V.F.W. Commander-in-Chief to conduct a meet-and-greet
By Ginger Brashinger Correspondent April 27, 2014 9:32PM
VFW National Commander-in-Chief William "Bill" Thien. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 29, 2014 6:29AM
National V.F.W. Commander-in-Chief William “Bill” Thien will visit twenty V.F.W. posts in Illinois, including about a dozen in the Chicago area.
Thien will conduct a “meet-and-greet” with V.F.W. members across the state for four days, Randi Law, V.F.W. communications manager at the National Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, said.
“He likes to visit posts as schedule permits to see what’s going on at the grass roots level,” Law said.
Thien is scheduled to visit from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Lemont 22 Honor Post 5819, from 11 a.m. to noon at Bremen Post 2791 in Tinley Park and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Lockport Post 5788 on May 1.
Thien will make an unscheduled stop from 1:30 to 2 p.m. May 1 at New Lenox Post 9545 at the request of Ceil Barclay, Department Legislative Chairman, Illinois, VFW/Ladies Auxiliary.
Barclay said she will introduce Thien to Dancer, the Barclay family’s Certified Therapy Dog and Certified Good Citizen Canine for our Veterans. Dancer began working with hospitalized veterans in December.
Thien is a U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran from Georgetown, Indiana, according to the National V.F.W. website. He was elected National Commander in July, 2013.
Law said Thien will discuss veterans’ concerns at his visit to each post.
Bremen Post 2791 incoming Commander Fred Cagle said he knows Thien “has done a great job” since assuming his position.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the commander,” Cagle said. “I have several questions for him. I’d like to see if we can advertise the V.F.W. on television and radio so we can get the word out (and) get some young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to join us.”
Thien’s visit will coincide with Loyalty Day, a day when V.F.W. posts annually retire colors and place new flags at veterans’ graves, Cagle said.
He said members of Bremen Post 2791 will visit three cemeteries in the area for Loyalty Day before returning to the post to meet Thien.