Post 1638 Auxiliary celebrates 75 years

The Schmitt Manecke Donner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1638 (Merrill) Auxiliary celebrated its 75th anniversary on Aug. 4 at Schult’s Country Inn.

The Auxiliary was chartered on June 7, 1943. This was about one year after the VFW Post 1638 was formed.

As part of the program, Jeopardy was played. Many questions were based on the history/formation of the VFW Auxiliary. Prior to the formation of the VFW and the Auxiliary, there existed the Grand Army of the Republic and its “Auxiliary,” the Woman’s Relief Corp.

The following is a copy of the Woman’s Relief Corp’s official purpose: “To perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic, as we the National Woman’s Relief Corps are their auxiliary and were organized at their request in 1883, and of men who saved the Union in 1861 to 1865; to assist in every practicable way in the preservation and making available for research of documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic and its members; to cooperate in doing honor to all those who have patriotically served our country in any war; to teach patriotism and the duties of citizenship, the true history of our country, and the love and honor of our flag; to oppose every tendency or movement that would weaken loyalty to, or make for the destruction or impairment of, our constitutional Union; and to inculcate and broadly sustain the American principles of representative government, of equal rights, and of impartial justice for all.”

This purpose continues with the formation of the VFW Auxiliary: “For more than 100 years, the VFW Auxiliary has been fulfilling its original objectives by supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide. Our members have volunteered millions of hours, donated millions of dollars and honored hundreds of thousands of veterans. Volunteer with us and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in America.”

Auxiliary members that received special recognition were:
•Marie Skic, 67th Department (State) President (1991-1992)

Members recognized for attaining 50 years of membership:
Joan Lukes, Shirley Olkives, Loretta Seidler (unable to attend), Karen Radloff, Arlys Bourdage (unable to attend), and Ruth Radlinger (unable to attend).

Eligibility requirements for VFW Auxiliary membership:

Members must be citizens of the United States or a United States National, and at least 16 years old.

Those eligible are: spouses, surviving spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren or siblings of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Those eligible for membership in the VFW are those that have received a campaign medal for overseas service; have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea; or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay.

Step- and adopted parents, children, siblings (and half-siblings), grandparents and grandchildren are considered the same as biological parents, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren and may join the VFW Auxiliary under their VFW-eligible veteran.

If you are interested in joining the VFW Auxiliary, contact Alicia Weix at 715-370-2096 or Tracy Jopek at 715-302-8896.

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