Thursday, August 19, 2021

VFW Michigan General Orders!

August Membership Updates!


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Veterans of Foreign Wars - Department of Michigan


Department Commander's Corner

Kevin Conklin


We are in full swing for summer fairs and festivals. Each post, county council, and district should be attending these events with their membership/community service tables. It is so important that we get out into the communities and show them who we are. I have visited many events already with great responses. I look forward to continuing this community outreach and membership drives.  

Communication with our members is vital to the welfare of the organization. I have routinely heard members stating "I wasn't aware or I didn't know anything about that". The Department of Michigan currently has 33% of the email addresses for our members. My goal is to increase this to 50% by Mid-Winter. I am requesting assistance from each of the commanders and quartermasters with obtaining email addresses for each of their post members. My intent is to start pushing information directly to the members through our email lists that we create together.

Our legislative team has been very busy assisting the Service Office with communications not only in Washington DC but with the Governor's office as well. Please contact your local representatives about veterans issues. If you are not already getting the Action Corp Weekly updates please text "VFW" to 50457. 

I look forward to seeing you all at Fall Conference 2021 in Boyne Highlands October 30th - October 3rd as we have many training opportunities and fun activities planned for you all.   

God bless you and the United States of America!

Kevin Conklin

State Commander

Quartermaster/Adjutant Address: 

Derek Blumke


With the ongoing and deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, it is more important now than ever before to check in on your comrades.  Many comrades, from multiple generations, are struggling with the current events of the past several days.   Post 9/11 veterans are experiencing what can only be described as this generation's Saigon.  The pain, frustration, anger, and sadness that follow such an event are hard to digest.  It is imperative though that you realize your service to this great Nation was not in vain. Each of us was given a mission. We executed on that mission beyond the extent of our abilities, and we upheld our greatest responsibility: we fought for and protected each other. 

Vietnam Veterans, please use this moment as an opportunity to engage with and share your experiences with Afghanistan Veterans, as they may be experiencing similar emotions to what you may have felt over the years. As an Afghanistan Veteran myself, I have had great solace in knowing my Vietnam Comrades understand me, and have been greatly comforted by the phone calls, emails and texts I have received from them, with two simple words: "I understand".

To all of our Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq Veterans: the VFW understands.

If you or someone you know is struggling and have thoughts of self harm, PLEASE  reach out to a friend, family member, or comrade!  You are not alone.  The Veteran's Crisis Line is also available by dialling 1-800-273-8255 and selecting option 1.


Family Day will be held on August 28, 2021 at Camp Trotter in Newaygo: 5566 E 86th Street, Newaygo, MI, 49337. The event runs from 11 am - 4 pm, with lunch at noon. There will be a cornhole tournament and activities for kids and families throughout the day, with the finale being the results of the Annual Camp Trotter Raffle. 



The annual Michigan Day at the VFW National Home for Children will be August 22, 2021, starting at 9 am.  The annual Michigan/Ohio Golf Outing will be held August 20, 2021 at Bonnie View Golf Course in Eaton Rapids.  The golf outing registration form is on the Department website in the National Home section under Programs. 

Fall Conference:

The Department Fall Conference is open to ALL Department of Michigan Membership and will be held September 30th - October 3rd, 2021 at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs. The Housing Registration form and Ad Book form can be found by clicking here.  Please plan to book your lodging in advance utilizing the housing registration form to guarantee space-availability.

There will be a golf outing on Thursday September 30th, 2021. We are also considering hosting a number of other activities (for those who do not golf) to possibly include boat tours around Harbor Springs, wine tours, and a film screening. These options are being considered and further information will be distributed as it becomes available. 


Please reference the agenda here as the Fall Conference format will be changed significantly from previous years. This year's Fall Conference will be heavily focused on training, and discussing ways to help make our posts more successful in everything we do.


Please sign up for the Action Corps Weekly.  You can do this at: The Department of Michigan is requesting that all District, County Council, and Post Commanders designate time in their next scheduled meeting to register all meeting participants in Action Call Weekly and at the same time have them submit their call to action for the Action Alert that went out on Toxic Exposure. This month is the request to Congress to take action on toxic exposures for all generations. If you have any questions please contact Department Legislative Director, Kevin Hensley:


Program submission dates for all three programs are as follows. Please get out to your schools and

  • Deadline for entries to the Post is October 31, 2021. 

  • Deadline for Post entries to the District is November 16, 2021. 

  • Deadline for District entries to Department Chairman is December 16, 2021. 


Support your local Post with the VFW Buddy Poppy Program.  Volunteer Now! 


Buddy Poppy order forms can be found on the Department website in the Buddy Poppy Program under the Programs tab at the top of the page or by clicking here. Buddy Poppies must be ordered by December 31, 2021 in order to qualify for the All-State program and to ensure the order is processed and delivered prior to distribution days. 

Get involved with your local posts, and volunteer for the Buddy Program today!


Commander Conklin's polo shirt can still be ordered through the Department website in the Shirts section of the Store tab at the top of the page. Click the link here to order your shirt today! This will be the same shirt that Sr. Vice Commander John Griffith and Jr. Vice Commander Ray Lopez are offering for their year as Commander, so you will not have to repurchase different shirts for the next several years. 


The Department is selling raffle tickets to assist in funding Department programs and initiatives. Tickets are $50 each with the drawing to be held on October 2, 2021 during Fall Conference at Boyne Highlands. You need not be present to win. Tickets will be available at upcoming District meetings and by contacting the Department. 


Thank you for being a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars!  We are proud to serve you and to call you our Comrades. Members are reminded that under the subscription dues model, annual  members dues expire on the last day of the month of which they paid the previous year. Annual members are encouraged to renew their dues prior to their anniversary month to avoid a lapse in continuous membership. Officers and committee members, whose  membership is not in good standing due to failure of paying their membership dues by their respective  anniversary month, shall forfeit eligibility to hold any office the remainder of the administrative year. 


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