Commander’s Welcome
It is my utmost honor and privilege to be handed the reigns of this great District. I am appreciative of the opportunity to work along side each of you as we endeavor to assist our Brothers and Sisters in Arms. I personally want to thank all of the Past District Commanders that came before me and have taken the time to offer advice, consent and mentoring on a host of topics.
As we enter our 119th year as a fraternal and service organization, we need to bring back basic values to for two reasons: to reinvigorate interest in our organization and to improve the lives of our members that need our help. Our three points of light for this year are leadership, advocacy and service. Leadership means doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. It means jumping on a task everyone else is avoiding. Advocacy means we interface with our government leaders on all levels to ensure those that need our help, are acknowledged and get it. The corollary to this is that most that need help, don’t know it. Service means we put others before ourselves, especially those that don’t know they need our help.
Using our three points of light, we need to work these three angles the hardest this year: getting and staying involved with our communities, assisting our Veterans, both ambulatory and those that are homeless and lastly advocate at all levels on behalf of all Veterans with our elected and appointed leaders.
The United States has approximately 319.2 million Americans. There are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, according the Census Bureau, approximately 10 percent of whom are women, making the overall percentage about 7%. We are losing nearly 400 Veterans a day that served from the days of World War Two to the present. In order to maintain our status as the premier Veterans organization in our great country, we must utilize our three points of light towards our three angles to remain relevant and effective for our fellow Veterans today and tomorrow. When I was a Post Commander, I always went out of my way to ensure everyone understood that there may be a Membership Chairman and Service Officer on the official roster, but every one of us is a Recruiter and a Service Officer. Never pass up an opportunity to help someone or recruit your own replacement!
I look forward to the coming year, assisting you to reach your goals and ensuring our Veterans’ needs have been met.
Best Regards,
Gus Vitali
Commander Department of Ohio District 3