Billie Guthals, President
Department of Illinois
Hello! I am so honored and thankful for the opportunity to serve as your VFW Auxiliary President for the Department of Illinois for 2019-2020. When I joined this wonderful, veterans-focused organization in 2004, I knew only of the services we provided at our local Post. As I began to spend more time with like-focused members, I expanded my awareness of how I could contribute to the work being done. I am fortunate to be able to provide services that many are not eligible to do and I appreciate the time and effort of every single member as they honor and give thanks to our veterans and active military.
I was born at Chanute Air Force Base and I’m a lifelong resident of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. I joined Post 454 VFW Auxiliary on the eligibility of my step-father, Earl Million, Jr. who proudly served in the Army Air Corps in WWII.
My theme this year is, “Lighting the Way for our Veterans.” I have chosen the lighthouse as my symbol because it is very special to me.
The lighthouse is a shell. It’s what’s on the outside. The light comes from within. A lighthouse has many different looks on the outside but they all exist to do the same job, to provide safety and direction. As Auxiliary members we also look differently on the outside, but we have a single unified mission, to support our veterans and their families and to provide guidance and direction for them. It is the light from inside of us that projects outward lighting the way.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliary is very much like a lighthouse. We stand in the storm and say to those who need assistance, “Here is the way. We will lead you, help you, and guide you to safety.” We light the way for our veterans.
My hope, my prayer, is that this year we will ALL be lights for our veterans. We will be the lights by working together as a TEAM to accomplish goals and complete programs. We will rise above differences and disagreements to be a steady beacon. We will stand tall. We will ask others to join us in shining our light.
Welcome to a year where we will have a few changes, where we will honor VFW Auxiliary traditions, where we will continue to build on a foundation that has served us well for 106 years, where we will adapt to the changing needs of our members — and most importantly, to the changing needs of the veterans we serve. With your help, I know this will be a year where we are Lighting the Way for our Veterans!
VFW Auxiliary Magazine