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Our annual “Tomb Trek” was another fantastic, memorable event! The good ole Cootie fun we shared made it another to be remembered. We increased and multiplied by inviting four OEF/OIF veterans into our organization. While spending some time with these veterans I found out what they were doing in Washington DC that weekend and invited them to the Tomb on Sunday to see one of the most honored traditions of the MOC/MOCA. They stated most likely they wouldn't be able to attend due to prior engagements. But, to my surprise they were there in full force. They explained that the other event wasn’t scheduled correctly. So, they asked their Sgt. Major to take them to the Tomb to watch the ceremony. Not only was I honored this year by laying the Supreme Commanders Wreath, but I was honored by these veterans taking time to be with us.
That weekend was full of memorable events for both Linda and I. First on Saturday morning, we attended the Eastern States Conference to let the VFW and Auxiliary members know what the MOC and MOCA were doing in Washington D.C. that weekend. Both Linda and I addressed the congregation and invited them to the Tomb on Sunday to see what we have been honorably performing since 1934. In attendance at the Conference was the National Commander in Chief, Bill Thien and National Auxiliary President, Sissy Borel. Both Linda and I invited them personally. Well everyone, for the first time I can ever remember, on that Sunday, all four leaders of this organization were together at once at Tomb Trek. In addition, the Senior Vice Auxiliary President Ann Panteleakos and her companion VFW National Council Member Stan Borusiewicz, Jr. were also in attendance. And yes, all are Cooties!
During our meeting at Tomb Trek, we addressed the plight of our Cootie Memorial at the VFW National Home for Children. This memorial is in dire need of repair. Senior Vice Commander from Tennessee, Larry Helser, spoke on the history of the monument and what it will take to bring it back. Cooties, this is our legacy to the National Home and what we started. We can't let this falter; our brothers and sisters left us with this responsibility and as MOC / MOCA we won’t let them down. So please donate so our Legacy can live on in the future.
Coming up in a couple weeks is the “Cootie Christmas Party” at our VFW National Home for Children. I had a great time last year and look forward to the same this year, with one exception. I will be in my pajamas, singing carols on Saturday morning! I look forward to Linda and I spending time with the children. Then, afterwards spending time with the staff and the Cooties that make this happen.
As a reminder to all Grand Commanders, if you would like to have Supreme representation at your upcoming Grand Convention, please get the forms sent into Supreme Headquarters by 31 December. In March, I will meet with the Headquarters staff, Senior and Junior Vice Commander in Washington D.C., to line up these assignments.
With the holidays quickly coming upon us, remember and visit those veterans that are spending the holidays in Hospitals, nursing homes, without family; keep them smiling in beds of white! From me and my family, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Remember to……..Increase and Multiply; keep them smiling in beds of white; remember and support our VFW National Home for Children. But, most of all………HAVE FUN DOING IT!
Yours in L.O.T.C.S.,
Mark NewmanSupreme Commander