VFW, LAX Community Service, Legislative Conference Wrap Up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The annual VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Community and Legislative Conference was held March 1-4 in Washington, D.C. 

Guest speakers for the joint opening included VA Secretary James Peake, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker and Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. In addition, Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) was presented the VFW Congressional Award in recognition of his support to veterans and military personnel and families, and the VFW News Media Award was presented to CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer for his journalistic integrity and highest of standards.

In a special presentation, R.J. Reynolds, represented by David Howard, presented a $600,000 check to VFW Operation Uplink. 

During Tuesday evening’s award banquet, Andrea Wood, manager of Target Corporation’s military grants and partnerships, recognized VFW and Auxiliary members for their community service. Target is a major contributor to the VFW Voice of Democracy scholarship program, which annually distributes nearly $2.5 million in scholarships and incentives to high school students nationwide. 

Other awards include:

National Voice of Democracy Winner and the recipient of a $30,000 scholarship
Jordon Blake Lord of Gulfport, Miss., sponsored by VFW Post 4526 and its Ladies Auxiliary

National Patriot’s Pen Winner and the recipient of a $10,000 savings bond
Sarah Y. Polinski of Sayre, Penn., sponsored by VFW Post 1536 and its Ladies Auxiliary

VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards

Elementary School 
Carolyn Kennedy
O. P. Earle Elementary School
Landrum, S. C. 

Middle School
Dorothy Z. Williams
Lakeview Junior High School
Pickerington, Ohio 

High School
John C. Hanson
Waseca High School
Waseca, Minn.

Military Family Members Volunteer Service Award
Karen Hughes (Army)
Julie E. Delcourt (Marines)
Jeanena McHargue (Air Force) 

Fred C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project
VFW Post 11401, Milton, Wash.

The conference closed with the VFW national commander testifying on veterans’ issues before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. (See related link

Annually, VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute nearly 15 million volunteer hours, equivalent to $351 million. 

If you would like to view conference participants and award winners' presentations and speeches, click on any of the links below.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England 
Gen. Eric Schoomaker
Bob Schieffer
Rep. Chet Edwards
Voice of Democracy 
Patriots Pen
R.J. Reynolds
Target Corporation