Pam Dudding, Contributing Writer
For our Veterans of Foreign War, one would think that their VFW Post would be a place where they relax, exchange stories, gain comrade support that no one else can give and play a few card games.
Though they do all these things, many do not know that the members still have responsibilities as an established VFW Post in the United States of America.
Recently, the Craig Valley VFW Post 4491 received the high status of All-American. It is not an easy task, but Craig County Veterans have always been known to be ‘doers’ in the county.
The District VFW shared, “Every year, a select group of VFW Posts are presented with All American post status. All American status is meant to recognize outstanding VFW posts and is based on participation in Programs as well as membership gains by Posts, Districts and Departments.”
The All-American post checklist must meet the following program participation criteria:
- Voice of Democracy – minimum of one entry advanced to District judging
- Patriots Pen – minimum of one entry advanced to District judging
- Hold a fundraiser with the proceeds going to Veterans and Military Support Program Services, with a $100 minimum
- Partner twice with two separate organization like Team RWB, Operation Ramp It up, Operation Gratitude, Team Rubicon, Merging Vets and Players and other VSOs to include our friends at Sport Clip and Burger King
- Create Post social media site or actively maintain existing site
- Have five new Action Corps sign-ups
- Have a 20 percent increase in total impact in community service
In addition, Post 4491 must establish an official VFW Post Facebook page and consistently share VFW national content for All-American program consideration. It must include, administrator access held by two trusted individuals, entire profile must be completed with a proper name, VFW-themed profile picture and post contact information, content displayed must be appropriate, relevant, adhere to organizational bylaws, with our mission, vision and values, it must consistently share VFW National posts, content and articles about VFW-led initiated programs and events, and it must have been active for at least six months.
Beforehand, the Post had to complete these tasks as well as make All-State before they could vie for the status of All-American. Post must:
- Meet 100 percent membership quota by June 30
- Have Quartermaster bonded
- Have been inspected and the Inspection Reports must be received by State Headquarters by December 16 with all documented discrepancies corrected by May 13, to complete this requirement
- Have Commander, Senior Vice Commander or Jr Vice Commander attend each District meeting and the School of Instruction
- Turn in all audit reports to State Headquarters as required, not having more than one late report out of the four required
- Purchase 500 Buddy Poppies per 100 members or fraction thereof
- Donate to the Department Virginia Veterans Foundation and $10 to help with Honor Guard
- Submit reports at least once during first half of year (Hospital, Americanism, Community activities, Safety and Youth Activities)
- Participate in at least two programs (Voice of Democracy, Patriots’ Pen or Teacher of the Year)
Posts that meet the qualifying percentage and the program participation criteria will receive the All-American Post Citation, Post Streamer and be recognized in the VFW Magazine.
The top 25 posts in each Division will receive: acknowledgment in the VFW magazine, acknowledgment during the All-American Awards Ceremony at the National Convention, All-American Post Citation, All-American Post Streamer, All-American Citation, name badge cap and lapel pin – Commander and All-American Team Post member lapel pins.
Lee noted that they qualified for it the last two years but did not have enough members to make the top 25 in their class.
“As far as anyone knows this is the first time Post 4491 has ever made All-American Post,” said Commander Lee. “We have made All-State Post many times, including this time. There are around 6,000 Posts and less than five percent make All-American Post each year.”
He added, “We would like to thank Craig County because without their support we could not have made it. We need more members. Anyone who thinks they qualify, please call.”
They also encourage women to join their Post as well, holding strong to the motto, “We will never leave anyone behind.”