Every year in October, National Home Life Members are invited to attend the Annual Life Member Meeting. During this meeting, the newest members to the Board of Trustees are installed, and we celebrate the Trustees whose terms are ending. We also install the new Board President and Vice President and thank the outgoing President. This year we welcomed new Trustees for District 1, Keith Jackson, and District 2 Trustee, Art Scheuneman. Keith is a member of VFW Post #6538 in Townsend, MA, where he maintains his Gold Legacy Life Membership. He has served as the Department of MA Commander and two years as both the District 15 and Post Commander. He was a National Legislative Committee Member 2015-2018, National Aide-de-Camp 2013-2015, and National Resolutions Committee Member 2013-2015. Keith also served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts VFW Foundation 2016-2019 and multiple committees and programs. Keith also served as Department Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Judge Advocate, and Surgeon. Keith is a member of the Military Order of the Cootie Pup Tent 14, Life Member of the American Legion, Forty and Eight, member of the Retired Enlisted Association and the 1st Infantry Division Association, and is a Life Member of the VFW National Home for Children. Keith served in the US Army from 1982-2005 as a Combat Engineer and became eligible for the VFW while serving in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, and with Duty in Korea. Since retiring in 2005, he continues to serve his nation as a civil servant for the Department of Defense as an Anti-Terrorism Officer. Art, a Vietnam Navy Veteran, joined the VFW as a Life Member in 2009 and is a member of VFW Post #4823, Warsaw, New York. In 2012, Art became a Life Member of the VFW National Home for Children. In June 2018, he was appointed Department of New York National Home Chairman and has recruited 74 Life Members while updating New York’s National Home rosters. Art is proud to serve the VFW organization and has held many positions at the Post, Department, and National level.
[endif] National Level: National Aid de Camp 2017-2019, National Finance & Internal Organization 116th & 117th National Convention. Department Level: Membership Vice Chairman (Statistician) 2017-2019, Patriotic Instructor 2017-2018, Membership Chairman 2016-2017 (reached 98.62% as of June 2017). District Level: District Commander 2014-2016 (Achieved Outstanding District Commander all eight quarters and awarded District Commander of Year for both years), District Jr. Vice 2013-2014, District Trustee 2010-2013. Post Level: Post Service Officer 2015-2018, Post Trustee 2009-2012 & 2016-2018, Quartermaster 2011-2014 (Awarded All-State 2012-2014). Art is a firm believer in family values and traditions. His wife, children, and grandchildren are also Life Members of the VFW Auxiliary and the National Home. Together, they serve to improve the lives of veterans and their families. We are excited to have Art and Keith on our Board of Trustees and look forward to working with them for the next six years! While we are thrilled to welcome Keith and Art, we are sad to be saying goodbye to Trustees Dave Ouellette and Warren George. Dave and Warren joined our Board of Trustees in 2013, but their love for the Home started well before then. For Dave, it began with a trip to the Home around 2007. “Seeing all the work that they do to help the veterans and their family was amazing. It was a very rewarding experience. I knew right then that I wanted to be a Trustee.” He said, remember the trip. “Being on the National Home’s Board of Trustees has been the best job I’ve had the opportunity to work in the VFW, and I’ve had many.” Similarly, Warren’s heart was also touched during a visit to the National Home in 2010 as Jr. Vice Commander for the Department of New Jersey. As soon as he found out there was an opening for trustee, he put his name in.
“I could do another six years as trustee right now!” he said.
“This place is the best thing that the VFW has ever done for veterans and their families.”
We installed our New Board President, Sam Compton, Board Vice President, Sissy Borrel, and thanked Mike McGrath for his past year of service. He will have one more year on our board as District 8 Trustee.
In his closing remarks, Mike McGrath spoke about the mental junk food that we are fed so often every day.
“What we do here at the National Home maybe eases some of that.” he remarked. The Annual Meeting is a time for business to be conducted and also to review the events of the prior year and discuss the future of the National Home with our Life Members. This year has been one of change and growth for the National Home. Former Executive Director Patrice Green retired, and we welcomed aboard our new Executive Director, Frederick Puffenberger. At this year’s meeting, we were excited to announce the official opening of two renovated spaces on our campus, The National Home Museum and our Education and Training Center! A modern, state-of-the-art meeting space, the Education and Training Center is a beautiful addition to our community, offering both a comfortable, intimate meeting area and a classroom-like setting, with a kitchenette and built-in sound and projection system! This space will be host resident workshops like our financial management classes, as well as groups like our single-parent and Vet 2 Vet groups, as well as offering a meeting space for visitors to our campus. The long-anticipated National Home Museum offers visitors an interactive experience taking them from the very beginning of the National Home, all the way through to present days. The visually stunning displays showcase authentic National Home memorabilia, artifacts, photos, and videos. Listen to the stories of our past residents, take a flyover of the National Home’s neighborhood, and enjoy a take-home souvenir from our photo booth! The addition of these two buildings represent a perfect bridge between the celebration of our history and the optimism for our future. Here’s to another 94 years!