2 Apr 2020 - Commanders and Comrades,
Earlier today Texas Governor Greg Abbott extending his Executive Order requiring people to shelter in place work from home till April 30th which also includes the gatherings of 10 or more people. As such and in consultation with the State Commander the State Commanders Homecoming is being postponed to a yet undetermined date sometime in May or early June.
For those who have already prepaid we can process a refund or hold it till the new date. If you need a refund please send me an email stating that you need a refund so we can get it processed.
As we had a Council meeting scheduled we are in the process of setting up a 1st ever video attendance council meeting and I will be sending each of you detailed information once we have it confirmed. State Sr. Vice Commander and I were participants in one this morning that had 62 people in attendance. I know D-17 is testing one tonight as well.
I have many questions about quarterly audits due at the end of the month. State Commander King is asking that every Post adapt, overcome and improvise in getting their quarterly audit completed and sent in. If you feel comfortable having the three trustees, Quartermaster and Commander of the Post meet to complete the Audit then do so. If you would rather use email with electronic signatures as we do at the Department level with Docusign then do so, if you can email the Audit and have them send back a response affirming that they are signing the Audit then do so as long as we have a copy of the email stating they agree with the Audit. If you want one person to drive to each persons house to have them sign then go for it, if you want the trustees to come to the Post staggered in one or more hour increments even spread out over several days then do so.
Post Elections, if you can hold them then do so, if not and you need to push it off to next month then OK.
Post Insurance, I have had several calls about insurance companies refusing to accept a delay in monthly payments. Comrades, all I can say is that if your Post is closed and you do not have insurance then you cannot open till you have insurance.
Here is a link to the SBA for COVID-19 disaster assistance https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19.
I have also attached the following documents; Governor Abbott Executive Order 14, SBA Disaster Business Loan Application, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Supporting Information and the Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions.
Independent of this email I will be sending out an email that will have the other recommendations for Redistricting separate of the proposal for D-15.
On a sadder note, I have been informed that Past State Commander from Europe and long time resident of El Paso, Steve Ward, passed away yesterday at a hospital in San Antonio. Please keep his family in your prayers.
On a closing note. I know many of our Posts run on a month to basis and may not survive the economics of this challenge it does not mean that the Post has to die. Yes, having a Post home helps with logistics but we have several dozen Posts that do not have a Post home and they still fulfill the mission of our Congressional Charter. I want to reiterate that the Post building is not the Post just as your military unit building was not the unit. The Post as the Unit are the members, not the building. You did not take the building when you deployed, it stayed behind and you went overseas to accomplish a mission and even here today stateside you do not need a building to continue the mission in the communities we serve.
As always should you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
30 Mar 2020 - From District 28 Commander: Matt Lutz
After careful consideration and reading of everyone's comments, many good ideas were brought forward about holding an electronic meeting, and my concern is without a by-law in place, anything we may decide on could be protested.
This is what I think is the best course forward at the moment:
Keep the meeting for May set as is and if the orders are not lifted by that time reschedule for June 7th, which is the week-end before the state conference
All officers will stay in their respective positions until elections are formally held and the state conference has selected a new State Commander. This follows the intent of the general orders from National.
I have appointed a by-laws committee to develop a by-law change to allow for electronic media in the future for pandemic situations
The best part of this is we are not operating in a vacuum, many of our fellow districts and posts across the nation are dealing with this very same issue.
Please let me know what your post is doing at the moment to conduct meetings or if they have been rescheduled.
It is my hope and prayers this situation clears up as we all practice safety measures and keep ourselves healthy.
Yours in service,
Texas VFW District 28
National Aide de Camp 2019-2020
VFW Post 12104 1st Year Trustee
23 Mar 2020 - From Our Commander:
In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation and Gov. Abbott's Emergency Order that went into effect at Midnight on March 21, 2020 (includes limiting gatherings of no more than 10 people), and the emphasis on social distancing and staying home, tonights monthly membership meeting is cancelled. Additionally, the Post and Canteen are closed until further notice. Unfortunately, we are one of hundreds of VFW Posts taking this action.
There are four phone numbers posted on the doors of the Post, including my cell phone number, 512-228-7074. If any of you need anything or know of a Veteran in the Leander area who needs anything, please call me.
The most important thing we can all do right now is stay home and take care of our families and not venture out in public unless it is for a medical reasons or grocery shopping or a job in a business that still requires people to come into work.
Moving forward, the Post leadership will do daily security checks on the Post (I live 5 mins away from the Post) and the House Committee will stay in constant contact as we monitor the evolving situation and our Post.
In the period before the next scheduled meeting on April 27, 2020, the Post leadership will conduct a virtual meeting using the Zoom platform. This will be in anticipation of our April meeting also being cancelled, which is very likely. I want to "rehearse" a Zoom meeting with the Post leadership before April to ensure we lay down some ground rules and procedures, especially if 40-50 people join in on the meeting. National VFW By-Laws and guidance from the Department of Texas VFW allow Posts to conduct meetings by other means, including virtual, "provided that the Post has adopted procedures to do so that allow all members to communicate to everyone at the same time." There is nothing in our Post By-Laws or a Standing Order in place to conduct a virtual meeting. Moving forward we need to fix this and adopt procedures. I would like to take that initial step and prepare ourselves for a virtual meeting in April if we are required to do so because we are prohibited from gathering in person.
Among the items to discuss at the April meeting are the nomination and election of officers for the 2020-2021 VFW Year. National VFW issued an Executive Order that discussed the requirement to conduct elections at Post, District, and Department levels IAW By-Laws if possible. We of course will have other items of business to discuss at the April meeting.
Please be assured your Post leadership are in constant communication with each other and our District and Department leadership. The days ahead are likely to get harder. As Veterans we know how to confront challenges and deal with hardship and more importantly we know there is strength in numbers and how to be there for each other. Our Post is a family and we take care of each other. Please follow the rules of the CDC and stay home and stay safe. Please take of yourselves and your families and let me know if you need anything.
Yours in Comradeship,
VFW Post 10427
8760 RR 2243, Leander, TX 78641
VFW National Aide-de-Camp, 2019-2020