VFW Auxiliary Illinois
Mary Spindler, President
Department of Illinois
Let me begin by thanking you for being a member of the VFW Auxiliary—an organization that has been serving America’s veterans and their families for over a hundred years. I hope that all who are reading this are as proud as I am to be associated with this amazing group. Belonging to the VFW Auxiliary is a meaningful way to give back to those who gave so much for all of us, and a means to honor the veteran under whom we joined. Our members are some of the most giving, caring, and dedicated individuals that I have ever known.
I joined the Auxiliary 4549, located in Robinson, Illinois, in 1996. My husband, a Viet Nam veteran, was Post Commander at the time, and his service enabled me to join. I will share a little secret here: I knew nothing about what our organization did to serve veterans, and was not very enthused about joining. I was appointed as Secretary at the first meeting, and when I learned about all the wonderful programs, I was hooked! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that twenty-one years later, I would be privileged to serve as President for the Department of Illinois VFW Auxiliary.
My theme this year will be “Leaving our Legacy.” Just for clarification, because the word “legacy” has more than one definition, I am referring to handing down something of value from the past to our successors. Since 1914, our organization has worked diligently to make a better life for America’s veterans and their families—and we have made a profound difference in the lives that we have touched. If we do not want our knowledge to die with us, then we must focus on teaching the next generation how to carry on our mission and purpose. We can accomplish this by mentoring, sharing knowledge and ideas, and attracting individuals who hold the same values into our organization. Our mission will be to work towards perpetuating the Auxiliary traditions that have made the VFW Auxiliary one of the greatest service organizations in the world. At the same time, some changes will be necessary, as we must stay relevant to this century; but our mission and purpose will always remain the same.
Our National President, Dee Guillory, brings us a great message this year, and that is the concept of being “gentle” as we interact with others. So many of our members leave this organization simply because they are offended or feel disrespected. If there is one message we want you to share with our members during this upcoming year, it is to be kind and respectful to everyone. We all need to remember why we joined the VFW Auxiliary, and focus on helping our veterans. It is everyone’s job to mentor our members, appreciate their volunteer efforts, and make them feel welcome.
One of the greatest challenges this year will be growing our membership, and our ultimate goal is to surpass 100%. I am asking each of you to recruit just one member…it’s really not that hard! I honestly believe that if more people realized all of the wonderful ways we help veterans, our membership would grow by leaps and bounds. Spread the word!
This website is a tool to help guide you through this year, and allows our members to report online, access the Dog Tag (General Orders), check donations and x-sheets, and serves to keep our members aware of current events. Many hours have gone into making this website one that will be helpful to our members. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know, and we will walk you through it.
Wishing all of you a successful and productive year!
VFW Auxiliary Magazine