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The Advocate


Commander's Corner

Department and National Leadership at the VFW-MI Fall Conference: Featured from Left to Right - Dept CDR Kevin Conklin, Dept Sr Vice John Griffith, Dept Jr Vice Ray Lopez, National Commander-in-Chief Fritz Mihelcic.



I hope this message finds you well and healthy, and to offer a sincere thanks to our staff, directors and amazing partners at the Auxiliary for hosting a very successful Fall Conference! We entirely reworked the agenda for our Fall Conference, to include merging a great deal of our training sessions with the Auxiliary. The survey results spoke for themselves: 


100% of those surveyed stated VFW-MI met its objectives at the Conference!

  • "I learned a lot about the Auxiliary and the things they do for the post and the things that they must report on. I think this training just makes us a much better team."                                                                    
  • "Overall this was by far the best training conference I’ve been to. Really enjoyed the joint aspect of it."                    
  • "...Thumbs up Comrades!" 

We also had the pleasure of hosting National Commander in Chief Fritz Mihelcic, who presented the 2020-2021 All American Post Commanders and leaders their recognition for being awarded the coveted “All American Post” recognition. Congrats to our All American Posts for all of your hard work to serve our veterans and communities!


A few housekeeping notes:                                                                                   

  1. Action Corps: Please get signed up for Action Corps!                                  
  2. Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen submissions: Please get your Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen entries submitted!  More information on the Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen and Teacher of the Year can be found below.                                                                                                            
  3. Humana Partnership: If you happen to meet our partners at Humana, please extend your thanks for their partnership. Humana’s sponsorship allows us to increase the training and support we offer across the Department, while providing direct access to support from Humana for our members who need it.                                                                                    

Please be safe, and keep up all of the great planning for Veterans Day, which is just around the corner.  If you have events coming up, please share them with us so we can help get the word out. Thanks again for all you do, for your continued comradeship with one another, and I hope to see you at an event soon!

Yours in Comradeship,

Kevin Conklin

State Commander


Voice of Democracy / Patriot's Pen / Teacher of the Year

Left to Right: Past National President Sandi Ontsweder, Erin Stoeckig - 20/21 Voice of Democracy Winner and Past Commander in Chief Hal Roesch.

VFW’s Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen and Teacher of the Year application deadline is fast approaching on 31 October (at midnight)! Please make sure to get all student applications submitted to your local post ASAP! These programs are some of the best the VFW has to offer, and they provide deserving students tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships. The links to the materials and application information is linked here, but feel welcome to contact our State Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen and Teacher of the Year Director Eddie Dandridge Sr.:, or call: 517-485-9456


VOD: Rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy entry form


Patriot’s Pen: Rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Patriot's Pen entry form


Message from the Adjutant


On behalf of Commander Conklin and VFW Department of Michigan leadership, we are excited to announce that for the month of November as part of “Veterans Month”, we will be working with our posts to host a series of events, titled: “Veterans Voices”.

Throughout the month of November, Commander Conklin has asked for posts to volunteer to host panel discussions, opened to our communities, to share our feelings and experiences, as it relates to the end of 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the withdrawal, parallels with Vietnam and the needs of this generation of service members and veterans moving forward. 

As an example, you can watch the panel discussion that was hosted in September at the link here. So far, posts 1138 - Monroe, 1136 - Wyandotte, 2144 - Holland, 3701 - Lakeview; 423 - Ann Arbor; 6507 - Chassell; and 2501 - Emmet County, have all volunteered to coordinate and host Veterans Voices events at their posts. 

If you are interested in learning more, or are interested in having your post host a Veterans Voices event, please join the Zoom training session on 25 October, 2021, this coming Monday night, at 6:30 PM. 

To join, click on the link below!


Legislative Brief!

 Legislative Director - Kevin Hensley

Legislative Director - Kevin Hensley preparing to enter the Hyperbaric Chamber for Toxic Exposure and Traumatic Brain Injury Therapy.

Sign up for Action Corps Weekly!

Text "VFW" to 50457 to sign up TODAY!  

When a call for action is sent out PLEASE contact your Congressional Representative and Senators!  It is very simple.  Encourage your posts and districts to get signed up!

Call to Action!


Email or Call your US Representative and Senators and ask them to support HR 1014 - Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act! 

(Introduced in the House of Representatives - 02/11/2021)

This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a five-year pilot program to furnish, under the Veterans Community Care Program, hyperbaric oxygen therapy to veterans with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.


Detroit Veterans Day Parade 

This year’s Annual Detroit Veterans Day Parade, and the “Veterans Fest” immediately following the Parade, will be dedicated to our Afghanistan Veterans and their families! The Parade begins at 10 AM on Sunday, 7 November 2021. Parade organizers are calling all OEF & OIF Era veterans and their families to join to receive a special recognition for your service. Any Post who is interested in participating in the parade can register here: Registration deadline is November 1st!


November District Meetings

11/6   District 8 Meeting, Post 3030 - Otsego, 11:00 am
11/6   District 10 Meeting, Post 8465 - Port Huron, 10:00 am
11/6   District 13 Meeting, Post 2051 - Harbor Springs, 10:00 am
11/7   District 7 Meeting, Post 4073 - Marshall, 12:30 pm
11/7   District 11 Meeting, Post 5738 - Clare, 10 am
11/7   District 12 Meeting, Post 5096 - Custer, 11:00 am
11/7   District 14 Meeting, Post 5670 - Gwinn, 1:00 pm
11/20 District 9 Meeting, Post 9809 - Saginaw, 10:30 am

Let us know about events that your district or post is hosting in the near future, so that we can help promote them!  Event information MUST be submitted to Department (via the "Contact Us" button below at least 45 days in advance.  Form should describe - Who, What, When, and Where!


Recent Events

Happy 75th Anniversary!

On September 25th, VFW and Auxiliary members of the Ontonagon Lake of the Clouds Post 5600 came together to celebrate their 75th Anniversary!  VFW Post 5600 Post Commander Brian Amos performed as the lead singer of his band to mark the occasion. Joined with them was Past State Commander Bud Huuki, Department Adjutant/Quartermaster Derek Blumke, and members of the Ontonagon community.  

Live band performance for Post 5600's 75th Anniversary!

VFW and Auxiliary Members of Post 5600 join to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.


VFW Supports Annual Headstone Cleaning 

at Great Lakes National Cemetery

Headstone cleaning at Great Lakes National Cemetery took place Saturday October 9th, 2021. Featured here is PSC Sherwood H. Pea Jr. at the headstone of Past Commander-In-Chief James N. Goldsmith. May he continue to rest in peace. 


Post 1136 - Wyandotte: Dueling Pianos

Dueling Pianos performed as part of a fundraiser event held by Post 1136 - Wyandotte.

Left to right: Brian Martin - Post CDR 1136, Sarah Martin, Aux President 1136, Rochelle Blum, and Jared Blum, Auxiliary Treasurer 1136.

Post 830 - Fall Picnic

Post 830 Fall Picnic at Rogue River Park in Belmont, Michigan.

Music performed by Post Member Steven Waterbury featured with Post Auxiliary member Alisa Ambrose and little band admirer!  



** If you have a post you'd like to highlight send photos and a write-up detailing who, what, when, where and why by filling out the contact us form via the link below!  Your post might be selected to feature in the next Department Newsletter! **


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