The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States finalized their 118th National Convention. The convention was concluded with the election of Keith Harman from Delphos, Ohio, as the new national commander.
Harman had served in the forces (U.S. Army) from the year 1967 to 1969, in his service he had a chance to service in Vietnam as a crew chief and door gunner on the Huey helicopters.
In his acceptance speech, Harman spoke passionately of the close to 1.7 million members of VFW and its Auxiliary, he even cited the members’ camaraderie and commitment as the driving force that has helped the organization to be very successful. He praised the members for upholding the values of the organization, walking the talk and for living the fear of having any loved one downrange. He praised the VFW stand of taking care of veterans, service members and their family members.
The new national commander told the crowd that he was much honored to be given a chance to lead the organization.
Harman who has been a member of the organization for more than 34 years, belongs to the VFW Post 3035 based in Delphos, Ohio. In the past he served in elected and appointed positions at the Post, District and Department (state) levels, and during that time he managed to achieve All-American status during his year as the commander of the VFW Department in Ohio in 2004.
Throughout his speech he constantly stressed on the importance of the organizations’ work to those it currently serves, and also praised the existing service members’ resolve and commitment.
The national commander also talked the recent findings he made during a fact finding trip he made to the Southeast Asia. Tis was the first trip he was making returning to Vietnam after he had served in the military for 49 years in the country. It was his first return to Vietnam after ending his military service there 49 years prior. He was keen to note the great dedication and commitment to America’s Full Accounting Mission of those associated with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and reiterated the VFW’s commitment to the program.
He will be leading the organization under the theme Service not Self. During his term as the national commander, Harman will have to log thousands of miles across the country and abroad in efforts to promote the veterans’ issues and also advocate for a better quality of life programs for the veterans, service members and their families.
The other new officials elected were Senior Vice Commander Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence, of Alamogordo, N.M., and Junior Vice Commander William J. “Doc” Schmitz of Corning, N.Y.