.

Thanks for all you do,

Barbara Kim-Hagemann

State Commander

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