Wow…can you believe that February is already here, and we find ourselves guessing whether the groundhog will see its shadow or not on February 2nd! Two of our country’s greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, were both born in February, and we celebrate their combined birthdays on February 21st which is now known as President’s Day. February is also designated as Black History Month, and NCOA takes time to pause and recognize the contributions and achievements of black active duty and veteran enlisted service members. Two of note are WW2 sailor Dorie Miller and our own 8th MCPOCG Vince Patton. The Coast Guard Reserve will celebrate its 81st birthday on February 19th, 232 years after the “regular” Coast Guard was founded. And, for all of you lovebirds out there, here is a friendly reminder to not forget Valentine Day on the 14th.
One of the most significant programs that NCOA has promoted in years is the WW2 Medallion program. Medallions are available from HQ for a minimum donation of $15 and information on how to order can be found at www.ncoausa.org. This was the last world war that this earth has seen. Today our troops deploy for periods ranging from 6-9 months and then they rotate home. When troops went to war back then, they went for the duration. Many served for years and fought in multiple major campaigns. Having just come out of the Great Depression, men and women went off to war to save humanity. Those on the home front sacrificed through rationing of food and life’s necessities to provide for the war effort. Times were hard back then compared to today and we need to show respect for the “Greatest Generation” for the lessons and values that they imparted in this country.
Today’s young really know nothing about this period of history. This WW2 medallion program gives us a tool to first thank our older veterans, but also provides their surviving families with something to begin a conversation with their children and grandchildren. The phrase Greatest Generation means something, and the meaning is being lost in our society. I not only present the medallions to veterans, but I also give them to families for the express purpose of having an opportunity to teach the younger generation what is meant by the phrase “Greatest Generation.” At best our schools gloss over this period in our history and at worst they ignore it altogether. “You” have an opportunity to make a difference with this program and I urge you to do so while we can.
I and NCOA have been blessed by this program. Since the program started, we have presented 338 medallions. My chapter has received monetary donations and we have also gotten new members who want to be involved with an organization doing this program. I have also gotten pledges from businesses to support future fund raising and even to sponsor the purchase of medallions. I have gotten business support for sponsoring medallions by contacting veteran owned businesses as well as those which have proven to be patriotic in the past. The opportunities are there, now the question is will you join in and help make a difference. You don’t have to belong to a chapter to help with this program. Can I count on you to make this a better country for our future generations?
If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at email@example.com and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,
MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors