COVID-19 Virus Concerns
Several issues to update you on. (Updated 14 August 2020)
1. TABC and Governor Abbotts Executive Order closing all establishments with a 51% designation. State Commander Shawver and I have been in communications with the TABC regarding how enforcement of this and that being denied access to our multiuse facilities has hampered the primary mission of the VFW. Based off of our community service reports they are in agreement and are working on a variance that would allow us to reopen our Posts as long as the bar portion remains closed down. Have patience this is having to go up and down both the political and legal chains within the State of Texas.
2. We have had at least one Post that has violated the Governors Special Order by saying they were closed but were having a meeting with the bartender volunteering to serve drinks. This was happening several times a week. That Post has now been placed on suspension and we are in the process of determining what officers will be removed and who will face disciplinary action as it has been determined that this was an intentional act with blatant disregard by certain officers and members of the Post and Auxiliary with an attitude of “You cant tell us what to do”.
3. We had one Post that tried to sell or donate their Post building or property without following the requirements of Section 709. Section 709 states that every member of Post including the State Commander must be notified of the proposal to sell or donate the property and that at the next meeting a vote will be taken. Section 709 also requires the that the Post must not only notify but must also receive permission from the State Commander who decides if the Post is acting in the best interest of the VFW according to the articles of incorporation of the Post and the National By-Laws. Yes, there are legal repercussions for failing to do so that could leave each member of the Post legally liable. Just do the right thing by following the By-Laws and then there will be no issues.
4. Executive Order #1 from National Commander-in-Chief Hal Roesch has authorized every Post, District and Department to use electronic means to conduct their meetings. This means that those Posts who are refusing to meet no longer have an excuse for not meeting at least monthly. The question has been asked about quorum, as long as you meet the quorum established for your Post or District whether in physical attendance or via the preferred platform of Zoom then the quorum counts and business can be transacted.
5. We have no idea when the restrictions we are working under due to COVID-19 will be lifted so please know that the State Commanders and I are encouraged by the creativity and outside the box thinking that Posts are doing to adapt, overcome and improvise to the current situation. I know for may of us our Post funds are getting low if not already depleted. My own Post is in serious jeopardy as well. As you continue to think outside the Box please document it and share with us so we can advertise it as a way of helping other Posts who could use your idea to sustain if not thrive until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
As stated before, Due to an Abundance of Caution, we will be following the direction of our National, Department Directives and more importantly for our community the implementation of the City and County Declaration of Health Emergencies (see Attachments) because of the current situation of this COVID-19 Virus.
The city is shutting down many events and even discouraging gathering of more than 50 people or more than 10 people in social gatherings this includes VFW Canteens (bars) and Private Clubs. This is only for San Antonio until March 25, 2020 (See City Declaration above) unless extended.
Bexar County did not close Bars but restricts regathering closely as the city (see Bexar County Order above) until June 16, 2020. So said, we (VFW) need to follow suit for the protection of our members and their families.
Therefore the need to minimize unnecessary exposure is paramount.
Post Commanders need to evaluate Post functions very closely and act accordingly.
Please follow the instructions of our Medical Experts and I am very confident that we will prevail and get pass this Pandemic to fight another day. Thanks
See Attachment below
Rolando S. Webber, Commander
TX VFW District 20
Update to travel ban for essential/non-essential travel and VFW HQ and DC office operating procedures.
Effective immediately all non-essential travel through May 10, 2020 has been cancelled. This includes national representative travel, the upcoming NVS Training May 4 – 8 in King of Prussia, PA, and the suspension of the Commander’s in Chief seminar May 2 – 8, 2020 in Jamaica. We are working now with the resort to determine the possibility of rescheduling the CinC’s trip in September. More to come on this trip as we continue to work with VTS and the resort.
So you know, we have put in place a contingency plan for our employees effective today. We’ve expanded our flexibility of telework to many employees of the VFW National Headquarters and Washington DC office for the immediate future as a precautionary response to COVID-19 pandemic. As this situation continues to progress, we will continue to address non-essential and essential travel.
We’ve attached guidance for all departments along with an Executive Order from the Commander-in-Chief. The Executive Order will remain in place until rescinded.
As America’s largest combat organization, the health and well-being of our members, partners, associates and communities is our top priority. The VFW has a job to do and a solemn promise to keep those veterans, service members, and their families for which we work. Now more than ever we must find solutions in the face of adversity and strive to meet the needs of those who rely on the vital services we provide.
Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.
Kevin C. Jones
VFW National Headquarters
As a result of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the National Organization has suspended all non-essential travel effective immediately through April 11. The non-essential travel includes all national representative travel, all employee travel to miscellaneous department functions and other events. This recent decision includes the cancellation of the Sr Vice Commander/Adjutant Conference, April 2-5. Mission essential travel to maintain continuity of operations for the national organization will continue.
I’ve attached is a copy of the COVID – 19 information provided to all VFW employees along with a memo to Departments concerning how they are to proceed within their Departments. We highly encourage those Departments continue to evaluate all aspects of this virus as it pertains to their members who will be attending upcoming conferences. As the POTUS mentioned last evening, everyone needs to rethink attending large gatherings.
We’ll continue to provide updates as this situation continues to evolve.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Kevin C. Jones
VFW National Headquarters