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V.F.W. Post 295
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111 South Concord Exchange
South St. Paul, MN 55075
Tate Doom
COMMANDER'S COLUMN
 
      July 2016
     A new VFW year is upon us. Along with it comes dreams of a great year, where we reach all of our lofty goals and our desires for the future. However, we must face a reality. The membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars has seen a decline. As a state wide organization, we went from 82,000 members in 1991, to just over 41,000 at the close of business on June 30th. In a short 25 years we have lost half of our membership. While some of this can be attributed to death, we need to face the fact that what we have done the past 25 years, is not working. We need to formulate a plan and put it into action; to reverse the trend of declining membership and see that we grow to the future.

     As many of you may not know me, I will give you a brief introduction into who I am. My name is Tate Doom. I was raised and lived most of my life in Marshall, Minnesota. In 1989 I joined the United States Army. I earned my eligibility to the Veterans of Foreign Wars by serving as a Heavy Wheel Vehicle Mechanic in Desert Storm. I was assigned to a transportation unit. The mission of my unit was to haul the M-1 Abrams tanks into battle. As part of my job while in Desert Storm, I hauled the tanks to the front lines. We were also involved in the recovery of damaged tanks and other military vehicles. I served for a very short time as a loader in the M-1 Abrams. As a vehicle carrying tank operators, M-1 Abrams was involved in a bad accident resulting in severe injuries and a death. That being said, the Captain in charge of my unit, took some of us out of the tanks. I served in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey.

     I returned to Marshall and worked as a mechanic in the construction field for about 20 years. During this time I lived in Marshall and served as Post Commander to Post 742 from 1997-2003, and was third District Commander from 2001-2003. In 2006 I was elected to the position of State Commander. Currently I work for the Department as the State Adjutant/Quartermaster.

     With a new year, comes new ideas. I want to be active in the South Saint Paul Community. The Post sponsors and donates a lot of time and money to the Youth of the Community, which I want to continue. Also, many of you are aware that the Veterans section of Oak Hills Cemetery is in need of repair. Along with Mike Labovitch, I am forming a committee of veterans from the VFW, the American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America. I hope to be able to get other veterans of civic organizations involved in the repairs needed. It will take time and money. Although I know this project will take longer than my one year of service, it would be great to see its completion in time for our 100 year anniversary of the Post.

     I hope to see you all attend our monthly meetings held the 2nd Wednesday of the month, at 7pm. The decisions of the future are made at these meetings. Here we discuss upcoming events, organizations that we wish to donate to, and those we do not. This is where your voice is meant to be heard. This is where our business is transacted. The bar is not the place to talk about or decide what upcoming events we will be in support of and which we will not. Let your voice and opinion be heard and attend the meetings.

     The following are some of the upcoming events from the calendar included in this newsletter.

July Calendar

Kids Safety Camp July 12-13
July 12 Executive Board meeting 6:30 pm
July 13th Post meeting 7PM
July 16th Department of Minnesota July Council of
Administration 8 AM
July 15 Steak and Shrimp

     The Kids Picnic will be held on Sunday August 7th. Although it is called a Kids Picnic, it is a celebration for all our members and their families. Come out and have a good time!

Until next month,

Tate Doom
Post Commander