During the 96th year of the Virginia VFW, there was great success in programs, membership, and many other areas. Our recent convention celebrated all those successes and saw the largest number of All-State Posts ever named in Virginia’s history.
The expansion of support for veterans, service members, and their families seeking VA benefits included adding a third accredited Service Officer and placing them in a new location at VFW Post 1503 in Dale City. 12 Districts and nearly 70 Posts earned the coveted All-State award. Membership is above 103% and has broken numerous records, some of which are many years old.
Now Past State Commander Ken Wiseman said it was the honor of a lifetime to have served as Commander this year. "I was able to stand on the shoulders and in the shadows of giants with those serving now creating those shadows and our past State Commanders being the ones who led this department to where I could serve” Ken said. Ken added "We fully embraced our motto that ‘Every Day Is Veterans Day’, helped our Coast Guard when the government would not, led in our communities, and showed there is great truth in our other motto: ‘No One Does More For Veterans’”.
Elections on Saturday brought in new leadership. Rick Raskin, an Army Veteran from Manassas, was elected to serve as the 97thState Commander. "It is the most humbling event I can recall having the full faith and confidence of our membership invested in me” Rick said. He added "I promise to work every day for you and never let you down”. State Commander Raskin introduced his theme "Communicate for Success” and empowered his District Commanders to go do bold things for the coming year.
The convention also saw the introduction of our newest partner. Powerhouse Gaming became the exclusive gaming partner for the Virginia VFW and they pledged a three year commitment worth $225,000. However, with pledges to help Posts find homes, create new Posts, and bring in new members, this partnership is likely to grow. The funding will support the Virginia Veterans Foundation (the official foundation of the Virginia VFW), the Virginia VFW, and the Virginia VFW Auxiliary and marks the first corporate sponsorship of our Auxiliary. Newly elected foundation chair Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart said this was a big day for Virginia. "With the end of an amazing year and this new partnership with Powerhouse to start the new year, I can say there is nothing stopping us from continued growth and excellence as an organization.”