Diane J. Franz, Auxiliary National Commander

Sharing and caring

As the past few months have exposed many of our wounds,  it has just as easily highlighted our many strengths and what we can do when we truly put our minds to something as an organization. Going forward, we must continue to grow and overcome these adversities.

When we think of what has made us so strong over this past year, two words come to mind: sharing and caring. We are taught these words at a very young age. However, over time, they can lose their meaning or fail to grow as we do.

When I say sharing, I mean we need to begin sharing ideas, methods and strategies. This includes ideas that may seem out of the norm but could perhaps make us more effective. We must begin to share ideas again and not be afraid of changing the status quo. There are methods and strategies that may be working for you and your unit, state, department or community that could be shared throughout the rest of the country to help us move forward as an organization. The world is constantly changing, and we must be able to change with it so we are not left behind.

When I say caring, I mean that in the most literal sense possible. We have to care for each other if we are to continue our mission. DAV and the Auxiliary, from our earliest days, were created for veterans and their families to care for one another. We can be proud to say that we have never stopped caring for one another. However, we need to begin to expand this sense of care by spreading our ideas and finding new ways to inspire one another.

Sharing and caring begin in our hometowns. Our mission has always been community-based, and it starts the second a veteran returns home and needs support. We urge you all to get involved in your local communities’ discussions surrounding veterans or, for many, to begin the conversation. How are your neighbors helping those who protected and fought for their freedom?

Sharing and caring. These two basic ideas will serve us best going forward. They go together so incredibly well. By sharing ideas, methods and strategies, we are continuously caring for one another. On the other hand, can we truly begin to care for someone if we do not listen with open minds and hearts?

We become stronger through sharing and caring, which is why we learn that at such an early age. So we challenge you to share your ideas, methods and strategies with your fellow members and neighbors and to reach out to one another in an act of caring and kindness.