Magazine article VFW Magazine

Meeting Today's Demands for Change

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Meeting Today's Demands for Change

Article excerpt

The 21st century poses an array of challenges for VFW members, but it also offers unlimited opportunities to expand our horizons.

America began this century with an implacable enemy at its doorstep. Islamic terrorists, beginning with the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, have made it clear that we as a nation are confronting a brand of warfare that requires a long-haul attitude to overcome.

Just as the armed forces must adapt to meet these unparalleled threats, so must VFW change to keep pace with the changing times. This means both in the world of veterans affairs and social interaction at the Post level. In other words, we are looking at a top-to-bottom overhaul of how the organization thinks.

Much has been made of late of my call to ban smoking in Post homes. That is good if for no other reason than it gets members talking and debating about our future. Smoking in this sense is simply a catalyst to stimulate critical thinking. For if we do not begin thinking now, we may someday find it is too late.

What is important here are ideas and issues-not individuals. We must get beyond what is best for a single person and focus on what must be done to ensure the long-term survival of our organization. This goal is desirable not only for perpetuating our values and traditions, but to serve the needs of an entire new generation of war veterans.

What we are doing now on their behalf should be looked upon as a longterm investment. It may not necessarily pay dividends in the short term, but it certainly will down the road. …

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