I read an article lately. It was a message from the national commander of the VFW. He was expressing to his subordinate commanders the need to change their posts to attract and maintain young veterans as members. There is probably a lot validity to his message. Any organization as old as the VFW is certain to get set in its ways and reluctant to change. I would not completely oppose change that would draw new veterans to step up and fill the rolls that our older veterans are leaving too quickly. The membership of the VFW and other organizations is not getting any younger. If these organizations are not able to attract younger members, then they are destined to fade off into the sunset, as their members pass away without being replaced. That would be very sad.
I was sitting at a Veteran's day program at a local High School. As I was sitting there and watching men, old enough to be my grandfather, serve with the VFW and American Legion, it all began to come together for me. It isn't about me. It has never been about what the VFW and other veteran's organizations can do for myself or my family. It was never about me. The same drive for service that drove me to enlist, should have driven me to continue to serve my community through these great organizations. These organizations have been successful and important for the service that they have done in their communities. I should lend my support to that service. If I don't, then who will?
Where are you veterans? We have received showers of support from the communities that we call home. We have been blessed beyond belief by our fellow countrymen. I would argue that the leadership of Vietnam veterans in organizations like the VFW. They suffered incredible ridicule when they returned home, and they did not want us to suffer in the same way. We owe them for that, and we should be standing with them. We should be serving hand in hand with them, and serving our communities.
We have lived by values that can make a difference in our communities. Our communities need the leadership that we have shown on the battlefield. Our country needed us to serve in battlefield far from home, and how our communities need us to serve in the battlefields of the everyday. We ought to show our communities the values we learned in the military, and demonstrate to them the value of a life well lived.
It isn't about you. You realize that don't you? These organizations have done great things for veterans, but it is so much more than that. These organizations should be beacons in our communities. They should shine as examples of service, sacrifice, and Americanism. I am calling you out Veterans! Your community needs you! Step up!