Stephen Doherty
2022-2023 National Americanism Ambassador & Patriotic Instructor

VFWA Headshots 2022


Since 1914, the VFW Auxiliary has united individuals from all walks of life with a common purpose: to improve the lives of veterans, service members, their families and our communities. Our National Programs are designed to bring needed services, information and assistance to these groups.

Visit, MALTA Member Resources (located behind your MALTA login), consult the National Program Book and/or speak to your Auxiliary for more information about our National Programs.

Read and learn about each Program.

Americanism, for instance:

  • Promotes patriotism by celebrating patriotic holidays.
  • Teaches respect and proper care for the U.S. Flag.
  • Brings attention to Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action by hosting POW/MIA ceremonies to both educate the public and honor these special veterans.

Military Family Appreciation Month

November is Military Family Appreciation Month. This is an opportunity that is set aside to recognize you, the military family.

Military families know what it means to serve. Every day, you get up and support your service member, standing by during long trainings and deployments. You know the risks, but you accept this life of service anyway.


Military Family Appreciation Month Tribute:


  • You know service is an honor.
  • You are the backbone of our military. You are the quiet, but steady fuel at home that keeps the fire burning. You keep track of military pay, benefits and news, because you know they make a daily difference in your life. And when your time as an actively serving family comes to an end, you support your veteran.
  • Serving is just what you do.

Traditionally, the President of the United States signs a proclamation recognizing that service and declaring November as Military Family Month. Over the month, families just like yours are honored and recognized for their commitment and contributions in support of our military and nation.


Veterans Day


Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans.

Originally called Armistice Day, it officially received its name in America in 1926 through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action.

If World War I had truly been “the war to end all wars” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of World War II and Korea, Congress decided to make the day an occasion to honor all those who have served America. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. (The first Veterans Day parade took place in 1953 in Emporia, Kansas.)

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its original date.

Pearl Harbor Day


On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers staged a surprise attack on U.S. forces in Hawaii. In a devastating defeat, the United States suffered 2,403 casualties and destruction or damage to 19 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and more than 300 airplanes. Japan’s losses were less than 100 personnel, 29 planes and five midget submarines.

The day after the attack, before a joint session of Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan. President Roosevelt’s message conveyed the national outrage over the Pearl Harbor attack by pronouncing December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.”

FDR was furious at Japan’s confidence in their “inevitable triumph” of the United States. On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war against Japan; on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States.

Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors the lives lost on the day of the attack. Visitors to the memorial reach it via boats from the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Although December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Day, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States.

Understanding Auxiliary Traditions

Welcome! This guide is to help you learn about our Ritual and the unique things we do at our meetings. Be sure to ask a fellow member if you have any questions! For more information about the Ritual and Bylaws, refer to the  “Podium Edition Bylaws & Ritual 2023”,  now available in MALTA Member Resources.

Please note: The Conductor/Conductress is the only member to move about the floor during a meeting (Traditional and Contemporary formats) unless otherwise directed by the President.

Entering a Meeting

At a local Auxiliary meeting, you will enter the meeting room and once the doors are closed, all members must show a current dues card.

  • At Department and National meetings, your card will be asked for at the door.

Raps of the Gavel

  • One rap = Attention
  • Two raps = Rise
  • Three raps = Be seated

Attention & Parade Rest

  • “Attention” in the VFW Auxiliary means hands at side, head up with eyes looking straight forward.
  • “Parade Rest” means the left foot is moved slightly to the side while bringing the arms to the small of the back. Clasp the left thumb in the right hand. The head is bowed slightly during prayer.

Showing Proper Respect to the Flag

  • During our ritualistic meeting, the President will say “Salute” when the flags enter and leave the room, as well as when we say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem. Salute the Flag by placing the palm of the right hand flat over the heart.
  • During Auxiliary meetings, the heart salute shall be used at all times where the salute is used.
  • A member who is also a veteran may use the military salute.
  • When the Flag is displayed AND the national anthem is played and/or sung, all present should face the Flag and salute.
  • When the Flag is NOT displayed and the national anthem is played and/or sung, all present should face the music and salute.
  • Members should stand when the Flags are moving.

Showing Proper Respect for the Altar & Bible

  • Members will remain seated while the Chaplain opens and closes the Bible, provided the Colors are not at the Altar.
  • Whenever the Chaplain is opening and closing the Bible, everyone should stop all movement and talking.
  • Members will not cross between the President’s station and the Altar, as this is considered sacred ground symbolizing where our Comrades who have answered the final roll call are at rest. However, when the Bible is closed, members may pass through this area.

Addressing the President and Making a Motion

  • All remarks must be addressed to the President and not by one member to another. A member wishing to address the President will rise and say, “Mister/Madam President,” but shall not speak further until he or she has been recognized by the President.
  • Making motions is your right as a member. To make a motion, you should stand and be recognized by the President and then proceed.