The Word from the Department Commander

Now hear this: Commander's Words for Comrades

 Words from the Commander

Written by Homer Kemper

   Hello Comrades,

  First once again let me thank each and every Comrade in the Pacific for you valued support and dedication within the Department. We as a TEAM have kicked into gear and looks like another record setting year could be in place for the 2015-2016 term.


 Comrades remember we are Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW takes pride in its commitment to veterans and todays military. Our programs ensure no one is forgotten. There are over 6,890 Post’s worldwide, we are the nation’s oldest major veterans group, and we have been a part of the country’s social fabric for 116 years. We give continued commitment to our country and community. Our mission extends to those troops serving overseas today and their families waiting back home.  


 The VFW has four main objectives-preserving and extending veteran’s rights, advocating a strong national defense, promoting patriotism and serving local communities-these are the core of our existence.


Comrades I need each and every one of you to TELL YOUR STORY and RECRUIT. Here are some alarming but factual statistics that we all need to keep in mind to rebuild membership and keep the World’s Greatest Organization alive and operational. VA retention in the last 26 years/ 22 years there has been negative growth. 400,000 are over 80 years old. There are over 50 million men and women who have worn the uniform.  Comrades I know many find it difficult to recruit. It can be difficult to ask someone on active duty who has already gave so much, to give more. Please read and take notes of my first 3 paragraphs “Becoming a MEMBER is an investment in their FUTURE”. We are currently 1300 members away from 100%. Carry those applications with you and show others that you are proud of your past service and talk about VFW.


Comrades you and I have elected and selected a great TEAM of dedicated Comrades to serve as this year’s Officers and Chairman of Committees. These Comrades are there for assistance please utilize their experience and knowledge and communicate with them. They also have a lot of recruiting tools within their various committees as well their previous years as DPA members and officers.   


The midterm CofA REGISTRATION will be posted on the DPA website very soon. It will be hosted by our newly chartered BANCHANG POST 12146 Thailand. I would like to extend a very special Thank You to Post Commander Ken Stein, QM Lou Holub, webmaster Shawn Watson, and to all the Post Officers and Comrades of Post 12146 who have excelled in dedicating countless hours to be the Host of this years MID TERM.


 In closing,  as you know Siapan was and is still devastated by their recent Typhoon Soudelor, if possible as well as affordable please think about reaching into your pockets as well as Post and District funding and donating to their relief. I have appointed Shawn Watson as my Disaster Relief Coordinator he as well as Pete our quartermaster have all the details on where and whom to donate too. Remember you do not need to be a VFW member to donate so please spread the word as of today they have about 30% power restored and there is a lot of damaged that still cannot be assessed until full power has been restored.  This is what we do best taking care of Comrades in Distress! 


 Homer Kemper 



  Big Bug Squeaks

Big Bug Squirms…

Greetings my fellow Cooties,

I feel as though I have been a Submariner coming up for air after a lengthy patrol. I have been totally immersed in the business of the Grand Finances since our last Rim of Fire, and only now am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

We endured the slowest turn-over of Grand fiscal dealings that I can recall for the past fifteen years. I apologize to all that have been affected by the inability of the Grand to process your requirements. We will work hand in hand to ensure we meet all of our obligations to Supreme, and most importantly the Cooties in our organization. Remember all that we do is for recognition of all Cooties, as just being a Cootie means you are deserving. Don’t let your fellow Cooties down.

I hope all of you are ready to begin doing your transactions with Grand. Our new QM Tom Burnett and I have sat down and brought forward our Grand records, and assure all of you that we are in good hands and able to process all of your needs.

I have been in communication of an informative nature in some cases, and asking for information in others, with all of the Pup Tents in the Grand. Unfortunately, in the case of the later, some requests have gone unanswered to this date. This has to cease! We must be able to communicate two-way to ensure we are all working as one team. Those of you who chose not to respond know who you are and I hope you will find that opening a continuing dialogue with the Grand will redound in your favor.

I have heard some rumblings in our seams that some Cooties think that we are railroading a Cootie, who chose not to follow the By-Laws, and, had owned up to his misdoings. We are all individuals, and as such, each have our own view of any subject. I respect that, and sincerely hope all Cooties do likewise. I would ask each of you however, to take time to hear the facts, before forming, and spreading your opinion.

We in the Grand did not choose to go on a witch hunt; rather, we were forced into performing a very uncomfortable investigation. The final results of all of the rebuilding of records, and review of all documents, gave us reason to file disciplinary charges. Those are the facts. The issue is now in the hands of the Audit Committee, which met yesterday, as part of the process of determining our obligations forward to Supreme, and to our Cooties who were personally affected by these misdeeds. The final decision of the disciplinary charges will be made by Supreme, and the Bonding Insurance Company will now have the responsibility of ascertaining which funds we have documented well enough to reimburse us.

Fortunately, we have a Cootie who stepped forward and loaned the Grand the amount to pay our obligations to Supreme. Hence, all Pup Tents, will have their new Bonds for 2015-2017, and all of the Life Members which were not paid last year have been paid, and will get their credentials from Supreme.

Always, remember what my last ship’s Captain, Jim Austin, most vehemently espoused, “all Atta boys are cancelled with one dumb shit.” Never accept the responsibility of any position of authority, unless you make yourself fully aware of the obligations of the position, and make their fulfilment your goal. For failure to do this falls under the category dumb shit, regardless of all the supposed hard work you may have done in other categories within the VFW and MOC.

I really look forward to writing my next article for the Rim of Fire in November, as I feel certain that you Cooties will bounce up and flood the Grand with your Transmittals, NHSP and Scholarship donations, etc. It would truly be my pleasure to report and give accolades where deserving, how far we have gone towards achieving our goals, and meeting our obligations.

I thank you all for your vote of confidence in electing me as your Big Bug for this term, and promise you that I will live up to my motto: “Work Hard; Play Hard.” I urge all of you to also apply this your participation in our order. Remember we are all VFW members first, and Cooties by choice!

Yours in L.O.T.C.S., and Cheers,

Frank B. Hilliard IV
VFW 11447 Gold Legacy Life,
MOC Pup Tent 11 Red Star Life,
FRA 367 Life, DAV 3 Life,
VVA 887 Life, AL(CP1)

Work Hard – Play Hard



Commander MOC Grand of the Pacific Shawn Watson "Big Bug"