Ellen L. Timmerman, Auxiliary National Commander

Change is inevitable

As members of the Auxiliary, one of  our primary roles is to help move the organization forward and provide the foundation necessary for future generations to have success.

This requires accepting change—even if there are growing pains at first. We need to be open to suggestions and new ideas instead of stating, “We’ve always done it this way.”

For the Auxiliary to continue to live up to and maximize our core values of comradeship, loyalty, devotion and service, we must willingly take this challenge on. This will also help us reach our full potential as advocates for the well-being of disabled veterans and their families.

For the Auxiliary to get the most out of our membership, legislative goals, youth involvement and voluntary service, we must remain ahead of the curve and display a willingness to adapt to an ever-changing veteran community.

Last year, DAV’s caregiver initiative proved to be a positive change for the Auxiliary. It has brought more attention to the needs of caregivers and given us the opportunity to be more involved with them.

Also this past year, our strategic plan was revisited and minor changes were made for the betterment of the Auxiliary and the patriots we serve. I strongly urge all of you to review our strategic plan, currently posted under Publications in the Membership portion of auxiliary.dav.org. We deal with changes in our personal lives, and our organization is no different.

Creating change can also come down to us, as individuals, getting outside our comfort zones. It could be embracing new technology and communication techniques to reach Auxiliary members or help recruit new members. Maybe it’s being more vocal on social media about your Auxiliary unit’s activities or eligibility criteria. Perhaps it’s going to your local media outlets to promote our mission, a unit event or even a volunteer opportunity.

I want to encourage all of you to be ready for changes and prepared for challenges that may come our way. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, because everyone needs to understand why the changes are necessary.

Auxiliary members need to be proactive and keep the states and units moving forward. I challenge all of us to eagerly seek out new ideas and initiatives to further our cause. Do not be afraid to bring these thoughts to the attention of your local leaders, as they will listen.