Post talks recruitment with state commander

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lunenburg County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9954 welcomed their state commander for a visit Thursday.

The morning visit was well-attended by several Lunenburg Post members, as well as VFW members from state leadership capacities.

State Commander Tom Gimble and former Commander in Chief John Smart spoke to the men in attendance about ways to recruit a diverse population for the organizations and signs of emotional suffering among veterans.

Gimble reminded the Post to aim for 100 percent with its membership renewal.

“This is all about you and the members of this organization,” said Smart, who was commander in chief from 1999-2000.

“There’s no doubt on my mind, we know the importance of having a strong military,” he said. “We’re not a club, we’re an organization of strong men and women.”

He encouraged the veterans to consider what the community would be like if they hadn’t had a VFW for the past 68 years.

“I can’t impress on you enough the leadership you have in this department,” Smart said.

During the meeting, member and State Membership Chairman Tom Hines and Senior Vice Commander Mike Boehme demonstrated the power of a more personal recruitment tactic by engaging in conversation with the potential recruit.

Hines acted as a VFW member and Boehme played the part of a potential member with questions about the organization.

“What we’d like to impress on everybody is we are the voice for veterans,” Gimble said, emphasizing that the Posts needs membership to continue to increase to maintain its voice.

He said though they are actively seeking younger members, they are also searching for all eligible members to join their ranks.

“Just because you’re older and never join, don’t let that stop you,” Gimble said.

“These guys are doing a great job right here,” Gimble said, noting he had to brag about this district.

The commander and district guests also visited the Keysville VFW Post 8902 and Farmville Post 7059 to present on similar topics.