Mary Spindler
2022-2023 National Hospital Ambassador

VFWA Headshots 2022



First, l want to thank all the Department Hospital Chairmen who have shared hospital ideas and Promotions with me. I am totally blown away by your many projects, good deeds and the care and compassion you have shown to the veterans in the various facilities in which you volunteer. You are amazing and I can feel your passion for this Program.

To date, I have heard from 40 Departments… and in my October Promotion (which will be written the middle of September), I will be providing a list of those who have reported. If your Department has not communicated with me, please remember that reporting is mandatory! I am asking you to take a moment to introduce yourselves to me and share the projects you are carrying out. I hope to hear from EVERY DEPARTMENT before the next communication.

I have had several questions regarding carrying out Hospital projects–especially when activities are carried out in a VAVS facility. Therefore, I would like to offer some helpful information and tips in this blog.

  • It is up to each Department Hospital Chairman to initiate training for all volunteers, which ideally should take place several times a year, and preferably, with the helpful assistance of the VAVS Representatives and Deputy Representatives in attendance.
  • It has come to my attention that many hours and expenses that are devoted to Hospital projects are not being reported. Keeping records of the number of volunteers, their hours, and expenses (which includes all in-kind donations) is one of the most important duties of the Program. This information should be reported to the Department Chairmen to be included in the Year-End Report to National.
  • Hospital Chairmen should regularly promote citations and awards, and actively seek out those individuals who are deserving. A little good will goes a long way in letting volunteers know they are appreciated for their efforts and keeps them motivated. The VFW Auxiliary offers combined Hospital Service Pins & Recognition Awards for volunteer hours at both VA and non-VA facilities. The local VFW Auxiliary Hospital Chairmen is responsible for ordering the pins, in addition to any awards offered by VAVS. The pins and awards order forms may be accessed through your MALTA profile.
  • Share ideas and events/projects with all Auxiliaries as to how best to serve our veterans at facilities in your Department. It is a good idea to consult with your VAVS Representatives and Deputy Representatives regarding information about ongoing events/projects, as they have the most updated information.


National VAVS Representative PNP Sandi Kriebel has added further helpful information, as follows:

  • VAVS Representatives are appointed by the Department President.
  • All VAVS Representatives and Deputies must be certified.
  • Attending Quarterly VAVS Meetings for local Department Representatives is mandatory; if the Representative is unable to attend, the Deputy should take the place of the Representative.
  • Annual Joint Reviews must be completed in November Medical Center’s Chief of Voluntary Service. The VAVS Representative, Deputy & Associated Representatives will participate. The Department Hospital Chairman may be invited.

Thank You to all VAVS Representatives and Deputies for your dedication.


On a final note, please keep posting your Hospital projects on social media or by any other means to let others know what the VFW Auxiliary does to serve hospitalized veterans. The ultimate goal is to attract volunteers and get them involved. Thank you to all who have embraced the Hospital Program—your work truly makes a difference.