It has been just a little over a year ago when we attended our last in person Legislative Workshop in Washington, D.C. At that point COVID-19 was just a small blip on most of our radars. Now a year later, more than half a million people have died nationwide. Most of the world has been locked down at some point, some places were locked down twice to attempt to contain all the spreading. It will certainly put 2020 in the record books. Not really the way we would like to be in the record books, but it is one, we will not soon forget. There are many things we have learned from these experiences such as, we can still work together for the common good. Perseverance, although sometimes difficult, can help bring us through these difficult times.
This last year has not only been overwhelming for us personally, but it has also been overwhelming on our National Guard Men and Women as well. I know here in Iowa, we have a large group out on combat missions around the world, as well as missions here on the home front with additional security missions and COVID-19 relief efforts. I also know it is that way in almost every state across our Nation. Our Guard Family is working
overtime this year, which is an exceptionally good reason we as an organization need to work overtime.
Oh yes, that is one more area that has been affected by this crisis, our Associations. We have not been able to have face to face meetings. This is the first time in over 45 years EANGUS has cancelled a National Conference. Most of our states cancelled their State Conferences last year as well. We were unable to have our Area Caucuses or had them by virtual meetings with less attendance. However, that does not mean we have less work to do. In fact, now more than ever, we have more issues to help our National Guard Family with, such as still not being treated equally at the National Level which encompasses many issues. Civilians are asking more questions about what the National Guard is all about more than ever. The National Guard is helping to protect the Nation’s Capital, and we need to continue to help the Guard members now more than ever.
I want you to know the Auxiliary is still hard at work. We are still operating under Article XIII of our Bylaws. We are continuing to conduct business, just in a different way. We have approved our minutes from the Iowa National Conference, as well as from a previous zoom meeting. The Executive Board has also revised and approved our SOP and Awards Program. (All of these documents are included in this Signal). Several of our
Board members attended the EANGUS’s virtual Legislative Workshop in which EANGUS discussed their Legislative priorities. For the year. (All white Papers are attached in this Signal as well). VP Margie Holcomb & I attended a Zoom meeting with the New Mexico Auxiliary team along with Sheila Bandy, our Conference Coordinator. The New Mexico team is hard at work preparing for the National Conference in August. It sounds like they have a lot of exciting events planned for us while we are in Albuquerque. I look forward to continuing to work Side By Side with these ladies and I look forward to seeing everyone in New Mexico, where we will continue to work and accomplish great things for our Auxiliary and our Guard Family!
Proudly Standing Side by Side,
EANGUS Auxiliary President.