2015-2016 National Americanism Ambassador
Americanism: Patriotic Ways to Support Veterans
It’s a great day to be free. Have you thanked a veteran today for fighting for your freedom?
There are many ways to offer support to our veterans beyond telling them, “Thank you for your service.” A few ideas are listed below:
- Host patriotic holiday parties for veterans, active-duty military and their families at your Post. Invite the entire family to come and join in the fun at your Post. Host a barbeque or other meal and include patriotic music, games for both children and adults, and fun decorations.
- Partner with other community organizations to reach more people. The more, the merrier! Join forces with other organizations in your area (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, mental health agencies, food pantries, etc.) to increase the services you can provide to veterans, active-duty military and their families.
- Educate youth about what it means to be a patriotic American. Partner with schools or host special events for youth. Include age-appropriate lessons and activities. You will likely not witness the impact of the teachings, but they can make such an impact; those children will remember the lessons and will be proud to walk up to a veteran and say “thank you.”
- Distribute U.S. Flags and/or present a certificate of recognition to a local business, private citizen and/or youth group for flying the Flag. Distribute flags to businesses, community organizations and schools that do not have a flag flying or provide a new flag to those whose flag is tattered. Present a certificate in recognition to those displaying the Flag or POW/MIA flag. They will be honored to be recognized for their American pride.
- Participate in a local parade. Who doesn’t love a parade? Passing out flags to children, riding on a Post or Auxiliary float and marching with the colors are some typical ways to participate. Judy Leu, Americanism Chairman from the Department of Washington, shared that an Auxiliary participated in a local parade by recognizing fallen service members of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Two Girl Scouts carried the lead banner and VFW and Auxiliary members carried large pictures of each fallen service member from the state of Washington with their name, branch of service, and dates of birth and death.
Be sure to invite local media to attend these events! A picture or an article in your local newspaper reminds your community that the VFW Auxiliary continues to support our veterans and our communities with patriotic pride.
The Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards should be at the District level and getting ready for judging at the Department level before they go to National for judging. In my eyes, all submissions are winners as these teachers are fostering citizenship education to our future leaders of America, but it will be exciting to see which Department has the big winner!
REPORT! REPORT! REPORT! The deadline for your Americanism Year End Report is quickly approaching. I know each and every one of you have promoted Americanism and patriotism in your Auxiliary. I can’t stress how important it is to report your hard work, not only for this program, but for all of our programs. A quick reminder to the Department Chairman: In order to be eligible for awards, I must have a minimum of four promotions. Those who have been reporting are doing a spectacular job – keep up the good work!
Keep calm and wave on!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!