2018-2019 National Legislative Ambassador
Let’s Get Out the Vote and Achieve Our Goals!
Your enthusiasm for the Legislative Program is contagious! Thank you for all of your work on behalf of our veterans. If we keep moving forward, we will gain momentum and achieve our goals, one step at a time! I hope the following information will inspire you all to take action and with us all working together we will produce results!
VFW Priority Goals
- End budget sequestration and adjust outdated budget caps.
- Authorize VA to receive reimbursements from TRICARE and Medicare.
- Never reduce one veteran’s benefits to pay for another.
- Ensure the POW/MIA Accounting mission is fully funded.
How you can help
Write, call, visit or petition your congressional delegation and express your concerns related to these budgetary priorities. It is important that you are persistent in your requests for accountability. Use the VFW Auxiliary “Guide to Contacting Your Legislators” for tips on the most effective ways to make these contacts! If you have not done so already, please go online and sign up for Action Corps. These information sources are all you need to become an effective citizen lobbyist!
Get out the VOTE!
Voting is an honor and privilege, and not something to be taken lightly. It is vitally important that all eligible citizens participate. Currently, we are in the throes of mid-term election campaigning and election day will be here sooner than we think! It is important to encourage those that have not yet registered to vote to do so prior to their state deadline. Go to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote, use the information provided and assist those who need to register.
Educate yourself and others on how candidates stand on veterans issues. Then get out to the polls, take others with you and VOTE! The future of our veterans depends on it!
Student Education and Community Outreach
More ideas for reaching out:
- Schedule visits to a school and hold a mock election. Let the students nominate their favorite people, places or things and then have them vote for the winners! Provide coloring sheets for younger students to color and take home to remind their parents of the importance of voting.
- Provide material to teachers that will enable students to research and debate a veteran issue in class. You can be the moderator and ask questions that encourage productive discussion.
- Go to the polls and hand out “I Vote in Honor of a United States Veteran” stickers and encourage folks to vote for veteran-friendly candidates.
Why Report on Legislative Activity?
Over the years I have heard many varying reasons for why it is important to report our program activities to the VFW and Auxiliary. Two of the most frequently heard include:
- “If you don’t, you can’t win an award.”
- “It is a requirement to remain in good standing with National.”
While we all can agree that awards are a wonderful acknowledgement for the service we perform on behalf of veterans, I don’t believe that is the primary motivator for most members.
Remaining in good standing with our National office does have its requirements. Promoting and reporting on programs is encouraged and a vital part of what we do as a veteran’s service organization; however, failing to file a report will not cause you to lose your status as a member. You may have heard others.
I would like to share what I believe to be the most important reason for reporting on our programs, specifically, Legislative.
Let’s use this analogy. Two boys are racing their bikes and both bikes lose a wheel in the middle of the race. The first one to cross the finish line wins a big prize! Since neither bike can be ridden, both boys decide they must push their bikes the remaining distance up a steep hill. The first racer is a big boy and decides to go it on his own, while the second boy gets all of his friends to help him and easily scales the hill to victory. Team work makes the dream work.
We have an excellent team in our Legislative Office in Washington, D.C., but they need our help to cross the finish line! We, as an organization, provide the muscle that makes our team strong. Reporting is how we flex our muscle. Please report, so we can increase the power of our team, enabling them to be the very best advocates for our veterans!
I know we can achieve our goals. I have faith in you and, I “Believe…We Can Do It!”