Diane J. Franz, Auxiliary National Commander

Family is crucial this time of year

As the holiday season begins, I would be remiss if I were not to mention the uniquely strange time we are all experiencing. For the first time for many, we may be experiencing the holidays alone or with a much smaller number of family and friends at the dinner table.

However, for some, this year’s isolation may have been closer to their normal, everyday lives. I ask you to keep in mind your neighbors who may not have family and loved ones, and especially hold your DAV and Auxiliary family members in your thoughts this holiday season. Especially this year, we should all be making efforts to support one another more than ever. We are all family, connected across time and space by a bond of commitment to honoring sacrifice. Don’t let distance weaken this bond.

This year has also brought unique circumstances around our elections; the way we vote may forever be different. Regardless of how you cast your ballot this year, I urge our members and volunteers to make the decision that is best for you and your well-being.

I also want to mention to everyone that paying attention to your local politics is also important, now and in every election to come. It should be a priority for all of our members to know who we’re voting for and why, if not because it’s our civic duty, then because we should always remember the brave men and women who fought and continue to fight for our right to vote in a democracy. Many of our members today sacrificed so much for us to be able to vote, and we would be doing them a disservice by not becoming civically aware.

As we honor this sacrifice on Nov. 11, Veterans Day should carry a different weight. Again, many of us will not be able to be with our loved ones because of their service overseas, social distancing or a number of other reasons.

I implore you to take time to remember and keep those in mind who are fighting for our freedoms (including the right to vote) and who keep us safe in a country we all love so much.

I want to wish everyone a happy Veterans Day and happy holidays.