© 2019 Department of Minnesota VFW

Is 100% Membership for Department possible

Membership Chair Dale Hoogeveen and Commander Tom Hanson believe so.

The Department of Minnesota VFW sits at 98.505% short only 560 new members or reinstates to reach the goal of 100% membership. 1992 was the last time that the Department of Minnesota reached 100%. This year according to Department Commander Tom Hanson currently more than half our Posts within the state are at 100% or higher and two districts have already surpassed 100%, all of which is excellent news.

Dale Hoogeveen who is a Gold Legacy Life member of Walter Hecklin Post 1791 Chaska, and has earned All-American honors as both a Post and District commander wants you to remember that there are still incentives available this year for membership. Check the Membership program guide for a full listing, but some of the highlights are: Post year-end membership awards in categories (new members, life members, new legacy members) will all earn the winning posts $100 for their Post relief fund. All posts that reach 100% by May 15th, 2019 will be entered into a drawing for 3 - $250 stipends for expenses to the State Convention. There are also individual recruiter excellence Awards if any individual gets 5-9 new or reinstate members will receive $100, 10 or more earns that recruiter $250. Remember to check the membership program guide for all of the details.

VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, left, honors Dale Hoogeveen, of VFW Post 1791 in Chaska, with All-American status as a District commander.

There are approximately 327,000 Veterans in the state of Minnesota, many of who are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and one of the biggest reasons that many don't join is no one has ever asked them. You don't have to wait for a membership drive to recruit new members, you never know when or where you will run into a fellow Veteran, don't be afraid to ask them if they are a member of the VFW, and if they say no invite them to join.

With twenty-two years of active service with the US Army, Dale earned his eligibility while serving with the 2nd infantry division Artillery in Korea, and he knows just like the Military the small unit is the bedrock, and in the case of the VFW that is the Post. Furthermore, Dale Says "We need eligible veterans to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars and to engage in the conduct of our business at the Post, District, and Department levels. We understand young veterans are busy with family and careers and may not be able to dedicate a lot of time, however, their membership alone makes us a stronger organization enabling us to carry out the good work needed to preserve many of the benefits they enjoy. Elected officials at all levels are aware of the number of veterans represented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, large numbers are relevant, small numbers generally are not. Too often, we fail to recognize the importance of an organization or local business until it is gone. Don’t let that happen to your local VFW Post!"

I for one agree with Dale and Tom in that we as a Department can make this happen. The time is now to get out and find one or two more members and be a part of something that has not happened in 27 years. Let's make this year, that year that we all as a Department turned the membership trends around.