STATE FUNERAL BLOG
VFW National Convention Recognizes
State Funeral Board Members and MissionState Funeral
AUG 6, 2018 —
Kansas City, Mo., was the host city for the 119th VFW National Convention, July 21-25, 2018.
A number of distinguished guests and award recipients, as well as President Trump and a number of elected officials from Missouri and Kansas appeared during the weeklong event. In addition to an address by President Trump, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Command Sgt. Maj. William F. Thetford, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen (Founder & President of Give An Hour), Maximilian Uriarte (author of Terminal Lance comic strip about the US Marine Corps life) and Andrew Lumish (the “Good Cemetarian” who restores fallen hero headstones) all received VFW national awards.
We want to especially thank Medal of Honor recipient and State Funeral National Board Member Donald “Doc” Ballard, and Missouri State Chairman and Woody Williams Award recipient Richard LaBrash, for teaming up to actively represent the State Funeral Mission at the Convention.
“Doc” Ballard was honored to stand at the podium in front of the entire assembly to personally promote the State Funeral Mission and objective to petition the President.
Before President Trump spoke, “Doc” Ballard was personally approached and embraced by 4 Star Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. This was an honor that will not be forgotten by both Ballard and LaBrash. After the President spoke, our National Board Member Donald “Doc” Ballard PERSONALLY handed a SPECIAL LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT FROM THREE MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS (our two national Board Members – Don “Doc” Ballard, James “Doc” McCloughan – plus “Woody” Williams).
We greatly appreciate the time and efforts by both “Doc” Ballard and Richard LaBrash for working the floors of the Convention with State Funeral Petitions and promoting the Mission throughout the four days of the Convention.
ONE-HUNDREDTH NATIONAL CONVENTION
THE AMERICAN LEGION
August 28 - 30, 2018
Resolution No. 41: State Funeral For The Last World War II Medal Of Honor Recipient
Submitted by: Convention Committee on National Security
WHEREAS, The time has come to prepare for a final salute to our World War II service members for which 472 Medals of Honor were awarded an only four of those recipients survive today; and
WHEREAS, The opportunity is slipping away for “A funeral not for one man, but to join the hearts and minds of 330 million Americans”; and
WHEREAS, Only three classes of citizens are entitled to a state funeral: a president-elect who dies before being sworn into office, a sitting president or former president of the United States, and any other person designated by the president; and
WHEREAS, In view of the foregoing, we the membership of The American Legion, respectfully petition the president of the United States to designate that the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient lie in state on behalf of the 16 million World War II veterans as a final tribute to their service and sacrifice to achieve world peace in troubled times; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 28, 29, 20, 2018, That The American Legion support a petition to the president of the United States, on behalf of more than 16 million veterans of World War II, to designate a state funeral for the last living Medal of Honor recipient – not for one man, but to join together the hearts of millions of Americans in a unifying event honoring the legacy of all World War II veterans.
Letter from Stephen Watson, President & CEO of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA