Greetings Brother and Sisters of Region 1D.
As 2021 nears the end, I want to wish each and every one of you a safe and joyous holiday season.
We have been through yet another challenging year with all the COVID, variant, and social issues that have affected each and everyone of us in some way, shape, or form. But, maybe, now is the time, not just because of the holidays, but the time to reflect and attempt to put aside those negative and bad experiences and remember all the good. We can recall the things we are thankful for, the laughter, the smiles, the friendships, and the knowledge that these will bring better times for all.
Just a few weeks ago, we all honored our Veterans on November 11. My thoughts were what a great time of the year to not only honor the brave men and women who have unconditionally protected our country, but to also give them a special thank you for protecting our freedom.
We may not know them all, but we sure do owe them all.
In our Region, in Eaton Rapids, near Lansing, setting on 472 acres, is the VFW National Children’s home. It is a 42 single family home complex with a community center, gym, child care facility, guest lodge, chapel, and administrative buildings. The National Home has evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and Veteran families.
The home offers that “hometown” community support with case managers who help residents set and accomplish major life goals as they transition from the military life to civilian life. These services and the housing is at no cost to the families as the homes are solely supported from private donors and organizations.
In 2006, the Steven Yokich Home was built. It was the first duplex and first ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant house built on the complex and was sponsored by the UAW Veterans Affairs Department. Since then, the home’s total maintenance and utilities are covered by the members, friends, and participants of the Region 1D Annual Golf Tournament at Black Lake.
So, when the complex needed a new truck to plow and maintain the 2 ½ miles of roads, they turned to the UAW and Region 1D for help. As always, the membership kicked into gear. UAW Local Union 598 leadership and membership took the lead and proudly built a plow truck for purchase by the Home. The local included it in their November dedication and recognition of the “Veteran of the Month,” along with honoring all 2021 recipients at the plant. I say, that’s quite a send off from our membership to the Children’s National Home.
Thank you to all our Veterans and to Local 598’s membership and leadership, and all the other locals that support the building of the best truck in the world.