It really doesn’t seem like my year as your Regional President is half over. I have visited 12 of the Branches in the lower 48 and had a great time doing it. I will visit 4 more in May and the last one in August. You are all doing great things for you communities and the FRA. I hope you all send in your reports on what you have done to the respective committee chairs. I would like to see some awards from national this year for the Northwest Region.
The shipmates of Branches 38 and 63 are working hard getting things ready for the Regional convention in September. My wife Sharon (LAFRA RPNW) and I got to tour the hotel with JrPRPNW Burke and I think everyone attending will enjoy it. Bring you swimming suits, they have a water slide!
I attended the National Board of Directors meeting and attended the LAFRA Pilgrimage with my wife in Arlington on April 10, 11th and 12th. The Ladies Pilgrimage ceremony was quite impressive and the weather co-operated with a really nice day. We were there for the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. Those guys are sharp.
The headquarters staff and the Regional Presidents “Stormed the Hill” on April 10th. I visited with Senators Crapo and Risch and a staff member for Representative Labrador of Idaho. I asked them to support legislation adding the “Blue Water Navy” ships to the coverage for Agent Orange exposure, to oppose cuts to our commissary funding, oppose cola caps and BAH cuts and any other bills that would adversely affect active duty and veterans. Both senators seemed positive about supporting veterans
We also got a chance to walk part of the National Mall in DC. If you have never been there you should try to make it. I have always wanted to go to the Vietnam Memorial Wall, so I got to check that off of my list. The World War II and Korean War memorials were also very impressive.
The headquarters staff is busy packing up the things in headquarters to facilitate the remodeling of the building. They are doing this and conducting FRA business at the same time, so if you don’t get an immediate response, be patient. They are all putting in a lot of hours and as you know some of them are new at their jobs and the learning curve is steep.
I sent out an e-mail to remind everyone to get their reports turned in and to send their credentials form in for both the Regional Convention and for the National Convention. If you can’t send a delegate please assign a proxy. The proxy can be any member in good standing attending the convention. Both JrPRPNW Burke and I will be going to the National Convention, so you may assign either or both of us as proxies if you wish.
As I have mentioned to the Branches I have visited so far there are some unscrupulous people out there soliciting money for supposed veterans groups. I don’t know of any valid group that solicits over the phone. In any case, the advice from the Idaho Better Business Bureau is to NEVER give your personal information over the phone to a solicitor. PRPNW Lazzaretti says there is a web site (That URL is: http://goo.gl/fRKqp9) where you can easily verify if a charity or group is valid.
I have been asking all the Branches about their audits before installing new officers. It is required in the CB&Ls that an audit be performed before installation. Your monthly treasurer’s report is not an audit. The books must be gone over and verified by a committee of shipmates and all transactions verified. Your accounts also should be in the Branch name, not the treasurer’s name. If your funds are held in an account under the treasurer’s name and the treasurer dies, the surviving spouse may claim the money and you have lost your funds.
As always, if you need or want to talk to me, don’t hesitate to call. I check e-mail daily except when traveling, and try to check it then. If I can’t answer your questions, I will find someone who can.
In Loyalty, Protection & Service
Regional President Northwest