(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Proceedings of the ... annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (summary of minutes)"

Y 1.1/2:SERIAL 14647 

United States Congressional Se: 



Government 
Documents 



106th Congress, 2d Session House Document 106-238 



PROCEEDINGS 

of the 

100TH ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE 

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS 

OF THE UNITED STATES 

[SUMMARY OF MINUTES] 



Kansas City, Missouri 
August 15-20, 1999 



May 18, 2000.— Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and 
ordered to be printed 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
64-453 WASHINGTON : 2000 



U.S. CODE, TITLE 44, SECTION 1332 

NATIONAL ENCAMPMENTS OF VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS; PROCEEDINGS 
PRINTED ANNUALLY FOR CONGRESS 

The proceedings of the national encampments of the United Spanish 
War Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the 
American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Veterans of 
World War I of the United States, Incorporated, the Disabled American 
Veterans, and the AMVETS (American Veterans of World War II), respec- 
tively, shall be printed annually, with accompanying illustrations, as sepa- 
rate House documents of the session of the Congress to which they may be 
submitted. 
(Approved October 2, 1968.] 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 

December, 1999 



Honorable Dennis Hastert, 

The Speaker U.S. House of Representatives 

Washington, D.C. 20515 

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: In conformance with the provisions of Public Law No. 620, 
90th Congress, approved October 22, 1968, I am transmitting to you herewith the 
proceedings of the 100th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States, held in Kansas City, Missouri August 15-20, 1999, which is sub- 
mitted for printing as a House document. 

Sincerely, 




Adjutant General 



III 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE 

SUNDAY. AUGUST 15. 1 999 PAGE 

Advance of Colors - -1 

Invocation - 1 

National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance 2 

In Memoriam 2 

Introduction of Memorial Speaker - -2 

Memorial Address 3 

Benediction - -7 

Retiring of Colors 7 

SUNDAY EVENING GALA 
AUGUST 15. 1999 

Invocation - -- 8 

Pledge of Allegiance 8 

Introductions - --8 

Introduction of Bob Hope Tape 10 

Introduction of Commander-in-Chief -- - 10 

Remarks by Commander-in-Chief Pouliot -11 

Benediction 12 

IOINT OPENING SESSION 
MONDAY. AUGUST 16. 1999 

Introduction of Past Commanders-in-Chief --13 

Call to Order - 15 

Advancement of Colors 15 

Invocation - 15 

Video Presentation 15 

Introduction of Commander-in-Chief 16 

Remarks by Commander-in-Chief Pouliot -- - 16 

Introduction - The Honorable Kay Waldo 

Barnes, Mayor of Kansas City 18 

Greetings - The Honorable Kay Barnes, 

Mayor of Kansas City 18 

Introduction of the Honorable Mel Carnahan, 

Governor of Missouri 19 

Greetings - The Honorable Mel Carnahan 19 

Presentation of American Flag Sets 21 



IV 



Presentation of Awards to 1999 All American 
Department Commanders by 

Commander-in-Chief Pouliot 23 

Presentation of "Consecutive Years of 
Membership" Citation to the Department 

of Arizona -- 24 

Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation 

to the 99th National Convention Committee -- 25 

Introduction of Colonel James R. Fisher 
Director of Operations, Korean War 

Commemoration Committee. 25 

Remarks by Lieutenant Colonel Fishe -- 26 

Presentation of VFW Gold Medal of Merit and 
Citation to Ladies Auxiliary President 

Jane Bingham 27 

Response - Ladies Auxiliary President 

Jane Bingham - -- 27 

Introduction of the Honorable Einar V. 
Dyhrkopp, Chairman, Board of Governors 

of the United States Postal Service - 28 

Remarks - The Honorable Einar V. Dyhrkopp - 28 

Introduction of MOC Commander Marty 

Ellingwood -29 

Remarks - MOC Commander Marty Ellingwood 30 

Introduction of Melody Waring, 1999 National 

Youth Essay Winner 31 

Youth Essay Contest Winner - Melody Waring 31 

Introduction of Heidi Holley -Voice of 

Democracy Winner - 32 

Voice of Democracy Winner - Heidi Holley 33 

Presentation of VFW Americanism Award, 
Gold Medal and Citation to the Honorable 

Marcy Kaptur -- 35 

Response - The Honorable Marcy Kaptur 35 

Introduction of President William "Bill" 

Clinton 39 

Keynote Speaker - The Honorable Bill Clinton, 

President of the United States - - 39 

Closing Ceremonies 47 

RECESS - 47 

FIRST BUSINESS SESSION 
TUESDAY MORNING. AUGUST 17. 1999 

Call to Order - - - - 48 

Invocation -48 



Salute to the Colors and Pledge of Allegiance 48 

Report of Credentials Committee 48 

Report of Committee on Convention Rules 48 

Report of the Committee on National By-Laws, 

Manual of Procedure and Ritual 53 

Presentation of VFW James E. Van Zandt 
Citizenship Award, Gold Medal and 

Citation to Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company - 61 

Response - William E. Pelton -- 62 

Introduction of the 

Honorable Christopher Bond, U.S. Senate 65 

Remarks - Senator Christopher Bond 65 

Report of Committee on National By-Laws, 

Manual of Procedure and Ritual (Cont'd.) 69 

Introduction of the Honorable Togo D. West, Jr., 

Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs 76 

Remarks by Secretary Togo D. West, Jr., 

Department of Veterans Affairs 77 

Report of Committee on National By-Laws, 

Manual of Procedure and Ritual (Cont'd.) 81 

Presentation of Special Award to Commander- 
in-Chief Pouliot by the VFW Political 

Action Committee -- 83 

Introduction - General Lee Cheng-Lin 84 

Response - General Lee Cheng-lin - 84 

Introduction of General Hong-Rae Kim, Vice- 
President, Korean Veterans Association 86 

Remarks by General Hong-Rae Kim, Korean 

Veterans Association - 86 

Introduction of Prosper J.G.A. Ego, Chairman, OAL 87 

Remarks by Prosper J.G.A. Ego, Chairman of 

the Legion of Ex-Servicemen of the Netherlands 88 

Introduction of George Foreman 90 

Remarks by Mr. George Foreman 90 

Presentation of VFW Armed Forces Award, Gold 
Medal and Citation to Lieutenant General 

Ronald Blanck 92 

Response - Lieutenant General Ronald Blanck - 93 

Report of Committee on Finance and Internal 

Organization 94 

Report of Committee on General Resolutions. 105 

Insurance Drawings 108 

Benediction 1 09 

RECESS 1 09 



VI 



SECOND BUSINESS SESSION 

WEDNESDAY MORNING. AUGUST 18. 1999 

Call to Order - 110 

Opening Prayer - 110 

Salute to the Colors - - 110 

Report of Credentials Committee 110 

Report of Committee on National Security 

and Foreign Affairs 110 

Report of Subcommittee on POW-MIA -- 114 

Presentation to 

Ralph Charles Kahle, Jr. Family -- 116 

Response - Past Commander-in-Chief Walter Hogan. 117 

Introduction of 

March of Dimes Representative Gary Collins 117 

Presentation to the VFW 

by the March of Dimes - - 117 

Introduction of Mr. Dino DeConcini, Executive Director, 
Savings Bonds Marketing Office, 

Department of the Treasury 120 

Remarks - Mr. Dino DeConcini - 120 

Report of Committee on 

Veterans Service Resolutions --122 

Introduction of the 

Honorable John McCain, United States Senator 1 30 

Remarks by Senator John McCain - 131 

Introduction of Jim Nicholson, Chairman 

of Republican National Committee - 138 

Remarks by Mr. Jim Nicholson, - 139 

Presentation of VFW News Media Award, Gold 
Medal and Citation to 

William E. Butterworth (W.E.B. Griffin) 1 42 

Remarks by Mr. William Butterworth - 143 

Presentation of the VFW Hall of Fame Award, 
Gold Medal and Citation to 

Mr. Derrick Thomas - -144 

Remarks by Mr. Derrick Thomas 1 45 

Report of Committee on Veterans Service 

Resolutions (Cont'd.) - - 1 46 

Introduction of Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, 

Women in Military Service for American Memorial Foundation 1 55 

Remarks by 

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, USAF (Ret.) 1 55 

Insurance Winners 1 57 

Benediction - 157 

RECESS 157 



VII 



THIRD BUSINESS SESSION 

THURSDAY MORNING. AUGUST 19. 1999 

Call to Order - - -1 58 

Opening Prayer 158 

Salute to the Colors - - 1 58 

Pledge of Allegiance 1 58 

Report of Credentials Committee 158 

Introduction of Helen Putnam Blackwell 1 58 

Introduction of Colonel Rufus L. Forrest, Jr., 

Commander, 1 90th Air Refueling Wing 1 60 

Presentation by Colonel Rufus Forrest 1 60 

Introduction of Comrade James Chancellor 1 61 

Presentation by Comrade James Chancellor 161 

Presentation of VFW Distinguished Service 
Medal and Citation to 

Past Commander-in-Chief John Moon 163 

Response - Past Commander-in-Chief John E. Moon 1 64 

Introduction of Comrade Ray Sisk 1 65 

Response - Comrade Ray Sisk 1 65 

Presentation of the James C. Gates 

Distinguished Service Award to Gregory V. White 1 66 

Response by Mr. Gregory V. White - -1 67 

Presentation of National Large Employer of 

the Year Award to ITT Federal Services Corporation 1 67 

Response - Mr. Sterling Richardson 168 

Presentation of National Small Employer of the Year Award 

to Raytheon Aerospace Company 1 68 

Response - Mr. Charles Boster 1 69 

Presentation of National Local Office of 

the Public Employment Service Award 1 69 

Response - Mr. Glenn McQueen 170 

Presentation of Outstanding VA Health-Care 

Provider of the Year Award to Mrs. Vicki Lawrence 171 

Response - Mrs. Vicki Lawrence 1 72 

Presentation of Outstanding Community 
Health-Care Provider of the Year Award 

to Mr. James Tzivanis 172 

Response - Mr. James Tzivanis -173 

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award to 

Mr. Elijah Jethro 1 73 

Response - Mr. Elijah Jethro 1 74 

Presentation of VFW J. Edgar Hoover Award, 
Gold Medal and Citation to Corporal 

Gregory A. Travland. 174 

Response - Mr. Gregory Travland 1 75 



VIII 



Presentation of VFW Emergency Services Award, 

Gold Medal and Citation to Lieutenant Keith E. Anderson 1 76 

Response - Lieutenant Keith Anderson -- 177 

Introduction of National Sergeants-at-Arms 177 

Presentation of VFW Distinguished Service Medal and Citation to 

National Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Nicholas Polansky 1 78 

Response - Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Polansky - -1 79 

Announcement of 

Nominations for NationalHome Trustees 1 79 

Introduction of Past Commanders-in-Chief --180 

Presentation of VFW Gold Medal and Citation 
to Past Department of South Dakota 

Adjutant-Quartermaster William J. Radigan, Jr. 1 80 

Response - Comrade William Radigan 181 

Visit of National Home Representatives 181 

Remarks by 1 999 Buddy Poppy Child 1 86 

Introduction of National President of the Ladies Auxiliary 1 87 

Remarks by Ladies Auxiliary President 187 

Presentation to the National Home - - 189 

Presentation of Wheelchair on Behalf of Invacare 1 90 

Introduction of National Officers 190 

Nomination of Officers 193 

Nomination of Commander-in-Chief - 193 

Nomination of Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief 195 

Nomination of Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief 198 

Nomination of Quartermaster General 199 

Nomination of Surgeon General 201 

Nomination of Judge Advocate General -- 203 

Nomination of National Chaplain 203 

Report of Committee on General Resolutions 

(Cont'd.) - - - 204 

Closing Ceremonies 205 

RECESS - - 205 

FOURTH BUSINESS SESSION 

FRIDAY MORNING. AUGUST 20. 1999 

Call to Order 206 

Salute to the Colors 206 

Pledge of Allegiance 206 

Opening Prayer. 206 

Final Report of Credentials Committee 206 

Completion of Convention Business 207 

Election of Officers 207 

Announcement of Council Members-Elect by 

Adjutant General 210 



IX 



Announcement of Appointments by 

Commander-in-Chief-Elect 211 

Installation of Officers - - 211 

Presentation of Caps by Commander-in-Chief - 215 

Remarks by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Gwizdak 216 

Remarks by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Goldsmith 217 

Presentation of Past Commander-in-Chief 

Lapel Pin and Gold Life Membership Card 217 

Remarks by Past Commander-in-Chief Pouliot 217 

Acceptance Address by Commander-in-Chief Smart 218 

Closing Ceremonies 223 

Closing Prayer. 223 

Adjournment 223 



COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS 
OF THE UNITED STATES 

(Including societies that amalgamated to form Veterans of Foreign Wars) 

The Veterans of Foreign Service and the Army of the Philippines amalgamated 
at Denver, CO, August 1913, forming the Veterans of Foreign Wars as it is today. 
However, the birth of the order dates from September 29, 1899, when the first 
national officers were elected and the eligibility clause adopted. The original chap- 
ter was granted October 11,1 899. 

* indicates deceased 

American Veterans of Foreign Service 

1 899-1900 James C. Putnam* Elected at Columbus, Ohio. 

1900-1901 Maj. Will S. White* Elected at Columbus, Ohio. 

1901-1902 Maj. Will S. White* Elected at Columbus, Ohio. 

1902-1903 James Romanis* Elected at Washington Courthouse, Ohio. 

1903-1904 James Romanis* Elected at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

1904-1905 James Romanis* Elected at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

1905-1906 George Metzger* Elected at Altoona, Pennsylvania. 

1906-1907 Charles H. Devereaux* Elected at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

1907-1908 David T. Nevin* . . .Elected at James Exposition Grounds, Virginia. 

1908-1909 J. Alfred Judge* Elected at Lebanon, Pennsylvania. 

1909-1910 J. Alfred Judge* Elected at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

1910-1911 Robert J. Woodside* Elected at Jersey City, New Jersey. 

191 1-1912 Robert J. Woodside* Elected at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1912-1913 Robert J. Woodside* Elected at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

American Veterans of Foreign Service 

(Eastern Branch) 

1903-1904 Capt. Robert S. Hansburg * Elected at Altoona, Pennsylvania. 

1904-1905 H.O. Kelly * Elected at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

(The above two organizations amalgamated September 1905, at Altoona, 
Pennsylvania.) 

Army of the Philippines 

1900-1901 Gen. Francis V. Greene * Elected at Denver, Colorado. 

1901-1902 Gen. Irving Hale * Elected at Salt Lake City, Utah. 

1902-1903 Gen. Irvin Hale * Elected at Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

1903-1904 Gen. Charles King * Elected at St. Paul, Minnesota. 

1904-1905 Gen. Wilder S. Metcalf * Elected at St. Louis, Missouri. 

1905-1906 Col. Alfred S. Frost * Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1906-1907 Gen. Arthur MacArthur * Elected at Des Moines, Iowa. 

1907-1908 Capt. HA. Crow * Elected at Kansas City, Missouri. 

1908-1909 Maj. P.J.H. Farrell * Elected at Galesburg, Illinois. 

1909-1910 Col. Charles L. Jewett * Elected at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

1910-191 1 A.H. Anderson * Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1911-1912 F. Warner Karling * Elected at Detroit, Michigan. 

1912-1913 F. Warner Karling * Elected at Lincoln, Nebraska. 

XI 



VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES 

1913-1914 Rice W. Means* Elected at Denver, Colorado. 

1914-1915 Thomas Crago * Elected at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. 

1915-1916 Gus Hartung* Elected at Detroit, Michigan. 

1916-1917 Albert Rabin* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1917-1918 William Ralston* Elected at New York, New York. 

1918-1919 F. Warner Karling* Elected at Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

1919-1920 F. Warner Karling* Elected at Providence, Rhode Island. 

1920-1921 Robert G. Woodside* Elected at Washington, D.C. 

1921-1922 Robert G. Woodside* Elected at Detroit, Michigan. 

1922-1923 Tillinghast Huston* Elected at Seattle, Washington. 

1923-1924 Gen. Lloyd M. Brett* Elected at Norfolk, Virginia. 

1924-1925 John H. Dunn* Elected at Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

1925-1926 Fred Stover* Elected at Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

1926-1927 Theodore Stitt* Elected at El Paso, Texas. 

1927-1928 Frank T. Strayer* Elected at Providence, Rhode Island. 

1928-1929 Eugene P. Carver* Elected at Indianapolis.. Indiana. 

1929-1930 Kezekiah N. Duff* Elected at St. Paul, Minnesota. 

1930-1931 Paul C. Wolman* Elected at Baltimore, Maryland. 

1931-1932 Darold D. DeCoe* Elected at Kansas City, Missouri. 

1932-1933 Adm. Robert E. Coontz* Elected at Sacramento, California. 

1933-1934 James E. Van Zandt* Elected at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

1934-1935 James E. Van Zandt* Elected at Louisville, Kentucky. 

1935-1936 James E. Van Zandt* Elected at New Olreans, Louisiana 

1936-1937 Bernard W. Kearny* Elected at Denver, Colorado. 

1937-1938 Scott P. Squyres* Elected at Buffalo, New York. 

1938-1939 Eugene I. Van Antwerp* Elected at Columbus, Ohio. 

1939-1940 Otis N. Brown* Elected at Boston, Massachusetts. 

1940-1941 Joseph C. Menendez* Elected at Los Angeles, California. 

1941-1942 Max Singer* . Elected at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1942-1943 Robert T. Merrill* Elected at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

1943-1944 Carl S. Schoeninger* Elected at New York, New York. 

1944-1945 Jean A. Brunner* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1945-1946 Joseph M. Stack* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1946-1947 Louis E. Starr* Elected at Boston, Massachusetts. 

1947-1948 Ray H. Brannaman* Elected at Cleveland, Ohio. 

1948-1949 Lyall T. Beggs * Elected at St. Louis, Missouri.. 

1949-1950 Clyde A. Lewis Elected at Miami, Florida. 

1950-1951 Charles C. Ralls* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1951-1952 Frank C. Hilton Elected at New York, New York. 

1952-1953 James W. Cothran* Elected at Los Angeles, California. 

1953-1954 Wayne E. Richards* Elected at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

1954-1955 Merton B. Tice* Elected at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1955-1956 Timothy J. Murphy* Elected at Boston, Massachusetts. 

1956-1957 Cooper T. Holt Elected at Dallas, Texas. 

1957-1958 Richard L. Roudebush* Elected at Miami Beach, Florida. 

1958-1959 John W. Mahan Elected at New York, New York. 

1959-1960 Louis G. Feldmann* Elected at Los Angeles, California. 

1960-1961 T.C. Connell Elected at Detroit, Michigan. 

1961-1962 Robert E. Hansen Elected at Miami Beach, Florida. 



XII 



1962-1963 . .Byron B. Gentry* Elected at Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

1963-1964 . Joseph J Lombardo* Elected at Seattle, Washinton. 

1964-1965 . John A Jenkins* Elected at Cleveland, Ohio. 

1965-1966 . .Andy Borg* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1966-1967 . .Leslie M. Fry* Elected at New York, New York. 

1967-1968 . Joseph A. Scerra* Elected at New Olreans, Louisiana. 

1968-1969 . .Richard W. Homan Elected at Detroit, Michigan. 

1969-1970 . .Raymond A. Gallagher* . . . .Elected at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1970-1971 . .Herbert R. Rainwater* Elected at Miami Beach, Florida. 

1971-1972 . Joseph L. Vicites* Elected at Dallas, Texas. 

1972-1973 . .Patrick E. Carr* Elected at Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

1973-1974 . .Ray R. Soden Elected at New Olreans, Louisiana. 

1974-1975 . John J. Stang Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1975-1976 . .Thomas C. Walker Elected at Los Angeles, California. 

1976-1977 . .R.D. Smith Jr. Elected at New York, New York. 

1977-1978 . .Dr. John Wasylik Elected at Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

1978-1979 . .Eric Sandstrom Elected at Dallas, Texas. 

1979-1980 . .Howard E. Vander Clute Jr.* . . .Elected at New Olreans, Louisiana. 

1980-1981 . .T.C. Selman* Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1980-1981 . .Arthur Fellwock Succeeded T.C. Selman, Oct. 21, 1980. 

1980-1981 . .Arthur Fellwock Elected at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1982-1983 . James R. Currieo Elected at Los Angeles, California. 

1983-1984 . .Clifford G. Olson Jr. Elected at New Olreans, Louisiana. 

1984-1985 . .Billy Ray Cameron Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1985-1986 . John S. Staum Elected at Dallas, Texas. 

1986-1987 . .Norman G. Staab Elected at Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

1987-1988 . .Earl L. Stock* Elected at New Orleans, Louisiana. 

1988-1989 . Larry W. Rivers Elected at Chicago, Illinois. 

1989-1990 . .Walter G. Hogan Elected at Las Vegas, Nevada. 

1990-1991 . James L. Kimery Elected at Baltimore, Maryland. 

1991-1992 . .Robert E. Wallace Elected at New Orleans, Louisiana. 

1992-1993 . John M. Carney Elected at Indianapolis, Indiana. 

1993-1994 . .George R. Cramer Elected at Dallas, Texas. 

1994-1995 . .Allen F. "Gunner" Kent Elected at Las Vegas, Nevada. 

1995-1996 . .Paul A. Spera Elected at Phoenix, Arizona. 

1996-1997 . James E. Nier Elected at Louisville, Kentucky. 

1997-1998 . John E. Moon Elected at Salt Lake City, Utah. 

1998-1999 . Thomas A. Pouliot Elected at San Antonio, Texas 



XIII 



VFW NATIONAL OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS, 1998-1999 

Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot 

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John W. Smart 

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief John F. Gwizdak 

Adjutant General John J. Senk, Jr. 

Quartermaster General Joe L. Ridgley 

Judge Advocate General R. Earl Lord 

Surgeon General Kenneth S. Snow, Jr. 

National Chaplain Fr. Thomas W. Neville 

National Chief of Staff Randall E. Russell 

Inspector General Norbert K. Enos 

Assistant Adjutant General & Executive Dir., 

Washington Office Kenneth A. Steadman 

Assistant Adjutant General, Administration Lawrence LeFebvre 

Assistant Adjutant General, Programs W. Benny Bachand 

Assistant Adjutant General, Marketing Ronald G. Browning 

Assistant Quartermaster General Lawrence M. Maher 

Director, Citizenship Education & 

Community Service Michael J. Gormalley 

Director, Emblem & Supply Department M.L. "Bud" Cale 

Director, Finance and Human Resources Robert B. Greene 

Director, General Services David L. Swindler 

Director, Life Membership & Dues Processing Gary Housknecht 

Director, Marketing Service Kevin C. Jones 

Director, Membership Thomas L. Kissell 

Director, Operations Robert Crow 

Director, Post Services & Buddy Poppy James R. Rowoldt 

Director, Publications & Editor, VFW Magazine Richard K. Kolb 

Director, VFW Foundation Steve Van Buskirk 

Director, VFW Properties Billy R. Weissend 

Director, Youth Development, 

Scholarship & Recognition Gordon R. Thorson 

Deputy Executive Director, Washington Office . . . .Robert E. Wallace 
Director, Action Corps & Deputy Director, 

National Legislative Service Sidney Daniels 

Director, Administrative Services - 

Washington Edward L."Leo" Andrew 

Director, Communications and Public Affairs William G. Smith 

Director, Employment Service James N. Magill 

Director, National Legislative Service Dennis Cullinan 

Director, National Security & Foreign Affairs Bruce R. Harder 

National Service Officer & Director, 

National Veterans Service Frederico Juarbe, Jr. 

Administrative Assistant Russell Cutrightt 

Meeting & Events Coordinator Vanessa Kane 

XIV 



REGIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION MEMBERS, 

1998-99 

DISTRICT 1 (ME, NH) Robert W. Madigan 

DISTRICT 2 (MA, VT) Bradley F. Reynolds 

DISTRICT 3 (MD, NJ) Raymond J. Boyle 

DISTRICT 4 (DC, DE, EU) G. P. "Jerry" Miserandino, Sr. 

DISTRICT 5 (IN, MO) James R. Mueller 

DISTRICT 6 (VA, VW) Bobby Walls 

DISTRICT 7 (TN, KY) Leroy Ford 

DISTRICT 8 (GA, AL) Ray E. Brooks 

DISTRICT 9 (SC, NC) William J. Hendren 

DISTRICT 10 (OK, AR) Eugene H. George 

DISTRICT 1 1 (Wl, IA) William P. Shannon 

DISTRICT 12 (SD, ND, WY) Richard J. Belling. 

DISTRICT 13 (NE, KS) Lewie B Cooper 

DISTRICT 14 (MT, WA, ID) George F. Riedel 

DISTRICT 15 (NM, CO, AZ) George H. Palmateer 

DISTRICT 16 (LAT AM/CAR, PAC, AK, HI) Thomas I. Elliot 

DISTRICT 17 (UT, NV, OR) Frank R. Risewick 

DISTRICT 18 (CT, Rl) Ronald Rusakiewicz 

DISTRICT 19 (LA, MS) Richard J. Fruge 

DISTRICT A (Pennsylvania) Charles R. Feltenberger 

DISTRICT B (Illinois) Rick Frank 

DISTRICT C (New York) T. William Bossidy 

DISTRICT D (Ohio) Craig D. Swartz 

DISTRICT E (Minnesota) Donald L. Gates, Jr. 

DISTRICT F (Michigan) Richard L. Lehner 

DISTRICT G (California) Richard R. Pignone 

DISTRICT H (Texas) Alexander Vernon 

DISTRICT J (Florida) James DePass 

Past Commander-in-Chief John E. Moon 



XV 




Thomas A. Pouliot 

Commander-in-Chief 

1998-99 



XVI 




John W. Smart 

Commander-in-Chief 

1 999-00 



XVII 



VFW NATIONAL OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS, 1999-2000 

Commander-in-Chief John W. Smart 

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John F. Gwizdak 

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief James N. Goldsmith 

Adjutant General John J. Senk, Jr. 

Quartermaster General Joe L. Ridgley 

Judge Advocate General Donald W. Watts 

Surgeon General Curtis O. Bohlman, MD 

National Chaplain Fred V. Vogler 

National Chief of Staff Arthur E. Koch, III 

Inspector General John J. Zuba, Sr. 

Assistant Adjutant General & Executive Dir., 

Washington Office Kenneth A. Steadman 

Assistant Adjutant General, Administration Lawrence LeFebvre 

Assistant Adjutant General, Programs W. Benny Bachand 

Assistant Adjutant General, Marketing Ronald G. Browning 

Assistant Quartermaster General Lawrence M. Maher 

Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General - Operations . . .Robert Crow 
Deputy Executive Director, Washington Office . . . .Robert E. Wallace 

Director, Buddy Poppy & Member Services Thomas L. Kissell 

Director, Citizenship Education & 

Community Service Michael J. Gormalley 

Director, Communications Steve Van Buskirk 

Director, Emblem & Supply Department M.L. "Bud" Cale 

Director, Finance and Human Resources Robert B. Greene 

Director, General Services David L. Swindler 

Director, Life Membership & Dues Processing Robert A. Crider 

Director, Marketing Service Kevin C. Jones 

Director, Membership James R. Rowoldt 

Director, Publications & Editor, VFW Magazine Richard K. Kolb 

Director, VFW Foundation Wilburn "Bud" Meador, Jr. 

Director, VFW Properties Billy R. Weissend 

Director, Youth Development, 

Scholarship & Recognition Gordon R. Thorson 

Director, Action Corps & Deputy Director, 

National Legislative Service Sidney Daniels 

Director, Administrative Services - 

Washington Edward L."Leo" Andrew 

Director, Public Affairs - Washngton William G. Smith 

Director, Employment Service James N. Magill 

Director, National Legislative Service Dennis Cullinan 

Director, National Security & Foreign Affairs Bruce R. Harder 

National Service Officer & Director, 

National Veterans Service Frederico Juarbe, Jr. 

Administrative Assistant Russell Cutright 

Meeting & Events Coordinator Vanessa Kane 



REGIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION MEMBERS, 

1 999-2000 

DISTRICT 1 (ME, NH) Donald W. Linscott, Jr. 

DISTRICT 2 (MA, VT) Bradley F. Reynolds 

DISTRICT 3 (MD, NJ) William A. Goode 

DISTRICT 4 (DC, DE, EU) G. P. "Jerry" Miserandino, Sr. 

DISTRICT 5 (IN, MO) Omar F. Kendall 

DISTRICT 6 (VA, WV) Bobby Walls 

DISTRICT 7 (TN, KY) John Furgess 

DISTRICT 8 (GA, AL) Ray E. Brooks 

DISTRICT 9 (SC, NC) William J. Jolin 

DISTRICT 1 (OK, AR) Eugene H. George 

DISTRICT 1 1 (Wl, IA) Curt J. Taylor 

DISTRICT 12 (SD, ND, WY) Richard J. Belling. 

DISTRICT 1 3 (NE, KS) Billy C. Smith 

DISTRICT 14 (MT, WA, ID) George F. Riedel 

DISTRICT 1 5 (NM, CO, AZ) Vincent J. Mitchell 

DISTRICT 16 (LAT AM/CAR, PAC, AK, HI) Thomas I. Elliott 

DISTRICT 17 (UT, NV, OR) Charles D. Fuller 

DISTRICT 18 (CT, Rl) Ronald Rusakiewicz 

DISTRICT 1 9 (LA, MS) W. Hugh Long 

DISTRICT A (Pennsylvania) Allen Q. Jones 

DISTRICT B (Illinois) Clyde F. Davis, Jr. 

DISTRICT C (New York) George S. Smith 

DISTRICT D (Ohio) Craig D. Swartz 

DISTRICT E (Minnesota) Donald L. Gates, Jr. 

DISTRICT F (Michigan) Ernest E. Meyers, Sr. 

DISTRICT G (California) Robert J. Maxwell 

DISTRICT H (Texas) Alexander Vernon 

DISTRICT J (Florida) Robert Sprute 

Past Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot 



XIX 



SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS 

OF THE 100TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE 

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES 

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 

AUGUST 15-20, 1999 

ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE 
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 1999 

(The Memorial Service of the 100th Annual Convention of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held at the Downtown 
Airport, Kansas City, Missouri, was called to order at 9:00 o'clock a.m., 
with Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot, presiding. The Gold Star 
parents, Gold Star wives, National Officers and Past National Chaplains 
were escorted by the Sergeants-at-Arms.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Sergeant-at-Arms, you will 
prepare this gathering for the Advancement and the Posting of the Colors. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Yes, sir. 

ADVANCE OF COLORS 

(Whereupon, the VFW National Honor Guard advanced the Colors 
at this time.) 

INVOCATION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Please remain standing for 
the Invocation by the Reverend Harry Sims. 

REVEREND HARRY SIMS: Let us bow our heads as we pray. 
Almighty God, we are grateful for life and the many blessings Thou has 
bestowed upon us. We thank Thee for the country in which we live and for 
the freedom that we have. We know, O God, that the members of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States have played a very important 
role in this. Therefore, we pray Thy special blessings upon them as they 
meet in this 100th Annual Convention. 

It is wonderful to know that such an organization has been in 
existence for such a long period of time. We pray now for its leaders, who 
are very special people. We pray, too, O God, in this convention that they 
will accomplish the plans laid out for the organization to move forward in 
its work during the coming year. 

May the leaders plan, present, challenge and lead for the good of 
all. We would ask Thy blessing, Our Heavenly Father, upon those who will 
be speaking and leading in this 100th Annual Memorial Service of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 

We remember, too, the relatives of those who have passed on in 



1 



this past year, and pray, Our Heavenly Father, that Thy will touch their lives 
day-by-day. Give them the strength that they need and lift them up as they 
live their lives day-by-day. We will give Thee all of the praise and the glory 
as we serve Thee. For we ask this in Thy holy name. Amen. 

NATIONAL ANTHEM AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, 
comrades and sisters, please join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag 
of the United States of America and the singing of the National Anthem. 

(Whereupon, the Pledge of Allegiance was given followed by the 
singing of the National Anthem.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Commander-in-Chief, the 
Opening Ceremonies for today's Memorial Service have been performed. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We will now hear the "Battle 
Hymn of the Republic" by the St. Thomas More Celebration Choir. 

(Whereupon, the St. Thomas More Celebration Choir sang the 
"Battle Hymn of the Republic") 

IN MEMORIAM 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much. 
Comrades and Sisters, Ladies of our Auxiliary and Friends: We have met at 
this time to commemorate our comrades of the United States Armed Forces 
who have answered the last call. The VFW Ritual provides that the 
audience shall refrain from applauding. The Chief of Staff will see that 
there is no disturbance during this ceremony. 

I would like to acknowledge the presence of Mrs. Helen Merrill, 
widow of Past Commander-in-Chief Bob T. Merrill, who passed away on 
January 16, 1999. 

I request that the National Chaplain preside. 

(National Chaplain Thomas Neville presided during the Memorial 
Services performed by the National Officers in accordance with the Ritual.) 

(At the conclusion of the Memorial Service, the St. Thomas More 
Celebration Choir led the assembly in singing "America.") 

INTRODUCTION OF MEMORIAL SPEAKER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time I am pleased to 
introduce a distinguished individual and a member of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars as our Memorial Service Speaker. 

M. G. "Pat" Robertson is an internationally-renowned religious 
broadcaster. He is the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, 
which is among several other organizations and broadcasts entities he is 
affiliated with. CBN, the Flagship Program, the 700 Club, reaches an 
average of one million American viewers daily. 



Mr. Robertson also is the co-chairman of International Family 
Entertainment and Chancellor of Regent University in Virginia Beach, 
Virginia. His Operation Blessing International Relief and Development 
Corporation has provided nearly $500 million in humanitarian aid 
worldwide. 

He is the author of many books. In 1 992, Mr. Robertson was 
selected by Newsweek as one of America's 100th cultural elite. In 1955, 
he graduated from Yale University Law School. He earned a Master's 
Degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959. 

Two years later, he was ordained a Southern Baptist Minister in 
Norfolk, Virginia. He resigned his ordination in 1 987, prior to announcing 
his candidacy for the U.S. presidency. After completing Navy ROTC during 
college, he took a commission in the Marine Corps. 

In 1951, he served in Korea as a Second Lieutenant in the First 
Marine Division. He served as an Assistant Division Adjutant during the 
Korean War. He was awarded three Battle Stars and a Korean Presidential 
Unit Citation. He has been a Life Member of Post 8484 in Tennessee since 
1991. 

I am pleased to introduce Dr. Pat Robertson. 

MEMORIAL ADDRESS 

DR. PAT ROBERTSON: We gather together at this very solemn 
moment to commemorate the brave men and women who have given their 
lives in the service of freedom. I want to relate to you one story that is 
touching to my heart. It was set in Vietnam, but it could have just as easily 
have been set in the Argonne Forest, the beaches of Normandy, the Bulge 
and Bataan Heartbreak Ridge, Taiwan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa or many of the 
other places of battle where brave men have fallen in the service of their 
country. 

It seems that a unit of the 101st Airborne was pinned down by 
hostile enemy fire and one young member of their unit had fallen, 
wounded, perhaps mortally wounded in between the U.S. lines and the 
lines of the enemy. The lieutenant in charge of his platoon ordered his men 
to stay under cover because he knew that to go out in that withering fire 
would merely risk the safety of the rest of his men. 

Despite the order, a brave corpsman, ignoring the battle hazard, 
raced forward and laid down beside the wounded soldier. As he attempted 
to bring him back into the lines for safety, he was cut down by that fire and 
was killed. He disobeyed the order of his lieutenant, but a grateful nation 
ordered him the Congressional Medal of Honor for Heroism. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am reminded of the remarks of Ronald 
Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion of D-Day as he 
surveyed the men who had thrown their bodies on the beaches of 
Normandy with the hope of reclaiming a continent. 

He said these words, "You are a timeless inspiration to all who are 



free and to all who would be free." I stood with the Vietnam veterans, 
although I was a veteran of the Korean War and served in the Korean War 
north of the 38th parallel with the First Marine Division. 

I saw these men from the Vietnamese conflict point out the names 
of some of their comrades and relate to me instances of the bravery, of the 
courage that had identified these men whom they loved and honored 
through their service. But as I stand before you today, and I was thinking 
how can we commemorate the memory of these brave individuals? 

I am reminded of the words of our great President Abraham 
Lincoln who stood on a battlefield in Gettysburg, and he said, "This was an 
experiment conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all 
men are created equal." We weren't sure in those days whether this 
experiment in liberty would survive. 

But because of the bravery of those who fought, he said, "I can't 
hallow their ground, I can't consecrate this ground. The blood of the men 
who died here consecrated it and all we can do is to acknowledge their 
sacrifice." 

As I think today of these who have died, and I know their loved 
ones are here who have lost a husband or a son, or a father or a mother in 
combat, I say how can we today build a fit memorial to those who have 
shed their lives for their country? 

When I was young and growing up, I was thrilled at the exploits of 
the United States armed forces in Europe and in the Pacific. We stopped 
the Nazi war machine, something that would have, according to the words 
of Winston Churchill, "Destroyed Christian civilization." 

We died for liberty to keep you free, to keep Asia free and to keep 
America free. Ladies and gentlemen, when we went into World War I and 
we went into World War II, we went in to win. I am reminded of the words 
of the great General Douglas MacArthur, whom I served under in the Far 
East, who said, "In war there is no substitute for victory." 

When I was in Korea, I saw a brilliant movement by MacArthur at 
In-ch'un, China, and then a lightning strike into North Korea, which easily 
could have defeated the enemy and taken the entire Korean Peninsula and 
liberated it for freedom. But those in Washington decided against that. 
They decided on compromise. 

They didn't go for victory, they went for a half win, which liberated 
South Korea but left the North in the grip of a vicious Communist 
dictatorship which right now, ladies and gentlemen, is imperiling the 
United State of America, Japan and Asia with thermonuclear weapons. 

They have already sent a missile over Japan and threatening to do 
more. They have devastated the lives of their people, because the United 
States determined that it wouldn't fight to win. 

With that in mind, I couldn't believe what was happening in 
Vietnam. We lost 45,000 to 50,000 of our precious young men and we 
squandered $150 million of our treasury, and when it was all over we left 
in defeat. Why? Because those in charge said we will not bomb Hanoi, 



we will not bomb the dikes on the Red River, we will not bomb the Harbor, 
we will give privileged sanctuary to the Vietcong to run their supplies down 
through Cambodia and Laos. We, as a people, said we will not fight to win. 

Ladies and gentlemen, if that was not enough, we fought a war in 
the Gulf. It was a brilliant strategic move. General Schwarzkopf is one of 
the great generals. Our forces moved flawlessly against the forces of 
Saddam Hussein. But after 100 hours, the people in Washington said, 
"Wouldn't that make a marvelous headline in the newspaper if we won a 
war in 100 hours?" 

So we let the Republic Guard down in Bosnia, we leave Saddam 
Hussein in power in Baghdad, and now he threatens the Middle East and 
possibly us with chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons. We 
didn't go in to win. Now, I submit to you today if we are going to build a 
fit tribute to those of our comrades who have fallen in battle, couldn't we 
do this as a nation to declare once and for all we will not as a nation play 
games at war with the precious lives of our American people? We will only 
go in to win. 

What other memorial could we build for them? Well, one comes 
to mind very quickly. I stood proudly with you today and placed my hand 
on my heart, and others of you in uniform saluted as the flag came. Then 
we sang what is called the banner, the Star Spangled Banner, the National 
Anthem of the United States. 

I would like to make one tribute and one memorial to these who 
died in battle. We will, the United States of America, pass a Constitutional 
Amendment that says that flag shall not be desecrated by those who hate 
this country. What else will we give to them? Why did they fight? Why 
did they die? 

Many of them died for a sense of duty. Many did it because they 
were ordered in the battle. But why? What can we do? I would like to 
suggest a few other things. The first thing I think we should do to these 
people is ensure that the leaders of this great nation are honorable people, 
men and women who tell the truth. 

The second thing that I believe we should do for them is to ensure 
that there will be no more Columbine High Schools. We need to guarantee 
for the children and the grandchildren of these who have fallen in battle 
that they will be able to see their children and grandchildren educated in 
quality schools with a drug-free, crime-free environment. 

Another memorial that I would like to make to these brave men is 
to ensure that this nation, this great rich nation of ours, is a nation that cares 
for its children and trains them to be honest, God-fearing citizens. In that 
regard, I believe no more fit memorial would be than to see once again the 
children of America are able to acknowledge God and pray in the public 
schools of America. 

I believe, as we have said so eloquently, the chaplain and others, 
we have a Pledge of Allegiance, one nation, under God, with liberty and 
justice for all. We have on our coins "In God We Trust." Can't we give as 



a memorial to these who have fallen in battle the absolute guarantee that 
once and for all as we go into another century and another millennium that 
this great nation will indeed be a city set on a hill, a shining example of 
freedom for the rest of the world and truly one nation under God? 

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that we need as a nation to make 
a commitment. Although we will not play games in war, war is not for play, 
war is for victory and war is for freedom. But we will be ever ready as a 
nation to sacrifice whatever it takes as a nation to guarantee that our 
freedoms and the freedoms of our children and grandchildren are 
preserved. 

Finally, we want to say to these brave warriors, who have fallen in 
battle, and we want to say it from a pure heart, we kept the faith. As the 
Apostle Paul said, "I have run my race, I have kept the faith. Hereafter is a 
crown laid up for me for those who love the Lord." 

May not it be just our words in a memorial service that we go away 
and soon forget, but may it be our deeds as a people that says we are not 
going to forget and we will build lasting structures and lasting institutions 
that will guarantee liberty and will hold forth the memory of your sacrifice 
for all times. 

We will build for you and for the future generations of America a 
living memorial of your bravery and your sacrifice. Finally, this is Sunday, 
and as was said in the service earlier, the captain of our faith was one 
example that has touched the lives of more than the conquerors of all the 
heroes and all the military men of history. 

He never commanded an army, he never ruled a country, and yet 
more people give him acknowledgement than any person who has ever 
lived in all of history. The reason is he was willing to die, not just for one 
country, not just for one state, not just for one city, he was willing to die for 
all mankind. 

His example is an example of sacrifice for all of us, because he 
said, "I didn't come to be served but to serve and give my life a ransom for 
all people." The good news is that he didn't just die at the hands of cruel 
men, but he rose from the dead. That's the hope that we all have. 

We don't come to grieve, we come to celebrate. Indeed, there is a 
resurrection, indeed there is another life. Indeed, there is something 
beyond this flesh and there is something beyond what we see with our 
eyes. There is a world of the spirit and a world that goes on forever. 

Ladies and gentlemen, to that we celebrate the ultimate and 
supreme sacrifice, the example of us all, of someone who was willing to 
hang on the cross and die for you and me so that we might be free. He 
said, "If the son sets you free, you will be free indeed." 

So today we commemorate those who died for our freedom. We 
say from the bottom of our hearts thank you and may God bless you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much, Dr. 
Robertson, for those words. 

We will have the St. Thomas More Celebration Choir singing "An 



American Hymn" and "I Hear Liberty Singing." 

(Whereupon, the St. Thomas More Celebration Choir sang "An 
American Hymn" and "I Hear Liberty Singing.") 

BENEDICTION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and Gentlemen, 
please stand for the Benediction by Reverend Patrick Rush, Vicar General, 
Archdiocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph, Missouri. 

REVEREND PATRICK RUSH: Blessed are those that die in the Lord. 
Let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them. Let us 
pray. 

Father of mercies and God of all consolation, you pursue us with 
untiring love and dispel the shadow of death with the bright dawn of life. 
Hear our prayers for your servants, our honored dead, our veterans of 
America's foreign wars whom you have summoned out of this world. 

Forgive them their sins and failings. Grant them everlastingly the 
peace for which they once fought and let them pass unharmed through the 
gates of death to dwell with the blessed in light. Your son, our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by dying has destroyed our death and by rising has restored our life. 

Enable us, therefore, their families to press on toward Christ so that 
after our earthly course has run he may reunite us with those whom we 
share this day. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time we have three 
flyovers planned, one beginning at 10:00, one at 10:05 and one at 10:10. 
The first one will be a flyover by F-15's. The second one will be a flyover 
by B-38's and the last one will beT-38's. 

You may be seated and watch the flyovers. The first will be the F- 
1 5's flyover. The Air Force honors the Veterans of Foreign Wars today with 
a missing man formation performed by four F-15 Eagles from Missouri 
International Air Guard, 1 1 0th Fighting Squadron. 

(Whereupon, the Missing Man Flyover was held at this time.) 

RETIRING OF COLORS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and gentlemen, if you 
will please stand at attention, we will have our concluding ceremonies. 

Sergeant-at-Arms, prepare for the rifle salute and taps. Sergeant-at- 
Arms, prepare to Retire the Colors. 

(Whereupon, the Retiring of the Colors was performed by the VFW 
National Honor Guard.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Please remain standing as 
our Gold Star Parents and Gold Star Wives and Medal of Honor Recipients 
are escorted from the service. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in- 
Chief, the Closing Ceremonies and the Retiring of the Colors have been 



accomplished. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Very good. For the 
Recessional, the St. Thomas More Celebration Choir will sing "Shine jesus 
Shine." This concludes our program and thank you for attending. 

(Whereupon, the Memorial Service was concluded at 10:30 
o'clock a.m.) 

SUNDAY EVENING GALA 
AUGUST 15, 1999 

(The Sunday Evening Gala was called to order at 7:30 o'clock p.m., 
with Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Smart presiding.) 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Good evening 
and welcome to the 100th National Convention Gala event. I am John 
Smart, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the VFW and your Master of 
Ceremonies for this evening. I want to express our sincere thanks to Kansas 
City and Missouri, the "Show Me State" for the welcome we have received. 

We are pleased to have all of you with us, especially our VFW 
National and Department leaders and our VFW Ladies Auxiliary members. 
We are equally pleased to have our distinguished guests whom I will 
introduce after dinner. 

Please stand for the Invocation and remain standing for the Pledge 
of Allegiance. 

INVOCATION 

(Whereupon, Father Thomas Neville gave the Invocation at this 
time, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.) 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Enjoy your 
dinner, enjoy the evening and let us celebrate our 100th Anniversary. 

(Whereupon, dinner was served at this time.) 

INTRODUCTIONS 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: It is now my 
pleasure to introduce our head table guests. I shall begin at the lower tier. 
Some of our guests will be introduced later when we recognize our 100th 
Anniversary sponsors. Please stand when introduced and remain standing. 
Audience, please hold your applause until I have completed the lower tier. 

We are especially pleased that the Chairman of the League of Ex- 
Servicemen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is able to join us on this historic 
occasion. It is a pleasure to present Prosper J.G.A. Ego. 

We are delighted to have with us tonight a delegation from the 
Korean Veterans Association, Seoul, Korea. I am pleased to present the 



Director of International Affairs, Colonel Yon-Soo Kim, and the Vice- 
President, Major General Hong-Rae Kim and Mrs. Kim. 

Our next guest has been chosen by the Big Ten Conference to be 
the next Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
Jim Goldsmith, and his wife Jan, from Michigan. 

It is my pleasure to introduce our guests from the Veterans Affairs 
Commission, Taipan, Taiwan. May I present the Chairman, General Lee 
Cheng-lin and Mrs. Lee. Also the Deputy Director, Overseas Liaison, Hans 
Song. 

Let's give them all a warm VFW welcome. (Applause) 

I shall now introduce our guests at the upper tier, and to my far left 
the National Chaplain, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Father Thomas W. Neville 
from Illinois. 

Our next guest is the Defense Department's Director of Operations 
for the 50th Anniversary, Korean War Commemorative Committee, 
Lieutenant Colonel James R. Fisher. 

The Senior Vice-President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, 
Lorraine Frier from North Dakota, and her guest Jack Burnett. 

The Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kenneth 
Snow and Mrs. Snow from Maine. 

I am pleased to present our next guest. He is the Secretary of the 
American Battle Monuments Commission, Major General John P. Herrling, 
USA (Ret.). 

The Adjutant General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, John J. Senk, 
Jr., from New Jersey, and his guest Debbie Hannan. 

Next is Judge Advocate of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Comrade 
Earl Lord from Texas. 

Our next guest has put forth a lot of efforts as Chairman of the 
National Convention to assure the success of our 100th Anniversary 
Convention, James Mueller and his wife Pat from Missouri. 

I am especially pleased to present my lovely wife, Mary. Let's give 
them a round of applause. (Applause) 

I shall now introduce those on my far right. We have the Junior 
Vice-President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, Pat Jankowski and her 
husband, John, from Michigan. 

Next we have the Inspector General of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, Norbert Enos from Hawaii and his guest Gerri Harlan. 

Next is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary to the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Peg Bergeron from New York. 

I am pleased to present the lovely and charming wife of our 
Quartermaster General, Judy Ridgley. 

I consider it a distinct honor to introduce the President of the 
Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, Jane Bingham from Vermont. 

Next is the Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States, John F. Gwizdak, and his wife Betty, from 
Georgia. 



The Chief of Staff, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 
Randall Russell, and his wife Marian, from Idaho. 

It is certainly my privilege to introduce the lovely and gracious wife 
of our Commander-in-Chief, Shirley Pouliot. (Applause) 

Now, the Quartermaster General and Chairman of the VFW 100th 
Anniversary Committee, Joe L. Ridgley, will introduce the sponsors for this 
convention. 

(Whereupon, Quartermaster General Ridgley introduced the 
sponsors at this time.) 

INTRODUCTION OF BOB HOPE TAPE 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Today we also 
want to salute a man who has been an integrate part of us from World War 
II through Desert Storm. A man, an honorary veteran, who has served his 
country, a man who we think of as the greatest entertainer of this century. 

He has been referred to as a "Hero in Grease Paint." He has been 
an ambassador of good will throughout this world. We call him "Bob." 
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bob Hope. 

(Whereupon, the video by Bob Hope was played at this time.) 

INTRODUCTION OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I consider it a 
pleasure to have the special privilege of introducing the Commander-in- 
Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Throughout our 
history, the VFW has never yielded to those who have threatened veterans' 
hard won programs and entitlements. 

One individual who has carried the principles and mission to 
never yield in the never-ending battle to protect veterans' programs and 
entitlements is our Commander-in-Chief. 

Thomas A. Pouliot is a man committed to ensuring that our 
veterans are taken care of. He is equally committed to ensuring that our 
national issues are backed by an aggressive legislative agenda. 

In this our 100th year, the VFW has truly benefitted from this man's 
vision to carry on the works and memories of all veterans. By doing so, he 
stirred us toward two essential areas that will ensure our permanence in the 
coming millennium, advocating veterans' rights and promoting 
volunteerism among our Posts and members. 

Tom served in the Navy on the carrier USS Coral Sea, while it was 
conducting operations against North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. 

Following his military service, he received his baccalaureate and 
law degrees. He has a private law practice in Helena, Montana, and has 
served as a city judge in East Helena. 

A former VFW National Judge Advocate General, Tom served on 
several national committees, including Americanism, Voice of Democracy, 



10 



Legislation and the National Council of Administration's Committee on 
Appeals, serving as Chairman and Vice-Chairman. 

He was an Ail-American Department Commander for the 1 990-91 
year. 

I am pleased to introduce our Commander-in-Chief, Thomas A. 
Pouliot, from the Big Sky state of Montana. 

REMARKS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, John, for that 
very generous and warm introduction. My remarks tonight will be very 
brief. 

You see standing before you a very proud man who for the last 
twelve months has had the privilege of leading the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States. 

I have seen the results of the work and services of the two million 
VFW members and the more than 750,000 members of the Ladies 
Auxiliary. In every city and town I visited, I saw positive proof that the VFW 
and its Ladies Auxiliary are a dynamic force serving our nation's 
communities and our nation's veterans. 

This year, as we mark our 100th anniversary, has been a pivotal 
year as the VFW works to ensure that veterans' programs receive proper 
funding. It has been a year of challenge as we work to maintain the 
integrity of the VA. 

It has been equally challenging as we worked to maintain a strong 
national defense and ensure an improved quality of life for members of our 
armed forces. 

I have visited our military men and women around the globe. I 
have been with them in Europe, in Bosnia and on the demilitarized zone, 
that fragile line separating North and South Korea. 

How proud I was to bring your message of support to our troops. 
That message was made all the more clear and meaningful with those 
wonderful VFW Operation Uplink calling cards. Those cards are a visible 
sign of our support. You are to be commended for this tremendous 
program. 

In visiting Southeast Asia and Korea, the fate of our MIAs was 
always with me. The VFW will continue to lead the way in what we believe 
to be the best means of achieving our goal of the fullest possible accounting 
of our MIAs. 

We take our role seriously and will continue as we monitor 
progress and results in working with Vietnam and the other governments of 
the region. To do less would be a disservice to our members, to those 
missing and their families and a disservice to what the VFW stands for. 

Your efforts and support of every program that we have undertaken 
in the past year, whether it be in community and youth activities, Voice of 
Democracy, Buddy Poppy, have proven that working together we can be 



11 



successful. 

Yes, it has been a very special year for me because I was proud to 
serve with the finest men and women of our nation, its veterans. 

Now, before my personal mission as your Commander-in-Chief 
draws to an end, I wish to say on behalf of Shirley and myself, thank you 
for your heard work and support. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I know you have 
all been wondering about your beautiful table decorations. Well, here is 
how we are going to give them away. The VFW was founded on September 
29, 1 899. So, the person at the table with the birthday closest to September 
29 gets the centerpiece. 

And now we are going to witness a daring attempt by Washington, 
D.C.'s political satire troop, the Capitol Steps. 

The Capitol Steps will now attempt, although others have failed, to 
be funnier than the Congress. And the Capitol Steps ought to know how 
funny the Congress is. They have all worked on Capitol Hill. In fact, they 
began as entertainment for a Capitol Hill office party. 

Since they began, the Capitol Steps have appeared on all of the 
networks and performed for four presidents, five if you include Hillary. 

President Bush once said, and this is a real quote, "Golly, the 
Capitol Steps are really neat." 

And so, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Capitol Steps. 
(Applause) 

(Whereupon, the Capitol Steps performed at this time.) 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: And now, ladies 
and gentlemen, to perform the Motown dance hits of the Temptations, 
Supreme, Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, and Marvin Gaye, to the 
boiling Memphis sound of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, the Atlantic 
Express. 

(Whereupon, the Atlantic Express performed at this time.) 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I would like to 
thank the audience and our honored guests for being with us this evening. 
Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our program. Will our National 
Chaplain, Father Thomas W. Neville, please come to the podium and give 
the Benediction. 

BENEDICTION 

(Whereupon, Father Thomas Neville gave the Benediction at this 
time.) 

(Whereupon, the Sunday Gala was concluded at 11:30 o'clock 
p.m.) 



12 



JOINT OPENING SESSION 
MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 1999 

(The Joint Opening Session of the 100th National Convention of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the 86th National 
Convention of the Ladies Auxiliary was called to order on Monday, August 
16, 1999, at 8:30 o'clock a.m., in the H. Roe Bartle Convention Center, 
Kansas City, Missouri, by Comrade James R. Mueller, Chairman of theVFW 
100th National Convention Committee.) 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Good morning. I am John Senk, 
Adjutant General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Before we get into our 
program for this morning, the Commander-in-Chief would like to recognize 
some very special VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members. 

Will you please give a warm welcome to the National Outstanding 
Community Service Posts represented here by the Post Commanders and 
Auxiliary Presidents. As they march in, you will see their Posts shown on 
the video screen. 

A lot of things have changed since the VFW was founded 1 00 years 
ago, but there is one thing that has remained unchanged and that is the 
importance of membership. It gives us our strength, power and influence. 
This morning, I am proud to introduce the Ail-American Post and District 
Commanders, the members who have done so much this year in 
membership recruiting and in promoting our VFW programs. As they enter 
the hall, please look at the video screens where their names are displayed 
and give them our congratulations on a job well done. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, much of what it is today is due to the 
foresight and determination of one man, a veteran of the Spanish-American 
War, and a man who was one of the founders of the VFW, James Putnam. 
We are most fortunate to have with us today his daughter, Helen Putnam- 
Blackwell, and his granddaughter, Vickie Blackwell-Norvell. Ladies and 
gentlemen, please give them a warm welcome as they rise to be 
recognized. 

INTRODUCTION OF PAST COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Leadership is a quality that is very 
hard to define, but you know when it's there and you miss it when it isn't. 
This morning, we would like to recognize some people who were real 
leaders when real leaders were needed, the Past Commanders-in-Chief and 
the Past National Presidents. Please give them a warm VFW welcome. We 
are putting them on the screen so that you can get a good look at every one 
of these great leaders. 

1949-1950, Past Commander-in-Chief Clyde A. Lewis. 

1956-57, Past Commander-in-Chief Cooper T. Holt. 

1958-59, John W. Mahan. 

1 960-61, Ted C. Connell. 



13 



1961-62, Robert E. Hansen. 

1970-71, Past Ladies President Mary Cottone. 

1973-74, Ray R. Soden, Commander-in-Chief. Past National 
President of the Ladies Auxiliary Odie Lee Gossett. 

1 974-75, Past Commander-in-Chief John J. Stang. 

1975-1976, Past Commander-in-Chief Thomas C. Walker, and Past 
National President Glenn Grossman. 

1976-77, Past Commander-in-Chief R. D. Smith, Jr., and Past 
National President Mary Souders. 

1977-78, Past Commander-in-Chief John Wasylik. 

1978-79, Past Commander-in-Chief Eric G. Sandstrom, and Past 
National President Arlene McDermott. 

1979-80, Past Commander-in-Chief Howard E. Vander Clute, and 
Past National President Vona Houtz. 

1980-82, Past Commander-in-Chief Arthur J. Fellwock, and Past 
National President, 1980-81, Jeannette Frank, and 1981-82, Marion 
Watson. 

1982-83, Past Commander-in-Chief James R. Currieo, and Past 
National President Florence Taylor. 

1983-84, Past Commander-in-Chief Clifford G. Olson, Jr. 

1984-85, Past Commander-in-Chief Billy Ray Cameron, and Past 
National President Glenneta Vogelsang. 

1985-86, Past Commander-in-Chief John S. Staum, and Past 
National President Lucille Suchina. 

1986-87, Past Commander-in-Chief Norman G. Staab, and Past 
National President Rosemary Mazer. 

1 988-89, Past National President Mona Longley. 

1989-90, Past Commander-in-Chief Walter G. Hogan. 

1990-91, Past Commander-in-Chief James L. Kimery, and Past 
National President Frances Booth. 

1991-92, Past Commander-in-Chief Robert E. Wallace, and Past 
National President Mary Sears. 

1992-93, Past Commander-in-Chief John M. Carney, and Past 
National President MayeVontin. 

1993-94, Past Commander-in-Chief George R. Cramer, and Past 
National President Juanita Crowe. 

1994-95, Past Commander-in-Chief Allen F. "Gunner" Kent, and 
Past National President Helen Harsh. 

1995-96, Past Commander-in-Chief Paul A. Spera, and Past 
National President Helen Lenehan. 

1996-97, Past Commander-in-Chief James E. Nier, and Past 
National President Eileen Tanner. 

1997-98, Past Commander-in-Chief John E. Moon, and Past 
National President Connie Atkinson. 

Ladies and gentlemen, also with us this morning, sitting here in the 
front row, is the former Quartermaster General of the Veterans of Foreign 



14 



Wars, James E. Bowden. Please rise and be recognized. (Applause) 

Now to open the VFW's 100th National Convention is James R. 
Mueller, of O'Fallon, Missouri, a Past Department Commander, 1 992-1 993, 
and a member of the VFW National Council of Administration. Please 
welcome the Chairman of the VFW's 100th National Convention, Past 
Department of Missouri Commander, James R. Mueller. 

CALL TO ORDER 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER: Comrades and sisters, I am Jim 
Mueller, Chairman for this 100th VFW National Convention, a milestone in 
the history of our organization, our country and the area of Veterans Affairs. 

I welcome you on behalf of myself and all who are working so 
hard to make this, our centennial convention, a great success. We 
sincerely hope the time that you spend with us will renew your pride in our 
nation, rededicate your commitment to America's veterans and bring new 
excitement to your work as a member of the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary. 

Please rise as we officially open this centennial convention with 
the advancing of the colors. 

National Sergeant-at-Arms, you will prepare the room to advance 
the colors. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Yes, sir, Comrade 
Chairman. 

ADVANCEMENT OF COLORS 

(Whereupon, the National Honor Guard advanced the Colors at 
this time.) 

INVOCATION 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER: For this morning's Invocation, we 
have the National Chaplain of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, Father Thomas W. Neville. 

(Whereupon, National Chaplain Neville gave the Invocation.) 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER: Please remain standing for the 
posting of the Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem 
sung by Erin Asher. 

(Whereupon, the Pledge of Allegiance was given followed by the 
National Anthem sung by Erin Asher.) 

SERGEANT-AT ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade National Chairman, 
the Opening Ceremonies have been performed. 

VIDEO PRESENTATION 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER: As the house lights dim, let us sit 
back and enjoy a short video of our "Veterans Volunteers Year." 

15 



(Whereupon, a video presentation was presented on "Veteran 
Volunteers Year.") 

INTRODUCTION OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER: Thomas A. Pouliot was elected to 
the position of VFW Commander-in-Chief at the organization's 99th 
National Convention in San Antonio, Texas, on September 4, 1998. 

Pouliot served in the United States Navy from January, 1962, 
through May, 1966. During that time he was assigned to an aviation wing 
and saw duty on three aircraft carriers, the USS Independence, the USS 
Midway and the USS Coral Sea. He was aboard the Coral Sea when it 
conducted operations against North Vietnam from the Gulf of Tonkin. He 
was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and several Navy unit 
commendations. 

He joined the VFW in 1977 at Post 1116 in Helena, Montana. 
Since that time, he has held several elected and appointed positions in the 
organization, including National Judge Advocate General, Chairman of the 
National Legislative Committee, Vice-Chairman of the National Voice of 
Democracy Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the National Americanism 
Committee. He was an All-American Department Commander in 1990- 
1991. 

He received his law degree from the University of Montana Law 
School. He has a private law practice and has served as a city judge in East 
Helena, Montana. 

His theme as Commander-in-Chief, "Veteran Volunteers", captured 
the pioneering spirit of those who founded the VFW and of those who have 
taken it through its first century of service. 

Comrades and sisters, please join me in welcoming our centennial 
year Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot. 

REMARKS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much, Jim. 
Comrades, sisters and distinguished guests, welcome to the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars 100th National Convention. We are proud this year. It 
doesn't get any better than this. We are here, of course, to conduct our 
business as usual, but also to celebrate this our first 1 00 years of service to 
our American veterans, to their communities and to our nation. 

We were founded in 1899 by veterans of the Spanish American 
War. The VFW is America's oldest veterans organization, and as such we 
have led the way in veterans affairs during this war torn century. 

One of our first members, President Teddy Roosevelt, said, "A man 
who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be 
given a square deal afterwards; more than that no man is entitled to, and 
less than that no man shall have." 



16 



We live by those words and we believe in those rules. That is the 
premise upon which we have operated for a century. It is the premise upon 
which we will build our second century of service. 

When the VFW was founded, there was no field of Veterans Affairs 
as we know them today. We started Veterans Affairs, we set the course that 
the VA would follow to this day. Part of the work of this 100th Annual 
Convention is to set the course for the next 100 years. If we always want 
to have the America we have today, we will need a military; and if we have 
a military, we will have veterans; and if we have veterans there will have to 
be a VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary there to take care of them. We can count 
on that. Veterans can count on that. 

Those who attended that first meeting back in September of 1899 
came as volunteers. They set the tone this organization would follow 
through its first century, volunteerism. We know what has to be done, we 
marshal our forces, and we get things done. We are the VFW, with two 
million members, two million volunteers ready, willing and able to serve 
our veterans, their communities and our nation. And right beside us is the 
Ladies Auxiliary. I cannot praise them, or their President, Jane Bingham, 
enough for what they have done to make this veteran volunteers' year the 
success it has been. Thank you Jane and ladies of our Auxiliary. 

Jane's theme, "Volunteerism - The Ultimate Gift", was the perfect 
match for mine, and together we have set records and reached new 
milestones this year, not the least which was throwing out the first ball at 
Kauffman Stadium. I fired one in and Jane got it right in the center of the 
glove to a standing ovation. We have been a team all this year, we, the 
VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary. 

Because of us veterans today are better off than they were a year 
ago, thanks to the strength, power and influence of the VFW. Legislation, 
VFW-backed legislation, was pushed through Congress this year that 
increased entitlements, improved entitlements and insured that veterans get 
what they deserve. We never questioned our country when it called on us, 
and now it should not question us when we call on it for the care and 
attention veterans deserve. 

We want a "square deal" for those who have served and for those 
who are serving today. Stretched far and wide and very thin, today's 
military is being asked to protect a world fraught with dangers. Yet if we 
did not go out there and hold the line much of what earlier generations had 
fought and died for would be lost. 

Our troops today preserve a very special heritage, a heritage of 
freedom for which America paid the price, time after time after time in this 
war-torn century. 

Our business here, then, is not just veterans affairs, it's America's 
business as well. It is the quest for freedom and democracy, for a world at 
peace and a promising future. 

Our VFW founders had a vision of the future, and you and I have 
fulfilled that vision. Now it is up to us to have a vision of our future and 



17 



set a course to reach it. 

There is no better way to celebrate this 100th anniversary than to 
set the course for the next one hundred. 

God bless you, God bless the VFW and God bless America. 

INTRODUCTION -THE HONORABLE KAY WALDO BARNES, 
MAYOR OF KANSAS CITY 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: To start our convention, 
Kansas City has been home to the VFW National Headquarters since 1930. 
Just a year after relocating here, the VFW held its 1931 National 
Convention in Kansas City. Through the years we have formed a close 
relationship with the local community. 

This morning we are honored to have as a guest a person who, as 
the recently-elected Mayor of Kansas City, will lead this thriving metropolis 
into the new century. She has much in common with those of us in the 
VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary. She began her public service as a 
community volunteer. She then went on to become an elected official, a 
businesswoman, and a pioneer in women's organizations. 

She also found time to produce and co-host a television talk show, 
and co-authored a book on time management. She has served on the 
faculties of the University of Missouri, University of Kansas and Central 
Michigan University. 

She has served on the Jackson County Legislature, the City Council 
and the Tax Increment Financing Commission. She knows city government 
inside and out, and that is why the citizens of Kansas City elected her to her 
present position in April of this year. 

Please give a warm VFW welcome to Her Honor, Mayor Kay 
Barnes of Kansas City, Missouri. (Applause) 

GREETINGS -THE HONORABLE KAY BARNES, 
MAYOR OF KANSAS CITY 

MAYOR BARNES: Good morning. It is a pleasure for me to be 
here this morning to welcome you to our city. We are so proud of having 
your 100th Anniversary celebration in our city, the home of the VFW. It is 
truly an honor for all of us, and as I look out around this room I am moved 
by the recognition of what you have given to our country, to our 
communities around this country and literally to the world. 

The contributions that you have made, some in the past, some in 
the recent past, and certainly all of us today it lends meaning, great 
meaning to your being with us. I personally thank you for all of your 
contributions, and we are indeed honored to have you with us and we 
hope you have a wonderful convention. Thank you. (Applause) 



18 



INTRODUCTION OF THE HONORABLE MEL CARNAHAN, 
GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much for 
that warm welcome. Our next guest is a veteran himself, having served in 
the United States Air Force. Following military service, he attended law 
school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and graduated with the 
highest honors. 

He entered the political arena at the age of 26, when he was 
elected as a municipal judge in his hometown of Rolla, Missouri. Two 
years later, he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where 
he was elected Majority Leader during his second term. Twice during his 
tenure in the House, he was recognized by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat 
for his outstanding public service. 

In 1 980, he was elected State Treasurer, a position where he gained 
wide recognition as a careful money manager who actually saved taxpayers 
millions of dollars. 

In 1988, he was elected Lieutenant Governor, winning by a large 
number of votes. He followed this with a successful run for the 
governorship in 1992, again gaining a landslide vote. And four years later 
he remained in office with another landslide vote. 

Known for economic development, tough anti-crime legislation, 
education reform and a very careful management of taxpayers' hard-earned 
dollars, he is positioning his state for growth and success in the new 
century. 

Please give a warm VFW welcome to Mel Carnahan, Governor of 
the great state of Missouri. (Applause) 

GREETINGS - THE HONORABLE MEL CARNAHAN 

GOVERNOR CARNAHAN: Thank you, Commander. On behalf of 
the citizens of the state of Missouri, welcome to this centennial convention 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We are very proud that Kansas City has 
served as your national home since 1930. 

One hundred years ago, a young veteran of the Spanish American 
War pedaled his bicycle through the streets of Columbus, Ohio, trying to 
locate other veterans who were interested in starting an organization that 
would look after veterans' interests. 

Your history tells us that 13 veterans attended this meeting in that 
tailor shop. From that small beginning, through the veterans organization 
that you enjoy today, the VFW is an organization two million members 
strong. During this past century, the VFW has built a remarkable record of 
community service and patriotism, and has helped our veterans to receive 
many of the recognitions and benefits that they so richly deserve. 

To give just one example, there probably would never have been 
any G.I. Bill if the VFW had not lobbied Congress so persistently and 



19 



strongly. That G.I. Bill has made a major difference in the lives of thousands 
and thousands of families in this country. I know, because our family is one 
of them. 

When I was released from active duty in the Air Force in 1956, 
Jeanne and I and our one child had to find a new starting in civilian life. 
The G.I. Bill helped me do what I wanted to do, to go to law school at the 
University of Missouri. So our family owes a huge debt of gratitude to the 
VFW for making the G.I. Bill possible. 

On this centennial milestone of the VFW, all of us should realize 
the huge debt of gratitude we owe to the VFW, and even more important 
we should recognize the huge debt of gratitude we owe American veterans. 
This has truly been the century of the American veteran. 

Time and time again our fighting men and women have traveled to 
foreign shores to ensure that our sacred democracy would not just survive 
but with triumph. As Americans, it is imperative that we never forget the 
sacrifices that our veterans have made. To forget those sacrifices would be 
to turn our backs on the ideals and the actions that have forged this nation 
and its greatness. 

Here in Missouri, I have been working to make certain that 
Missouri veterans are properly recognized. One example is what we have 
done to make sure that any Missouri veteran who wants a final resting place 
of honor will have it. In Missouri, our only national cemetery with 
remaining space for veterans is expected to be filled in ten years. 

So I urged our State Legislature to send me legislation that would 
authorize the construction of five new veterans cemeteries all across our 
state. Construction has already gotten underway at two of the sites, at 
Higginsville and Springfield. We promised our veterans a place of honor 
and I believe that promise should be kept. 

We also are particularly proud that we have made Missouri the first 
state in the nation to implement a military funeral honors program. Before 
this system, our state veterans organizations, such as the VFW, bore the sole 
responsibility for military funeral honors. But because of the many 
requests, because of the lack of honor details in many locations, this service 
was unavailable to many veterans' families. 

Under our new program, which just started last month, teams of 
state employees, comprised of current and former military members and 
National Guard members, will be used in addition to our veterans service 
organizations for honor details. These teams will be available seven days a 
week, 365 days a year. 

Our first military funeral honor guards are located in Kansas City, 
Springfield, Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau and St. Louis. However, any 
local veterans organization that wants to become an honor detail can 
receive training from our Missouri National Guard. 

We have forwarded the concept for this new program to the 
National Guard, and it is my understanding that a national program is being 
considered that would follow Missouri's example. 



20 



Now, as the first 100 years of VFW service and its commitment to 
veterans has come to a close, this organization must face the challenge of 
seeing that our veterans are properly honored and cared for in the new 
century. We know this may not be easy in a society where wars against 
powers are no longer demanding the active involvement of every United 
States citizen. 

Back there in World War II, when one American served, we all 
served. Everyone did his or her part in the war efforts. But today, too many 
of our citizens perceive war to be more a battle of technology than of 
people. It is up to us to constantly remind them that no matter how 
sophisticated the weapons become our brave men and women in the field 
are the ones that are planning the strategy for their use and their unleashing 
of their mighty force. Their lives are put in danger every day they serve. 

No matter how complex war becomes, it will always demand that 
our fighting men and women leave home to risk their lives to protect our 
way of life. One of the responsibilities of our generation must be to teach 
the next generation what a vital role our veterans have played in 
guaranteeing the future of America and how important it is for the next 
generation to continue to repay the debt they owe to our veterans through 
their remembrance and their support. 

As one wise man has told us, "Freedom has never been given as a 
gift, but only as a reward bravely earned by one's own exertion." As we 
prepare to begin a new century, our hope must be generations of Americans 
that follow us recognize the truth of that statement, that the freedom they 
enjoy is not a gift, but a reward that must be constantly earned. 

We will look to the VFW to help ensure that citizens remember, 
honor and support those who put their lives on the front lines. Because our 
veterans serve, America can continue to earn the reward that is the 
foundation of our democracy, that precious gift of freedom. Thank you and 
have a great convention in Kansas City. 

PRESENTATION OF AMERICAN FLAG SETS 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: It is now my pleasure to introduce 
Mary Lou Miller, the Ladies Auxiliary National Patriotic Instructor, to 
present a flag set to Mayor Barnes and Governor Carnahan. Let's give them 
another round of applause. 

NATIONAL PATRIOTIC INSTRUCTOR MARY LOU MILLER: To my 
National Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, our National President Jane 
Bingham, the National Officers, Delegates, Comrades, Sisters and Friends: 
A generation or so ago a song entitled "Turn, Turn, Turn" was published. 
The words were not original because they were taken from the most printed 
book of all times, The Holy Bible. The lyrics were taken from the Book of 
Ecclesiastes, and maybe hearing the verse you may recall the song. 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time for everything under 
the heavens. 



21 



"A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time 
to pluck uproot the plants; 

"A time to kill, and a time to heal: a time to tear down and a time 
to build up; 

"A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time 
to dance: 

"A time to seek and a time to lose; a time to cast away stones, and 
a time to gather stones together: a time to embrace, and a time to refrain 
from embracing: 

"A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of 
peace." 

During the growth of this great nation, the United States has 
experienced many, if not all these seasons, as she matured and perfected a 
lifestyle that we now enjoy. These seasons were inspired by a symbol of 
freedom, the American Flag. Francis Hopkinson, the delegate to the 
Continental Congress from New Jersey, and a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence, felt it was time that we Americans had a new flag since we 
had broken away from Great Britain. 

He designed a new flag that was accepted by Congress on June 1 4, 
1 777 . On that day, Congress adopted the following Resolution: "Resolved 
that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternating red and white, 
that the union be 13 stars, white on a blue field representing a new 
constellation." 

The Stars and Stripes, as the flag is often called, have not changed 
over the years much. A lot more stars have been added to that 
constellation. The flag continues to represent what our country stands for, 
freedom, justice, equality and opportunity. From the time of our country's 
birth, we have planted and rebuilt, wept and mourned, laughed and 
danced, seeked and loved, experienced the ravages of war and the 
celebration of peace. 

The Stars and Stripes have been with us in all of these seasons, 
giving us hope and encouragement in the bad times and festivity and joy in 
the good times. Is it any wonder that we look upon our flag with loyalty, 
devotion and respect? She not only represents her country, but each of us, 
the citizens of these United States of America. 

We are here this morning to present the American Flag to two 
recipients chosen by our National President Jane Bingham. 

Jane, will you join me at the podium to make these presentations. 
Our first flag will be presented to Mayor Kay Barnes, the Mayor of Kansas 
City. Our second flag is given to the Governor of Missouri, Mel Carnahan. 

In conclusion, I would like to share with you and cite a poem 
entitled "I Am Your Flag." The author is unknown. 

"I am your flag. I was born on June 1 4, 1 777 . I am more than just 
a cloth shaped into a design. I am the refuge of the world depressed. I am 
the silent sentinal of freedom. I am the inspiration of which American 
patriots gave their lives and fortunes. 



22 



"I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the bloody 
jungles in Vietnam. I have walked in silence with each of your honored 
dead to their resting place, silent crosses, row upon row. I have flown 
through peace and war, drives in prosperity, and amidst it all I have been 
respected. 

"My red stripe symbolized the blood spilled in defense of this 
glorious nation. My white stripe signifies the burning tears shed by 
Americans who lost sons. My blue is indicative of God's heaven under 
which I fly. My stars and stripes together, unifying 50 states as one for God 
and country. Old Glory is my nickname and proudly I wave on high. 
Honor me, respect me. Defend me with your lives and your fortunes. 

"Never let my enemies tear me down from lofty position, lest I 
never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism. Strive earnestly for the 
spirit of democracy. Worship eternal God and keep his commandments, 
and I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind." 
Thank you. 

PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO 1999 ALL AMERICAN 
DEPARTMENT COMMANDERS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Ladies and gentlemen, it is with 
great pleasure that I present to you the 1998-1999 team of All American 
Department Commanders. The selection of this year's team members was 
based on a combination of a minimum of 100 percent membership or by 
achieving the designated "fair share" of new and reinstated members 
and/or Life Members. 

The Commander-in-Chief will present them with their caps of 
distinction. They are as follows: 

John W. Minnick, Commander of Alaska. 

Quinn A. Weiss, Commander of Arizona. 

Warren R. Tellgren, Commander of Colorado. 

William T. Robbins, Commander of Delaware. 

Sidney L. Jenkins, Commander of Europe. 

Harvey F. Eckhoff, Commander of Florida. 

Roy C. White, Commander of Idaho. 

Landry E. Saucier, Commander of Louisiana. 

Raymond R. Lupo, Commander of Maine. 

Joseph R. Gauthier, Commander of Massachusetts and Co-Captain 
of this year's team. 

Antonio Borjas, Commander of Missouri. 

Daryl L. Mobley, Commander of Nevada. 

Joe F. Ford, Commander of New Mexico. 

Jack T Smith, Commander of New York, and Co-Captain of the Ail- 
American Team of the Department Commanders. 

George H. Cox, Commander of Ohio. 

H. Merle Jackson, Commander of Oregon. 



23 



Frank J. Sass, Commander of the Pacific Areas. 

William D. Bell, Commander of Texas. 

Sanford Besher, Commander of Utah, and Co-Captain of the All 
American Team. 

Edward H. Laviletta, Commander of Vermont. 

Unfortunately, Pete Quinnell, Commander of Wyoming, could not 
be with us today. 

It is now my pleasure to announce the Captain of the 1998-99 All 
American Team, Travis E. Whaley, Commander of the Department of 
Alabama. 

Will the All American Post, District and Department Commanders 
please stand and be recognized as the 1998-99 team of All American 
Commanders. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

PRESENTATION OF "CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF MEMBERSHIP" 
CITATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ARIZONA 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: At this time, Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot would like to present a very special citation to the Department of 
Arizona. For 32 years, the members of the Department of Arizona have 
worked together as a team to increase VFW membership throughout the 
state. 

Each member of the Department of Arizona can take pride in their 
many years of dedication and hard work that went in to reaching this 
milestone. 

Now, in recognition of those efforts, I would like to call on Quinn 
A. Weiss, the Immediate Past Department Commander of Arizona, to 
accept this "Consecutive Years of Membership Growth" Citation. 
Congratulations to the Department of Arizona. 

This Citation reads as follows: 

"Certificate of Commendation, Department of Arizona. 

"In recognition of 32 consecutive years of membership growth 
evidencing the attainment of three decades of continuous membership gain 
by a Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 16th 
day of August, 1999." It has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas 
Pouliot and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

COMRADE QUINN WEISS (Department of Arizona): As you all 
know, it takes a well developed team. I would just like to ask all the Past 
Department Commanders from the State of Arizona to please rise, because 
you are part of what made this come true today. Thank you. 



24 



PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION 
TO THE 99TH NATIONAL CONVENTION COMMITTEE 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief Pouliot will 
now present a Certificate of Appreciation to the 99th National Convention 
Committee for their work in planning and conducting last year's convention 
in San Antonio, Texas. To accept the award on behalf of the committee is 
Jim Nier, Past Commander-in-Chief and Chairman of the 99th National 
Convention Committee. This citation reads: 

"Certificate of Appreciation presented to the 99th National 
Convention Committee in sincere appreciation and grateful recognition of 
their dedication and tireless efforts to ensure the success of the 99th 
National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 
held in San Antonio, Texas, August 29-September 4, 1998. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 16th 
day of August, 1999." It has been signed by Thomas Pouliot, Commander- 
in-Chief, and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF NIER: Thank you very much, 
Commander-in-Chief. I accept this Certificate on behalf of all the comrades 
and sisters in the great Department of Texas who worked so diligently to 
make the 99th Annual Convention the success that it was. 

I want to thank Commander-in-Chief John Moon for selecting me 
as the Chairman. I wish to thank my Co-Vice-Chairmen, Past Commander- 
in-Chief Ted Connell and Glen Gardner, Adjutant Quartermaster of the 
Department of Texas, and all the committee chairmen, and 250 plus 
volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary in 
Texas, and the National staff. 

I would ask this Certificate be placed in our Department 
Headquarters as a token of appreciation for all of the hard work that the 
comrades and sisters did. I would only hope that at some future convention 
you will come back to Texas, and particularly San Antonio. Thank you very 
much and God bless you all. 

INTRODUCTION OF COLONEL JAMES R. FISHER, 
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, KOREAN WAR COMMEMORATION 

COMMITTEE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and gentlemen, as a 
nation, we are preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 
Korean War. Events and programs have already begun and will continue 
through November 1 1, 2003. 

The 50th anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration will give 
the nation the opportunity to officially honor Korean War veterans, 
especially the 33,629 Americans killed in action during the Korean War. 
Also, as a nation, we honor the service and sacrifice of our armed forces 



25 



and those of our allies for their courage and valor in preventing the spread 
of Communism. 

This morning, we are happy to have with us Lieutenant Colonel 
James R. Fisher, Director of Operations of the 50th Anniversary of the 
Korean War Commemoration Committee. Lieutenant Colonel Fisher will 
present the Veterans of Foreign Wars with a flag that marks the 50th 
anniversary of the Korean War and the commemorative period. 

We are honored to work with the committee in honoring our 
Korean War veterans and marking this important commemorative period. 
Please join me in a warm welcome for Lieutenant Colonel James Fisher. 
(Applause) 

REMARKS BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES FISHER 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL FISHER: Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, 
Comrades, Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ladies and 
Gentlemen: 

I am Jim Fisher. I am the Director of Operations of the 50th 
Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration. The official 

commemoration for the United States of America of the Korean War starts 
on June 25th, the year 2000, and it runs through November 1 1th, 2003. 

It is our sole mission to thank and honor our Korean War veterans 
and ensure they are not forgotten any longer. We will also honor the 
families of those veterans, and those that lost loved ones in that war. We 
also have won one major victory already. It has already passed through 
Congress. It is no longer recognized as a Korean conflict but it is now 
known as the Korean War. 

Before we make the official presentation, I am going to start the 
first official commemoration here. The VFW has always been our ally in 
every one of our events in honoring and thanking our veterans, no matter 
whether World War II, Korean War, Vietnam or whatever. They are always 
number one in helping us to recognize them. 

At this time I would like all Korean War veterans to please stand 
and be recognized. These are our forgotten heroes right here. I salute you, 
sirs. We need your help during the next three years. We would like to have 
every VFW Post to be a commemorative comunity. 

We have a booth, No. 200, so please stop by and get information. 
We are going to make sure that every town and city across the United States 
is involved in this commemoration. With that I would like to present the 
VFW with the first official commemorative flag honoring the 50th 
Anniversary of the Korean War. 

With that goes the official certificate signed by the Secretary of 
Defense, the Honorable William Cohen. I would like to present that now 
to your Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: On behalf of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars, I thank you for those very kind words, and you know that you 



26 



can count on us to help you to commemorate this period, this service and 
these soldiers. 

PRESENTATION OF VFW COLD MEDAL OF MERIT AND CITATION 
TO LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT JANE BINGHAM 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time I would like to 
introduce the National President of our Ladies Auxiliary. 

"Volunteerism — The Ultimate Gift" set the tone for Jane 
Bingham's year as National President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars. For 85 years, the Ladies Auxiliary has played a very 
important role in furthering the interests of America's veterans and their 
families, and volunteerism has been the basis of their success. 

Jane is a Life Member of Addison County Auxiliary 7823 in 
Vermont. She is, by the way, the first Vermonter to hold the position of 
National President. I am proud of that. Three times an Auxiliary President, 
she twice won honors as Outstanding Auxiliary President and once as 
runner-up Outstanding President. 

At the District level, Jane served twice as Secretary, three times as 
Trustee. Her hard work and dedication as a State President won her 
recognition as an Outstanding President of the Year. 

She has served as a Chairperson in the Eastern Conference on the 
Legislative, Rehabilitation and Publicity Programs, and at the National level 
as Junior Girls Unit Director, Publicity Director, the Cancer Program and 
Research Director. 

This year she has traveled far and wide supporting VFW and Ladies 
Auxiliary programs, and promoting the celebration of our 100th 
Anniversary and the 85th Anniversary of the Ladies Auxiliary. 

Now, as she comes forth to accept the VFW Gold Medal of Merit 
and Certificate, please give her a warm VFW welcome. 

This citation reads as follows, "Gold Medal of Merit to Jane 
Bingham, National President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars. 

"In special recognition of her untiring dedication to our country 
and in sincere appreciation for her enthusiastic leadership as evidenced by 
the exceptional contributions of the Ladies Auxiliary to the programs and 
purposes of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and, by their deeds, truly 
displayed that 'Volunteerism is The Ultimate Gift.' 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
Official Seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 16th 
day of August, 1999." This has been signed by Commander-in-Chief 
Thomas A. Pouliot. 

RESPONSE - LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT JANE BINGHAM 

LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT BINGHAM: I did not come here 



27 



to make any speeches, because nobody gave me one. (Laughter) All I 
would like to say is with any award that goes to a president of anything, that 
president really doesn't earn that award. The people that work with her and 
for her do. So thank you very, very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Jane said the best thing she 
did all week was when I threw out that baseball, and I said the best thing 
she did was to catch it. She has done a wonderful job this year and I have 
been very pleased to travel with her this year and to work with her this year. 
I think together we have made a very great team. 

INTRODUCTION OF THE HONORABLE EINARV. DYHRKOPP, 

CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE UNITED STATES 

POSTAL SERVICE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: On this day, the nation's 
military veterans, police officers and fire fighters are honored with a new 
commemorative postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service. The 
"Honoring Those Who Served" stamp pays tribute to the patriotism and 
valor of the thousands of dedicated U.S. military veterans who have served 
their country both here and abroad. 

This stamp also serves as a lasting tribute to those policemen, fire 
fighters, and other law enforcement officers who have given their lives to 
protect the welfare of all Americans. 

The "Honoring Those Who Served" stamp salutes those public 
servants and all veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces, 
whether in wartime or peacetime, in active units, the Reserves, or the 
National Guard. The stamp recognizes the vital and varied roles veterans 
have played to ensure peace, to stop aggression, and to provide logistical 
support during crisis. 

It is my great pleasure to introduce the Honorable Einar V 
Dyhrkopp, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal 
Service, who is with us this morning to officially dedicate the "Honoring 
Those Who Serve" commemorative stamp to the people of the United 
States. 

REMARKS -THE HONORABLE EINARV. DYHRKOPP 

MR. DYHRKOPP: Thank you and good morning. I am doubly 
delighted to represent the United States Postal Service today as we 
celebrate the 1 00th Anniversary of the VFW and honor our veterans as well 
as our nation's police officers and fire fighters with the new 
commemorative stamp appropriately called "Honoring Those Who 
Served." 

As a veteran myself, I feel at home with this audience. I served in 
the Navy during World War II. My ship had the distinction, if that is the 
correct word, of surviving six direct kamikaze hits, all with five hundred 



28 



pound bombs attached, without sinking. She was a floating junk pile at the 
end of the attack, but she was still floating. 

Today there are more than 25 million American veterans who live 
in the United States and there are 1 .4 million persons on active duty in the 
military. This is very important, and I think all of us ought to remember this. 
We must never forget these men and women who have served our country 
so well. 

In addition, when you add to that number 2.3 million men and 
women who work in protective services, you can see that we have many to 
honor with this new stamp. Many have given their lives to protect our 
welfare — under its brave each new day, often unnoticed, to maintain 
peace and preserve our American ideas. 

Now, these stamps will be 80 million tiny reminders of the 
tremendous acts of courage performed by veterans, police officers, fire 
fighters and other law enforcement officers. The U.S. Postal Service Stamp 
Program is a unique platform for recognizing our nation's legacy. For more 
than 150 years, the Postal Service has focused national attention on the 
events and ideas of people that have made this nation great. 

With the honoring of those who served, we continue that proud 
position. This stamp pays tribute to the patriotism and valor of the 
thousands of dedicated military veterans who serve or have served their 
country both here and abroad. This stamp is for you, those who put the 
safety and well-being of others before their own, those who with selfless 
acts of courage and kindness inspired, astonished and motivated all the rest 
of us. And especially this stamp is for the men and women, our fathers, 
mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who give their lives to protect and 
serve others. 

In just a moment I am going to ask three people to join me to 
unveil this stamp. Two of them you know well, Tom Pouliot and Jane 
Bingham. The third, you probably don't know his name. His name is Elmer 
Timms. He is a rural carrier from Springfield, Missouri, and he is sitting 
down here in the front row. He is down there somewhere. At age 79, with 
53 years of Postal Service, he is the oldest veteran working for the Postal 
Service in this part of the country. 

Now, on behalf of the United States Postal Service and its 870,000 
employees, it is my privilege to unveil the "Honoring Those Who Served" 
commemorative stamp. Will Commander-in-Chief Pouliot and National 
President of the Ladies Auxiliary Jane Bingham, please join me. 

Commander-in-Chief Pouliot and Ladies Auxiliary President 
Bingham, thank you very much. I would like to give you this reproduction 
of the stamp. Thank you ever so much and God bless this country. 

INTRODUCTION OF MOC COMMANDER MARTY ELLINGWOOD 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The Military Order of the 
Cootie has been a vital part of the VFW since 1919. In the ensuing 80 



29 



years, they have done an outstanding job in serving America's veterans. 
From their hospital program, "Keep 'em Smiling in Beds of White," to their 
support of the VFW National Home, the Cooties have fulfilled our VFW 
commitment to "Honor the Dead by Helping the Living" in everything they 
do. 

Here to address the convention is the 1999-2000 Supreme 
Commander of the Military Order of the Cootie, Marty Ellingwood. Please 
give a welcome to our Cooties' Supreme Commander. 

REMARKS - MOC COMMANDER MARTY ELLINGWOOD 

MOC COMMANDER ELLINGWOOD: I hope all those boos were 
from the Cooties. Where is your green card? It is indeed a distinct honor 
for me to address this delegation. I bring you the apologizes of our 
Immediate Past Supreme Commander Stephen S. Wheeler from Georgia. 
His mother had fallen and he could not be here today because he is back 
there with her. It is not the way I wanted to address this delegation, but we 
will press on. 

Good morning, Comrades, Cooties, Sisters, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, 
the Women's Auxiliary to the Military Order of the Cootie and other 
distinguished guests to this 100th Annual VFW Convention. 

To Tom Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, your lovely wife Shirley, to 
John Smart, and his lovely wife, I am looking forward to an outstanding 
year with you, John. This is easy, the other John, you and your lovely wife, 
we will support you as well. 

In just a few short days, John Smart will be the Commander-in- 
Chief, and I am extremely proud to have him as my Commander-in-Chief 
so we can work along side-by-side for both organizations. I pledge full 
support for all the VFW programs of the Military Order of the Cootie for the 
ensuing year. 

I am proud to have been a veteran volunteer and I look forward to 
a new century of service where we can continue delivering for veterans in 
the 21st Century. The Military Order of the Cootie will continue with our 
vigorous support of hospitals, working for the veterans, and sincerely trying 
to "Keep 'em Smiling in Beds of White." 

We are proud to offer the new administration a stronger and more 
aggressive VFW booster program. We proudly submitted our Initiatives 
2000 to the National Headquarters for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and I 
will be very proud and hope that next year we can address the convention 
that those initiatives were fulfilled to the fullest extent. 

There are great people in this country, but I would like to remind 
you that there are none better than those here and none greater than those 
who were members of this Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, the VFW 
Auxiliary and the Military Order of the Cootie and the Women's Auxiliary 
to the Military Order of the Cootie. 

Again, Tom Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, John Smart, Senior Vice 



30 



Commander-in-Chief, I am proud and humble and pledge that we will truly 
support you and your programs. I am proud of and thank the comrades, 
sisters and Cooties of the great state of Wyoming for their support over the 
past years as I have progressed through the chairs to the position of 
Supreme Commander in the Military Order of the Cootie. 

It is truly the honor degree of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. A 
special thanks to the members of the Post and Pup Tent that I am so proud 
to proclaim membership in, Post 4343, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Pup 
Tent One in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

To my lovely wife, who could not be here this week, I love you all, 
I love this country, I love the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military 
Order of the Cootie. Again, thank you. Have a great convention and throw 
a little bit of fun in there, too, so we can continue the great work of the 
organizations that we belong to. God bless each and every one of you. 

INTRODUCTION OF MELODY WARING, 
1999 NATIONAL YOUTH ESSAY WINNER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: This was the fourth year of 
the Youth Essay Contest, a competition designed to give seventh, eighth and 
ninth-grade students an opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic 
theme. This year it was "What Freedom Means to Me." 

The Youth Essay Contest was again very successful in this, the 
fourth year of the contest, considering the fact that it is still a very new 
Youth Contest. We can be very proud of the results. 

Over 75,000 students entered the competition nationwide. All 54 
Departments submitted a winner. Savings bonds and other incentives, 
totalling over $569,000, were generously given by our membership to 
young people throughout our great nation. 

We are very pleased to have with us this morning the 1999 
National Winner of the Youth Essay competition. She was an eighth-grade 
home-schooled student when she wrote her winning essay. She is 
sponsored by VFW Post 5860 and its Ladies Auxiliary from Spearfish, South 
Dakota, and is accompanied by her father, mother and brothers. 

Here to present her award-winning essay: "What Freedom Means 
To Me", the 1999 First Place National Youth Essay Winner and recipient of 
a $10,000 United States Savings Bond, Melody Waring. 

YOUTH ESSAY CONTEST WINNER - MELODY WARING 

MS. WARING: I am so honored and so excited to be here. I want 
to give a very heartfelt thank you to the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary. 

"What Freedom Means to Me." 

The year is 1942. A chill is in the air. A 12-foot wall of powerful 
electrical fencing surrounds the camp. A sneering voice is calling out the 
roll. Suddenly an emaciated young man falls to the ground in a paralytic 



31 



fit of coughing. The Nazi official laughs and kicks the man until he lies still, 
never to get up again. Perhaps somewhere people are happy. Perhaps 
somewhere people are free. Not in this German concentration camp. 

The year is 1936. Behind a locked door, a woman clutches her 
small son desperately. From outside comes the even tread of marching. 
With a final, terrified glance at the bolt on the door, the woman hides in a 
dark corner of the room. She knows it is futile. No one escapes the Secret 
Police. No one has any privilege. Not in the Great Purge of the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics. 

The year is 1955. A few miles away an orchard smolders in its 
ruin. A leader of the Algerian revolt shakes his turbaned head sadly as he 
is led away by French Army officials. He is to be thrown into a 
concentration camp and tortured, along with millions of other native 
Algerians. He and his people had struggled and revolted for freedom to no 
avail; all is hopeless here in sun-baked Algeria. 

The year is this year. It is a Sunday morning in America and people 
nationwide stroll through the doors of churches. It is a Saturday evening 
and people nationwide are printing deluxe editions of their newspapers, 
voicing freely their opinions and feelings on everything from dieting to 
politics. It is a Tuesday afternoon and children nationwide are pouring out 
of their school buildings where they are taught without prejudice towards 
race or sex. 

It is because of our freedom that we do not live in the shadow of a 
concentration camp; it is because of our freedom that we need not cower 
behind locked doors afraid of Secret Police; it is because of our American 
freedom that we are not in a revolt against an over-powering authority. 

Freedom: to worship unshackled, to speak uninhibited, to attend 
schools without being shunned, to vote for the leaders of our nation, to 
stand against what is wrong, and to fight for what is right. This is what 
freedom means to me. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Melody, it is my honor and 
privilege to present to you this first place trophy indicating you are national 
winner for the Youth Essay Contest for 1999. Along with this goes a 
$10,000 savings bond. I am very proud of you. Your speech was very 
moving and very touching. I think there is no doubt in my mind why you 
were selected as our national winner. Thank you very much and good luck 
in the future. 

INTRODUCTION OF HEIDI HOLLEY -VOICE OF DEMOCRACY 

WINNER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Over the past fifty-two years, 
the Voice of Democracy contest has enabled high students from across the 
country and overseas to think, write and speak out for freedom and 
democracy. 

At the same time, these students now compete for over $132,500 



32 



in national scholarships, not to mention over $2.5 million in countless 
awards and scholarships given annually by Posts, Districts, Departments 
and their respective Ladies Auxiliaries. These VFW scholarships enable 
many young Americans to continue their education in colleges and 
universities of their own choosing. 

We are pleased to have with us today the 1 999 First Place National 
Winner in the Voice of Democracy contest. 

She graduated from Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, 
California, was sponsored by VFW Post 2324 and its Ladies Auxiliary in 
Carmichael, California, and was co-sponsored by VFW Post 9869 in 
Granite Bay, California. 

Here to present her award-winning essay, "My Service to 
America", the 1999 First-Place National Voice of Democracy Winner and 
recipient of the $20,000 T. C. Selman Memorial Scholarship, Heidi Holley 

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY WINNER - HEIDI HOLLEY 

MS. HEIDI HOLLEY: Thank you. I would like to thank 
Commander-in-Chief Thomas Pouliot, the Ladies Auxiliary President Jane 
Bingham, the National Director of Voice of Democracy Program Gordon 
Thorson, my special friends of the VFW from the great state of California, 
and all the wonderful Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary. 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to be a spokesperson for 
the youth of America. It is my pleasure and great privilege to serve you this 
year. I would like to dedicate this special event in my life to my 
grandfather, a veteran of World War II, the late William Joseph Rosenmont, 
Sr. 

In the early morning hours in March, 1945, a young man floated 
cold and frightened to near delirium in the tropical waters near Okinawa in 
the South Pacific. This 1 8-year-old boy had retired to his bunk the evening 
before only to be awakened by a sickening thud, then silence, then 
absolute pandemonium aboard the troop transport ship. 

The ship had been hit by Japanese aircraft. He remembers racing 
up on deck dressed only in his "skivvies". Dazed and confused with no 
time for a life jacket, he followed many dozens of his fellow shipmates into 
the black abyss of the Pacific Ocean. Within minutes his ship had vanished 
beneath the rolling sea. 

The pure force of the event had sucked him under so far he was 
sure he would never surface. He had no idea which way was up or down. 
As his lungs were bursting with a piercing pain, he suddenly surfaced to so 
much thrashing, screaming and such human misery he prayed this was a 
dream and he would wake up at an instant. There would be no escaping 
this nightmare. He floated for nearly four hours until dawn. He was 
miraculously uninjured physically, but emotionally the scars would last a 
lifetime. 

He spent those hours bobbing aimlessly, listening to the panicked 



33 



cries of the other young sailors, and then to the ever-deafening silence as 
fewer and fewer survivors hung on. As dawn broke, a rescue ship arrived 
and plucked the remaining men from the water. My "Poppy" was one of 
them. 

I only had the honor of knowing my quiet, unassuming grandfather 
for 13 years, but in that short time Poppy demonstrated to me everything I 
ever needed to know about the importance of service, sacrifice, giving and 
unconditional love of family and country. He taught me how to fix a few 
things, too! These were just things he did as easily and naturally as 
breathing or sipping his morning coffee. 

Poppy only talked about his war ordeal once to me but it showed 
me in one giant example everything about why the United States of 
America is strong and wonderful. I realized at his death a few years ago 
that it was now my responsibility to carry on the ability to make life better 
for all Americans just as he did — one person at a time doing small but 
significant acts for other people. I learned from him never to take the 
political process lightly, to actively participate and voice my opinion. I 
learned that when the community needs a helping hand, like when the 
floods hit us in 1 996, that you pick up and go to a shelter and help prepare 
meals for evacuees. I learned how good it feels to help run a community 
food closet. I learned that the graffiti war can be won when a group of my 
friends and I quickly painted over scribbled buildings at local businesses 
and roadside walls for a full year until the offenders grew tired of us and 
went away. 

My service to America can never come close to the drama of my 
Poppy's experience in the South Pacific, but it gives me reason to keep 
plugging away at the small things. The small things, that's what my Poppy 
taught me. I know these things will make things just a little bit better for 
America. As for me, it just makes me feel good. 

My service to America means dedication of my life to decency and 
compassion. I want to instill in my children the importance of protecting 
every freedom we have been granted as Americans. I will protect and teach 
these freedoms fiercely. 

Robert Byrnne once said, "The purpose of life is a life of purpose." 
I will serve my family and my country with a search for excellence in every 
aspect of my life just as my Poppy did. Sometimes when I feel like I am 
bobbing aimlessly through the ocean of life, struggling to keep my head 
above water, I can feel the invisible hands of my grandfather lifting me up 
and giving me the strength and courage to be a proud part of what makes 
America strong and wonderful. Thank you. (Applause) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: It is my honor and privilege 
to present to you, Heidi Holley, the first place Voice of Democracy trophy. 
She is a wonderful example of the great young men and women that we 
have in our high schools. This is one of the reasons that we have the 
program year after year is to bring these young people forward. Thank you 
very much, Heidi. (Applause) 



34 



PRESENTATION OF VFW AMERICANISM AWARD, GOLD MEDAL AND 
CITATION TO THE HONORABLE MARCY KAPTUR 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: It is a special pleasure to 
introduce the distinguished Congresswoman from the 9th District of the 
Buckeye State of Ohio, a distinguished American who has been chosen to 
receive the 1 999 VFW Americanism Award for single-handedly pushing for 
legislation to build a World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., 
undeniably the most significant American memorial authorized in the 20th 
Century. 

Her efforts to honor those who served during World War II, both 
on the home front and in uniform, reflects her commitment to the values of 
service, patriotism and love of country. 

Since the beginning of her political career, Representative Kaptur 
has committed herself to emphasizing the importance and significance of 
responsible citizenship and Americanism. 

I am pleased to present the 1999 VFW Americanism Award to a 
great American, a veteran's advocate and friend to the VFW, the Honorable 
Marcy Kaptur. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The citation reads as follows: 
"Americanism Award, Gold Medal and Citation presented to Marcy Kaptur, 
Congresswoman. 

"In sincere appreciation and grateful recognition for her many 
years of dedicated service on behalf of the citizens of this nation, and for 
her untiring efforts in promoting legislation to build a World War II 
Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her determination to honor those who 
served both on the home front and in uniform underscores her commitment 
to the values of service, patriotism and love of country, values which 
contribute to the betterment of American society. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 16th 
day of August, 1 999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 
It has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, and John J. 
Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE -THE HONORABLE MARCY KAPTUR 

REPRESENTATIVE KAPTUR: Commander-in-Chief and Mrs. 
Pouliot, ladies and gentlemen of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
congratulations to you on your 1 00th Anniversary. What a privilege it is for 
me to join you today. I just wish every member of my family and 
community could be here. 

At this crossroads of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and with deep 
appreciation, I accept your award on behalf of freedom's warriors. We, 
their children and grandchildren, now carry the name of liberty with 
abiding passion and profoundest gratitude. 



35 



When the history among nations in this century is written, without 
question, allied victory in World War II, and the triumph of freedom over 
tyranny will rest as its fulcrum, its most solemn and, yes, its most 
superlative achievement. The war positioned the geo politics of the world 
at counterpoint, and it held aloft the ideals of liberty that now at century's 
end remain triumphant as Fascism, Nazism and Communism have been 
relegated to the ash heap of human kinds failed darkest urges. 

Fifty years ago, at the end of the war, the memoirs of E. B. Sledge 
captured the monumentality of the moment. He said, "Except for a few 
widely-scattered shouts of joy, these survivors of the Abyss, that hollow 
eyed trying to comprehend a world without war." 

Our grateful nation will always remember these 1 6 million citizens 
of valor who served in uniform of all races and religions, farmers and city 
dwellers, men and women on foreign soil and on the home front, the over 
400,000 who loved mercy more than life and sacrificed their lives on three 
fronts; the 672,000 wounded, the Gold Star mothers, the courageous wives 
and husbands, children and families. The price of freedom is not free. 

Over ten years ago, Roger Durbin, a dogged World War II combat 
veteran from Ohio, captured my heart when he confided in me he had 
journeyed to Washington, D.C., with his grandson to visit the World War II 
Memorial, but none existed. In 1987, I began working on legislation for 
such a memorial. 

Two bills were involved, one to mint coins to pay for the initial cost 
at no expense to the taxpayer, and the second bill to authorize the 
memorial itself. Successive Congresses passed both. In October, 1992, 
President George Bush signed into law the Memorial Coin Bill that 
launched our efforts as $7 million of coins were sold. One year later, 
President Bill Clinton signed into law the World War II Memorial Act. 

I also today want to thank hundreds of members of Congress on 
both sides of the aisle and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for being at our side 
every single Congress we fought for the passage of this legislation and 
helped us gain final victory. 

I did want to mention the names today of Congressman Sonny 
Montgomery, now retired, Congressman Henry Hyde, Congressman Bill 
Clay, Congressman Esteban Torres, Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator 
Daniel Inouye, Senator Ted Stevens and Senator Robert Dole, who is now 
the chair of the memorial campaign. I want to thank the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars for your outstanding multi-million dollar price to the memorial's 
construction. Thank you so very, very much. 

On Veterans Day, 1995, the last year of the 50th Anniversary 
remembrance of World War II, Roger Durbin and I participated in 
ceremonies with President Clinton in which the ashes of slain brethren 
from all fronts gathered from cemeteries across the globe as well as at 
Arlington hallowed the ground on which the memorial is to be built. 

This memorial will commemorate devotion that a half century ago 
elevated duty, honor and country to sacred proportion. This new museum 



36 



will sit astride our Avenue of Democracy, the National Wall, facing the 
Washington Monument on the east, the Lincoln Memorial on the west, and 
the Jefferson Memorial on the south. 

From President Washington, America drew the fundamentals of 
self-governance, conveying to our people the awesome power to alter the 
Constitution itself. From President Jefferson, we hold these truths to be self- 
evident, that all people are created equal. 

From President Lincoln, "With malice toward none, with charity 
for all, let us do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace 
among ourselves and with all nations." This memorial, on the most 
significant site of this century, will not be dedicated to a man nor a woman, 
but rather to a nation and in a time when our people resolve to preserve 
again the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. 

The bitter cold war that ensued for nearly half century more, tested 
the wills and valor of freedom-loving people everywhere. Who among us 
would have thought we would live to see the day that the Berlin Wall 
would fall and that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic added to 
NATO's freedom umbrella. 

Now, it passes to us, the children and grandchildren of this great 
generation, to carry forward to the new millennium their unwavering 
idealisms and respect for the human spirit. Our task must be to peacefully 
see the institutions of freedom where they can flower and grow in the next 
century, to nations whose futures hang in the balance: Ukraine, Vietnam, 
Columbia, South Africa, the Balkans, Taiwan, the Middle East, India and 
Pakistan, and so many more. 

The cash award, I gratefully accept today, will be matched by our 
family and placed in the Anastasia Fund, a public charter named in honor 
of our mother, whose two brothers, Anthony and Stanley, fought and were 
wounded in World War II: One in the Battle of the Bulge in the Army 
Engineering Corps, and the other on the China-India-Burma front. 

These funds will be dedicated to the advance of freedon's 
institutons in forgotten places like the villages of Kmel'nyts'kyy, Ukraine, 
and the hamlets of Tanzania, Africa, and Quang Ngai, Vietnam, and the 
Kaw Valley of Lebanon, and many more places where the political leaders 
of the next century must be inspired by liberty's call. 

The gracious words of Alfred Lord Tennyson in Ulysses, "Lift us and 
guide us to loftier and more peaceful horizon, true to America's purposes 
as the citadel of freedom, the oldest democratic republic on the face of the 
earth. So work of noble note may yet be done, not unbecoming men who 
strove with gods. Come, my friends, it is not too late to seek a newer world 
onward." Thank you and God's speed, Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Let me ask a question. Have you 
enjoyed the 1 00th Anniversary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars so far? 

The next gentleman I am about to bring to the dais was asked 
about two years ago to be the chairman of the 100th Anniversary. He has 
done a herculean job in putting together what you are enjoying this week. 



37 



Please welcome to the podium the Quartermaster General and Chairman 
of the 100th Anniversary, Joe L. Ridgley. 

QUARTERMASTER GENERAL RIDGLEY: There is no greater honor 
that a person can have than to serve in any capacity for an organization as 
great as the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I appreciate the honor to serve you 
in this capacity, in the capacity of Quartermaster General and any other 
capacity that you would have me serve. 

I want to thank a few people here. First of all, I would like to thank 
all the Posts and Departments that have taken on the chore of becoming a 
Commemorative Post for the 100th Anniversary. We have had a 
magnificent opportunity to tell the world, and especially America, what the 
VFW is all about, and those Posts that have become Commemorative Posts 
and those Departments that have become Commemorative Departments 
have done exactly that. 

I do know that I am not going to mention all the staff right now, but 
the staff has done a tremendous job. They have put all this together for you. 
They are continuing to work, and one thing we do need to remember is the 
100th Anniversary is not over with this convention. 

We are celebrating it here, because most of our delegates are here 
with us, but it is not over at this convention. We would like you to 
remember that September 29th is our official birthday that is coming up, 
and there will be celebrations all over the country for the 1 00th Anniversary 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

There have been a lot of people that have helped us to put this 
together, many, many people. One group of people that I think we all want 
to thank is those people that are in the military today that have helped to 
put on so many events, the flyovers we see, the Navy Band and the Army 
International Guard, the Joint Services Color Guard. I could go on and on. 

I would like all the active duty military to stand up that are in the 
room. Please stand up so we can thank you. There is a lot more going on 
after this convention, also. I hope everyone will tune in to the 100th 
playing of the Army-Navy game on December 4th, which is obviously in 
conjunction with our 100th Anniversary. 

The VFW will be honored at that game on CBS. They will receive 
honors through the whole game. Our Commander-in-Chief will perform 
the coin toss. The Army Golden Knights and the Navy Leap Frogs will bring 
in our 100th Anniversary Flag. On Armed Forces Radio, that goes around 
the world to all of our forces, the VFW will be thanking those serving us in 
the hot spots today. You need to tune in and listen because it is going to be 
a great event and the VFW will be honored on national TV. 

Lastly, I just want to say that we also thank you out there that have 
children and grandchildren, spouses, brothers and sisters, anybody that is 
currently serving in our armed forces, and especially those who are serving 
in the hot spots around the world. 

There are many of them today: Korea, the Persian Gulf, the 
Balkans, they are all over. Ladies and gentlemen, we need to thank those 



38 



active duty forces that are there with us today and are protecting our 
freedom as all of you did. You are the heroes of yesterday and they are the 
heroes of today. We want to thank them even though it is our 100th 
Anniversary. 

Remember the Patriotic Rally. Don't miss that one. Be out there 
early at the stadium and catch those shuttles. Get out there for the Patriotic 
Rally that starts at 5:45. It will be an evening that you will never forget. 
There will be a concert by Kenny Rogers. Just be there, ladies and 
gentlemen. You are going to love it. Thank you. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Ladies and gentlemen, I now invite 
you to turn your attention to the video screens for a special tribute to the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars from the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. 

(Whereupon, the video was shown at this time.) 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: We have been informed that the 
President has landed and while we are awaiting his arrival the United States 
Navy Band will entertain us. 

(Whereupon, the United States Navy Band performed at this time.) 

INTRODUCTION OF PRESIDENT WILLIAM "BILL" CLINTON 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and gentlemen, 
today, as we mark the opening of the 100th National Convention of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars and its 1 00 years of service to our nations and its 
veterans, we pause not only to look back at our deeds and 
accomplishments but to the future and the challenge before us. 

Last year on Veterans Day, November 11, 1998, veterans praised 
President Clinton for signing into law the VFW-backed Veterans Programs 
Enhancement Act. 

But there still is much to be done to honor the commitment to 
provide for the health-care needs of our nation's veterans. As we prepare 
to enter a new century, we look to the administration and the Congress to 
work together to meet the challenge of providing timely, quality and 
accessible care to all American veterans. There is much to be done. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my high honor at this time to introduce 
to the distinguished audience the President of the United States, William 
Jefferson Clinton. (Applause) 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - THE HONORABLE BILL CLINTON, 
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you very much. Commander-in- 
Chief Pouliot, Distinguished Officers of the VFW, Congressman Skelton, 
Congressman Moore, Congresswoman Kaptur, Secretary West and Deputy 
Secretary Gober, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

It is a great honor for me to be here in Kansas City today to help to 
celebrate 100 proud years for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You should 



39 



clap for yourselves. That's it. (Applause) 

I would like to begin with just a few reflections of what these 100 
years mean for you and for the United States. We are less than 150 days 
now from the beginning of one century and the end of another, which 
many have called the American Century. Lately, there have been a number 
of looks back at the people and personalities and events that made this 20th 
century; the leaders who led freedom's triumph over tyranny, like 
Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Marshall; inventors like the Wright Brothers, whose 
ideas changed the way we lived; moral forces like Martin Luther King and 
Eleanor Roosevelt, whose ideas and examples changed the world; scientists 
like Dr. Jonas Salk whose discoveries liberated a generation of parents from 
the mortal fear that their children would have polio and be crippled. 

But if you ask who has been most responsible for making this the 
American century, one answer would be at the top of anyone's list after two 
World Wars and a long Cold War. That answer would be America's 
servicemen and women. (Applause) 

Today, as we celebrate your centennial anniversary, we must never 
forget that tens, even hundreds of millions of people in the United States 
and all around the world sleep in peace because hundreds of thousands of 
Americans rest in peace in graves marked and unmarked, all across the 
world — fallen veterans of foreign wars. 

It is no accident, therefore, that the American century also marks 
the VFW century. For over the last 100 years, American men and women 
have sacrificed whatever was necessary — not for territorial gain, nor for 
the domination of others, but to secure the rights and freedoms of others so 
that Americans might have their freedom secure. You have made our nation 
proud. (Applause) 

Thanks to you, we will begin a new century with a truly historic 
achievement, for in the last few years, for the first time in all of human 
history, more than half the world's people live under free governments 
freely elected. Still, you and I know this is not a world free from danger. 

There is the potential for major wars, rooted in ethnic and religious 
hatred. There is the chance that former adversaries will not succeed in their 
transition to democracy, and could become adversaries again. There is the 
risk that nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will fall into the wrong 
hands. 

There is the risk of terrorist groups with increasing access to 
money, to technology, to sophisticated weaponry. There is the possibility 
that global financial vulnerabilities could overwhelm free societies. 

Therefore, we cannot assume that because we are today secure 
and at peace we don't need military strength or alliances, or that because 
we are today prosperous, we are immune from turmoil half a world away. 

America must still be engaged in the world, working with others to 
advance peace and prosperity, freedom and security, and America must 
remain strong. (Applause) That is what our most recent conflict in Kosovo 
was all about. I want to thank you profoundly for the support the VFW gave 



40 



us during the conflict there. 

I know it wasn't easy for you to do. We were still in the early stages 
of the longest and most difficult military campaign in the 50-year history of 
NATO. Critics were convinced from the beginning that we could not 
succeed. But you stood with us and, more importantly, you stood with our 
men and women in uniform. NATO and the United States prevailed. We 
are all grateful for your support. (Applause) 

Many of you in this room today fought in World War II against the 
tyrants who preached racial and religious superiority. In Kosovo, innocent 
men, women and children were systematically targeted for killing and mass 
expulsion by their governments simply because of their ethnic heritage or 
the way they chose to worship God. 

After World War II, after ending the four-year war of ethnic 
cleansing in Bosnia, NATO could not accept that kind of behavior on its 
own borders. It could not stand by, once again, and see people driven from 
their homes, loaded on railcars, having their history erased. 

So, instead, the century ends with a powerful statement by NATO's 
19 democracies, reaffirming human life and human dignity, giving us the 
chance after two world wars, the Cold War and the Balkan conflicts, for the 
first time ever to have an undivided, democratic and peaceful Europe. It 
shares our values, strengthens our economy, helps us meet our common 
aspirations and will not call young Americans to go there to fight and die 
in the 21 st century. (Applause) 

We prevailed in Kosovo because our cause was just, our goals 
were clear, our alliance were strong and our strategy worked, thanks to the 
performance of our men and women in uniform. In 78 days, they flew 
more than 37,000 support and strike sorties in the face of constant danger, 
including surface-to-air missiles. Many times our pilots risked their lives 
because they would not fire back at the Serb gunners who were positioned 
in heavily populated areas, and they didn't want to kill innocent civilians. 

In the end, thank God we had zero combat fatalities and only two 
planes shot down. That is an astonishing record and a tribute to the 
professionalism we see every day from our military forces the world over. 
They are good people. (Applause) 

They are good people who are well-trained, well-led and well- 
equipped. Rigorous training is critical — and as all of you know, dangerous 
in and of itself. Indeed, we must always remember our two Army airmen 
who died in training exercises in Albania during the Kosovo conflict. 

And we thank God there weren't more casualties in Kosovo, in part 
because the men and women trained so hard, with the world's best 
equipment. As long as I am President, I intend to keep the commitment I 
made from the first day of our administration, that our men and women in 
uniform will remain the best-trained, the best-equipped, the best-prepared 
military in the entire world. (Applause) 

All of you know we have challenges in keeping that commitment. 
Thanks to the strength of our economy, in part, we are having a harder time 



41 



recruiting and keeping some of our best people. And we have a lot of tough 
decisions to make to maintain the readiness of our equipment and to keep 
ahead of the latest generation in military developments. I have asked 
Congress for the support necessary to deal with these challenges. I believe 
it will be forthcoming, and I ask for your support in making sure that it is. 

We also recognize another simple truth here, on your centennial: 
the troops of tomorrow will only be as good as our commitment to veterans 
today. Way back in 1903, Theodore Roosevelt said, "a man who is good 
enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a 
square deal afterwards." (Applause) 

One of the great privileges I have had in being President is to work 
for and with our country's veterans, and their organizations. The White 
House doors have been open to veterans, to help to shape policy affecting 
veterans — especially when it comes to critical matters like health care. 

Early in our administration, Hershel Gober recommended that we 
look for ways to bring health care closer to veterans who needed it. Since 
then we have opened more than 600 outpatient clinics all across America, 
and have more planned over the next two years. We expect to treat 
400,000 more veterans this year than last year. (Applause) 

We have also confronted some long-neglected problems head-on. 
We have reached out to more than 40,000 veterans who were exposed to 
Agent Orange, to tell them about the expanded benefits available to them. 
I pressed hard for answers to the Gulf War Syndrome and proper care for 
those who suffer from it. 

We are in the process of building five new national cemeteries, the 
most since the Civil War. And we are making a special effort to end 
something I know is unacceptable to all of us here today — homeless 
veterans. They should be brought back into the society they did so much 
to defend. (Applause) 

In all these efforts, I want to thank Secretary West, his predecessor, 
Secretary Brown, and Deputy Secretary Gober and all those at the 
Department of Veterans Affairs that have worked so hard to reach out to you 
and to work with you. We know there is more to do. 

As Vice President Gore announced last month, we will continue to 
work with the VFW and others to make sure that all veterans receive the 
high-quality care they deserve next year and every year, and we expect this 
year's budget to reflect that commitment. (Applause) 

I would like to make another point today. Standing by our military 
and standing by our veterans means more than simply preparing people to 
fight wars and taking care of them after they wear our nation's uniform. We 
must also work with equal determination to prevent wars. 

That means paying attention not only to military readiness, but to 
diplomatic readiness as well. We know that if diplomacy is not backed by 
real, credible threats of force, it can be empty — indeed, dangerous. But 
if we don't use diplomacy first to promote our interests, if we rely on our 
military as the only line of defense, it almost certainly will become our only 



42 



line of defense. 

Of course, international engagement costs money. But the costliest 
peace is far cheaper than the cheapest war. (Applause) Ever since I became 
President, I have been trying hard to convince Congress of that basic truth. 
It has been a considerable challenge. 

Our international affairs programs — which fund everything from 
resolving conflicts to strengthening young democracies, to combatting 
terrorism, to fighting dangerous drugs, to promoting our exports, to 
maintaining our embassies all around the world — amount to less than one 
percent of the federal budget, and less than one-fifteenth of our defense 
budget. 

But I regret to say that since 1985, these programs have been cut 
significantly. This year, the House and Senate have passed spending bills 
that would cut our request for international affairs by more than $2 billion. 
In other words, we are cutting the very programs designed to keep our 
soldiers out of war in the first place. 

Underfunding our arsenal of peace is as risky as underfunding our 
arsenal for war. For if we continue to underfund diplomacy, we will end 
up overusing our military. Problems we might have been able to .esolve 
peacefully will turn into crises that we can only resolve at a cost of life and 
treasure. If this trend continues, there will be real consequences for 
important American interests. 

Let me mention just a few, beginning with our interest in peace and 
stability across the Atlantic. Today, after the victory in Kosovo and in 
Bosnia, we have an opportunity to invest in peace so that future wars do 
not occur there. 

The people of the Balkans have been crippled by conflict, really 
since the end of the Cold War. Today, we have a chance to integrate them 
with each other, and into the mainstream of Europe — where they will have 
strong incentives to maintain democracy and good behavior, and avoid 
conflict. 

To do this, we don't need anything as ambitious as the Marshall 
Plan. And whatever is done, we must insist that our European partners 
carry most of the load, and that Balkan leaders themselves take 
responsibility for changing their policies. 

Still, the United States should be a part of this process. If we don't, 
and the effort fails, make no mistake — there will be another bloody war 
that starts in the Balkans, and spreads throughout southeastern Europe. 
And some day, more young Americans may be asked to risk their lives at far 
greater cost than our part of the rebuilding of the region. 

If we are to succeed in winning the peace, we may see a 21st 
century — I will say again — in which we do not have to send the young 
people of America to fight in another European war. That is a worthy 
objective. We have seen enough wars in Europe, claiming the lives of their 
children and America's young people. Now we have a chance to avoid it, 
and we ought to take the chance. (Applause) 



43 



We also have a responsibility to protect the American people from 
the clangers most likely to surface in the 21st century. The gravest of those 
may not be another country launching a nuclear weapon, but that weapons 
of mass destruction will fall into the hands of terrorists and their rogue-state 
sponsors. 

We have worked to reduce that doomsday scenario. Since 1992, 
our support has helped to deactivate almost 5,000 nuclear warheads in the 
former Soviet Union; to eliminate nuclear weapons from three former 
Soviet republics; to strengthen the security of weapons and materials at 
over 100 sites; to tighten export controls in Russia and to purchase 
hundreds of tons, literally hundreds of tons, of highly enriched uranium that 
otherwise could be used for nuclear weapons that end up in the wrong 
hands. 

This effort has received strong bipartisan support in the Congress 
for which I am very grateful. Today, the Russian economy is struggling, as 
we all know. The average salary of a highly-trained weapons scientist in 
Russia — listen to this — the average salary of a highly-trained weapons 
scientist in Russia is less than $100 a month. 

Now, for a small investment, we can help them turn that expertise 
to peaceful projects that help the world and draw a living wage doing it. 
Or we can do nothing, and pray that each and every one of those thousands 
of scientists will somehow resist the temptation to market their expertise to 
those who wish to do us and the cause of freedom harm. Common sense 
says to me that we ought to give them something useful and good to do and 
let them make a decent living. (Applause) 

That's why, in my State of the Union Address I proposed increasing 
funding for threat reduction by two-thirds over the next five years. I want 
to work with Congress to make these investments to make the world a safer 
place. 

Another challenge is to create a durable and comprehensive peace 
in the region that every president since Richard Nixon has considered 
among the most dangerous in the world — the Middle East. Today, we have 
a real opportunity to do that. The new Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, 
formerly the commander of all Israel's military forces, has set forth an 
ambitious agenda to reach agreement within the next 15 months and to 
move the process beyond the setbacks of recent years. 

Both Israelis and Palestinians now are determined to move 
forward. But the enemies of peace stand ready to strike to undercut this 
path. That is why last fall, when the two sides made a commitment to 
peace at the Wye River talks, we made a commitment to them, as well. 

As the United States has done ever since the Camp David Accords 
in the late 1970s, we told the Israelis that we would help them minimize 
the risks of peace and lift the lives of the Palestinian people. We told the 
Jordanians that we would help promote their safety and their well-being. 

Now, I know that's a long way away. But you know if there's a full- 
scale war in the Middle East it will affect our interests and our values. The 



44 



Middle East is home to all three of the world's great religions that hold we 
are created by one God. We have a chance to see it become a place of 
peace. 

If it becomes again a place of war, it will cost us far more than 
investing in a common, shared, peaceful future. The conflict has gone on 
for too long. We have a historic opportunity to end it. If the Israelis, the 
Palestinians, the Jordanians — ultimately, the Syrians and the Lebanese — 
if they all are willing to do their part, we must do ours, and we ought to 
begin by keeping our word to fund the Wye River peace process. 

We also have an opportunity, believe it or not, to move beyond a 
series of cruel conflicts in Africa. In the last three weeks, in efforts led not 
by the United States, although we supported them, but by the African 
countries themselves, we have seen signs for hope in the resolution of 
devastating conflicts — especially in the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, 
which has claimed more than 70,000 lives already. 

We have seen the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria, hold 
a democratic election and bring to an end 15 years of misrule. All this is 
very good news. It means that the largest untapped market for our products 
in the world — a continent of over 700 million people, that provides nearly 
as much oil to us as we get from the Middle East — will now have a chance 
to develop in freedom and peace and shared prosperity with us and other 
freedom-loving people. 

Now, the African countries don't want the United States to solve 
their problems or to deploy our military. All they have asked us to do, at a 
small cost, is to support their efforts to resolve conflicts on their own, to 
keep the peace, to build better lives for their people and to develop 
competent militaries. 

These efforts don't make a lot of headlines. I will bet most of you 
don't know much about them. That's good, because the point is to avoid 
headlines — headlines about famine and refugee crisis and genocide — 
and to replace them, instead, with stories of partnership and shared 
prosperity. These are the stories we can write now — again, if Congress will 
invest only a tiny portion of what we spend on defense on avoiding war in 
the first place. 

Finally, there is the question of the United Nations. One of the 
great legacies of our victory in World War II is an institution where nations 
seek to resolve differences with words instead of weapons. Paying our dues 
to that organization is a legal and a moral responsibility. It ought to be 
reason enough to do so. 

If we fail to do so soon, the United States will actually lose its vote 
in the General Assembly. But obligation is not the only reason for doing 
this. So is opportunity. The UN helps us to mobilize the support of other 
nations for goals Americans cherish — from keeping the peace to 
immunizing children to caring for refugees to combatting the spread of 
deadly weapons. We have been working with growing success to make 
sure that the UN operates better, at lower cost. 



45 



But we have to do our part. Unless we want America to pay all the 
costs and take all the risks to solve the world's big problems, we have to 
work with others — and that means paying our fair share of dues, like every 
other country does, to the United Nations. 

The bottom line is this: today we have a unique opportunity, and a 
real responsibility, to advance the values in the world won in the 20th 
century, over the last 100 years by America's veterans. But if we have only 
one arrow in our quiver — our military — we sacrifice the work of peace 
and increase the risk of war. We have to do our part to keep the world on 
a stable path toward democracy — the democracy that every single one of 
you put your lives on the line to defend. 

That's how President Truman felt. Fifty years ago this week, he 
spoke to you at the VFW's Golden Jubilee convention. Listen to what he 
said — and you can feel it here, because we are not far from his hometown. 
Harry Truman said, "Peace with freedom and justice cannot be bought 
cheaply. It can only be assured by the combined efforts of the multitudes of 
people throughout the world who want a secure peace. We must keep 
them our friends if the world is to be a decent place for our children and 
their grandchildren to live." Harry Truman was a pretty smart fellow. 
(Applause) 

Just two months ago, I visited a refugee camp full of Kosovans, 
Albanians in Macedonia. I wish every one of you could have been there. 
As I walked through the camp, these young children started chanting 
spontaneously: U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A — thanking Americans for giving them 
a chance to reclaim their lives in their native land. They have all gone home 
now, by the way, over 90 percent of the refugees from Kosovo are home. 
(Applause) 

But it reminded me of my trip to Normandy for the 50th anniversary 
of D-Day, in 1994. In Normandy, we all heard stories from our veterans of 
French citizens who came up to them, took their hands and told them that 
they were very young, 50 years ago, but they would always remember what 
Americans did for them and what it meant to them. 

I hope that in 50 years, some of our veterans from the conflict in 
Kosovo will go back there, and the children from that refugee camp, who 
will then be in their middle years, will take their hands and say, 50 years 
ago I was chanting, "U-S-A, U-S-A," with my voice, but I still chant with my 
heart. We are very grateful to all of you. 

So on this centennial anniversary, on behalf of a grateful nation and 
grateful people throughout the world, I say to every soldier, sailor, airman, 
Marine and Coast Guardsman, to every man and woman who fought 
bravely for our nation and brought dignity to the world, thank you for a job 
well done. May we look forward to a century in which all your sacrifice and 
all your service is honored and redeemed with the greatest peace and 
prosperity the world has ever known. 

Thank you and God bless you. (Applause) 



46 



CLOSING CEREMONIES 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you all for attending 
this Joint Opening Session. I know we will have a great convention. Please 
remain standing for the Benediction by our National Chaplain Father 
Thomas W. Neville. 

(Whereupon, National Chaplain Neville gave the Benediction at 
this time.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Join me in a Salute to the 
Colors. Present arms, order arms. 

(Whereupon, the assembly gave the Salute to the Colors.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I declare this Joint Opening 
Session closed. 

(Whereupon, the meeting was recessed at 1 1 :50 o'clock a.m.) 



47 



FIRST BUSINESS SESSION 
TUESDAY MORNING, AUGUST 17, 1999 

(The First Business Session of the 1 00th National Convention of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, was called to order in the H. 
Roe Bartle Convention Center, Kansas City, Missouri, at 8:00 o'clock a.m., 
by Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot.) 

CALL TO ORDER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, please take your 
seats. Comrade Sergeant-at-Arms, perform the Opening Ceremonies. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Yes, sir. All rise and 
uncover, parade rest. 

(Whereupon, National Sergeant-at-Arms Barry Hoffman led the 
Convention in the Salute to the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, and 
National Chaplain Thomas Neville gave the Opening Prayer from the 
Ritual.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, 
the Opening Ceremonies for today's business session have been performed. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, I will open the 
First Business Session of our 100th National Convention. To begin our 
meeting, I will ask the Chairman of the Credentials Committee to give his 
report. 

REPORT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE 

COMRADE RICHARD TROMBLA (Post 1 1 74 - Kansas): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am Richard Trombla, Post 1174, Kansas. This is a 
temporary report of the Credentials Committee. 

The total registered delegates, 12,936. Department Commanders, 
39. Past Commanders-in-Chief, 31; National Officers, 38. That is for a 
grand total of 1 3,044. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, this is a temporary report of the 
committee. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time we will hear 
from the Committee on Convention Rules. The Chairman is Past 
Commander-in-Chief Cooper T Holt. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON CONVENTION RULES 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CLIFFORD HOLT: Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. First of all, I would like to thank you for appointing 
me as Chairman for the Convention Rules Committee, and I want to let you 
know I have enjoyed this time very much. I want to thank you for 
appointing as Vice-Chairman Wayne Thompson, from the great state of 



48 



Colorado. He did an outstanding job for you. 

As indicated, I will give you the Report of the Committee on 
Convention Rules just as soon as I get this staple out of here. This is to the 
100th National Convention, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 
this 17th day of August, 1999. 

Your Committee on Convention Rules met Sunday afternoon, 
August 15, and agreed on the following recommendations, which are 
respectfully submitted for your consideration. 

Commander-in-Chief, with your permission, I will ask that the Vice- 
Chairman, Past Department Commander and Judge Advocate, Wayne 
Thompson, from Colorado, to read the first nine proposed rules of this 
convention. Then I will read the remaining proposed ten rules of this 
convention. 

Comrade Thompson. 

COMRADE WAYNE THOMPSON (Post 5061 - Colorado): Good 
morning, comrades. I will read the first nine proposed rules to you at this 
time. 

1 . That, with exceptions noted below, Demeter's Manual be 
recognized as parliamentary authority for this Convention. 

2. That when a registered delegate desires to make a motion or 
address the Convention, he shall rise, address the Chair as 
"Comrade Commander-in-Chief", and after being recognized, 
shall state his name, Post number and Department, before 
proceeding. 

3. A registered delegate shall be permitted to speak but twice on 
any one subject, or any pending resolution for a period of eight 
minutes each, except by consent of two-thirds of the voting 
strength of the Convention present; provided, that chairmen of 
Convention Committees may speak as frequently as necessary 
in connection with reports of their committees; and in the 
event of controversy, the presiding officer shall not entertain 
any motion which will curtail further debate without affording 
the maker of the motion or a member of the particular group 
presenting the resolution an opportunity for five minutes of 
final rebuttal. 

4. All resolutions offered by individual registered delegates must 
bear the endorsement of the Department Commander or in his 
absence the Department Adjutant. All resolutions must be 
submitted to the office of the Adjutant General for numbering 
and referral to committee no later than 9:00 a.m. Thursday, 
August 19, 1999, and must be accompanied by a written 
explanation as to why the resolution was not presented to the 
Department Commander for consideration. 

5. All resolutions offered on the floor at the Convention, or 
otherwise, shall be in writing and shall automatically, and 
without reading, be referred to the Adjutant General for 



49 



assignment to the proper committee. 

6. Committee chairmen, in reporting on resolutions referred to 
their committee, shall first read those resolutions on which 
favorable action is recommended. Specific resolutions shall 
be set aside for individual action at the request of any delegate, 
the others being voted upon collectively. 

After action has been taken on all such resolutions, the 
chairman shall read the number and title of those resolutions 
which the committee has disapproved. A resolution 
disapproved by the committee shall be automatically rejected 
unless a motion is made and seconded that it be approved, in 
which case it shall be brought up for debate and Convention 
action. 

7. This Convention will not consider any resolution dealing with 
race, creed or religion, or endorse anyone for public office. 
This Convention will not consider any resolution calling for 
the expenditure or appropriation of organization funds. 

8. This Convention will not consider any resolution endorsing 
legislation sponsored by any other veterans organization, or 
requesting us to join with any other organization in sponsoring 
legislation not expressly proposed by the Veterans of Foreign of 
the United States. 

9. No person not a duly registered delegate or member of the 
National Convention shall participate in debate, directly or 
indirectly, on any subject before the Convention. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF HOLT: Thank you, Wayne, 
will read the following rules: 

1 0. Unit rule of voting shall not be allowed in this Convention. 
11. Voting strength shall be determined as those delegates 

registered as of the close of the credentials registration booth 
the previous day and as reported by the Credentials Committee 
each morning. 
The Department Commanders will receive, prior to the 
beginning of each Business Session, a list of Posts that have 
properly registered delegates. Only delegates representing 
those Posts listed on the report will be accorded voting 
privileges. 
12. On roll call votes, the Chairman or acting Chairman of each 
delegation shall poll his delegation's registered delegates on 
the floor and shall announce the vote of his delegation. 

1 3. Registered delegates of a delegation may arrive at a vote in any 
manner they see fit, but shall announce it in terms of full units 
and not in terms of a fractional part of a vote. 

14. Reconsideration of a motion or resolution upon which final 
disposition has been made shall not be allowed after the 
session at which it was acted on has been recessed unless the 



50 



body is notified of such contemplated action prior to the 
close of that session. 

15. When the report of the chairman of the delegation is not 
acceptable to all registered delegates of the delegation and a 
poll of the Department registered delegates is demanded by 
three registered delegates of said Department,the Adjutant 
General shall poll the registered delegates, without discussion 
or question. 

16. Voting shall be by acclamation, except when a roll call be 
demanded by ten registered delegates representing Posts in ten 
separate Departments. 

1 7. Nominating speeches for the National Officers shall be limited 
to five minutes each. Not more than two seconding speeches 
shall be made for any candidate and such speeches shall not 
exceed two minutes each. Nomination and election of 
National Officers will be held according to the Congressional 
Charter, By-Laws, and Manual of Procedure, Article VI, Section 
609. 

1 8. Registered delegates and persons recognized by the Chair shall 
be entitled to a respectful hearing and the Chair shall have the 
authority to clear the gallery or the floor or have the 
Sergeant-at-Arms escort from the floor any person or persons 
who may create any disturbances which interfere with the 
orderly procedure of the Convention. 

19. Consent of two-thirds of the voting strength of the Convention 
present is necessary for suspension of the rules of this 
Convention. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I move the adoption of the rules 
recommended by the Committee on Convention Rules and as presented to 
this convention. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a motion on the 
floor. Is there a second? 

COMRADE WAYNE THOMPSON (Post 5061 - Colorado): I second 
the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion to accept the Convention Rules that have been read. Is there any 
discussion? Hearing none, I will call for the question. All in favor will say 
"aye"; all opposed. The motion carries. 

At this time I will express my sincere thanks and will dismiss the 
Convention Rules Committee and thank the chairman and the committee 
for their hard work. 

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL BY-LAWS, 
MANUAL OF PROCEDURE AND RITUAL 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the Report of the 
Committee on National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual, I call on 

51 



the Chairman, Past Commander-in-Chief John Stang. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Commander-in Chief, 
members of the convention, I would ask that the members of the National 
By-Laws and Manual of Procedure Committee please rise and be 
recognized. Thank you. 

Now, I will ask the Vice-Chairman of this committee, Norman K. 
Mead from Arizona, to please rise. On behalf of the entire committee, 
Commander-in-Chief, we thank you for appointing us to what we consider 
a rather important committee. 

I would also like to mention the names of the National By-Laws 
and Review Committee, who worked with these various requests for 
amendments to the By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual throughout 
the year. They are Ed Burnham, Frank Zinzer, Glen Gardner, Jr., William 
Cox, William Hawk, Lester G. Horton, George K. Mead, who is Chairman 
of that Review Committee, and Dale Vaughn. I would appreciate your 
applause in recognizing them for their hard work throughout the year. 

The committee thanks Adjutant General John Senk, Jr., Assistant 
Adjutant General Larry LeFebvre, Assistant Quartermaster General Larry 
Maher and Director of Post Services, James Rowoldt, and our Judge Adocate 
General E. Earl Lord for their assistance in our deliberations. 

This is the form that we will follow to report to this convention floor 
the deliberations of the committees. In making the report of the committee, 
I am going to follow the following procedure: As Chairman, I will read the 
list of those proposed amendments to the By-Laws, Manual of Procedure 
and Ritual, which the committee recommends to be adopted and move the 
adoption of those amendments. 

After that motion and a second, the chair will ask if there are any 
of those amendments which the comrades want set aside for debate. Note 
will be made of those amendments to be set aside and a vote will then be 
taken on those amendments which have not been set aside. 

After the vote on those amendments, which were not set aside, we 
will take up those proposed amendments which have been set aside for 
debate. They will be taken up in the order in which they have been set 
aside and each proposed amendment will be voted on by the convention 
as a motion to adopt the proposed amendment. 

After action is completed on the proposed amendments 
recommended for adoption, I will read the list of those proposed 
amendments to which the Committee's recommendation is rejection. After 
the list is read, you will have an opportunity to move the adoption of any 
of those proposed amendments. Each motion will be taken up and 
disposed of in order. 

If no motion is made by any comrade with respect to a specific 
amendment, the amendment is, under our Convention Rules, automatically 
rejected by the convention. To make it hopefully easier for all of us to 
follow, including me, we are going to do the By-Law Section first. We will 
then go into the Manual of Procedure proposed amendments, and after that 



52 



the Ritual. 

We are starting now with the By-Laws amendments, proposed 
amendments, which are recommended for approval by the committee. 

They are B-1, Consolidation of Posts. 

B-2, Council of Administration - Composition, Powers and Duties. 

B-3, National Committees. 

B-4, National Committees. 

B-5, Politics. 

B-7, Elected and Appointed Officers; Chairmen and Committees. 

B-1 3, Definitions. 

I move the adoption of the recommendation of the committee for 
those aforementioned by-laws. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. This will be Microphone No. 1, the center aisle 
Microphone No. 2 and to my right will be Microphone No. 3. The chair 
recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE AL JONES (Department of Pennsylvania): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, Al Jones, a member of the By-Laws Committee from 
Pennsylvania, seconds that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. Is there any discussion on the proposed motion to adopt B-1, B-2, 
B-3, B-4, B-5, B-7 and B-1 3, Proposed By-Laws Amendments? Is there any 
discussion? Hearing no discussion, I will move the question. All in favor 
will say "aye"; all opposed. The "ayes" have it. Those Proposed National 
By-Laws Amendments have been adopted. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Those Proposed 
Amendments to the By-Laws, which the committee recommends rejection, 
are as follows: 

B-6, Arrearages; B-8, Officers, Powers and Duties; B-9, Regional 
National Council of Administration Members - How Elected; B-10, 
Regional National Council of Administration Members - How Elected; B- 
11, Control of Units; B-1 2, Buddy Poppy. 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): I 
request that B-1 1 be set aside for individual consideration. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time, as a matter of 
procedure, what you will need to do is to move the adoption of B-1 1 . 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I move adoption of B-1 1 . 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a motion. Is there a 
second? 

COMRADE BILL CERNEY (Post 9950 - South Dakota): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I second the motion. 



C? 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second to adopt B-1 1 . Is there any discussion? 

The chair recognizes Microphone 3. 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief and Delegates to this Convention, I rise this 
morning to ask you to pass this by-law change. I do that with full 
knowledge that the National Organization does not feel it is good for us as 
an organization to adopt this change. However, I would like to explain our 
reasons for bringing it before you this morning and ask that you give us your 
individual, collective consideration, which we think is a very important by- 
law change. 

I come from a small state. We only have 720,000 in our entire 
state. If we take the City of Sioux Falls out of it, we only have 600,000 
people. We have 73 VFW Posts and over 1 6,000 members. We have 
reached a place where it is necessary for us to reconsider the operations of 
canteens and pub rooms. 

What B-1 1 does is allow the VFW Posts to join with the Post of 
another veterans organization and operate a canteen or a club room. Our 
reasons are many, but we will keep it brief. Many times in our towns, the 
same individuals or a high percentage of them belong to both the VFW and 
some other organization's post. They are basically the same people. 

Those towns cannot support two club rooms or two canteen 
operations, but they can support one. By supporting one, they can provide 
a place for the comrades, the veterans of that community, to gather together 
and make their plans for the good of those in that community, provide for 
their community service projects and youth activities, and all those various 
things that all of us do. 

I come before you this morning and ask that you give consideration 
to letting it be possible, that in towns where there is simply not the financial 
ability to support two canteens, and yet for those veterans who wish to 
gather together in a mutual place and only have the cost of one building, 
the cost of one set of operational costs, one set of payment of wages in 
operating a canteen. 

They simply cannot provide for two, but they can provide for one 
and it will work. I know the National Organization has had some sad 
experiences with this, but this is our 100th Anniversary. It is time for 
change, and we all know that change is coming. 

We are going to be in a different era, and those of us from South 
Dakota, we ask that you seriously consider what we are asking here this 
morning and that is that you let our VFW Posts join with Posts from other 
organizations, veterans organizations, and veterans organizations only, to 
operate canteens and Posts, club rooms, so that they can have a place to do 
the things they need to do. 

We feel it would be a good thing for the community to have this 
sort of thing and we also think that it would be a disadvantage to put all of 
the veterans' Posts in those towns at a disadvantage where they cannot 



54 



operate a canteen. Comrades and delegates, I ask that you join with us in 
South Dakota and give this serious consideration. 

We ask that you pass B-1 1 and give it a chance and let the National 
Organization put the covenants and rules they want to put on it once we 
adopt it. Let's get on and let's move forward. We appreciate your support. 
Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, Comrade 
Radigan. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE WAYNE THOMPSON (Post 5061 - Colorado): 
Comrades, I ask for a "no" vote on this motion and that we reject the 
proposed change. I have served many years as State Judge Advocate for the 
Department of Colorado and I have served as your Judge Advocate General. 

The by-law, as it stands now, is what we should have. The 
Department of Colorado, we have had problems with this type of 
organization. Almost every one that we have in existence has been a 
problem. We are involved in litigation in one of them now, and our 
comrades of good will from the DAV, the American Legion, Am-Vets and 
ourselves, our own comrades, they were well-intended when they formed 
these organizations years ago, but for some reason that comradeship has 
either been dissolved or been broken and we end up in disputes that we 
cannot solve amicably, and it creates problems. 

Frankly, if it was up to me, I would ask that all existing 
organizations be abolished. We have five in our state that are grandfathered 
in and every one of them has been a problem for us, including one in 
litigation now. We cannot solve it. 

Let's not create more problems by allowing the formation of these 
multi-party organizations that control our property, our canteens, our clubs, 
et cetera. I ask for a "no" vote on this. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

I am looking at Microphone No. 1 . Is there anyone at Microphone 
No. 1 that would like to discuss B-1 1 ? There is no one. 

Back to Microphone No. 3, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
3. 

COMRADE DAVID WARE (Post 7480 - Washington): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am David Ware, Post 7480, Davenport, 
Washington. I agree with the other comrade. I just don't understand, since 
when did the canteens start running the Posts? We must stay separate. 

We have the same problem in a couple of our little cities in 
Washington where the other service organizations have tried to move in on 
our canteens and run that. We are not in litigation, thank goodness. I don't 
think we will be, but we need to have this amendment thrown out. Thank 
you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE WILLIAM CHAMPAGNE (Post 1698 - New 



55 



Hampshire): Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I rise in opposition to this 
motion. Comrades, we have had personal experience of having something 
happen like that in our state, where the Post merged with other veterans 
organizations into this one building, and what happened was it diluted that 
Post so much that it just disappeared. We are still fighting to get it back. 
They would rather drink than to do our programs. We lost one of our Posts. 
That's all. Thank you, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. Is 
there anyone at Microphone No. 1 ? For purposes of summary and 
summation on this motion, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE WILLIAM HIGGINS (Post 2544 - Texas): Commander- 
in-Chief and fellow delegates, we are for it, and we think that it should be 
left up to the individual groups. That doesn't mean that just because we 
pass the resolution that every Post has to join right away with another 
veterans organization. 

It should be left up to the individuals, and I think a good leadership 
will make it easy, and we should not have any problems. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. Any 
other discussion? 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am Glen Gardner, a delegate from Post 3359, 
Garland, Texas. I stand in opposition to this proposed By-Law change. I 
think there are other sections of 709 that this would cause us to violate. 

By-Law 709 says all assets of any activity should be under the 
control of the Quartermaster General. If you did this and a dual operation 
with the American Legion and the VFW, then you will have to fight who is 
controlling the funds. All this does is create problems. 

It will create more instances where we will have Posts in the future 
where we will have to have a dispute over who owns the building, who 
doesn't own the building, and the VFW will be left out in the cold. I think 
we should defeat this proposed by-law change. Thank you, Commander- 
in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Microphone No. 1, and then 
we will summarize at Microphone No. 3. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE KEN RODGERS (Post 6925 - Florida): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I speak in favor of what the comrade has said. If we 
allow other divisions of the veterans organizations to use our canteen, I 
don't know how they would divvy up the money. Somebody will get more 
than the others. You will have chaos between all of these organizations. 
That is what will happen. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

For purposes of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
3. 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): I 



56 



come before you today and ask that you pass this by-law change. None of 
us can live in the past. We have to live in the future. Because this has not 
worked in time and specific places in the past does not necessarily mean 
that it will not work in the future. 

I have confidence in our Post officers. I have confidence in our Post 
members that they have the ability to make the decision of what is good for 
their Posts and what will work and what will not. There may be mistakes 
now and then, but basically I feel that those people have the capability to 
make the decision to do the administration and carry out the work that is 
necessary to provide for this type of operation. 

I guarantee you, sir, that we cannot go back. I once took an 
accounting course, and I will never forget it. It said the past is a cancelled 
check; the future is a promissory note, and today is all the cash on hand that 
we have. And I ask you, comrades, let's act on today and forget yesterday 
and look forward to tomorrow. I ask you pass B-1 1 . 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. Are 
you ready for the vote? There is a motion on the floor to adopt B-1 1 , 
Proposed By-Law Amendment, Control of Units, Section 709. All those in 
favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion to adopt is defeated. 

Is there any other motion to adopt? 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE GEORGE BERTHIAUME (Post 969 - Washington): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, at this time I move we adopt Proposed By- 
Law Amendment B-9. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a motion to adopt B- 
9. Is there a second? 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE DAVID WARE (Post 7480 - Washington): I second it. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There has been a motion and 
a second to adopt B-9. B-9 will amend Section 617, Regional National 
Council of Administration Members - How Elected. 

For purposes of a discussion, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
3. 

COMRADE GEORGE BERTHIAUME (Post 969 - Washington): 
Commander-in-Chief, I am the individual that actually penned this 
resolution. However, there is no way I can possibly take credit for it. There 
was input and we sought insight from just virtually every Conference. 

I know probably half the people up there this morning I have 
spoken to in the past before this was put together. This is not a short 
thought-out thing. It was done in-depth. I was unable to speak at the By- 
Laws Committee meeting. I wasn't able to express to them some of the 
points that probably should have been brought across at that time. 

At this time I would like to make you aware of the resolution. 
Apparently the membership there was some type of power thing to reshuffle 
the Council, and bring things up, and that is simply not the case 
whatsoever. This resolution is strictly about bringing a voice back to the 



57 



membership on the Council of Administration, where there are some 
shortages. 

To begin with, there are presently 19 Departments on the Council 
of Administration, where we have three Departments or more represented 
by only one Council member. This proposal will reduce that down to only 
three versus nineteen, by adding only three Council members. 

It places the Department of Latin America in with Europe together, 
so that we will always have a voice for those Departments that are on 
foreign soil by virtue of the fact they have interests that will be somewhat 
different than the Departments within the Continental United States. It puts 
all the Council members in their own area. 

Some of you may not be aware of that. For example, Saturday 
morning at the Big Ten Conference, Nebraska and South Dakota had no 
Council member there. Nebraska shares its Council member with Kansas, 
and Kansas happens to be in the Western Conference. South Dakota shares 
its Council member with Wyoming and North Dakota, and it didn't have a 
representative because their Council member from North Dakota was in the 
Western Conference. This resolves that issue. 

What it does, as far as the rest of the structure, if people are 
concerned about as far as Council members' representation, what it does, 
it places the Eastern Conference and the Southern Conference, that are 
approximately equal in size, and it gives them each a Council member, 
which I think is pretty fair spread since they are almost identical. 

Presently the Eastern Conference only has seven and it would give 
them eight. It also would give the Big Ten Conference a solid seven Council 
members. This year they only have six and they are the largest Conference 
of the four. The second to the smallest has eight, two more than the BigTen. 

If they are concerned about a power play, it doesn't do that. It just 
evens things out. What it will also do, as far as the cost to the National 
Organization, presently there are five Council members that are traveling 
with two other Departments twice a year, for the National and State 
Conventions. That is four trips a year. 

If this passes, they would be required only to travel to one state, 
which would reduce it to two trips a year and then if they do go back for 
the Council of Administration, that is there. So, financially it is a savings to 
the National Organization, of course, which is a savings to the 
membership. 

I realize that it is virtually impossible to put together anything that 
is absolutely perfect. I mean, that can't be done. In talking with many of 
the comrades from all the conferences, this seems to be the most fair and 
equitable to all the membership and puts our National Organization, as it 
wants to be, a grassroots organization with the membership that can speak 
to the national officers and let them know how those Departments feel. 

In closing, just let me say that as the author of this resolution, I 
would ask the privilege of final rebuttal. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: That is granted, comrade. 



58 



The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE DAN CROSSLEY (Post 3586 - Utah): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am talking in favor of passing B-9. I believe it is the 
right thing to do. I think it is the equitable thing to do, too. Thank you, 
Commander. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE TOM SANKO (Post 6040 - Kansas): I rise in support of 
B-9. I have reflected on what Corky talked about. This is not a power play. 
This is an equity representation. We have had a lot of discussion about how 
many members would be on the Council from the different Conferences. 

I just want to remind the floor that we don't vote by Conference but 
by individual Departments. The equity in this particular resolution is the 
distance in representation. As Corky well stated and I won't repeat it, 
distance means a lot to us in the western part of the United States, because 
it is a long ways between Department conventions sometimes. 

This resolution, granted, is not perfect. I can't say that the current 
system is broken, but it could stand a little fixing. This is a fix in the right 
direction for the makeup of the Council of Administration, realizing, of 
course, that the Conferences are not recognized by our National By-Laws, 
they are planned. 

They have got to be considered in the assignments of the Council 
of Administration. I would like to say B-9 is the fair thing to do. It is not 
unfair for anyone. It makes the current representation on the Council and 
the distance traveled by those Council members a more fair and equitable 
thing. I ask your support for B-9. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I stand in opposition to this by-law and in support of 
the By-Laws Review Committee. As the comrade said, there isn't any fair 
and equitable way to assign Council members throughout this United 
States. 

However, under this proposal, you would end up with the 
Departments with 9,000, 8,000, 12,000 members combined with their own 
Council member, while at the same time you have Indiana and Missouri 
with 110,000 total membership with only one Councilman. You would 
have New jersey and Maryland with 100,000 and one Councilman. 

At the same time, you would also add two Council seats to the 
Western Conference with 22 percent of the membership, and they would 
have more Council seats than the Big Ten Conference, which has 32- 
percent membership. I think the Council situation as we have today is the 
best we can have under the current situation. I don't think this change is 
the way to do it, and I ask that we oppose this Proposed By-Law change. 
Thank you, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you. 



59 



The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF LARRY RIVERS: Commander-in- 
Chief, Larry Rivers, a delegate from VFW Post 1 736, Alexandria, Louisiana. 
I rise in opposition to this by-law. I would like to have the opportunity to 
state the reasons. If we have a roll call vote here today, the states like 
Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and Florida and others that have the largest 
membership base, always have the most number of votes. 

That is the way it has been in my understanding of the VFW in our 
1 00-year history. If, in fact, we need more Council members, we probably 
need to consider giving Pennsylvania two or three more because of that 
large membership, not diluting it where you have fewer members 
represented by a Council member. 

We are like the House of Representatives, not like the U.S. Senate. 
In the U.S. Senate, everybody gets two Senators regardless of size. In the 
VFW, you vote based on your strength. We give a Council member to 
Departments over 75,000. 

Perhaps we need to consider redividing the Council members 
based on that proportion. But to say that the second most important body 
behind the National Convention that always votes based on membership 
strength should be voted based on something else just doesn't make any 
sense. 

To say that the Departments are not representative is not true. Let's 
understand what is at stake here is where the Council member comes from, 
the state he comes from or she comes from, not whether or not they do a 
good job representing their Departments. 

My experience has been that they do an excellent job. To say you 
are not represented because that member is not from your state every two 
years is simply wrong. I believe we are philosophically sound the way we 
have run the organization over the past years and I would urge my fellow 
delegates to vote against this resolution and to maintain the integrity of our 
Council of Administration. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 
Anybody else on the question? 

For the purpose of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone 
No. 3. 

COMRADE GEORGE BERTHIAUME (Post 969 - Washington): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I can understand the feelings of Comrade 
Gardner, but believe me I feel his pain. I can tell you right now when you 
talk inequities as he is, you are talking about the structure. When this was 
built, I looked at that, and I could have taken a large Department like ours 
and placed it with a smaller one and try to balance it out, so they all 
averaged around 30,000. 

But for logistic reasons, it didn't make any sense to take a 
Department with 35,000 or 36,000 and put it with a Department, let's say, 
of 5,000, where he has got to travel an additional 1 ,000 miles to get there, 
when there were two side by side. 



60 



So what this did was in some cases we took two large Departments 
that their combined membership was over 50,000, and put those together, 
and then took two smaller ones. That is for logistic reasons and no other 
cause. As far as the two Council members that were mentioned, increased 
in the Western Conference, let me explain to you exactly the way it is today. 

Today, as we stand here, the Western Conference has seven 
Council members. We are the smallest. The second smallest conference, 
the Southern Conference, has eight Council members. Excuse me, the Big 
Ten, which is the largest conference, which they are talking about the 
inequities, they only have six. Under this by-laws change, they would have 
seven. 

The inequity would be one Council member, not two as it stands 
today. This actually helps them. It seems to be a misinterpretation here. As 
far as inequities, I can just quickly tell you that the Department of 
Washington right now has 1 8 Departments smaller than that and only have 
to share with one another. Colorado is ten, Arizona is nine. I can continue 
on but the number goes higher than there are Departments. The inequities 
are just beyond understanding. 

As a matter of fact, your own Department would share with two 
others. There are two Departments out there smaller than yours that don't 
have to do that. This touches the whole corners of this organization. It is 
not about power as some seem to present it. This is strictly about having a 
voice. 

I can assure you that there are Departments out there that are 
saying give me a Council member, give me a vote, just so we can have the 
privilege of a voice, I can tell you. And last year our Council member was 
ill and not here. That meant that three Departments had no vote and no 
voice on the Council of Administration. This would not eliminate it, but it 
would soften it. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. At this 
time, comrades, I will move the question. There has been a motion to adopt 
B-9 Proposed By-Law Amendment, which would amend Section 617, 
National Council of Administration Members -How Elected. 

All those in favor of the motion will say "aye"; all of those opposed 
"no". It takes a two-thirds majority to amend the by-laws. The chair is not 
in doubt. There was not a two-thirds majority. The motion does not carry. 

Comrades, at this time we have some guests here who are to 
receive a National Citation so I will declare a recess in the Proposed By- 
Law changes at this time and will take them up again immediately after we 
make these two presentations. 

PRESENTATION OF VFW JAMES E. VAN ZANDT CITIZENSHIP AWARD, 
GOLD MEDAL AND CITATION TO PFIZER PHARMACEUTICAL 

COMPANY 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Throughout its 150 years of 

61 



existence, Pfizer Pharmaceutical has worked to develop and distribute 
medicines for the betterment of mankind. Equally important, Pfizer has 
learned to appreciate the lifeline of its organization, customers, folks like 
you and me. 

Pfizer has a unique and proud heritage, dedicated to helping 
people live healthier and better lives. 

In demonstrating its civic responsibility, Pfizer spends close to $2.5 
billion annually on research and development in a wide range of 
challenging medical fields, including anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, 
diabetes, infections, migraine, obesity, osteoporosis, pain, and stroke, 
among other illnesses and conditions. 

By showing appreciation to the men and women who served in the 
armed forces, Pfizer has contributed free medical resources and 
consultation in addressing the health-care needs of veterans all over 
America. They have made a social commitment to ensure all veterans 
receive proper medical treatment and health care. 

The recent formation of Pfizer's partnership with the VFW to 
promote health education among our members is but another example of 
this commitment to serving the community. The launching of the 
collaborative effort between Pfizer and the VFW at this convention, the 
"Together We Stand" project, will enable this education effort to be 
implemented through our VFW Posts. 

In consideration of these efforts, we are pleased to present the VFW 
James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award to the Pfizer Corporation. Receiving 
this award for Pfizer is William E. Pelton, Group Vice-President of Sales. 
Please join me in a very warm VFW welcome for Mr. Pelton. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation we will present reads as 
follows: 

"James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award, Gold Medal and this 
Citation presented to Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company. 

"In recognition of its many contributions in providing medical 
resources and consultation addressing the health-care needs of veterans, 
thus demonstrating a high standard of corporate responsibility. For over a 
century and a half Pfizer Pharmaceutical has been the vanguard in the 
discovery and development of innovative medicines and quality health- 
care products and services. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 17th 
day of August, 1999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 
It has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, and John J. 
Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - WILLIAM E. PELTON 

MR. PELTON: Thank you, Commander-in-Chief Pouliot and 
members of the VFW. I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the 



62 



47,000 Pfizer employees around the world, thousands of which are 
members of the U.S. military. Indeed, we at Pfizer are very grateful that the 
VFW values our community work and our support of veterans and our focus 
on research and development. 

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the VFW, Pfizer is also 
celebrating an anniversary, our 150th. On behalf of Pfizer in this year of 
anniversaries, I would like to applaud the efforts of the VFW to increase 
awareness of the sacrifices made by American veterans and to facilitate aid 
for veterans and their families in the need of medical rehabilitative, 
educational and employment services. 

One hundred fifty years ago, Charles Pfizer and Charles Earhart 
immigrated from Germany to the United States where they started a fine 
chemical company called Charles Pfizer Company. The story of Pfizer is, 
in fact, the story of the American dream. Those two men had pioneering 
experience, experience that continues to invigorate our company to this 
day. 

They have helped to make Pfizer the world's premier 
pharmaceutical research company. In the mid-1 940s, Pfizer became very 
closely aligned with your interests at the time our government was 
desperate to provide more rapid and effective health care for our men and 
women in uniform. 

A few years ago, Alexander Fleming had discovered the germ 
killing property of penicillin. By the time we entered World War II, data 
clearly showed the potential for penicillin to treat infections. But producing 
sufficient volumes of medicine was problematic. 

A little more than a beaker could be manufactured at any one time. 
That prompted our government to appeal to companies to enter the race to 
develop a process for mass production of penicillin in a pure form usable 
for people. Pfizer answered the call and became one of three companies 
that developed such a process and it turns out Pfizer's process proved so 
successful that the government authorized other companies to use our 
technique. 

Although we happily share our progress with competitors, we, 
nonetheless, were the leading producers ourselves. Indeed, Pfizer 
produced 90 percent of the penicillin that went ashore to Allied Forces in 
Normandy on D-Day and more than half of all the penicillin used by the 
allies for the rest of the war to help save countless lives. 

Since that time, Pfizer has grown from a chemical manufacturer to 
a research-based pharmaceutical company. Today our research covers 
virtually every disease category. Our innovative medicines treat such 
diverse conditions as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, 
Alzheimer's, depression, arthritis, as well as infectious diseases. 

Of course, last year we launched the most famous medicine in 
history, Viagra. Viagra is the modern medicine breakthrough for the safe 
and effective treatment of erectile dysfunction available, and one-third of 
the cost of injectable medicine. It is making a tremendous difference in the 



63 



lives of patients who suffer with ED, as well as their partners. That is really 
an important work we do, helping our patients. 

People in need are the driving force behind our commitment to 
discover and develop new medicines, continue fighting the limitations of 
the human body. Today we have more than seventy new compounds in 
development, medicines in the future that may well change the way we 
treat dozens of health diseases. 

Since it has cost over $500 million and years and years to bring 
these medicines to patients, Pfizer this year alone invested over $208 
million in research and development. This research at Pfizer and elsewhere, 
research-based industries is crucial for our health care. 

It represents the world's best opportunity to find new treatments to 
control the cost of health care by reducing our expenditures for surgery, 
hospitalizations and other therapies. In all that we do, quality is our watch 
word. We are constantly striving to develop products and services that 
improve the quality of health care that all patients receive. 

To that end, I am pleased to inform you tomorrow we will be 
announcing an innovative new program called "Together We Stand", a new 
patient program on men's health issues that is being offered in collaboration 
with the VFW. We are very proud of that program and we are very proud 
of this award. 

My thanks comes to you with a cautionary message. While we and 
other research pharmaceutical companies have great medicines in 
development, those new medicines will be useless unless you have access 
to them. We are committed to making sure that you have access to all 
medications you need. 

We will be particularly vigilant in this area as our national 
discussions continue on how to expand access to pharmaceuticals. Ladies 
and gentlemen, let me put it this way. There is some peculiar irony in the 
current state of health care for veterans, which I was reminded about while 
I was watching last year's World War II epic, "Saving Private Ryan." 

Our country that searches for Private Ryan finds him, brings him 
home, gives him a special loan to build a house to start a home, to 
communicate with the community; to give them the G.I. Bill, to expand 
your education, to expand your capabilities, cannot submit him to a health- 
care system based on limiting his choice of medicine and medical 
treatment. 

You are entitled to the finest this country has to offer. Your health- 
care premiums, ladies and gentlemen, were paid for on the beaches of 
Normandy, at the 38th Parallel in Korea, the Mekong Delta and on the 
deserts in Iraq and Kuwait. You deserve the best. I assure you that the best 
in health care is yet to come. 

So let me end as I began. Thank you again for honoring Pfizer with 
the James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award. As we have done in the past, we 
will continue to strive to meet its high standards. I thank you very, very 
much. 



64 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, I would like to 
announce that tomorrow morning we will begin the business session at 
8:00 a.m. This is for the purpose of ensuring that we get all of our business 
done on Wednesday and Thursday so that Friday we can begin immediately 
with the election of officers. So tomorrow the business session will begin 
at 8:00 a.m. 

INTRODUCTION OF THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER BOND, 

U.S. SENATE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we have with us 
this morning U.S. Senator Christopher Samuel "Kit" Bond, a six-generation 
Missourian and a long-standing advocate for children. 

Senator Bond was re-elected to a third term in the U.S. Senate in 
1998. Throughout his tenure as a U.S. Senator, Bond has won legislative 
victories fighting for education reform and children's issues, bringing tax 
relief to working families, working for a balanced budget, combating 
juvenile crime, and championing the causes of small businesses. 

Bond was also the lead Republican responsible for the passage of 
the Family and Medical Leave Act, which ensures that workers will not have 
to choose between attending to family responsibilities and their jobs. 

As a member of the Budget Committee and the Chairman of the 
Appropriations Subcommittee, Bond played a key role in restoring fiscal 
sanity to the United States Government through passage of the first 
balanced budget in a generation in 1 997, and holding the line on spending 
in subsequent years. 

Let us give a warm VFW welcome to Missouri's own Senator Kit 
Bond. 

REMARKS - SENATOR CHRISTOPHER BOND 

SENATOR BOND: Good morning, Commander Pouliot, 
Distinguished Head Table Officials, Members of the VFW, Guests and 
Friends: 

It is a great honor to welcome you to the State of Missouri, and I 
join with others who here said how pleased we are that you have chosen 
Missouri for your 100th Anniversary celebration. Now having been arm 
twisted by Commander Bob Newell and the other leaders of the Missouri 
VFW, who explained to me in painful detail what they need out of the 
Appropriations Committee, I can understand why their persuasiveness may 
have brought you to the State of Missouri. 

We hope that you enjoy it and all there is to see in Kansas City but, 
with no small amount of pride, I will tell you it is the best barbecue you will 
find anywhere, and I challenge you to test it to see if you can beat it. We 
have wonderful weather. It is all just comfortable here — well, I will strike 
that. I am from the federal government. 



65 



Anyhow, there is a little rain and I am sorry about that. I think I saw 
some of you who may have seen the Chiefs and the Titans on Sunday night. 
We are very, very proud of them, the Chiefs and our Royals and many 
others. 

President Harry Truman once said to a group of Marine soldiers to 
whom he was presenting the Congressional Medal of Honor: "We are not 
a warlike nation. We do not go to war for gain or territory; we go to war 
for principles. I would rather have the Congressional Medal of Honor than 
to be President of the United States." He understood that those who put 
their lives on the line for the lives of freedom and their countrymen have 
respect and honor of the highest order. 

I share the President's sentiments, but I have never served in war. I 
have tremendous respect and gratitude for those like you who have. We 
live in the greatest most blessed nation in the world. We enjoy the greatest 
freedoms of speech, association and religion. And we know that these 
freedoms were purchased and protected at a very high cost. 

I would guess, though, that many people outside the room today 
are not thinking about preserving and protecting our country's freedom, 
they are simply enjoying them. Paradoxically, it was the blood of young 
sailors and soldiers, like you, that was shed in foreign lands that allows the 
rest of America to enjoy the lazy days of August with little thought to the 
sacrifices that you have others made. 

So while most of America spends the last few weeks of summer 
barbecuing, going to the lakes and shores, and back to school sales, let us 
remember the thousands of men and women who are right now deployed 
to more than 100 areas around the world defending the same ideals that 
you defended. 

Despite the end of the Cold War, the world remains a dangerous 
place. We need to look no further than Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam 
Hussein to understand that, and it is still the commitment of our brave men 
and women in uniform that keeps us safe. We must preserve our military 
forces superiority over all potential adversaries. 

Several years ago, my good friend, Senator Dan Inouye of Hawaii 
said it best. He and I were defending the defense budget against a 
proposed significant cut. Somebody on the other side said, "Oh, well, we 
can cut this and still be as good as anybody else in the world." Senator 
Inouye said, "I never want to send American fighting men and women into 
a fair fight. I want them to be so much better equipped, so much better 
trained, so much better prepared that they have every margin of victory and 
the greatest chance of coming home alive after having accomplished their 
missions." 

To me, that sums it up. We don't want to be just equal, we want to 
be clearly superior. The United States is home to the best trained, the best 
motivated and best military men and women. The United States possesses 
the most advanced and sophisticated defense industry in the world. 

It is crucial to our national security now and it will be crucial in the 



66 



next century. Our defense industry base also today functions as a testing 
bed for new technology. This canon is being used for civilian applications 
that employs hundreds of thousands of people with vital skills, and high 
quality and high-paying jobs. 

Unfortunately, in the post-Cold War era, the defense appropriations 
commitment of our nation has been steadily declining. The need to 
balance the budget has led some in the administration to believe that 
defense spending should be cut first, and it has been. Pentagon spending 
has declined by a third in real dollars over the last ten years. 

Active duty military personnel have been cut by 25 percent and the 
procurement budgets, which buys the technological edge, that ensures our 
military superiority in the future, have been cut by two-thirds during the 
same period. I have always believed, maintained we will continue to fight 
to ensure that we fund our military adequately within the context of a 
balanced budget, and we will continue to do so. 

I will not risk raising the ire of those of you in this room, places like 
Texas and Pennsylvania, where they build the F-22's, to talk about why we 
need more F-15's. That is a battle we will fight in Congress, I think in the 
context of a robust procurement budget. 

The larger battle for American security is how much we value 
defense spending and the American military in terms of our overall budget. 
As former President Gerald Ford said, "A strong defense is the surest way to 
do it." He was echoing President Washington, who 200 years ago told 
Congress, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of 
preserving the peace." 

One of our former colleagues, who was accused by somebody else 
of being a Hawk said, "No, I am a Dove. I just happened to be the well- 
armed Dove, because the heavily-armed Dove is the Dove that mostly 
enjoys peace." That is what we also would like to be. 

So, it is the job of Congress to find the military forces and the 
equipment that continues to secure our liberty. It is also the job of Congress 
to keep the commitments we have made to our nation's veterans. 

I know all of you are concerned about the health-care budget for 
veterans as I am. I serve as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations 
Committee that funds that veterans program. I have been very disappointed 
in the President's proposed budget cuts to these programs over the last 
several years. Quite simply, the President's proposal to slice veterans' 
benefits has been dead on arrival in Congress. 

Each year since I have been Chairman, Congress has had to make 
up the shortfall, and I am proud to tell you that we have done it on a 
bipartisan basis with broad support from both sides of the aisle. 

This year is no exception. While I am encouraged to hear the Vice- 
President recently announce that he wanted to see an increase in the VA 
medical budget, it should have come before the drastic budget cuts were 
presented by the President. Let's be clear about one thing. I am not exactly 
sure what you heard yesterday, I wasn't here, but the budget we received in 



67 



Congress from the President would have cut 13,000 people out of the VA 
system. 

It would have resulted in closing facilities, denying care to 
significant numbers of veterans, and that is what was dead on arrival in 
Congress. And that budget will not be passed. Let's be clear about that. 

I will tell you something else that will not happen. The Vice- 
President's announcement said that he would deny care to Priority Seven 
veterans. We in Congress believe that all veterans are priority veterans and 
should receive the care they deserve, and the VA will provide that care. 

We are also going to provide sufficient funds in the budget to 
continue opening community based out-patient clinics in locations across 
the country to improve veterans access to health care. Hundreds of clinics 
have been opened in the past four years since I have been chairman of the 
subcommittee. I hope that you will find, as we are hearing here in 
Missouri, that they resulted in better care to veterans, more convenient, 
more efficient, more caring and more compassionate, and saving them 
many, many long drives to far-away places. 

Let me also tell you that we are going to increase spending once 
again for the Veterans Benefit Administration. The backlog of claims and the 
length of time it takes to process a claim is totally unacceptable. The quality 
of claims processing is not good enough. 

The VA must make the right decision on a claim the first time so the 
veteran is not forced to go through a lengthy appeals process. We are trying 
to provide the resources VA needs for improved automation and additional 
staff. We cannot control the administration, but we are going to provide 
resources. The bottom line is this: We must remember our soldiers and 
sailors who served, and after they have served as long as they live, we must 
continue to honor the legacy of those who have died. 

Tomorrow night I believe you have a function, a Sousa Symphony 
at the Liberty Memorial right here in Kansas City. That is something special 
to us, because it is the only memorial that we know of that honors the 
veterans who fought and died in World War I. I have worked and will 
continue to work to provide federal funds to restore and maintain that, so 
when you go to the Liberty Memorial tomorrow night just remember this is 
honoring your brethren who served in World War I. 

Before I close, I would like to quote what a President said many 
years ago. "It takes much more character and valor to fight in wars than it 
does to be President." All of us in this room are concerned about our future, 
the future of America, and specifically we are concerned about the lives 
and prospects for our children and grandchildren coming along. 

Many are concerned that our young people are weak and character 
resolve. I prefer to think of them as untested. Most of our children have 
never been through a war or through a depression. My son, Sam, and his 
classmates have never seen a recession. They live in a time of affluence and 
plenty. 

Make no mistake, they will be tested, whether it is in war or 



68 



worldwide depression, or other hardship, they one day will have to prove 
what they are made of. It is my strong hope that when that day comes they 
will look to the examples of men and women like you to see them through. 

Again, we are deeply honored to have you in the State of Missouri 
for your 100th Anniversary and our sincerest congratulations on the 
celebration of that anniversary. Cod bless all of you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, Senator Bond, 
very much for those very welcome words, indicating that this year's VA 
budget for fiscal year 2000 will be increased by our Congressmen and 
Senators. That is something that is absolutely essential. It has been a 
priority all this year. We are very pleased to hear those words from the 
Senator. And we will continue to make sure when the votes come down 
from the Appropriations Committee, the final vote is made, we will know 
which Congressmen and which Senators and whether or not this 
administration has supported these increases, increases that are essential. 

Comrades, at this time we will take up the Proposed Bylaw 
Amendments again. So if there are comrades who would like to move the 
adoption that has not been recommended or approved already, please take 
the microphones. I will begin with Microphone No. 1 and I will go in 
order, 2 and 3, and then back to 1 , 2 and 3. So if you want to speak, get at 
a microphone that will be next in line. 

At this time the chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL BY-LAWS, 
MANUAL OF PROCEDURE AND RITUAL (Cont'd.) 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOHN WASYLIK (Post 2529 - 
Ohio): I move the adoption of Bylaw Amendment B-8. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a motion to approve 
By-Law Amendment B-8. Is there a second? 

COMRADE WILLIAM OHLEMEDER (Post 2529 - Ohio): I second 
the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we have a motion 
and a second. For purposes of discussion, the chair recognizes Microphone 
No. 1. 

COMRADE JOHN WASYLIK (Post 2529 - Ohio): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I think the delegates in this organization recognize 
the fact that normally I prefer to go contemporaneously, but for the purpose 
of making sure none of my remarks are misinterpreted, I have written this 
and I would ask that everyone listen. 

As I indicated before, I am here to support the passage of By-Law 
Amendment B-8. In 1964 and '65, I had the privilege to serve as the 
Department Commander of the great Department of Ohio. I have had the 
additional privilege of serving under a great Commander-in-Chief John A. 
"Buck" Jenkins, from the great state of Alabama. 

"Buck" Jenkins theme during his speeches said that we have the 



69 



greatest country in the world and we are great, not because of our 
leadership, because the leaders from other countries had as good of 
leadership as America. Our strength was in the people of America. 

We are better educated, better trained and better informed, and 
more dedicated than any other country in the world. I share that feeling 
and I feel that our organization, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, duplicates our great country. 

We have excellent leadership and a membership that is highly 
knowledgeable and highly dedicated. Three years ago, I discussed with Past 
Commander-in-Chief Patrick Carr from the great state of Louisiana, my 
feeling that we would be a stronger organization if our membership had a 
better understanding of the total financial process of our organization. 

He agreed with me and he wrote the by-law amendment which I 
have submitted through my Department on this convention floor. I have 
heard several arguments against the by-law amendment, stating that our 
membership will not read the financial report, they will not understand the 
financial report; our enemies will use it against us; the National 
Organization can't produce it in the 30 days stipulated in the by-law. 

Please, please don't demean our membership by saying they won't 
read or understand the by-law. I have great faith in you comrades on the 
floor, that if you read it, you will understand and you will be better informed 
members because of it. The fact that our enemies attempt to use it against 
us, that is not a valid argument, because they can obtain copies of our 
budget if they so desire. 

Certainly, our enemies in Congress merely need to ask for it, so that 
any of our enemies can get it. If they can argue against this with us, you 
better be informed as to what it says so that you can support it. You 
comrades need to know that. The argument that I hear the National 
Organization producing, they can't produce and mail it in the period of 
time allotted, 30 days by the by-law, puzzles me. 

Bring it down to my Post and I will guarantee you I will run it off 
on our copying machine and I will get it out, probably with volunteers. I 
will ask you to pay for the paper and the postage. Let's keep our 
membership informed. Let's pass this by-law and produce a financial report 
that informs the membership so they know what is going on. 

Every corporation in America has to produce and send to every 
stockholder the same type of financial report they are asking for. In no way 
are we trying to get money or in no way are we trying to demean our 
organization. We want to make it stronger by keeping the membership 
informed. So what I would ask you members on the floor today is vote for 
this by-law amendment. Thank you, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE JOE RIDGLEY (Post 8220 - Missouri): Commander-in- 
Chief, I rise in opposition to this by-law based on a few things, not 
necessarily because of opposition that Past Commander-in-Chief Wasylik 



70 



stated. There is no problem in getting the by-laws out in 30 days after the 
by-laws are approved by the Council of Administration. That is not it. 

What this amendment is asking for is submission of a tentative 
budget ten days after the National Convention. Quite frankly, the 
complexity of the national budget, that is impossible for us to put together. 
The National Convention ends usually in the middle, sometimes between 
the middle and the end of August. 

Our fiscal year closes on August 31st. We don't even have our 
books audited and know the numbers from last year until after that is 
completed. So we can't finalize or even get a tentative budget prior to that 
time. The Departments don't have the requirement to put a tentative budget 
together that is stated in the National By-Laws. 

The next thing is Section 517 of the By-Laws of the Manual of 
Procedure doesn't even require the Departments to send their Posts their 
budget. I don't understand. The way our structure is, National, 
Department, District and Posts, why are the Departments not required but 
we are being asked by this by-law to suspend this? 

The budgets are submitted to their Departments and to the National 
Council of Administration and to the Past Commanders-in-Chief within 30 
days after the approval of the budget by the National Council of 
Administration. If the Departments want their Posts to have the National 
budget, let them submit it to their Posts. That is no problem. 

You know, the real issue here, for the second year in a row this has 
come before this convention is the salary issue. Well, ask any Council 
member, any Council member. You know, if the Council members want to 
tell the delegates they are representing what the salaries of the Adjutant 
General and the Quartermaster are, all he has to do is to get up at mid- 
winter and make that announcement, if that is the purpose of this by-law, 
which I really think it is. So that is easily done. 

The three top leaders' salaries are in the budget already. Now, the 
reason they are in the budget is because they are the only person in that 
Budget Department. The Adjutant General and Quartermaster General's 
salaries, we have people working for us and those budgets and those 
salaries are approved by the Council of Administration, and they are in the 
budget as salaries. That is done now. 

Again, I can just say if the objective of this by-law is to publish the 
salaries, there is a number of ways that the Council of Administration, or 
anybody that calls for the budget, the Council of Administration can give 
these salaries out. Our salaries are listed in the 990s that anybody can call 
and receive. It is available now. 

I am not sure what the purpose of this amendment really is, except 
to accomplish that. It doesn't make sense. Any Post that is interested in the 
National budget, all they have to do is to ask. I really can't see wasting 
unnecessary money if the Posts do not want the National budget. If they 
want it, they have got it. 

If any Department wants to deliver the budget to their Posts, we will 



71 



send them enough budgets to send to their Posts. It is just that easy. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE JOHN GWIZDAK (Post 5080 - Georgia): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, John Gwizdak, a delegate from Post 5080, Lake City, 
Georgia. In the two hundred and forty some days I have traveled this year, 
not one Post Commander walked up to me and said, "Comrade Junior Vice, 
I can be much more compassionate, I can be much more understanding 
when I visit the VA Hospital and do the work for my comrades if I knew the 
National budget." 

At no time has anybody questioned me about what the National 
budget is. I think we are trying to mix something up here with perhaps 
some personal agendas. I know this, that as I travel this wonderful world of 
ours, I find this to be true, that there are more people that want to do right 
than want to do wrong, and they do right because they want to and not 
because they know the salary of some secretary sitting at National 
Headquarters. I give all applause to this great organization for being 
compassionate, understanding and dedicated. I move that we reject the by- 
law. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I recognize Microphone No. 
2. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, Glen Gardner from Post 3359, Garland, Texas. I, too, 
stand in opposition to this proposed by-law change. As a member of the 
National By-Laws Review Committee since 1986 we have worked 
diligently to make sure that the by-laws that are in the books are the by-laws 
that we can uphold, by-laws that make sense, by-laws that we can live with. 

The passage of a by-law like this that mandates this be carried out 
in the ten-day period is ridiculous. We have members on the National 
Council of Administration in every Department elected to represent them 
and to manage the business affairs of this organization. 

If you have a question, if the Post has a question about the budget 
of the National Organization, all they need to do is to ask. We have copies 
of this in the office computers and the Council of Administration has copies. 
I would ask the delegates to reject this proposed by-law change. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. For 
purposes of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN WASYLIK (Post 2559 - Ohio): Commander-in- 
Chief, I find it somewhat difficult to understand why the opposition to the 
by-law questions my integrity as they have done. I find it difficult to 
understand why they have zeroed in on the salaries. The salaries are a small 
part of our financial picture. 

When I was Commander-in-Chief, comrades, the budget was $12 
million. I understand it is $60 million now. That is slightly higher this year 
because of our 100th Anniversary added expenditures. I deny that I am 
after anybody's salary. I am certainly not after any secretary's salary. 



72 



It is not in that by-law and they knew that when they said it. They 
are exaggerating the facts. I think it proves to you that we need to get this 
out to everyone, we need to inform everyone and keep our organization 
strong. Thank you, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE ART SHULL (Post 2843 - North Carolina): I call for the 
question. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): I second it. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we will move the 
question. We have a motion and a second to approve Proposed By-Law B- 
8, which would amend Section 610, Officers, Powers and Duties. It will 
take a two-thirds majority to pass a by-law amendment. All those in favor 
will say "aye"; all those opposed "no". The motion fails. 

Are there any other motions to adopt? Seeing none, we will move 
on to the Proposed Manual of Procedure Amendments. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Commander-in-Chief and 
my comrades, in keeping with the Convention Rules, I will now read to you 
those Manual of Procedure Proposed Amendments that have been 
recommended for approval by the committee. 

They are M-1, M-2, M-3. I should have read the caption. M-1 is 
Former Members - Reinstatement. M-2 is Consolidation of Posts. M-3 is 
the National Honor Guard, and the final one recommended for approval is 
M-5, Officers and Chairmen, Duties and Obligations. 

I, therefore, move adoption by this convention of those Manual of 
Procedures Amendments that I have just read, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to adopt 
the Manual of Procedure Proposed Amendments M-1, M-2, M-3 and M-5. 
Is there a second? 

JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL EARL LORD: I second the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Our Judge Advocate 
General, Earl Lord, seconds the motion. Is there any discussion? Hearing 
none and seeing no discussion, we will move the question. All those in 
favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion carries. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Commander-in-Chief and 
members at this convention, the committee rejects M-4, Eligibility. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Is there a motion on the 
floor? 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE DOMINIC ROMANO (Post 7330 - Connecticut): I 
move the adoption of M-4. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a motion to adopt 
M-4. Is there a second? 

COMRADE RON RUSKO (Post 9460 - Connecticut): I second that 
motion. 



73 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: You have a motion and a 
second to adopt M-4. For purposes of discussion, the chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE DOMINIC ROMANO (Post 7330 - Connecticut): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, at our meeting yesterday, or the day before, 
many comments were made about non-combatants in regards to the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars. I personally am not trying to change tradition or 
history in our organization, but I would like to bring to you just a few 
comments in regards to the past. 

For 59 years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars have been offering 
membership to men and women who were sent to Hawaii after December 
7, 1941 . Every single person who spent 30 days in Hawaii, the 214 during 
the Second World War have been eligible to join the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars. 

During this period of time, our service personnel that served in 
Alaska, Ghandi, Newfoundland, Canada, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, all of 
them were eligible to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars after 30 days of 
service in that particular area. 

After the Second World War, we granted eligibility to those who 
served as occupation forces in both japan and in Germany, and through the 
years we have offered membership to people that have been in smaller 
conflicts. About ten years ago, the criteria for Korea was brought up, and I 
remember men getting up at the convention and calling Korea service 
country club service. Lo and behold, five years ago we opened our arms 
to service personnel in Korea and now they are eligible to join the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars. 

I am not trying to change anything in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 
We have lived with this fifty-eight plus years. All I am saying to you is that 
for every man who was in the front lines, there were ten behind him and 
both were equally important. 

I don't care where you send a serviceman or woman today, they are 
serving in harm's way and they deserve, as long as they are serving 
overseas, to be members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE WILLIAM COSTELLA (Post 641 - South Carolina): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I rise in opposition to M-4. The reason, all 
service regulations stipulate the medal will be awarded for one day of active 
military service regardless of where you are for certain periods of time. 

If this is approved, then we must change the title that we live by, 
The Veterans of Foreign Wars. We need to go back and call ourselves 
Veterans of Foreign Service. I think it demeans the qualification that we 
have all met to be members of this great wonderful organization. 

To pass this would be a travesty of those that served our country in 
combat or service work in a combat zone. Contrary to what the comrade 
says, Hawaii was not a state at that time and was subject to attack by the 



74 



Japanese forces, as well as Alaska. I do object to this very vehemently as a 
retired military person. Thank you, Comrade Commander. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): I, too, stand in 
opposition to the proposed change in the Manual of Procedure, maybe not 
for some of the reasons the other comrades on the floor have said, because 
I believe there should be an open and honest debate regarding future 
eligibility requirements for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

I don't think that the National Defense Service Medal is the way to 
do it. This will only create more problems out in the field that if we opened 
it up to anybody that served overseas. You will have Posts that will look at 
the 214 and they will see the National Defense Medal and no one will look 
to see if the comrade served overseas or didn't serve overseas. 

We have had that problem with the American Theater Ribbon in the 
past, and I think we would have it with the National Defense Service 
Medal. Therefore, I ask the delegates to reject this by-law change. If they 
want to bring a change to the Manual that would open it up to all overseas 
veterans then we could openly and honestly discuss it. But this is not the 
way to do it. Thank you, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE RON RUSKO (Post 9460 - Connecticut): Comrades at 
this great historic convention, I rise to support this Manual of Procedure 
change. Comrades, in the By-Laws Meeting the people who had service 
there, there was a great analogy made for it. I would like to change the 
analogy a little bit. In our organization, not everyone has strapped on 
machine gun bullets around their chest and went into battle. The people in 
battle are just as important to that effort as those who actually fired the 
weapon themselves. 

They needed the ammunition, they needed the supplies. They 
certainly needed the doctors, nurses, those who washed our utensils, made 
our meals and got them to those forces in the echelon front line. That is 
very important. They are all members of this organization and well should 
they be. 

The analogy that was made really related to age, that one-half of 
our members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars are over 65 years old. If the 
history continues to repeat itself, they are going to die and so are we, the 
Vietnam veterans. This resolution doesn't just turn to age. 

What this Manual of Procedure Amendment does is it allows 
people who served in the organization, just like we did, to be a part of this 
organization, work for their entitlements, as we say "for all veterans", and 
it allows them to become a part of the organization that we all love. 

The second part of the analogy is if we were to ask today for every 
single solitary person in this room, whomever released any type of 
ordinance and/or received any type of actual combat experience to stand 
up, my comrades, I submit to you we would have many people still sitting 



75 



down. 

If we listen, and when we listen to our Commanders-in-Chief, 
Seniors and Juniors, and we hear them, and I agree with John Smart and all 
the rest of them, that we need to take the lead to help our veterans, and we 
have got to take charge because the Congress of the United States is not 
looking to us very favorably lately. 

We are the sixteenth most powerful lobby in our nation. Number 
one is the AARP. I submit to you they are not the most powerful lobby 
because they shot at someone or someone shot at them. I submit they are 
powerful because they had a very large membership, and they are doing a 
good job because they are working for whom they were organized, the 
elderly people in this country. That's what we are supposed to do. 

We are The Veterans of Foreign Wars for all veterans. This Manual 
of Procedure change will do nothing but help our organization and, most 
importantly, it will ensure that we as an organization can lobby for 
competent, compassionate medical health-care for each and every one 
who has ever called themselves a veteran. I urge you adopt this Resolution. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 
Comrades, at this time, I am going to suspend debate. When we come 
back, will begin with the comrade at Microphone No. 1, the comrade at 
Microphone No. 2, and the comrade at Microphone No. 3. 

INTRODUCTION OF THE HONORABLE TOGO D. WEST, JR., 

SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, 

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time I would like to 
introduce to you and pleased to have with us this morning, the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs, The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. The U.S. Senate 
confirmed Secretary West as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on April 28, 1 998. 
He directs the federal government's second largest department, responsible 
for a nationwide system of health-care services, benefits programs, and 
national cemeteries for America's veterans and their dependents. 

From 1993 until his appointment with the VA, Secretary West 
served as Secretary for the Department of the Army. During his years in the 
Army's top civilian post, Secretary West demonstrated unwavering concern 
for the well-being of young soldiers and their families. 

In an environment often dominated by discussions of military 
hardware and force structure, he gained a reputation for making "quality of 
life for our troops" an operational issue. 

In the private sector, Mr. West practiced law and in 1 990 joined the 
Northrup Corporation as the Senior Vice-President for Government 
Relations. 

His public service includes positions held as an Associate Deputy 
Attorney General with the Justice Department; the General Counsel of the 
Navy; the Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of 



76 



Defense; the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and the 
Secretary of the Army. 

Please join me in a warm VFW welcome for a very special guest, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Togo D. West, jr. 

REMARKS BY SECRETARY TOCO D. WEST, JR. 
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 

COMRADE TOGO WEST: Thank you, Tom, and thank you for that 
introduction. Thank you for your invitation to join you at this your 100th 
Anniversary. Today as we stand on the dawn of a new century for this 
organization, a new century in the life of our country and a new 
millennium in the life of the world, we celebrated events some 100 years 
ago in Columbus, Ohio, where a group of members of the Spanish- 
American War and the Philippine survivors gathered for an organization 
whose purpose was to secure health care for veterans who had served this 
nation and benefits pensions for needy veterans. 

Now, some 100 years later, The Veterans of Foreign Wars and its 
sister organization, more than 2.1 million, more than 1.1 million of their 
members are World War II veterans and 400,000 veterans of the Korean 
War and 500,000 veterans from Vietnam, the organization has an impact 
on this nation, on this nation's people and on the future of this nation who 
have testified for the 50th Anniversary, and the President of the United 
States at its 100th Anniversary, as the President and Commander-in-Chief. 

Over the 100 years this organization's record of service has grown 
and grown and grown. From the Buddy Poppy Program, now more than 77 
years old, the program which I grew up with, that my parents and neighbors 
purchased those poppies, lived with it while on active duty, was 
accompanied by my years since active duty, a program that sells the 
poppies produced by our veterans so that that money can be turned in for 
their support and for the support of their families. 

This nation's debt to the VFW is based as well on other elements of 
its service, joint sponsorship with the VA of the Golden Age Games for 
veterans who are 55 years or older who are in the VA facilities, can 
participate in games that remind us all of the value of every single day of 
life. 

A record of service that includes for more than 50 years the Voice 
of Democracy whereby young people are enabled by this organization to 
attend school and to be educated in the importance and workings of 
democracy to prepare themselves for citizenship of the nation, that 
American veterans have sacrificed to preserve and to secure. 

The record of service based on Operation Uplink, I had the 
privilege to stand with John Moon last year at the National Press Club to 
remind the world of the value of communication between our service 
members and home. That is a way to maintain their morale and to assure 
them that their families, their neighborhoods, their fellow American citizens 



77 



wish to remain in contact with them. 

The record of service that includes not only a commitment to our 
veterans in obtaining their veterans, but serving them. This past year alone, 
more than 6,000 members of the VFW contributed more than one million 
hours of service to American veterans in VA facilities and state facilities. 
That amount was increased by some 5,500 members of the VFW Ladies 
Auxiliary contributions of another 600,000 hours of volunteer service. 

This is the time of baseball, the summer, and in baseball that record 
would be a grand slam home run. For you and me, it is an extraordinary 
record of commitment of our veterans who deserve the thanks of the nation 
and of the nation's people. In a previous century, a three-time wounded 
veteran of the Civil War, who became a Supreme Court Justice, spoke to his 
fellow veterans about his time in service. 

He said, "As I look into your eyes, I see that a great trial has 
changed you. It has changed all of us, has made us different from what we 
might otherwise have been. It has made us realize the brotherhood of man. 
It has made us realize that we are citizens not just of our town or of our 
country, but of our nation. It has made me realize that there are some 
things more important than simply doing the best we can for ourselves. 
That duty, for example, is more important than simply doing the best for 
ourselves. That honor is more important than a whole skin. 

America's veterans, especially those veterans who have served this 
nation of ours in zones of combat in harm's way, have demonstrated the 
truth of those words, that there are things more important than simply doing 
the best for ourselves. The duty of this nation's honor is among them. 

In the 100 years of the existence of the VFW, veterans have 
demonstrated that truth over and over again. In World War I, Americans led 
the advance in the Argonne Forest along the Meuse River, that in six weeks 
led for reversal of the war and its conclusion. 

In World War II, Americans climbed the cliffs of Normandy with 
their allies, and turned the tide at Midway and raised the American Flag at 
Iwo Jima. The Americans stunned the world on the In-ch'un landing and 
stood and stood and stood at the Chosen Reservoir. 

America observes the peace at Lebanon and Somalia and hundreds 
of other places around the world. Americans fought and prevailed in 
Desert Storm, and today, as we are gathered here, Americans are in harm's 
way in Kosovo, in Bosnia, in Korea and troubled spots all across the globe, 
simply because their nation asked them to be there. 

It is this 100-plus years of dedication of the veterans of the VFW, 
and its two and a quarter centuries of dedication by American veterans, that 
creates the debt of gratitude that America's people owe to the veterans. 
Debts can be paid in several ways. We can remember, we can say thank 
you, or we can put our effort to repay that debt into action. 

It is for that reason with pride that two weeks ago I stood with the 
Vice-President on the tarmac in Nashville as he announced that this 
administration had requested an additional one billion dollars from 



78 



Congress for the health-care budget for the coming year. 

It was with greater pride that I saw the Congress responded by 
saying in the House that same day that an additional $700 million would 
be added to that, and it is with further pride that I believe by the time this 
congressional session has ended the health-care budget alone, in addition 
to the entire VA budget, will have been increased by at least $1 .7 billion or 
more. 

These efforts of the administration, by the House, by the Senate, are 
important for several reasons. First, there is the lesson and, indeed, it is the 
same veterans that mentioned the lesson at another time. He said this: "It 
is for us to have two duties and they are best expressed this way, to see as 
far as one may; to try to understand the forces that work in the details of the 
proposal; to hammer out a solid and good a piece of work as possible to 
make it first rate and to leave it unadvertised." 

To put it differently, if we do care who gets the credit for the good 
things we do, the $1 .7 billion, if we do not care who gets the credit for the 
billion, the $2 billion, whatever the figure is, we this year can do great 
things for our veterans as we increase the resources voted to health care. 

The second impact of this, we won't know the final numbers for the 
health-care budget, because traditionally in our Congress theVA, HUD and 
independent agencies appropriations bill is the last one resolved. But we 
know already that we will be working with an increase, more than $1.7 
billion or $2 billion. We also know that the 2001 budget, the budget from 
one year from now, will also be calculated from a higher level. 

So instead of just a one-shot improvement in health care for our 
veterans, we should be looking at sustained improvement in budgets over 
the next two plus years. The amount of the money, the first $1 billion that 
the President has proposed, would go directly into health care, with the first 
$800 million concentrating on two key issues. 

One, the increasing reports of delay that I and others are hearing in 
veterans getting their appointments for their health care. That is to be 
improved by the $800 million providing more resources. Veterans had 
never made this nation wait for their services. This nation has never had to 
wait for an appointment for our veterans to show up, for our men and 
women in uniform to show up for duty. 

It is not tolerable for our veterans to be held to wait for the care 
they have earned. One of the signature concerns of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars as an organization has been the plight of homeless veterans. Part of 
the money the President has proposed is to be earmarked for dealing with 
the homeless issue in addition, and $100 million of it is to go into 
addressing the long-term health-care needs of our veterans. 

This is to save it, that we make a start with the President's proposal, 
with the Congress' response, with the appropriation that we expect to 
receive by the end of this year. With the improvements that will be made 
not just in health care, but in the processing of claims for veterans benefits. 
The budget proposes an additional 440 positions to be placed in claims 



79 



processing. 

Some of them are taken from other responsibilities. Now, 140 of 
them, new positions entirely, to continue our determination that a claim 
result delay is an effective denial which cannot be allowed to continue. 

Thirdly, this year some four new veterans cemeteries will be 
brought on line. One just opened about a month ago in Saratoga, New 
York. The second and third and fourth will be in Illinois, Ohio and in Texas. 
This will be, as the President pointed out yesterday, the largest opening of 
national cemeteries at any one time within the history of this nation. 

These steps, whether they are taken in the President's budget or 
whether they are the result of congressional add-ons, can have only one 
effect. That is to pay the debt to their veterans. They are not offered or 
added by the Congress because we are good people, although we think we 
are, nor because America is a generous nation, although you and I know it 
to be, but because these are benefits that have been earned by the blood 
and the sweat and the sacrifice of America's veterans. 

As you gather here in your convention, here in the Heartland of 
America, to celebrate 100 years of service to this nation, which you have 
made strong and secure, you celebrate as well the uniqueness of American 
veterans. One of the greatest writers in the English language put it this way 
long ago when he had one of his veterans speak to a group. 

These are the words that were put into his mouth. "Dear Friends, it 
is not too late to seek a newer world. Although we are not of that frame 
which in olden days moved heaven and earth, but we are, we are. One 
equals ten heroic hearts, strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find and not to 
yield." 

America's veterans have never yielded in their belief in this nation, 
have never yielded in the love for her people and have never yielded in 
their determination to support it. This nation must not and will not yield in 
our support and care for her veterans. 

On this, your 100th Anniversary, then, and the 224th year of this 
great nation, may God bless you, every one of you, and may God bless all 
who have served this nation in uniform and those whom they and you have 
loved and who loved you. 

May God bless well these people and women in uniform in the 
Army, the Navy, the Air Force and Marines, who today emulate and follow 
the example you have set. On this day, in Kansas City, a part of America, 
which like the American people finds that patriotism is never out of style, 
the love of this nation and her people is always appropriately expressed. 

May God bless this well, dear and noble nation, which has brought 
you and me and our children's children life, liberty and opportunity, and to 
which you have been and to which we have been our loyalty, our service 
and our love. God bless you all. 



80 



REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL BY-LAWS, 
MANUAL OF PROCEDURE AND RITUAL (Cont'd.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, at this time we 
will take up again the debate to amend M-4, which would amend Section 
101 of the Manual of Procedure on Eligibility. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN LEWIS (Post 4051 - Colorado): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am John Lewis, Past Department Commander from 
Colorado. I rise in support of this amendment. My reasons for this is such 
that if not at this convention that at some convention we will pass an 
amendment very similar to this. 

Am I a better Veterans of Foreign Wars member just because I have 
a few stars on my combat ribbon? Am I any better than the Marines serving 
in China, at the Embassy when their Embassy was bombed in Belgrade and 
there were umpteen thousands of Chinamen out there ready to come over 
the fence? 

We could have started World War III right there, but the integrity of 
those people we have been serving in our embassies have kept us from 
getting into such things as World War III. We have people serving in over 
1 1 5 countries right now that are constantly on the alert for terrorist 
activities. 

We had a bombing in one of our embassies where one of the 
embassy guards was wounded and received a Purple Heart and is not 
eligible for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. How long can we ask some of 
these people to go to these places and serve in the capacity they are serving 
in and tell them that you are not eligible for the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
just because you don't have a combat ribbon or a star on your combat 
ribbon? 

The time will come, maybe not at this convention, but I predict it 
will come. I have sat in many conventions when we discussed the 
possibility that the people from Korea could join our organization. We 
turned them down for many years. I have been told when I went back that 
you didn't want me years ago, I don't need you now. 

We have got to recognize the fact that we have young men, young 
women, and they don't want to be called women anymore, they want to be 
called veterans, the same as the rest of us, serving out there in various 
places where they are on constant alert. We have got that same position in 
Europe. 

After the Cold War, they were constantly out there day after day 
serving. I am in favor of passing this amendment because sooner or later at 
some convention we will eventually pass this amendment. Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE HOWARD STEGEMANN (Post 928 - Pennsylvania): 



81 



Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I stand before you and the delegates today 
in opposition to this. The reason is that the past three years I have had the 
honor of serving on a few of these committees where these have come up. 
The one that has comes up mostly is this one. 

Also the one that has come up on eligibility of the Merchant 
Marine. The Merchant Marine fought and died bringing the supplies to 
troops during World War II. That amendment was always rejected. If we 
turn around and we authorize this one, for the DSM, I think that it is a slap 
in the face to the Merchant Marine who fought and died at gunpoint for 
delivering our supplies during World War II. Thank you, Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE HAROLD PEDERSON (Post 18 - Missouri): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am a Trustee at Post 1 8, Missouri. I oppose this for 
two reasons. One, it is very vague and it does not explain the full detail of 
this. I am a Gulf War veteran and I understand a lot of the people's views. 

I think that this amendment could be rewritten in such a way that 
it clarifies exactly the eligibility. Not only do I feel that it could be clarified, 
but it should include in that, also as the gentleman that just said, the 
Merchant Marine, too, should be included in this amendment. 

There is also in that, those that are not considered as being in that 
actual military. They did just as much or more so than some for our country. 
But also on that, by clarifying exactly what eligibility is, at least it should 
pass the next time. 

I oppose this due to the fact that it is extremely vague, but also does 
not cover those people that were very supportive that should be members. 
Thank you, Comrade Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE DEAN GREGG (Post 1146 - Michigan): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I would like so much to support this proposal. There 
are many people here that were mentioned earlier that would not be 
standing if everybody comes in combat. 

We have others. Every member here deserves to be a member of 
theVFW, with no split in the Merchant Marines. Let's take that up another 
time. Today, my support is based on the personal thing with my youngest 
son who joined the Army, joined the regular Army four years because he 
wanted to be of service. 

He was sent to Germany. He served on the Czech border for two 
years and patrolled, and at least once or twice a week, when he came in 
contact with Communist forces. His duty was not eligible for the VFW 
membership. I believe his duty deserves it. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE LARRY SCUDDER (Post 1273 - South Dakota): 



82 



Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I move the question. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The comrade moves the 
question. It has been moved and seconded that we approve M-4, which 
would amend Section 101 - Eligibility. All those in favor of the motion, 
please say "aye"; all those opposed "no". The motion fails. 

FROM THE FLOOR: Point of order. There was not a second to the 
motion. I will second it. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I apologize. We have a 
motion to move the question. We will vote at this time on the motion to 
move the question. All those in favor of moving the question will say "aye"; 
all those opposed "no". The motion carries. We will move the question. 

At this time we will take the vote. There has been a motion to 
approve M-4, Section 101 - Eligibility. All of those in favor of the motion 
say "aye"; all those opposed "no". The motion fails. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Commander-in-Chief, my 
comrades, the next item to cover here is Ritual Amendments recommended 
for approval by the committee. I will read those as follows. They have no 
titles in the proposed amendments. 

Your committee recommends approval of R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, 
R-6, R-7. Commander-in-Chief, I move approval of those Proposed 
Amendments to the Ritual. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to 
approve Proposed Amendments to the Ritual of R-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. 

I recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE ALLEN JONES (Post 21 - Pennsylvania): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I am Allen Jones, a member of the committee, and I 
second the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. Is there any discussion? All those in favor of passage will say 
"aye"; all those opposed. The motion carried. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: Comrade Commander- 
in-Chief and my comrades, your committee recommends rejection of R-8. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Is there a motion to approve 
R-8? Seeing no motion, R-8 is defeated. At this time I want to thank the 
Chairman for the fine work that you have done, you and your committee. 
Before you go, let me say you are also the VFW Political Action Committee 
Chairman. 

At this time, Past Commander-in-Chief Stang, do you have a 
presentation you would like to make? 

PRESENTATION OF SPECIAL AWARD TO 
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT 
BY THE VFW POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF STANG: I am hogging the 
microphone, my friends, and I will get out of your way in about two 



83 



seconds. Commander-in-Chief Tom, it is my pleasure as Chairman of the 
VFW-PAC to present this eagle to you in thanks for your great support of the 
VFW-PAC and the support of your fellow officers in the entire organization. 
I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that our Director of the VFW- 
PAC is a volunteer director, Past Commander-in-Chief John Carney. You will 
have no problems with that budget, because you don't pay Jack a penny. 
Thank you very much, comrades. 

INTRODUCTION - GENERAL LEE CHENG-UN 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the past two decades, the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Veterans Affairs Commission of the 
Republic of China have enjoyed a warm relationship that continues to 
grow. The Veterans of Foreign Wars has consistently pledged its support 
through resolutions for our friends in the Republic of China. 

Certainly, that success in large part can be attributed to the 
employment and development programs that the Republic conducts for its 
veterans. 

Joining us today to reaffirm our pledge of brotherhood and 
comradeship is the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Commission, General 
Lee Cheng-lin. Comrades, please welcome the distinguished Chairman of 
the Veterans Affairs Commission Republic of China, General Lee Cheng-lin. 

RESPONSE - GENERAL LEE CHENG-LIN 

GENERAL LEE CHENG-LIN: Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, 
National President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Mrs. Bingham, Distinguished 
Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

It is my great honor to be invited to attend your 100th Anniversary 
and National Convention here in Kansas City. I bring you greetings from the 
Veterans Affairs Commission of the Republic of China. Our Commission 
used to be called VACRS in short, and I think many of our old friends and 
your Past Commanders-in-Chief and Past National Presidents of the Ladies 
Auxiliary still remember us by that name. Well, whatever our name, our 
organization is always your ally in the West Pacific, and will always be 
willing to continue our relations with you. 

February 1st this year, I have started to assume the Office of the 
Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Commission of my country, the Republic 
of China. Since then, I have been informed that VFW and VAC have been 
in very sound and close relationship for over twenty years, and that the 
VFW is the first veterans organization that VAC has entered into 
brotherhood relations with. Each year our two organizations exchange 
visits and each year our delegation to your convention found the trip 
informative and impressive. 

Just last month, I had the honor to receive Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot and his party. It is a pity they could not have stayed longer with us 



84 



in Taiwan, but I think they must have shared some of what they had seen 
there in Taiwan with their friends and colleagues. I hope what he shared 
was about what we were doing there for our veterans, and not about our 
traffic, especially not the scooter riders. 

Our organization, the VAC, is equivalent to your Department of 
Veterans Affairs at the federal level. We focus our services on providing 
medical care, home care, education assistance, and employment assistance 
to our veterans. Our philosophy is that veterans have given the best part of 
their life to serve the country and the people, and so, when they are retired 
the country needs to reciprocate their contribution by providing them at 
least a decent life. 

In the past years, our delegations visited yourVA Medical Centers 
and other service facilities; they brought back to Taiwan many ideas about 
how you serve your veterans and how your veterans and the American 
veteran organizations continue to show patriotism to your country; and we 
learned. 

Ladies and gentlemen, veterans are adorable and respectful. The 
majority of us present today are veterans. When we were in active service, 
we served our country with all our might, and after we retire we are still 
patriotic and loyal to our country. That is the unique nature of soldiers and 
we are proud of being soldiers once in our life. Let us keep this feeling and 
pass it on to our next generation and to theirs, too. Then, like General 
Douglas MacArthur said in his prayer to his son: "We will not live in vain." 

In closing, I want to once again thank you for inviting me to 
participate in this great occasion and wish each one of you good health and 
a successful centennial anniversary. Thank you. 

MR. HANS SONG: Just one minute. To show our admiration and 
respect to your brave Commander, Mr. Pouliot, the President of our country, 
the Republic of China, would like to ask our Chairman, General Lee, to 
present a certificate, accompanying the Cloud and Banner Medal. 

The certificate reads: "Mr. Thomas A. Pouliot, Commander-in- 
Chief, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, has distinguished 
himself by his outstanding contributions to the promotion of friendly 
relations between the peoples of the United States of America and the 
Republic of China and to the enhancement of ties and cooperation between 
the veterans of our two countries. 

"In appreciation of his meritorious service, Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot is presented the Order of the Cloud and Banner with Cravat by the 
Government of the Republic of China, in accordance with Article 1 1 of the 
Armed Forces Decoration Regulations." 

It has been signed by LeeTeng-Hui, President; Lien Chan, Premier, 
and Sun Chen, Minister of National Defense. 

We have a plaque presented by VACS, "Presented to Mr. Thomas A. 
Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, in appreciation of his outstanding contributions to a strengthening of 
brotherhood between the VFW and the Veterans Affairs Commission of 



85 



China." It has been signed by the Chairman of the Commission and dated 
August 17, 1999. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, this is beautiful. 
Thank you very much, General. It is an honor to have you with us. We will 
continue our best efforts to have a warm and continued relationship with 
our friends 

INTRODUCTION OF GENERAL HONG-RAE KIM, 
VICE-PRESIDENT, KOREAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: As we prepare to 
commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, please allow me the 
opportunity to honor not only American veterans, but also the Korean 
veterans who stood beside us in Korea on freedom's front line. 

We shared the hardships and agonies of a war that took a terrible 
toll not only in lives but the very fiber of a nation. 

Today, Korea, through the sheer dynamics and energy of its people 
has emerged as an economic power. It is an achievement in which we 
share the pride of the Korean people. 

It gives me great pleasure to introduce General Hong-Rae Kim, 
Vice-President of the Korean Veterans Association. 

Comrades, please join me in giving General Hong-Rae Kim a very 
warm VFW welcome. 

REMARKS BY GENERAL HONG-RAE KIM, 
KOREAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION 

GENERAL HONG-RAE KIM: Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. 
Pouliot, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

It is a great honor and privilege for me to attend and address you at 
the centennial national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States. On behalf of all the members of the Korean Veterans 
Association, I extend our heartfelt congratulations on this national 
convention and deliver our warm greetings to you all. 

During the last 100 years, since its founding in 1899, the VFW has 
been thriving in its effort to enhance and support the national security 
policy of the United States as well as to uphold the welfare and benefits of 
the members of the war veterans. We admire your well-coordinated 
organization, well-orchestrated activities, and remarkable past achievement 
of the VFW. It becomes an exemplary model for all the veterans 
organizations worldwide. 

Dear members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, we, the Korean 
Veterans Association, deeply appreciate your continuous strong support for 
the security of Korea in its most difficult times the last several decades, and 
we take great pride in our traditional strong friendship between two 
organizations. 



86 



On the Korean Peninsula, despite its serious food shortage and 
economic failure, North Korea still continues to build up its military 
capabilities, in particular, long-range ballistic missiles and weapons of mass 
destruction such as nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. 

Their unwavering covetous goal of Communizing the South Korea 
by force creates lingering threat of Communism on the Peninsula and 
continually induces worries and concerns among adjacent countries in the 
Southeast Asian region. 

Although the Korean War had ended in 1953, the Korean Peninsula 
has still remained as a cold-war structure as before because of North 
Korea's incessant provocations in the region. 

Nevertheless, the Government of the Republic of Korea is 
implementing a forward-looking engagement policy towards North Korea, 
providing humanitarian aid such as food, fertilizer, economical assistance 
to them, which aims at the peaceful coexistence of the two Koreas as well 
as the dismantlement of the Cold War structure on the Korean Peninsula. 

This Engagement Policy we are firmly committing has earned 
strong support from the leaders of the United States of America, Japan, 
China and Russia. 

We hope that you extend us continued support to our endeavor to 
realize peaceful coexistence between the two Koreas and eventually 
achieve the ultimately goal of peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula. 

Again, congratulating the centennial national convention, I 
sincerely wish your VFW will continue to develop and prosper in the 
coming millennium years. 

At this time, on behalf of General Chang Tae-wan, President of the 
Korean Veterans Association, I would like to present a plaque of 
appreciation to Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot, who devoted 
himself to the promotion of friendly relations between the two 
organizations for the past years. 

COLONEL YON-SOO KIM: On behalf of the President of the 
Korean Veterans Commission, I would like to present this plaque to 
Commander-in-Chief Pouliot. It reads, "In grateful recognition of the 
dedication and continued support to the Republic of Korea and to the 
promotion of friendly nations between the two organizations." This is 
presented this 17th day of August, 1999, by the President of the Korean 
Veterans Association, General Chang Tae-wan. 

INTRODUCTION OF PROSPER J.G.A. EGO, CHAIRMAN OF OSL 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Comrades, our Commander-in-Chief 
has given me the privilege of introducing our next guest. The Veterans of 
Foreign Wars has enjoyed a long-lasting friendship with the Legion of Ex- 
Servicemen of the Netherlands since the signing of a brotherhood 
agreement between the two veterans groups in March, 1984. 

Both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the OSL have consistently 



87 



pledged their support for a consistent NATO membership to ensure the 
peace and stability in Europe. 

Today, the VFW and OSL both share an unshakable loyalty to a 
common cause, freedom. 

Joining us today to reaffirm our pledge of brotherhood and 
comradeship is the Chairman of the Legion of Ex-Servicemen of the 
Netherlands, Prosper J. G. A. Ego. 

Comrades, please welcome the distinguished chairman, Mr. Ego, to 
the 100th VFW National Convention. 

REMARKS BY PROSPER j.G.A. EGO, 

CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGION OF EX-SERVICEMEN OF THE 

NETHERLANDS 

MR. PROSPER EGO: Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, Officials and 
Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the USA: 

Comrades, standing before you in this big Congress Hall here, I 
remember the historic moment on the 4th of March, 1 984, fifteen years ago 
from now in Washington, D.C., that your then Commander-in-Chief Cliff 
Olson and myself, on behalf of the Legion of Ex-Servicemen of the 
Netherlands, confirmed with our signatures the brotherhood agreement 
between both of our organizations. 

Fifteen years later we have come this week to Kansas City to attend 
this National Convention 1999 in which your organization celebrates its 
1 00th Year Anniversary. 

First of all, I have the honor and the privilege to offer you on behalf 
of the members of the Dutch Legion of Ex-Servicemen and the Foundation 
for Freedom and Security OSL, our congratulations with this memorable 
milestone in the history of the VFW and to pay our sincere respects to those 
who have given their efforts to build this excellent and impressive 
organization of veterans. You all can be proud of the success you have 
achieved. 

I would like to express also our sincere appreciation to all of your 
officers for their friendship and support. I know some of them for so many 
years, but it is in particular your Past Commander-in-Chief and Past Adjutant 
General Howard E. Vander Clute, who laid the first stone in the building of 
our friendship. 

I take this opportunity as well to confirm that nothing of what we 
have put down in the Brotherhood Agreement has lost strength or value and 
that we are still firmly determined to fulfill our share of it. 

For those reasons, we consider it an honor and a privilege to 
belong to the circle of friendship and to contribute, whenever possible, in 
defending the values and standards so many have fought for and still live on 
with the results of their physical and mental wounds, and not to forget the 
hundreds and thousands who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. 

In the past, I was given the opportunity several times to attend your 
Washington Conferences as well as some of the annual conventions to be 



88 



able also to say a few words during the general sessions, and even during 
the meeting of the National Committee on National Security and Foreign 
Affairs, and to pay attention to the problems we all are occupied with. 

We are happy with the close relations as they exist between the 
USA and my country. Quite different from what a lot of people in Europe 
are thinking, is that we have never doubted the profoundness of our 
relations. 

The friendship and good relations between our people do not 
depend on only who lives in the White House for a limited period, but on 
what still lives in the hearts of our people for unlimited time, isn't it? 

In fact, there are too many recollections and mutual interests that 
unite us strongly and that place us under a strict moral obligation. 

For a long period of time, the occasion will be commemorated that 
on the 6th of June, 1944, gigantic allied forces under the supreme 
command of General Eisenhower landed on the Normandy beaches and 
began their marches to liberate Europe from the German Nazi boots; a 
military operation second to none as it is laid down in many movie pictures 
and many accounts to show how it was and how it did happen. 

Recollections in analysis which convince us again about the huge 
effort and the enormous sacrifices to be made for liberation of Western 
Europe. 

Thereafter, most of the American forces stayed to contribute their 
share in a NATO-partnership to defend our continent against possible 
military adventures by the now collapsed world Communism. I will also 
point to the efforts of the American forces in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf and 
many other places where freedom, security and democracy were at stake 
and still are. 

I don't use perfunctory or ceremonial words to express our thanks 
and solidarity to your great nation, and especially to your organization for 
your year-long contributions and the sacrifices you have made. 

We don't need to underline or to discuss the policy of our 
governments regarding special political situations, for the reason that we as 
ordinary citizens together have the right to criticize some elements of their 
policy. In that respect, the strong and ever-lasting support of the men and 
women in the armed forces, who just must do the dirty job, must be ours 
and their highest and only priority, especially when they return home. 

Veterans organizations have the duty then to help them when 
necessary. Your activities in this field are a good example for all veteran 
organizations in the whole world. 

Time does not permit me to dwell in detail on all facets which unite 
us. I hope that our presence here with the standard of my country and 
organization with us will convince you that we will continue in the future 
as we did in the past for our efforts in accordance with the framework of 
the Brotherhood Agreement, like we signed in 1984. 

I wish you all a very good and inspiring convention and a very 
lasting prosperity for the years to come. Thank you for the invitation to be 



89 



able to be here with our delegation to join you all and for your friendship 
and hospitality, and above all for the privilege to be your partners in the 
brotherhood. God bless you all. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you for those kind 
words. I present to you a memento, our 100th Anniversary Book, 1899- 



1999. 



INTRODUCTION OF GEORGE FOREMAN 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, it is a special 
pleasure to introduce this morning a man who has won the hearts of many 
Americans. A heavyweight boxer who won the world championship as a 
24-year-old, when he dropped Joe Frazier in two rounds, lost it a year later 
to Muhammed Ali, and then coming back twenty years later to regain the 
title at the age of 45, a come-back story of all times. 

He has also found God, which led him to develop a church and 
youth center. 

As likeable in the public arena as he is big and strong, he is a 
visible spokesman for many products and causes and briefly starred in a 
television series, "George," 1993. 

Mr. Foreman is here with us today to make a special presentation 
in honor of his father. Mr. Foreman was the first individual to receive the 
first Hall of Fame Award in 1 973. Please join me in a warm VFW welcome 
for a very special guest, Mr. George Foreman, the Heavyweight Champion 
of the World. 

REMARKS BY MR. GEORGE FOREMAN 

MR. FOREMAN: Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, Distinguished 
Guests and VFW Members: 

What a privilege you, my father's friends, buddies in war, good 
citizens all, that you would allow me to come here and be a part of your 
centennial. 

I was born big. When the midwife came out with me in a diaper, 
she held me up like that justice lady with the scales in her hand and said: 
"He big!" 

I was a breast-fed baby. There is no truth to the rumor that I 
wrestled my mother for each meal. I lost her last December. I was her 
seventh offspring and her most troublesome. She used to find me fighting 
in the streets, would break up the fight and take me in her kitchen and whip 
me good. And according to her judgment of the wrongness of my attitude, 
I had to go down on my knees in that kitchen and pray to God for 
forgiveness for my behavior what she thought was a proper number of 
minutes. 

In what they called the bloody Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, 
through me, she knew every policeman who walked a beat there. My first 



90 



experience with fighting was for inclusion in our family. They told me I 
wasn't one of them, that I was something called a "mo-head." I said I was 
one of them, and we fought about that. When my mother would break us 
up, even though angry and frustrated, I knew there was something special 
between us. 

That special thing did not hit me until I had become a big loser 
before a whole world that steamy night in Kinshasa, in Zaire, Africa. 
Muhammed AM waited me out and in the eighth round took my 
championship with a knockout. 

How does it feel to have a change of life in ten seconds? There are 
not words, but the feeling inside was awful. You get acquainted with 
designations like "ex" and "former", letting you know that that 
championship is behind you, farther behind you every new day. And there's 
a loser. I had grown up being told I was a loser. It had been bad enough 
then, it was awful now. 

Two months later, while I was trying to find myself, I first learned 
that this man I had thought was my father was not my father. 

In football, they had penalties for piling on. There was no one to 
blow a whistle and make that call. I had to live with it. My mother told me 
that her husband, J. D. Foreman, and she had separated for a time, one of 
those family break-up things, and that she had been courted by a man 
named Leroy Moorhead, and that I had been the result. Later, because her 
other six children were fathered by J. D. Foreman, they came back together 
for the rest of their lives. 

I was told that when I won the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics 
Games in Mexico City, that there was an old sergeant in Amarillo, Texas, 
who told some of his World War II buddies that I was his kid. Yeah, right. 
They all laughed at him and said he must have had one beer too many. 

Because of what my mother had told me, I wanted to find him, talk 
to him, and get to know him. I eventually found him in a Veterans Hospital 
in Texarkana, and he was dying. He said he had been proud of me that 
night in Mexico City when I had waved the American flag in the ring. The 
Olympics was the first to have real time transmission by satellite to the 
whole world, and they say more than 500 million people saw me do that 
that day. Looking at him lying there, a man who had worn our country's 
uniform in the Far East, was I ever glad that I had done that, rather than join 
the protests of that day. 

He also talked about me being a preacher and asked me, when he 
died, if I would preach his funeral. I promised him I would and I did. They 
gave me a flag, and I will send it to you as part of the historical records of 
1 00 years. In addition, I want to set up a Leroy Moorhead Scholarship Fund 
in his honor. I do that because he was never able to counsel me when I 
was more than my mother could handle. 

The scholarship is to be progressive, encouraging those who win it 
to stay in school, to graduate from high school. As a ninth-grade dropout, 
the college door was never an option for me. This way I re-enlist Leroy 



91 



Moorhead for all of time to come. 

To make that possible, I have a check here for $1 00,000 to provide 
the means for this to happen, as we go out of the old century and into the 
next one, still serving. And as so many have said before me "only in 
America." 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We, in the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars, and all veterans are very proud to have been with you when 
you won your Cold Medal and waved that American flag. Yes, you won our 
hearts and we thank you for being here with us. We thank you for your fine 
gift in honor of your father, and we will remember you and your father. At 
this time I would like to present to you ourVFW 100th Anniversary Book. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Comrades, the funds that were just 
given to the organization by Mr. Foreman will be the fourth place 
scholarship in the Voice of Democracy and it will be $7,000. 

We have a couple of birthdays. We don't normally do this, but 
these folks are hard-working each and every day of this convention. Today 
is the birthday of Barry Hoffman, and Joy Collins-Baxter's birthday was 
yesterday. Let's wish them a happy birthday. 

(Whereupon, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Smart assumed the 
chair.) 

PRESENTATION OF VFW ARMED FORCES AWARD, 

GOLD MEDAL AND CITATION TO 

LIEUTENANT GENERAL RONALD BLANCK 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Today, we have 
troops serving in Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea and the Persian Gulf. Their health 
and well-being is our top priority, and to maintain their effectiveness as our 
nation's fighting force, the highest medical support must be available. 

I am pleased to present the VFW Armed Forces Award to an 
individual who has committed himself to meeting the health-care needs of 
men and women on active duty. 

Lieutenant General Blanck's commitment to meet the health-care 
needs of our armed forces is best manifested in his efforts to ensure that 
those who suffered from the mysterious illnesses of the Persian Gulf War are 
provided with the best medical research resources in an effort to find 
answers. 

Please welcome Lieutenant General Blanck, the 1999 recipient of 
the VFW Armed Forces Award. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The citation reads as follows: 
"National Armed Forces Award, Gold Medal and Citation awarded to 
Lieutenant General Ronald Blanck in special recognition of his 
distinguished career as a soldier and doctor, and for his steadfast 
commitment to meeting the health-care needs of not only the active 
military forces but also the military retirement community. His relentless 
pursuit of quality health care for our armed forces allows them to 



92 



successfully perform their national security mission. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 17th 
day of August, 1999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 
This has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot and 
Adjutant General John J. Senk, Jr. 

RESPONSE - LIEUTENANT GENERAL RONALD BLANCK 

LIEUTENANT GENERAL BLANCK: Good morning, everyone. 
Thank you so much for this wonderful award. I am truly humbled by it. I 
stand before you as a VFW Life Member of Post 3376 in the great state of 
Pennsylvania. I also stand before you representing all of the men and 
women of the Army, Navy, Air Force Medical Departments who are 
committed to providing you the best possible medical care for first and 
foremost our men and women in uniform and all over the far-off places 
where they put themselves in harm's way and their families, but also for all 
of our retirees and their families to whom we owe so much. 

The retirees to whom we promised lifetime medical care, and we 
are not living up to that. We are not living up to it, but with your help and 
the help of the VFW and other organizations, together through Medicare 
subvention, through federal benefit employment health benefit program, 
through national mail order pharmacy, and a host of other programs, we are 
coming ever closer to meeting that obligation, that moral commitment that 
we have made. I thank you for your support in all of that. 

I ask you for your help in one other area. We are a smaller military 
today. There are fewer opportunities for men and women to serve, but I ask 
you when you go back to your communities to point out to the young 
people all of the wonderful benefits and opportunities possible still in 
today's military, because we also must have those who have served and 
those, therefore, who know what service is. You have served, you represent 
service, the VFW represents service. Together that is something that we 
must continue to make part of what our nation is all about. 

Thank you so much for everything that you do here and in your 
communities. Thank you for this award. God bless all of you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: General Blanck, 
thank you, sir, for your service to your country and particularly thank you 
for your commitment for caring for our brave young men now who serve in 
harm's way. On behalf of our Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, I would like to 
present to you this book, "The VFW's First Century of Service." Thank you, 
sir. 

...Convention announcements. ... 



93 



REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND 
INTERNAL ORGANIZATION 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We will now 
have the Report of the Committee on Finance and Internal Organization, 
chaired by Past Commander-in-Chief John W. Mahan. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOHN MAHAN: Thank you, John. 
Our committee met and Resolution 206 they approved as amended. It was 
amended as follows: In the "Be It Resolved, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States, that the Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet 
programs be added to the list of children and youth programs receiving 
recognition by citation and medal, based on the approval of the various 
branches of the armed forces of the United States." 

I move that this Resolution be approved as amended. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a 
motion on the floor. 

I recognize Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE ROBERT ST. ONGE (Post 8214 - New Hampshire): I 
second the motion. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a 
motion and a second. Is there any discussion on the motion? If there is no 
discussion, all those in favor will signify by saying "aye"; those opposed 
"nay". The motion carried. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: Right behind me, I have 
with me Michael Duggan from Seoul, Korea, the Vice Chairman of the 
committee. He has done a great job and he is here to help in this matter. 
I will go back to what the committee has done. The committee rejected 
Resolution 201 . They rejected Resolution 202; they rejected Resolutions 
203, 204, 205, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215 and 216. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Will you read 
214 and 215, please. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: The title of Resolution 
No. 214 is Urge Congress to Modify the VFW Congressional Charter to 
include all "Cold War" Germany veterans with 30 consecutive days or 60 
broken days from 5 May, 1955, through 2 October, 1990. 

Resolution No. 215 is called Cold War Resolution. 

Resolution No. 216 is called Membership for Those Stationed at 
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. 

Does anybody ask for any of these Resolutions be discussed? 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I recognize 
Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JACK SIMONS (Post 9217 - New York): Comrade 
Senior Commander-in-Chief, I move that Resolution 212 be approved. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: A motion has 
been made that Resolution 212 be approved. Do we have a second? Do 
we have a second? 



94 



We have someone coming to Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE ROBERT RUSS (Post 6433 - New York): I second the 
motion. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a 
second to the motion. For the purpose of discussion, I call upon the 
chairman on why there was rejection. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: The convention in 1997 
passed Resolution 207 in relation to the membership where they were 
asked by, "I certify that I am a citizen of the United States, that my U.S. 
military service was honorable, that I have never been discharged other 
than under honorable conditions. I believe in God. I also certify that (1) I 
am entitled to the campaign ribbon or medal authorized by the United 
States Government, based on my overseas service. (2) I have served 
overseas in Korea. I further give authority to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States to verify honorable overseas service that entitles me to 
membership." 

That was passed in the 1997 convention. It was proposed by 
Kansas. It has been used ever since. From the people that challenged this, 
the ability to be members, to date only four percent have been found not to 
eligible. I think it satisfies the requirements and I believe and the 
committee believes that the Resolution should be rejected. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JACK SIMONS (Post 921 7 - New York): Comrade, we 
all understand the importance of being able to increase our membership in 
the easiest and most expeditable way, but we are an organization of men 
and women who served our country overseas during the time of combat. 
We need more eligibility proof than just somebody sending a letter in and 
signed at the bottom saying yes, I am eligible and here is my money. We 
need to be able in some way to verify it. 

I know in the committee meeting they said that our By-Laws and 
our National Constitution doesn't define what eligibility proof is. I find this 
hard to believe. I have not had a chance to really sit down and read it 
again, but there must be something in there somewhere that tells who is 
eligible and who isn't. There must be a way to verify that. 

I don't have an objection to mailing out letters to people as long as 
we can verify they are eligible and not just want to be. It would be an 
upsetting thing to have a person come into my Post which just happened a 
couple of weeks ago that truly believed that he served in the army 
occupation in France, during the Korean War in 1954, and he said he was 
told he was eligible. I told him he is not eligible. 

Now, if this comrade were to come back after receiving a letter 
from National saying he is eligible, and he signs that saying that he believes 
he is, we have a person that we know is not eligible. The process of getting 
somebody out of theVFW after they are in is very complicated and it is not 



95 



good for the morale of the Post. 

I believe that we should absolutely have some kind of verification 
when a person writes the National Headquarters and sends his check that 
he is truly eligible to be a member of the greatest organization in the world. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

We have Microphone No. 2 and Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE RON RUSKO (Post 9460 - Connecticut): Comrades, I 
couldn't agree more with the gentleman who has just spoken on this 
particular issue. But for a flaw, we had a problem getting our by-law 
amendment to the National Organization this year from the State of 
Connecticut. 

What we are going to do and I am going to do as a National 
Council member, as I urge each and every one of you to talk to your 
National Council member and have them support this. The National 
Council of Administration cannot amend the by-laws. This distinguished 
body is the only one who can amend the by-laws. 

The National Council of Administration can amend the Manual of 
Procedure and therein, as I understand it, is where the Past Commander-in- 
Chief was speaking. I thought it was approved by the Council. Anyway, 
our proposal or my proposal to the Council of Administration is going to be 
to amend the eligibility section of our Manual of Procedure and where it 
says "Eligibility", under Part 3, it would be inserted "proof of eligibility shall 
be any form or document attesting to overseas and honorable service with 
a campaign ribbon, if applicable." 

That means that everybody, and it will include the life membership- 
at-large, comrades and sisters who join our organization would also have 
to be eligible. I really believe that we need to do this. In my travels, I had 
a gentleman come up to me and say, "My mother received a letter from the 
VFW telling her what great service she did in World War II and asked her 
to join." 

She is 85 years old. He told me that his mother was extremely 
thrilled about this, but she had never served in the service. He said, "Mom, 
but you never served in the service." That 85-year-old lady says to him, "Yes, 
but it is because of what I did in the war effort that they want me to be a 
part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars." 

My good comrades, I submit to you if she sent in $20, she would 
be a member of this organization. I urge you to talk to your Council 
member. I plan to bring that up before the National Council of 
Administration to change this inequity in our organization, because I 
believe if we are all singing from the same missile, we all ought to be 
singing the same song, and if I have to prove eligibility in the State of 
Connecticut, we ought to prove eligibility at the top of our organization. 
Thank you very much. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 



96 



Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE ERIC HALVERSON (Post 5065 - Michigan): I rise in 
favor of this Resolution. I believe that anybody that joins the organization's 
Post must require them to show eligibility. I think the National 
Organization, when they recruit members-at-large, should do the same. 

In a case in point, I am the Quartermaster of my Post, this veteran 
came from another state, and while here as in the State, the National 
recruited him as a member-at-large, and he joined as a Life Member. When 
he wanted to transfer to our Post, back to Michigan, I looked at the man's 
eligibility and I could see he was not eligible. 

I called National Headquarters and asked why they approved his 
eligibility and also gave him a Life Membership. They said, "Well, I guess 
he must have slipped through the cracks." I don't think that is an excuse. I 
think that the National should require them to prove eligibility. This is a 
little embarrassing that they granted him Life Membership. I rise in favor of 
this Resolution. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE JOHN SENK (Post 335 - New Jersey): Comrade Senior 
Vice Commander-in-Chief, I am John Senk, a delegate from Post 335, 
Cranford, New Jersey. I want to remind the delegates here that 96 percent 
of the people that we find ineligible for membership in this organization 
come from the ranks of the Posts, not from the membership-at-large. 

I have no opposition to making sure that we have everybody 
eligible. I insist on that. However, I am going to urge you to make sure that 
when you accept someone into membership at the Post, and Section 1 01 of 
your Manual of Procedure provides that it is your responsibility at the Post 
level to ensure that that person is eligible, that you carry out those mandates 
also. 

Let me also tell you and remind you of this. Yes, there may be a 
few that may slip through that are ineligible. But when they slip through, as 
a member-at-large of this organization, the only thing they receive is a 
magazine. They have no voting rights, they have no rights here at the 
convention. They have no rights of membership. 

When we let them slip through as an ineligible member, when they 
are signed up at the Post level, they can become delegates and sway your 
elections at the Post, Department and National level. So, my comrades, be 
careful when you vote on this Resolution. I urge you to defeat it. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Is there anybody 
at Microphone No. 3? 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE BOB HOUCHINS (Post 1123 - California): I am in 
support of this Resolution. Earlier today this body turned down the 
National Service Medal. Without this Resolution, we are allowing anybody 
to join just by sending in their money. I urge we vote in favor of it. 



97 



SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE RON FRY (Post 992 - Washington): Comrades, I think 
we ought to hold everyone to the same standard when it comes to the 
eligibility of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I understand when a statement 
is made that we can verify that ninety some percent of the National at-large 
members are okay, but I don't know how that can be determined if you are 
not collecting the eligibility documents necessary to support that eligibility. 
So let's get ourselves right, folks. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE STEVEN JACOBS (Post 5544 - California): Comrade 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, I am in favor of this Resolution. I 
understand that the paperwork is kind of tough for National, they get real 
busy. You know what, we at the Post level, when we sign up a new 
member, we like to send a letter thanking them for joining this great 
organization. 

I think that if the National sends out those type of deals to the 
members-at-large, and send them back a letter thanking them for joining 
this organization, they should send in proof of eligibility. I understand what 
our Adjutant General said. You know what, we at the Post level, before we 
bring them on board, we ask for eligibility. 

Those members that drive through the town and says, "Oh, there is 
theVFW Post, I will transfer to it," and they find out they are not eligible for 
this organization because they sent in their twenty bucks. There is no 
question but we need to make sure that these people that join the VFW are 
eligible for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE RANDALL BARE (Post 6669 - West Virginia): Comrade 
Senior Commander-in-Chief, this is a no-brainer. I call for the question. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: There is a call for 
the question. We will vote on the question to move the motion. All those 
in favor of moving the question, please signify by saying "aye"; all opposed. 
The motion carries. 

We will now vote on the adoption of Resolution 212. All those in 
favor will signify by saying "aye"; all opposed signify by saying "no". The 
motion carried. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE WOODROW EMIC (Post 8951 - Pennsylvania): At this 
time I would like to make a motion that we set aside Resolution 21 1 . 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The motion will 
be in order as a motion to adopt, not to set aside. Comrades, we need a 
motion to adopt, not to set aside. 



98 



COMRADE WOODROW EMIG (Post 8951 - Pennsylvania): I will 
make that motion to adopt. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you very 
much, comrade. 

Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE THOMAS KEYES (Post 6471 - Vermont): I second the 
motion. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The motion has 
been made and seconded. To give the reasons why it was rejected by the 
committee, I call on the Chairman, Past Commander-in-Chief Mahan. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: Resolution No. 211 
regards the Sons of the Veterans of Foreign Wars age restriction removed. 
The "Be It Resolved" portion reads as follows: "Be It Resolved by the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we allow our children, 
both male and female, to serve our organization in support of our ideals 
and 

"Be It Further Resolved, that to accomplish this goal, we eliminate 
the 1 8-year-old age restriction on the Sons of the Veterans of Foreign Wars." 

To pass this Resolution would admit adult members to be members 
of the Youth Program, thereby technically eliminating the program's youth, 
is the way the committee sees it. The Sons of the VFW would be eliminating 
its Youth Program, which the Resolution is in effect, is an attempt to create 
another exclusive man only auxiliary to our organization without the 
benefit of requiring the procedural steps to pass the by-law change that is 
necessary to create an additional auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States. Therefore, we rejected it. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE WOODROW EMIG (Post 8951 - Pennsylvania): I am 
not questioning anything but that one thing. Change that age. All I am 
asking you to do is to drop the age limit, 18. If you are 90, you can still 
join. That is all I am asking. Several years ago this was for change and was 
put in there. 

They put in 18 years of age. I wonder where all the conflict is in 
just dropping the number 18? There is no reason we can't do that. If it is 
so easy to change it, why can't we do that now? There is a lot of 
discrimination. My son can't join the Auxiliary and my daughter can. If she 
can join the Auxiliary, why can't my son join the Auxiliary? 

This would create an organization that would have our sons 
regardless of age can belong to the VFW as the Sons of the VFW. I think 
everybody should think it over and get away from this discrimination. It is 
all right for girls but not for the boys. So I urge everybody to reconsider this 
and pass it to eliminate the age 1 8. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 



99 



Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE TOM KEESE (Department of Vermont): I agree with the 
gentleman that we should eliminate all discrimination. For 85 years, the 
VFW has had the women in the Auxiliary, the wives and daughters and 
granddaughters, sisters. Now, let's do the same thing for our sons and 
grandsons to have the same opportunities as our women, whether they are 
veterans or not. 

We have sons in the military that never went to war. Let's give them 
the same consideration we give to the women. They are your sons and they 
should be recognized as the sons and grandsons of the war veterans. Let's 
show them we care about them as we care about our women. When the 
commander asks for your vote to approve this Resolution, vote "yes" at the 
top of your lungs. Thank you, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE BENNY GAGILL (Post 1146 - Michigan): I stand in 
approval of this amendment. Our Post has a senior sons' group who are 
very helpful and are willing to work with our Posts. Our Auxiliary has a 
junior girls group, and once they turn 16 they become a member of the 
Ladies Auxiliary. 

Once our junior sons turn 1 6, they are out. They have no place to 
go. We would like to have this age limit dropped. Our senior sons are a 
great asset in our Posts and we support this amendment. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE RONALD HERMAN (Post 8951 - Pennsylvania): I also 
am endorsing this amendment to eliminate the 1 8-year-old restriction so the 
Sons of the Veterans of Foreign Wars can continue, as the American Legion 
does, and become a working part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars without 
creating a new organization within our group. Thank you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE HAROLD PEDERSON (Post 18 - Missouri): Comrades, 
I support this because there are too many in that young group of men that 
are basically being turned away that are above the age of 1 8. We ask for 
help for our fund drives and other activities, but because they can't be a part 
of it they can't help us. 

By doing this, they can help the needy for getting the money we 
need like the poppy drives or helping them at the VA level, or otherwise. 
That would help us in a long way. They say if they join the armed forces. 
There are so many people that have disabilities that they can't join the 
armed forces. 

There are also those people that are members of the armed forces 



100 



that are ineligible that could join the VFW because their fathers have served 
honorably and are VFW members. How many of you out there have sons 
that would like to help your Post but can't because of this? I am urging 
every one of you to say "yes" to this. 

Do away with the age. This way we have got extra support. 
Everybody knows that we need this. If we turn it down, we lose out in the 
long run. I am not saying they shouldn't have proof of eligibility, I am 
saying that if you are going to be eligible, yes, you have to have the father's 
DD-214 and so on. 

Don't discriminate because of the fact they are not below the age 
18. Do away with that 18. You will find that there is a lot more support, 
especially in that with your sons. I guarantee you that if you want to see 
strengths in your Posts, you get these guys out to help your Posts in 
activities, and I will guarantee you you will get them. Thank you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN SENK (Post 335 - New Jersey): Comrade Senior 
Vice Commander-in-Chief, I am John Senk, Post 335, Cranford, New Jersey. 
I stand here in support of what everyone has said. I, too, have a son who 
hopefully will never serve in harm's way and will be eligible for this 
organization. But believe me, he is growing up in this organization. 

I have a daughter who now serves as a member of the junior girls, 
and on May 4th of next year you can bet your life she will be a member of 
the Ladies Auxiliary. However, I would urge you to keep the Sons of the 
VFW as a youth program. Here is the solution, my comrades. At a meeting 
recently held with the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief and the Junior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief, we discussed this very issue. 

We are missing a point here. Not only do we have to provide for 
our sons, how about for a forgotten veteran in our organization? How 
about the ladies who have spouses now that are not eligible for our 
organization who would certainly like to stand behind their ladies in 
support of what they do? 

The Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief has instructed me, and when 
this convention concludes, I will start to prepare a By-Law Resolution for 
next year to form another auxiliary for this organization that will allow 
those young men when they turn 16 to serve our organization right 
alongside their fathers, their uncles, their grandfathers and so forth. 

But moreover, when we allow the ladies to belong to this 
organization allow their spouses to also serve this organization. Comrades, 
I urge you to leave this as a youth program and come back next year with 
wholehearted support of the new auxiliary that will allow them their 
membership. Thank you very much. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you. 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE ART HARRIS (Post 51 79 - California): Comrade Senior 



101 



Vice Commander-in-Chief, I rise in support of this, doing away with the age 
limit. I will tell you why. In my Post I have an All-State Commander and 
another commander who has a daughter and a son. 

The daughter is a life member and the son cannot be any part of it. 
Is that fair, I ask you? We need to change the way we do business this next 
1 00 years and not look back on the years ago. We are going into the 21 st 
Century. I ask you, my comrades, to support this Resolution. Thank you, 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, 
comrade. 

Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE RON FRY (Post 992 - Washington): I stand here in 
support of an amendment to the Resolution. The reason is I served in 
Vietnam and was sprayed with Agent Orange, not because I chose to be 
there, but our government failed to inform us of the consequences of being 
sprayed with that. 

When I returned home, I conceived a son. That son suffers because 
of the Agent Orange exposure that I had. He has tried and desires very 
much to be in the military. He can't there, not because of anything he has 
done wrong. He tries even today to work with us. 

But he still cannot get into any kind of official situation with us that 
will permit him to work as a volunteer to the point that he would like to 
work as a member of the VFW Auxiliary, or whatever it is that we need to 
do, the Sons of the VFW. 

Now, I believe that our children should have the right to stand right 
here beside us. They have got pride in us, and I think this is one of the ways 
we can extend our family pride in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. This is 
another way in which we can definitely increase the numbers of veterans 
volunteers out there out of their families who support our activities. Let's 
don't turn down any opportunity to increase the numbers of volunteers that 
we can get out of this. Thank you, sir. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you very 
much. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOE PERENCIO (Post 1 863 - Ohio): Comrades, we are 
missing some facts here. This is a youth program and men are not going to 
want to be a part of an organization that has six or seven or eight 10-year- 
olds. Who is going to adopt this organization? It is going to be the men 
who dominate it. 

The kid is going to walk away from this organization because they 
don't want to be with adults. A lot of adults would not like children to be 
in a group that is in the same situation. Keep this as it is and let the proposal 
next year go through and support that one. This is what the committee has 
recommended and where we start. Let's do it next year. 

QUARTERMASTER GENERAL JOE RIDGLEY: The gentleman that 
just spoke is correct. The youth program, the junior girl's program, you 



102 



heard the Adjutant General. Let's do it the right way. He is going to make 
that happen next year. 

Therefore, I move the question. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The question has 
been moved. Do we have a second? 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE GLEN GARDNER (Post 3359 - Texas): I second the 
motion. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I appreciate that. 
We have a second. On the motion to move the question, all in favor will 
signify by saying "aye"; all opposed. The motion carries. 

COMRADE VICTOR SMITH (Post 1239 - Illinois): I call for a roll 
call vote. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: You called for a 
roll call vote? It takes two-thirds. 

COMRADE VICTOR SMITH (Post 1239 - Illinois): It does not take 
a two-thirds vote on that. This is not a by-law. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: You are going to 
call for a roll call vote on moving the question? 

COMRADE VICTOR SMITH (Post 1239 - Illinois): I doubt the vote. 
I ask for a roll call vote. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Comrades, 
delegates to this convention, please identify yourself and your name for the 
record. 

COMRADE VICTOR SMITH (Post 1239 - Illinois): I am a delegate 
from Post 1239, Beardstown, Illinois. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: That is one. 
Failure to meet the need for a roll call vote, I will now call for the question. 
The motion was in order to end debate. We will now take a vote on the 
adoption of 21 1 . All in favor will signify by saying "aye"; those opposed 
will say "nay". The motion is defeated. 

(Whereupon, Commander-in-Chief Pouliot assumed the chair.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, the chair 
recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE HENRY KITCHENS (Post 3907 - Texas): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I move to adopt Resolution 204. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to adopt 
Resolution 204. Is there a second? 

COMRADE ROD DeBOER (Post 3907 - Texas): I second that 
motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. For purposes of discussion, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
2. First, we will have the chairman give an explanation and then we will 
have you to give your discussion. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: The reason the 
committee disallowed this Resolution was the fee for replacement cards has 



103 



already been eliminated. At the suggestion of the Quartermaster General, 
the policy has been changed in the replacement of the cards. 

That policy, which was published in the Headquarters Bulletin 
August, 1999, provides that the following policy will apply regarding the 
issuance of VFW Life Membership identification cards from National 
Headquarters and there will be no charge. Effective January 1st, 2000, all 
new Life Members will receive the standard Life Membership card and the 
member may be asked to return the card and to replace it when available. 
There is no charge and no necessity for this Resolution. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE HENRY KITCHENS (Post 3907 - Texas): I have just 
been handed that policy change. I was not aware of it. I withdraw my 
motion to adopt. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Would somebody withdraw 
the second? 

COMRADE ROD DeBOER (Post 3907 - Texas): I withdraw my 
second. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, is there any other 
discussion on the Report of the Committee on Finance and Internal 
Organization? 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MAHAN: This one was just 
handed to me, Resolution 217, Age Restriction, Sons of the VFW. You may 
not have that one so I will read it, since the Committee did have it. 

"WHEREAS, the various Posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States are charged with the responsibility of providing aid to their 
local veterans and communities; and 

"WHEREAS, the Posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States are in need of assistance in raising needed funds for local area 
veteran and community aid efforts; and 

"WHEREAS, the wives, widows, mothers, stepmothers, 
grandmothers, daughters, step and foster daughters, sisters and step and 
foster sisters of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, are allowed and encouraged to join without 
maximum age limits, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States, an autonomous, subservient and supportive organization; 
and 

"WHEREAS, the husbands, widowers, sons, step and foster sons, 
step and foster brothers are not allowed to join or remain a member of the 
Sons of the VFW beyond the age of sixteen years; and 

"WHEREAS, the maximum age limits for membership in the Sons 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars as they currently exist are by their very 
nature indefensibly discriminatory; and 

"WHEREAS, we realize that, as with the Ladies Auxiliary at the Post 
level, none of the various Posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States would in any way be involved with or affected by the Sons of the 



104 



VFW, without a prior vote of approval by the Post membership; 

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States, that we will take the necessary steps to amend 
the eligibility requirements of the Sons of the VFW to reflect the same 
relationship and age restrictions as the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States; and 

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the leadership of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars take such steps as may be necessary to make suitable changes 
to the name of the organization now known as the Sons of the VFW to 
reflect the changes in membership eligibility." 

We have no recommendation. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, having heard this 
brand new Resolution, we have had some discussion on it previously. 
What is your pleasure? 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE BILL DOBHIE (Post 4659 - Michigan): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I move that this Resolution be accepted. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Is there a second? Having 
heard no second, the motion dies for the lack of a second. 

We have completed the report of the Committee on Finance and 
Internal Organization. So, Chairman Mahan, you and your committee are 
dismissed at this time, and I thank you for your service. 

At this time, for the Report of the Committee on General 
Resolutions, I recognize Chairman Ray Soden. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON GENERAL RESOLUTIONS 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SODEN: Thank you, Commander- 
in-Chief. To all the National Officers and Delegates to the Anniversary 
Convention, I want to thank the Commander-in-Chief for appointing an 
outstanding committee for General Resolutions. Serving with me as Vice- 
Chairmen are Arthur J. Fellwock, Past Commander-in-Chief; Marcus Butler 
and Dale Bond. From the staff was Russell Cutright. 

I want to thank all of the General Resolutions Committee members 
for their attention yesterday and for their diligence in their input and 
discussions. I will now read the title of the Resolutions and the committee's 
recommendation. 

Starting with Resolution No. 301, Request for Congressional 
Review of the Federal Flag Code, the committee recommends approval. 

Resolution No. 304, Support Law Enforcement, the committee 
recommends its approval. 

Resolution 307, December 7th, the committee recommends 
approval. 

Resolution 309, Recognition for the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the 
committee recommends approval with the amendment to strike the second 
"Be It Further Resolved that the Reverend Jesse Jackson be recognized 



105 



during our National Convention." And the rationale behind that was it is 
impossible to do it at this convention and that we, therefore, amended that 
to delete that "Be It Further Resolved." 

We had a motion to send this to a Standing Committee, which 
would be the Awards and Citations Committee, and they will be free to 
recognize Reverend Jesse Jackson for his release of the prisoners. 

Resolution 31 1, a Stamp Honoring Audie Murphy, the committee 
recommends approval. 

Resolution 312, VFW Support for Second Amendment Rights, the 
committee recommends approval. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, that completes the approved 
Resolutions and I, therefore, move for their adoption. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have Resolutions 301, 
304, 307, 309, as amended, 31 1 and 312. Thank you. Is there a second? 

COMRADE CLYDE DAVIS (Post 1604 - Illinois): I second the 
motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. Any discussion? Hearing no discussion, all those in favor will say 
"aye"; all those opposed "nay". The motion carries. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SODEN: I will now read the 
Resolutions that the committee recommends rejection. They are Resolution 
No. 302, Fund Our Veterans Earned Entitlements With Our Constitutional 
Power. The committee recommends rejection. 

Resolution 303, Rescind Occupational Tax. The committee 
recommends rejection. 

Resolution 305, No Additional States Necessary. The committee 
recommends rejection. 

Resolution 306, Proclaim December 7th a National Holiday. The 
committee recommends rejection in favor of Resolution 307, Pearl Harbor 
Day. 

Resolution No. 308, Pass Legislation Exempting Deportation of 
Mexican Citizens Who Served Honorably in the Armed Forces of the United 
States. The committee recommends rejection. 

Resolution 310, The Medal of Honor Memorial, the committee 
recommends rejection. 

Those are all of the rejections, Comrade Commander-in-Chief. If 
there are any asked to be set aside, we will work on them. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE PAUL CROTEAU (Post 8203 - Florida): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I move that Resolution No. 302 be adopted. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to adopt 
Resolution 302. Is there a second? 

Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE ALFRED RITTMAN (Post 7721 - Florida): I second the 
motion. 



106 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second to adopt Resolution 302. Will you give us any discussion on 
Resolution 302 before we have the general discussion. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SODEN: Commander-in-Chief, I 
will read the rationale behind this for rejection. This Resolution is not really 
directed to any veterans issue or any issue impacting the organization. The 
premise of this Resolution is that the Federal Reserve System is 
unconstitutional and, therefore, that the Federal Reserve notes are not legal 
tender. 

While the Constitution of the United States does give Congress the 
power to issue and coin money, regulate the value thereof, and the 
Constitution also allows Congress to make all laws which are necessary and 
proper for carrying out into execution the foregoing powers and all other 
powers vested by the Constitution, government of the United States, or 
thereof, and the language allows the U.S. Congress to enact the Federal 
Reserve Act and delegates the responsibility for the power to coin money 
and set value to the Federal Reserve. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you Mr. Chairman. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE PAUL CROTEAU (Post 8203 - Florida): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, you have mentioned something about the 
Constitution of the United States, and I will comment that our research is 
deeper in understanding than what the chairman has just announced. 

I have mentioned the Supreme Court has unanimously decided that 
the Congress has the power to issue money and they do not have the power 
to delegate their power to another organization. So with that, I would say 
that we have found the enemy. 

We have found the enemy of the United States Constitution, and it 
is the eight international banks which are the sole stockholders of the 
Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That is the international bankers have 
gradually changed the name of our USA money from the name of your 
United States note to the name Federal Reserve note. 

This action has transferred the power of the USA money, our 
money, from the government of the United States to the international 
bankers. To restore our government power over the USA money, we must 
restore the United States note. That type of note is constitutional, it is moral 
and it is beneficial for veterans of the USA as well as the American people. 
I urge my comrades to adopt Resolution 302 to benefit the veterans earned 
entitlements. Thank you, comrades, very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN WHITCOMB (Post 988 - Indiana): Comrades, I 
speak in favor of this Resolution. Last year the Supreme Court of the United 
States approved that the Congress cannot give away their power to any 
other organization or person, therefore, the Federal Reserve money is 
illegal, just like the gentleman that was speaking on the other microphone 



107 



said a couple of minutes ago. 

Now, these United States notes that he was talking about, the 
comrade was talking about, carry no interest. They are interest-free notes. 
They cost the taxpayers no money. Now, wouldn't Congressman Bond of 
Missouri and the VA Administrator, Togo West, wouldn't they be happy to 
know that they can put that money back to the veterans organization, that 
$1.7 billion, and not cost the American taxpayers any more money in 
interest? I should think so. 

This Resolution only asks the VFW to use its power of numbers, and 
its prestige to lobby Congress to do its duty at issuing U.S. money. The last 
U.S. notes were issued in 1962. This isn't a new thing. It is constitutional. 
Veterans and citizens of this great country deserve no less. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. For 
purposes of information, we will be in recess after the General Resolutions 
are taken up. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE DARYL HOLLIC (Post 3164 - South Dakota): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I was going to move for the question, but I am told 
that somebody has to speak against the Resolution. Therefore, I will speak. 
I don't know that the VFW should get involved in something like this. 

That having been said, I will move for the question. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you. We have one 
more speaker, and I want to have that person speak, and then we will move 
the question. Thank you. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN HOLLAND (Post 302 - Colorado): I came up to 
call for the question. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you. We have a 
motion to move the question. Is there a second? 

COMRADE JOHN HOLLAND (Post 302 - Colorado): I will second 
that motion, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: It has been moved and 
seconded that the question be called. All in favor of the motion will say 
"aye"; all opposed. The motion carries. 

I will now move the question. The motion was made to adopt 
Resolution 302. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed "no". 
The motion fails. 

Anything else on General Resolutions? Thank you very much. At 
this time we will not dismiss our General Resolutions Committee because 
there may be more work for them until the convention is over. 

INSURANCE DRAWINGS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Will Quartermaster General 
Ridgley or someone do the insurance drawings. We will have Assistant 
Quartermaster General Maher. 



108 



ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER GENERAL MAHER: I will be real 
quick, gentlemen. We have the drawing for the insurance winners back 
there in the exhibit area. The winners for today are: 

For $25, Bernard Gauerke, Post 388, Wisconsin. 

For $50, Ronnie L. Davis, Post 1618, Kansas City. 

And the $100 winner is Ralph R. Schoen, Post 3580, Illinois. 

BENEDICTION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time I will call on 
Father Neville for the Benediction. 

(Whereupon, Chaplain Father Neville gave the Benediction at this 
time.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we stand in 
recess until 8:00 o'clock a.m. tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, the session was recessed at 1 :45 o'clock p.m.) 



109 



SECOND BUSINESS SESSION 
WEDNESDAY MORNING, AUGUST 1 8, 1 999 

(The Second Business Session of the 100th National Convention of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held in the H. Roe Bartle 
Convention Center, Kansas City, Missouri, was called to order at 8:00 
o'clock a.m., with Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot, presiding.) 

CALL TO ORDER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Sergeant-at-Arms, at this 
time we will open the session and begin our Opening Ceremonies. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Yes, sir. All rise, please. 

(National Chaplain Father Thomas W. Neville gave the Opening 
Prayer, followed by the Salute to the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: The Opening Ceremonies have 
been performed for today's business session. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, I will call to 
order this second business session of our 100th Anniversary Convention. 
We will resume our business where we left off yesterday. We were talking 
about Resolutions. 

First, we will begin with the Report of our Credentials Committee. 

REPORT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE 

COMRADE RICHARD TROMBLA (Post 1174 - Kansas): 
Commander-in-Chief, this is a temporary report as of last night. The 
delegate strength is 13,757. Department Commanders, 44; Past 
Commanders-in-Chief, 31; National Officers, 38. That is making a grand 
total of 13,870. 

The following Department Commanders have not checked in. 
Please check in. I will read off those Departments. They are: Hawaii, 
Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, 
South Dakota and Tennessee. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, this is a temporary report as of 
today. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND 
FOREIGN AFFAIRS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Under our Resolutions, we 
will begin with the Report of the Committee on National Security and 
Foreign Affairs. The Chairman is Allen "Gunner" Kent. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF KENT: Good morning, comrades. 
Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, the Committee on National Security and 
Foreign Affairs met at 12:05 Sunday, August 15, 1999. Your instructions 



110 



were read and roll call was taken, and the Resolutions were discussed. 

The committee was divided into one subcommittee and carefully 
deliberated the 57 Resolutions. Four Resolutions were referred to other 
committees because they were not appropriate for the National Security 
and Foreign Affairs Committee. Resolution 444 was referred to the 
Committee on Veterans Service, because it dealt with Veterans Service 
issues. 

Resolutions 446, 450 and 454 were referred to the Committee on 
Finance and Internal Organization because these dealt with membership 
issues. The Vice-Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Affairs 
Committee was Paul S. Aaberg from North Dakota, and the staff advisor was 
Bruce R. Harder, Director of National Security and Foreign Affairs. 

In addition, guest people that addressed the National Security and 
Foreign Affairs Committee, were General Kenneth Lee-Linn, Retired Public 
Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Commission and General Soo Kim, Retired 
Director of the International Affairs, Korean Veterans Association. 

The Subcommittee on Prisoners of War and Missing in Action was 
chaired by Past Commander-in-Chief Billy Ray Cameron from North 
Carolina, and the Vice-Chairman was Peter Stack from Texas. Three guest 
speakers addressed the subcommittee. They were Mr. Robert L. Jones, 
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW and missing personnel, 
Major General Roland Lajoy, U.S. Army Retired, and Co-Chairman of the 
Joint U.S./Russian Committee on POW-MIAs, and Major General Rubernor 
Lontanivich, Chairman of the U.S./Russian Commission on POW-MIAs. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of 
the National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee and the POW-MIA 
Subcommittee for their active participation in the meeting. 

Commander, with your permission, I will begin with the committee 
report by presenting those Resolutions the committee recommends be 
approved as written or amended. I will then report those Resolutions that 
were rejected after that. This committee would like any Resolution that 
needs to be set aside, please indicate after each segment of the report. 

Please note Resolutions Nos. 455 through 462, I will repeat that, 
Resolutions Nos. 455 through 462 are new Resolutions that have been 
written since the Department Conventions and are not in your booklet. The 
working copy is in the back. Copies of these new National Security 
Resolutions and past Security Resolutions should be in the rear. 

When I have completed the report of the National Security and 
Foreign Affairs Resolutions, Past Commander-in-Chief Billy Ray Cameron 
will report on the Resolutions considered by the POW-MIA Committee. 

I will now proceed by reading the Resolutions that the committee 
recommends for approval as written or amended: 

Resolution 404, The Lessons of the Cold War. 

Resolution 405, Limit Foreign Ownership of U.S. Businesses and 
Properties. 

Resolution 406, Take Action on the Immigration Problem. 



111 



Resolution 407, Time is Running Out tor Castro. 

Resolution 408, Punish Terrorists Now. 

Resolution 409, Strategic Defense is a Strategic Priority. 

Resolution 410, Honoring Those Who Serve. 

Resolution 411, Oppose Lifting the Defense Department Ban on 
Homosexuals in the Armed Forces. 

Resolution 412, Maintain an Effective U.S. Coast Guard. 

Resolution 413, Standing Firm for Democracy and Liberty. 

Resolution 414, National Strategy of Peace Through Strength. 

Resolution No. 415, Halt the Erosion of Intelligence Services. 

Resolution 416, Support for the Republic of Korea. 

Resolution No. 419, Oppose U.S. Forces Under Foreign 
Command. 

Resolution 422, Retain the Selective Service. 

Resolution 423, Monitor the Panama Canal Carefully. 

Resolution 424, Keep Faith with the American Military. 

Resolution 426, NATO Enlargement. 

Resolution 427, Require All Eighteen Year Old Citizens to Register 
for Military Draft. 

Resolution No. 429, National Missile Defense for the United 
States. 

Resolution 456, Improve Theater Ballistic Missile Defense. 

Resolution No. 457, Urge Restoration of F-22 Fighter Aircraft 
Funding. 

Resolution No. 458, U.S. Response to Chinese Threat. 

Resolution No. 459, Oppose Gender Integrated Basic Training. 

Resolution No. 460, Increase Military Base Pay. 

Resolution No. 461, Support the Kosovo Peace Agreement. 

Resolution No. 462, Support the U.S. Army's School of the 
Americas. 

The following ones were approved, as amended: 

Resolution No. 417, Support Withdrawal from the Former 
Yugoslavia. 

Resolution No. 420, Support for the Republic of China on Taiwan. 

Resolution No. 428, Tighten U.S. Policy on High Technology 
Exports. 

Resolution No. 431, Restore Pre-Attack Ranks to Admiral Husband 
E. Kimmel and General Walter C. Short. 

Resolution No. 432, Support of Self-Determination for Puerto Rico. 

Resolution 437, National Security is Paramount. 

Resolution 441, Award Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for 
Service in Korea. 

Resolution 442, Authorization to Wear the Bunderwehr and the 
Land Berlin Unit Citations. 

Resolution No. 449, Combat Action Ribbon. 

Resolution No. 452, All Acts of Treason, in War and Peace, Against 



112 



the United States of America, Shall be Punishable by Death. 

Resolution No. 453, Retention of the Uniformed Services 
University of the Health Sciences of the Department of Defense. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: There is a recommendation 
to approve. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF KENT: Comrades, I was informed 
that I skipped two of them. Also recommended for approval was 
Resolution 430, Increase the Defense Budget, and Resolution 434, Improve 
Military Readiness. I apologize. The committee recommends approval as 
written or amended. 

COMRADE RON HARDER (Department of North Dakota): I move 
for approval. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to 
approve those Resolutions from the National Security and Foreign Affairs 
Committee. Is there a second? 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF BILLY RAY CAMERON 
(Department of North Carolina): I second the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. Is there any discussion? 

COMRADE DAHLIE HERZOG-MEYER (Post 5158 - Wisconsin): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I would like Resolution 459 set aside. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
Resolutions that we have mentioned that you would like to have set aside 
at this time? Otherwise, we will move on all the others. 459 has been set 
aside. At this time is there any discussion? The motion is for approval for 
all of those Resolutions submitted by the Committee on National Security 
and Foreign Affairs. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The 
"ayes" have it. 

At this time Resolution No. 459 was set aside. We will have 
discussion on 459. For that purpose, we recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE DAHLIE HERZOG-MEYER (Post 5158 - Wisconsin): 
Resolution 459, in the first paragraph it states the administration sexually 
integrated basic training in the Army, Navy and Air Force in 1994. Sexual 
integration of basic training began twenty years ago. In that regard, it is 
inaccurate. 

Also the point of reverting back to sexual integrated training, if it 
didn't work twenty years ago, it doesn't seem prudent. It would also be 
extremely expensive for the Department of Defense to take this action. 
During the committee meeting, the Department of Defense stated that the 
Army, the Navy and the Air Force had chosen even after the study to stay 
with the same basic programs, but to make modifications to improve 
discipline. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: So you are opposed? 

COMRADE DAHLIE HERZOG-MEYER (Post 5158 - Wisconsin): 
Yes, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you. 



113 



The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JEROLD SCHULTZ (Post 1318 - Wisconsin): I second 
the motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The motion was to approve. 
We are discussing it now. We are under discussion. Someone has spoken 
in opposition? Is there anyone else that would like to speak on 459 at this 
time? Seeing no one, I will move the motion. 

The motion was to approve Resolution 459. We have just had 
discussion in opposition. At this time all those who are in favor of 
approving 459 say "aye"; all those opposed. The "ayes" have it. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF KENT: Comrades, the following 
Resolutions were rejected by the committee: 

Resolution 436, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Medical 
Augmentation Team, Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada). 

Resolution 439, Award Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for 
Service in Korea. That was rejected in favor of 441 . 

Resolution 447, United States Troops to Wear United States 
Uniforms and Answer to American Officers in All Branches of Service. 

Resolution No. 448, Oppose Any Requirement for Members of the 
Armed Forces to Don Emblems of Insignia of, or Swear an Oath to, Any 
Organization Other Than the United States of America. 

Resolution No. 451, VFW Back United States Involvement in and 
Full Use of NATO Military Power Against Serbia. That was rejected in favor 
of 451, and this Resolution was out of date. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: You have heard those 
Resolutions that the committee rejected. Any discussion on those 
Resolutions? Seeing no one approaching the microphones, those 
Resolutions are rejected. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF KENT: Thank you very much, 
Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much. At 
this time I will dismiss the chairman, but I will not dismiss Billy Ray 
Cameron who is the Vice-Chairman of the POW-MIA Resolutions. At this 
time we will hear from him. 

REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON POW-MIA 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF BILLY RAY CAMERON: Thank you 
very much, Commander-in-Chief. It is indeed a pleasure once again to 
have the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Subcommittee on POW- 
MIA. Commander-in-Chief, it is a point of personal privilege. 

It has been a great pleasure to celebrate the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars 100th Anniversary and to be the first Vietnam veteran to be 
Commander-in-Chief of this organization. It is great to see so many of my 
comrades to follow. It is great that the Vietnam veterans have finally taken 
the leadership in our great organization and I think it means a lot. Once 



114 



again, I want to thank you for a great celebration of 100 years as an 
organization. 

Comrades, I will read off the Resolutions that are approved, as 
written, and I will read off the Resolutions approved, as amended, and last 
I will read the Resolutions that were rejected. I would like to thank the 
committee. We had a very good committee, and we had tremendous guest 
speakers. We resolved a lot of the questions on the POW-MIA issues. 

Our first Resolution approved, as written, was Resolution No. 403, 
VFW Supports Kuwait's Demand for an Accounting of its MIAs. 

The next Resolution, approved as written, was Resolution 433, 
Interment of an Unknown from Vietnam. 

The next Resolution approved, as amended, and most of these 
amendments are clarification on language, is Resolution 401, Support 
Public Awareness Projects. 

The next Resolution approved, as amended, is Resolution 402, 
Seek Opportunities to Resolve the Korean War POW/MIA Issue. 

The next one is Resolution 418, Assist Vietnam's Recovery of MIAs 
as a Sign of Good Faith. 

The next one is Resolution 421, Oppose Downsizing the Defense 
Department POW/Missing Personnel Office. 

The next one is Resolution 435, Accounting and Release of 
POW/MIA Information. 

The next one is Resolution 445, Display the POW/MIA Flag. 

I move that these Resolutions be approved as written and 
amended. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF KENT: I second that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second to approve the Resolutions that have been read. Is there any 
discussion? Seeing no one at the microphones, we will move the question. 
At this time all those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The "ayes" 
have it. The motion is carried. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CAMERON: At this time I will 
read the Resolutions that were rejected. 

Resolution 425 was rejected in favor of Resolution 443. 

Resolution 438, Support H.R. No. 16, rejected. 

Resolution 440, Appoint Mrs. Ann Bakkensen as a Member of the 
U.S./Russian Joint Commission was rejected. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, the committee 
recommends rejection. Is there anyone that would like to discuss them? 
Hearing no discussion, those Resolutions are rejected. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CAMERON: Once again, it is 
indeed a pleasure to attend this convention and it is a great honor, 
Commander-in-Chief, to serve once again as Chairman of the POW-MIA 
Subcommittee. I think I have served since 1986, so I think I know about 
these Resolutions. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time I will dismiss the 



115 



National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, and its Subcommittee. I 
want to thank the comrades for the outstanding job they have in reporting 
these Resolutions. 

Just as a note for everyone to see where we are going to go today, 
we have Gary Collins from the March of Dimes. We have Dino DeConcini, 
Executive Director of the Savings Bond Marketing Office of the Department 
of the Treasurer. We have John McCain, Senator from Arizona, to speak to 
us. 

We have Jim Nicholson, Chairman of the Republican National 
Committee. Derek Thomas will receive an award today. Past Commander- 
in-Chief John Moon will receive an award. W.E.B. Griffin will receive an 
award today and will speak to us. Brigadier General Wilma Vaught will be 
with us. 

Also Major General Valdimir Zolatarev will speak to us today about 
U.S. -Russian relationships. Those are the things we have in store today. 

PRESENTATION TO RALPH CHARLES KAHLE, JR. FAMILY 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, with the passing 
this year of Ralph Charles Kahle, Jr., a Navy veteran, America lost another 
of those brave citizens who served in time of great need. A veteran who 
never forgot the soldiers, sailors and airmen he served with, Charles Kahle 
wanted to leave them something of meaningful and lasting value. He did 
this through a bequest of over $1.1 million to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
to be used for service, welfare and entertainment of wounded servicemen. 

To fulfill the terms of Mr. Kahle's bequest, the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars has established the Ralph Charles Kahle, Jr., Endowment Fund to 
underwrite the costs of providing travel expenses for wounded veterans, 
recipients of the Purple Heart, to major national sporting events. 

Plans are underway to implement this program within the year. 
The VFW Departments will take part in the selection process. The program 
will be administered by the VFW Adjutant General's office. Every effort will 
be made to ensure that the intent of Charles Kahle's bequest is met to the 
letter. 

We are very fortunate to have been selected by Mr. Kahle to carry 
out this most generous program for those servicemen and women who have 
received the Purple Heart. To commemorate this event and to recognize 
the man who made it possible, we would like to present this plaque to the 
Kahle family. 

To accept it on their behalf is our 1 989-1 990 Commander-in-Chief 
Walter G. Hogan, himself a Purple Heart recipient of the Korean War. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The plaque reads: "Presented to the 
family of Ralph Charles Kahle, Jr., in memoriam and in honor of his 
philanthropic commitment to America's veterans by enabling the creation 
of the Ralph Charles Kahle, Jr. Endowment Fund, honoring the sacrifice of 
wounded veterans." 



116 



RESPONSE - PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF WALTER HOGAN 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF HOGAN: Comrade Commander- 
in-Chief and Delegates to this 100th Convention of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, in behalf of Mr. Kahle and his family, I am indeed honored to accept 
this award. I know somewhere up there Mr. Kahle's contributions to help 
those disabled veterans throughout the country and the program the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars has established will certainly aid disabled 
veterans for years to come. Thank you very much. 

INTRODUCTION OF MARCH OF DIMES REPRESENTATIVE 
GARY COLLINS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For many years, the VFW has 
had a very productive relationship with the March of Dimes. Thanks to that 
relationship, we have played an important role in the work that March of 
Dimes does. 

Regrettably, a prominent member of the Board of Trustees for the 
March of Dimes, the noted actress and former Miss America Mary Ann 
Moberly-Collins, cannot be with us this morning. However, we are very 
pleased to have Mr. Gary Collins, the Emmy Award winning actor and TV 
personality, an Army veteran and the husband of Mary Ann here with us this 
morning to represent her and the March of Dimes. Please welcome Mr. 
Gary Collins. 

PRESENTATION TO THE VFW BY THE MARCH OF DIMES 

MR. GARY COLLINS: Thank you, Commander-in-Chief Pouliot. 
Some would say my greatest achievement in life has been being married to 
Mary Ann for 32 years. That is pretty good duty, I will tell you that. It's a 
pleasure to be here, and thank you for that round of applause. I can't tell 
you how devastated Mary Ann is that she cannot be here with us today. I 
think she was here — what was it — a couple of years ago and just had the 
best time. 

Something was said about ileitis and colitis, and that's the reason 
that Mary Ann isn't here. She kind of has a little attack once in a while, and 
she can't fly, so, fortunately, I was doing nothing, and she said, "How would 
you like to go talk to 1 3,000 veterans?" 

But I can only recall one other time when Mary Ann was unable to 
keep a commitment, and that happened a few years ago when she tripped 
over our brown Labrador retriever and broke her elbow, and, boy, she was 
out of commission for several weeks, and something funny happened. 

I suddenly was thrust into a world that I knew very little about. I 
learned, for example, to roll her hair. You can't do that with one hand. I 
learned how to iron shirts. I learned how to cook a lot more, and I learned 



117 



how to put on false eyelashes, too. 

But, ladies, I always thought taking pantyhose off was tough. 
Getting those puppies on is a nightmare. And will you tell me what that 
little space is that you can never quite suck up? I don't care how much you 
pull, I don't care how much you bounce them, it does not come up. And 
the best part is, the harder you try, the worse it gets. Oh, we had a time, 
I'm telling you. 

But, anyway, she is devastated, and she just wanted me to express 
her regrets and her congratulations on your 100 years of service and to the 
new Commander-in-Chief. I really wish my father-in-law were here, and 
you women who are married to men who were in the Service understand 
this. He's 90 years old. He's a doctor, a physician. He just stopped 
practicing six years ago. He practiced for almost, I don't know, 70 years in 
a little town in Mississippi, McComb, Mississippi. 

And he helped co-found the University of Mississippi Medical 
Center, was on the Board of Higher Learning for 24 years, raised a fine 
family, had all of these wonderful accolades in his life, and for all of his 
accomplishments and achievements, landing on Normandy and saving 
lives as a physician in the European campaign and especially the Battle of 
the Bulge are the most defining moments of this man's life. 

And I had the pleasure of returning with him to the Normandy 
Beach a couple of years ago, and, boy, that was something. That still makes 
the hair on the back of my neck stand up. So thank you for all that you do. 

As Commander-in-Chief Pouliot said, I'm here on behalf of the 
March of Dimes, and I'm proud to stand here before a cadre of veterans 
who have made a difference by bettering our country and the lives of 
America's babies since you were founded 100 years ago. I would like to 
tell you a little bit about the lives of some of the babies that you have saved 
during your long-time work with the March of Dimes. 

Now, I want you to imagine — it's not going to be very difficult for 
a lot of you to imagine what it was like when you first discovered that your 
wife was pregnant, you were expecting your first child, the thrill, the 
happiness, and then for some of your spouses that little inner voice said 
something's wrong here, something has gone wrong, that sixth sense that 
women have that men don't, obviously. 

And that's what happened to Jody and Jerry Adams of Clinton, 
Mississippi. An ultrasound confirmed that their baby had died. The cause, 
a neural tube defect, a serious birth defect of brain and spine. They were 
devastated. 

Their hopes for another baby were put on hold indefinitely. Then 
they heard about folic acid, a B-vitamin that may help reduce the risk of 
having a baby with a neural tube defect if taken every day before 
conception and early pregnancy. It is an incredible, incredible 
breakthrough. 

This new discovery helped give the Adams family what they 
needed most, and that was hope, and the simple steps of taking the multi- 



118 



vitamin every day and eating foods containing folic acid like orange juice 
helped give them what they wanted most, and that was a healthy baby 
named Kelsey. 

Since 1994, the March of Dimes has been spreading a life-saving 
message to women about how important folic acid is for their future babies. 
You know, as volunteers, we sometimes don't realize how families and 
innocent babies are touched by the work that we do, but our actions have 
real consequences. The Veterans of Foreign Wars has been helping the 
March of Dimes save babies since the polio days, billions of babies, and 
that's why I am here today, to say thank you for your many acts of caring. 

Because of your steadfast support of Walk America and the March 
of Dimes, more babies are benefitting from life-saving research, babies like 
Noah Kifmiller from Michigan. Thanks to fetal surgery developed by the 
March of Dimes grantee, Noah went from the possibility of a lifetime of 
paralysis to a future of running and playing with other children. 

With your support of March of Dimes' advocacy efforts, more 
uninsured women like Latonya Brower from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 
are now getting health-care coverage for their children under the new state 
children's health insurance program, and that means that Latonya's 
daughter, Brianna, can get regular check-ups and she has had all her 
immunizations. It also means, and you understand this, comrades, that 
mom has peace of mind finally. 

Because of your caring, we are funding studies into the cause for 
premature deaths, premature births and saving babies likeT. J. Stahlbocker 
of Rogers, Arkansas. T J. was born four months early. 

He was not expected to survive, but he did thanks to the March of 
Dimes advancements in the treatment of premature babies like the neonatal 
intensive care unit where T. J. benefitted from the specialized care and the 
latest technologies and surfactant technology that helped his little lungs 
expand. Today T J. is about as healthy and energetic as a six-year-old can 
be. 

Through the years, the March of Dimes has depended on the 
steadfast support of our friends at the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary, and 
you have always come through, and because of that Kelsey, Brianna, Noah, 
T J. and hundreds of thousands of other babies across the country have a 
brighter future ahead. 

Today, we need more help than ever. By the end of this day, seven 
more babies will be born with a neural tube defect like that which took the 
life of Jody and jerry's baby, but together we can spare families like the 
Adamses the pain and anguish of these type of birth defects. What a unique 
opportunity to make a positive difference in the health of real babies. 

As I said, I am honored to be here with you. Whether you realize 
it or not, you are heroes to the babies that I mentioned, they and their 
families, and to the babies who have yet to benefit from the March of Dimes 
research and programs that you fund. When you save babies, you are 
heroes. The March of Dimes would like to acknowledge and thank you for 



119 



your efforts and your commitment. 

Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, would you please step up here, 
please? May I introduce Jane Massey, who is the chief operating officer of 
March of Dimes. On behalf of the March of Dimes, I would like to present 
this to you with our gratitude for all of you caring and commitment to 
March of Dimes. Let me read it. 

"To the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, our deepest 
gratitude for devoted service in the successful fight to save babies, 1999." 
Congratulations. 

Together, we will continue our relationships. Our histories are 
linked. Our hearts are connected together with saving babies as we walk 
into the new millennium, and I just want to thank all of you for what you 
do for America. Thanks very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I would like to present to 
you this 100th Anniversary book and hope that Mary Ann gets well soon. 

INTRODUCTION OF MR. DINO DeCONCINI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 

SAVINGS BONDS, MARKETING OFFICE, 

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Savings bonds have been a 
part of American life for so long, it is hard to remember when we did not 
have them. In World War II, war bonds allowed America to build the 
military forces we needed to win. 

Today we are very fortunate in having Dino DeConcini, Executive 
Director, Savings Bonds, Marketing Office, Department of the Treasury, 
here to make a presentation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Please give a warm VFW welcome to Mr. Dino DeConcini. 

REMARKS - MR. DINO DeCONCINI 

MR. DeCONCINI: Thank you, Commander Pouliot. It is an honor 
to have few moments at your national convention. I want to use this to 
point out some of the things that we in the Treasury Department think that 
savings bonds office have in common with you, the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, and then make the presentation. 

Former Secretary Bentsen was asked why the children didn't go 
into the services, and he said, "Well, they were all interested but when I 
told them that the most of the conversation was in the form of plaques and 
awards they were discouraged." I am here to add a few plaques and 
awards to those that you have already received. 

A hundred years ago in 1899, the Spanish-American War born an 
organization to ensure fair treatment for all returning veterans to rebuild 
their lives. Sixty-five years ago, in 1935, the U.S. Treasury Department 
issued its first small denomination security to provide a trustworthy savings 
mechanism so that those devastated by the Depression could rebuild their 



120 



lives. 

Your organization has served millions of Americans for seven wars 
and their aftermath, have experienced and seen the greatest growth after 
World War II, but always looking toward the future for members and their 
families. Savings bonds helped finance five of those wars. We also 
experienced our greatest growth after World War II and at the same time we 
helped millions of Americans to save for their future. 

You began as a white male organization, but you evolved with the 
times to a much stronger diverse group, enrolling and serving members, 
without regards to race, religion or gender. Our savings bonds always bore 
the portraits of white males until the series I placed in the bonds, which is 
a fantastic success in the market. 

Eight denominations bear the portraits of veterans like Spark M. 
Matsunaga, George C. Marshall, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia, the last two 
shown on the security in uniform, and carry portraits for the first time of 
women and persons of color. The average age of your members is our bond 
holders, but we are both implementing the changes to survive and serve in 
the next century. 

Finally, we both believe and depend upon volunteerism as shown 
by the lives of service of millions of your members, including Commander- 
in-Chief Pouliot, who is quoted in the magazine last October as saying, 
"Without recognition for a job well done, we can't expect the members to 
volunteer." We in Treasury strongly agree with that, Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot. 

Today we want to recognize many jobs well done over many years, 
including just these few examples, your organization's support of the 
savings bond program and the encouragement of members to participate. 
The use of savings bonds in your youth essay contests and in many Post 
activities has resulted in annual purchases of nearly a half million dollars. 

And the service of your Assistant Adjutant General Benny Bachand 
on our National Volunteer Committee, representing veterans and other 
national organizations. Now, if Benny Bachand will come to the podium I 
would like to make this presentation on behalf of the U.S. Department of 
Treasury, Savings Department Office, in recognition and appreciation of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars for their years of service and support. 

It says, "Congratulations on theVFW's 100th Anniversary and your 
service to America in U.S. Savings Bonds." I present this on behalf of 
everyone at Treasury to everyone in the VFW. 

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL BENNY BACHAND: I want to 
accept this on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the organization 
that has supported the savings bonds tremendously through the years. I 
know we will continue to do so. Thank you, Dino. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much, Mr. 
DeConcini, for that very fine award. 

We will begin with the Report of the Committee on Veterans 
Service Resolutions, but we will interrupt when Senator McCain arrives so 



121 



he may continue on his schedule. The Chairman is Paul Spera. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON VETERANS SERVICE RESOLUTIONS 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF PAUL SPERA: Thank you very 
much, Commander-in-Chief. Commander Pouliot, I report that the 
Committee on Veterans Service Resolutions met at 1 :00 p.m. Sunday, 
August 15, 1999. Your instructions were read and roll call taken, and 
preliminary matters were discussed. 

The committee was divided into three subcommittees, carefully 
deliberated each of the 104 Resolutions that were assigned. The 
subcommittees were established as follows: 

Subcommittee one, Medical Programs and Veteran Benefits and 
Entitlements, chaired by Tom Hansen from Minnesota and Glenn Tucksbury 
from Connecticut. 

The Subcommittee Two on Employment, chaired by Jerry Curtice 
from Alaska and Vice-Chairman John Fergus from Tennessee. 

Next was Subcommittee Three on Benefits, chaired by Paul Curtice 
from Indiana, and Vice-Chairman Daniel Ackus from New Hampshire. 

Before proceeding with this report, I will take a moment to express 
our deep appreciation to Fred Juarbe, Director of National Veterans 
Services, James Magill, Director of Veterans Employment, and Dennis 
Cullinan, Director of National Legislation Services for the valuable 
technical guidance and assistance which the staff provided to the 
committee. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Past Commander-in- 
Chief R. D. "Bulldog" Smith from Georgia for serving a Vice-Chairman of 
this very important Convention Committee, and a special thanks goes to 
Bill Dozier, Field Representative of National Veterans Service, who served 
as our committee secretary and coordinated the results of our deliberations. 

Commander-in-Chief, with your permission, I will begin with the 
committee report by presenting those Resolutions that the committee 
recommended be approved as written. Past Commander-in-Chief 
"Bulldog" Smith will then read those Resolutions that were approved, as 
amended. 

I will conclude the report by presenting the Resolutions that the 
committee recommends for rejection. If for any reason the delegates at the 
convention would like a Resolution set aside, please do so after I have 
completed each segment of the report. 

I would like to note that Resolution 612 was transferred to the 
National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee and renumbered as 
Resolution 460. Our committee received Resolution No. 444 from their 
committee, and that Resolution was renumbered 704. 

I now will proceed by reading the Resolution numbers that the 
committee recommends for approval as written. They are Resolution No. 
601 , Sexual Trauma Treatment for All Veterans. 



122 



601 , Sexual Trauma Treatment for All Veterans. 

Resolution No. 602, Adequately Fund the Veterans Health-Care 
System Construction Program. 

Resolution No. 603, The Department of Veterans Affairs Budget. 

No. 604, Amend the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' 
Protection Act. 

No. 606, Amended Tax Return for Military Retirees. 

No. 607, Exclude Guard and Reserve Income when Determining 
Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance. 

No. 609, Federal Employees Health Benefit Program for Military 
Retirees. 

Resolution No. 616, Improved VA Hospital Facilities for Women 
Veterans. 

No. 61 8, Necessary Funding for the Local Veterans Employment 
Representatives and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists. 

Resolution No. 622, VA Medicare Subvention. 

Resolution No. 623, Exclusive Appropriations Subcommittees for 
the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

No. 624, Funding of SBA Veterans Programs. 

Resolution No. 626, Honor Guard Functions at Funerals for 
Veterans. 

Resolution No. 630, Service Connection for Hearing Loss and 
Tinnitus for Combat Veterans. 

Resolution No. 631, Licensure and Certification. 

Resolution No. 632, Providing Emergency Services to Enrolled 
Veterans. 

Resolution No. 634, Oppose Staff Reductions for the Veterans 
Benefits Administration. 

Resolution No. 635, Equity in VA Health-Care Co-Payments. 

Resolution No. 637, Support Legislation Providing Additional 
Benefits and Services to Vietnam Veterans Children with Spina Bifida. 

Resolution No. 643, Hold the Administration and Congress 
Accountable. 

Resolution No. 647, Guaranteed U.S. Armed Forces Medical 
Support for Retirees. 

Resolution No. 650, Timely Survivors' Benefit Program Entitlement 
Payment to Survivors. 

No. 654, Change Rule Regarding VA Interest Rate Reduction 
Refinancing Loan Program. 

No. 676, Benefits for Saipan Marine Scouts who Fought Alongside 
the U.S. Forces During World War II Battle of Saipan. 

No. 689, Preservation of the National Soldier' Home Located at the 
VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles. 

No. 694, Establishment of an Office of Veterans' Widows/Surviving 
Spouses Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

No. 697, The Use of the "Battlefield Cross" in National Cemeteries. 



123 



No. 698, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Known as Lou Gehrig's 
Disease, High Among Gulf War Veterans. 

No. 699, Establishing a Presumption of Service Connection for 
Veterans Suffering from Hepatitis "C". 

No. 700, Expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. 

Resolution No. 701, Solvency for the Armed Forces Retirement 
Homes. 

Resolution No. 702, a G.I. Bill for the 21st Century. 

And Resolution No. 703, Homeless Veterans. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I move at this time the Resolutions 
as written be adopted. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF R. D. SMITH: I second the 
adoption of these Resolutions. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion. There is a motion and a second. Is there any discussion? Are 
there any set asides? 

We will begin with Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE TOM HANSEN (Post 1 639 - Minnesota): I request that 
Resolution 654 be set aside for discussion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Resolution 654 is set aside. 

Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN McNEIL (Post 5412 - Virginia): I am strongly 
opposed to this Resolution. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Excuse me. We will not 
discuss it at this time. Are you talking about Resolution 654? 

COMRADE JOHN McNEIL (Post 5412 -Virginia): Yes, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We are just asking for set 
asides at this time. Are there any others to be set aside? At this time we will 
move on the motion, except Resolution 654, on the Resolutions that were 
recommended for approval that Past Commander-in-Chief Spera has read 
off. All those in favor of approving those Resolutions say "aye"; all those 
opposed. The motion carried. 

At this time we will have discussion on Resolution No. 654. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE JOHN McNEIL (Post 5412 - Virginia): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I strongly oppose this Resolution. In the past recent 
years, there have been some very unscrupulous lenders that because of a 
loophole in the law and the government regulations allow veterans to skip 
three mortgage payments before they had to submit the application to the 
Department of Veterans Affairs for approval. 

They advertised such things as money for vacation, for Christmas, 
et cetera, that you can skip three payments and we will roll them into a new 
loan before we have to submit it to the VA. As part of the refinancing 
program, the overall program had an 18-percent default rate. 

For those loans that were submitted to the VA for approval that 
were in arrears, that default rate skyrocketed to a high of 40 percent. The 



124 



Department of Veterans Affairs, at the behest of Congress, took action and 
approximately two months ago they changed the rule to make it a 30-day 
notice. 

In other words, no loans would be in arrears no longer than 29 
days before they submit to the VA for approval. Now, this is not to say that 
the VA would deny that application. Indeed, there had been very few loans 
if at all that have been denied by the VA. 

What it did previously, was that the VA could not get involved night 
and day, and by the time the VA approved the application that individual 
that was applying for refinancing of the loan could be as far as four or five 
days in arrears. This really affects more than veterans. It also affects our 
young military that have loans. 

The VA, the government can do nothing about this at all until the 
ninety-first day. The VA took the action and the rule was instituted two 
months ago. Since that time, the default rate of refinancing loans that were 
in arrears has dropped. 

This Resolution does nothing with that. All this Resolution does is 
take it back to the dark age of now allowing unscrupulous lenders to take 
up to 90 days and encourage veterans and active duty military to have a 
loan go for three months in arrears in payments before they have to submit 
that application. 

This is a protection for the military. This is the protection for our 
veterans. All basically this will do, if it takes it back, will mandate that the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars approve or allow what I can only call the modern 
day loan sharking. We must have that protection. There are all kinds of 
good reasons to reject this Resolution. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

I recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF LARRY RIVERS (Post 1736 - 
Louisiana): Commander-in-Chief, Larry Rivers, a delegate from VFW Post 
1 736, and a member of the Veterans Service Committee that considered 
these Resolutions. Initially, let me say I am just as strongly in favor of 
passing this Resolution as Mr. McNeil, a member of our staff in 
Washington, isn't in favor. 

I have an obligation to correct what I believe, based on having 
worked with this Resolution, are misstatements about its intent. This 
Resolution will do nothing to prevent so-called loan sharking. I don't want 
to talk about what is good for the government, I want to talk about what is 
good for veterans. 

I am not a spokesman for the VA and I am not a spokesman for the 
government. Somebody needs to get up and speak for these young men 
and women that do have trouble with their loans and do have trouble with 
defaults. The fact of the matter is up until about a month and one-half ago, 
the rule was that the veteran who was 90 days in default, he could go to a 
lender and if he or she was creditworthy, could get the lender to refinance 
the loan, and that is all they had to do. 



125 



All this rule does is change it so now if you are more than 30 days 
in default you have to go do the paperwork maze. Again, it reminds me I 
am from the government, I am here to help. The same agency that takes 
care of handling ourVA claims, handles the VA loans. 

What we are talking about here, when we talk about seeing these 
big percentage numbers, we are talking about a very small number of 
loans. What the rule says is this. If the veteran comes to refinance his or 
her loan, once that refinancing is done, the payment has to be lower than 
it was before. 

The whole argument opposed to the Resolution seems to be based 
on the fact that veterans are stupid and they need protection. We are so 
subject to loan sharking that we don't know what to do, so big brother has 
to come in and help us. Veterans are not stupid. 

A veteran that has struggled for 30 to 35 days should not have to 
go through a VA paperwork maze again. We are here at this convention to 
take care of veterans, not take care of the VA. I deny anybody in this room 
to tell me this is in the best interest of veterans to have the time shortened 
from 90 to 30 days. 

The VA is not concerned about loan sharking, because that has 
happened maybe with two companies, and there are ways they can deal 
with that. They can blackball those lenders and refuse to let them take part 
in this program. After this Resolution was discussed in our committee the 
other day, Joe Thompson came up and talked to me. 

He is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Benefits. He said, "Larry, 
until we passed this rule veterans were the only ones that had up to 90 days 
to take care of loans in default. You couldn't do it with the FHA, and it was 
only veterans. This brings veterans in compliance with the VA and the 
FHA." 

I said, "Joe, if that is the case, then I rest my case. I don't know 
what is going on with the FHA and I don't care what is going on with HUD, 
but I know that if the veteran needs help he should not have to go through 
another paperwork maze through the VA." 

So I urge you strongly to pass this Resolution. It is in the best 
interest of those veterans who are suffering. It may not be in the best interest 
of the VA, but it darn sure is in the best interest of veterans and that is what 
we are here for and nothing else. Thank you, Comrade Commander. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 2. 

COMRADE DENNIS CULLINAN (Post 7916 -Virginia): I am here 
strongly to oppose Resolution 654. What this Resolution would do is undo 
a rule change of VA financing regulation that is intended to do one thing, 
specifically take veterans from unscrupulous lenders, period. 

It bears mentioning that the lending industry over the past several 
months has conducted the nationwide public relations campaign costing 
hundreds of thousands of dollars to undo this rule change. I can assure you 
all here today they are not spending this kind of money and taking this kind 



126 



of interest for the sake of veterans. They are doing it for the sake of profit. 

Well, I can tell you they failed in the court of public opinion and 
they failed in the court of laws, and they are going to turn upon the 
Congress to undo their rule to protect veterans. With respect to advocacy, 
we have two outstanding champions in the House of Representatives, the 
Chairman of the House Veterans Committee, Bob Stump, and ranking 
member Lane Evans, who have spoken out in support of this rules change 
in opposition to this Resolution. 

Let me read a part of a section of the letter from them on this issue. 
"Recently, some lenders have been encouraging veterans to refinance 
under circumstances other than in their own best interest. Some lenders 
have, in fact, encouraged veterans to step up the mortgage game to go 
shopping or vacation. The missed payments will be rolled into a new loan." 

Not only does that violate the intent of the law but it increases the 
indebtedness of the veteran. As a result of this practice, veterans sometimes 
actually had a higher monthly payment after refinancing or found that the 
loan value exceeded the value of the property. That is not surprising the VA 
has seen the rising rate of foreclosures. 

I can tell you, comrades, in one particular district the rate of 
foreclosure is 40 percent among those with those kind of refinancing 
schemes, where it is only 18 percent among the rest of the refinancing 
population. I urge all of you here today to reject this Resolution. Once 
again, it will put veterans in harm's way. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE FRED )UARBE (Post 401 - New Mexico): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, Fred Juarbe, a delegate from VFW Post 401, 
Albuquerque, New Mexico. I want to speak in opposition to this 
Resolution and call for its rejection. I, too, am a veterans' advocate and I 
have three decades of record as a veterans' advocate. 

I agree with Comrade Rivers that we must assist veterans. A loan 
that is encouraged to fall in arrears, as a result of unscrupulous lenders who 
urges the individual to forego one payment, two payments, three payments, 
and roll it over into a new loan, even if it is at a lower monthly payment, 
still results in a larger loan balance. That just doesn't make sense. 

The VA has a loan management program. That loan management 
program assists veterans who are going into arrears to either negotiate with 
the lender for reduced payments for a period of time, or to refinance that 
program. The VA can only assist if the veteran comes to them. 

We get many calls ourselves at our 1-800 number requesting 
assistance on that. Our service officers deal with that. We immediately put 
them in contact with the VA to initiate that loan management and 
assistance process. If a veteran is told by a mortgage lender that it is okay 
to forego one, two or three payments, that individual veteran is then being 
misled to believing that he would have no problems. 

The VA will never know that that individual needs assistance and 



127 



could not assist them. I think we are, as veterans advocates, not interested 
in an efficiency operation of government just for the sake of efficiency, but 
we want it to be an effective program. 

We do have a responsibility to maintain a sound fiscal program. 
Comrades, we all have our financial responsibilities. When does it ever 
make sense for us to forego paying our bills? It just doesn't make sense. 
The VA is attempting to bring order to the program and to ensure that 
veterans not be taken advantage of. 

Is it broken? No, it is sound fiscal management of a program. The 
record has shown and there has been an increase in loan defaults among 
the refinanced loans compared to all other loans. That is what they are 
trying to do with the change in the regulation. It is a sound position. 

These arguments against, the letters that have been written to the 
VA are form letters that have been provided by the mortgage lenders to 
veterans to send the message to the VA. It is not a grassroots effort of 
swelling or concern about the condition. 

It is a mortgage lender's financial corporate interest that is driving 
this effort. This is not a good Resolution. I urge you, comrades, in the 
interest of maintaining a good program to help veterans to reject this 
Resolution. Thank you very much, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

For purposes of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
1. 

COMRADE JOHN O'NEIL (Post 5412 -Virginia): Thank you very 
much. I want to caution the comrades here to be careful about the emotion 
on this issue. I need to rebut my esteemed comrade from Louisiana. This 
has nothing to do with the paperwork maze of the VA. 

Indeed, he makes our argument for us. If we are engaged in a 
maze of paperwork from the VA, it would definitely be better to engage that 
in 30 days instead of 90 days. That maze takes two or three months to 
approve the application. If we do it in 90 days, we are talking about our 
young veterans in active military now being five to six months in arrears in 
mortgage payments. 

I have one question of the comrades in the audience here. How 
many of my fellow comrades would advise your sons and daughters who 
are in active military right now, or young veterans that are trying to 
refinance, how many of you would advise them that it is all right to go three 
months in arrears on a mortgage payment before you make application to 
the VA for approval? Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrades. 

For purposes of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 
1. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF LARRY RIVERS (Post 1736 - 
Louisiana): Thank you, Comrade Commander. I want to take a stab at this 
again. It seems to me we set up a straw man here that we are going to try 
to tear down, and that is the mortgage lenders. Why does nobody address 



128 



the issue of the time factors here? If a veteran is 35 days in default, he finds 
a lender to refinance his loan, then he doesn't have to go back to theVA. 

To say this is mortgage lenders is simply not the case. I have never 
heard members of our Washington staff get up here in such turmoil over 
such an issue that is so pro-veteran. I have in my hand here a paper from 
Capitol Hill. This is a list of all kinds of people here. 

It says basically while veterans are in harm's way, the VA passes 
devastating legislation. I will tell you some people that are in favor of what 
is contained in this resolution and this was back in May. The Honorable 
Ben Gillman of the House of Representatives; the Honorable Collins 
Peterson of the House of Representatives; the Honorable Dan Burton of the 
House of Representatives; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 
Department of Texas; South Central Georgia's County Federation Civic 
Organization; the Vietnam Veterans of America; the National Association of 
City Croups; the Annapolis City Coalition; the City Council of Bakersfield, 
California; West Georgia's Homebuilders Association, and others. 

So to stand up here and try to set up mortgage backers as the straw 
man over whether you let somebody finance a loan 30 or 90 days, the truth 
is you cannot finance it if your note is any higher. It has nothing to do with 
unscrupulous lenders. I urge you to keep that in mind. 

We are talking about our fellow veterans that may be 30 days in 
default. If they had to go through the VA, the VA doesn't approve them, 
they take their home. Give them another chance. Let's talk about the 30 
to 60 to 90-day period. That is what is at stake here. 

It is time that we as the VFW look out for those that can't look out 
for themselves, because they are trying. Just to say that the veteran is 30 or 
60 days in default, he is trying to somehow cheat the government by rolling 
into some mortgage payment, I don't believe the veterans cheat the 
government. 

I believe that if they are 30 to 60 days behind it is because they are 
struggling financially. I don't want this organization, on its 1 00th birthday, 
whatever we say, look, why is it the VFW always sides with the VA instead 
of veterans? I urge you to strongly pass this Resolution, block this haze and 
smoke and focus on the issue, which is the time period of the mortgage 
lender. Pass this Resolution, I urge my comrades. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Microphone No. 2 for the 
purpose of summation. 

COMRADE DENNIS CULLINAN (Post 791 6 - Virginia): Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. I can tell you that I am well familiar with that. It was 
paid for by the lending institutes. That is an ad that was taken out in the 
Washington Post and other newspapers across the country. 

In addition, they have taken the issue to Court, they have hired 
public relations consultants, and so forth, to promote this issue. The reason 
they have done it is not to spare veterans time in the processing of their 
loans, the reason they have done it is so they are better able, some of the 
unscrupulous, to dupe them in giving them a few loans and getting 



129 



themselves in financial problems. That is what is behind it. 

Despite what Congressman Gillman and others may have said, I 
can point out to you that those individuals that work on a daily basis with 
veterans, Representative Stump and Lane Evans, oppose undoing the VA 
rule. They oppose undoing it because they know that persons will be 
harmed if it happens and for the sake of the profit-making industry. I 
strongly urge we opposed Resolution 654. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The last to speak on the issue is Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE FRED JUARBE (Post 401 - New Mexico): I would like 
to reinforce and underscore the fact that notwithstanding other members of 
the Congress who have been included in that ad that Comrade Rivers has 
cited, we have proven veterans advocates, veterans champions within the 
House Veterans Affairs Committee in Bob Stump and Congressman Lane 
Evans who have supported the VA's position on this regulation. 

We are not talking about a longer process here necessarily. The VA 
is handling these loans and returning them back and approving them in a 
period of two weeks at the max. We are not talking about months. We are 
not talking of very many weeks. Two weeks is the turnaround time on the 
financing. 

What comes into play now is the VA, in carrying out its 
responsibilities to assist the veterans to ensure that this is a sound move in 
the best interest of the veteran, not in the best interest of the mortgage 
finance company. Then they will refinance. 

They have not been rejecting these loans, they have been turning 
them around as quickly as possible. So I urge you, comrades, that we reject 
Resolution 654 as not being in the best interest of veterans and military 
active duty personnel. Thank you very much, Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 
Comrades, we will move the question. The motion was to pass Resolution 
654. All those in favor of passing 654 say "aye"; all those opposed "no". 
The "nays" have it. The Resolution fails. 

INTRODUCTION OF THE HONORABLE JOHN McCAIN, 
UNITED STATES SENATOR 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we are very 
pleased this morning to have with us this morning Senator John McCain, a 
presidential candidate for the 2000 presidential campaign. 

Senator McCain is a man who has always put America's interests 
ahead of his own. His character is illustrated by his entire life, from 
narrowly escaping death on the flight deck of the USS Forrestal, to 
preserving for five and a half years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, to his 
outstanding service in the U.S. Senate. 

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958, Senator 
McCain became a naval aviator and went on to serve a 22-year Navy 



130 



career, retiring as a captain in 1981 . 

Currently serving his third term in the U.S. Senate, Senator McCain 
is Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation 
Committee, and serves on the Armed Services and Indian Affairs 
Committees. 

Please join me in a very warm VFW welcome for a fellow veteran, 
Senator John McCain. 

REMARKS BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN 

SENATOR McCAIN: Thank you for that warm welcome. It is a 
great privilege to be here. I have many friends here today, but I would like 
to introduce two of my dear friends, many of whom you know. First of all, 
my senior ranking officer in prison, Bud Day, Congressional Honor winner, 
truly a great man; and my dad. 

I have another one I would like to welcome with me. He was the 
first American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, shot down in August of 
1964 and remained there until 1973, the longest-held American pilot in 
North Vietnam. Whenever I began to feel sorry for myself, which I did very 
often, I was thinking of my dear friend Everett Alvarez. Everett, I want to 
thank you. 

It is a great privilege for me to be here on your 100th Anniversary, 
and at our final convention of this century. 

As the days remaining in the 20th Century, the American century, 
dwindle down to a few, we look with pride upon our country's role in world 
history. We are justifiably proud, but we are also humble. Humble in the 
knowledge that we possess our freedom because of the devotion of those 
Americans who sacrificed greatly to secure the blessings of liberty to 
ourselves and our posterity. Those brave Americans to whom duty, honor 
and love of country were more dear to them than self. 

And, we are humble as we remember our sons and daughters who 
stand in their posts today in foreign lands across the globe, the thousands 
of young men and women who stand guard for freedom. Their service and 
sacrifice is our nation's highest honor and always will be. 

The world that most of us served in was a dangerous one, but more 
stable than the world today. It was a world where we confronted a massive 
organized threat not only to our interests overseas, but to our very security 
at home. Our enemy was evil, but not irrational. And for all the suffering 
endured by captive nations, for all the fear of global nuclear war, it was a 
world made fairly predictable by a stable balance of power between two 
super powers. 

That world is gone, and please don't mistake my reminiscence as 
an indication that I miss it. If I am nostalgic for it at all, it's only an old- 
man's nostalgia for the time where his youth was misspent. For that world, 
after all, had much cruelty and terror, some of which it was my fate to 
witness personally. 



131 



I have memories of a place so far removed from the comforts of this 
blessed country that I have learned to forget some of the anguish it once 
caused me. But I have not forgotten the friends who did not return with me 
to the country we loved so dearly. 

The memory of them, of what they bore for honor and country, 
causes me to look in every prospective conflict for the shadow of Vietnam. 

I don't let that shadow hold me in fear for my duty as Cod has 
given me light to see that duty. But it no longer falls to us to bear arms in 
our country's defense. It falls to our children and their children. Should 
their duty lead them to war, I pray that the battle will be necessary and the 
field well chosen. 

But that is not their responsibility. It is the duty of the nation's 
civilian commanders, and those of us privileged to be America's political 
leaders, to ensure the service of our sons and daughters is ordered for 
causes important enough to justify the sacrifices that we ask of them. 

It is up to us to follow rules that should govern the use of force; 
rules that we have learned from bitter experience. It is up to us to make 
every possible effort to guarantee that the men and women we send into 
harm's way are amply provided for as a super power with global 
responsibilities should provide for its forces. 

I am sorry to admit that for nearly a decade now, the government 
has failed to meet its most important constitutional responsibility "to 
provide for the common defense." 

The failure is both the Administration's and Congress, Democrats 
and Republicans. It is our disgrace, and we should be decent enough to 
accept the blame for it, and not subordinate this, the gravest of our 
responsibilities, to the usual partisan gains. 

Almost 100,000 Americans are serving overseas in an 
unprecedented number of contingency, peace keeping and humanitarian 
operations. Our armed forces are deployed to more countries in greater 
numbers for these purposes than at any time in our history. 

While we debate the merits of these numerous contingencies, it is 
beyond dispute that the decade of a declining defense budget and ever 
more frequent deployments have stretched the services perilously close to 
the breaking point. 

We are, as anyone who is not in the most determined state of 
denial knows, on the razor's edge of hollowing out, having forgotten the 
most important lessons of our defense failures in the 1970s. 

As always, the approaching crisis is more evident in its effect on 
human resources. Recruiting and retention problems have grown so acute 
that they are rendering some units unfit for deployment. 

Last winter the Carrier Enterprise deployed to the Adriatic to 
support our effort in Kosovo undermanned by 800 sailors. The Air Force is 
losing pilots to the airlines faster than we can train them. Five of the Army's 
ten divisions have far too few majors, captains, senior enlisted personnel, 
tankers and gunners to operate anywhere near their peak efficiency. 



132 



Many of us who have been criticized for sounding the alarm bell 
in the past now have the empty satisfaction of seeing the Clinton 
Administration admit that there is more to maintaining a strong defense 
than falsely promising to do so. 

After six years of severely underfunding the military, the President 
reversed himself and proposed increasing the defense budget. Once again, 
however, his rhetoric has far exceeded his actions. 

Please don't mistake these observations for a partisan tirade. 
Congress deserves as sharp a rebuke as the President. While many 
Republicans and Democrats in Congress recognize our problem and wish 
to devote greater resources to the military, they often cannot retain the 
oldest of all congressional afflictions, an all-consuming addiction to pork 
barrel spending. 

While Congress increased the President's budget requests, it 
diverted far too much of the additional money to garden variety pork barrel 
projects that had little, if anything, to do with readiness and the well-being 
of military personnel. And in the most galling and self-interested neglect of 
national security, Congress repeatedly refuses to close bases that everyone 
knows we no longer need and can no longer support. 

It is unconscionable that we spend money on local depots, or on 
bases scheduled to be closed, or on unneeded weapons systems when 
12,000 enlisted personnel, proud young men and women, subsist on food 
stamps. That, my friends, is a weak defense and this nation deserves better 
service from us than that. 

The President's empty promises and the irresponsible spending 
habits of Congress offer very little remedy to our readiness crisis. I have 
never believed that lack of military service disqualifies one from occupying 
positions of political leadership or as Commander-in-Chief. In America, the 
people are sovereign, and they decide who is and who is not qualified to 
lead us. But as in every walk of life, experience counts, and in an 
Administration with so few in its upper echelons who wore the nation's 
uniform, the inattention to our military and our veterans, while inexcusable 
and dangerous, is sadly not surprising. 

The American people must recognize the gravity of the problem 
before their employees in Washington will fear to do the wrong thing more 
than they currently fear to do the necessary things. I and others who share 
my concerns have failed to make our case to the people. I regret our failure 
very much, and I can only promise you that I will try harder in the future. 

We have made some significant headway this year. To address the 
personnel retention problem, the Senate passed legislation that raises the 
pay of all servicemen and women; restores military retirement benefits to 
50 percent of active duty base pay; makes retirement COLAs automatic; 
and gets enlisted families off food stamps. 

We are also making some progress this year in better funding 
modernization. But our forces are still required to rely too much on 
equipment that should have been replaced long ago. Much of that 



133 



equipment, including certain aircraft, helicopters, vehicles, and some 
weapons, are older than the people who use them. 

Many of our most critical decisions, such as the deployment of a 
national missile defense program, reassessing roles and missions, and 
improving the mobility of our forces to deploy anywhere in the world still 
suffer from inattention and a lack of dedicated resources. 

Most disturbing, we have yet to develop a national military strategy 
that realistically addresses the challenges and threats of this era consistent 
with our available resources. 

The President makes a good point about assuring that 
impoverished Russian scientists don't sell out to terrorists. That is why I have 
supported many of the existing aid packages under the Nunn/Lugar and 
Partnership for Peace initiatives through which we have spent billions. But 
in all due respect, increasing the pay of Russian scientists who may go on 
the take, must not come at the expense of increasing the pay of American 
patriots who have to go on food stamps. 

The simple truth is that true peace will be more directly related to 
the strength and preparedness of our military than our ability to buy friends 
overseas. So, any plans to further dilute the Pentagon budget by spending 
on purposes not directly related to our readiness, even under the guise of 
purchasing peace, would be a dangerous and self-defeating exercise. 

Until America's political leaders show one-tenth the courage and 
patriotism that have been the hallmark of Americans in uniform, we will 
keep squandering the priceless national asset, the greatest military in the 
history of the world. 

We should be especially careful not to use the relief we feel over 
our apparent defeat of Mr. Milosevic to indulge an impulse to pronounce 
ourselves smugly satisfied with the means we used to win that conflict. 

It would be a tragedy far outweighing the enormous good that was 
achieved by our victory if we used it as a model for meeting future military 
challenges. Nearly running out of cruise missiles should alert the 
Administration that it really has neglected our defenses. The inexcusable 
delay in getting Apache helicopters to the theater should also have raised 
an alarm, as should the fact that we went for a period of time without an 
operational carrier in the Pacific. 

Had North Korea chosen that moment to commit a truly irrational 
act or China decided to resolve by force the Taiwan question, we would 
have faced much graver consequences of that neglect. 

The failure to learn the lessons of Kosovo and repair our flagging 
readiness would be a perilous mistake, because surely even greater threats 
to peace and our national interests lurk ahead. 

The threats to peace and stability are most profound in Asia. India 
and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, almost went to war over Kashmir. 
North Korea is readying another missile test. The potentially destabilizing 
Asian economic crisis is not over yet, and the China question remains a 
potential flash point. 



134 



It surpasses outrage that while 37,000 young Americans stand their 
posts in harm's way on the Korean peninsula, and our carriers must be 
ready to rush into the Straits of Taiwan to check Chinese saber rattling, 
political donations from a subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army are 
funneled into the Clinton Administration's campaign coffers and nuclear 
secrets are hustled out the back door of our defense laboratories. That's 
wrong, my friends, and it's terribly wrong. 

An irresolute and ambiguous America, where pursuit of domestic 
political advantage supersedes security demands, and where photo ops and 
false comity and not sound security relationships are the primary object of 
foreign policy, invites instability and danger to our interests and values. 

Our goal at home must be clear, political leadership that puts 
security ahead of politics; leadership that has vision about the nation's 
standing in the world, not one's political standing in the polls. And 
leadership that understands the nature of our interests in Asia and how to 
protect those interests. 

And our goal in Asia must be no less ambiguous: a stable and 
secure region in which we staunchly support its free and democratic 
nations, while we confidently support and encourage political change in 
China. That is the best guarantee that China will become a responsible 
great power. 

To the leaders of China we must say, if you desire to be a 
responsible member of the world community we will support you. But if 
you want to join the club, you must play by the rules. 

If true, reports that China has decided to use force against Taiwan 
should convince the Clinton Administration to change its failed policy of 
pressuring only Taiwan to avoid open hostilities. If the United States is to 
abide by the one China policy, and I have no quarrel with that, then we 
must be no less committed to the other basic principle of our relations with 
China and Taiwan, that the reunification of China must only occur 
peacefully, in other words, voluntarily. 

Strategic ambiguity will not serve the United States interests or 
values in this crisis. We must be very clear with the Chinese. The United 
States will do what it must to help defend stability and freedom in Asia. We 
need not communicate with them through the New York Times or the 
Washington Post. But we do need to communicate forthrightly. China must 
be made to understand that the use of force would be a very serious mistake 
in judgment, a serious mistake with grave consequences. 

Throughout American history, patriots like you have answered the 
call to defend the rights we cherish as God given. And as you honored our 
nation's commitments, a grateful nation should honor its commitment to 
you and to all veterans. 

Many of the extraordinary contributions that you and other 
veterans have made to our great country have been memorialized in bronze 
and marble. But more personally, America, our government and our 
people, should show the same concern about your well-being as you have 



135 



showed for our country. 

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the health-care 
delivery system in our country, about pending legislation that is being 
called the "patients' bill of rights." It is a vital issue of enormous 
importance to our country. 

But what about a "veterans' bill of rights?" You know, and I know, 
that many of the promises of benefits that were made or implied to active 
duty personnel and to us veterans have been ignored, changed or 
abandoned over the years. This primarily is true in the area of veterans' 
health-care benefits. 

With regard to health-care, the veterans' bill of rights should be 
relatively simple, honoring the promise that we made to every veteran, 
particular those with service-connected conditions and those who cannot 
afford other medical attention. You have earned the right to receive timely, 
high-quality medical care in an atmosphere of respect for the individual 
veteran. 

In 1 997, despite the increasing needs and costs of an aging veteran 
population, Congress froze the veterans' health-care budget. But we added 
further insult to that grievous injustice by cloaking our action with the kind 
of scam that is the fodder for the scornful reputation that many politicians 
too often deserve. We based future budget increases on collection of 
money owed to the VA by insurance companies, collections that are not 
being made and may never be made. 

I am ashamed that Congress finds billions of dollars for pork barrel 
spending on subsidies for reindeer ranches and power plants fueled by 
chicken waste, but finds it so difficult to fulfill our promise of access to 
quality health care to those who unselfishly answered our country's call. 
And, regrettably, the Clinton Administration and the Congress have for 
several years now underfunded veterans' health care by billions of dollars. 
This abrogation of the nation's obligation to veterans is disgraceful. 

We have let you down and we have let down the men and women 
who wear the uniform today. We must repair this disgraceful abrogation of 
our public responsibilities. And I pledge to do all I can toward that end, no 
matter what office I am privileged to hold. 

One important way we can start is to see that the Department of 
Veterans Affairs serves as the advocate for America's veterans, working 
closely with the veterans service organizations to ensure that the concerns 
of all veterans are being taken into account. And the VA and the 
Administration need to change their present course and work diligently 
with the Congress to ensure that adequate funding is obtained to meet the 
basic health care and disability needs of our veterans. 

This, my friends, is your health-care system, and changes to it 
should be made with the advice and consent not only of the elected leaders 
in Congress but more importantly with the veteran who has earned that 
consideration. 

I want to close, if I may, by relating to you a brief story. Again, you 



136 



know we will take up legislation to prevent the desecration of the American 
flag. I know that many of you here feel very strongly about it. I know why 
you feel very strongly about it, not because of your own service and 
sacrifice, but because you feel that one killing all over the world rests upon 
you, the remains of Americans who fought under that symbol. The 
desecration of it is an unconscionable act and one that I think should never 
ever happen again 

I would like to relate to you a very brief story concerning why I feel 
so strongly about this issue. As you know, Everett Alvarez and Bud Day and 
I were prisoners in Vietnam and we were kept in a condition of solitary 
confinement with two or three to a cell. 

Finally, thanks to the efforts of the millions of veterans all over 
America, millions of Americans wrote letters and others demonstrated on 
our behalf, the Vietnamese changed our conditions from putting us in a 
room with 20 to 25, into a cell with three. That was a wonderful change. 

A young man who moved into the cell with me and Bud Day was 
another man by the name of Mike Christian. He was born in a small town 
near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was in his 
teens. He came from a very poor family. He was 1 7 when he enlisted in 
the United States Navy and later went to Officers Candidate School and 
then became a bombardier navigator and was captured approximately a 
year before I was in 1 966. 

Mike Christian had a great appreciation for the opportunities that 
our military provides to all our citizens. As part of the change in treatment, 
we were allowed to have some packages from home which had some small 
articles enclosed. The uniform we wore in prison was a short-sleeved blue 
shirt, trousers that looked like pajama trousers, shoes that were cut out of 
rubber tires. I recommend it very highly. One pair lasted me for five and 
one-half years. 

Mike Christian took a piece of white cloth, a piece of red cloth and 
fashioned himself a flag with a needle and over a period of two months 
sewed on the inside of his blue shirt the American flag. Each evening in 
our cell, he would take the shirt off with the flag and say his Pledge of 
Allegiance. 

I would admit there are times in our daily lives when saying the 
Pledge of Allegiance is not the most important or meaningful part of our 
day. In that prison cell, some that had been there for as long as seven years, 
able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and our country was the most 
important part of our day. 

One day the Vietnamese came into our cells, searched the cell, 
found Mike's shirt and removed it. That evening, they came back to the 
door of the cell and opened it and called for Mike Christian to come out. 
He came out and closed the cell, and outside the door they beat Mike 
badly for a couple of hours, in which they opened the cell and threw him 
back into our room. You can imagine he was not in a very good shape. We 
slept in a cell that had a concrete slab in the middle and each corner of the 



137 



room was a naked dim light bulb burning 24 hours a day. 

We cleaned up Mike as well as we could. We even offered to lay 
him down on the concrete slab. I happened to look over in the corner 
underneath that dim light bulb was a piece of white cloth and a piece of 
red cloth and another shirt and his needle. His eyes almost shut from the 
beating he had just received, my dear friend Mike Christian was making 
another American flag. 

He was doing that not because it made Mike Christian feel better, 
he did that because he knew how important it was for us to be able to say 
the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and our country. I hope we will 
remember and remind all Americans that flag is a symbol of the service and 
sacrifice of thousands and millions like Mike Christians for many, many 
years and many conflicts. 

You might symbolize to me the service of sacrifice on all of these 
brave young men who served. That is why I am so honored to be with you 
today. Thank you very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, Senator McCain, 
for the wonderful remarks. Your life and the lives of your comrades in 
prison shows us how much work we have to do as veterans. I would like 
to present to you our VFW 100th Anniversary Book and thank you very 
much for being here with us at this convention. He is joined by Fred 
Thompson from Tennessee as he leaves the hall. 

INTRODUCTION OF MR. JIM NICHOLSON, 
CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The presidential election 
year 2000 is fast approaching. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, bipartisan in 
its approach and in a continuing effort to better understand the veterans' 
agenda of both the Republican and Democratic parties, extended 
invitations to the leadership of the Republican and Democratic National 
Committees. 

While Mr. Joseph Andrew of the Democratic National Committee 
was unable to accept our invitation, we hope that the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars will have the opportunity at another venue prior to the presidential 
elections to hear the Democratic platform relative to the well-being and 
health care of our nation's veterans. 

We are pleased to have with us today the Chairman of the 
Republican National Committee, Jim Nicholson. 

Mr. Nicholson was re-elected to a second two-year term as 
Republican National Committee Chairman in January, 1999. An Army 
Vietnam veteran and VFW member, Jim attributes his military experience as 
directing the course of his adult life. He says, "The lessons of that 
experience, be it in battle, business or politics, is to have solid plans to 
achieve objectives, the right leadership to execute those plans, and the 
courage to hang in there when the going gets tough." 



138 



Please give a warm VFW welcome to the Chairman of the 
Republican National Committee, Jim Nicholson. 

REMARKS BY MR. JIM NICHOLSON, 
CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE 

MR. JIM NICHOLSON: Well, thank you, Commander-in-Chief 
Tom Pouliot, and congratulations to our incoming Commander-in-Chief 
John Smart of New Hampshire as well. I am delighted to be here. I am 
delighted to be here as a veteran, as the Chairman of the Republican Party 
and as an American. I am also delighted to follow my good friend and a 
great American, John McCain. Thank you for this privilege to address you 
on this 100th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the last 
gathering of our organization in this century. 

Just as our great-grandfathers did 100 years ago, those of us who 
wore the uniform in defense of our flag today stand shoulder-to-shoulder in 
support of our comrades-in-arms, the wounded, the sick, the aged. We do 
so in the knowledge, as the VFW motto tells us, that to help the living is the 
most fitting memorial to honor the dead. 

And just as we once marched together into harm's way on the 
shores of strange and foreign lands, so, too, we march together again today, 
united in our singular commitment to keep America strong and thereby 
free. None hate wars more than those of us who fought them. None 
appreciate the need for America to maintain its military strength more than 
veterans do. Veterans need not be Republicans nor Democrats. When we 
join together here as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, just like when we joined 
together as brothers and sisters in arms, we are Americans first and 
foremost. 

And so today, I address you not just as one who is privileged to 
head one of our two great political parties in our democracy, but rather I 
speak to you as a fellow veteran of the Vietnam conflict, an officer who 
proudly graduated from West Point, and a fellow member of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars. 

I speak to you also as the father of children I cherish, children I 
want to keep safe and free. In fact, one of my children enlisted in the Army 
while he was still in high school. While he was a student at the University 
of Colorado, he was called up in the Gulf War conflict. 

In 1980, right after he was elected, long before inaugural day, 
President-elect Ronald Reagan called for Cap Weinberger and gave him a 
simple set of orders. "Prepare for the last great battle of the cold war," he 
said. "Reclaim America's position of leadership among our friends and 
allies, and more importantly, respect among our adversaries." 

The Soviets had engaged in a massive military build up and 
America's defenses were at bay. They had been allowed to deteriorate, 
victims of misplaced trust and naive thinking. Our naval assets were unfit 
to go to sea. Munitions were inadequate. Enlistments were down, morale 



139 



was low. At home and abroad, like a mist, there grew an unease that 
America had lost its way, that the United States had somehow abandoned 
its will to lead. 

There were those who called him a cowboy. There were those who 
wanted to reverse his course. But Ronald Reagan never wavered in his 
determination to restore this nation's military strength. And restore it, he 
did. 

Over the eight years of his presidency, Ronald Reagan so 
strengthened this nation's defense that within a year of his leaving office, 
just 29 months after his challenge to "tear down that wall," they did so, as 
we watched the evil empire brought to its knees. 

President Reagan proudly addressed this VFW convention on two 
different times. He so loved us, so respected what we did for this country, 
that he elevated the VA to cabinet level status. 

Today, he lives out his remaining years in California, the warrior at 
rest, the victim of a horrible and debilitating disease. He has our prayers 
and our thanks. Now, we stand in his place. Incredibly, we find ourselves 
in a situation similar to the one Ronald Reagan encountered two decades 
ago. Our military, smaller than it was on the morning Adolph Hitler 
invaded Poland. Forty percent smaller than it was on the morning President 
Bush left office. Eight fewer combat divisions, twenty fewer air wings. One 
hundred twenty fewer surface combat ships and attack submarines. A 
million fewer soldiers, sailors and airmen on active duty and in reserve. 

It breaks my heart seeing our own servicemen giving out food to 
refugees in all parts of the globe, knowing that 13,000 of our own 
servicemen and women are themselves on food stamps. And it breaks my 
heart knowing that two-thirds of them live in housing that the Pentagon says 
is inadequate. And it breaks my heart to see us talk about pouring billions 
of dollars into rebuilding the Balkans when we still have veterans with 
unmet medical needs. More than anyone else in our society, we veterans 
know that prosperity at home, as wonderful as it is, can never make up for 
strength and purpose abroad. 

We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to the memories of those 
who fought beside us and fell, and to the world, to lead the fight to make 
America strong again. We must restore America's defenses, rebuild our 
aging equipment, replace our depleted munitions, and restore pride and 
morale among our troops. And, most of all, we must build a workable 
system of missile defenses. 

The present administration willingly transferred classified missile- 
launching technology to Communist China, and through negligence let 
them steal the secrets needed to load the missiles with nuclear bombs. 
China can now hit any city in the USA. Yet this administration inexplicably 
refuses to protect us with a missile defense system. The law calls for 
building such a system, but it is not being built. The President has said he 
won't spend a red cent on it. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said 
recently that it is "immoral" for a President not to protect his people. 



140 



This is still a dangerous world. We have a hollow military with no 
missile defense. There is no excuse for this. Ronald Reagan said we can 
only achieve and maintain peace through strength. History teaches that the 
best way to prevent war is to be well prepared to fight one. 

I care so deeply about this nation's readiness that I have devoted 
an entire issue of our magazine "Rising Tide" to the subject. I hope you will 
help me. And while we are at it, let's work together to protect our flag from 
desecration, too. 

But beyond preparing for our defense, we must never forget those 
who fought in yesterday's wars. That's why I am so pleased that the House 
of Representatives is about to add $1 .7 billion to the President's request for 
veterans' health-care needs. The added money will help the VA to keep 
pace, as it strives to improve delivery of quality, state-of-the-art care to 
veterans at 1 73 VA hospitals and hundreds of VA clinics and nursing homes. 

In addition, this additional money will be a God send in our efforts 
to provide emergency care for uninsured veterans, and to expand coverage 
for tests for Hepatitis-B. 

Most important, on a system-wide basis at least, these added funds 
will ensure that no VA health worker will face a layoff on the basis of 
budgetary needs alone. 

But our work for yesterday's soldiers only begins there. Earlier this 
summer, the House passed the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act to 
provide much-needed cost-of-living adjustment for pensions and those 
receiving disability compensation. 

Under our "Veterans Small Business Development Act," we will 
create a new "National Veterans Business Development Center" to promote 
public and private sector assistance to veterans through small business 
networks. We will provide special relief to those veterans who are the most 
seriously disabled who receive military retirement income as well as VA 
disability payments. That is not enough. We need to do more. But that is 
a down payment on an immeasurable debt. 

It is the 1 00th birthday of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It has been 
1 01 years since the motto "Duty, Honor, Country" was adopted by my alma 
mater, West Point. 

Thirty-seven years ago, General Douglas MacArthur returned to 
West Point, a soldier from one era speaking to those of a new era. He 
spoke that day about those words, "Duty, Honor, Country." 

And on that spring day in 1 962, he spoke of the soldiers those men 
would lead, whether they would be reliable, whether they would be brave, 
whether they would be capable of victory. He spoke of the American man- 
at-arms, one of the world's most noblest figures, who needs no eulogy 
because he has written his own history in red on the enemy's breast. 

That American man-at-arms, the one Douglas MacArthur spoke 
about, is here in this room, still committed to those wonderful words: 
"Duty, Honor, Country." Still determined that America be strong and 
caring, 100 years after this organization was formed, to help living men and 



141 



women honor those on whose shoulders we all stand. 

It is a real honor for me to be here in your presence, just as it was 
a generation ago in the jungles of Vietnam. Thank you for having me here 
and Cod bless you and God bless America. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Jim, I would like to present 
you with our VFW 100th Anniversary Book and we thank you for coming 
here today and informing us on veterans' issues. We need to be informed, 
the election is coming soon and we thank you for helping make our 
decision. 

Comrades, at the beginning of the year John Smart, John Cwizdak 
and myself talked together about politics and about the election coming up 
next year and how the VFW members need to be informed on who is with 
us and who is against us. So we are determined to bring you all the 
information you ever wanted and more on politicians and politics, so that 
you can be informed on who is going to support us and who will not. 

Then we are going to ask you to go out and be advocates for 
veterans and talk to those Congressmen and Senators, and talk to that 
administration about doing the right thing for veterans. So, hence, you 
have got all sorts of information, and even at this convention and you can 
continue to give your political information in the process that you can use 
to help our veterans back in your home states. 

PRESENTATION OF THE VFW NEWS MEDIA AWARD, GOLD MEDAL 

AND 
CITATION TO WILLIAM E. BUTTERWORTH (W.E.B. GRIFFIN) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The VFW News Media 
Award is presented for outstanding contributions to a better understanding 
of our military's way of life and its institution through creative and articulate 
writings. 

This year's recipient is W E. Butterworth, better known by his pen 
name, W.E.B. Griffin, the author of a series of novels, including 
"Brotherhood of War", "The Corps" and "Badge of Honor." He is also a 
member of Gaston-Lee VFW Post No. 5660, Alabama. 

Mr. Butterworth has published over 128 books and currently has 
more than 27 million copies of his novels in print. 

Mr. Butterworth served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1947. 
During the Korean War, he was recalled to active duty as a combat 
correspondent in Korea. On his release from active duty, he was appointed 
Chief of the Publications Division of the Army Signal Aviation Test and 
Support Activity at the Army Aviation Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama. 

I am pleased to present the 1999 VFW News Media Award to W. 
E. Butterworth, who through his honest and forthright commentary has 
contributed to a better understanding of our American military way of life 
and its institutions. 

Please join me in a warm VFW welcome to a great writer and 



142 



fellow veteran and a VFW member, W. E. Butterworth. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads as follows: 
"News Media Award, Gold Medal and Citation awarded to W.E.B. 
Griffin in sincere appreciation for his outstanding contributions promoting 
a better understanding of our U.S. military's way of life, and its institutions, 
through creative and articulate writings. His ability to capture all the drama 
and challenge of life in uniform and skillfully weave it into a spell-binding 
story filled with historical accuracy, has earned him the title 'Poet Laureate 
of the American Military.' 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 1 8th 
day August, 1999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 
This has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, and John 
J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

REMARKS BY WILLIAM BUTTERWORTH 

MR. WILLIAM BUTTERWORTH: Thank you, Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot. I am a writer and not a speaker, so you will have to bear with me. 
It should go without saying that I am humbled to be here and I am not at 
all sure that I deserve this honor. I was a sergeant, always a sergeant, and 
I have never forgotten that second rule of being a sergeant. The first, of 
course, is never volunteer for anything, and the second rule is if an officer 
gives you something you don't think you should have, take it and run and 
worry about him wanting to take it back later. So I am going to do this and 
run, and fight like hell from giving it back when they realize they gave it to 
the wrong man. 

I was in Argentina doing research when I learned of this honor. I 
think that being in a foreign country helps when you are thinking of the 
United States. When we are here, we don't really pay much attention to all 
the things that being an American means. Because I was in a Spanish- 
speaking country, I think that helped me to understand the guys who 
formed our organization. 

The foreign war they were talking about being veterans of in 1 899 
was the Spanish-American War. When that war started, Spain was a major 
world power and the United States was not. Then in Cuba, the Buffalo 
soldiers and Ninth Calvary, the regulars, the first United States volunteer 
calvary under a lieutenant named Teddy Roosevelt, charged up San Juan 
Hill. 

Across the world in Manila Bay, Admiral Dewey said, "You may 
fire when ready, Gridley," and the U.S. Navy sank the entire Spanish Pacific 
fleet in little over an hour and lost only one U.S. sailor, and he fell 
overboard. 

When the war was over, the United States was a world power and 
Spain was not. Maybe because I was in Argentina, or maybe because I am 
an old man, I thought I was beginning to understand what motivated the 



143 



veterans of that foreign war to form our organization 100 years ago. 

I was trying to put it in words, and then I realized that somebody 
had already done them. I took my membership card for the Special 
Operation Association from my wallet. On the reverse it reads, "You have 
never lived until you have almost died. Life has a special meaning that the 
protected will never know." 

I think our founders understood that when they started the VFW. 
They knew with all due modesty that they had done something special, 
something that would forever set them apart from other men who didn't put 
on a uniform and go off to a war. They wanted to preserve that special 
camaraderie of warriors and they wanted to do what they could for families 
of their fallen comrades, and they wanted to continue to be of service to 
the country for which they had fought. 

I don't think any of them thought, how could they have imagined 
Chateau de Tourreau or Bataan or Heartbreak Ridge. A century later we 
would be convened here to mark a century of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
a century later that the VFW would be more than two million strong. With 
all that in my mind, can you imagine how humble and proud I am honored 
to be by the VFW in this way. Thank you very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, there is a $5,000 
honorarium that goes with this Gold Medal, and Mr. Griffin has requested 
that half of that money be donated to his Special Operations Association 
and the other go to his Gaston-Lee VFW Post 5660. 

PRESENTATION OF THE VFW HALL OF FAME AWARD, 
GOLD MEDAL AND CITATION TO MR. DERRICK THOMAS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Derrick Thomas is the son of 
an Air Force pilot who was killed while flying a B-52 bomber in the Vietnam 
War. Captain Thomas would be very proud of his son's accomplishments. 

A professional football player of extraordinary talent, Derrick has 
excelled off the playing field as well. Through his Third and Long 
Foundation, he has established an organization dedicated to fighting 
illiteracy in America. For children ages nine through thirteen, he has the 
Reading Club, and Derrick is one of its readers. 

He also funds a program that hires teenagers to read to younger 
children at child-care centers in the Kansas City area. And his Third and 
Long Foundation also supports the Parent/Teacher Child Mentor Program to 
bring literacy and parenting skills to entire families. 

No one asked him to do this, he volunteered, and that makes him 
one of us. Here is a man who has sacked John Elway, yet comes off the 
field and sits down with a child to open a door to the future. Indeed, 
Derrick Thomas is a man of many talents. On the one hand, chosen by 
Coach John Madden for his highly acclaimed "All-Madden" team and on 
the other hand selected by the Boy Scouts of America as a role model. 

From the football field at the University of Alabama to the Kansas 



144 



City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium, Derrick has made football history. His list 
of achievements and honors on the gridiron are the envy of all who have 
played the game and the goal of those just starting out. 

A most valuable player on the field and a most valuable citizen in 
everything else he does, Derrick Thomas gives real meaning to the word 
"volunteer." 

Please give a warm VFW welcome to Derrick Thomas of the Kansas 
City Chief, who is here to receive our VFW Hall of Fame Award for his 
support of our Operation Uplink program. Please welcome Derrick 
Thomas. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads: "Hall of Fame 
Award, Cold Medal and Citation presented to Derrick Thomas in special 
recognition of his sincere commitment to the support of veterans and active 
duty military personnel through his participation in 'Operation Uplink' and 
for the various community service work, in particular his Third and Long 
Foundation, which inspires children to dream of success and gives them a 
chance in life by making them use their minds and exercise their 
imaginations. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 1 8th 
day of August, 1999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 
This has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot and John 
J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

REMARKS BY MR. DERRICK THOMAS 

MR. DERRICK THOMAS: Thank you very much. First of all, I 
would like to thank God for without him none of this would have been 
possible on the field or off the field. I have pondered for months what I 
would say at this particular time. On the flight coming back from training 
camp last night, I thought about, in fact, that I would never forget this day 
because I was to receive an award that millions and millions of individuals, 
men and women, have given a sacrifice to make this country what it is 
today. On the 100th Anniversary, me, a kid from Florida, I never thought I 
would have the opportunity to receive such an award. 

I thank, first of all, Coach Cunningham and Carl Peterson and the 
Chiefs family for allowing me to get out of practice today and come back 
here to accept this award. I thank the VFW for scheduling it on a day that 
we had a pad practice this morning and I really didn't want to do it. 

Then I would like to thank the game of football, because the game 
of football has allowed me to be closer to the VFW and do some things that 
I would never have had the opportunity to do, which I went to Germany in 
my second year in the season in the NFL, and I had the opportunity to go 
to the only free village in Germany, and it was because of the United States 
that village has actually remained free. 

I have had the opportunity to go to Japan on several occasions and 



145 



visit, and I have had an opportunity to play golf when I was supposed to be 
working over there. So football in and of itself has allowed me to do some 
wonderful things and meet some wonderful people along the way. 

Today to receive this award, I think that in a sense I am really not 
deserving of this award because there are many people that have made the 
sacrifice and given their lives. I can think of the Vietnam Memorial and 
speaking on Memorial Day, and looking back at those 58,000 names, my 
father being one of them, that gave the ultimate sacrifice who were really, 
really heroes in my eyes, as far as the things that they did for this country 
to get it to where it is. 

Then I think about my program, my foundation and the things I 
have been able to do and accomplish. We have won many distinguished 
awards. I would like to thank all the people involved with that, and this 
award also belongs to you. They made the sacrifice to do things necessary 
for me to be successful with my program. 

I would like to say again thank you to each and every one of you 
for allowing me to participate in this convention today and selecting me to 
be the recipient of this award, because it means a great deal to me. I don't 
know how I would feel if I ever made it to the Football Hall of Fame, but I 
would have to say that until that day or the day that I get a chance to hold 
up the Super Bowl Trophy, this is probably the most memorable occasion 
that I have ever had. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much, 
Derrick. I would like to present you with the 1 00th VFW Anniversary Book. 
In addition to that goes an honorarium for $5,000, and Derrick asked it be 
made out to his Third and Long Foundation. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON VETERANS SERVICE 
RESOLUTIONS (Cont'd.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we will take up 
again the Report of the Committee on Veterans Service Resolutions. The 
Chairman is Paul Spera. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SPERA: Comrade Commander-in- 
Chief, at this time I would like to call to the microphone the Vice-Chairman 
of the Committee, Past Commander-in-Chief R. D. "Bulldog" Smith from 
Georgia to deal with the Resolutions that are approved, as amended. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF R. D. SMITH: Commander-in- 
Chief, National Officers, Chairman Spera and Delegates to the 100th 
Anniversary Convention: 

I will now proceed to present to you the amendments that the 
Veterans Service Committee approved, slightly as amended, and when I say 
"slightly as amended", only one word in many, many instances was 
changed. 

So beginning with Resolution 605, Concurrent Receipt of 
Retirement Pay and Veterans Disability Compensation. Resolution 608, 



146 



Veterans Program to Remain a National Mandate. 

Resolution 61 was amended, Third-Party Reimbursement Without 



Resolution No. 61 1 was amended, Entitlement to Nursing Home 



Offset. 

Care. 

Resolution 613 was amended, Presumption of Service Connection 
for Radiation Related Disabilities. 

Resolution 614 was amended, Support an Effective Veterans 
Employment and Training Service. 

Resolution 615, Commission on Service Members and Veterans' 
Transition Assistance was also amended. 

Resolution No. 617, Funding Fee for VA Home Loans, was 
amended. 

Resolution 619, Support Priority of Service for Veterans to all 
Federally-Funded Job Training Programs, was amended. 

Resolution 620, VA Proposes Permanent Extension of Certain 
OBRA Provisions, was amended. 

Resolution 621, Cost-of- Living Increase for VA Beneficiaries and 
Military Retirees, was amended. 

Resolution No. 625, Support for Gulf War Veterans, was amended. 

Resolution No. 629, Specially Adapted Housing Allowance, was 
amended. 

Resolution 633, Research on the Health Effects of Depleted 
Uranium and Implementation of an Education and Safety Training Program 
for All Ground Troops, was amended. 

Resolution 636 was amended, Amend Internal Revenue Code for 
State Financial Veterans Home Mortgages. 

Resolution 639 was amended, VA Demonstration project for 
Alzheimer's Facility. 

Resolution 640 was amended, VA to Pay Their Fair Share for 
Veterans Residing in State Veterans Homes. 

Resolution 641 was amended, Restore Grant in Aid Hospital 
Program to the Filipino World War II Veterans in the Philippines. 

Resolution 642 was amended, Service Connection for Chronic 
Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetes as a Result of Exposure to Agent 
Orange. 

Resolution 645 was amended, Benefits for Filipino Veterans and 
Scouts who Served with the U.S. Armed Forces During World War II. 

Also amended was Resolution 651, Post Exchange and 
Commissary Privileges for U.S. Military Retirees Residing or Traveling 
Overseas. 

Resolution 652, Veterans Employment Preference with the U.S. 
Government Overseas, was amended. 

Resolution 653, Establish a VA Assistance Office in the Federal 
Republic of Germany, was amended. 

Resolution 660, Mill Springs National Cemetery, was amended. 



147 



Resolution 663, Repeal the Reduction of Compensation and 
Pension for Incompetent Veterans Under Title 38, U.S.C, 5503 (b)(1)(A), 
was amended. 

Also amended was Resolution 664, Increase Funding for Burials at 
State Cemeteries. 

Resolution 667 was amended, Veteran's Preference. 

Resolution 672 was amended, Workforce Investment Act. 

No. 675, Provide for the Maintenance and Upkeep of the 
Cemetery at the Former Clark Air Base in the Republic of the Philippines, 
was also amended. 

Resolution 679, Support S.381/H.R. 631, Benefits for Filipino 
American Veterans of World War II. 

Also Resolution 681, Support H.R. 113, to Remove Certain 
Restrictions on Participation in the Demonstration Project for Medicare- 
Eligible DoD Beneficiaries Under the Federal Employees Health Benefits 
Program. 

Also amended was Resolution 685, Support H.R. 500, "The 
Military Pay and Retirement Reform Act of 1999." 

Commander-in-Chief, I move that these Resolutions be adopted as 
amended. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion. Is there 
a second? 

COMRADE JOHN FERGUS (Department of Tennessee): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief John Fergus, Department of Tennessee, seconds the 
motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we have a 
motion and a second for approval. Would anyone ask that any of these be 
set aside? Seeing no one at the microphones, the motion is to approve. All 
those in favor will say "aye"; all opposed. The motion carries. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SPERA: Comrade Commander-in- 
Chief, I will now read the Resolutions that the committee recommends for 
rejection. 

Resolution No. 627, Gulf War Undiagnosed Illnesses, rejected in 
favor of Resolution 625. 

Resolution No. 628, Retain Employment Assistance for Veterans 
and Disabled Veterans, rejected in favor of Resolution No. 608. 

Resolution No. 638, Department of Veterans Affairs Strategic Plan, 
rejected since the Resolution has been accomplished. 

Resolution No. 644, Provide for the Maintenance and Upkeep of 
the Cemetery at Former Clark Air Base in the Republic of the Philippines, 
rejected in favor of Resolution 675. 

No. 646, the Future of Pershing Hall, rejected because the 
Resolution has been accomplished. 

No. 648, Civil Service Employment Practices Standardization, 
rejected because it could do more harm to veterans. 

No. 649, Postal Privileges for Retirees, rejected because it creates 



148 



an inequitable benefit. 

No. 655, Mandatory VA Health-Care Including VA Clinic 
Pharmacies for Military Retirees and Their Dependents, rejected because it 
mandates non-veteran care in a VA system. 

Resolution No. 656, "Notch Babies", rejected because it is not a 
veterans' issue. 

No. 657, Long-Term Care for Veterans at Illinois Nursing Care 
Facilities, rejected because it is a state issue, which has also been resolved. 

No. 658, "Equalize Social Security Benefits - Fix the Notch", 
rejected as not a veterans' issue. 

No. 659, Adequate Funding by VA Medical Centers for All U.S. 
Veterans, rejected in favor of Resolution No. 603. 

No. 661, Equitable Retirement System for All Veterans Employed 
by Federal Government Agencies, rejected because it is not a federal 
agency. The Tennessee Valley has veterans preference. 

Resolution No. 662, Disability Pay to Retired Military Personnel, 
rejected in favor of Resolution No. 605. 

No. 665, Grand Island Veterans Home Construction, rejected in 
favor of Resolution No. 640. 

No. 666, Scottsbluff Veterans Home Construction, rejected in favor 
of Resolution No. 640. 

Resolution 668, Togo West, Jr., Secretary of VA, Must Go Now, 
rejected in favor of Resolution 643. 

Resolution 669, that the U.S. Government's $10,000.00 Term Life 
Insurance Policy be Adjusted as Follows, rejected because the Term Life 
Insurance has no tax value. 

No. 670, Veterans Preference, Veterans Priority of Service and 
Other Special Considerations in Employment and Training Programs, 
rejected in favor of Resolution No. 667 and Resolution No. 672. 

Resolution No. 671, H.R. 606, was rejected in favor of Resolution 
No. 614 and Resolution No. 618. 

Resolution No. 673, Employee Protection Against Discharge for 
Seeking Treatment from the VA, rejected because occasional absences are 
normally acceptable. 

Resolution No. 674, Clark Air Force Base, rejected in favor of 
Resolution 675. 

Resolution No. 677, Increase the Budget of the Veterans 
Employment and Training Service, rejected in favor of Resolution No. 614 
and Resolution No. 61 8. 

Resolution No. 678, To Support Cooperation Between the U.S. 
Department of Labor and the Virginia Employment Commission, rejected in 
favor of Resolution No. 672. 

Resolution 680, Support H.R. 1182, The "Servicemembers 
Educational Opportunity Act of 1 999," was rejected in favor of Resolution 
No. 702. 

Resolution No. 682, Support H.R. 1215, "Veterans American 



149 



Dream Home Ownership Assistance Act of 1 999," was rejected in favor of 
Resolution No. 636. 

Resolution 683, Support H.R. 648, "Military Retired Pay 
Restoration Act of 1999," was rejected in favor of Resolution No. 685. 

Resolution No. 684, Support H.R. 303, Permit Retired Members of 
the Armed Forces to Receive Compensation from the VA Concurrently with 
Retired Pay Without Reduction from Either, was rejected in favor of 
Resolution No. 605. 

Resolution 686, Enact Legislation Allowing Veterans with 50 
percent or Greater Disability the Right to the Same Privileges Allowed to 
Veterans with 100 percent Disability, was rejected because of full rate and 
was not feasible to amend. 

Resolution No. 687, Support S.350, "Military Health Care 
Improvement Act of 1999," rejected as actually written and was not to be 
amended. 

Resolution 688, Support H.R. 1 35, "Veterans' Access to Emergency 
Care Act of 1 999," was rejected in favor of Resolution No. 632. 

Resolution 690, Support H.R. 1594, Filipino Veterans' Benefits 
Improvement Act of 1999, was rejected in favor of Resolution No. 645. 

Resolution 691, Use Tobacco Settlement Funds for Veterans Health 
Care Needs, was rejected as a state's rights issue. 

Resolution 692, Analysis of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) by the 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), rejected 
because it limits. 

Resolution 693, Designate Certain Military Bases as National 
Cemeteries for Aerial Burials, was rejected because the Resolution has been 
accomplished. 

Resolution 695, Request the California Department of Veterans 
Affairs to Comply with the Military and Veterans Code to Protect Veterans, 
was rejected as a state's rights issue. 

Resolution 696, Field Service Officers Part-Time Paid Employees, 
rejected. The Department has already accomplished the Resolution. 

Resolution 704, Requesting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
to Establish a Program for Veterans who have Biological, Chemical 
Neurological, Radiological, Stress Producing Conditions While in the 
Military Service, was rejected in favor of Resolution No. 625. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, that concludes the listing of the 
Resolutions recommended for rejection. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any that you would 
like to have set aside? 

I recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE ALLEN MILLIUS (Post 1599 - Pennsylvania): I move 
that Resolution 658 be set aside for adoption. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The comrade has asked that 
Resolution 658 be set aside. At this time we have a motion to adopt 
Resolution 658. Is there a second? Hearing no second, the motion dies. 



150 



Thank you, comrades. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE MICHAEL DePAULO (Post 5988 - Maine): I move that 
we set aside Resolution 668. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Mike, this is the proper time 
to make a motion to adopt. Will you make a motion to adopt? 

COMRADE MICHAEL DePAULO (Post 5988 - Maine): Oh, yes. I 
am sorry, Comrade Commander-in-Chief. I move we adopt Resolution No. 
668. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion to adopt 
Resolution 668. Is there a second? 

COMRADE JIM LONGONDY (Post 1386 - New York): I second 
that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We have a motion and a 
second. 

The chair recognizes for the purpose of discussion Microphone 
No. 1. 

COMRADE JIM LONGONDY (Post 1386 - New York): Comrades, 
as the maker of this Resolution, the intent was to bring this to the attention 
of the National Organization. We just went through a period of time 
through Derwinski when he was the VA Acting Secretary. We had a 
movement to force the man out of office, and now we are back to the same 
position where we have an unqualified man running this Department. 

I have belonged to this organization for 32 years and I hope that I 
know well enough to see the leadership of this organization to have the 
guts that the World War II veterans had, and enact this Resolution and to 
let Washington know that the politicians are stripping away our benefits. 
That is all I have to say. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The chair recognizes 
Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE MICHAEL DePAULO (Post 5988 - Maine): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I have a wealth of experience with the VA. I have had 
the pleasure of working with former Secretary Jesse Brown. I have been 
totally ignored as all of us that are VSO, VAVS reps, deputies from Togo 
West. 

There are a few things that I think that the body needs to 
understand. Dr. Kenneth Kizer is now gone, I believe, as the Under 
Secretary of Health. We had a lengthy conversation before he left, and this 
is what he told me. He told me that I could use it here. 

He said Secretary West informed me that he would not 
accompany, him to the White House to explain in real medical terms, the 
$1.7 billion needed to just keep things afloat and the $3.2 billion needed 
to make it right. 

Secondly, Dr. Kizer explained that the Office of the Management 
and Budget has been trying to discredit me and get rid of me for at least five 
years, and I will be gone and they have finally succeeded. He said, "I leave 



151 



with a heavy heart and with a great sense of whether or not the VA health- 
care system will survive." 

Dr. Kizer's letter was at our Washington Conference, he was 
quoted by you, Chief, and by everyone who gave testimony the week I was 
there for the hearings. None of this ever happened with Secretary Brown. 
Dr. Kizer, the Under Secretary of Health, always accompanied the Secretary 
so he could explain the real needs of what the money was used for or 
needed for. 

The Memorial Day of 1 999, if any of you saw C-Span, you saw a 
representation of 375,000 that called for the removal of "do nothing" Togo 
West as Secretary. I want to remind the delegates here that politicians are 
quick to say we are at peace and we don't have any wars. I will tell you, 
in my opinion, the purchasers of that peace are the veterans of the United 
States, and those of our allies, and the very border that binds this republic's 
foundation is nothing less than the blood of about a million and one-half of 
us who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Never in the history of nations have so many millions and so many 
generations have owed it all, I mean absolutely all, to those men and 
women who answered the call of this republic, the citizens, soldiers and 
the professional soldiers, and we want our health-care and we want Togo 
gone. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

The chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF ROBERT WALLACE (Post 1851 - 
New Jersey): Comrade Commander-in-Chief and comrades, I stand in 
opposition to the approval of Resolution 668. Secretary Derwinski's name 
was mentioned a few minutes ago. Probably one other individual in this 
room, if he is still here, that went through the Derwinski battle closer than 
I did, because he was the leader of the organization at that time 

I can tell you from a personal note Togo West is not an Ed 
Derwinski. Togo West's problems are different problems. A section of this 
VFW membership and the leadership, he is not an advocate for veterans. 
We agree on that. He has not stood up for us. We agree on that. My 
comrades, there are two things that are happening. 

Number one, Togo West has said publicly he will be gone by the 
end of the year. He has said that when the 2001 budget is submitted he 
will be gone. He has said that privately and in a group of five individuals. 
I had the good fortune of being one of those five individuals that heard him 
say that. He has said that on national news. What do we accomplish by 
saying that Togo must be gone now? He already has said he is going to be 
gone. 

The secondthing that was done, unprecedented in my VFW career, 
the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief and the Junior Vice Commander-in- 
Chief of this organization put forth the Resolution, and the Resolution is 
No. 643, which you adopted. 

That Resolution very clearly says hold the Administration and 



152 



Congress accountable. It says, "Be It Resolved, by the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States, that we call on this Administration and Congress 
to make veterans a priority with not only words, but with proper funding 
that will allow veterans access to quality health care in a timely manner; 
and 

"Be It Further Resolved, that the VFW Commander-in-Chief take 
whatever action and measures he may deem necessary with the 
Administration, the Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to 
insure that all VA programs for veterans and their dependents are fully 
funded and operational." 

My comrades, you have reaffirmed in this Resolution what you feel 
the Commander-in-Chief should do, and this was put forth by our incoming 
Commander-in-Chief and our incoming Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief. 
I urge you to reject Resolution 668 and let those two individuals and the 
third member of the team that will be elected on Friday do what is best for 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars and do what we elected them to do, and that 
is to represent us in the halls of the Congress and do what is right for 
veterans. I urge you to reject Resolution 668. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

I recognize Microphone No. 3. 

COMRADE RON FRY (Post 992 - Washington): I don't think that 
we can afford to take Togo West at his word for one minute, let alone to 
wait until that budget is passed. He has already demonstrated in a meeting, 
and I believe you were present or you got information on the meeting, in 
February of 1999 when Bob Stump and several Congressmen were asking 
Togo West why out of all the federal agencies that the VA had received no 
funds out of the government surpluses, but all of the other agencies had? 

Mr. West's reply, if I can remember it correctly, was that he didn't 
believe we needed the funds. Now, we are talking about the head of the 
VA system, and if this man makes a statement like that, which he did do, 
obviously, he has not been out to these hospitals and visited with these 
veterans or the medical staff that is taking care of them. 

Because by and large, the care being given to our veterans is 
disgraceful and it has been done under this man for the past three years. 
His response was that he supports the Administration's budget. He is not a 
veterans' advocate, he is not a man that cares for veterans at all. He is 
simply a man that is going to lick the boots, and if I offend anyone, I 
apologize, of his superior. So I move that we approve this Resolution. 
Thank you, Commander. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

For the purpose of summation, the chair recognizes Microphone 
No. 3. 

COMRADE MICHAEL DePAULO (Post 5988 - Maine): I think, first 
of all, I want to say to the comrade that preceded me is right on. Also, 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, as you well know from your visit to VA- 
Boston and a rather lengthy conversation with the Medical Director, 



153 



Michael Lawson, there is only one problem in the VA right now and that is 
money, and it is affecting the morale and affecting the care. 

I don't know about the rest of my comrades, I am a full-time 
volunteer. I have my own office, my own phone and my own computer. I 
will tell you, I handle anywhere from two to three calls a day. You can 
check with the folks in the Washington office on how many times I have 
had people call the 800 number right in my office. 

What adopting this Resolution does, it may not have the impact 
that something will happen today, but I guarantee you whoever comes into 
the White House or is elected as the next Commander-in-Chief is going to 
have a little ringing in his ear that says we, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the 
delegates at this convention, that we are not going to accept incompetent, 
untrained, substandard individuals to head up the Department of Veterans 
Affairs. That is just what Secretary West is here. 

Now, I didn't come prepared to give you facts and figures about 
who sat for four days because I don't know how double amputees that were 
shot from the shoulder on the 27th ward. I have got scores of reports he 
was not cleaned up, problems like that. 

We have double amputees for the United States Navy and other 
cases. I can tell you right now I have been in my job doing what I do at the 
VA Medical Center for 13 or 14 years now, and I have seen it go from not 
too good to bad, to absolutely deplorable, and it is an absolute shame, it is 
a crime and it is a sin. Thank you, Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. 

For summation, the chair recognizes Microphone No. 1 . 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF ROBERT WALLACE (Post 1851 - 
New Jersey): Comrade Commander-in-Chief and comrades, please, it is 
very clear i am not a member of Togo's fan club for President, but what I 
am is someone who would elect the leaders of this organization to do what 
is right for this organization. 

What I am is a believer on what is going to happen on Friday when 
the new century of service takes over. What I am is a believer of what each 
and every one of you have heard from the incoming Commander-in-Chief 
as he has traveled this country. 

What I am is an individual who believes that the ringing in the ears 
are not only going to be in the presidential candidates' ears but it is also 
going to be in the congressional candidates' ears around the country as a 
result of our Commander-in-Chief to be has set out as his platform and has 
set out as his agenda. 

My comrades, give the national officers you elect on Friday the 
authority to do what we want them to do and what is right for veterans. 
Reject Resolution No. 668. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, comrade. We 
will move the question. The motion is to approve Resolution 668. All those 
in favor will say "aye"; those opposed. The "ayes" have it. 

Are there any other motions to adopt? Seeing no one at the 



154 



microphones, the rest of those Resolutions are rejected. 

INTRODUCTION OF BRIGADIER GENERAL WILMA VAUGHT, 
WOMEN IN MILITARY SERVICE FOR 
AMERICA MEMORIAL FOUNDATION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, in 1986, 
Congress authorized the construction of a memorial in Washington, D.C., 
that would be a lasting tribute to the women who have served and 
sacrificed in our nation's armed forces, from the Revolutionary War to the 
present. 

The driving force behind this magnificent memorial was a woman 
with vision, determination and follow through, the qualities of a great 
leader and a beneficial instrument to our society. She is Retired Brigadier 
General Wilma L. Vaught, United States Air Force. 

The contribution of women to national security throughout our 
nation's history has and continues to be of inestimable value and deserves 
the recognition which General Vaught has strived for for so many years. 

Please join me in a very warm welcome for a fellow VFW member 
and the President of the Women's Memorial, Brigadier General Wilma 
Vaught. 

General Vaught. 

REMARKS BY BRIGADIER GENERAL WILMA VAUGHT, USAF (RET.) 

BRIGADIER GENERAL VAUGHT: Thank you very much, Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief. In 1998 we had 170,000 visitors including many 
from the VFW. When you come to this memorial, I think you will find that 
a different kind of people, a living memorial. It is a memorial where we 
remember those who have served. 

It is a memorial where we give recognition to those that served and 
that are serving today. As I think about that, I think particularly of one 
person. We have one individual I think of, Betty Jean Hansmiller, who 
served during World War II from 1942 to 1947 in the Navy Nurse Corps. 
To show you an example of what this memorial means to our women, she 
wrote in a little memoir that she put together. 

"These dramatic events of which I was a part were put away in my 
mind, forgotten and they surfaced but not discussed. It was not until the 
recognition of the Women in Military Service Memorial that I became 
aware of these memories once again. Writing about my past brings such 
memories to life. Perhaps there is healing in there for me and, indeed, I 
never recognized as I took on the pain and suffering of others. I cried my 
tears for them that were never before shed as I wrote my story. 

"In looking back, some areas of distress never to be brought to 
sever a word. Severely burned patients, there is an odor about that that 
clings to you. Overseas we didn't have equipment to air condition the 



155 



wards to free us of the odor. 

"The nurse who worked the night duty with me in the psychiatric 
ward became suicidal and a psychiatric patient herself. A patient who 
hung himself in the bathroom, I found him, and the psychiatric patients 
who were experiencing battles and scars of war. A patient who slit his wrist 
and died, I was not on duty but I cared for him during the day. It makes an 
impact. Amputees, most of the men were very grateful, a positive help to 
others." 

She went through her life carrying the burden of this grief and 
stress, and at that time we didn't think women were tough enough in 
anything like that. She never got any help. Now, relief has come to be able 
to tell the story. The memorial is also a place of meaning and ceremony. 

We have had many promotions, retirements and even memorial 
remembrances there. It is a place of education and learning, because this 
is the place where we tell the story of women who gave service to the 
nation, and that began with the American Revolution. 

We have all kinds of educational-type projects. We have speakers 
coming in, like Cokie Roberts, Tom Brokaw and others. We sell more 
books written by and about the women that served in the military than 
anyone else. I am here today to ask your help in three different ways. 

First of all, when you come to Washington, D.C., I hope you will 
come and visit this memorial so that you can see what it is like. And I 
would send an invitation to you that during your mid-year conference in 
February, as you go there to go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, that 
you stop and tell your members to visit this memorial. 

Secondly, there has been 1.8 million women that served our 
country. We have only found about 400,000, perhaps 500,000 of those 
women. So there is about a million yet, over a million yet to be found. You 
are out there in the communities of America where you can help us find 
those women and as you talk and hear of a woman that served the military, 
find out if she is registered and if she knows there is even a memorial in her 
honor. Almost daily I find people who don't know about it. 

Third, I want to speak to you about money, because I am still a 
fund-raiser. I wish we had the memorial all paid for. We don't. I would 
just like to comment as a lifetime member of the VFW that I am 
disappointed by the fact that between the American Legion, the American 
Legion Auxiliary, the VFW Auxiliary and the VFW, that yours is the only 
organization of those four which has not yet given $150,000 to have a 
niche with your name on it. The other three have already qualified now. 

You have given a total to date of $128,1 72.20. That is an increase 
since last year of $10,360. The VFW Auxiliary, in contrast, has given over 
$1 50,000. I would ask you to match what the women have done. Yes, this 
is a women's memorial, and you might say, "Well, it ought to be the women 
that support it." But the women we are honoring and recognizing are 
veterans, just the same as any other veteran. I ask you to go back to your 
Posts, your Districts, your Departments, and you think about this and you 



156 



give it your support. Thank you very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Wilma, I would like to 
present you with this commemorative 100th Anniversary Book for 
attending and addressing our convention. 

At this time the Committee on Veterans Service Resolutions has 
completed their work and I dismiss the committee. I thank them for their 
long and arduous job and a job well done. 

INSURANCE WINNERS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We will now have the 
drawing for the insurance winners. 

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL MAHER: The winners for today 
are Bernard Gauekre, Post 388, Wisconsin, for $25. 

For $50, Ronnie L. Davis, Post 1 61 8, Tennessee. 

The $100 winner is Ralph R. Schoen of Post 3580, Illinois. 

BENEDICTION 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrade Chaplain, we will 
have the Benediction. 

(Whereupon, Chaplain Father Neville gave the Benediction at this 
time.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I will now recess this 
meeting until 8:30 tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, the session was recessed at 1 1 :55 o'clock a.m.) 



157 



THIRD BUSINESS SESSION 
THURSDAY MORNING, AUGUST 19, 1999 

(The Third Business Session of the 100th National Convention of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held in the H. Roe Bartle 
Convention Center, Kansas City, Missouri, was called to order at 8:30 
o'clock a.m., with Commander-in-Chief Pouliot presiding.) 

CALL TO ORDER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Sergeant-at-Arms, we will 
have our Opening Ceremonies. 

(Whereupon, National Chaplain Thomas W. Neville gave the 
Opening Prayer, followed by the Salute to the Colors and the Pledge of 
Allegiance.) 

REPORT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, I call this Third 
Business Session of our 100th National Convention to order. 

At this time we will have the Report of the Credentials Committee. 

COMRADE RICHARD TROMBLA (Post 1174 - Kansas): 
Commander-in-Chief, I am Richard Trombla, Chairman of the Credentials 
Committee and a member of Post 1 1 74, Kansas. Comrades, this temporary 
report as of last night. The total delegate count is 13,158. We have 51 
Department Commanders and 31 Past Commanders-in-Chief. National 
Officers, 38. That is for a grand total of 14,278. 

Comrades, I wish the Department Commanders of Oregon and 
Rhode Island would please come see me because they have not registered 
yet. Please check with the Credentials Committee. 

INTRODUCTION OF HELEN PUTNAM BLACKWELL 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, much of what we 
are today is due to the foresight and determination of one man, a veteran of 
the Spanish-American War, and a man who was one of the founders of the 
VFW, James Putnam. We are most fortunate to have with us today his 
daughter, Helen Putnam Blackwell for the purposes of a presentation. 

Ms. Putnam. 

MS. HELEN PUTNAM: Good morning, comrades. Commander-in- 
Chief Tom Pouliot, National Officers and Distinguished Members of the 
VFW: 

First, I would like to congratulate each of you who have worked so 
hard to make this 100th Anniversary celebration the extraordinary success 
we have all enjoyed — a special event to remember. 

In honor of my father, James C. Putnam, founder and first 



158 



Commander-in-Chief of the VFW, our family has prepared a history of his 
life. It includes such items as newspaper articles, public records, 
correspondence and pictures that chronicle the life of a man who traveled 
the world in search of adventure. 

It clarifies and defines through press accounts and correspondence 
his role in 1 899 as founder of the fledgling organization, American Veterans 
of Foreign Service, the predecessor to the present-day VFW. It includes the 
origin of the dreams and ideas which formed the foundation for that 
organization. 

Putnam was a soldier, railroad engineer, fire fighter, veterans' 
organizer, farmer, labor organizer, steam and pipe fitter, farmers' organizer 
and a school teacher. He was active in community, church and Masonic 
activities. He was also a member of the House of Representative for Howell 
County, Missouri, for three terms. Quite an accomplishment for a man of 
his day. 

Putnam devoted 57 years working for the VFW before he passed 
away in 1 956. Though often unknown to the leadership of the VFW at the 
time, Putnam was always in the background organizing new Posts and 
helping to further the cause of the organization wherever he went, at home 
or abroad. 

His widow, Eva Putnam, worked alongside him during his lifetime 
and continued working, holding local, district and state offices until her 
death in 1 974. His son, Bill, and myself both signed up during World War 
II and are lifetime members. 

I have assisted National by providing information from my dad's 
records. I have also served in local, district and state offices, having been 
President of the Department of Arkansas during 1992-'93. My daughter, 
Vicki Blackwell Norvell, is a lifetime member of Ladies Auxiliary Post 2722 
in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Putnam family has devoted 100 years 
combined service to the VFW. 

In honor of James C. Putnam, founder and the first Commander-in- 
Chief of the VFW, I am pleased to present to Commander-in-Chief Pouliot 
this book describing the most interesting and significant event in my father's 
life. 

Vicki and I hope you will find the contents both interesting and 
informative and we wish you the best. (Applause) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, this is a very 
thick file and a book on James C. Putnam. I know that it is very informative 
and gives you a lot of information about one of our founders, that many of 
us don't know. And you will have the opportunity to read this at our 
National Headquarters so our comrades, when they come through our 
National Headquarters, they will get a chance to find out some more 
information about what our founder was like. I want to thank Helen for a 
very fine gift. Thank you very much. 



159 



INTRODUCTION OF COLONEL RUFUS L. FORREST, JR., 
COMMANDER, 190TH AIR REFUELING WING 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I would like to now 
introduce Colonel Rufus L. Forrest, Jr., Vice-Commander of the 190th 
Refueling Wing, Forbes Field, Topeka, Kansas. 

With our military forces stretched far and thin, the VFW is 
increasing its support for those who served to protect what we fought for 
and many of our friends have died for. Those who serve today hold a very 
precious heritage in their hands, a heritage of freedom and democracy. 

Now, for his presentation, Colonel Forrest. 

PRESENTATION BY COLONEL RUFUS FORREST 

COLONEL RUFUS FORREST: They told me I had three to five 
minutes and I will be brief and to the point. I stand before you in awe of 
what this organization does for America. I was able to come before you 
with a very meager gift in appreciation for not just the Kansas National 
Guard but for every man and woman who served this great nation in the 
National Guard. 

There are probably a half million people out there that recognize 
that through service that serve in the National Guard, that is service to our 
nation, to our state and to our community. It is a symbolic thing, this little 
phone card that got me to come to the VFW. But the Uplink initiative in 
Kansas, in the last six months, means a lot, because my unit has probably 
been deployed probably 1 1 days to support Operation Northern Watch. 

We caught ten days of allied force while there. We also have 
guardsmen in Kuwait, Bosnia and all the world serving this great nation. So 
when I read your Web site before I came in the last couple of weeks to 
make this simple presentation, there is a little part on the banner of the 
1 00th Anniversary that says, "We'd Do Anything For This Country." I firmly 
believe that. 

I am a Life Member of VFW Post 1 1 555, Topeka, Kansas. I am 
proud of this life membership. I will ask the Commander to step up, please. 
The inscription says, "Presented to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 
appreciation for your outstanding support from the men and women of the 
190th Refueling Wing of the Kansas National Guard. Congratulations to 
your 1 00 years of service to our country." 

I present this to our Commander and with great pride that we can 
serve this nation and these veterans before us, those of our comrades who 
have passed on. This is in humble appreciation for what you do for this 
nation and this country. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Colonel, on behalf of the 
VFW, I will be pleased to accept this, and it is presented to the VFW and 
will go in our museum also so all of our comrades can appreciate it when 
they come through our National Headquarters. 



160 



I would like to present to you one of our VFW 100th Anniversary 
Books. Thank you very much for coming by and thank you for that 
testimony on those Uplink calling cards. That is a program that we are very 
proud of and a program that in some tangible way we can express to our 
active military that we care about them, we are concerned about them and 
we think they are doing a great job. Thank you for coming by. 

COLONEL RUFUS FORREST: I will compliment the organization, 
because before I walked in the parking lot to the building I had seven 
people try to recruit me in the VFW. I appreciate it very much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: You know, this year we have 
been promoting recruiting and trying to impress on our membership how 
important it is to recruit and how proud we are with the people who are 
recruiters in our organization. It sounds like the word is out and everyone 
is trying to be the recruiter of the VFW. Thank you and keep up the good 
work. I am proud of you. 

INTRODUCTION OF COMRADE JAMES CHANCELLOR 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: At this time we would like to 
welcome James Chancellor, a Vietnam veteran and a VFW member of Post 
5365, Indiana, who is here to present a military service ring he designed 
and created, in recognition of those who have served in our armed forces, 
to Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Smart. Please give a warm 
welcome to James Chancellor. (Applause) 

PRESENTATION BY COMRADE JAMES CHANCELLOR 

COMRADE JAMES CHANCELLOR: Good morning, friends. Thank 
you very much for allowing me to speak to you today to make this very 
special presentation. Happy anniversary to all here on the 100th 
Anniversary. It takes a very special organization to reach the milestone, 
especially one that has been like the VFW. It is one who has taken on fight 
after fight or the battle for veterans' rights. 

As I stand before you today, I want to tell you I am proud to be here 
and I am very proud to be a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 
the past, I have spoken to you about different things. I have talked to you 
about our need to unite. I have spoken to our leadership about taking down 
the road blocks or stumbling blocks to welcome ail veterans into our 
organization. 

I have also talked to you about the spirit of the warrior. I believe 
that we are all the same. I believed it when I said it and I believe it as I 
stand before you now. It didn't matter if you fought, where you fought or 
what time you fought, from Flanders Field to Gettysburg, from Gettysburg 
to Korea, from Korea to Vietnam, and then to the sands of Desert Storm. We 
are all the same. We are a kindred brother. I believed that then and I 
believe it now. 



161 



I also talked to you about the torch, the passing of the torch and 
how proud I was of our leadership to get that role year after year after year. 
I have talked to you about the Bible. I would like to have you stand with 
me and fight together. It is a fight for right over wrong. 

This fight will not be fought with bullets or guns or ammunition or 
ground troops. It won't be an easy fight nor will it be a quick one. This is 
a fight I want you to stand with me and fight against violence in our schools 
and hatred amongst our children. This is a fight that we must not overlook 
and we must win. 

We need to educate our youth on the violence of war. We need to 
teach them of our concerns about war, so they will not bring their war 
experiences into their own world, and believe me it is a war. It is a war in 
our streets, it is a war in our inner cities, and it is a war all across America. 
We must and we will win this together. 

I remember growing up with my father, and he talked to me about 
his experiences. He wanted me to learn from his failures. There was no 
need for me to go through life with trials and tribulations. He told me I 
should learn from his failures. This is how we should educate our youth. 

I remember my mother hugging me as I cried through one of life's 
trials. She said she wished she could take my pain. She knew what I was 
going through. She wished that she could take it away. This again is how 
we need to educate our youth on the violence of war. 

We, as wartime veterans, have experienced the sacrifice and the 
suffering and pain of war. Our children and our families need not 
experience this. There is no need for violence in our schools, because you, 
as the wartime veteran, have the experience of life. 

There is no need for drive-by shootings. Ask any veteran who has 
been to war about the suffering of innocent families. We know this. As a 
nation, we cannot tolerate it. Wars, violence and wars need to be educated 
to our youth. We need to share it with them. I ask you to take the 
responsibility of the educator and go to them. 

Try to make them understand. Talk to them, and they love to 
understand. This is not a brand new program I bring to you. It has been 
done in the past. Someone has come before us and sacrificed so we might 
be free. The Lord Jesus Christ came many, many years ago and made those 
sacrifices so we might be free. 

I ask you to take this to our youth, demand that they listen to you. 
Educate them about the violence of war. Tell them they need not ruin their 
life by violence and hatred and emotionally cripple our communities and 
families across the United States. This has already been done. 

War knows no boundaries. It is either fight or die. In a fight, there 
are no rules. We, as wartime veterans, have taken the lives of innocent 
children. We have destroyed communities and families. We have done this 
in the defense of our freedom. 

So if we can educate our youth through our experience there will 
be no need to destroy family after family after family. They must 



162 



understand, they must learn from you. Please take it upon yourself to teach 
them, to educate them, and then perhaps if we can reach only a minor 
portion of them, they will see that it is not necessary to bring this violence 
and hatred into our world. 

I ask you to please volunteer for your communities and volunteer 
to go to our schools and educate our children. Raise your hand, accept the 
leadership role once again to fight against violence and hatred. 

Again, I want to close with congratulating you on your 100th 
Anniversary. It has taken a desire to succeed and dedication of the veterans 
to get us where we are today. It is the firm leadership of the VFW that is 
willing to make choices in this and that leadership that is going to take us 
into the next millennium. 

Thank you for your time, ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to 
honor a veteran of Vietnam, a leader in the VFW, John W. Smart. I present 
you this ring. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Jim, thank you so 
much for sharing those words with us. I can assure you, sir, that as you look 
before you, you see an organization that has donated over $243 million to 
veterans service. They are the ones that have been in the battlefield and I 
will assure you they will be in the battlefields once again. Thank you very 
much. 

(Whereupon, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Smart assumed the 
chair.) 

PRESENTATION OF VFW DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL AND 

CITATION 
TO PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOHN MOON 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: His theme was 
"Courage Under Fire," and as the VFW National Commander-in-Chief, 
1997-1998, he brought our organization through all the challenges with 
flying colors. 

John E. Moon, of Grover Hill, Ohio, joined the VFW in 1970 at 
VFW Post 5665, Sherwood, Ohio. He moved rapidly through the chairs, 
displaying unusual leadership qualities. In 1975, he joined VFW Post 2873, 
and served three terms as Post Commander, twice earning the distinction of 
All State Post Commander. He served 14 years as the Post Adjutant. 

At the Department level, John served on many committees, 
including the POW-MIA and the Ohio Caravan that visits the VFW National 
Home every year. In 1987-1988, he received All-American Department 
Commander honors, and then went on to a two-year term on the VFW 
National Council of Administration. 

During his military career, he served in Vietnam with the 2nd 
Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He came home with the Vietnam Service 
Medal with three Bronze Stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese 
Cross of Gallantry, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, and a 



163 



Combat Action Ribbon. John served and served well. 

During his year as Commander-in-Chief, he faced many 
challenges, including a underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs, a 
steadily declining American military power, and threats against America 
from hostile countries around the world. 

He met with VFW members across America and around the world, 
encouraging them to keep up our strength through active membership 
recruiting, and bolstered the spirits of active duty troops by showing them 
VFW support through active campaigning for better pay and quality of life 
issues, and the VFW Operation Uplink phone cards. 

Here to receive the VFW Distinguished Service Medal and Citation, 
Past Commander-in-Chief John E. Moon of VFW Post 2873, Grover Hill, 
Ohio. 

Please give him a warm VFW welcome. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads as follows: 

"Distinguished Service Medal and this Citation awarded to John E. 
Moon, Commander-in-Chief, 1997-98, in sincere appreciation and special 
recognition of his total dedication and commitment to the highest ideals of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and his continuing efforts 
in support of its programs and purposes. Through his exceptional leadership 
during the 1997-98 administrative year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
displayed 'Courage Under Fire' in battling for the rights of our nation's 
veterans. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 18th 
day of August, 1999." It has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot, 
Commander-in-Chief, and John J. Senk, Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOHN E. MOON 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF MOON: I would like to bring to 
the microphone my dear wife, Susie. You know, so long during the years 
that I was campaigning, I would run through the script so quickly I would 
forget to usually thank someone. Before you today, I want to thank the 
guiding light that I had in my life to give me the opportunity to serve this 
organization so long and in every different capacity, and that is my wife, 
Susie. 

There are so many people to thank for this opportunity to serve. I 
guess I start with my Post, my District, my Department, the great State of 
Ohio. They gave me the opportunity through so many challenges, over 
seven and one-half years of campaigning. 

They gave me opportunity to serve because they had so much fight 
in them to give me that extra courage and strength that I needed. I think 
that is why you gave me "Courage Under Fire" after seeing those individuals 
in the State of Ohio fighting every bit of the way helping me get elected. 

We had a lot of outside challenges that came in from the Big Ten 



164 



to try to stop the election. We stayed the course and we won. To those 
great people in the State of Ohio, I will forever be thankful for your efforts, 
your consideration, and your kindness to give me this position of great 
honor. 

I have so many other individuals to thank, but last year Joe Ridgley 
and the Quartermaster General's staff were outstanding in allowing me to 
observe. Larry Rivers and his staff gave me so much guidance and 
encouragement. All of these individuals, the Washington office, the Kansas 
City office, all of them worked hard to see that I would have the opportunity 
to have a great year. They will never know the appreciation from me that 
has been untold in my heart forever. 

Another individual I single out is Jim Nier. While he was busy 
campaigning and getting ready for his year as Commander-in-Chief, in 
traveling all over the country and world, he had time to sit down with me 
and give me some help and assistance. Even when he was the Commander- 
in-Chief, he would sit down and work with me so that the errors he made 
or the things he thought would be very beneficial to me, he would give me 
guidance and help on it. Jim, I am forever thankful for your support. 

To all of you, the effort to serve you, the "Courage Under Fire" 
team, has meant so much to me and my family, and I will treasure it forever. 
Thank you very much. 

INTRODUCTION OF COMRADE RAY SISK 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The Veterans of 
Foreign Wars is a proud co-sponsor of the National Veterans Golden Age 
Games. The success of this year's game is the result of a lot of hard work 
by hundreds of VA and VFW employees and volunteers. 

The 1 999 Golden Age Games were held in Geneva, New York, 
with 451 participants. It is my pleasure to introduce a Past Department 
Commander and former National Council of Administration member from 
the State of California, this year's VFW Chairman of the National Veterans 
Golden Age Games, Ray Sisk. 

RESPONSE - COMRADE RAY SISK 

COMRADE RAY SISK (Department of California): Thank you, 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John. Certainly, to the staff and to you, 
my comrades, it is a pleasure to have served as a representative at the 
National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Geneva, New York, and 
through the past years as the National Coordinator for these games. 

On behalf of the VFW, I accepted an award from the VA that I 
certainly at this time would like to pass on to our Senior Vice Commander- 
in-Chief. This is an award to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States for co-sponsoring the 1 3 National Veterans Golden Age Games. It is 
signed by Togo West, Jr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 



165 



Comrade Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, I would like to pass 
this on to where it belongs. Also, we were very fortunate to have gotten in 
the mail yesterday a tape, and the staff was kind enough to transfer that tape 
into beta to show a little bit about the Golden Age Games here today. 

Many of you Departments are not aware of what these games are, 
but we have been a co-sponsor in the VFW for the last six years of these 
games. They really light up the lives of many of our senior veterans that are 
in the VA and the VA Outpatient Clinics. 

Without further ado, I would like for you all to see where our 
money is spent as co-sponsor of these National Veterans Golden Age 
Games. If we could, we will now show the video now. 

(Whereupon, the video on the Golden Games was shown at this 
time.) 

COMRADE RAY SISK (Department of California): Thank you very 
much, Senior Commander-in-Chief, to allow us to show the video. Thank 
you for your participation in the games. All of you that don't have a patient 
that goes to these games, you certainly need to speak to the closest VA, the 
VA Outpatient Clinic, and be your very best to sponsor a patient for these 
games. 

We have over 1,200 volunteers from the VA and the VFW for these 
games in Geneva, New York. Next year the games will be very close to here 
in Topeka, Kansas, in the year 2000. They have a booth out there and we 
encourage you to drop by and please buy a Golden Age pin for next year. 
Thank you for allowing us the time this morning. 

PRESENTATION OF THE JAMES C. GATES DISTINGUISHED SERVICE 
AWARD TO GREGORY V. WHITE 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, Ray. 
It is now my distinct honor to present the prestigious James C. Gates 
Distinguished Service Award to Gregory V White of Copperas Cove, Texas. 

Gregory White has established a reputation for excellence, 
leadership and dedication to veterans' interests in his community. As the 
local veterans employment representative for the Copperas Cove local 
office, he was directly responsible for 19 job developments, 12 placements 
per month and 35 case management cases, all of these being twice the state 
local veterans and employment representative average. 

His diligence has created a level of superior performance providing 
services to all veterans by his entire office. Additionally, his efforts on 
behalf of disabled veterans seeking employment show a 67-percent success 
ratio. 

Comrades, I now present to you a gentleman whose efforts have 
enhanced the Veterans Employment Service in the State of Texas and has 
gone that extra mile for our nation's veterans. Please give a warm VFW 
welcome to Gregory V White. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads: "Veterans of 



166 



Foreign Wars of the United States, James C. Gates Distinguished Service 
Award presented to Gregory V. White, Local Veterans Employment 
Representative, Texas Workforce Commission, Copperas Cove, Texas, in 
recognition of extraordinary achievement and exceptional leadership in 
advancing employment opportunities for our nation's veterans and 
distinguished service in promoting the goals and objectives of the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars of the United States." This has been signed by Thomas A. 
Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE BY MR. GREGORY V WHITE 

MR. WHITE: First of all, let me congratulate the VFW and its 
membership on 100 years of continued service to veterans and families in 
accordance with the way it affects them. I feel very privileged to be here. 
I am being recognized for something that I truly love doing. 

In Texas, veterans are priority when it comes to employment 
service. We plan to keep it that way. Congratulations, and I am sure you 
will do well going into that second 100 years. Thank you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Greg, on behalf 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, an honorarium of $1,000 is given to you, 
and on behalf of our Commander-in-Chief, Tom Pouliot, I present you with 
the VFW 1 00 Years of Service book. 

PRESENTATION OF NATIONAL LARGE EMPLOYER 

OF THE YEAR AWARD 

TO ITT FEDERAL SERVICES CORPORATION 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The Veterans of 
Foreign Wars is now honored to bestow its Large Employer of the Year 
Award to ITT Federal Services Corporation, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 

ITT Federal Services Corporation employs 314 people of which 
209, or 66.5 percent are military veterans. Of the 73 disabled persons 
employed, all of them are disabled veterans. This exemplifies ITT's 
commitment to a practice which includes preference to veterans, primarily 
disabled veterans. 

ITT Federal Services Corporation has shown dedication and 
economic loyalty in supporting the local community by hiring veterans 
since ITT is the largest employer in the community. Please give him a warm 
VFW welcome. 

Accepting the award for ITT Federal Services Corporation is its 
project manager, Stering Richardson. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Resolution reads, "Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States, National Large Employer of the Year 
Award presented to ITT Federal Services Corporation, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 
in recognition and grateful appreciation for meritorious service in effecting 
a very comprehensive policy toward the recruitment, employment and 



167 



promotion of veterans." 

This has been signed by the Commander-in-Chief, Thomas A. 
Pouliot, and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - MR. STERLING RICHARDSON 

MR. RICHARDSON: We are, as was stated, a 300-person project 
in Fort Sill doing base operations as contractor for transportation, supply 
and maintenance. Now, that means because of the skills that we are 
looking for we are going to have a lot of veterans in the Department at Fort 
Sill. That is not the only reason we have a lot of veterans at that work force. 

We have a lot of veterans because military experience gives them 
the ethics to come to work every day, to work hard, to be focused, to be 
disciplined, to be honest, and in this day, it is very important, drug free. In 
other words, be the kind of employee that everyone is looking for. 

So on their behalf, I am proud to be here and receive this award. I 
am getting a $1,000 check, but I am not keeping that. I am a federal 
contractor and I couldn't get away with that. As a veteran myself, I am 
proud to be here with you, and I again am proud to receive this award on 
behalf of our employees. Thank you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Here is the 
honorarium for $1,000 and I would like to present to you on behalf of the 
Commander-in-Chief our VFW First 100 Years of Service book. 

MR. RICHARDSON: Thank you. 

PRESENTATION OF NATIONAL SMALL EMPLOYER 

OF THE YEAR AWARD 

TO RAYTHEON AEROSPACE COMPANY 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: It is now my 
honor to present the VFW National Small Employer of the Year Award to 
Raytheon Aerospace Company, Wichita Falls, Texas, in recognition of its 
outstanding achievements in hiring, promoting and training veterans. 

Raytheon Aerospace Company is committed to hiring the older 
worker, disabled individuals and veterans. The company has established an 
enviable record in providing employment to veterans. Veterans comprise 
86.5 percent of the employees and the range of veterans spans from the 
Korean War to Desert Storm, including disabled veterans. Of the 19 
persons hired last year, 1 7, or 89.5 percent are veterans. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is honored to present the National 
Small Employer of the Year Award to Raytheon Aerospace Company. 
Accepting the award is the Contract Program Manager, Charles M. Boster. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States, National Small Employer of the Year 
Award, presented to Raytheon Aerospace Company, Wichita Falls, Texas, in 
recognition and grateful appreciation for meritorious service in effecting a 



168 



very comprehensive policy toward the recruitment, employment and 
promotion of veterans." It has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas 
A. Pouliot, and Adjutant General John J. Senk, Jr. 

RESPONSE - MR. CHARLES BOSTER 

MR. BOSTER: Good morning. I am truly honored to be here this 
morning to accept this award. First, I would like to thank all of the people 
of the VFW and thank you for your hospitality. A special thanks goes out to 
Mr. Buddi Harlan of the Texas delegation who met us at the airport 
yesterday and chauffeured us over to the hotel. This is a bigger town than 
I am from, and we wanted to make sure we didn't get lost. 

In Europe, during World War I, and in Europe and the Pacific 
during World War II, in Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Panama, Grenada, in the 
Middle East during the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia and now Kosovo, 
America's men and women were called upon to serve, responded well. 

They sacrificed a lot. They performed well during those campaigns 
and they were successful in support of our country. When they returned 
from those foreign places and leave the military service, some companies 
see it as an obligation to provide these well-trained and disciplined people 
with employment. 

At Raytheon Aerospace, we don't see it as an obligation. We feel 
that it is an honor to provide these fine American men and women with 
employment after they have served their country so well. On behalf of 
Raytheon Aerospace worldwide employees, and especially those Raytheon 
Aerospace employees at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, I 
can only say thank you. Thank you very much. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Once again, 
Charles, on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars there is an honorarium 
for $1,000, and also if you will accept our VFW First Century of Service 
book. 

MR. CHARLES BOSTER: Thank you so much. 

PRESENTATION OF NATIONAL LOCAL OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC 
EMPLOYMENT SERVICE AWARD 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We are now 
honored to recognize the Cumberland County Fayetteville JobLink Career 
Center of Fayetteville, North Carolina, as the recipient of the National 
Employment Service Office Award. 

The Fayetteville JobLink Career Center has not only excelled in 
finding jobs for veterans but has truly become an outstanding role model 
and member of the community. 

The Fayetteville JobLink Career Center's involvement with the local 
Army and Air Force Transition Assistance Program has created an 
atmosphere of cooperation and goodwill providing an invaluable resource 



169 



to veterans in preparing them to enter into the civilian workforce. 

The Fayetteville JobLink Career Center has reached an employment 
milestone by achieving an overall 104.3 percent of placement goal to 
include 101 .3 percent for veterans and 99.3 percent for disabled veterans. 

Their community involvement goes from being instrumental in 
assisting the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 601 8 to spearheading a 
homeless veterans stand down to promoting an "Employ a Vet Week" 
program. 

Their support in the local civic leadership has resulted in acquiring 
the first state veterans nursing home, assisting the "Help Disabled War 
Veterans" program, and in helping to coordinate Fayetteville's First Veterans 
Day Parade. 

This dedication clearly demonstrates that the Fayetteville JobLink 
Career Center has excelled in its service to veterans. 

Here to accept the award is the Manager of the -Fayetteville JobLink 
Career Center, Glenn C. McQueen. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States, National Employment Service Award, 
presented to Fayetteville JobLink Career Center, Fayetteville, North 
Carolina, in recognition and appreciation for meritorious professional 
employment service rendered to veterans." 

This has been signed by the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant 
General. 

RESPONSE - MR. GLENN McQUEEN 

MR. McQUEEN: Good morning. First let me begin by giving some 
thanks to the committee in Washington, Mr. Magill, in the way they put this 
coordination together in getting me here, as well as the comrade that 
picked me up at the airport and ensured that we got here. 

To my fellow veterans and to the members of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States of America, on behalf of the Fayetteville 
JobLink Career Center and all the veteran representatives and the entire staff 
at the JobLink Center, I would like to say thank you for this honor. 

It is indeed both a pleasure and an honor to receive this award that 
shows both the courage and appreciation for a job well done. At a time 
when veterans benefits are eroding and continuing cuts in veterans services 
are taking place, it is good to know an organization of this magnitude is 
fighting for veterans rights. 

The staff at Fayetteville is very unique individuals who take pride in 
taking care of its own. We have continued to do that despite all of the 
obstacles to ensure that all veterans will receive the best service and 
assistance that they require and so definitely deserve. A special thanks to 
the Commander of Post 9103, Spring Lake, North Carolina, for their 
continuous support. 

Again, on behalf of the Fayetteville JobLink Center, the Employment 



170 



Security Commission and the great State of North Carolina, I would like to 
say thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish you a very successful 
convention. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Once again, we 
thank you so much for your service to our veterans. This is an honorarium 
for $1 ,000 and our VFW First 1 00 Years of Service book. 

MR. McQUEEN: Thank you. 

PRESENTATION OF OUTSTANDING VA HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER 
OF THE YEAR AWARD TO MRS. VICKI LAWRENCE 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: The National 
Hospital Committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has established an 
award recognizing an outstanding VA Health-Care Provider of the Year. This 
award is presented to a VA employee who was nominated by a VFW Post 
for taking those extra steps in providing exemplary service to veterans and 
their families. 

This year's recipient is Mrs. Vicki Lawrence, a registered nurse at 
the White River Junction VA Medical Center. 

Mrs. Lawrence has been a provider of nursing care to veterans of 
Vermont and New Hampshire for over 25 years. Her patients consider her 
a sincere and caring person. Her devotion and compassion are trademarks 
which place her well above other nurses in her field. 

Vicki's contributions to veterans extend well beyond the walls of 
the medical center. She has worked in the free Stoma Clinic sponsored by 
the United Ostomy Association, providing information and guidance to 
veterans in the community. She is a founding member of "Net-Vet", a VA- 
wide organization of therapists working to provide continuity of care 
throughout the VA system. 

Vicki's other areas of interest include women's health care. She is 
the primary nursing presence in the Women Veterans Clinic and has been 
instrumental in organizing women veterans health fairs. The substance of 
her program presentations, coupled with her attention to detail, contributed 
to the success of the VA women veterans program. 

It is with great pride that I present this year's Outstanding VA 
Health-Care Provider of the Year Award to Mrs. Vicki Lawrence from the 
White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Outstanding VA 
Health-Care Provider Award, 1998-1999, presented to Vicki Lawrence, in 
special recognition of your individual achievements in support of the 
programs and purposes of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 
as the outstanding VA Health-Care Provider of the Year." 

This has been signed by the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant 
General. 



171 



RESPONSE - MRS. VICKI LAWRENCE 

MRS. LAWRENCE: Thank you very much for this award. I am 
honored and humbled by the selection of this prestigious award and I am 
very proud to accept this award. I would like to thank VFW Post 10038 
from Vermont for my nomination, and I would like to thank my family, my 
son, daughter and husband for joining me here today. 

Congratulations, VFW, on your 100th Anniversary celebration at 
this convention and your National Headquarters here in Kansas City. I 
applaud this organization and the service that it provides to the veterans. 
We witness this on a daily basis at our VA in White River Junction as we see 
the many volunteers who provide time and energy and the programs to the 
veterans in the hospital, and provide all the services that you do to support 
the VA health-care system. It is an honor for me to be able to serve the 
veterans as I have for the last 25 years in the State of Vermont. I feel very 
dedicated and devoted to that facility. 

In summary, I would like to share with you one thing. One patient 
I was taking care of this summer made a statement to me that expressed the 
essence of the importance of the VA health-care system to health care for 
veterans. This veteran had had emergency surgery at a local private hospital 
and then was transferred to our VA hospital where when he was there, he 
said the other hospital may have saved my life, but it was here where my 
healing took place. 

I think this shows that VA health-care system, the VA hospital 
system, where veterans take care of each other, where they help each other, 
where there is a sense of community within the hospital, where we take 
care of and heal the veterans. Again, I thank the VFW for the recognition 
of me, and on a larger scale, the recognition of health-care providers as part 
of the VA health-care team. Thank you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have an 
honorarium in the amount of $1,000, and the VFW 100th Anniversary 
book. 

MRS. VICKI LAWRENCE: Thank you. 

PRESENTATION OF OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY 

HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER 

OF THE YEAR AWARD TO MR. JAMES TZIVANIS 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: This year we are 
honored to present the VFW Outstanding Community Health-Care Provider 
of the Year Award to Mr. James Tzivanis of Trumansburg, New York. 

Mr. Tzivanis is a registered physician assistant with the Ovid, 
Primary Care Clinic, which is part of the Schuyler Medical Center in 
Montour, New York. Jim started his career in medicine as a Navy Corpsman 
assigned to the Marine Corps. He re-enlisted in the Army and became a 
part of the Army Medical Corps, eventually rising to the rank of Chief 



172 



Warrant Officer. He was recalled to active duty during Desert Storm to help 
prepare troops for duty in the Gulf. 

His patients and fellow workers at the clinic attribute his great 
success working with veterans to his military background. They describe 
his attitude towards his patients as "caring and sincere." 

He is a true healer who will never stop helping until the sick and 
distressed receive the care and compassion they deserve. Mr. Tzivanis has 
gone beyond his normal responsibilities to provide comfort to those who 
seek his care. 

I am honored to present this year's VFW Outstanding Community 
Health Care Provider of the Year Award to Mr. James Tzivanis of 
Trumansburg, New York. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Outstanding 
Community Health-Care Provider Award, 1998-1999, presented to James 
Tzivanis, in special recognition of your individual achievements in support 
of the programs and purposes of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States as the Outstanding Community Health-Care Provider of the Year." 

This has been signed by the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant 
General. 

RESPONSE - MR. JAMES TZIVANIS 

MR. TZIVANIS: Thank you, veterans, for this prestigious award. I 
would, first, like to thank my patients, and especially the men and women 
of Post 6200 in New York, and my family, and especially my wife, Esther, 
who managed to keep this nomination a secret for almost a year. 

Our community in Ovid, New York, has an unusually large number 
of veterans. We had a base close a few years ago, and it is a source of many 
people who chose to retire and stay in the community. These people have 
been wonderful to me over the years, and to be nominated for such a 
prestigious award surprised me and I am speechless. Thank you very much, 
and God bless each of you. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: On behalf of the 
VFW, you will receive an honorarium of $1,000 and also our book, First 
Century of Service. 

MR. TZIVANIS: Thank you. 

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD 
TO MR. ELIJAH JETHRO 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: This is the sixth 
year the VFW has presented an award recognizing an individual for their 
exemplary service as a health-care provider. 

This year's recipient is Mr. Elijah Jethro of Captain Horace G. Burke 
VFW Post 3480 in East St. Louis, Illinois. Mr. Jethro serves as Assistant 
Hospital and VAVS Director for the Department of Illinois. He works 



173 



closely with his Post and leads a detachment of volunteers weekly to the 
John Cochran VA Medical Center to distribute comfort items to patients and 
conduct recreational activities. 

His desire to help others reaches over into the community where 
he provides activities for senior citizens in St. Clair County. In this program, 
he helps to coordinate home-delivered meals, transportation, adult day 
care, and home repairs for hundreds of senior citizens throughout the 
county. 

You can call on Elijah for any type of assistance knowing he will 
deliver. He is known throughout Illinois as the man who can get the job 
done. He is a true friend to all veterans and their families. 

I am proud to present this year's VFW Outstanding Volunteer of the 
Year Award to Mr. Elijah Jethro of East St. Louis, Illinois. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The citation reads, "Outstanding 
Volunteer Award, 1998-1999, presented to Elijah Jethro, in special 
recognition of your individual achievements in support of the programs and 
purposes of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States as the 
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. 

This has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Pouliot and John J. 
Senk, Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - MR. ELIJAH JETHRO 

MR. JETHRO: Good morning. This is a surprise to me. I don't 
know who submitted my name, and I didn't know anything about this until 
the latter part of May. But I am glad that you did. I appreciate you thinking 
about me, and I am thankful for all the members of the Department of 
Illinois for the trust you have put in me. I also thank my wife for putting up 
with it. 

I would like to say one thing. Volunteer and help veterans. Let's 
all do that and be proud of what we are doing. I have been doing this close 
to 21 years now. That was before I even got blind. I enjoy helping. So all 
I can say is if we are volunteers, and we are in there trying to help these 
patients, let's do it with a smile on our face and enjoy what we are doing. 
I want to thank the Department of Illinois for the opportunity to receive this 
award. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Comrade Jethro, 
on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I present you an honorarium of 
$1,000 and also present you with our VFW First Century of Service book. 
Thank you for what you do for our veterans. 

MR. ELIJAH JETHRO: Thank you. 

PRESENTATION OF THE VFW J. EDGAR HOOVER AWARD, 

GOLD MEDAL AND CITATION TO 

CORPORAL GREGORY A. TRAVLAND 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I am pleased to 

174 



present the VFW J. Edgar Hoover Award for Outstanding Service in the field 
of Law Enforcement to an outstanding police officer from the City of 
Odessa, Texas. 

Corporal Gregory Travland has earned the respect of his peers and 
the citizens of Odessa, through his continuous display of courage and 
dedicated service. 

Since 1998, Officer Travland has worked as a field supervisor for 
the West Texas Narcotics Enforcement Task Force. Since then, he has 
assisted in over 42 arrests, has seized over $660,000 in narcotics, and 
recovered over $1 1,000 in drug money within a three-month period. 

He has received 32 letters of commendation from local schools, 
civic groups and local law enforcement agencies, a life-saving award and 
several Certificates of Appreciation. 

Corporal Travland's deeds, dedication and experience as a police 
officer exemplify the deeds and sacrifices of those of our nation's finest who 
serve our communities. 

Please give a warm VFW welcome to our 1999 VFW J. Edgar 
Hoover Award recipient, Corporal Gregory Travland, of the City of Odessa 
Police Department. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "J. Edgar Hoover 
Award, Gold Medal and Citation awarded to Corporal Greg Travland, 
Odessa, Texas Police Department, in appreciation of his outstanding 
service, professionalism, bravery and knowledge in the field of law 
enforcement, and in special recognition of his continued assistance to 
several outside agencies committed to bettering the communities of West 
Texas. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 19th 
day of August, 1999. Approved by the Council of Administration." 

This has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot, Commander-in-Chief, 
and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - MR. GREGORY TRAVLAND 

MR. GREGORY TRAVLAND: First, I would like to say thanks to the 
VFW for having me here. I would also like to give a special thank you to 
the Odessa, Texas VFW, Commander Robbie Walker and his family, and all 
his troops in the VFW for standing behind this police department and all the 
officers there. 

I am going to accept the award today, but first I would like to ask 
my Chief, who is James Jenkins, to come up here with me. He has been a 
great part in this award and I believe he should be honored along with me. 
I have worked for the Odessa Police Department for almost 20 years. In a 
few years I am getting ready to retire and seek a different career. 

Since Chief Jenkins came to the Odessa Police Department in 
1991, our department has taken a great turnaround, all for the best. With 



175 



his leadership abilities that he has given to all the leaders in our 
Department, which is taken down to each investigator, and it has made the 
Department a fair place to work, just a better place to be. 

I accept the award on behalf of Chief Jenkins, on behalf of all the 
Odessa Police Department personnel and in behalf of all the police officers 
in this nation. Any number of officers could be up here receiving this 
award. It is something that through my life I will always remember. 

At the Odessa Police Department, each of us strive to have a 
commitment to excellence. Each of us strive to make sure our operations 
are fundamentally and tactically sound and to provide the best service to 
our citizens. We are a community police department. We support our 
community and our community supports us. 

We have to have the city standing behind us to make our job very 
successful. I ask each of you today to go back to your hometown, get 
involved with your police department, because they do need you. I again 
thank the VFW for bringing us here. This is something that I will never 
forget. Thank you very much. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: On behalf of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, we have an honorarium of $1,000 and also our 
VFW book, Our First Century of Service. Thank you for doing what you do 
to keep America safe. 

MR. GREGORY TRAVLAND: Thank you very much. 

PRESENTATION OF VFW EMERGENCY SERVICES AWARD, 
GOLD MEDAL AND CITATION TO LIEUTENANT KEITH E. ANDERSON 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Annually, the 
VFW presents its Emergency Services Award to an individual for 
outstanding contributions to the community in the field of Emergency 
Services. 

We are pleased to present this year's award to Lieutenant Keith 
Anderson, who rescued a fellow fire fighter during a house fire, 
disregarding his own safety for the welfare of another. 

As commanding officer of Engine Company No. 5, he went beyond 
the call of duty and selflessly put his own life in harm's way to help a 
comrade that was trapped in a basement during a house fire. 

During the course of the rescue, Lieutenant Anderson's warning 
bell on his air-pack sounded with a loud bell, signaling he was running low 
on air. Disregarding the alarm, Lieutenant Anderson continued to stay with 
his comrade. Not long after his alarm went off, his air supply depleted to 
nothing and he was forced to take his mask off to prevent suffocation, at the 
same time enduring the burning flames and thick smoke of the blaze. 

Anderson stayed with his comrade until additional rescuers were 
available to give assistance. Lieutenant Anderson made sure his fellow fire 
fighter was out first, only then, did he get out himself. 

Lieutenant Keith Anderson's dedication and selfless actions as a fire 



176 



fighter exemplify the deeds and sacrifices of those of the Emergency 
Services who serve our communities across this great nation. 

Please welcome Lieutenant Keith Anderson, the 1 999 recipient of 
the VFW Emergency Services Award. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Emergency 
Services Award, Gold Medal and Citation presented to Lieutenant Keith E. 
Anderson, Nashua Fire Rescue, in special recognition of his valiant efforts 
and unselfish determination in risking his own life to rescue a fellow fire 
fighter trapped in a house fire. Lieutenant Anderson's actions, dedication 
and experience as a fire fighter exemplifies the deeds and sacrifices of all 
those in Emergency Services and who serve our communities across the 
nation. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, this 19th 
day of August, 1 999. Approved by the National Council of Administration." 

This has also been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. 
Pouliot and Adjutant General John J. Senk, Jr. 

RESPONSE - LIEUTENANT KEITH ANDERSON 

LIEUTENANT ANDERSON: I would like to say I am very humble 
about this whole thing that transpired these past few months. I am very 
grateful to the VFW for this award and to the fire rescue team, my family 
and my two brothers made the trip to see me today. 

To the VFW Post of Nashua, I say thank you. For all that I have 
done, which is very humbling, I think you folks are the heroes of the 
country and you made it possible for us to be here today. For that, I thank 
you. Again, to the Nashua Post, I thank you. To my family and to the City 
of Nashua, thank you very much. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: On behalf of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, let me present you with this honorarium of 
$1,000 and also our VFW First Century of Service book. Thank you. Give 
my love to my brothers back home. 

LIEUTENANT ANDERSON: I will. Thank you very much. 

INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL SERGEANT-AT-ARMS 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: At this time I call 
upon John Senk, Adjutant General, for an introduction. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: My comrades, at this time you see 
standing behind me our Sergeants-at-Arms. Let me take this opportunity to 
express my appreciation to a group of men that we see annually at our 
National Convention. I should have said comrades. She has always got a 
smile on her face. They come to this convention and they are up early in 
the morning and the first ones in the hall. 

They arrange for the seating on special occasions, and they keep 



177 



order in the hall. They try to seat everybody and maintain order that is 
necessary during the meeting itself. These folks don't get a lot of money to 
do this. It is obviously a labor of love for them. I am sure that everyone 
recognizes they do an outstanding job for us. (Applause) 

The Sergeant-at-Arms, from Post 6240, Kansas, Barry Hoffman. The 
Assistant Sergeants-at-Arms, from Post 4159, Michigan, Fred Von Hinken, 
Jr.; from Post 2083, Connecticut, Nicholas Polansky; from Post 1645, 
Massachusetts, Carl C. Aiello, from Post 2275, California, Keith McDonald; 
from Post 4847, Minnesota, Joe Schirmers; from Post 1911, Ohio, Dan 
Brown; from Post 9134, North Carolina, Gary Barringer; from Post 3979, 
Minnesota, Joey Collins Baxter. 

These are the comrades that every time something goes wrong we 
start screaming at them. If something does go right, we forget to say thank 
you to them. I want to publicly say thank you to each and every one of 
them, the members of this team. 

I am so proud of each one of them, and you handle yourselves as 
professionals. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve with each and 
every one of you. Thanks so much on behalf of all of us for what you do 
for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Let's give them a round of applause. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

PRESENTATION OF VFW DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL 

AND CITATION TO 

NATIONAL ASSISTANT SERGEANT-AT-ARMS NICHOLAS POLANSKY 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Let me assure you of one thing, 
comrades, none of this would happen without the hard work of a very 
select, very elite group of people, the VFW Sergeant-at-Arms. They 
maintain the order and decorum that is so important at conventions and 
conferences. It seems like I am repeating myself and I am. 

Sometimes it seems as if they work around the clock to make these 
conventions successful, but they never complain. They never show up late 
or go home early. They are steady, reliable and dependable. And today we 
are honoring one of them, Nicholas Polansky, for over 20 years of dedicated 
service. 

The Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief will now present the VFW 
Distinguished Service Medal and Citation to Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms 
Nicholas Polansky upon his retirement. 

The Citation reads, "Distinguished Service Medal and this Citation 
awarded to Nicholas Polansky, in sincere appreciation and grateful 
recognition of over two decades of distinguished and unselfish service to 
the officers and delegates of the national conventions and conferences as 
an outstanding Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 19th 



178 



day of August, 1 999." 

This has been signed by Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot 
and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - ASSISTANT SERGE ANT-AT-ARMS POLANSKY 

ASSISTANT SERGEANT-AT-ARMS NICHOLAS POLANSKY: I just 
want to say thank you to everyone, and it has been an honor and pleasure 
to be with this organization for the past 23 years. Thank you. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS BARRY HOFFMAN: Comrades and sisters, 
on behalf of the Sergeant-at-Arms team, we just want to pay the appropriate 
honor to our comrade who is retiring after 23 years of faithful service. I 
would like to present arms in honor of him and present arms real quick. 
Please bear with us. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Comrade Senior Commander-in- 
Chief, I move that the proceedings of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 100th 
National Convention be submitted to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives for printing as a House document in accordance with 
Public Law No. 620, 90th Congress, approved October 22, 1968, Title 214 
of the United States Codes, Section 1332. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a 
motion on the floor. Do I have a second? 

I recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE WARREN TELGREN (Post 9644 - Colorado): I second 
that motion. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a 
motion on the floor. We have a second. Is there any discussion on the 
motion? Hearing no discussion on the motion, all those in favor will signify 
by saying "aye"; those opposed. The motion carried. 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NOMINATIONS FOR 
NATIONAL HOME TRUSTEES 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, 
the nominations for the National Home Trustees are as follows: 

Second National Home District comprised of New York, New 
Jersey and Europe, Joseph Butler, Post No. 3117, Edison, New Jersey, and 
Ross R. Henry, Post 125, Plattsburg, New York. 

For the Ninth Home District, comprised of Minnesota, North 
Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, Jack L. Armagost, Post 4836, 
Schuyler, Nebraska, and Orville L. Gullickson, Post 7438, Taylor, North 
Dakota. 

For the Twelfth National Home District, comprised of Idaho, 
California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii, Verna Caywood, 
Ladies Auxiliary toVFW Post 1555, Chico, California, Dr. Carlos Vest, Post 
969, Tacoma, Washington, and Mary Jane Sears, Ladies Auxiliary to VFW 



179 



Post 889, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. 

INTRODUCTION OF PAST COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I would like at 
this time to introduce the Past Commanders-in-Chief in attendance at the 
100th Convention. 

1976-77 - R. D. "Bulldog" Smith 

1 979-80 - Howard E. Vander Clute, Jr. 

1983-84 - Clifford G. Olson, Jr. 

1984-85 - Billy Ray Cameron 

1991-92 - Robert E. Wallace 

1993-94 - George R. Cramer 

1994-95 - Allen F. "Gunner" Kent 

We also have Past Commander-in-Chief Norman H. Staab in 
attendance. There are others that are in attendance but they are not here at 
this time. 

PRESENTATION OF VFW GOLD MEDAL OF MERIT AND CITATION 
TO PAST DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH DAKOTA ADJUTANT- 
QUARTERMASTER WILLIAM J. RADIGAN, JR. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We proud 
ourselves on being a grassroots organization. That means that each and 
every member's efforts contribute to the organization's success. No one 
exemplifies this more than the next individual who will appear at this 
podium. 

William J. Radigan, Sr., served for over forty years as the 
Adjutant/Quartermaster, VFW Department of South Dakota. You could 
always count on Bill Radigan. He ran a good Department, he ran a 
successful Department, and much of what we celebrate this year, our 1 00th 
Anniversary, we owe to Bill Radigan. 

Comrades, sisters and friends, delegates to this convention, please 
give a warm VFW welcome to Bill Radigan. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The Citation reads, "Gold Medal of 
Merit and this Citation awarded to William J. Radigan, Sr., in sincere 
appreciation for over four decades of exemplary service as the 
Adjutant/Quartermaster of the State of South Dakota. His outstanding 
contributions, exceptional leadership and unparalleled integrity have 
earned him the admiration and gratitude of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and the 
official seal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States this 19th 
day of August, 1 999." 



180 



This has been signed by Thomas A. Pouliot Commander-in-Chief, 
and John J. Senk, Jr., Adjutant General. 

RESPONSE - COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN 

COMRADE RADIGAN: Thank you, John. Senior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief John Smart, and through you to Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot and to my comrades in the audience, I knew nothing of this and I 
think you can understand I am a bit moved today. 

I would at this time like to thank my dear deceased wife, Susie, and 
my eleven children who sacrificed a lot so I could do this work. I would 
like to recognize Pat O'Neill and the group that talked me into going to 
work for the VFW. My Post 3061 in Vermillion, South Dakota, and the 
Ladies Auxiliary have always been there for me for the whole 47 years. 

Those dear comrades that I had pleasant times with when we 
formed the Big Ten Conference and had some good arguments and some 
good discussions, I love them all. Every time I see one it reminds me of how 
wonderful this organization has been. 

I would also like, of course, to thank my comrades in the great 
Department of South Dakota, who 47 times elected me as their 
Quartermaster. Life is not long, life sometimes can be short. I have been 
blessed with quite a long life and for 47 years of the 100 this organization 
has been in existence I have been the Quartermaster/Adjutant of South 
Dakota. That is a great experience. I can't tell you how wonderful it has 
been. 

There is a saying I would like to leave with you this morning, I 
especially want to thank all the National Officers that I have worked with, 
starting way back with a gentleman by the name of Captain Bob Handy. 
Bob was so good about training us who came on board. 

So I say to all of you, it is not the price you pay to join this 
organization, it is the price you pay to become eligible. There is no better 
way to serve your community and your fellow veterans than in the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars of the United States. 

I am so moved I hardly know what to say, but I certainly thank 
every one of you, regardless of what your office or position might be. May 
God bless you all. (Applause) 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: If I may, just a 
personal privilege, I would like to thank you so much for 16 years that I 
have looked for your guidance and wisdom as the Quartermaster. I thank 
you for that. On behalf of our Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot, I present 
you our First Century of Service book. 

VISIT OF NATIONAL HOME REPRESENTATIVES 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: For over 70 
years, the VFW National Home at Eaton Rapids, Michigan, has been a 



181 



haven of comfort, safety and hope for hundreds of children and adults, as 
well. It is one of the most profound examples of veterans helping veterans, 
and VFW and VFW Ladies Auxiliary members fulfilling our commitment to 
honor the dead by helping the living. 

From a small farm in the Michigan countryside, the home has 
grown to a large bustling community. Modern facilities contain the latest 
in education and recreation resources, while comfortable houses and 
caring staff provide the homes that the children need to grow and thrive in 
and reach their greatest potential. 

We are honored today to have with us the President of the VFW 
National Home, John Burnett, who has brought with him two very special 
guests, the Interim Executive Director of the Home, Past Commander-in- 
Chief Howard Vander Clute, and the 1999 Buddy Poppy Child, Dominique 
Hite. Let's give them a real big VFW welcome. 

NATIONAL HOME PRESIDENT JOHN BURNETT: Commander-in- 
Chief, National Officers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Comrades and 
Delegates: 

I just want to say a few words on the cooperation that we have 
gotten between the Kansas City office and the National Home this year. It 
made me as chairman feel tremendous with the support we have had from 
the Kansas City office, the chair officers, the Adjutant General, the 
Quartermaster General, who have attended our meetings and really helped 
us out with their expertise. 

I want to thank each Post, District and Department that has 
donated money to the upkeep of the VFW National Home. Howard is going 
to give us a little synopsis on what has been accomplished the last few 
months. We are very, very proud of what Howard has done out there to get 
us financially stabilized and the repairs and maintenance that are being 
done on our houses and on the grounds of the VFW National Home. Again, 
I want to thank each and every one of you. 

At this time I would like to have Past Commander-in-Chief Howard 
Vander Clute to explain what has been going on at the VFW National 
Home. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF VANDER CLUTE: National 
Officers, Delegates to this 100th Convention of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, I welcome the opportunity this morning to represent the VFW 
National Home children, and I want to deliver a very brief message that are 
your concerns. I have heard, as you have heard, and quite frankly, we know 
there are many of our members who are skeptics about the operation of the 
VFW National Home for children. 

I must include myself during a certain period of time. All you need 
to do is to have an opportunity to spend time at this facility to find that you 
become emotionally involved in the interest of the children that we care for. 
I am concerned about rumors that develop constantly. 

I would like to discuss them very briefly with you this morning. The 
one rumor that we hear all the time is half of our houses are empty. We 



182 



only have 40 or 50 kids there. I am telling you that we have 99 children 
and 24 single parents, with a clientele of 123. That is more than we have 
had in over 20 years at the VFW National Home for children. 

The other one that I hear consistently is that we have more 
employees than we have children. That is not so. We have 68 full-time 
employees. I want you to remember that we have 629 acres, 71 buildings, 
our own water system, our own sewage system, and a mile and one-half of 
roads to care for. 

So even if there were no children in the VFW National Home, to 
maintain the physical plant would require the services of at least fifteen 
maintenance and custodial personnel. That is without any children in the 
facility. 

Here is another one that I hear in the field and you hear as well: 
"We accept any children. You can't tell me that these kids are children or 
family members or grandchildren are members of the VFW and the Ladies 
Auxiliary." Yes, I can. I can tell you that without contradiction that every 
child that is being cared for in the VFW National Home today is either a 
child, grandchild or family member of a VFW or Auxiliary member of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, because that is the first thing 
I did when I arrived on campus. I made sure that the records reflected that 
that fact is a fact. 

Here is another one. "Single parents of the National Home were 
forced to apply for food stamps, embarrassment to them and to our 
organization." Yes, we could apply for food stamps but we don't. None of 
the single parents there utilize food stamps at the National Home. 

We provide grocery money on a weekly basis to each single parent 
and each care worker in each one of the cottages of the VFW National 
Home. And write this down, it is $1 .75 per person per meal, which is more 
than adequate for the nourishment of the children at the home. This figure 
was arrived at after a study of the United States Department of Agriculture, 
what is nourishing for a child, and it even provides for extravagances. 

Here is one we hear occasionally: "Our houses are a mess inside. 
Nobody on our staff checks to see if the housekeeping chores are being 
done and the children are being properly cared for." The houses are 
inspected weekly by child care workers and our counseling staff. We have 
a professional counseling staff at our VFW National Home. 

It is true that many of the young single moms who come to our 
facility are not prepared to appropriately care for their homes and their 
children, and that is why they need the services of our counseling staff. The 
houses are inspected weekly and those that are not up to standards, those 
single parents are counseled on how to care for their homes and their 
children appropriately. 

I want to tell you something else. There has been a change in 
policy. Remember, years ago the VFW National Home used to accept 
single parents with their children and we became their keepers from the 
time they arrived at the National Home with just small children through the 



183 



emancipation of those children, and even on into college we kept the single 
parents there. 

This is not so anymore. We need to care for more children and for 
more single parents. They sign a contract for three years. During that three- 
year period, the single parents are counseled. If they don't have a high 
school diploma, they are encouraged to get a GED, and encouraged to take 
training so they have marketable skills that they can take out into the real 
world and be prepared to care for their own children. Three years from 
dependency to independency. What a unique program for this organization 
to have taken on, and it is successful. 

What about the homes now? I have heard complaints over the 
years our cottages are not being used for child care. Let me tell you right 
now, every house but two are open and occupied by families. Those two 
are under major repair. One is Connecticut that will be ready to receive a 
family on September 15th. 

The other one is the Pennsylvania home. You know, they have four, 
and they are in the process of doing major repairs in that. A family will 
move into that facility on October 15th. We will be filled to capacity, the 
first time in 25 years that the National Home has been filled to capacity. 

I say this to you, my comrades, because this facility is deserving of 
your support, both emotionally and financially. Please help us exist, please 
help us to continue to serve veterans. Please help us to serve members of 
our organization, and the Ladies Auxiliary. Thank you very much. I want 
to tell you that I appreciated this opportunity to work as the Interim Director 
of the VFW National Home. It energizes me. Frankly, I was tired of doing 
that list that your wife provides for you when you are in retirement. It was 
a great opportunity for me, and I appreciate being asked. 

Let me say this to you. In two weeks I will be gone. The National 
Home Board of Trustees in their wisdom has hired a new Executive 
Director. This young man, 42 years old, is presently on our staff. He has 
been there for almost three years. He has received already two promotions. 
This will be his third. 

He has a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Psychology and an 
undergraduate degree in Psychology, and 18 years of child care and family 
service experience, far beyond that which is required by the State of 
Michigan licensing agency. This is a young man who can give us the 
service and give us stability in the VFW National Home that we need so 
badly, and we can continue the legacy that was given to all of us by the 
foundation of our organization. We will be 75 years old beginning in the 
year 2000. 

Let me introduce to you our new Executive Director, effective 
September 1, Mike Kessler. 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KESSLER: Thank you, Howard. Good 
morning to all of you. I would like to say since we could not bring all of 
you to the VFW Home, we brought some of the VFW Home to you. I would 
like to have Tammy O'Dell, one of our house members, to stand. She has 



184 



given many years of service to the Home. That is Lionel, who lives in 
Tammy's home, and Dominique Hite. 

Well, good morning and greetings from the 123 residents and also 
the staff of your great living memorial, the VFW National Home for 
Children. I want to tell you just a bit about who you are serving and give 
you a couple of scenarios. We have one mother who served in the Gulf War 
and her two children who came to the Home. 

This woman discovered that she has many emotional problems 
during the years she was there and realized she was not able to care for her 
children. At your great Home, her two children are living there in one of 
the residential homes under the care of Tammy and other house parents. 
This mother comes and visits her children. It is her goal to become stable 
and then reunite with her children. The father is out of the picture in this 
case. 

Another mother, a relative of a Veterans of Foreign Wars, she and 
her three children and her husband were to move into their new home, and 
on the first night they were at the home a burglar came in and killed the 
father, the husband, in front of the children, and stabbed the mother several 
times. The father died, the mother lived, and the mother and her three 
children are being served at this great Home. 

There is a grandmother there now caring for her grandchildren at 
the Home. The mother of the children was killed in a car accident and the 
father is not involved in their lives. Each and every hour of each and every 
day, relatives of our heroic and fallen comrades are honored to care for the 
orphaned, the fatherless and the widowed. 

I assure you that the relatives of veterans who reside at the houses 
are well cared for. At the risk of sounding politically incorrect and 
stereotypical, I want to tell you that we give a balanced approach to child 
rearing. We realize that youth need both a caring and often a tender 
nurturing from the mothers, such as Tammy, but they also need strict 
direction, teaching and discipline that stereotypical ly comes from fathers. 

Because of your support, we are raising some model youth. The 
youth and the single parents at the home are learning to make the best of 
life no matter what has happened to them. They are working through their 
losses, they are not only becoming survivors, but good victors. They are 
learning to contribute in the larger community. 

Three thousand seven hundred hours of service were provided by 
the new and single parents of the VFW Home. This morning, I prayed that 
Cod would bless each of you one hundredfold for your support to the 
orphaned, fatherless and widowed. 

I congratulate you for the thousands of lives that you have changed 
because of the VFW National Home for Children, and as the Executive 
Director I pledge to you I will continue to serve your relatives there. Again, 
congratulations, and God bless you and happy anniversary. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF VANDER CLUTE: We have our 
National VFW Poppy Child from the VFW National Home, and I would like 



185 



to introduce him to you right now because I know he is a young child with 
a lot of personality and a lot of things to say to all of you. Let me introduce 
Dominique Hite. 

REMARKS BY 1999 BUDDY POPPY CHILD 

BUDDY POPPY CHILD HITE: Hi. My name is Dominique. I am 
eight years old. I live at the VFW National Home in the Florida House. My 
family is Lionel, Michael, Pollock, Dino, Margie, Curby and me. My 
hobbies are to ride my bike and play basketball. I play all sorts of games, 
like volleyball, hockey, all different types, with time permitting. 

I go to school and I am in the third grade. While we were coming 
here in the airplane, they got up to the runway and they stopped because 
they had a leak in the hydraulics. I like living at the VFW National Home, 
because they take care of me when my mom can't. My favorite food is 
pizza. My favorite color is purple. 

When I grow up, I want to be a train maker. Thank you for 
choosing me to be the Buddy Poppy child and caring about the Home so 
much. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF VANDER CLUTE: Dominique has 
a brother Lionel, and they sort of hit separate balls around the campus, so 
we thought it was important to bring Dominique's brother along, this guy 
right here. 

NATIONAL HOME PRESIDENT BURNETT: Again, I want to thank 
you, each one of you, for your donations to the VFW National Home, and 
I would like to thank Howard Vander Clute personally for the job he has 
done up there in the last four months, just by bringing us up by the 
bootstraps to where we are now. 

Every Home is open and we do have a waiting list to get in there 
at our VFW National Home. This is the 75th Anniversary of the VFW 
National Home and communication will be going out to let you know of 
the various programs that we will be having at the Home. 

One last thing. They have got their bags and they collect pins. If 
anyone has a pin, give them both to Lionel and Dominique. Thank you very 
much. 

Commander-in-Chief, I have a little gift from the National Home in 
appreciation for the support that you and your officers have given to the 
VFW National Home this year. Thank you very much, Tom. 

(Whereupon, Commander-in-Chief Pouliot assumed the chair.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The National Home is, of 
course, important to all of us, and when it runs smoothly and runs well, that 
is good for us, and it is good for our widows and orphans in our 
organization. We are pleased that the Home is running very well again. 

NATIONAL HOME PRESIDENT BURNETT: It is, indeed. Is the 
Supreme Commander of the Military Order of the Cootie present? Again, 
thank you very much. 



186 



INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PRESIDENT 
OF THE LADIES AUXILIARY 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrade Sergeant-at-Arms, 
escort the National President of our Ladies Auxiliary and her delegation to 
the podium, please. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Yes, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, it gives me great 
pleasure this morning to bring to our convention the National President of 
the Ladies Auxiliary. Jane and I have had a wonderful year together. We 
began planning on it a couple of years ago. 

We even worked together to make sure that our teams matched up 
so we would coordinate the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary in this, our 100th 
year. I think it has worked very well. I think that the VFW has had an 
outstanding year, but we only had that outstanding year because of and 
with the help of our wonderful Ladies Auxiliary. 

I was just in the Ladies meeting and they looked brighter than you 
do this morning. I told them on behalf of the VFW that we thank them for 
their 86 years of service to veterans, to our communities, to our youth, and 
by helping us help our veterans. 

They are a strong right arm and our best friend. I know this lady is 
my best friend, our National President, Jane Bingham. 

REMARKS BY LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT 

LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT BINGHAM: Commander-in-Chief 
Tom, Past National Commanders, National Officers and VFW Members: 

Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak just once more 
as the National President of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States. The day after tomorrow, I am going back to the 
boondocks, and next year I will be in the boondocks of Milwaukee. You 
can count on it. 

This has been a really great year for the Ladies Auxiliary. It will be 
the eleventh year in a row we raised more than $3 million for cancer aid 
and research. Many of you are aware of what I am going to discuss next, 
because I have understood from our national office that they heard from as 
many VFW members as Auxiliary members when it became possible to 
check daily membership totals on the Auxiliary Website. Now, I know 
westerners are very, very computer literate. Even in the corners of Alaska, 
they have the proper wiring, and where I live in Vermont, we don't. 

So maybe by Christmas time I will be able to get on your e-mail. 
Just in time for this convention, we have also added news releases to our 
Web site. This morning I want to thank you as members for all your help, 
all the help you give us in the joint programs. 

You know, the Ladies Auxiliaries don't really have very much 



187 



money, and in many of our Posts, my own in particular, if the Ladies vote 
to make a donation or a gift, the Post automatically matches that gift up to 
a certain amount of money which makes it each year to cause us to work 
together. 

We have had a long-standing prior agreement, that we pick the 
place, and they give the money. And for that I thank all of you and I know 
they do it in lots of places. It is particularly exciting to see the success of 
Operation Uplink. Uplink has not been a special project for me by 
definition. 

But as I visited in all of your different states, Uplink was uppermost 
in my mind. When I visited in Germany and in Korea, even in Taiwan and 
in Guam, the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, we were able to 
hand out cards and you could see the expression on the young people's 
faces. 

At the Naval Academy, and I will have to tell you this because I 
thought it was funny. At the Naval Academy, they sort of avoided us. They 
thought we were trying to sell them something. So as we gave them the 
card, we said, "This is a freebie from the VFW. You can telephone your 
mother, your girlfriend, somebody else's girlfriend," and then they got the 
message. 

At our Council of Administration meeting last Saturday, the Ladies 
Auxiliary approved a special $4,500 donation this year for Operation 
Uplink. This will be in addition to all the other money we have given. 

I want to extend congratulations to all of you on your 100th 
National Convention and the 100th Anniversary celebration, which has 
been conducted all week. I would like to say to Joe Ridgley that I am just 
delighted this is coming out of his pocketbook and not mine. Thank you 
very much, all of you. 

I do want to thank you, Tom, for everything that you have done to 
make this year so pleasant and this convention so successful. It has been 
an honor to serve with you. May I take a moment of special privilege? 
Where are the Vermonters? (Applause) Just checking. If they had not been 
here, I would have cried all day long. It is pretty dark over there. Tom, as 
a token of my appreciation, I would like to present you with this flag set. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: It says National Convention, 
Organized 1899, National Convention Flag, Ladies Auxiliary, and, of 
course, our American Flag. 

LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT BINGHAM: I hope you enjoy 
that. I would like to thank you. I really appreciate your sharing the State 
Conductress of Montana with us this past year. It has been a pleasure to 
have you and Shirley as friends. Thank you very much. That is something 
from me to you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Jane, I want to thank you for 
all the fun that we have had together. I thank you for that flag set. It is the 
perfect size for my office. Of course, I will send you a picture of myself at 
my desk with the flags flowing and flying behind me. Thank you very much 



188 



for that and also for this personal gift. 

But I mostly thank you for your friendship. We are bonded together 
now as Commander and President, but we have a bond beyond that, a 
special bond of friendship. We thank you very much for all the work that 
you have done this year to make this 1 00th year the best year we have ever 
had. Thank you. 

LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT BINGHAM: I almost forgot you. 
This is Tom's wife, Shirley. Shirley is conductress of the Department of 
Montana. 

MRS. SHIRLEY POULIOT: Tom is going to drive me in Montana 
now. I just want to thank you gentlemen for taking such good care of Tom 
while he traveled. You brought him home safely to me. Now I am going to 
find out what it is like to be married. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I am going to object to that. 
I thought you had some idea what it was like to be married. 

LADIES AUXILIARY PRESIDENT BINGHAM: This is our Chief of 
Staff, Stephanie Kavanaugh, from the Department of Pennsylvania. Thank 
you all very, very much for everything that you do. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Sergeant-at-Arms, you will 
escort our Ladies Auxiliary officers from our meeting hall. 

PRESENTATION TO THE NATIONAL HOME 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of a special 
presentation, I would call to the podium Howard Vander Clute. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF VANDER CLUTE: Comrades, one 
of the larger Posts in my Department, or I guess it is the largest Post, Post 
2290, and its Ladies Auxiliary in Manfield, New Jersey, has asked to make 
a presentation to the VFW National Home. For that purpose, I would like 
to introduce Andy Hinkle. 

COMRADE ANDY HINKLE (Post 2290 - New Jersey): Thank you, 
Howard. We are very appreciative of all you do and have done for our 
Department and the National Organization. You always give 1 10 percent 
and your tenure at the National Home was no exception. On behalf of 
Thomas J. Kavanaugh Post 2290 and its Ladies Auxiliary of Manfield, New 
Jersey, I am pleased to present this check for $1 ,500 to you for the National 
Home. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much for that 
very generous donation. I hope that all of our Posts and individuals will 
donate to the National Home so that they can have an outstanding program 
and so they can provide for the children all the necessities. 

Our young Buddy Poppy boy and his brother are walking around 
the room, so be ready with your pins. 



189 



PRESENTATION OF WHEELCHAIR ON BEHALF OF INVACARE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, in appreciation 
to the men and women of the Veterans of Foreign Wars who served during 
our nation's conflicts, Invacare Corporation, the world's leading 
manufacturer and distributor of home medical equipment products, has 
donated 100 wheelchairs to the 100th VFW National Convention. 

The wheelchairs have been available for anyone needing assistance 
during this convention. After the convention, the wheelchairs will be given 
to VISN No. 15, to be used during next year's 2000 Golden Age Games in 
Topeka, Kansas. 

Each wheelchair is valued at $450, making the total donation 
valued at $45,000. To mark this special occasion, the VFW would like to 
present a wheelchair to the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of 
Invacare Corporation. 

Accepting on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs is Ms. 
Crosetti. Please give a warm VFW welcome to Ms. Crosetti. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: There is a plaque on the side of this 
wheelchair and it reads, "Presented to VA Heartland Network VISN No. 15 
by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States in grateful appreciation 
for the support of our 100th Anniversary Convention. This wheelchair 
symbolizes a donation of 100 wheelchairs provided through grant from 
Invacare, Inc., August 19, 1999, Kansas City, Missouri." 

MS. CROSETTI: Thank you. I would like to thank all of you for 
allowing us to participate in the celebration. We organized and managed 
the health-care downstairs, staffed it. We have seen a lot of you the last few 
days. Secondly, thank you for the wheelchairs. We are looking forward to 
seeing many of you in Topeka next year at the Heartland Golden Age 
Games. We will take a good of care of you there as we have here. 

Most importantly, I want to thank you for the honor of being 
allowed to serve you in No. 1 5. We know that is what it is all about. Thank 
you. 

INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL OFFICERS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, many of you 
know our National Officers, our Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John 
Smart and our Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Gwizdak, and most of 
you know, of course, our next Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief-Elect, Jim 
Goldsmith. But the other National Officers quickly do their assigned tasks 
and responsibilities without much fanfare. 

At this time I would like to introduce each of our national officers 
and have them stand and hold your applause until I introduce them all. The 
first is our National Chaplain, Father Neville; our Inspector General, 
Norbert Enos; our Chief of Staff, Randy Russell; our Surgeon General, 
Kenneth Snow; and our Judge Advocate General, Earl Lord. Let's hear it for 



190 



these, our officers, who have done such a wonderful job for us this year. 
(Applause) 

Comrades, at this time I am not sure, it looks like we are being 
inundated. This looks like a wonderful group here. This is our National 
Staff. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, I want to 
thank you for the time on the agenda this morning to introduce to the 
comrades at this convention those members of the National Staff in the 
Kansas City and our Washington office that have been selected to work at 
the convention and do so most every year. 

These are representatives from all of our employees. I wanted to 
bring them up here today and say a special thank you for all they have done 
to make this, our 1 00th convention, a very, very special one. They have put 
a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours into making this convention 
successful with all the different venues we had and all oflhe things that we 
have done at this convention. 

Sometimes we get too busy to say thank you, and I know that Joe 
is going to have an opportunity here in a minute, to say a personal thank 
you for each and every one of you for making this convention so great. We 
get the accolades, people stop Joe and I and say what a great convention, 
and things are going great. These are the people that make it happen. 

I want to tell you something, we have been meeting for, I guess, 
almost two years, right, Joe, planning for this, our 100th convention. Joe 
Ridgley was the Chairman of the 1 00th Anniversary. What a taskmaster. He 
has worked us hard. For the last six or seven months, we have met every 
week on a weekly basis, and he wanted a report on where we were on each 
and every event. 

Joe has done a fantastic job in making sure that everyone else did 
their job. Some people have affectionately called us the "frick and frack" 
team. So, please welcome to the podium for your accolades, frick. 

QUARTERMASTER GENERAL RIDGLEY: It is hard to get up here 
this morning because John Senk and I have worked very closely together 
the last couple of years, and especially this last six months. I wanted to 
make sure that every decision and every contract that we signed together 
so we could go down together. 

But, John, thank you. I am sure that the members of your staff have 
worked so hard on this and will be glad to get me out of their lives. They 
have cooperated and the staff has worked very close together. You have 
seen them out here, and I want to point out a few people, but everybody up 
here and the others that are not even up here that worked so very, very hard 
on this convention. I certainly didn't do it, John certainly didn't do it all. 

It is the people you see up here. The Washington staff has been 
here and working hard. They have been at all the events with their staff 
shirts. They have been working ever since they arrived and they have 
worked extremely hard. The military folks that you see were all coordinated 
by Captain Dan Bell, who was the military person who coordinated all the 



191 



military activities during the entire convention. 

I didn't have a chance to tell you earlier, I don't believe, that 
Captain Bell, with the U.S. Marine Corps, he took on this task of 
coordinating the military and he did an admirable job. He knew all along 
today, the day after our last event, he was going to be retiring from the U.S. 
Marine Corps after 22 years. So he did a great job. 

I would like to thank you, Benny and Vanessa. They did a great job 
in coordinating everything. I would like to call off everybody's name, but 
if I mention one name, I need to mention them all and I can't. The one 
purpose for the membership of this organization and the Ladies Auxiliary 
was for you to enjoy the 100th Anniversary and celebrations that we put 
together for you. Every single one of you, I thank you from the bottom of 
my heart. I appreciate you and I appreciate everything that you have done. 
Thank you all. 

There is another group of people that I want to thank, and I think 
the National Convention, obviously comes under the responsibility of the 
Adjutant General. This has been a joint effort from two Departments, which 
are very close, the Department of Missouri and the Department of Kansas, 
who have worked so hard to make everything happen and happen right. 

I am going to point out one individual, even though there are many 
who should be pointed out. But Jim Hughes, the one responsible for 
transportation, I don't know if he is in this hall right now, but Jim has done 
an admirable job making sure of the VIP transportation for all of the 
activities for our distinguished guests. Thank you very much, Jim. 

Both Departments, my Department of Missouri and also the 
Department of Kansas, thank you all, comrades, very much. Thank you, Jim, 
for being the Convention Chairman. This has been a great, great 
convention. Everything that happens, that went on, it can't get any better 
than this. Thank you very much. 

Here is Jim. He wants to say something. 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER (Department of Missouri): To 
Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot, National Officers, Delegates and 
Members, Past Commanders-in-Chief and Guests, before we bring this, the 
VFW 100th Centennial Convention to a close, I would personally like to 
take this opportunity to express my thanks to some very deserving people. 

I would like to express my thanks to Joe Ridgley, our Convention 
Chairman, to make it a truly memorable convention and one we should all 
be proud to attend. To Benny Bachand, our Convention Manager, to 
Vanessa King, Meeting Manager, and again our national staff in Kansas City 
and the Washington office that worked so hard to make this a great 
convention, all I can say is thank you. 

This was a working convention for them. They have done an 
outstanding job, a terrific job. I would like to thank them for their 
cooperation and support, and I think they deserve a big hand. (Applause) 

I would like to also express my thanks to the many sponsors, 
because they have made this possible. I would like to thank my committee 



192 



personally. This is a bi-state committee like Joe said, of Kansas and Missouri 
members. I would like to take a moment to mention their names. 

From Kansas, we had Roger Sellars, who was Vice-Chairman and 
head of the registration. Reverend Charles Carpenter, who did such an 
excellent job on the Memorial Service. Steve Phelps, meeting and hall 
signs, they put a lot of time in this. Also McKinley Smith, the members for 
Missouri, Paul Connors, Secretary-Treasurer. Ken Cole served as 
distinguished guests chairman, Dale Potter was MOC liaison. 

Pat McCullough was Chairman of the Patriotic Rally. Jack Adams, 
I think has done a terrific job as Medical Chairman. We had one of the 
biggest Health Fairs the convention has ever seen. To Jimmy Hughes, the 
transportation chairman, I can't thank you enough for all you have done. 
You have done a tremendous job. 

There are two things before I leave. I would like to express thanks 
to my counterpart, Chris Bock, of the Ladies Auxiliary and to her ladies. We 
tried to accomplish two things at this convention to make you all feel 
welcome and to make this a memorable convention for you, one that you 
will never forget. I hope we have accomplished this. 

I would like to thank Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot for 
allowing me to serve as your Convention Chairman. May Cod bless all of 
you and this great organization, and please have a safe trip home. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Well, thank you, Jim. 
Everyone knows what it is to be a point man and Jim took on the task of 
being Chairman for this National Convention and he worked very hard. So 
I think we all ought to show a special appreciation to our Chairman Jim 
Mueller. (Applause) 

One more word about the staff. If everything has gone well, and 
you have had a wonderful convention, if you see a staff person say "thank 
you". If it hasn't gone well, see "frick" or "frack". 

NOMINATION OF OFFICERS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, at this time we 
will move into nominations. Those persons who are going to make 
nominations, please come up on the dais at this time. We will begin with 
nominations for the Commander-in-Chief. What? Do you want me to run 
again? Well, maybe not. (Laughter) Is Past Commander-in-Chief Cliff 
Olson in the room? 

At this time we will accept nominations for Commander-in-Chief of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the year 1999-2000. I will call at this time 
on Past Commander-in-Chief Cliff Olson. 

NOMINATION OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OLSON: Thank you, comrades. I 
would have been here a while ago but I couldn't get up the stairs. 



193 



Commander-in-Chief, Comrades and Delegates to the 100th National 
Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, there have been two other 
occasions when I have had the distinct pleasure and profound honor to 
place in nomination for an elected position the name of the comrade I am 
about to nominate. 

This comrade, a retired fire fighter, who has given so much to his 
home community and his fellow man, this veteran who paid the price of 
eligibility while serving in Vietnam with the 176th Division Assault 
Helicopter Company. His dedication and ability to serve the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars has certainly been proven during these past two years as he 
has served as your Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief and as the Senior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief. 

These past two years, he has shown his leadership ability, along 
with his keen spirit, he has shown his knowledge of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, his desire to aid and assist all veterans along with their families. He 
has proven his knowledge and dedication and his ability, not only in the 
past two years but in the many years and in the many ways since he became 
the youngest veteran to be elected to the office of State Commander of the 
Department of New Hampshire of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

He ended that year by being named an All-American Department 
Commander. He has proven his durability to this organization as he has 
held the office of State Adjutant or State/Adjutant Quartermaster for 
approximately 18 years. My comrades, he has traveled extensively 
throughout the organization and throughout the world on behalf of veterans 
this past year. 

I should add in the past two years he has dispensed and acquired 
knowledge and experience that will aid and assist him in our organization 
as we enter the new millennium. He certainly welcomes the opportunity 
to prove that he is a team player, that he is not afraid of the change or 
challenge to challenge those issues that he feels are not in the best interests 
of the veteran or the Veterans of Foreign Wars as we move forward. 

As we enter a new century of service, my comrades, we shall 
proceed with a proven candidate, a man that has the complete support of 
his Post, his state, his conference and I am sure the same support from the 
entire Veterans of Foreign Wars. I also add with the complete support of his 
lovely wife, Mary, and his entire family. 

It is with great and sincere pride that I present to you that comrade 
of which I speak, the man who has shown his keen compassion for all, the 
comrade that has proven his qualifications and his desire to fulfill the duties 
of a higher office. 

Again, I state it is my privilege and distinct honor and without 
reservation that I place in nomination for the high office of Commander-in- 
Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States the name of a 
great and caring friend, a great and caring comrade, a man from the 
Department of New Hampshire, that great granite state, the name of John 
W. Smart. 



194 



COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of a second, I 
call upon John Packard. 

COMRADE JOHN PACKARD (Post 8546 - New Hampshire): My 
comrades and delegates to the 1 00th Anniversary of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, 53 years as a member of the Department of New Hampshire and in 
my day I have never found or seen a candidate as qualified to be the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars than John Smart. 

We have here a young, relatively young, and we have a seasoned 
comrade that has been nominated through the District and the Department 
of New Hampshire, and I will tell you now we have a mature, well- 
knowing candidate. He will be the best Commander-in-Chief. 

I have heard that through all the years, but he will be the best 
Commander-in-Chief that this country has seen. It is my honor and 
privilege to second the nomination of John Smart for Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of a second, I 
recognize Robert Madigan. 

COMRADE ROBERT MADIGAN (Post 483 - New Hampshire): 
Commander-in-Chief, National Officers and Comrades: 

It is indeed an honor for me to stand here today to second the 
nomination of John W. Smart for Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of Commander-in-Chief? Hearing none, the 
nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

NOMINATION OF SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: We will now have the 
nominations for the office of Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief for the year 
1999-2000. Making a nomination will be R. D. "Bulldog" Smith. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMITH: Commander-in-Chief, 
National Officers, Fellow Comrades to the 100th Anniversary Convention 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States: 

Approximately a year ago I had the opportunity to stand before the 
delegation of this great organization to place in nomination the name of our 
candidate for Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief from the great Southern 
Conference. At that time I told you that you would not only be electing a 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief but you would be electing a person that 
was responsible, a person that loves this organization and a person that was 
a go-getter, and when he had completed his year that you would be 
extremely, extremely proud to have had the opportunity to have him serve 
as your Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief. 

John Gwizdak was born July 7, 1940, in Revloc, Pennsylvania, and 
raised in Hellertown, and is a graduate of Hellertown High School. He 
earned his Associate of Arts Degree in Human Resources in Administration 
from the University of the State of New York. 



195 



John retired from the United States Army in June, 1978, after 
completing over 20 years service as a non-commissioned and 
commissioned officer in the infantry. He earned his eligibility in the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars through the occupation of Germany and Berlin, 
and a tour of Vietnam where he served with the 1 99th Light Infantry Brigade 
as an infantry heavy weapons platoon leader and company commander. 

His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, 
Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Bronze Star Medal, including 
one for valor, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Purple Heart, the 
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Pom device, three Army Commendation 
Medals, Army Occupation Medal Berlin, Vietnam Campaign and Service 
Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the 
National Defense Service Medal, Expert Medals for both Rifle and Pistol. 

John joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1976 and is a Life 
Member of Post 5080, Lake City, Georgia. He is also a Life Member of the 
Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Disabled American Veterans. 
His membership also includes the MOC, the American Legion, the 
American Veterans Association, and the Combat Infantrymen's Association. 

John has worked in real estate as a broker and builder since retiring 
from the Army. He is the owner and President of John F. Gwizdak, Inc., and 
owner/broker for Builders Realty. He served from 1992 to 1998 as 
Quartermaster/ Adjutant General for the State of Georgia. 

Since joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars, John has constantly 
applied the extensive leadership gained in the military to the betterment of 
this organization. He has set the example at the Post to National level to 
clearly define representation to our veterans. John has served with 
distinction. 

He has achieved Ail-American Commander in 1988 and 1989. 
During this tenure, he was instrumental by his testimony before Sonny 
Montgomery's Committee on Veterans Medical Care to preclude the closing 
of services at the Dublin, Georgia Medical Center. He has also been the 
veterans advocate before the Georgia State Legislature on many occasions 
while serving in his capacity as Quartermaster/Adjutant for the State of 
Georgia. 

At the National level, John served on the National Council of 
Administration in 1990-92, the Appeals Committee, and Chairman of the 
Americanism and Legislative Committees, and Vice-Chairman of the 
National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee. He was three years on 
the National By-Laws Review Committee. 

John is married to Betty S. Burns. She is a Past Department 
President of the Ladies Auxiliary and served as an aide-de-camp member 
on the National Council of Administration to the Ladies Auxiliary of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars. John and Betty are the parents of five children. 
John, our thoughts and prayers are with you and Betty during the recent 
tragic loss of your daughter, Deborah, and your mother, Mary Lee Smith. 

During this past year, while serving as our Junior Vice Commander- 



196 



in-Chief, John has displayed the professionalism that he possesses not only 
meeting with the world leaders as he traveled abroad, but discussed 
veterans problems with members of Congress, cabinet officials of the 
administration, but more importantly reaching out to the troops on the 
grassroots level, keeping us well informed of the challenges that lie ahead 
for veterans of this great country. 

John is admired by all he has come in contact with and has earned 
the respect that enables him to move on to the next chair level of this great 
organization. My comrades, it is a distinct pleasure for me to place in 
nomination the name of your friend and mine, John Gwizdak, for the high 
office of Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, I thank "Bulldog" 
for making mention of the fact that we need to remember John and his wife, 
Betty, in our prayers during this difficult time for them. 

For purposes of a second, the chair recognizes Richard Branson. 

COMRADE RICHARD BRANSON (Post 5080 - Georgia): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief and Delegates to this 100th National Convention: 

This is a great day in America and certainly a great day for the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars. I am privileged to be afforded the opportunity to 
assist in the presentation of John Gwizdak for Senior Vice Commander-in- 
Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has been a true friend over these 
last years and I know him well. 

He is a dynamic individual with all the necessary requisite 
qualifications, leadership, managerial and personal skills to launch this 
organization into the 21st Century. Throughout this year as Junior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief, he has demonstrated these talents to our comrades 
and sisters. 

He has traveled this nation and world and is always placing us first. 
He has been an ambassador and diplomat, and ensures that our voice is 
heard. His creed is honor with integrity. He never waivers from this creed, 
even when the decision process gets tough. He refers to this membership 
body as heroes. 

You may be assured that he will always represent you with the 
highest esteem. He is proud and humble of his close association with all 
comrades. He is eager to tell anyone who will listen/'l am a member of the 
VFW." John has commented to me many times, "I believe that the majority 
of the comrades get up every day to do the right thing." 

He believes that most of the problems and situations in the VFW 
are totally due to a lack of communication and training. His positive 
leadership style is contagious. He will proactively approach problems with 
quick resolutions. Those of us that have known John as well as I do could 
go on and on. 

You will witness firsthand his capabilities to do a superb job as the 
Senior Vice Commander and ultimately lead this organization. It is with 
distinct honor and it is with great pride that I am afforded the opportunity 



197 



to second the nomination of John Gwizdak for the position of our next 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief? Hearing 
none, the nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

We will now have the nominations for Junior Vice Commander-in- 
Chief for 1 999-2000. The first person to nominate will be Past Commander- 
in-Chief George Cramer. 

NOMINATION OF JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CRAMER: Thank you. Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief Pouliot, National Officers, Delegates to the 100th 
National Convention: 

I rise to place in nomination a comrade, a member and a 
gentleman that I have had the opportunity to serve with at the Post, District 
and Department levels as Commander. James Goldsmith earned his 
eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign Wars by serving in the United States 
Army as an Engineer in Vietnam from April, 1966, to August, 1967. 

He has earned many military decorations which include the 
Vietnam Service and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Jim was recruited by a 
fellow General Motors employee and joined the Flushing VFW Post 5666 in 
1967. He quickly became involved in the Post and served as Post 
Commander in 1973-74, earning All-State Past Commander honors. 

In 1 976, he was elected Manager of District 1 in Michigan and 
earned All-State and Ail-American Honors. Jim has served as Director of 
many Post, District and Department committees. He was All-State Director 
and Membership Director in Michigan. 

In 1978, he was selected as Michigan's Young Veteran of the Year 
and became Michigan's first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the office of 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief in 1980. He progressed through the 
chairs and earned Ail-American Department Commander honors in 1982- 
83. 

Jim continued his VFW service by staying active in all organizations 
of the association and serving as Department Chief of Staff of Michigan 
from 1990 and '92, and on many other committees. He has a vast 
background from serving on many National Committees, which include 
Americanism, Youth Activities and Community Service. 

He has been appointed as a Vice-Chairman of both the POW-MIA 
Committee as well as the National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee. 
Jim was appointed previous years as Chairman of the National Legislative 
Committee. Jim transferred to Lapeer VFW Post 3149 after moving into the 
area and, of course, quickly became involved in many Post activities and 
continues to serve as the Past Adjutant. 

Jim is retired from the AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors 
on October 1, 1997, with 35 years of service. During his employment, he 



198 



was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Committee within his union, 
serving as the committee chairman for 1 7 years. He served on the Genesee 
County Soldiers and Sailors Relief Commission for three years and was 
chairman for one. 

He is also affiliated with the Military Order of the Cootie, the 
American Legion, the Moose and the Eagles. He is married to Janet Marie, 
and they have two sons, Jim and Jeff, and two grandchildren, Chris and 
Margaret Marie. It is my pleasure to place in nomination from the 
Department of Michigan for Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars the name of James N. Goldsmith. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the purposes of a 
second, the chair recognizes John Harrow. 

COMRADE JOHN HARROW (Post 3724 - Michigan): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, Distinguished Guests at this Convention, it is indeed 
an honor for me on behalf of the great State of Michigan and as a personal 
friend to second the nomination of James Goldsmith for the office of Junior 
Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Jim is a man of action, not just of words. During his year as 
Department Commander of our state, he implemented a cancer research 
program that is still active in our Department today. Over those years that 
Department has donated over three-quarters of a million dollars to Wayne 
State University for the purpose of cancer research. 

In short, with Jim Goldsmith, what you see is what you get. He is 
a sincere, dedicated, hard-working VFW member who we, the 80,000 
members of the Department of Michigan, think he will be a great asset in 
working with our great organization to lead the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
into a great exciting century, better than we had in this first one. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the purpose of a second, 
the chair recognizes John Winslow. 

COMRADE JOHN WINSLOW (Post 41 39 - Michigan): Thank you, 
Comrade Commander and distinguished members of the VFW. I am from 
Post 3139, Lapeer, Michigan. It is my honor and also the honor of the 
members of the Post to have the opportunity to second the nomination for 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief one of our own members, Jim Goldsmith. 
Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of National Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief? 
Hearing none, nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

At this time we will have nominations for the office of 
Quartermaster General. Making the nomination will be Bill Radigan. 

NOMINATION OF QUARTERMASTER GENERAL 

COMRADE WILLIAM RADIGAN (Post 3061 - South Dakota): 
Commander-in-Chief, National Officers, Delegates to this Convention: 

It is my pleasure today to be picked to make the nomination for Joe 



199 



Ridgley for the office of Quartermaster General. Joining me at the podium 
are some distinguished people from the administrative field of this 
organization. Representing the Eastern Conference is Stan King, 
Quartermaster of the Department of Massachusetts, the Western 
Conference, Darrell Bencken, Adjutant/Quartermaster from the Department 
of Kansas. 

The Southern Conference, Precilla Wilkewitz, 

Quartermaster/Adjutant of Louisiana; and representing the Big Ten is Paul E. 
Connors of the Department of Missouri. 

In 1970 an ambitious young man took a big step towards life. He 
received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from 
the University of Missouri. That same year this young man joined the 
United States Navy. He served for five years and was deployed to Vietnam 
twice. He served with distinction and with honor. 

In 1976, this young man was looking for a job. He went to the 
VFW National Headquarters and he applied and he was hired. He became 
the Administrative Assistant to the Quartermaster General. He recognized 
that if he were going to advance in this organization, he had to learn it from 
the bottom up. That he did. 

From 1977 to 1985, he served as the Director of Life Membership, 
Purchasing and the dues per capita tax. In 1985, he became the Director 
of the VFW Supply Department. He served in that capacity until 1 991 . The 
wisdom of this organization recognized that he had great potential and was 
well-prepared. 

In 1991, he was appointed Assistant Quartermaster General. In 
1995, this organization elected him to the high office of Quartermaster 
General, which he still holds to this day. I am humbled when I think of 
what this individual has done to prepare himself for service, to serve this 
organization, both mentally and physically. 

The Quartermaster General is a tough job. You have to be able to 
physically handle it as well as mentally. I think we have a wonderful 
individual in Joe Ridgley. I think he is well prepared to see us through some 
changes, some different times, and I think he is prepared to tell us in a 
simple statement that there will always be money in the bank as long as he 
is handling our finances. 

I am so proud today to nominate a comrade that I admire greatly, 
both as an individual and as a National Officer. I think that those of us that 
know him well feel that way. He is not to us just an officer. He is a co- 
worker, and the kind of man we need for this great organization. 

So I feel humble but very honored to place in nomination today for 
the high office of Quartermaster General the name of Joe L. Ridgley from 
Post 8220, Belton, Missouri, a great guy. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the purposes of a 
second, the chair recognizes Paul Connors. 

COMRADE PAUL CONNORS (Post 30 - Missouri): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief and delegates to our 100th Anniversary, I could not 



200 



be more pleased today than to represent the Big Ten and the State of 
Missouri. As you know, Missouri is the Show Me State. I hope we have 
shown you, with great help from the State of Kansas, that this convention 
was a most tremendous success. 

Joe's success speaks for himself now and in the past, and I believe 
that he will carry us forward into the future. His successes are the main 
assets. He has another asset, and we point to that in the State of Missouri 
every occasion that we can. 

He speaks to you from right here. This emblem is in his heart. He 
is first a member and second an officer, and third a great friend of this 
organization. I second the nomination of Joe Ridgley as our Quartermaster 
General for the future. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of Quartermaster General? Hearing none, 
nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

At this time we will have the nominations for the office of Surgeon 
General. Making that nomination will be Past Commander-in-Chief Billy 
Ray Cameron. 

NOMINATION OF SURGEON GENERAL 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CAMERON: Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. It is with great pleasure that I have the opportunity 
to nominate Curtis O. "Doc" Bohlman for the high office of Surgeon 
General. He was born in a rural area of Oklahoma and graduated from 
high school in Oklahoma. 

He attended the University of Oklahoma in pre-med for three years 
before studying at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine from 
1 962 to 1 965. He received his Doctor's Degree in July, 1 965, and a rotating 
internship in Mercer College Hospital in Oklahoma City, July, 1965, 
through July, 1966. 

Then he was in the United States Navy Reserves from September, 
1966. He attended the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, 
Florida, and earned his flight service wings in 1967. He volunteered for 
duty with the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam, served as the first 
flight surgeon forVM-0-2 Huey gun ship, at Marble Mountain in Vietnam in 
the Da Nang area. 

He received all the Vietnam medals, the Presidential Unit Citation, 
and was honorably discharged. He was in the general practice of medicine, 
and he did that for 20 years in rural Oklahoma, a practice in the private 
sector. He was Board certified in family practice in 1977. 

He currently serves as the facility division for the William S. Kay 
Correctional Center, Department of Corrections for the State of Oklahoma. 
He was afforded the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Community 
Service Award in 1991. He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1975, 
becoming a Life Member in 1977. 



201 



I think it is important that I show you, if I read some of these 
positions he has held in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. This shows although 
he is a medical doctor and he has had a very successful practice, he also 
has been very active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

In 1991-92, he served as All-American Post Commander, the Team 
Captain for the All-State Post Commanders, and also was elected Surgeon 
General for the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the first time. I think it is the 
first time in history that someone has been elected on the national level that 
was also an All-American at the same time. 

In 1 992-93, he was Chairman of the National Voice of Democracy. 
1993-94, Vice-Chairman of the National Voice of Democracy Committee 
and Team Captain of the All-State District Commanders. He was Chairman 
of the Department of Oklahoma Voice of Democracy. 

In 1995-96, he was elected Surgeon General. He served as the 
Chairman of the Oklahoma Voice of Democracy Chairman. He also has 
been an All-State Past Commander and he has been awarded many awards 
for recruiting in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

He presently serves on the National Home Board. Dr. Bohlman 
and his wife, Juanita, reside in Whitworth, Oklahoma, where he is a Life 
Member of Post 1335. It is with great honor that I present the name of 
Curtis O. "Doc" Bohlman for Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States of America. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of a second, 
the chair recognizes Ross Henry. 

COMRADE ROSS HENRY (Post 125 - New York): Thank you, 
Comrade. Commander-in-Chief and delegates, I am honored to be here to 
second the nomination of "Doc" Bohlman. "Doc" and I serve on the 
National Home as Trustees and the time and effort he has spent on that 
alone has been an honor for every one that has anything to do with the 
Home. 

Several times I have called his home in Oklahoma in the evening 
only to find that he was at his local Post working bingo. I wanted to point 
out that the man, even though he is going on the National level, still has his 
ties at home. Again, I am pleased to be here to second the nomination of 
Doc Bohlman. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of a second, 
the chair recognizes Jay Bjorgo. 

COMRADE JAY BJORGO (Post 9263 - Oklahoma): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief and National Officers, and comrades, it is with great 
honor that I stand up here to second the nomination of a very outstanding, 
distinguished man that I have the honor and privilege of calling my friend, 
Curtis "Doc" Bohlman. 

This will be his third time going for Surgeon General, and he has 
worked hard. He has been the VOD Chairman in Oklahoma for six years, 



202 



and every year our program grows stronger and stronger. He is relentless in 
his efforts and is constantly working hard for us. 

He has helped me on my staff and he has guided me. It is a great 
honor for me to second the nomination of "Doc" Bohlman for Surgeon 
General. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of Surgeon General? Hearing none, the 
nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

At this time we will have nominations for the office of Judge 
Advocate General for the year 1 999-2000. Making the nomination will be 
Jim Dickens, Department Commander. 

NOMINATION OF JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL 

COMRADE JAMES DICKENS (Post 5532 - Ohio): Commander-in- 
Chief Pouliot, National Officers and Delegates to this 100th Convention: 

It is my pleasure to place in nomination the name of a comrade 
who is a Life Member of Post 5553, Bowling Green, Missouri, who served 
as the Department Commander in 1996-97. He obtained his eligibility 
through his service in Vietnam and is retired from the United States Army. 

He currently is serving his seventeenth year as a Municipal Court 
Judge from the great Department of Missouri. It is my honor to nominate 
Donald Watts for the high office of Judge Advocate General. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the purposes of a 
second, the chair recognizes Omar Kendall. 

COMRADE OMAR KENDALL (Post 673 - Indiana): Commander-in- 
Chief Pouliot and comrades, I proudly second the nomination of Donald 
Watts for the office of Judge Advocate General. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of Judge Advocate General? Hearing none, the 
nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

We will now have the nomination for the office of National 
Chaplain for the year 1999-2000. To make that nomination will be Past 
State Commander Ray Sisk. 

NOMINATION OF NATIONAL CHAPLAIN 

COMRADE RAY SISK (Post 9791 - California): Thank you, 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief. Commander-in-Chief, National Officers, 
and certainly to you the comrades in this audience and delegates to this 
100th Convention: 

It is an honor and privilege to stand before you this morning and 
place in nomination the name of Cornelius P. O'Connor as the National 
Chaplain for the year 1 999-2000. Let me assure you that here is a comrade 
that came over from Ireland at the age of 1 6, studied for the priesthood in 
New Jersey and New York. 



203 



He has been an outstanding member of our organization for 56 
years. He has been a Post Chaplain most of the time in his service to the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has been our Department Chaplain in 
California for ten years. He has been our Western Conference Chaplain for 
three consecutive years. 

Pat is also a U.S. Navy veteran. He served in the Pacific during 
World War II. As I said, the 13th of this month he celebrated 56 years in 
theVFW His nomination by me this morning is a real honor for me. I have 
known Pat for many, many years, and he has been an All-State Post 
Commander and he has worked in the VFW and he has been very 
instrumental in our National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action 
program. 

He has all the things that are necessary to be our National 
Chaplain. We must remember our God, and he is one person that will 
certainly represent you, the comrades in this organization, to the best of his 
ability. I urge you to please vote for Pat. I am pleased to place in 
nomination the name of Cornelius P. O'Connor as our National Chaplain. 
Thank you so much. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For the purpose of a second, 
I recognize the State Commander Steve Jacob. 

COMRADE STEVE JACOB (Post 5944 - California): Good morning, 
comrades. Commander-in-Chief Pouliot and our National Officers, I stand 
before you to second the nomination of Cornelius Pat O'Connor. I have 
known this comrade for over 20 years, and he is an exceptional Chaplain. 

He is there when you need him and he is there when someone 
passes on. It doesn't make any difference whether in the State of California 
or not. He actually left yesterday to do a wedding for somebody yesterday. 
He is very active in this organization. He continues to work for the 
membership. He will bring in that second century with honors because he 
is an honorable person. I ask you to consider him as your National 
Chaplain. Thank you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Are there any other 
nominations for the office of National Chaplain? Hearing none, the 
nominations will remain open until tomorrow. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON GENERAL RESOLUTIONS (Cont'd.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I call to the microphone the 
Chairman of the General Resolutions Committee, Ray Soden. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SODEN: Comrade Commander- 
in-Chief, National Officers and Delegates to this outstanding convention: 

I rise to offer a motion on behalf of the Resolutions Committee and 
certainly the delegates of this convention which will cover three areas. 
Number one, is to have the Commander-in-Chief direct the Adjutant 
General to prepare a citation commending the city of our convention host 
and present this Citation, thanking them for their outstanding contributions, 



204 



their hospitality to this 100th Convention. 

Secondly, that a Citation be prepared to be presented to the 
Adjutant General, the Quartermaster General and their staffs on behalf of 
all of us for the outstanding job in putting this convention together. 

Thirdly, that a proper citation be prepared and presented to the 
Department of Missouri, the Show Me State, because they have shown us 
an outstanding convention. I move this be done. 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I second that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion and the second. I will move the question. All those in favor will 
say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion carries. 

At this time I would like to dismiss the General Resolutions 
Committee and thank the Chairman and the Committee for a job well done. 

Sergeant-at-Arms, you will prepare us for our Closing Ceremonies. 

(Whereupon, the Salute to the Colors was given at this time 
followed by the Closing Prayer by Father Neville.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, 
the Closing Ceremonies for today's Business Session have been performed. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you, Sergeant-at- 
Arms. We will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 9:00 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, the session was recessed at 12:10 o'clock p.m.) 



205 



FOURTH BUSINESS SESSION 
FRIDAY MORNING, AUGUST 20, 1 999 

(The Fourth Business Session of the 100th National Convention of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held in the H. Roe Bartle 
Convention Center, Kansas City, Missouri, was called to order at 9:00 
o'clock a.m., with Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot presiding.) 

CALL TO ORDER 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Sergeant-at-Arms, prepare 
the room for our Opening Ceremonies. 

SALUTE TO COLORS AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Yes, sir, Commander-in-Chief. 
All rise, please, and face the flag of our nation, standing at attention and 
salute. 

(Whereupon, Sergeant-at-Arms Hoffman led the convention in the 
Salute to the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance at this time, followed by 
the Opening Prayer.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in-Chief 
Pouliot, the Opening Ceremonies for the final Business Session have been 
performed. 

FINAL REPORT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I would like to introduce the 
members of the Credentials Committee so that they can be recognized. 
First, we have our chairman, who will report at this time, Richard Trombla. 

COMRADE RICHARD TROMBLA (Post 1174 - Kansas): 
Commander-in-Chief, I am Richard Trombla, Chairman of the Credentials 
Committee from Post 1 1 74, Department of Kansas. Comrades, this is a final 
report at this meeting. The total delegates, 14,307. Department 
Commanders, 53; Past Commanders-in-Chief, 31; National Officers, 36, 
making a total of 14,429. 

Commander-in-Chief, this is the final report of this committee. We 
would like to thank you for the honor and privilege we have had in serving 
you this year and we would like to be discharged. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: From Delaware, we have 
Elwood B. Rickards, and from Illinois, John Muscola. Thank you, comrades. 
At this time I will dismiss the Credentials Committee and thank you for a 
job well done. John is joining the Credentials Committee this year, because 
James Kennedy passed away, from Minnesota. So at this time we will just 
have a moment of silence. 

Thank you, comrades and sisters. I would like to mention at this 



206 



time to Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Gwizdak that you are in our 
prayers during this time. 

COMPLETION OF CONVENTION BUSINESS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Is there any other business to 
come before this, our 100th Annual Convention? Hearing none, we will 
now proceed into the elections. 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Yesterday, nominated for 
Commander-in-Chief was John W. Smart. Are there any other nominations? 
Are there any other nominations? Are there any other nominations? 

The chair recognizes John Packard. 

COMRADE JOHN PACKARD (Post 8546 - New Hampshire): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I make a motion that the nominations be 
closed and the Adjutant General cast one ballot for John W. Smart as 
National Commander-in-Chief. 

COMRADE ROBERT MADIGAN (Post 483 - New Hampshire): I 
second that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, we have a 
motion and a second. All in favor will say "aye"; all opposed. The motion 
carried. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, it is an honor 
and a privilege for me to cast one unanimous ballot for the election of John 
W. Smart as Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States for the 1 999-2000 year. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, yesterday placed 
in nomination for the office of Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief was the 
name of John F. Gwizdak. 

The chair recognizes R. D. "Bulldog" Smith. 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF R. D. SMITH: Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. I am R. D. "Bulldog" Smith, a delegate from VFW 
Post 4346, Department of Georgia. I now ask that the nominations be 
closed for Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief and that John F. Gwizdak be 
elected to that high position. I ask the Adjutant General to cast one 
unanimous vote for the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John F. Gwizdak. 

COMRADE WILLIAM JOHNSON (Post 658 - Georgia): I second 
that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion and the second. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those 
opposed. The motion carried. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, as the 



207 



Adjutant General, it gives me great pleasure to cast one unanimous ballot 
for the election of John F. Gwizdak, Jr., as Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief 
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States for the year 1 999-2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, yesterday 
nominated for the Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief for 1999-2000 was 
James N. Goldsmith. Are there any other nominations? Are there any other 
nominations? Are there any other nominations? 

The Chair recognizes Comrade Harold. 

COMRADE JOHN HAROLD (Post 3724 - Michigan): I move that 
the nominations be closed for Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief and the 
Adjutant General be instructed to cast one unanimous ballot for James N. 
Goldsmith for Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States. 

COMRADE KENNETH SNOW (Post 6977 - Maine): I second that 
motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion and a second. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those 
opposed. The motion carries. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, the Adjutant 
General is proud to cast one ballot for the unanimous selection of James N. 
Goldsmith to the high office of Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief for the year 
1999-2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, for the office of 
Quartermaster General, for the year 1999-2000, the name of Joe L. Ridgley 
has been placed in nomination. Are there any other nominations? Are 
there any other nominations? Are there any other nominations? 

The chair recognizes Bob Newell. 

COMRADE BOB NEWELL (Department of Missouri): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I move that nominations cease and that the Adjutant 
General cast a unanimous ballot for Joe L. Ridgley for the office of 
Quartermaster General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

COMRADE JIM MUELLER (Department of Missouri): I am proud to 
second the nomination for a very dedicated and hard working individual. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion 
carries. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, as the 
Adjutant General it is a privilege for me to cast one unanimous ballot for 
the election of Joel. Ridgley for Quartermaster General for the year 1 999- 
2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, placed in 
nomination for the office of Judge Advocate General for the year 1 999-2000 
was the name of Donald W. Watts. Are there any other nominations? Are 
there any other nominations? Are there any other nominations? Are there 
any other nominations? 

The chair recognizes Bob Newell. 



208 



COMRADE BOB NEWELL (Department of Missouri): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, I move that nominations cease and that the Adjutant 
General cast a unanimous ballot for Donald W. Watts for Judge Advocate 
General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 

COMRADE JAMES MUELLER (Department of Missouri): I second 
the nomination. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: You have heard the motion. 
All those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion carries. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, the Adjutant 
General casts one unanimous ballot for the election of Donald W. Watts for 
Judge Advocate General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 
for the year 1999-2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and delegates, for the 
office of Surgeon General for the year 1 999-2000, is the name of Curtis O. 
"Doc" Bohlman. Are there any other nominations? Are there any other 
nominations? Are there any other nominations? 

The chair recognizes Larry LeFebvre. 

COMRADE LAWRENCE LeFEBVRE (Post 552 - Michigan): 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I move the nominations be closed and the 
Adjutant General cast one unanimous ballot for Dr. Curtis Bohlman for the 
office of Surgeon General for the ensuing year. 

JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GWIZDAK: I second the 
motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Comrades, you have heard 
the motion. All those in favor will say "aye"; all those opposed. The motion 
carries. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Commander-in-Chief, it is a 
privilege for me to cast one unanimous ballot for Curtis Bohlman for 
Surgeon General for the year 1 999-2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Placed in nomination for the 
office of National Chaplain for the year 1 999-2000 was the name of the 
Reverend C. Pat O'Connor. Are there any other nominations? Are there any 
other nominations? Are there any other nominations? 

The chair recognizes Jim Rowoldt. 

COMRADE JAMES ROWOLDT: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I 
move that the nominations be closed and that Pat O'Connor be elected as 
National Chaplain. Also that the Adjutant General be instructed to cast a 
unanimous ballot for Pat O'Connor for the office of National Chaplain for 
the ensuing year. 

COMRADE RICHARD EUBANK (Department of California): I 
would like to second the nomination for Pat O'Connor for National 
Chaplain. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: You have heard the motion. 
All in favor will say "aye"; all opposed. The motion carried. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: Comrade Commander, I cast one 
unanimous ballot for the election of Pat O'Connor as National Chaplain of 



209 



the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the year 1 999-2000. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Ladies and gentlemen, that 
completes the election of the National Officers for the ensuing year 1999- 
2000. Let's hear it one more time for all of these National Officers. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: For purposes of 

announcements, the chair recognizes our Adjutant General John Senk. 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBERS-ELECT 
BY ADJUTANT GENERAL 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: At this time, the Commander-in- 
Chief-Elect will present the incoming Council members with their caps. 
Sergeant-at-Arms, please present the Commander-in-Chief-Elect for 
presentation of the caps. 

Representing Council District No. 1, Maine and New Hampshire, 
Donald W. Linscott, Jr, Post 1603. 

Representing Council District No. 3, Maryland and New Jersey, 
William Goode, Post 809. 

Representing District No. 5, Indiana and Missouri, Omar F. 
Kendall, Post 673. 

Representing Council District No. 7, Tennessee and Kentucky, John 
Furgess, Post 1 970. 

Representing Council District No. 9, South Carolina and North 
Carolina, William J. Jolin, Post 6087. 

Representing Council District No. 1 1, Wisconsin and Iowa, Curt J. 
Taylor, Post 1318. 

Representing Council District No. 13, Nebraska and Kansas, Billy 
C. Smith, Post 7028. 

Representing Council District No. 15, New Mexico, Colorado and 
Arizona, Vincent J. Mitchell, Post 9972. 

Representing Council District No. 17, Utah, Nevada and Oregon, 
Charles D. Fuller, Post 966. 

Representing Council District No. 19, Louisiana and Mississippi, 
W. Hugh Long, Post 6743. 

Representing District A, Pennsylvania, Allen Q. Jones, Post No. 21 . 

Representing Council District B, Illinois, Clyde F. Davis, Jr., Post 
1604. 

Representing Council District C, New York, George S. Smith, Post 
No. 53. 

Representing Council District No. F, Michigan, Ernest E. Myers, Sr., 
Post 4090. 

Representing Council District G, California, Robert J. Maxwell, 
Post 1932. 

Representing District J, Florida, Robert M. Sprute, Post 5625. 



210 



ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENTS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF- 
ELECT 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Congratulations to all those 
new Council members on their election. 

At this time for purposes of announcement of appointments, the 
chair recognizes the Commander-in-Chief-Elect John Smart. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF-ELECT SMART: Thank you, 

Commander-in-Chief. Thank you all, comrades, sisters and friends. It is 
indeed an honor for me this morning to make the following appointments: 

For Adjutant General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, John J. Senk, Jr. 

National Chief of Staff, Arthur E. Koch, III, Post 6780, New York. 

For Inspector General, John J. Zuba, Sr., Post 1034, Vermont. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: The Commander-in-Chief- 
Elect has selected Past Commander-in-Chief Bob Wallace to be his 
installation officer. Please escort Past Commander-in-Chief Bob Wallace to 
the dais. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, 
I am very honored and pleased to present to you the installing officer for the 
100th Anniversary celebration, Past Commander-in-Chief Bob Wallace. 

INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, 
the term for which you and your subordinate officers were elected or 
appointed has now expired. Before we proceed with the installation 
ceremony, I must ascertain the following. Have the officers for the ensuing 
year been duly elected? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POUUOT: They have. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Have the books of the Adjutant 
General and the Quartermaster General been examined and approved by 
the National Council of Administration? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: They have. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Does the Adjutant General 
have on file proof of eligibility of all officers to be installed during this 
installation? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: He has. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: I would remind any officer not 
having proof of eligibility on file and not being installed at this time, the By- 
Laws prescribe that you must within 60 days of election or appointment 
submit to the Adjutant General for his file a copy of eligibility. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, are the funds in the hands of the 
Quartermaster General ready to be turned over to his successor when duly 
installed? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: They are. 



211 



INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Do you have the Charter in 
your possession? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: I do. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: You will now give the gavel to 
me. Now, Fast Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot, you have now 
been relieved of your duties as Commander-in-Chief of this organization. It 
is proper to remind you that in assuming the chair of Past Commander-in- 
Chief it will be your duty and privilege to counsel and otherwise assist your 
successor through the experiences that you have gained during your term 
of office. You will now station yourself at my right. 

National Sergeant-at-Arms, you will now present the officers-elect 
at the alter as the Adjutant General reads the list of officers to be installed. 
I will note that the Commander-in-Chief will take the Oath of Office with 
the rest of the Council of Administration as well as his own oath. 
ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: The officers are as follows: 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief - John F. Gwizdak, Jr. 

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief - James N. Goldsmith 

Quartermaster General - Joe L. Ridgley 

Judge Advocate General - Donald W. Watts 

Surgeon General - Dr. Curtis Bohlman 

National Chaplain - C. Pat O'Connor 

National Chief of Staff - Arthur E. Koch, III 

Inspector General - John J. Zuba, Sr. 

National Council Members are as follows: 



District No. 


1 


Donald W. Linscott, Jr. 


District No. 


2 


Bradley F. Reynolds 


District No. 


3 


William Goode 


District No. 


4 


G. P. "Jerry" Miserandino, Sr. 


District No. 


5 


Omar F. Kendall 


District No. 


6 


Bobby Walls 


District No. 


7 


John Furgess 


District No. 


8 


Ray E. Brooks 


District No. 


9 


William J. Jolin 


District No. 


10 


Eugene H. George 


District No. 


11 


Curt J. Taylor 


District No. 


12 


Richard J. Belling 


District No. 


13 


Billy C.Smith 


District No. 


14 


George F. Riedel 


District No. 


15 


Vincent J. Mitchell 


District No. 


16 


Thomas I. Elliott 


District No. 


17 


Charles D. Fuller 


District No. 


18 


Ronald Rusakiewicz 


District No. 


19 


W. Hugh Long 


District A 




Allen Q. Jones 


District B 




Clyde F. Davis, Jr. 


District C 




George S. Smith 



212 



District D - Craig D. Swartz 

District E - Donald L. Gates, Jr. 

District F - Ernest E. Myers, Sr. 

District G - Robert J. Maxwell 

District H - Alexander Vernon 

District J - Robert M. Sprute 

Past Commander-in-Chief - Thomas A. Pouliot 

Adjutant General - John J. Senk, Jr. 

The Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the 
year 1 999-2000 is John W. Smart. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Will you remain standing, 
please. National Officers-Elect of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States, I will administer to you your Officers' Obligation. 

You will raise your right hand, touch the flag of your country with 
your left hand and touch the shoulder of the comrade next to you and 
repeat after me. 

(Whereupon, the following Officers' Obligation was given at this 
time: "I do hereby solemnly promise that I will faithfully discharge to the 
best of my ability the duties of the office to which I have been elected or 
appointed, according to the By-Laws and Ritual of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States. I solemnly promise that at the close of the term 
to which I have been elected or appointed, or sooner if so ordered by 
proper authority, I will surrender immediately to only the duly authorized 
person or persons, all records, money, or other properties of this 
organization in my possession or under my control. All this I freely 
promise, upon my honor, as a loyal citizen of our great Republic. So help 
me God.") 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: As you were. 

National Chaplain, you will deliver the prayer. 

NATIONAL CHAPLAIN THOMAS NEVILLE: Almighty God, our 
guide and divine protector, give Thy blessings upon these, our comrades, 
who now become National Officers. We beseech you, O Lord, who art 
ever present amongst us, grant wisdom unto them so that in their 
deliberations they continue to favor Thee, our glorious country and to the 
betterment of our organization. 

May your strength sustain them and may your power preserve 
them, and may your hand protect them in the faithful and fruitful 
performance of their duties. Amen. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: The audience may be seated. 
National Sergeant-at-Arms, you will now escort the officers to their 
respective stations where they will remain. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Yes, sir. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: National Officers of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, you now occupy positions of 
honor to which you have been elected or appointed. Learn well the 
responsibilities entrusted to you so that you may intelligently discharge the 



213 



duties you are to undertake. The By-Laws and Ritual of our organization 
prescribe in detail the duties of your respective offices. 

By virtue of the confidence placed in you, through your election or 
appointment, we assume you will thoroughly acquaint yourselves with your 
duties. Council members, you may be seated. 

The National Sergeant-at-Arms will now escort the Commander-in- 
Chief-Elect to his office. 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: F"ast Commander-in-Chief and 
Installing Officer for this 100th Anniversary celebration, I am honored and 
proud to present to you the Commander-in-Chief-Elect John W. Smart. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Commander-in-Chief-Elect 
John W. Smart, before administering your obligation, it is proper to remind 
you of certain duties. You will be held responsible for the Charter of this 
organization and at the end of your term of office surrender it to the officer 
to install your successor. 

It will be your duty to see that all National Officers perform their 
duties to the best of their ability. You shall keep yourself informed of all 
proposed legislation which may affect, or potential affect, the welfare of 
members of our organization, and strive for adoption of only those 
measures which will be beneficial. 

You will be required to devote all your time to the many duties of 
your office. You are expected to make a special study of the By-Laws and 
Ritual of this organization so that you may render firm and impartial 
decisions on important matters referred to you. 

As Commander-in-Chief, you will be regarded by your comrades 
and by the general public as typifying wise and vigorous leadership in the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. May all of your efforts and 
accomplishments bring credit to your administration and our organization. 

Comrade John W. Smart, are you willing to assume and ready to 
assume your solemn Obligation? 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF-ELECT SMART: I am. 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: Will the audience please stand. 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief John W. Smart, you will raise your right 
hand, touch the flag of our country with your left, give your name as I touch 
your head, and repeat after me. 

(Whereupon, Commander-in-Chief-Elect Smart received the 
following Obligation: "In the presence of Almighty God and the Officers 
and Delegates of this Order here assembled, I, John W. Smart, do hereby 
solemnly promise that I will faithfully discharge, to the best of my ability, 
the duties of the office of Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States, to which I have been elected in accordance with 
the By-Laws and Ritual of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 
I solemnly promise that at the close of the term to which I have been 
elected, or sooner if so ordered by proper authority, I will surrender 
immediately to only the duly authorized person or persons, the National 
Charter, all records, money and other properties of this organization in my 



214 



possession or under my control. 

"I do further solemnly promise that I will be fair and impartial in all 
my actions towards all comrades, and I will always strive to promote the 
best interests of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. So help 
me God.") 

INSTALLING OFFICER WALLACE: I would ask the Council 
members to please remain and all Past Commanders-in-Chief to also 
remain standing. Comrade Commander-in-Chief, I now place in your 
possession the Charter, and I also present you with this gavel, which is the 
emblem of your authority. Use it firmly but with discretion. 

All National Officers and all Past Commanders-in-Chief and 
Comrades, you stretch forth your right hand and repeat after me: "To you, 
Comrade Commander-in-Chief John W Smart, to you I pledge my sincere 
allegiance." 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, National Officers and Delegates of 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, at this 100th convention, 
I now proclaim the National Officers duly installed and this organization is 
in good working order for the ensuing year. 

Commander-in-Chief, may I be the first one to congratulate you 
and wish the "New Century of Service" nothing but the best success for the 
betterment of veterans in the military of this nation. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged standing 
ovation.) 

PRESENTATION OF CAPS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you all so very, very 
much. At this time I would like to present the newly-elected officers with 
their caps. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: At this time we will present the caps 
to the newly-elected officers. First is Commander-in-Chief John W Smart. 
His cap will be placed on his head by his wife Mary. 

Placing of the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Gwizdak's 
cap is by his wife, Betty. 

Next will be Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief James N. Goldsmith, 
by his wife, Jan. 

Next is Quartermaster General Joe L. Ridgley, by his wife, Judy. 

Judge Advocate General Donald Watts will have his hat placed on 
his head by the Commander-in-Chief. 

Surgeon General, Dr. Curtis Bohlman, will have his hat placed on 
his head by his wife, Juanita. 

National Chaplain Pat O'Connor will have his hat placed on his 
head by his wife, Millie. 

National Chief of Staff, Arthur E. Koch, III, will have his hat placed 
on his head by his wife, Brenda. 

Inspector General John J. Zuba, Sr., will have his hat placed on his 



215 



head by the Commander-in-Chief. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Placing the cap on the head of 
our Adjutant General is his son, Sean. 

ADJUTANT GENERAL SENK: I think we are going to have a year 
full of surprises. Placing the pin on the lapel of the Junior Vice Commander- 
in-Chief will be his son, John. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I call to the podium now the 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Gwizdak for the presentation of the 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief's pin. At this time the Senior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief will pin the Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief's pin on 
James N. Goldsmith. 

At this time I would like to call to the podium for his remarks the 
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, John W. Gwizdak. 

REMARKS BY SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GWIZDAK 

SENIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GWIZDAK: Thank you, 
Commander-in-Chief. It is your day, so we will keep our remarks mostly 
limited. May I say this, I thank the good Lord for giving me the opportunity 
to be here and for returning me from a place of war so that I could serve 
our veterans again. 

To my family, Betty, Ray, those seated on the dais, and my Georgia 
family, thank you so much for putting me here. And to my family in the 
audience, thanks again for what you have done for me. The opportunity to 
serve veterans is not a responsibility but an honor. 

When we serve veterans on a daily basis, we know one thing, it is 
impossible to do anything wrong because everything that we do is done for 
some reason. Those veterans that need it the most, you know they have to 
have it from us because this ungrateful nation so often has forgotten them. 
You and I need to make that difference. 

It is hard to believe that after 223 years, after the first shots that 
were fired on that bridge up north and when the blood ran through the 
decks of that bridge into that soft rolling water, when the contract was 
written with America's veterans that we should stand here today and have 
to beg and plead to be cared for after we have protected America, carried 
the flag in all different parts of this world and to see today that you and I 
still have to stand up here and say we need to be cared for, the orphans and 
widows. It is a shame that America can work that way. You and I have to 
make a difference. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, to you I pledge my sincere 
allegiance. You are pledged my commitment and those of us that sit in this 
audience today know one thing, we are in a "New Century of Service". 
God loves you, America needs to love you and you know I love you. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: At this time I call James 
Goldsmith to the podium for his remarks. 



216 



REMARKS BY JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GOLDSMITH 

JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GOLDSMITH: Com- 
mander-in-Chief John Smart, let me just take a few minutes. I will be brief 
because today is your day. First, I would like to just have my family stand 
up and be recognized. They have put up with so much to allow us to do 
the things that we do. 

First is my beautiful wife Jan. Thank you so much. Next would be 
the delegates from Michigan. John, today is your day and I can only say to 
you I pledge to you my wholehearted support. I don't much care what 
happens next year or what happens two years down the road, but I feel we 
are going to be successful this year under John Smart's leadership. 

My friends, success breeds more success. I heard once that it is not 
important what I do, and that is probably true, but what is important is what 
you do for I cannot move a mountain, but two million people can move a 
mountain. We are going to move some mountains this year. 

Once again, thank you for allowing me to serve as Junior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Remember one other 
thing, keep life simple and God bless. 

PRESENTATION OF PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 
LAPEL PIN AND GOLD LIFE MEMBERSHIP CARD 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: At this time for a presentation, 
I would like to call to the podium Past Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot 
and his wife, Shirley. Shirley will now present the Past Commander-in- 
Chief with his lapel pin. 

Comrade Commander-in-Chief, it is my privilege and honor on 
behalf of the two million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to 
present to you your Gold Life Membership Card on behalf of all of us. 
Thank you for an outstanding "Volunteer Service" year. 

At this time please welcome Past Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot 
for his remarks. 

REMARKS BY PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT 

PAST COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POULIOT: Thank you very much, 
comrades, and especially my sisters in the Ladies Auxiliary. We have had 
an outstanding year. I believe that we have moved the VFW and its Ladies 
Auxiliary in the cause of veterans forward. I know in this "New Century of 
Service" our veterans will be even better served. 

At this time I would like to say on behalf of myself and my wife, 
Shirley, we appreciate all of the courtesies and hospitality. We will 
remember you always, but especially we will remember your friendship. 
We thank you. As we traveled to your Posts, your Auxiliaries and your 
Departments, you have always made us feel right at home. We appreciate 



217 



that. Cod bless you for the work you continue to do for our veterans. 
ACCEPTANCE ADDRESS BY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: At this time I would like to take 
a moment and introduce some guests that are with me. Once again, my 
wife Mary Smart, and my son John, Jr., my brother-in-law and sister, Dana 
and Darlene, and two individuals that have recommended me for the office, 
Bob and Dottie Madigan and John Packard. 

Before I give my acceptance speech, like many of you, many of our 
friends are not here today who put us where we are today. I know God is 
watching over us and they are with us today. I thank them up above. Thank 
you all so very much. 

My most heartfelt thanks to all of you who made this day possible. 
First, I owe a debt of gratitude to all the men and women of the VFW for 
your selflessness and energy in sustaining this great organization, and for 
the confidence you have shown in me. 

I offer my special thanks to my entire family, and particularly, my 
wife, Mary. Without the strength, sacrifices and endurance of all of you, 
without your commitment that I should serve, this day of pledging my 
service to God, country and my fellow veterans would never have 
occurred. I thank you all very much. 

To all of the Post, District and Department Commanders, I thank 
you and praise your leadership in harnessing and directing this 
organization's strength and vitality in the service of veterans of our nation. 
I welcome you to the Smart, Gwizdak and Goldsmith team. 

My special thanks to the Eastern States Conference for having 
brought me to this, the most humbling, yet proudest moment of my VFW 
life. Also thanks to my beloved Department of New Hampshire, also to 
former National Council District No. 1, Maine, New Hampshire and 
Vermont; and my Post, Post No. 483, and the Post that I first joined after 
Vietnam, Exeter Post No. 2181. And my most special thanks to the great 
ladies of our Auxiliary. Will all the ladies in the Auxiliary from New 
Hampshire, please rise and be recognized. 

To my President, Lorraine Frier and all the members of the Ladies 
Auxiliary, I thank you for all that you do. You are true partners in all of our 
accomplishments, and I know that you will remain such as we move 
forward into a "New Century of Service." 

I thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to lead the Smart, 
Gwizdak and Goldsmith leadership team. Under this leadership team, the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall never waver nor relent 
in caring for America's true heroes, our nation's veterans and our active duty 
military personnel. 

Let there be no question, we are a team, we are united and we are 
fully committed. I pledge to all of you here today and to all of those who 
came before us, who will follow tomorrow, I will answer your trust and 



218 



meet your expectations as the VFW's Commander-in-Chief. 

There is no doubt in my mind that you did not elect me as the 
leader of this great organization to sit back in silence and watch as veterans' 
programs and entitlements are thanklessly eroded, even as our men and 
women in uniform are subjected to intolerable deprivations and insult. 

As your leader, I pledge to you all of my spirit and strength — the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars and I will never relent or go silent — in the service 
of this nation's true heroes, our veterans and our military personnel. 

For 100 years, the VFW has been the major force in America for 
veterans, our active duty forces in our communities. I fully intend that this 
proud tradition will continue and be expanded upon as we embark upon 
"a New Century of Service." 

Toward this end, we as an organization must look to ourselves to 
see how we may cultivate our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses. As 
Commander-in-Chief, I am directing the establishment of a special 
Diversity Committee, with the mandate of determining how we may be 
more inclusive as an organization, how we may better address the concerns 
and issues affecting women, African-Americans, Hispanics and all groups 
of minority veterans who need and deserve to be represented by the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars strength. 

Further, I have created a Military Affairs Committee that will 
concentrate on the very special needs of our active, Guard and Reserve 
forces. There may be no doubt that those who now stand in defense of our 
precious freedom, our sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, 
nephews, nieces and neighbors, deserve the very best that we of the VFW 
and this great nation have to offer. 

Finally, I have reformulated the National Legislative Committee to 
include a full-time member from each VFW state to concentrate on 
developing grassroots activism at the local level. In this way politicians will 
get to hear the VFW message loud and clear from those who matter most, 
those voting constituents who put and can keep them in elected office. 

The new Legislative Committee kicks off in late September with an 
extensive training program in Washington on the workings of the Congress 
and organizing effective grassroots advocacy. Committee members will 
then march onto Capitol Hill to carry the VFW message directly and 
forcefully to their lawmakers. 

Let the message go forward today to every political leader, 
Democrat, Republican or Independent, to each and every government 
bureaucrat and administration official, at all levels of government, that the 
VFW expects the very best this nation has to offer for our past, present and 
future defenders, and we will hold them accountable for their actions. We 
will not compromise on this philosophy, nor will we waver. 

My comrades, we must never again tolerate allowing the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, the government body created in response to 
this nation's sacred obligation "to care for him who shall have borne the 



219 



battle and for his widow and his orphan" to be led by an individual too 
weak or indifferent to fully and properly champion veterans causes on 
Capitol Hill or within the administration." 

We will make it abundantly clear to whomever would be President 
of this great nation, your Secretary of Veterans Affairs must be a true 
veteran's advocate. We will accept no less. My comrades, sisters and 
brothers, if necessary, we will take the appropriate action to remove him 
from office. 

As we move forward into our "New Century of Service," we must 
enlist every VFW and Auxiliary member into our cause, so that we may 
multiply our success and build a solid foundation of achievement, to 
sustain us in the next millennium. And I believe in my heart and in my soul 
that we will succeed. 

We possess a strength that will not be denied, a strength that flows 
from out of our nationwide grassroots membership, situated in communities 
and every congressional district throughout the nation. We have assets not 
to be equaled by any other organization. 

With the expenditure of a great deal of time, energy and money, 
the VFW now has the computer technology in place where we can 
communicate seemlessly and with unprecedented speed throughout our 
entire organization nationwide. All of you who currently have Internet 
access, be sure to take advantage of this resource to stay in touch with our 
Kansas City headquarters and our VFW office through the VFW Home Page. 

By doing so, you will know just what is going on with respect to 
our various community, civic, youth and patriotic programs. You will also 
be kept in the know regarding the goings on in our nation's Capitol and 
what steps need to be taken so that veterans' issues remain in the forefront. 
By utilizing the special legislative activism portion of the VFW Home Page, 
which contains direct congressional e-mail links along with legislative 
updates and the VFW's position on topical issues, you will be able to 
immediately communicate with your lawmakers in Washington, allowing 
the VFW to make its views known with greater accuracy and speed than 
ever before. 

There are no more dedicated people than the members of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars and our Ladies Auxiliary. Your strength of purpose 
is on constant display. In carrying out our numerous civic-minded 
programs, working with our youth, our hospitalized veterans, helping your 
neighbors in time of need, maintaining American values and patriotic 
ideals, you show the world that the VFW is willing to step forward and act 
even as numerous others meekly stand idly by and watch. 

The time has now arrived where we must bring our strength, the 
VFW's collective force of will and purpose, fully to bear on this nation's 
lawmakers. Democrat, Republican or Independent, members of the House 
or the Senate, senior administration official or the President him or herself, 
there must be no doubt as to where the VFW stands. 

Veterans' issues and military issues must become a top priority. 



220 



Any individual holding or seeking political office, who ignores this nation's 
obligation to her veterans, does so at their political peril, period. 

Enough is enough. Veterans and our military personnel must be a 
priority of Congress and the administration. 

I have heard it said that America's veterans need to again band 
together and march on Capitol Hill. Perhaps there is merit to this 
proposition. But I can tell you that if you give me 25 or so VFW and 
Auxiliary members wearing hats and other visible signs of who they are, to 
march on a local office or attend a town hall meeting of a Senator or 
Representative, that lawmaker in Washington will think there is a pro- 
veteran ground swell taking place among his constituents back home. 

If we duplicate this action on our respective lawmaker's home turf 
nationwide, over and over again, the view in Washington will be that the 
legislative heavens have opened up in support of America's veterans. 
Nothing will be able to stand in our way. 

There is nothing more effective, absolutely no substitute for 
informed, repeated activism by those who put politicians in office in the 
first place, the voting public. The potential effectiveness of a single march 
on Washington pales in comparison to what this type of protracted action 
by pro-veteran voters back home can accomplish. 

This year we must do our utmost to get visibly involved in the 
election process. We must urge our fellow VFW and Auxiliary members, 
friends and family and veterans' supporters everywhere to not only register 
to vote, but to turn out voting in the primary and general elections wearing 
VFW caps, jackets and all manner of visible signs showing support of 
veterans' issues. 

Voting alone, however, is not enough. Capitol Hill must come to 
understand that we stand ready, willing and able to back our friends and 
defeat our enemies. Visibility, commitment and involvement in the process 
are everything, pure and simple. 

Make sure your fellow VFW and Auxiliary members, as well as 
other pro-veteran constituents, know which incumbents and candidates 
support our position on veterans, active duty military and defense. Perhaps 
more importantly, let them know those who do not support our positions. 

It is high time that we hold our elected officials accountable for 
their actions. Kind words from elected officials on Memorial Day and 
Veterans Day must be matched with actions and votes in Washington. 

When addressing our National Convention a few days ago, we 
applauded when the President told us that "the troops of tomorrow will 
only be as good as our commitment to veterans today." But now we must 
insist that he match this statement with action. He must lead the way in 
securing adequate VA funding, not hinder the process with low-budget 
proposals for veterans' health care. 

Don't be taken in by a politician who asserts support for the Flag 
Amendment, but refuses to take a stand by voting in support of sufficient 
veterans' health-care funding, or proper staffing to take care of veterans' 



221 



claims and compensation. 

On election days, we must turn out in droves, not as political 
partisans or proponents of diverse causes, but as veterans' advocates, a 
force that will not be denied, the united voice of the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States. 

Working together nationally in support of pro-veteran lawmakers 
and candidates, we will succeed in electing a pro-veteran, pro-military 
Congress. And in so doing we will ensure that the next occupant of the 
Oval Office is pro-VFW as well. 

We need to continue our fight for an adequate budget for VA health 
care and the VA Benefits Administration. We must insist that certain 
disabled veterans be guaranteed access to VA long-term care. Those serving 
today in our military need a new G.I. Bill for the 21st century to help their 
transition to civilian life. Quality of life issues, such as pay, housing and 
medical care for our brave men and women in the military must be 
addressed and changed to meet the demands of today's military mission. 
We need a Gl bill for the 21st Century to care for all American veterans. 

And we of the VFW must fight, fight with all our might, to ensure 
that our men and women in uniform are truly the best-trained, the best- 
equipped and the best-prepared military in the world. Inadequate defense 
funding will not be tolerated. 

We must never allow America's best to be sent into harm's way 
without the full commitment of the Congress, the Administration and the 
American people to win. 

I know you agree with me, that it is disgraceful, that any member 
of our military and their families would collect food stamps. Today, 1 1 ,000 
of our troops are in that situation, and we must make the difference for 
them. 

And none of us must ever forget or ignore the plight of their sons 
and daughters who are prisoners of war or missing in action. 

Our fight is right, and only by being involved in the legislative 
process will we be able to make a difference. Legislative activism, you and 
I and all other VFW members, members of the Ladies Auxiliary and our 
supporters, getting visibly involved in the political process in support of 
VFW issues is the only way we can protect the future of veterans, members 
of the armed forces and their families. We can make a difference. 

More than any other segment of the American public, we have 
earned the right to get involved. We have earned the right to make a 
difference. But along with our elected officials, we must hold ourselves 
accountable as well. Along with the service and sacrifices of this nation's 
former defenders in need, the great history and purpose of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States demands no less of us. 

Never forget, you and I are serving our organization at a very 
critical point in history. You and I must now set the course for the next 
century, just as the VFW's founders charted the course of our first 
millennium in 1899. 



222 



As the next millennium dawns, we must be cognizant that this is 
our year, and the future holds our challenges, and the time is now upon us 
to proudly lead this great organization, the Veterans of Foreign Wars into "a 
New Century of Service." Thank you, comrades. 

(Whereupon, the assembly extended a prolonged rising ovation.) 

CLOSING CEREMONIES 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I recognize Microphone No. 1 . 

COMRADE LARRY LeFEBVRE (Post 552 - Michigan): Comrade 
Commander-in-Chief, Larry LeFebvre, a delegate from Post 552, Michigan. 
There being no further business to come before this convention, and the 
officers have been duly installed for the ensuing year, I move that this 
centennial convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 
be closed sine die. 

COMRADE JAMES VAN HARTER (Department of Michigan): I 
second that motion. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: We have a motion and a 
second that is in order. Any discussion? There is no discussion. All those 
in favor will signify by saying "aye"; all those opposed. The motion is 
carried. 

We will now go into our Closing Ceremonies. Sergeant-at-Arms, 
prepare the Closing Ceremonies for the 1 00th Anniversary Convention. 

(Whereupon, the Honor Guard retired the Colors at this time.) 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: I will call on our National 
Chaplain, Pat O'Connor, for the Closing Prayer. 

(Whereupon, National Chaplain O'Connor gave the Closing Prayer 
from the Ritual.) 

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS HOFFMAN: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, 
the Closing Ceremonies for this magnificent 100th VFW celebration have 
been performed. Thank you for the honor, sir. 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SMART: Thank you, Sergeant-at-Arms. 
This closes the 100th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States. 

(Whereupon, the convention was duly adjourned at 1 1 :00 o'clock 
a.m., sine die.) 



223 



AMENDMENTS TO NATIONAL BY-LAWS AND MANUAL OF 
PROCEDURE AND RITUAL CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE ON 
NATIONAL BY-LAWS, MANUAL OF PROCEDURE AND RITUAL 

B-1 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 209— CONSOLIDATION OF POSTS. 

Amend Section 209, National By-Laws, by deleting the first 
paragraph in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"If provided for in the Department By-Laws, two or more Posts may 
consolidate by authority of the Commander-in-Chief as prescribed in 
Section 209 of the Manual of Procedure." (Approved) 

B-2 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 521— COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION— COMPOSITION, 
POWERS AND DUTIES. 

Amend Section 521 (a), National By-Laws, by deleting the fifth (5th) 
sentence in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"In the Departments of Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii and 
Latin America/Caribbean, the Commanders of all Posts in good standing 
shall be voting members of the Department Council of Administration." 
(Approved) 

B-3 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 615— NATIONAL COMMITTEES. 

Amend Section 615, National By-Laws, by deleting the first 
sentence of Section 61 5(a)(1 ) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the 
following: 

"Composition: The National Veterans Service Committee shall 
consist of the Commander-in-Chief, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief and four Past Commanders-in-Chief." 
(Approved) 

B-4 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 615— NATIONAL COMMITTEES. 

Amend Section 615, National By-Laws, by deleting 615(d)(1) in its 

224 



entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"(1) Composition: The Political Action Committee shall consist of 
a Director, Treasurer and a seven (7) member Board of Directors. 

The seven (7) member Board of Directors shall be appointed by the 
Commander-in-Chief. Two members shall be appointed each year for a 
three year term. One member, as recommended by the National President, 
Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, shall be appointed each 
year for a one year term. The Director and Treasurer shall be appointed 
annually by the Commander-in-Chief with the approval of the Board of 
Directors. The Commander-in-Chief may also appoint members to fulfill 
unexpired terms created by a vacancy on the Board." (Approved) 

B-5 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 702— POLITICS. 

Amend Section 702, National By-Laws, by deleting the words 
"Article I of the Constitution" in the fourth paragraph and inserting in lieu 
thereof the following: 

"Section 3 of the Congressional Charter" (Approved) 

B-6 (Proposed by Department of New York) 

SECTION 213— ARREARAGES. 

Amend Section 213, National By-Laws, by deleting all therein and 
substituting in lieu thereof the following: 

"Any Post in arrears for National, Department, County Council or District 
dues, poppy money, supply money, or other financial obligations, or failing 
to have the office of Quartermaster bonded, or failing to submit quarterly 
Post Trustee Report of Audit or Post Election Report shall be deprived of all 
representation in County Council meetings, District, Department and 
National Conventions. Such representation shall be restored promptly 
upon proper adjustment of such deficiencies. 

Further, while in such arrears, the Post, its officers and members, shall be 
ineligible for any awards from National, Department, District and County 
Council." 
(Disapproved) 

B-7 (Proposed by Department of South Carolina) 

SECTION 216— ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICERS; 
CHAIRMEN AND COMMITTEES. 

Amend Section 216 (a), National By-Laws, by inserting the word 
"judge" in front of the word Advocate in the first paragraph. 

225 



Amend Section 216 further by inserting the word "Judge" in front 
of the word Advocate in the first sentence of paragraph 2 (a). (Approved) 

B-8 (Proposed by Department of Ohio) 

SECTION 610— OFFICERS, POWERS AND DUTIES. 

Amend Section 610 (d) (14), National By-Laws, by deleting all 
therein and substituting in lieu thereof the following: 

"Prepare a tentative budget for the financial operations of the 
ensuing year. Said budget shall set forth all anticipated income and 
estimated expenses. It shall set forth the amount of all compensation to be 
received by each of the following officers for the ensuing year: (1) 
Commander-in- Chief; (2) Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief; (3) Junior Vice 
Commander-in-Chief; (4) Quartermaster General; (5) Judge Advocate 
General; (6) Surgeon General; (7) Chaplain; and, (8) Adjutant General. 
Restricted funds shall be budgeted separately in every instance, and the 
budget shall be in balance. The tentative budget shall be submitted to the 
Commander-in-Chief for consideration within ten (10) days following 
adjournment of the National Convention and final action must be taken on 
the adoption of the budget at the first stated meeting of the National 
Council of Administration, and when adopted the budget shall be the 
expenditure guide for the ensuing year. Not later than thirty (30) days after 
the first meeting of the National Council of Administration, he shall forward 
to all Department Commanders and all Post Commanders detailed copy of 
the national budget adopted by the National Council of Administration for 
their information." (Disapproved) 

B-9 (Proposed by Departments of Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North 
Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington) 

SECTION 617— REGIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL OF 
ADMINISTRATION MEMBERS - HOW ELECTED. 

Amend Section 617, National By-Laws, by deleting all Regional 
Districts 1 through 19 following the second paragraph and inserting in lieu 
thereof the following: 

1 . Maine, New Hampshire 

2. Vermont, Massachusetts 

3. Maryland, New Jersey 

4. District of Columbia, Delaware 

5. Indiana, Missouri 

6. Virginia, West Virginia 

7. Tennessee, Kentucky 

8. Georgia, Alabama 



226 



9. South Carolina, North Carolina 

1 0. Oklahoma, Arkansas 

1 1 . Wisconsin, Iowa 

12. North Dakota, Montana 

13. Nebraska, South Dakota 

14. Washington, Idaho 

15. New Mexico, Arizona 

16. Alaska, Hawaii, Pacific Areas 

17. Utah, Wyoming 

18. Rhode Island, Connecticut 

19. Louisiana, Mississippi 

20. Kansas, Colorado 

21. Oregon, Nevada 

22. Europe, Latin America/Caribbean" (Disapproved) 

B-10 (Proposed by Departments of Alaska, New Mexico, Pacific Areas) 

SECTION 617— REGIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL OF 
ADMINISTRATION MEMBERS - HOW ELECTED. 

Amend Section 617, National By-Laws, by changing numerical 
designation 16 to read "16. Pacific Areas, Hawaii". 

Further amend Section 61 7 by inserting directly after numerical designation 
1 9. the following: "20". "Latin America/Caribbean, Alaska". (Disapproved) 

B-11 (Proposed by Department of South Dakota) 

SECTION 709— CONTROL OF UNITS. 

Amend Section 709, National By-Laws, by deleting the word 
"including" in paragraph three lines five and twelve, and substituting in lieu 
thereof the word "except". 
(Disapproved) 

B-12 (Proposed by Departments of Illinois, New Jersey, North Dakota) 

SECTION 711— BUDDY POPPY. 

Amend Section 711, National By-Laws, by deleting the second 
paragraph in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"A tax of six cents ($.06) shall be assessed against each and every 
VFW Buddy Poppy sold under the provisions of this section. Such tax shall 
be in addition to the cost of producing the Poppies and shall be payable to 
the National Headquarters and be distributed as follows. Two cents ($.02) 
to the Veterans Service Fund of the Department having jurisdiction; two 
cents ($.02) to the VFW National Home; two cents ($.02) to the Veterans 



227 



Service Fund of the National Headquarters, provided that the Council of 
Administration of each Department shall determine the price at which 
poppies are sold to the Posts of that Department. Such price shall be 
sufficient to adequately cover the tax and cost of manufacture, distribution, 
and promotion of the poppies." (Disapproved) 

B-13 (Proposed by Department of Kansas) 

SECTION 720— DEFINITIONS. 

Amend Section 720, National By-Laws, by deleting the second 
paragraph in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: 
"He, His, Him" as used in these By-Laws, Manual of Procedure, and Ritual, 
shall include both male and female persons." (Approved) 

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MANUAL OF PROCEDURE 

M-1 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed 
by Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 106 - FORMER MEMBERS-REINSTATEMENT. 

Amend Section 1 06, Manual of Procedure, by deleting the fourth 
paragraph in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"A member who shall have been suspended from any Post by 
sentence of disciplinary action properly carried into execution, shall be 
placed in the Department Member-at-Large when the suspension has ended 
and may transfer in accordance with the provisions of Section 107 of the 
National By-Laws." (Approved) 

M-2 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed 
by Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 209 - CONSOLIDATION OF POSTS. 

Amend Section 209, Manual of Procedure, by deleting the first 
sentence of the second paragraph in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof 
the following: 

"If such consolidation be so approved, the name, number (must be 
one of the consolidating Post numbers) and location to be assigned the 
consolidating Posts must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the 
members of any and all the Posts consolidating present at a meeting called 
for such purpose, after at least two (2) weeks notice in writing has been 
given to all the members of the Posts concerned of such meeting and 
purpose." 
(Approved) 



228 



M-3 (Recommended by the National By-Laws Review Committee. 
Proposed by Commander-in-Chief) 

SECTION 712 - NATIONAL HONOR GUARD. 

Amend Section 712, Manual of Procedure, by deleting the third 
paragraph in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"For the purpose of government and for ceremonial purposes the 
National Honor Guard may adopt such by-laws and amendments thereto as 
are necessary for its proper government, not conflicting or inconsistent with 
the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations or the Congressional Charter of the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States which shall become effective 
upon review by the Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States." (Approved) 

M-4 (Proposed by Department of Connecticut) 

SECTION 101 - ELIGIBILITY. 

Amend Section 1 01 , Manual of Procedure, by adding at the end of 
the section, a new eligibility category as follows: 

"National Defense 27 June 1 950 

Service Medal Indeterminate 

(30 consecutive days 

or 60 days not 

consecutive duty 

outside continental 

limits of the United States)." (Disapproved) 

M-5 (Proposed by Department of South Carolina) 

SECTION 218 - OFFICERS AND CHAIRMEN, DUTIES AND 
OBLIGATIONS. 

Amend Section 218, Manual of Procedure, (a) (8) by deleting sub- 
title in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: 

"Duty of Judge Advocate." 

Further amend Section 218 by inserting the word "Judge" in front of 
the word Advocate in the first sentence of Section (a) (8). (Approved) 

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RITUAL 

R-1 (Recommended by the National By-Laws Review Committee. 
Proposed by Commander-in-Chief) 



229 



Amend the Ritual, page 21 , by deleting the word "Constitution" in 
the fifth line. 

(Approved) 

R-2 (Recommended by the National By-Laws Review Committee. 
Proposed by Commander-in-Chief) 

Amend the Ritual, page 29, by deleting in its entirety "Q: Do you 
promise, on your word of honor, to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and 
Ritual of this order?" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"Q: Do you promise, on your word of honor, to abide by the 
Congressional Charter, By-Laws and Ritual of this order?" 

(Approved) 

R-3 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

Amend the Ritual - INSTITUTING NEW POST, page 43, by deleting 
the word "Constitution" in the second paragraph and inserting in lieu 
thereof the following: 

"National By-Laws" 

(Approved) 

R-4 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

Amend the Ritual - INSTITUTING NEW POST, page 43, by deleting 
the word "Constitution" in the third paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof 
the following: 

"National By-Laws" 

(Approved) 

R-5 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

Amend the Ritual, page 45, by deleting the words "Constitution 
and" in the next to the last paragraph. 

(Approved) 

R-6 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 



230 



Amend the Ritual, page 46, by deleting the words "Constitution 
and" in the first Instituting Officer statement. 

(Approved) 

R-7 (Recommended by National By-Laws Review Committee. Proposed by 
Commander-in-Chief) 

Amend the Ritual, page 47, by deleting the words in the statement 
of the Instituting Officer "The VFW Constitution, Ritual and the By-Laws of 
our organization prescribed in detail the duties of your offices." and 
inserting in lieu thereof the following: 

"The By-Laws of our organization prescribe in detail the duties of your 
offices." 

(Approved) 

R-8 (Proposed by Department of Kansas) 

Amend the Ritual, page 2, by deleting the first sentence under 
General Rules in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: 

"This Ritual may not be changed except by the National 
Convention, provided that the words "She, Hers, or Her" may be substituted 
for the words "He, His, or Him" in any ceremonies contained herein when 
it is appropriate to the gender of the person." 

(Disapproved) 

RESOLUTIONS CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE ON 
FINANCE AND INTERNAL ORGANIZATION 

No. 201 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

ELIMINATE GENDER SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IN THE VFW 

CONGRESSIONAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS, AND MANUAL OF 

PROCEDURE AND RITUAL 

(Disapproved) 

No. 202 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

EXTEND AGE CAP FOR THE SONS OF THE VFW 

(Disapproved) 



231 



No. 203 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

ELIMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS DISCRIMATION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 204 (Submitted by Department of Kentucky) 

DISCONTINUE LIFE MEMBERSHIP CARD REPLACEMENT FEE 

(Disapproved) 

No. 205 (Submitted by Department of Oregon) 

ELIMINATE THE USAGE OF THE WORD "FRATERNAL" IN THE VFW 

CONGRESSIONAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS, AND MANUAL OF 

PROCEDURE AND RITUAL 

(Disapproved) 

No. 206 (Submitted by Department of Oregon) 

YOUTH RECOGNITION PROGRAMS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the Civil Air Patrol and U.S. Naval Sea Cadet programs be added 
to the list of children and youth programs receiving recognition by citation 
and medal/ribbon; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
National Headquarters issue a proclamation thereto. (Approved as 
Amended) 

No. 207 (Submitted by Department of Pacific Areas) 

DIRECT THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION TO URGE 

THE LADIES AUXILIARY OF THE VFW TO AMEND THEIR BY-LAWS SO 

THAT NON U.S. CITIZENS WHO OTHERWISE QUALIFY FOR 

MEMBERSHIP MAY BECOME MEMBERS OF THE LADIES AUXILIARY 

(Disapproved) 

No. 208 (Submitted by Department of Pacific Areas) 



232 



ADJUSTMENT TO TOTAL POST MEMBERSHIP DUE TO DEATH 

(Disapproved) 

No. 209 (Submitted by Department of Vermont) 

PUBLISH VOTING RECORDS TOWARDS VETERANS' BENEFITS AND 
PRIVILEGES OF EACH MEMBER OF CONGRESS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 210 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

LIFE MEMBERSHIP CARDS . 

(Disapproved) 

No. 21 1 (Submitted by Department of Pennsylvania) 

SONS OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS AGE RESTRICTION 

REMOVED 

(Disapproved) 

No. 212 (Submitted by Department of California) 

REQUIREMENT FORVFW NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS TO VERIFY 
RECRUIT ELIGIBILITY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that National Headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States of America require recruited members-at-large to provide 
documented proof of eligibility, exactly as required by individual Posts. 
(Approved) 

No. 21 3 (Submitted by Department of Michigan) 

LIFE MEMBERSHIP REPLACEMENT CARDS (LOST OR MISPLACED) 

(Disapproved) 

No. 214 (Submitted by Department of Washington) 

URGE CONGRESS TO MODIFY THE VFW CONGRESSIONAL CHARTER 



233 



TO INCLUDE ALL "COLD WAR" GERMANY VETERANS WITH 30 

CONSECUTIVE DAYS OR 60 BROKEN DAYS FROM 5 MAY 1 955 

THROUGH 2 OCTOBER 1990 

(Disapproved) 

No. 215 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

COLD WAR RESOLUTION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 216 (Submitted by Department of Michigan) 

MEMBERSHIP FOR THOSE STATION AT 
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, CUBA 

(Disapproved) 

No. 21 7 (Submitted by Department of Michigan) 

AGE RESTRICTIONS - SONS OF THE VFW 

(Disapproved) 

CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE ON 
GENERAL RESOLUTIONS 

No. 301 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

REQUEST FOR CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW OF 
THE FEDEREAL FLAG CODE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we call upon our representatives in the Congress of the United 
States to have a complete review of the existing Federal Flag Code so that 
we secure consistent respect for the flag of the United States of America. 
(Approved) 

No. 302 (Submitted by Department of Florida) 

FUND OUR VETERANS EARNED ENTITLEMENTS WITH OUR 
CONSTITUTIONAL POWER 

(Disapproved) 



234 



No. 303 (Submitted by Department of Louisiana) 

RESCIND OCCUPATIONAL TAX 
(Disapproved) 
No. 304 (Submitted by Department of Louisiana) 

SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we commend all levels of law enforcement for their outstanding 
service that has been bestowed to the community and nation for their 
dedicated service and untiring efforts; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that our citizenship cooperate fully 
with police authorities and assist with knowledgeable facts pertaining to 
criminal acts. Above all, refrain from any cursing or throwing objects at 
them while carrying out their duties and mission of protection of society in 
this beloved nation. (Approved) 

No. 305 (Submitted by Department of Louisiana) 

NO ADDITIONAL STATES NECESSARY 

(Disapproved) 

No. 306 (Submitted by Department of New York) 

PROCLAIM DECEMBER 7TH A NATIONAL HOLIDAY 

(Disapproved) 

No. 307 (Submitted by Department of Pennsylvania) 

DECMEBER 7 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we fully support the passage of H.R. 965 designating December 
7 as a federal holiday. 
(Approved) 

No. 308 (Submitted by Texas) 

PASS LEGISLATION EXEMPTING DEPORTATION OF MEXICAN CITIZENS 



235 



WHO SERVED HONORABLY IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE 
UNITED STATES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 309 (Submitted by Department of California) 

RECOGNITION FOR THE REVEREND JESSE JACKSON 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we go on record commending the Rev. Jesse Jackson for his 
actions on behalf of the men and women of our armed forces. (Approved 
as Amended) 

No. 310 (Submitted by Department of California) 

THE MEDAL OF HONOR MEMORIAL 

(Disapproved) 

No. 31 1 (Submitted by Department of California) 

STAMP HONORING AUDIE MURPHY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the post office department to honor this decorated hero, 
Audie Murphy, with a first class postage stamp. (Approved) 

No. 312 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

VFW SUPPORT FOR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we re-affirm the right of all peaceable and law abiding 
individual citizens to keep and bear arms. (Approved) 

CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND 
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND POW/MIA 

No. 401 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT PUBLIC AWARENESS PROJECTS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the National Organization will: 



236 



(a) Ensure routine distribution to the field of pertinent, credible and 
responsible information on a routine basis and, as requested, to provide 
such information about other POW/MIA organizations as may be needed 
by the Departments. 

(b) Encourage participation in the program by veterans groups of 
other friendly nations such as our NATO and Far Eastern allies. 

(c) Encourage exchange of information among State POW/MIA 
Chairmen to include publishing up-to-date lists of POW/MIA Chairmen; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each Department exercise 
maximum initiative to maintain the vitality and thrust of the POW/MIA 
program at Department levels by encouraging such actions as: 

(a) Display of the black POW/MIA flag, subordinate to the U.S. 
Flag, at any function at which it is proper to fly the U.S. Flag. 

(b) Encourage support of information exchange at Post levels. 

(c) Appoint an interested member at the Post level to act as the 
POW/MIA project officer; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Organization of the 
VFW supports the annual POW/MIA Recognition Day and the annual 
former POW Recognition Day. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 402 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SEEK OPPORTUNITIES TO RESOLVE THE 
KOREAN WAR POW/MIA ISSUE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the VFW urges North Korea to immediately repatriate the four 
sets of probable American remains they are holding and to abide by the 
terms of the current agreement with the United States to account for 
Americans still missing from the Korean War; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that with renewed vigor, the VFW 
urges the U.S. and Republic of Korea governments to increase their contact 
with the North Korea and Chinese governments, to pursue and expand the 
current joint effort to include the live POW issue and thus seek new 
opportunities to resolve this humanitarian issue as soon as possible; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the VFW, in keeping with United 
States laws and in consultation with the Republic of Korea and U.S. 
governments, continue its contact with North Korea to resolve the current 
dispute and press for a renewal of the accounting of the over 8,200 
Americans still missing and the investigation of reports of live Americans. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 403 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

VFW SUPPORTS KUWAITS DEMAND FOR 



237 



AN ACCOUNTING OF ITS MIAS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign of the United States, 
that we strongly urge the United Nations, the United States government and 
other governments to take such action as necessary either unilaterally, 
through our allies, or the United Nations, that will force Iraq to account for 
those Kuwaiti citizens still missing. (Approved) 

No. 404 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

THE LESSONS OF THE COLD WAR 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the lessons of the Cold and Gulf Wars taught us that our peace, 
our freedom and our security can best be achieved by remaining united in 
common purpose with our many allies and friends whereby we share both 
the danger and security burden and by maintaining a national defense 
which in combination with our allies and friends, is equal to those 
continuing threats; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in contrast to the Korean and 
Vietnamese Wars, the lessons of the Gulf War are apparent: To ensure 
victory in future wars, the United States, led by resolute leadership and 
backed by unwavering public support, should quickly and decisively 
engage the full range of its military power until the threat to our security is 
eliminated. (Approved) 

No. 405 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

LIMIT FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF U.S. BUSINESSES AND PROPERTIES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress to enact legislation to limit foreign 
ownership of United States corporations, companies, businesses and 
property, and industrial technologies and/or processes which could become 
vital or sensitive to the national defense of the U.S. and which will protect 
the economy of the United States. (Approved) 

No. 406 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

TAKE ACTION ON THE IMMIGRATION PROBLEM 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the President and the Congress in the strongest terms to 
heed these ominous warnings and focus their attention on the immigration 
problem; and 



238 



BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we petition the President and the 
Congress to expand and strengthen the Customs and Immigration Services, 
the Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard, and enact such emergency 
measures as necessary to prevent smuggling of illegal aliens and stop, 
detain and deport potential terrorists or those with ties to terrorist groups; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, as appropriate and when 
required, well trained and supervised military resources be employed to 
assist in stopping the flow of illegal aliens into the country. (Approved) 

No. 407 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR CASTRO 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the U.S. government to continue its present policy of 
no trade with Communist Cuba and no diplomatic recognition of that 
communist state and to increase the economic and political pressure on 
Castro; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the U.S. government to 
use all measures, short of violence and/or invasion, to increase the pressure 
on Castro in conjunction with his isolation, to hasten the time until Castro's 
dictatorship is overthrown and Cuba can regain its freedom. (Approved) 

No. 408 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

PUNISH TERRORISTS NOW 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we continue to urge the U.S. to take decisive action against all 
terrorists and bring to justice those responsible for terrorist acts and to serve 
as a warning that all terrorists — no matter what country gives them refuge 
— will be hunted down and brought to justice; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we continue to urge decisive 
action in the war on terrorism by: 

(a) Remaining on the offensive against terrorists rather than 
passively remaining on the defense. 

(b) Instituting and pressing our allies to support a quarantine on 
those "rogue or outlaw states" guilty of inciting, harboring or aiding and 
abetting terrorists. 

(c) Holding all countries accountable for the security of American 
citizens traveling within their borders; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Congress should authorize and 
the President should declare a quarantine against the outlaw Qadhaffi 
regime of Libya and other terrorist states found to support and harbor 
terrorists; and 



239 



BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that our civilian leaders and military 
commanders should take all necessary steps to ensure U.S. servicemen and 
women stationed abroad are adequately protected against the threat of 
terrorist attacks and that both foreign governments and U.S. authorities be 
held accountable for such lapses in security that endanger the lives of our 
servicemen and women. (Approved) 

No. 409 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

STRATEGIC DEFENSE IS A STRATEGIC PRIORITY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support both a deployable theater ballistic missile defense 
and a strategic ballistic missile defense before the end Of this century as a 
priority defense requirement. (Approved) 

No. 410 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

HONORING THOSE WHO SERVE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the VFW calls on all elected and appointed officials to publicly 
recognize the major contributions and sacrifices made by those in military 
service; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that our elected and appointed 
officials acknowledge the professionalism of our servicemen and women by 
ending the erosion of entitlements and expanding the benefits of service 
and by so doing, show that this nation cares for those who unselfishly 
served and sacrificed; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call on our elected officials to 
provide military pay raises that continue to close the "pay gap" between the 
military and private sector. (Approved) 

No. 41 1 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

OPPOSE LIFTING THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BAN ON 
HOMOSEXUALS IN THE ARMED FORCES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we unequivocally oppose the efforts of homosexual 
organizations and other organizations to force the military services to 
accept and/or retain homosexuals and urge that federal law (10 USC 
section 654) and implementing DOD policy which provides for the 
discharge of those engaging in homosexual conduct be consistently and 
property enforced; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Uniformed Code of Military 



240 



Justice should be reviewed and, if necessary, revised in an effort to 
eliminate any possible question that any denial of civil rights is based on 
moral, religious or ethical behavior and that there is no intent to deny civil 
rights to any service member, rather our concern is to maintain the good 
order, discipline and readiness of our armed forces and their ability to 
operate effectively. (Approved) 

No. 412 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

MAINTAIN AN EFFECTIVE U.S. COAST GUARD 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress and the Administration to provide the 
funding necessary for the Coast Guard to carry out its mission and 
numerous tasks, including but not limited to, drug interdiction and 
enforcement, military readiness, pollution control, maritime safety, search 
and rescue missions as well as their many other duties and responsibilities. 
(Approved) 

No. 413 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

STANDING FIRM FOR DEMOCRACY AND LIBERTY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we will always stand firm for liberty, and in furtherance of the 
ideals of liberty and democracy, we support a foreign policy that nourishes 
the newly won liberties in Europe and elsewhere, and we maintain our 
military strength against both the possibility of the reversal of Europefs 
liberties and the threats to other important regions of the world. 
(Approved) 

No. 414 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

NATIONAL STRATEGY OF PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we continue to support a national strategy of peace through 
strength, the general principles of which should be: 

(a) Maintaining a strong economy at home and protecting our 
overseas resources of energy and vital raw materials. 

(b) Maintaining an American military presence in Europe and Asia 
to stabilize the military balance in these regions and help our friends and 
allies to defend themselves from aggression. 

(c) Maintaining such strategic, nuclear and conventional military 
forces (including Active, Reserve and National Guard components) trained 
and equipped with such high technology weapons and equipment and with 



241 



sufficient bases and infrastructure which in the judgment of our military 
leaders are more than equal to the current threats and adequate to meet our 
current defense requirements. 

(d) Helping formerly communist controlled countries in their 
process of converting to freely elected democratic governments. 

(e) Maintaining effective security and intelligence capabilities to 
prevent strategic surprise from any quarter. 

(f) Employing the leadership necessary to inspire, focus and unite 
the national will and international unity to further our goal of peace and 
freedom. 

(g) Maintaining alliances as required by our national strategy, 
protect our national interests, support our friends and promote peace. 
(Approved) 

No. 415 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

HALT THE EROSION OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we reject deep reductions in our national intelligence agencies, 
instead supporting appropriate expansion and funding to ensure that we 
will have adequate warnings of future political, military, economic or 
technological changes that would increase the risks to our national security 
and vital national interests abroad and that Congress appropriate necessary 
funds to strengthen the intelligence services. (Approved) 

No. 416 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT FOR THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the government of the United States to increase its 
military aid and assistance to the Republic of Korea by providing modern 
state of the art weapons and technology to safeguard her freedom, and 
promote the security in the Pacific and Asian regions; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States, in concert with 
its allies, bring pressure to bear on North Korea to comply with the nuclear 
safeguard accord of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be a 
responsible country in the community of nations and to come to the table 
for peaceful dialogue directly between South and North Korea. (Approved) 

No. 417 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT THE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that 



242 



to prevent further endangerment to our troops, we support the view that 
unless unforeseen circumstances arise, the U.S. forces assigned to 
Operation Joint Forge should be gradually withdrawn from Bosnia- 
Herzegovina while transferring remaining responsibilities to other NATO 
members. (Approved) 



No. 418 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 
ASSIST VIETNAM'S RECOVERY OF MIAS AS A SIGN OF GOOD FAITH 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that at each level of the VFW — National, Department, District, 
County Council, Post — strenuous efforts be made to collect any information 
which might be of value in determining the fate of Vietnamfs 300,000 MIAs 
and of assistance in the recovery of their remains; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge all levels of the VFW to 
solicit all Vietnam veteran members (and non-members) for any information 
or material that could be used to determine the fate of Vietnamese MIAs and 
their graves. Such information and material include battlefield souvenirs, 
especially if they contain names or other identifying information; personal 
effects such as photos, letters or identification documents taken from 
casualties; sketch maps, photos, overlays (annotated with dates and 
locations if possible) which would be of help in identifying Vietnamese 
grave sites; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that VFW National Headquarters 
publicize this effort and provide Departments with materials which might 
be used in further publicizing our efforts and that the VFW Washington 
Office act as the collecting point and repository of all such information 
obtained from our members and the public at large; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that on subsequent trips to the region 
by VFW National Officers, such information be turned over to Vietnamese 
authorities as an expression of our desire to assist them in recovering their 
MIAs and to encourage their greater effort in helping us reach the fullest 
possible accounting of our MIAs. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 419 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

OPPOSE U.S. FORCES UNDER FOREIGN COMMAND 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we oppose any plan or directive placing U.S. military forces 
under the command of foreign military officers including those who are 
operating exclusively under orders from the United Nations; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Congress be urged to examine 



243 



Presidential Decision Directive 25 to determine if any Constitutional 
authority has been misused, and if so, to find an appropriate remedy. 

No. 420 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA ON TAIWAN 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that while recognizing the settlement of the legitimacy question 
remains an issue between the two countries, we support and urge the 
admission of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the United Nations and 
other international bodies so those agencies can be useful in fostering a 
spirit of cooperation and assisting the resolution of the legitimacy question; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the President and the 
Congress of the United States to adhere strictly to the concepts of the 
Taiwan Relations Act by approving the sale to the Republic of China on 
Taiwan such state of the art military equipment, weapons and technology 
to include modern aircraft to the Republic of China on Taiwan as may be 
necessary to maintain adequate defense 
capabilities to provide for military balance and stability in the area; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the United States 
government to employ the full range of its economic, diplomatic and 
military influence if it is necessary to contain the overtly aggressive posture 
of the Peoples Republic of China and to use this influence to further the 
peaceful settlement of remaining disputes. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 421 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

OPPOSE DOWNSIZING THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
POW/MISSING PERSONNEL OFFICE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that 
we urge the Department of Defense not to downsize the Defense Prisoner 
of War/Missing Personnel Office because we believe such action would 
have a disastrous effect on achieving our goal of the fullest possible 
accounting of our POW/MIAs and would have the following dampening 
effects: 

(a) It would slow the momentum of a POW/MIA effort that has 
taken years to develop. 

(b) It would prevent us from taking full advantage of new 
opportunities that are becoming available to resolve this issue. 

(c) It would send the wrong signal that the United States is 
downsizing its effort to recover our missing men to those countries where 
the search for our men still continues, or as in the case of North Korea, 



244 



where the search has just begun and the effort is expanding; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars goes 
on record as adamantly and unalterably opposed to any Department of 
Defense downsizing of the effort or of the resources put into the effort to 
reach the fullest possible accounting of our missing personnel. (Approved 
as Amended) 

No. 422 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

RETAIN THE SELECTIVE SERVICE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the VFW goes on record as supporting the ongoing existence of 
the Selective Service System in its stand-by status and urges the United 
States Congress to provide the funds necessary to retain the Selective 
Service System. (Approved) 

No. 423 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

MONITOR THE PANAMA CANAL CAREFULLY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign of the United States, 
that we urge the President and the Congress to closely monitor conditions 
in the Republic of Panama, to be prepared to take whatever steps are 
necessary to protect the Canal and to ensure continued freedom of passage, 
and to carefully reexamine the conditions of Panama and the region before 
the scheduled turnover with a view to balancing the views, concerns and 
interests of Panama, its neighbors and the United States. (Approved) 

No. 424 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

KEEPING FAITH WITH THE AMERICAN MILITARY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Department of Defense and the Department of State 
to initiate changes 

to the Status of Forces Agreements, the Geneva Conventions and other 
international agreements to improve the legal protections for United States 
military personnel and their families serving in foreign countries; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Department of 
Defense and the Department of State to periodically provide written, factual 
assurances to the Congress, the public and our military that legal 
protections have been put in place to bring to trial those guilty of murder, 
execution or assassination of members of our military service in foreign 
lands; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Congress of the United States 



245 



and the Administration find a solution and take the necessary steps to 
ensure that the El Salvador murders of LTC Picket and CPL Dawson are 
brought to trial and punished. (Approved) 

No. 425 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

AMERICANS WHO ARE PRISONERS OF WAR OR MISSING IN ACTION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 426 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

NATO ENLARGEMENT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support the enlargement of the NATO Alliance and the 
extension of the United States mutual defense commitment to the countries 
of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic as it is important to the security 
of that region, our own vital interests in the region as well as world peace; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this enlargement be 
accomplished in a non-threatening manner so as not to force other 
countries into an opposing alliance and that in order to project a peaceful 
image we urge consideration be given to adoption of a declared policy that 
U.S. forces and weapons will not be stationed, based or deployed (except 
for training) in the countries of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any future enlargement of NATO 
beyond the countries of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic be 
approached with careful analysis as to the costs, benefits and risks involved. 
(Approved) 

No. 427 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

REQUIRE ALL EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD CITIZENS TO REGISTER 
FOR MILITARY DRAFT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we request the President of the United States and the Congress 
of the United States to support legislation that would require all United 
States citizens, both male and female, be required to register for the Military 
Draft upon reaching their 1 8th birthday. (Approved) 

No. 428 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

TIGHTEN U.S. POLICY ON HIGH TECHNOLOGY EXPORTS 



246 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we strongly urge the President and the Congress to reverse the 
present U.S. policy on exporting American advanced "dual-use" 
technologies and supercomputers to China and Russia, and strengthen the 
rules that limit the export of American "dual-use" technologies to any 
country that poses a possible ballistic missile or any other significant threat 
to the U.S.; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Administration stop any U.S. 
commercial activity which facilitates the improvement of Chinese ballistic 
missile capability, and provides any information or technology that would 
provide new military capability, including any long-range missile 
technology, to any country that poses a significant threat to our nation 
without prior U.S. government authorization. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 429 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE FOR THE UNITED STATES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Administration and the Congress of the United 
States to immediately accelerate efforts to develop and deploy a National 
Missile Defense System to protect the United States against an accidental or 
unauthorized ballistic missile launch; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Administration and 
the Congress to take immediate actions to stop the proliferation of ballistic 
missiles and technologies to any potentially hostile or rogue states and 
terrorist groups that may seek to target the United States directly with long- 
range missiles. (Approved) 

No. 430 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

INCREASE THE DEFENSE BUDGET 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the President and the Congress of the United States to 
take whatever steps are necessary to increase defense spending and reverse 
the fourteen-year pattern of declining defense budgets; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in light of the first federal budget 
surplus in three decades, and the current strength of the U.S. economy, we 
urge the natioms bipartisan political leadership to reopen negotiations on 
the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 in order to provide for a reallocation of 
national resources to the defense budget, and to sustain a period of real 
growth in defense spending. (Approved) 



247 



No. 431 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

RESTORE PRE-ATTACK RANKS TO ADMIRAL HUSBAND E. KIMMEL 
AND GENERAL WALTER C. SHORT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the President of the United States to restore the honor 
and reputations of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and General Walter C. 
Short; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the President of the 
United States to take necessary steps to posthumously advance Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short to their highest wartime rank of four-star admiral 
and lieutenant general. Such action would be appreciated greatly to restore 
the honor of these two great American servicemen. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 432 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT OF SELF-DETERMINATION FOR PUERTO RICO 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to pass a bill to support self-determination for 
Puerto Rico. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 433 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

INTERMENT OF AN UNKNOWN FROM VIETNAM 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we view the Tomb of the Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam 
War as a powerful place, symbolic of the sacrifices of all who served in that 
most divisive war and believe the tomb has come to be recognized and 
revered by the American people as the place they can come to honor all of 
Americais military heroes; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if there are other remains that in 
all likelihood cannot be identified by known forensic medical techniques, 
and after all means of identification have been exhausted, the U.S. 
government make every effort to inter one of our unknown honored dead 
from the Vietnam War to rest in peace along side his comrades from World 
War I, World War II and the Korean War in this hallowed ground. 
(Approved) 

No. 434 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

IMPROVE MILITARY READINESS 



248 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the President and the Congress of the United States to 
act now to reverse this trend in decreasing defense readiness by providing 
our military leaders with the resources required to accomplish their 
missions and the military strategy of the United States; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in order to improve the morale and 
retention of our high quality, dedicated American service men and women, 
that the Congress and the Administration take action to stop the erosion of 
military entitlements and benefits, and restore military retirement benefits 
to the level that existed prior to 1986. (Approved) 

No. 435 (Submitted by Department of Illinois) 

ACCOUNTING AND RELEASE OF POW/MIA INFORMATION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we urge our United States government to release all knowledge and 
information about Americans POW/MIAfs to family members and to the 
public; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we vigorously pursue all possible 
avenues to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all American 
POW/MIAis. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 436 (Submitted by Department of Kansas) 

ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, NAVY, MEDICAL 
AUGMENTATION TEAM, OPERATION URGENT FURY (GRENADA) 

(Disapproved) 

No. 437 (Submitted by Department of Louisiana) 

NATIONAL SECURITY IS PARAMOUNT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we call upon Congress to require mandatory FBI background 
checks of employees at the Energy Department weapons laboratories; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge Congress to implement 
stronger security measures, and enact legislation necessary to preserve our 
national security against all foreign nations. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 438 (Submitted by Department of New York) 

SUPPORT H.R. No. 16 



249 



(Disapproved) 

No. 439 (Submitted by Department of North Dakota) 

AWARD ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL FOR SERVICE IN 

KOREA 

(Disapproved) 

No. 440 (Submitted by Department of Oregon) 

APPOINT MRS. ANN BAKKENSEN AS A MEMBER OF THE U.S./RUSSIAN 

JOINT COMMISSION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 441 (Submitted by Department of Pennsylvania) 

AWARD ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL FOR 
SERVICE IN KOREA 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition for an award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary 
Medal (AFEM) to U.S. military personnel for service in Korea from July 28, 
1954 through September 30, 1966 and from July 1, 1974 to a date to be 
determined. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 442 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

AUTHORIZATION TO WEAR THE BUNDERWEHR 
AND THE LAND BERLIN UNIT CITATIONS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition U.S. Congress to authorize these two awards and the 
wearing of these two unit citations to U.S. Veterans of Berlin from May 1 945 
to September 1 994. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 443 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

AMERICANS WHO ARE PRISONERS OF WAR OR MISSING IN ACTION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we urge the President of the United States of America and every 
member of the U.S. Congress to speak out on every occasion to expedite 



250 



the return of those U.S. servicemen who are still Prisoners of War or Missing 
in Action; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we remain focused on our goal of 
achieving the fullest possible account of missing Americans from our 
nations past wars. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 444 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

REQUESTING THE U.S. DEPARATMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 

ESTABLISH A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR VETERANS EXPOSED 

TO BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL, NEUROLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, 

STRESS PRODUCING CONDITIONS WHILE IN MITARY SERVICE 

(Referred to Veterans Service Committee) 

No. 445 (Submitted by Department of Washington) 

POW/MIA FLAG/PENNANT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we urge the government of the United States to strictly enforce the 
existing public law and require all government agencies to fly the 
POW/MIA flag on the required occasions as well as everyday the American 
flag is displayed; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage the Secretary 
General of the United Nations to request that the POW/MIA flag be flown 
at the UN. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 446 (Submitted by Department of Washington) 

URGE CONGRESS TO MODIFY THE VFW CONGRESSIONAL CHARTER 

TO INCLUDE ALL "COLD WAR" GERMANY VETERANS WITH 30 

CONSECUTIVE DAYS OR 60 BROKEN DAYS FROM 5 MAY 1 955 

THROUGH 2 OCTOBER 1 990 

(Referred to Finance & Internal Organization Committee) 

No. 447 (Submitted by Department of Illinois) 

UNITED STATES TROOPS TO WEAR UNITED STATES UNIFORMS AND 
ANSWER TO AMERICAN OFFICERS IN ALL BRANCHES OF SERVICE 

(Disapproved) 



251 



No. 448 (Submitted by Department of California) 

OPPOSE ANY REQUIREMENT FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES 

TO DON EMBLEMS OR INSIGNIA OF, OR SWEAR AN OATH TO, ANY 

ORGANIZATION OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

(Disapproved) 

No. 449 (Submitted by Department of California) 

COMBAT ACTION RIBBON 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress and the President of the U.S. to provide for an 
award of the Navy-Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon based upon direct 
participation in ground or surface combat as a member of the Navy or 
Marine Corps during the period between December 7, 1 941 , to March 1 , 
1 961 . (Approved as Amended) 

No. 450 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

COLD WAR RESOLUTION 

(Referred to Finance & Internal Organization Committee) 

No. 451 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

VFW BACK UNITED STATES INVOLVEMENT IN AND FULL USE OF 
NATO MILITARY POWER AGAINST SERBIA 

(Disapproved) 

No. 452 (Submitted by Department of Maryland) 

ALL ACTS OF TREASON, IN WAR AND PEACE, AGAINST THE UNITED 
STATES OF AMERICA, SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that when justified by the nature of the crime, we support capital 
punishment for those who commit acts of espionage or treason against this 
nation; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support federal laws that 
allow the courts to sentence those convicted of treason or espionage against 
the United States in accordance with the nature of the crime. (Approved as 
Amended) 



252 



No. 453 (Submitted by Department of Maryland) 

RETENTION OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIVERSITY OF THE 
HEALTH SCIENCES (USUHS) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition the Congress of the United States of America to 
guarantee continuation of the USUHS in perpetuity. (Approved as 
Amended) 

No. 454 (Submitted by Department of Michigan) 

MEMBERSHIP FOR THOSE STATIONED AT CUANTANAMO BAY 

NAVAL, CUBA 

(Referred to Finance & Internal Organization Committee) 

CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE ON VETERANS SERVICE RESOLUTIONS 

No. 601 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SEXUAL TRAUMA TREATMENT FOR ALL VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that there will be permanent VA programs established for veterans 
who need sexual trauma treatment; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
insists there be absolutely no limitations or restrictions to VA sexual trauma 
treatment services thereby making sexual trauma treatment available to all 
veterans of the Armed Forces regardless of their length of service or reserve 
status. (Approved) 

No. 602 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

ADEQUATELY FUND THE VETEANS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM 
CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress in its annual appropriations, to fund the 
Department of Veterans Affairs construction to allow it to carry out a 
program of modernization or replacement of aging facilities, which 
includes a sound system for setting construction priorities, which in 
combination will ensure the continued provision of quality health care to 
our nation fs veterans. (Approved) 



253 



No. 603 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS BUDGET 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress of the United States to pass a budget and 
appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs which will fully fund 
and maintain the integrity of the benefits and entitlements programs and 
enhance Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. (Approved) 

No. 604 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

AMEND THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSES' 
PROTECTION ACT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the VFW seeks to amend PL 97-252, the Former Spousesf 
Protection Act, to allow for the termination of court-ordered payments to 
ex-military spouses upon remarriage; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars seeks 
legislation that would prohibit forcing a service member from making 
payments to his former spouse on the date the service member first 
becomes eligible to receive retired pay if the service member elects to 
remain in the service; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars seeks 
legislation that ensures any increase in retired pay resulting from increased 
service or promotion after a divorce is final becomes the sole property of 
the service member. (Approved) 

No. 605 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

CONCURRENT RECEIPT OF RETIREMENT PAY AND VETERANS 
DISABILITY COMPENSATION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we strongly urge legislation be enacted to permit the concurrent 
receipt of military retirement pay without reduction of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs disability compensation; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, that 
we also support legislation that initially limits the disability categories 
and/or the dollar amount of offset, with the final goal of having all disabled 
retirees receive full concurrent receipt of all money. (Approved as 
Amended) 

No. 606 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 



254 



AMENDED TAX RETURNS FOR MILITARY RETIREES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we strongly urge Congress to amend current law whereby a 
military retiree will be allowed to file amended tax returns involving receipt 
of VA disability compensation beyond the current three (3) year limitation. 
(Approved) 

No. 607 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

EXCLUDE GUARD AND RESERVE INCOME WHEN DETERMINING 
ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to enact legislation that standardizes 
Unemployment Insurance eligibility rules to the extent that Guard and 
Reserve income will be excluded for purposes of determining eligibility for 
Unemployment Insurance. (Approved) 

No. 608 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

VETERANS PROGRAM TO REMAIN A NATIONAL MANDATE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we oppose any such elimination of Federal direction and control 
over the employment assistance entitlements earned by Americafs veterans 
through their honorable service. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 609 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFIT PROGRAM (FEHBP) FOR 
MILITARY RETIREES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress to enact legislation requiring the 
Department of Defense to offer military retirees the full range of FEHBP 
under the same terms as do all other federal departments, agencies and the 
postal service; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, that 
we also support legislation that initially limits FEHBP to only Medicare 
eligible 

retirees with the ultimate goal of allowing all retirees to participate in the 
program. (Approved) 

No. 610 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

255 



THIRD-PARTY REIMBURSEMENT WITHOUT OFFSET 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Administration and Congress to authorize the 
Department of Veterans Affairs to retain all third-party reimbursements 
without offset from its appropriation; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we urge that legislation be enacted to 
make up any Medical Care Cost Recovery (MCCR) shortfall with emergency 
supplemental appropriations. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 61 1 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

ENTITLEMENT TO NURSING HOME CARE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to mandate the provision of nursing home 
care for all veterans. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 612 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

IMPROVE ACTIVE DUTY BASE PAY 

(Referred to National Security & Foreign Affairs Committee) 

No. 613 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR RADIATION 
RELATED DISABILITIES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to enact legislation which provides for a 
statutory presumption of service connection of the radiation-related 
disabilities, to include lung cancer, bone cancer, skin cancer, colon cancer, 
posterior subcapsular cataracts, nonmalignant thyroid nodular disease, 
ovarian cancer, parathyroid adenoma, tumors of the brain and central 
nervous system, and rectal cancer. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 614 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT AN EFFECTIVE VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND 
TRAINING SERVICE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support a viable and effective Veterans Employment and 



256 



Training Service which has necessary funding and capability to assist 
veterans in seeking and maintaining meaningful employment and re- 
employment opportunities; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that "VETS" be held accountable in 
ensuring that veterans receive priority of service in all federally funded job 
training programs. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 615 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

COMMISSION ON SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERANSi 
TRANSITION ASSISTANCE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that the VFW opposes any legislation to establish a termination date 
for the Persian Gulf War until there is an end to the current hostilities; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars is 
adamantly opposed to "carte blanche" acceptance of all NAPA and VCAC 
recommendations, as suggested by the Commission on Servicemembers 
and Veterans Transition Assistance. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 616 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

IMPROVED VA HOSPITAL FACILITIES FOR WOMEN VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to provide funding to the Department of 
Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically for the purpose of improving the quality of 
hospital facilities and services available to women veterans at VA hospitals. 
(Approved) 

No. 617 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

FUNDING FEE FOR VA HOME LOANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to repeal the VA Home Loan. (Approved as 
Amended) 

No. 618 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

NECESSARY FUNDING FOR THE LOCAL VETEANS EMPLOYMENT 

REPRESENTATIVES (LVERs) AND DISABLED VETERANS OUTREACH 

PROGRAM SPECIALISTS (DVOPs) 



257 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress of the United States to appropriate 
sufficient funds to support the number of LVERs and DVOPs positions as 
required by Title 38. (Approved) 

No. 619 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT PRIORITY OF SERVICE FOR VETERANS TO ALL FEDERALLY 
FUNDED JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress to enact legislation which will mandate 
priority of service to all eligible veterans in federally funded job training 
programs. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 620 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

VA PROPOSES PERMANENT EXTENSION OF CERTAIN OBRA 

PROVISIONS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we are opposed to further extending VAfs authority to round- 
down cost-of-living allowances for disability compensation, and 
dependency and indemnity compensation; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars also 
opposes any recommendation to extend the VAfs authority to limit 
improved pension payments to $90 per month to veterans, without 
dependents, receiving nursing home care covered by Medicaid. (Approved 
as Amended) 

No. 621 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

COST-OF-LIVING INCREASE FORVA BENEFICIARIES AND 
MILITARY RETIREES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to provide timely annual increases in an 
amount at least commensurate with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all 
Department of Veterans Affairsf beneficiaries and military retirees. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 622 (Submitted by Commandeer-in-Chief) 

VA MEDICARE SUBVENTION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 



258 



States, that we support the swift enactment into law of legislation 
authorizing VA to collect and retain Medicare dollars. (Approved) 

No. 623 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

EXCLUSIVE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEES FOR THE 
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress to establish separate appropriations 
subcommittees exclusive to the Department of Veterans Affairs in both the 
House and Senate. (Approved) 

No. 624 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

FUNDING OF SBA VETERANS PROGRAMS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support the strengthening and sufficient funding of an 
effective veterans entrepreneurship program in the United States Small 
Business Administration. (Approved) 

No. 625 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT FOR GULF WAR VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we continue to urge the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish 
an open ended presumptive period until the medical and scientific 
community determines an appropriate time in which conditions associated 
with Gulf War service will manifest; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Department of 
Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care for 
all active duty military veterans whose health has been adversely affected 
by the Persian Gulf War, and to conduct all necessary tests to determine the 
causes of these illnesses; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, veterans of the Gulf War be afforded 
the same rights and privileges guaranteed to all other veterans; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Department of 
Veterans Affairs to act in accordance with Title 38 USC, section 1117, and 
develop, at the earliest possible date, appropriate definitions or diagnoses 
of the illnesses associated with service in the Persian Gulf; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge Congress to adequately 
fund appropriate medical and scientific research, and the Department of 
Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs to implement all 
relevant laws that support all research efforts; and 



259 



BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Departments of 
Defense, Health and Human Service, and Veterans Affairs and the Congress 
to fund appropriate research into the causes of these illnesses; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the VFW continue to closely 
monitor this issue and urge appropriate corrective action when necessary to 
assist Gulf War veterans and their families to include veterans who served 
in the nations of Turkey and Israel. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 626 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

HONOR GUARD FUNCTIONS AT FUNERALS FOR VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support legislation to provide active duty and recognize as 
a federal function Reserve and/or National Guard participation at veteransf 
funerals, with necessary appropriated funds. (Approved) 

No. 627 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

GULF WAR UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESSES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 628 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

RETAIN EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE FORVETEANS AND 
DISABLED VETERANS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 629 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING ALLOWANCE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we seek legislation to amend 38 U.S.C.&21 02 to allow a veteran 
to qualify for a second allowance. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 630 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SERVICE CONNECTION FOR HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS FOR 
COMBAT VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we urge Congress to enact legislation that will authorize the 



260 



Secretary of Veterans Affairs to grant service connection to veterans with 
documented combat service and who have been diagnosed with hearing 
loss or tinnitus at any time after discharge from military service. 
(Approved) 

No. 631 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge a standardized licensure and certification requirement 
be adopted by the appropriate federal and state agencies in all 50 states; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that recently separated service 
members be afforded the opportunity to take licensing and certification 
exams without a period of retraining. (Approved) 

No. 632 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

PROVIDING EMERGENCY SERVICES TO ENROLLED VETEANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to enact legislation that mandates the VA to 
pay for emergency services in non-VA facilities for all enrolled veterans if 
emergency services are not available within a VA facility. (Approved) 

No. 633 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

RESEARCH ON THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF DEPLETED URANIUM AND 

IMPLEMENTATION OF AN EDUCATION AND SAFETY TRAINING 

PROGRAM FOR ALL GROUND TROOPS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we request the Secretary of Defense to immediately direct and 
verify the full implementation of the Depleted Uranium training program; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an independent, non-profit 
scientific organization, under federal contract from the Department of 
Veteran Affairs, conduct appropriate studies regarding the health effects of 
DU, with additional instructions to review and evaluate all other agenciesf 
scientific studies regarding DU, for the purpose of issuing a comprehensive 
report identifying the possible health effects related to use of DU. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 634 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 



261 



OPPOSE STAFF REDUCTIONS FOR THE VETEANS BENEFITS 
ADMINISTRATION 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to include sufficient funding in VAfs 
appropriations to increase FTEE in the Compensation and Pension Service 
by 500 and maintain FTEE at the FY 1997 levels in the other VBA 
components. (Approved) 

No. 635 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

EQUITY IN VA HEALTH CARE CO-PAYMENTS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to require the VA to find a more equitable 
means to determine a non-service connected veterans outpatient co- 
payment. (Approved) 

No. 636 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

AMEND INTERNAL REVENUE CODE FOR STATE FINANCIAL VETERANS 

HOME MORTGATES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we support legislation to amend the code of 1986 to allow veterans 
who served after January 1, 1977, in a military operation and who are 
authorized a military campaign medal, to qualify for the state veterans 
home mortgage bond program. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 637 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SUPPORT LEGISLATION PROVIDING ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND 
SERVICES TO VIETNAM VETERANS CHILDREN WITH SPINA BIFIDA 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to amend the Agent Orange Benefits Act of 
1996 to provide Vietnam veterans children with Spina Bifida Cystica with 
comprehensive health care coverage, attendant services, independent 
living services, up to 48 months of educational assistance, adaptive housing 
and transportation assistance; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Act be amended to include 
outreach and service coordination assistance to: (1 ) ensure that Vietnam 
veterans children with Spina Bifida and their families are aware of their 
eligibility forVA benefits and services and, when needed, in fully accessing 
such benefits; (2) assist such children in protecting Supplemental Security 
Insurance and other federal and federally-supported benefits and services 



262 



from unwarranted reduction or termination due to the receipt of assistance 
under the Act; and (3) assist such children in accessing other specialized 
human services for persons with severe disabilities offered by federal, state, 
and local government agencies and other human services organizations. 
(Approved) 

No. 638 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS STRATEGIC PLAN 

(Disapproved) 

No. 639 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

VA DEMONSTRATION PROJECT FOR ALZHEIMERiS FACILITY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support the need for Alzheimerfs programs throughout the 
Department of Veterans Affairs and the State Veterans Homes; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this demonstration project be 
uniquely designed programs for veterans with Alzheimerfs disease using 
other than the routine medical or psychiatric care models. The project 
should include Alzheimerfs research as an integral part of the veterans 
treatment program. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 640 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

VATO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF CARING FOR VETERANS RESIDING 
IN STATE VETERANS HOMES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we support a VA per diem payment that equals 33.33% of the 
national average cost of providing care in a state veterans home; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Congress of the 
United States to fully fund the State Veterans Home Construction Grant 
Program. (Approved) 

No. 641 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

RESTORE GRANT IN AID HOSPITAL PROGRAM TO THE FILIPINO 
WORLD WAR II VETERANS IN THE PHILIPPINES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to restore the Grant- 
In-Aid Hospital Program under the management of the Manila Regional 



263 



Office to assist in the medical treatment of surviving Philippine-based WWII 
veterans; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all inequities proportioned at the 
time of the original suspension be evaluated so as to bring the Philippine 
Veterans Memorial Medical Hospital in line with U.S. hospital standards 
and procedures. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 642 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SERVICE CONNECTION FOR CHRONIC PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY 
AND DIABETES AS A RESULT OF EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge VA to expeditiously include Chronic Peripheral 
Neuropathy and Diabetes as presumption for service connection as a result 
of exposure to Agent Orange. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 643 (Submitted by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief and 
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief)) 

HOLD THE ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we call on this Administration and Congress to make veterans a 
priority with not only words, but with proper funding that will allow 
veterans access to quality health care in a timely manner; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the VFW Commander-in-Chief 
take whatever measures he may deem necessary with the Administration, 
the Congress 
(Approved) 

No. 644 (Submitted by Department of District of Columbia) 

PROVIDE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP OF THE CEMETERY 
AT FORMER CLARK AIR BASE IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 645 (Submitted by Department of District of Columbia) 

BENEFITS FOR FILIPINO VETERANS AND SCOUTS WHO SERVED WITH 
THE U.S. ARMED FORCES DURING WWII 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 



264 



States, that we support legislation to recognize veterans of the organized 
military forces of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, 
while such forces were in the service of the armed forces of the United 
States during WWII, as having been active service for purposes of equal 
benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; 
and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support additional legislation 
that directs the Secretary of the Army to issue a certificate of service to every 
national of the Philippine Islands deemed by the Secretary to have 
performed any military service in aid of the armed forces of the United 
States during WWII. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 646 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

THE FUTURE OF PERSHING HALL 

(Disapproved) 

No. 647 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

GUARANTEED U.S. ARMED FORCES MEDICAL SUPPORT 
FOR RETIREES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition the Congress of the United States of America to 
enact legislation requiring the Department of Defense to ensure that retirees 
of the U.S. armed forces and their eligible family members and dependents, 
receive guaranteed medical support by requiring each branch of the armed 
forces!" health services organization to provide the needed medical support 
as a secondary mission to providing medical support for the active duty 
population. (Approved) 

No. 648 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES STANDARDIZATION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 649 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

POSTAL PRIVILEGES FOR RETIREES 

(Disapproved) 



265 



No. 650 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

TIMELY SURVIVORSi BENEFIT PROGRAM ENTITLEMENT 
PAYMENT TO SURVIVORS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition Congress to enact legislation requiring the 
Department of Defense to ensure that each branch of the armed forcesf 
servicing finance center release the initial survivorfs entitlement check 
immediately upon receipt of the SBP claim. (Approved) 

No. 651 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

POST EXCHANGE AND COMMISSARY PRIVILEGES FOR U.S. MILITARY 
RETIREES RESIDING OR TRAVELING OVERSEAS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition the Department of State and the Department of 
Defense to ensure the protection of exchange and commissary benefits for 
retirees of the U.S. armed forces in all future treaty negotiations, 
renegotiations, amendments, or adjustment of any nature. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 652 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

VETERANS EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE WITH 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT OVERSEAS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Department of State and the Department of Defense 
to ensure the protection of veteransf employment benefits in all future treaty 
negotiations, renegotiations, amendments, or adjustments of any nature. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 653 (Submitted by Department of Europe) 

ESTABLISH A VA ASSISTANCE OFFICE IN THE 
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition Congress to enact legislation authorizing the 
Department of Veterans Affairs to establish an assistance office in Germany 
to support U.S. citizens in Europe. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 654 (Submitted by Departments of, Florida, Louisiana and Texas) 

266 



CHANGE RULE REGARDING VA INTEREST RATE REDUCTION 
REFINANCING LOAN PROGRAM 

(Disapproved) 

No. 655 (Submitted by Department of Florida) 

MANDATORY VA HEALTH CARE INCLUDING VA CLINIC PHARMACIES 
FOR MILITARY RETIREES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 656 (Submitted by Department of Florida) 

"NOTCH BABIES" 

(Disapproved) 

No. 657 (Submitted by Department of Illinois) 

LONG TERM CARE FOR VETERANS AT ILLINOIS 
NURSING CARE FACILITIES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 658 (Submitted by Department of Illinois) 

"EQUALIZE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS-FIX THE NOTCH" 

(Disapproved) 

No. 659 (Submitted by Department of Illinois) 

ADEQUATE FUNDING BY VA MEDICAL CENTERS FOR ALL U.S. 

VETERANS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 660 (Submitted by Department of Kentucky) 

MILL SPRINGS NATIONAL CEMETERY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that sufficient lands be acquired and set aside for expansion of our 



267 



national cemeteries into the millennia; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that suitable land be acquired, 
adjacent to Mill Springs National Cemetery, for a museum dedicated to the 
Battle of Mill Springs, which was causative to the establishment of said 
cemetery; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that commercialization of the 
immediate environs of Mill Springs National Cemetery, and all national 
cemeteries, and the prospective museum, be restrained and discouraged. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 661 (Submitted by Department of Kentucky) 

EQUITABLE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR ALL VETERANS EMPLOYED BY 
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 662 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

DISABILITY PAY TO RETIRED MILITARY PERSONNEL 

(Disapproved) 

No. 663 (Submitted by Department of Minnesota) 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to repeal Title 38, United States Code, section 
5503 (b)(1)(A), because the law has currently "outlived" its intended 
purpose and now actually discriminates against a group of veterans who 
cannot speak for themselves. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 664 (Submitted by Department of Montana) 

INCREASE FUNDING FOR BURIALS AT STATE CEMETERIES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we urge Congress to provide funding for grave space, markers, 
interment, and grave liner for burial of veterans and spouses in both VA 
national cemeteries and in state veterans!" cemeteries. (Approved as 
Amended) 

No. 665 (Submitted by Department of Nebraska) 

GRAND ISLAND VETERANS HOME CONSTRUCTION 

(Disapproved) 



268 



No. 666 (Submitted by Department of Nebraska) 

SCOTTSBLUFF VETERANS HOME CONSTRUCTION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 667 (Submitted by Department of New Jersey) 

VETERAN'S PREFERENCE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we oppose all attempts to reduce or circumvent veteransf 
preference. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 668 (Submitted by Department of New York) 

TOCO WEST JR., SECRETARY OF VA, MUST GO NOW! 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, it is our duty and obligation to every man and woman who ever 
served in uniform in the armed forces of our nation to petition our 
Commander-in-Chief Thomas Pouliot to once again lead a movement to 
remove Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West Jr. from office and get rid of 
him just as we did Derwinski; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge that only a qualified 
person be approved to serve in this cabinet position. (Approved) 

No. 669 (Submitted by Department of New York) 

THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENTiS $10,000.00 TERM LIFE INSURANCE 
POLICY BE ADJUSTED AS FOLLOWS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 670 (Submitted by Department of Ohio) 

VETERANS PREFERENCE, VETERANS PRIORTITY OF SERVICE AND 
OTHER SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING 

PROGRAMS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 671 (Submitted by Department of Ohio) 



269 



H.R. 606 
(Disapproved) 
No. 672 (Submitted by Department of Ohio) 

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that veterans priority of service be provided by any agency or 
organization, state or federal, that receives federal funding for employment 
and training; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that at least one veterans advocate be 
placed on the state and local Workforce Investment Act (WIA) boards; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all states who are involved in the 
Workforce Investment Act transition establish a partnership with the Federal 
Agencies requiring those agencies participation in providing technical 
assistance based on Federal mandated services in the planning of the 
transition to ensure that each state shall include all of those services, 
priorities, preferences, and other special consideration required by law. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 673 (Submitted by Department of Ohio) 

EMPLOYEE PROTECTION AGAINST DISCHARGE FOR SEEKING 
TREATMENT FROM THE VA 

(Disapproved) 

No. 674 (Submitted by Department of Oregon) 

CLARK AIR BASE 

(Disapproved) 

No. 675 (Submitted by Department of Pacific Areas) 

PROVIDE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP OF THE CEMETERY 
AT THE FORMER CLARK AIR BASE IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE 

PHILIPPINES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the United States government, by legislative or 
administrative action, to seek a long term solution to the neglect of the 
former Clark Air Base Cemetery. 
(Approved as Amended) 



270 



No. 676 (Submitted by Department of Pacific Areas) 

BENEFITS FOR SAIPAN MARINE SCOUTS WHO FOUGHT ALONG SIDE 
THE U.S. FORCES DURING WORK WAR II BATTLE OF SAIPAN 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support legislation to recognize the Saipan Marine Scouts 
who served along side of U.S. forces during the Battle of Saipan, as having 
been active service for purposes of equal benefits under programs 
administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support additional legislation 
that directs the Secretary of Defense to issue a certificate of service to every 
Saipan Marine Scout deemed by the Secretary to have performed military 
service in aid of the armed forces of the U.S. during the WWII Battle of 
Saipan. (Approved) 

No. 677 (Submitted by Department of South Dakota) 

INCREASE THE BUDGET OF THE VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND 
TRAINING SERVICE 

(Disapproved) 

No. 678 (Submitted by Department of Virginia) 

TO SUPPORT COOPERATION BETWEEN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF 
LABOR AND THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION 

(Disapproved) 

No. 679 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT S.381/H.R. 631, BENEFITS FOR FILIPINO AMERICAN 
VETERANS OF WWII 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we go on record in support of Supplemental Social Security 
benefits for Filipino American veterans of WWII. (Approved as Amended) 

No. 680 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 1 1 82, THE "SERVICEMEMBERS EDUCATIONAL 
OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1999" 

(Disapproved) 

271 



No. 681 (Submitted by Department of California) 



REMOVE RESTRICTIONS ON PARTICIPATION BY MEDICARE-ELIGIBLE 

DoD BENEFICIARIES UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH 

BENEFITS PROGRAM (FEHBP) 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support the removal of restrictions on Medicare eligible DoD 
beneficiaries under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. 
(Approved as Amended) 

No. 682 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 1215, "VETERANS AMERICAN DREAM HOME 
OWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1999" 

(Disapproved) 

No. 683 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 648, 
"MILITARY RETIRED PAY RESTORATION ACT OF 1999" 

(Disapproved) 

No. 684 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 303, PERMIT RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE ARMED 
FORCES TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION FROM THE VA CONCURRENTLY 

WITH RETIRED PAY 
WITHOUT DEDUCTION FROM EITHER 

(Disapproved) 

No. 685 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 500, "THE MILITARY PAY AND RETIREMENT REFORM 

ACT OF 1 999" 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to restore military retirement benefits that 
were reduced by the Military Retirement Reform Act of 1986. (Approved 
as Amended) 



272 



No. 686 (Submitted by Department of California) 

ENACT LEGISLATION ALLOWING VETERANS WITH 50% OR GREATER 

DISABILITY THE RIGHT TO THE SAME PRIVILEGES ALLOWED TO 

VETERANS WITH 100% DISABILITY 

(Disapproved) 

No. 687 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT S.350, "MILITARY HEALTH CARE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 

1999" 

(Disapproved) 

No. 688 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 135, "VETERANS' ACCESS TO EMERGENCY CARE ACT 

OF 1999" 



(Disapproved) 

No. 689 (Submitted by Department of California) 

PRESERVATION OF THE NATIONAL SOLDIERS' HOME LOCATED AT 
THE VA MEDICAL CENTER, WEST LOS ANGELES 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we request the United States Congress to ensure adherence to 
the expressed wishes of the donors of said land, that the terms and 
consideration of the grant be adhered to, that the Pacific Branch of the 
National Soldiersf Home for Disabled Veterans be maintained on said 
property, that an opportunity be offered to those who were displaced from 
said National Soldiersf Home to return thereto, and that the admission 
requirements for entering the Home revert back to the original status. 
(Approved) 

No. 690 (Submitted by Department of California) 

SUPPORT H.R. 1594, FILIPINO VETERANS' BENEFITS IMPROVEMENT 

ACT OF 1999 

(Disapproved) 

No. 691 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

USE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUNDS 
273 



FOR VETERANS HEALTH CARE NEEDS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 692 (Submitted by Department of Maryland) 

ANALYSIS OF GULF WAR SYNDROM (GWS) BY THE UNIFORMED 
SERVICES UNIVERSITY OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES (USUHS) 

(Disapproved) 

No. 693 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

DESIGNATE CERTAIN MILITARY BASES AS 
NATIONAL CEMETERIES FOR AERIAL BURIALS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 694 (Submitted by Department of Colorado) 

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE OF VETERANS' WIDOWS/SURVIVING 
SPOUSES AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we support the establishment of an office of veteransf widows 
and surviving spousesf affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 
(Approved) 

No. 695 (Submitted by Department of California) 

REQUEST THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 

COMPLY WITH THE MILITARY AND 

VETERANS CODE TO PROTECT VETERANS 

(Disapproved) 

No. 696 (Submitted by Department of California) 

FIELD SERVICE OFFICERS PART-TIME PAID EMPLOYEES 

(Disapproved) 

No. 697 (Submitted by Department of Michigan) 

THE USE OF THE "BATTLEFIELD CROSS" IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES 



274 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we petition the Department of Veterans Affairs, National 
Cemetery Administration, to amend their policy regarding the use of 
weapons of war to exclude the "Battlefield Cross" from this definition and 
allow its use in a proper and dignified manner as a memorial on the 
grounds of a national cemetery under their control. (Approved) 

No. 698 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (LOU GEHRIG'S DISEASE) 
HIGH AMONG GULF WAR VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we call for intensified medical and scientific research to 
determine the cause of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis among Gulf War 
Veterans, and in the interim, we urge the Department of Veterans Affairs 
grant an open-ended presumption of service connection for Amyotrophic 
Lateral Sclerosis for Persian Gulf War veterans until such time as the 
research is complete. (Approved) 

No. 699 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

ESTABLISHING A PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR 
VETERANS SUFFERING FROM HEPATITIS "C" 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to authorize an open- 
ended presumption of service connection for veterans with Hepatitis C as a 
result of their military service. 
(Approved) 

No. 700 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

EXPANSION OF ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to pass necessary legislation to have the Navy 
Annex property incorporated into Arlington National Cemetery; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we strongly support legislation to 
establish a National Military Museum in some other yet to be determined 
geographic area, rather than the Navy Annex site. (Approved) 

No. 701 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

SOLVENCY FOR THE ARMED FORCES RETIREMENT HOMES 



275 



BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to support competitive bidding on an 
undeveloped 49 acre parcel of land at the United States Soldiersi and 
Airmenfs Home after a professionally approved appraisal is accepted by the 
AFRHB; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in conjunction with the above 
appraisal process, Congress ensure all active duty enlisted and warrant 
officers be required to contribute $1.00 per month from their pay to the 
AFRHB. Together, these actions will ensure solvency beyond 2004 for the 
AFRHB. (Approved) 

No. 702 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

A Gl BILL FOR THE 21 st CENTURY 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge Congress to enact a new Gl Bill for the 21st Century 
which would provide an educational benefit that covers the cost of tuition, 
fees, books and related expenses along with a stipend to cover housing 
expenses. (Approved) 

No. 703 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

HOMELESS VETERANS 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, that we urge the Congress to fully fund all Veteransf Homeless 
programs that are administered at the Federal level; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that VFW Posts be encouraged to join 
community-based organizations in addressing veterans homelessness. 
(Approved) 

No. 704 (Submitted by Commander-in-Chief) 

REQUESTING THE U.S.DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 

ESTABLISH A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR VETERANS EXPOSED 

TO BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL, NEUROLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, 

STRESS PRODUCING CONDITIONS WHILE IN MILITARY SERVICE 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States, we respectfully request the Honorable Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
to establish a comprehensive program to monitor and examine regularly all 
veterans who show symptoms of diseases they did not have prior to their 
military service. This program should include: Examination, Diagnosis and 
Treatment for exposure to all agents of warfare whether in use, training, 
handling, study, research or in some cases simple observation of a 



276 



detonation or blast. Again, there may also be cases where the simple study 
and research of materials by using services was the purpose of an Exercise. 
(Approved) 



NATIONAL CONVENTION COMMITTEES 

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL BY-LAWS, MANUAL OF PROCEDURE 

AND RITUAL 

Chairman: John J. Stang, Fast Commander-in-Chief, Kansas 
Vice Chairman: George K. Mead, Post 9400, Arizona 

(Room 1204 AB, H. Roe Bartle Convention Center) 

Department Name Post No. 

Alaska Leander P. Carr 9978 

Arizona Lyman F. Chapman 1 760 

Arizona Donald E. Maynard 7968 

Arizona George K. Mead 9400 

Arizona Vincent J. Mitchell 9972 

Arkansas AM. Armstrong 2283 

California Robert G. Houchins 11 23 

California Everett R. Martin 1 732 

California Craig W. Morgan 10040 

California Arthur A. Napiwocki 1614 

California Peter J. Szabo 3928 

Colorado Terrance D. Jacobson 3471 

Colorado James E. Mauck 2601 

Connecticut Edward L. Burnham 1 724 

Connecticut Ronald Christopher 5095 

Connecticut Thomas C. Deere 6726 

Connecticut Dominic J. Romano 7330 

Delaware Paul R. Phillips, Jr. 2863 

Dist. of Col Kenneth J. Allen, Jr. 341 

Dist. of Col A Leo Anderson 284 

Dist. of Col Gerard P. Miserandino, Sr. 2979 

Dist. of Col David F. Wood 1 085 

Europe Jarold K. Stottlemyre 10810 

Florida Raymond D. Brennan, Jr. 10131 

Florida John M. Carney 4643 

Florida Richard Fitzgerald 7721 

Florida Robert M. Sprute 5625 

Florida James E. Talbert 8093 



277 



Georgia Dick D. Dickens 6605 

Hawaii Donald Ortogero 10276 

Idaho William E. Rhoads 9831 

Illinois Eugene J. Karban 7980 

Illinois Tom Morgan 1 592 

Illinois Tern/ W. Vance 9789 

Indiana John L. Barnes 7119 

Indiana Omar F. Kendall 673 

Indiana David Lantz 1 1 30 

Iowa Clinton L. Hoferman 61 72 

Iowa Robert S. Randall 839 

Iowa William P. Shannon 733 

Kansas Robert B. Greene 846 

Kansas Randal G. Grimsley 56 

Kansas Clyde H. Hatcher 1 254 

Kansas John J. Stang 3147 

Kentucky John T. Brame, Jr. 1913 

Kentucky Norman Miller 7698 

Latin Amer/Carib Casey R. Morris, Jr. 3835 

Louisiana James E. Westbrook 3784 

Maine Jerry A. Elwell 8395 

Maine Donald R. Libby, Jr. 832 

Maryland William E. Berry 6694 

Maryland Thomas E. Ryan 10080 

Maryland James L. Youngblood 6694 

Massachusetts William L. Mc Carthy 864 

Michigan Robert E. Faidley 6132 

Michigan Eric L. Halvorsen 5065 

Michigan Lawrence Le Febvre 552 

Michigan Richard L. Lehner 1 735 

Minnesota Calvin D. Ferber 612 

Minnesota Lester G. Orton 363 

Minnesota James D. Vetter 3289 

Mississippi Arthur D. Grimes 4057 

Mississippi Johnnie Sartor 5573 

Missouri Carl E. Arnold 6477 

Missouri Louis W. Denny 2590 

Missouri Lawrence M. Maher 7356 

Montana James J. Bertrand 1 579 

Montana .Dan G. Norton 1 125 

Nebraska Vern E. Hoffart 131 

Nebraska John R. Liebsack 2503 

Nevada Douglas R. Creel 6826 

New Hampshire Frank E. Casey, Jr 816 

New Jersey George J. Lisicki 2314 

New Jersey Harry G. Rossi 809 



278 



New Jersey John J. Senk, Jr. 335 

New Jersey Vincent J. Tamburino 2319 

New Jersey Howard Vander Clute 6467 

New York Albert A. Alteri 9591 

New York Thomas E. Cooper 5344 

New York Arthur E. Koch, III 6780 

New York Harry C Wurth 5253 

North Carolina William C. Cox 7383 

North Carolina ElreeT. Smith 10999 

North Dakota Wayne L. Paulson 753 

North Dakota Robert G. Rudd 7564 

Ohio James Comedy 3383 

Ohio Keith E. Harman 3035 

Ohio William W. Hawk 9381 

Ohio Terry A. Roan 3124 

Oklahoma Earl W. Sass 10099 

Oregon Doyle E. Souders 2807 

Pacific Areas Kenneth W. Schaefer 2485 

Pennsylvania Charles R. Feltenberger 2435 

Pennsylvania Allen Q. Jones 21 

Pennsylvania George W. Mullen 4480 

Pennsylvania Frank J. Zenzer 676 

Rhode Island Ernest R. Frappier 6342 

South Carolina Clyde M. Lindsay, Jr. 5932 

South Carolina John D. Patty 2889 

South Dakota William F. Cerny, Jr. 9950 

South Dakota Charles A. Kappelman, Jr. 4674 

South Dakota William J. Radigan 3061 

Tennessee Joe A. Murphy, Jr. 1 289 

Texas Charles L. Cannon, Jr. 5076 

Texas Glen M. Gardner, Jr. 3359 

Texas Anthony W. Graf 1 81 5 

Texas R. Earl Lord 1 0351 

Texas Mary A. Marsh 831 5 

Texas William B. Moody 2034 

Utah Sanford Rosenthal 3586 

Vermont James S. Forest 782 

Virginia Kenneth J. Vitale .21 63 

Virginia Bobby R. Walls 221 6 

Washington Roger S. Brazier 1 1329 

Washington Gary W Hulsey 1 949 

West Virginia Richard W. Homan 9666 

West Virginia Norf F. Nelson 1212 

Wisconsin Clifford C. Borden, Jr. 8483 

Wisconsin Bernard J. Boyle 2823 

Wisconsin JR. Weber 2260 



279 



Wyoming Charles E. Fresorger 579 

COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND INTERNAL ORGANIZATION 

Chairman: John W. Mahan, Past Commander-in-Chief, Montana 
Vice Chairman: Michael R. Jugan, Post 8180, Pennsylvania 

(Room 1202 AB, H. Roe Bartle Convention Center) 

Department Name Post No. 

Alabama Roland L. Day 668 

Alabama Oliver W. Dial 924 

Alabama George A. Ganey 5660 

Alabama Charles R. Stephens 3128 

Alaska Robert S. Green 1 685 

Alaska Michael D. Higdon 10029 

Arizona George W. Robinson 9400 

Arizona Ronald L. Slater 9829 

Arizona Billie E. Stuart 549 

Arkansas James F. Gilbert 4548 

Arkansas Leslie F. Thone 3141 

California Dianne H. Brogdon 51 79 

California Alexander W. Brown, III 6874 

California Robert W. Drew 85 

California James R. Rowoldt 10040 

California Vernon L. Shahbazian 1 999 

California Kenneth L. Stevens 9223 

California Elbert E. Vaughn 10125 

California Anthony A. Whatley 5991 

Colorado Darrell D. Elliott 1 771 

Colorado John R. Lewis 4051 

Connecticut Edward S. Banas 10004 

Connecticut Howard C. Harris 9460 

Connecticut Donald H. Schwab 7827 

Connecticut Robert A. Stevens 10690 

Delaware Robert A. Mc Gowan 3257 

Dist. of Col Lynn R. Hill 7284 

Dist. of Col George A. Lange, Jr. 284 

Europe Harold Hedges 9334 

Europe Norman J. Hirschman 10658 

Florida John R. Crane 4407 

Florida Donald L. Pierce 8696 

Florida Robert Shepherd 4864 

Georgia James R. Coggins 5080 

Georgia Frederick Engelhardt, III 2518 

Georgia Edward P. Grealish, Jr. 3200 



280 



Georgia William J. Wilson 7007 

Hawaii Edward K. Bailey 10276 

Idaho Louis K. Nave 9425 

Illinois Joseph L. Berg 5691 

Illinois Rick Frank 1461 

Illinois Vincent R. Long 1 756 

Illinois Donald R. Smithenry 5520 

Indiana David G. Havely 5864 

Indiana Richard L. Jordan 2067 

Indiana Ronald E. Martin 7119 

Indiana James J. Thiel 71 7 

Indiana Donald R. Westbury 9323 

Iowa Leonard F. Kroupa 788 

Iowa Roger D. Schwieso 941 

Iowa Patrick J. Shanahan 788 

Kansas Ronald G. Browning 846 

Kansas Leland W. Kindler 6882 

Kansas Harry D. Nelson 1 1 86 

Kansas Howard F. Perue 41 75 

Kansas Daniel M. Shea 7397 

Kentucky Leroy Ford 5480 

Kentucky Michael G. Penney 1 1 91 

Kentucky Jeff A. Phillips 1 170 

Latin Amer/Carib Dannie Cooper 3822 

Louisiana Carroll J. Knott 5153 

Maine Donald W. Linscott, Jr. 1 603 

Maine Robert E. Phillips 1 761 

Maine Arthur J. Roy 1 603 

Maryland Robert L. Miedzinski 2632 

Massachusetts Gardner Mc Williams 2425 

Michigan Edmund R. Gucwa 6896 

Michigan Ernest E. Meyers 4090 

Michigan Douglas D. Paulson 5602 

Michigan Elmer J. Wurster 7546 

Minnesota Patrick T. Bohmer 246 

Minnesota Robert E. Hansen 295 

Minnesota Orlin D. Jackson 1 720 

Minnesota William J. Manor 3871 

Minnesota Larry G. Ziebarth 6843 

Mississippi Frank L. Bass 1243 

Mississippi Travis R. Harlow 5395 

Mississippi William H. Long 6473 

Missouri Charles A. Brewster 5553 

Missouri George C. Graner 1 0967 

Missouri Lawrence M. Maher 7356 

Missouri William E. Rafiner 7900 



281 



Montana John W. Mahan 1116 

Montana Erich J. Maki 41 98 

Montana Robert C. Smith 31 77 

Nebraska John R. Gollihare 1 504 

Nebraska Earl Stiner, Jr. 3421 

Nevada Stephen P. Gibbs 1 753 

Nevada Herbert Tellkamp, Jr. 2313 

New Hampshire Kevin P. Mc Keating, Jr. 483 

New Hampshire Virgil N. Mullins 2616 

New Hampshire Richard A. Robinson 816 

New Hampshire Robert T. St Onge 821 4 

New Jersey Otto A. Gollon 7679 

New Jersey Donald E. Marshall, Jr. 9503 

New Jersey Joseph G. Retkovis : . . .5579 

New Mexico James H. Ferguson 7686 

New Mexico William F. Festing, Jr. 3277 

New Mexico Lawrence R. Frappier 3015 

New Mexico Joe D. Salas 401 

New Mexico William D. Wilson 7686 

New York Joseph D. Brooks 358 

New York James H. Dersherl 5538 

New York Douglas D. Eysaman 374 

New York Elton C. Klein 478 

New York Jack I. Simons 921 7 

North Carolina Don N. Hancock 5631 

North Carolina Glenn P. Milliman 2401 

North Carolina Ashley V. Raper 2057 

North Carolina Betty H. Rowland 9100 

Ohio Lowell G. Brewer 3809 

Ohio Robert W. Crow 4027 

Ohio Joseph J. Ferencie 1 863 

Ohio John R. Johnson 8850 

Ohio Thomas L. Kissell 9648 

Ohio Roger D. Taylor 2873 

Oklahoma John W. Davidson 9969 

Oklahoma Charles R. Home 9969 

Oregon Harold C. Jordan 293 

Oregon Daniel W. Wakefield 81 

Oregon Edwin L. Williams 10644 

Pacific Areas Charles A. Clay 1 509 

Pacific Areas Thomas I. Elliott 9467 

Pacific Areas Michael R. Jugan 81 80 

Pacific Areas Donald O. Webster 9957 

Pennsylvania Howard L. Adler, Jr. 456 

Pennsylvania Thomas J. Dougherty 3474 

Pennsylvania John B. Getz, Jr. 6759 



282 



Pennsylvania Allan C. Jameson 928 

Pennsylvania George Sarver, Jr. 402 

Pennsylvania Joseph T. Tragis 6082 

Rhode Island Jean P. Arcand 2686 

South Carolina Bobby K. Bryant 9539 

South Carolina Johnnie C. Robinson 2889 

South Dakota Gary Knudson 2038 

South Dakota William J. Radigan 3061 

South Dakota William L. Russell 750 

Tennessee Charles Bearden, Jr. 1289 

Tennessee Wilburn Hastings, Jr. 5019 

Tennessee Roy C. Womble 501 9 

Texas Harry J. Bergenheier 8878 

Texas Rolland R. Frink 9299 

Texas Donald L. Harwood 6794 

Texas James E. Nier 891 9 

Texas George B. Sparkman 91 81 

Texas Clifford T. Teer 21 48 

Utah Harry B. Miller 3586 

Vermont Merritt A. Edwards 6689 

Vermont Frank A. Hickory 792 

Virginia James L. Booth 221 6 

Virginia Marshall E. Guy 4667 

Virginia Robert J. Klausing 609 

Washington Richard A. Petersen 10018 

Washington Thomas M. Schuster 969 

Washington Blaine E. Teachman 9301 

West Virginia Robert W. Caruthers 9926 

West Virginia Ralph Stump 2716 

Wisconsin Earl D. Banks 9403 

Wisconsin Milo L. Cunningham 1318 

Wisconsin John A. Miller 9537 

Wisconsin Kenneth D. Munro 2534 

COMMITTEE ON GENERAL RESOLUTIONS 

Chairman: Raymond R. Soden, Past Commander-in-Chief, Illinois 

Vice Chairman: Dale Bond, Post 4813, Montana 

Vice Chiarman: Marcus S. Butler, Post 10252, Arkansas 

Vice Chairman: Arthur J. Fellwock, Past Commander-in-Chief, Indiana 

(Room 2201, H. Roe Bartle Convention Center) 

Department Name Post No. 

Alabama Ronnie D. Doege 5658 



283 



Alabama Jack F. Ivy 2702 

Alabama Travis W. Ledbetter 301 6 

Alaska Marcus S. Butler 10252 

Alaska Harvey A. Johnson , 9569 

Alaska Calvin E. Pope 9365 

Arizona William F. Chagnon 5990 

Arizona Thomas Collins 549 

Arizona Dennis E. Kane 3632 

Arkansas . Joel P. Cockrill 5225 

Arkansas William W. Hatch 10021 

Arkansas Ron L. Helton 9095 

California Benjamin Berroteran 4696 

California Robert A. Crider 1 744 

California Virgil L. Griffin 3795 

California Robert J. Maxwell 1 932 

California Deboise Mitchell 51 79 

California Pete Sozzoni 1 900 

Colorado Vincent L. Neuroth 9644 

Colorado Everitt W. Simpson 4171 

Colorado Kenny R. Vegoren 391 7 

Connecticut Ronald Rusakiewicz 9460 

Connecticut Dale St Louis 574 

Delaware F Alfred Fleischut 3420 

Delaware Charles E. Price 3792 

Dist. of Col John P. Breen 2979 

Dist. of Col William W. Jones 341 

Europe John C. Neilson 2566 

Europe Everett W. Young 1 0692 

Florida Robert P. Loftus 4643 

Florida Samuel D. Sweetman 5405 

Florida Alan A. Wallace 10068 

Georgia Ray E. Brooks 2785 

Georgia Ray L. Christie 5080 

Georgia Billy W. Smith 4904 

Hawaii Thomas Ortogero, Sr 10276 

daho Wayne D. Lanier 21 46 

daho Donald G. Riegel 889 

llinois Clyde F. Davis 1 604 

llinois Donald Hartenberger 3553 

llinois Maurice H. Kerckhove 2153 

llinois George R. Lobb 3579 

llinois Terry L. Mc Kinney 886 

llinois Thomas W. Neville 2327 

llinois Joseph D. Ross 2048 

llinois Raymond R. Soden 2149 

ndiana Harley D. Andrews 6606 



284 



Indiana Arthur J. Fellwock 1114 

Indiana William N. Hedge 5782 

Indiana George A. Magurany 802 

Indiana William A. Thien 3281 

Indiana James D. Voelker 1114 

Iowa Merle L. Duffy 839 

Iowa Donald L. Gilbert 733 

Kansas Lewie B. Cooper 1 1 74 

Kansas Russell R. Cutright 1 650 

Kansas Elmer E. Friesen 971 

Kansas Herbert G. Schwartzkopf 7972 

Kansas W Richard Sobek 3712 

Kentucky William J. Apple 1 1 70 

Kentucky Richard M. Young 1484 

Latin Amer/Carib Dalton R. Johnson 3822 

Latin Amer/Carib Ruth D. Thomas 3835 

Louisiana Euclid A. Hernandez 5097 

Louisiana Hausey E. Wilson 6640 

Maine Faul S. Colburn 1 761 

Maine Philip M. Farrell 1 1299 

Maine Thaxter S. Sedgwick 2499 

Maryland Raymond J. Boyle 6027 

Maryland Thomas V. Kimball, Jr. 10159 

Maryland Kenneth R. Ransdell 9619 

Massachusetts George J. Barrett 201 7 

Massachusetts Gordon L. Crosby 1526 

Massachusetts Michael J. Gormalley 2016 

Massachusetts Michael J. Imbracsio 639 

Massachusetts William J. Madera 1 702 

Massachusetts Anthony B. Piscopo 529 

Michigan John L. Gorte, Jr. 9455 

Michigan Gary A. Housknecht 3243 

Michigan Arnold E. Huuki 6507 

Michigan Cecil A. Mc Goon 2780 

Michigan Donald Mrdjenovic 7573 

Minnesota Daniel Bartholomew 3144 

Minnesota Dean E. Means 1 642 

Minnesota . John S. Staum 9625 

Minnesota Frank J. Volk 271 7 

Minnesota Richard A. Zierdt 6587 

Mississippi Garvin L. Bain 3962 

Mississippi J Hollis Smith 480 

Missouri Jim D. Baker 31 74 

Missouri Michael D. Green 6137 

Missouri Lawrence M. Maher 7356 

Missouri John B. Spitler 2866 



285 



Montana Dale Bond 481 3 

Montana Francis E. Croucher 1 125 

Montana Leslie E. Eskildsen 4067 

Montana Richard L. Ott 1 087 

Montana Lawrence R. Troudt 4099 

Nebraska Rolland E. Hild 8334 

Nebraska Gary C. Steckelberg 741 9 

Nebraska Richard E. White 131 

Nevada Frank A. Hoke 3726 

Nevada Bernard J. Juran, III 3819 

Nevada Odis Ward 10047 

New Hampshire Michael S. Annis 2860 

New Hampshire William J. Egan 8214 

New Hampshire John M. Lilly 1 698 

New Jersey Andrew Henkel, Jr. 2290 

New Jersey Richard W. Holliday 7508 

New Jersey Pierre Lamereaux 2314 

New Jersey Jackie J. Shiverdaker 7677 

New Jersey Frank Thomas 1 851 

New Mexico Tyrone M. Benson 7686 

New Mexico Seturnino Garduno 3280 

New York T William Bossidy 7466 

New York Ralph U. De Marco 885 

New York Melvin Garrett 6396 

New York Clyde A. Lewis 125 

New York Vincent J. Siesta 546 

New York Robert C. Stinger, Jr. 6530 

New York Richard L. Welch 2752 

North Carolina Hilton L. Deese 2843 

North Carolina William C. Dohl 4309 

North Carolina Paul G. Yeager 7315 

North Dakota Louis L. Chase 7564 

North Dakota Harvey A. Peterson 2764 

North Dakota Gordon R. Thorson 7564 

Ohio George P. Durinka 1 974 

Ohio John M. Griffin 6772 

Ohio Curtis M. Jewell 1 090 

Ohio Leon Johnson 6772 

Ohio William A. Melott . .66 

Ohio Carl K. Price 4931 

Ohio John Wasylik 2529 

Oklahoma Darrell R. Mc Gee 5263 

Oklahoma Argle R. Moore, Sr. 1 320 

Oklahoma Theron Price, Jr. 4574 

Oregon Raymond K. Buhrmaster 2807 

Pacific Areas Gerald L. Kraus 3457 



286 



Pennsylvania John A. Brenner .2493 

Pennsylvania Glenn C. Dashner 464 

Pennsylvania Neale H. Deibler 6493 

Pennsylvania John M. Gunn, Sr 2506 

Pennsylvania Paul J. Kopp 8896 

Pennsylvania Joseph M. Salvo 5267 

Pennsylvania Andrew J. Sarnak 283 

Pennsylvania Albert S. Thomas, Jr 974 

Pennsylvania Ronald G. Tyler, Sr 1462 

Rhode Island Raymond J. Ducharme 1 1519 

Rhode Island John Sivo 2396 

South Carolina Lyn D. Dimery 10420 

South Carolina William E. Pruitt 9509 

South Dakota Gilbert L. Frentz 750 

South Dakota Walter F. Joynt 1273 

South Dakota Roy E. Schramm 3351 

South Dakota Tom Sherman 3342 

Tennessee Ramsey P. Locke 5066 

Tennessee Kenneth N. Van Hook 5669 

Texas Salvador Guerrero 4372 

Texas Edward J. Krenek 8787 

Texas N F. Layne 3990 

Texas Earnest G. Mudd 8541 

Texas Duane G. Shriver 8919 

Texas Alexander Vernon 9191 

Texas Ferrell E. Warden 8552 

Utah Norman I. Nelson 1 695 

Utah Glenn E. Silvis 2379 

Vermont Ronald K. Browe 7823 

Vermont Thomas J. Keyes 6471 

Vermont Frederick F. Ladue 792 

Vermont James H. Lane 6689 

Vermont John J. Zuba 1 034 

Virginia Paul T. Moore 4491 

Virginia Charles B. Wilkerson 9808 

Washington Robert H. Berleen 9430 

Washington Donald E. Bracken 2289 

Washington Andrew J. Martin 1 001 8 

Washington Charles E. Vitiritti, Jr 9430 

West Virginia Conrad H. Bennett 5578 

West Virginia Melvin L. Reed 573 

West Virginia Wesley J. Thomas 573 

Wisconsin Matthias Mayer, Jr 6498 

Wisconsin Edward F. Stockel 7896 



287 



Wisconsin Curtis J. Taylor, Jr. 1318 

Wyoming William H. Saunders 579 

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS 

Chairman: Allen F."Gunner" Kent, Past Commander-in-Chief, Arizona 
Vice Chairman: Raul S. Aaberg, Post 6139, North Dakota 

(Room 1205, H. Roe Bartle Convention Center) 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON POW/MIA 

Chairman: Billy Ray Cameron, Past Commander-in-Chief, North Carolina 
Vice Chairman: Peter Stack, Post 4344, Texas 



Alabama Robert G. Bassett 924 

Alabama Alton S. Jones 5797 

Alabama Harold C. Robertson 3492 

Alabama Gordon R. Shewmake 301 6 

Alaska Kenneth Cramer 9785 

Alaska John M. Schwulst 9365 

Arizona James R. Currieo 9972 

Arizona Allen F. Kent 9972 

Arizona Gregory Kozakiewicz 9907 

Arizona William J. Silva 836 

Arkansas Grady L. Brown 4548 

Arkansas Henry M. Hemingway 2242 

California John L. Fitzke 9241 

California Kenneth M. Murray 2075 

California Oren D. Robinson 85 

California Harry H. Shishido 9938 

California Harry H. Tanabe 9879 

California John M. Warner 4851 

Colorado John M. Loring, Jr. 9221 

Colorado Victor D. Madonna 2601 

Connecticut . . . Francis C. Brought 10201 

Connecticut Mike L. Montecalvo 6933 

Connecticut Robert P. Tozzoli 9929 

Connecticut Thomas C. Walker 5849 

Delaware Clinton A. Slack 475 

Dist. of Col Philip L. Anderson 284 

Dist. of Col Chester L. Ross 2460 

Europe Richard F. Kennedy 9534 

Europe Ronnie A. Wright 10775 

Florida James W. Carlisle 10097 



288 



Florida Thomas Koulan 10209 

Florida Eugene R. Manfrey 6827 

Florida Elijah L. Summerfield 61 80 

Florida John Uhrich, Jr. 10068 

Georgia Richard Branson 5080 

Georgia Dan Bullard, III 658 

Georgia Albert R. Spears 6330 

daho Alvin R. Mason 63 

daho Randall E. Russell 21 36 

daho Glenn J. Scott 2146 

llinois Edward F. Jarnell, Jr. 8081 

llinois Lee E. Mathias 7446 

llinois Leonard L. Messerli 5694 

llinois Russell R. Rieke _ 5694 

ndiana James M. Leavitt 5782 

ndiana Henry F. Mullins, Jr. 5312 

ndiana George A. Thompson 286 

owa Robert M. Capron 839 

owa Lloyd G. Peters 839 

owa Leslie G. Portwood 81 7 

owa Lee L. Shatto 3159 

Kansas Randall M. Meyer 1 141 

Kansas George A. Papps 5901 

Kansas Roy E. Shedd, Jr. 846 

Kansas Joseph Wahrman 1 133 

Kentucky William R. Coffey 5710 

Kentucky Michael N. Wiechman 6423 

Latin Amer/Carib Aurora G. Toth 3835 

Louisiana Cyril Burkett 1 736 

Louisiana William M. Procter 1736 

Maine Timothy P. Getz 3335 

Maine Zane A. Grant 2599 

Maine Joseph C. Rump 491 7 

Maryland Nicholas T. Bassetti 9083 

Massachusetts Walter G. Gansenberg 834 

Massachusetts Eugene F. Hakala 1812 

Massachusetts John F. Leonard 639 

Massachusetts Ronald A. Patalano 529 

Massachusetts John J. Robarge 2425 

Michigan Assad Allie 147 

Michigan James N. Goldsmith 4139 

Michigan John J. Harrow, Jr. 3724 

Michigan Richard E. La Fave 5670 

Michigan John H. Lewis 61 65 

Michigan David R. Meyers 4090 

Michigan James L. Warner 1 888 



289 



Minnesota Calvin G. Abers 7902 

Minnesota Merlin O. Hanson 1 639 

Minnesota Donald E. Heuer 9433 

Minnesota Cordon W. Kirk 8854 

Mississippi Willie L. Lindsey 9832 

Mississippi Bernard Mc Clelland 2618 

Mississippi Otis Washington 9832 

Missouri Charles F. Hemenway 9638 

Missouri Richard K. Kelley 5606 

Missouri George D. Newell 2866 

Montana Claude J. Mc Carty 1087 

Montana Donald A. Staves 1507 

Nebraska Billy C. Smith 7028 

Nebraska Dwaine D. Wilson 1 652 

Nebraska Dale F. Wittrock 10579 

Nevada George Dennis 8250 

Nevada Frank R. Risewick 10047 

New Hampshire Raul J. Chevalier 168 

New Hampshire Billy J. Floyd 1 631 

New Hampshire Robert W. Madigan 483 

New Hampshire Ernest A. Tucker 1698 

New Jersey Robert K. Bischoff 9691 

New Jersey James M. Campbell 2226 

New Jersey William A. Goode 809 

New Jersey Walter F. Merklin 5698 

New Jersey George T. Van Allen 7504 

New Mexico Manuel G. Evaro 4384 

New Mexico James L. Kimery 9354 

New Mexico Larry R. Powell 21 82 

New York Jeffrey R. Addison 1 41 8 

New York Robert E. Barnhart 686 

New York Samuel C Pilato 307 

New York Karl R. Rohde 1374 

New York Roy Spanower 5558 

North Carolina Michael W. Ayscue 241 7 

North Carolina Frank P. Durbino 9133 

North Carolina Homer G. Edwards 4309 

North Carolina William J. Hendren 2031 

North Dakota Paul S. Aaberg 6139 

North Dakota Wallace B. Bolte 1326 

Ohio John E. Keirns 71 74 

Ohio Paul A. Lucas 71 74 

Ohio John E. Moon 2873 

Ohio Craig D. Swartz 2947 

Ohio Barry M. Walker 4579 

Oklahoma Billie D. Mc Gill 1327 



290 



Oklahoma Robert K. Mc Gill 4876 

Oklahoma Mark C. Richardson 4876 

Oregon Johnnie A. Baugh 1 383 

Oregon Charles D. Fuller 966 

Pacific Areas Leon R. Vileo 9951 

Pennsylvania William C. Allen 7213 

Pennsylvania John A. Biedrzycki 418 

Pennsylvania Russell R. Canevari 5544 

Pennsylvania Anthony J. Longo 5205 

Pennsylvania Charles R. Mc Cormick 1810 

Pennsylvania Norman F. Rettig, Jr. 249 

Rhode Island Frank E. Lightowler 6342 

Rhode Island Robert J. Rocheleau 1271 

South Carolina Richard N. Bell 4262 

South Carolina William J. Jolin 6087 

South Dakota James E. Fortin 750 

South Dakota Wallace R. Robidou 5969 

South Dakota Lome F. Ruzicka 3312 

Tennessee Kendall S. Ickes, Jr 71 75 

Tennessee Otha M Jack Kerr 5266 

Tennessee Carl G. Minnick 1 289 

Texas Leonardo Barraza 91 73 

Texas Keith T. Brown 1 0454 

Texas Martin H. Lambrecht 2059 

Texas Ezra H. Meeks 201 2 

Texas Manuel O. Rivas 8782 

Texas Richard W. Shivers 7873 

Utah Daniel P. Crossley 3586 

Utah James C. Mc Kee 409 

Vermont Robert C. Burroughs 10037 

Vermont Wayne R. Camley 9653 

Vermont Philip A. Harnois 6674 

Virginia Otis N. Berry 637 

Virginia Bruce R. Harder 1 503 

Virginia John E. Saunders 4809 

Virginia Clifford Williford 3160 

Washington Miles S. Irvine 379 

Washington Charles A. Noble 3386 

Washington George F. Riedel, Jr. 969 

Washington Eric G. Sandstrom 969 

West Virginia Ernest E. Imboden 9926 

West Virginia Paul E. Nealis 1101 

Wisconsin Walter G. Hogan 6498 

Wisconsin Allen W. Kochenderfer 10406 

Wisconsin Eric E. Mortensen 1 391 

Wisconsin George Pfielsticker 305 



291 



Wisconsin Debra L. Walker 1904 

Wyoming Gaylord C. Fosdick 1 1453 

COMMITTEE ON VETERANS SERVICE RESOLUTIONS 

Chairman: Paul A. Spera, Past Commander-in-Chief, Massachusetts 
Vice Chairman: R.D. Smith, Jr., Past Commander-in-Chief, Georgia 

(Room 221 0A, H. Roe Bartle Convention Center) 

Department Name Post No. 

Alabama Johnny E. Boyington 3568 

Alabama Lester E. Kapelka 5850 

Alabama Telfair J. Mashburn 3568 

Alaska Horace D. Johnson 9978 

Alaska Gary L. Kurpius 10221 

Alaska Kenneth P. Pleasants 10029 

Arizona John M. Jackson 3632 

Arizona Robert J. Rankin 9399 

Arkansas William W. Beams, Sr. 4546 

Arkansas James L. Miller 4548 

California James D. Duff 8737 

California Samuel E. Gladden 3868 

California Robert S. Hockenhull 2337 

California Willie Mc Cray, Jr. 67 

California Cornelius P. O Connor 2967 

California Raymond C. Sisk 9791 

Colorado Eugene G. Doubek 9644 

Colorado George H. Palmateer 41 71 

Colorado Ernesto A. Roybal 899 

Connecticut Andrew F. Flanagan 10219 

Connecticut Glenn N. Tewksbury 10362 

Delaware William W Wailes 475 

Europe George M. Hunter, Jr 10557 

Europe Bruce A. Withers 11 058 

Florida James De Pass 1 0068 

Florida Raul Y. Goldych 4256 

Florida Kenneth A. Thie 9272 

Georgia Robert K. Nelson 3200 

Georgia James D. Randies 5257 

Georgia R D. Smith, Jr. 4346 

Hawaii Louis Balasanos 10276 

Hawaii Norbert K. Enos 2875 

Idaho Gray I. Clawson 301 2 

Idaho Mel W Stokes 63 

Illinois Fred J. Albers 5790 



292 



Illinois George R. Cramer 6869 

Illinois Harry P. Feazel 2055 

Illinois Donald L. Porter 454 

Illinois Edward A. Trennert 2255 

Indiana Mark D. Acker 1114 

Indiana Darrel W. Cavin 1 1 30 

Indiana Paul D. Curtice 1 257 

Indiana John L. Dahman 1421 

Iowa Muriel E. Allan 3633 

Iowa Daryl R. Shinker 2349 

Kansas Michael F. Cavanaugh 7253 

Kansas Robert L. Domnick 11 449 

Kansas Leroy J. Niebaum 7348 

Kansas Edward E. Prouty 3544 

Kansas Norman G. Staab 6240 

Kentucky Michael R. Allen 10281 

Kentucky Thomas I. Blain 5421 

Kentucky Robert S. Burkholder 1 1 70 

Latin Amer/Carib Thomas D. Graham 6565 

Latin Amer/Carib Walter F. Griggs 3835 

Louisiana Richard J. Fruge 5153 

Louisiana Alva Nash 4586 

Louisiana Larry W. Rivers 1 736 

Maine Peter F. Miesburger 9389 

Maine James M. Sawyer 6859 

Maine Robert H. Turcotte 887 

Maryland Franklin A. Burchill 521 

Massachusetts Joseph E. Caouette 1 105 

Massachusetts Theodore R. Eaton 2104 

Massachusetts Edward W. Parks 21 88 

Massachusetts Paul A. Spera 144 

Massachusetts John T. Tynan 561 

Michigan Dale J. Brubaker 3941 

Michigan Theodore Hetherington 2358 

Michigan Richard E. Kummerow 4063 

Minnesota Donald L. Gates, Jr. 141 

Minnesota Harold Genrich 1222 

Minnesota Thomas L. Hanson 1639 

Minnesota Lyle B. Horner, Sr. 494 

Minnesota Alcuin G. Loehr 4847 

Minnesota Ted B. Theodorsen 6320 

Mississippi Bobby Miller 4490 

Mississippi . . . . , Dwight M. Tatum 4100 

Missouri John B. Mc Ghee 41 07 

Missouri Marion G. Meier 5553 

Montana Charles Barbero 1 595 



293 



Montana Wade S. Smith 3831 

Nebraska John L. Caricaburu 131 

Nebraska Anthony J. Gallardo 131 

Nebraska Gerald L. Ludwig 7998 

Nebraska Arnold L. Miller 2280 

Nevada Walter J. Dybeck, Jr. 10047 

Nevada Ray V. Rehfeldt 7385 

New Hampshire Jerry A. Parenti 8546 

New Hampshire Melvin Robert, Jr. 1 698 

New Hampshire Richard F. Therrien 8214 

New Jersey Henry J. Adams, Jr 3525 

New Jersey Richard M. Booth 7677 

New Jersey Vincent Brinkerhoff 335 

New Jersey Joseph T. Del Grippo 335 

New Jersey Charles A. Duffett, Jr. 62 

New Mexico Lawrence W. Castleman 401 

New Mexico Frederico Juarbe, Jr. 401 

New Mexico Timothy C. Watts 10124 

New York Andrew J. Czeck 9591 

New York Jack L. Haight, Jr. 6778 

New York William E. Mc Garr 6196 

New York George S. Smith 53 

North Carolina Johnie M. Dyson 9881 

North Carolina Steve M. Jones . 9337 

North Carolina AG. Rarker 8719 

Ohio Robert C. Cockrell 1 082 

Ohio Harry D. English 5108 

Ohio John W. Ford 1042 

Ohio Frank Hofstetter, Jr. 2947 

Ohio Joseph P. Seibert 6428 

Oklahoma Donald D. Daniel 3608 

Oklahoma Eugene H. George 9969 

Oklahoma Alfred D. Mills 3916 

Oklahoma James L. Williamson 7192 

Oregon Tony J. Sammons 9745 

Pennsylvania Benjamin Bowers 1 690 

Pennsylvania Carmen A. De Santi 2198 

Pennsylvania Cecil K. Dennis 5958 

Pennsylvania Emery C. Graham 974 

Pennsylvania Peter Krenitsky 6082 

Pennsylvania Almon J. Long 283 

Pennsylvania Fbtricia S. Potter 5424 

Rhode Island Armondo C. Azzinaro 8955 

Rhode Island Richmond J. Stewart 306 

South Carolina Richard L. Mayhew 641 

South Carolina Louis A. Thornton 4262 



294 



South Dakota Daryl L. Hailing 3164 

South Dakota John E. Miller 628 

South Dakota Leroy R. Pawlowski 5860 

South Dakota Duane E. Starkey 2969 

Tennessee John Furgess 1970 

Tennessee James F. Johnson 11 333 

Tennessee Kenneth R. Perkins 8778 

Texas Carrol W. Carnley 2494 

Texas Robert L. Doumecq 3359 

Texas John W. Glover 3359 

Texas Benito C. Sanchez 10462 

Utah Lorraine J. Robinson 4355 

Utah Boyd W. Winterton 4355 

Vermont Samuel R. Haskins 1 034 

Vermont George E. Mayotte 1 034 

Virginia Early R. Chappell 1115 

Virginia Dennis M. Cullinan 7916 

Virginia Joseph O. Longstreet 3219 

Virginia James Rodriques 31 60 

Virginia Francis W. Stover 9274 

Washington George C. Berthiaume 969 

Washington Edwin F. Rasmussen 9430 

Washington Ricardo E. Wilson 9430 

West Virginia Ralph W. Honaker 1064 

West Virginia Robert B. Kesling 573 

West Virginia Scottie E. King 1064 

Wisconsin Frank L. Capps, Jr. 2336 

Wisconsin Michael L. Furgal 2312 

Wisconsin Jerome J. Wenninger 9156 

Wyoming Robert L. Craft, Jr. 1 1453 

Wyoming A. L. Ellefson 8473 

COMMITTEE ON CREDENTIALS 

Chairman: Richard Trombla, Post 1 1 74, Kansas 

COMMITTEE ON CONVENTION RULES 

Chairman: Cooper T. Holt, Past Commander-in-Chief, Tennessee 
Vice Chairman: Wayne J. Thompson, Jr., Post 5061, Colorado 



295 



Ilifi- „