Like the VFW, the Auxiliary's interests have broadened to encompass the entire community. The Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. It is solidly behind America today as it was when it was founded. The VFW Auxiliary is an integral part of the VFW and supports a host of programs which pursue issues of national importance to veterans. These programs are designed to preserve veterans rights, advocate a strong national defense, promote patriotism and offer community service.|
The Auxiliary also has conceived and implemented hundreds of its own volunteer programs to help veterans, their spouses, their children, schools and local communities.
Today, the Auxiliary is involved in a wide range of activities. The Auxiliary has programs for veterans, their families, young people and the community at large. Many programs have been expanded and now are commonly accepted institutions within the community and nation. Although these programs are run locally, they are also a part of a larger nationwide effort, administered through the VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters. So deeply ingrained are such programs that the subtle guiding hand of the Auxiliary is often not seen or recognized.
While continuing to support the VFW and its causes, the Auxiliary has developed a social conscience of its own. With the paramount goal of helping families in distress, its members perform community service, provides cancer grants for its members, fight drug abuse and illiteracy, advocate for the rights of the elderly, and support the VFW National Home, Special Olympics, and other worthy causes.
The VFW Auxiliary is a fraternal, patriotic, historical and educational affiliate of one of the Posts of the VFW.
It's objectives are:
- Provide assistance to the VFW Post and its members whenever possible.
- Provide assistance to the VFW Auxiliary members whenever possible.
- Maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America.
- Maintain fidelity to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America.
- Foster true Patriotism.
- Maintain and extend the Institutions of American Freedom, Equal Rights and Justice to all men and women.
- Preserve and Defend the United States of America from all her enemies whomsoever.
To accomplish these objectives, the VFW Auxiliary has established several programs as listed below:
Members of the VFW Auxiliary are proud of our history of dedication to promoting Americanism. Through Patriotic Education, Citizenship Education and Flag Etiquette demonstrations we hope to foster the love of country within our communities.
Through dedicated programs of loyalty and patriotism the VFW Auxiliary shows our gratitude for the dedicated service the veterans gave on our behalf and for our freedom. Although the weapons of war have changed over the years, the challenge to stand up for what we believe has not. We salute the veterans and active military who have answered their eountry's call to arms. The National Flag represents the living country and is considered to be a living thing, emblematic of the respect and pride we have for our Nation. Our Flag should be displayed proudly in a place of honor.
VOICE OF DEMOCRACY
VOD is a VFW Program that the auxiliary enthusiastically supports. The "Voice of Democracy" audio essay competition offers an opportunity to instill the proud legacy of patriotism in the young people. Students are encouraged to appreciate values and ideals for which the veterans sacrificed so much.
We are distributing Buddy Poppies to the public. This hand-made symbol of the Memorial provides an outstanding way for us to honor those who died by helping their comrades who are now in need. Handicapped veterans make the Buddy Poppies for the VFW. We purchase them, providing a small income for that veteran. Then, we offer them to the public as we solicit donations for our needy comrades and their loved ones. All funds raised in this manner are reserved for this cause, exclusively. All through this process our veterans are helped. This is a general outreach program for all veterans, not just VFW members.
We have the responsibility to instruct the youth of our nation. Our school age children must be educated in the history of our country, how to honor and respect the Flag and the debt owed to our veterans. We can no longer assume that these values will be taught in the home or included in school curriculums. Today's children will be tomorrow's leaders. If our democratic way of life is to endure, our children must know the struggles incurred to establish our government. If the freedoms we enjoy are to continue for future generations, the children must be taught to appreciate how precious these freedoms are. The youth of our nation are our most precious commodity and our most valuable natural resource. Children are not born with a love for their country, honor for the Flag or respect for our veterans. THEY MUST BE TAUGHT! WE MUST TEACH THEM!
The VFW Auxiliary organizes and sponsors activities for the neighborhoods where they live. It also assists in their Post's sponsored endeavors. These projects benefit the city, town, neighborhood, other organizations, institutions, or individuals.
VETERAN REHABILITATION AND SERVICE WORK
Rehabilitation is service to the veterans and their families after they leave the hospital. We must never forget the sacrifices our veterans have made to keep our country free. Our veterans and spouses who are senior citizens are a cherished part of our community. We assist them in many ways. By a telephone call, by a card or flowers we try to make a bright spot in their day. Often, it is difficult for senior citizens to get out. We offer them a ride to church or to the doctor or an hour's outing. Our "Adopt-A-Veteran" program allows us to continue to let them know tbey are not alone and that we are there to help them cope with the everyday problems that arise. We help active duty veterans and their families by participating in "Operation Uplink" which provides long distance telephone calling cards to the personnel serving overseas. We are increasing our emphasis on service to homeless veterans. We work with shelters, missions, food banks and thrift shops who provide for the needs of homeless veterans.
NATIONAL HOME SUPPORT
The VFW National Home is a living, breathing memorial. Through Service to our Veterans, our VFW Auxiliary has made a vow to provide love, care and education to the children and grandchildren of our deceased or disabled veterans. We must never falter in our efforts to provide a nurturing and secure environment for tbe children of our National Home. The home, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, is on 630 acres of farm land and has 70 buildings that include brick homes, library, community center, chapel, guest lodge, nursery school, teen center, fire department, administration buildings and its own water treatment and sewage plant. The Health and Happiness Christmas Cheer Fund assures that each child receives a Christmas gift and a gift for members of his or her family.
Through unselfish giving of time, energy, love and devotion, thousands of Veterans have been cheered, comforted, loved and thanked for their DEDICATED SERVICE to us when it was needed. All that we are and have today, we owe to the Veterans who answered the call. Now it is our turn to let them know how much we appreciate all they did, never forgetting their sacrifices. These Veterans can be found in the VA Hospitals, nursing homes, out-patient clinics and in their homes in every community. More and more their numbers are increasing as they become older and experience more health problems. Some of these men and women have no families or relatives to offer them comfort. Ladies Auxiliary members sit with them, read for them, or maybe write a letter for them.
Historical Achivements of the VFW Auxiliary to the VFW:
The key to a well functioning VFW Auxiliary is to work closely with its Post to reach out to our Veterans, their families, the community, our youth, and to each other to do the very best we can to promote patriotism, community service, and support for the future of our children. Here at Chesty Puller VFW Post 1503 we strive to be a well respected and integral part of our community, often joining forces with other organizations in striving to meet the high standards and traditions of our national Veterans of Foreign Wars organization and its Auxiliary.
- Fought for military pensions and compensation/training for disabled veterans after WWI.
- Promoted and gained the WWI Bonus.
- Planned establishment of the Veterans Administration in 1930.
- Supported creation of the GI Bill of Rights after WWII.
- Led development of the national cemetery system.
- Lobbied for creation of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in 1970.
- Fought for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange.
- Encouraged elevation of the Veterans Administration to the President's cabinet.
- Protected and enhanced the VA budget.
- Preserved exclusivity of the VA hospital system for veterans.
- Gained presumptive health care for Gulf War Syndrome victims.
- Provided nearly $900,000 in national disaster relief since 1964.
- Donated $42 million for cancer research and treatment over the past 43 years.
- Raised $500,000 to provide 300,000 care packages to Desert Storm troops.
- Contributed $607,000 to the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
- Contributed over $200,000 to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
- Contributed more than $100,000 to the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project.
In the presence of Almighty God and the members of this organization here assembled, I do of my own free will and accord, solemnly promise that I will never wrong or defraud this organization not a member thereof nor permit either to be wronged if in my power to prevent it. I will be faithful to the United States of America, obedient to the laws and loyal to the flag. Should my membership with this organization cease in any way, I will consider this obligation as binding outside this organization as though I had remained a member. All this I promise and pledge as a citizen of our great republic.
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