Madison- The following is an excerpt from Hal Roesch’s acceptance speech after being installed as the 112th National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars:
“We are at a major turning point in our nation’s history. All across our country,
men and women are demonstrating and making their voices heard in an effort
to end racial injustice. It’s imperative that the VFW answer this call and stand
alongside these agents of change. To our African American members, veterans
and communities—black lives do matter! The VFW stands shoulder to shoulder
with you. Your VFW is here for you, but most importantly, we need you to help
lead us into 2021, 2031 and beyond as we continue to fight for the benefits and
entitlements that our veterans have earned by serving their country with honor
and courage. You know the VFW has not always been the most inclusive
veterans’ organization, in fact we were downright exclusive. But we have
learned and changed over the years and we are still learning and changing. Our
doors are open to ALL eligible veterans, and today I stand before you and
personally invite all eligible veterans to join our organization. If you are a
member of the VFW and you cannot treat people with dignity and respect, then
I ask you to turn in your membership card and get out. Let there be no doubt in
your minds—if you can’t treat people with dignity and respect regardless of
gender, race, age, sexual orientation or religion, we do not need you in the
Veterans of Foreign Wars.
I could not agree more with the words spoken by Commander-in-Chief Roesch. I am sharing them to assure they are spotlighted here in Wisconsin” says State Commander Jason E. Johns.
“On behalf of the members of Wisconsin’s largest combat veteran service organization, I adopt these words as our own and am proud that they have been spoken by VFW’s national
leadership” adds Johns.