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VFW Post 10818 takes home top honors at Mid-Winter Conference

(From left) VFW Department of Wisconsin Commander Gundel Metz, VFW Post 10818 Quartermaster Mitch Cline, Commander Ron Ramos, Senior Vice Commander Russ Donaghue and VFW Past National Commander-in-Chief William A. Thien. Photo courtesy of Commander Ron Ramos

The New Richmond / St. Croix County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial Post 10818 recently attended the VFW Department of Wisconsin Mid-Winter Conference and Red Carpet Awards Banquet Feb. 1-2 at the Ho-Chunk Hotel & Conference Center in Baraboo and brought home top honors.

"It is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the work our members do to get top honors at the Red Carpet Awards," said VFW Commander Ron Ramos. "This is not an award that I received. I'm fortunate enough to be able to have received it on behalf of the over 380 members of our Post. This award is for them."

VFW Post 10818 received the Red Carpet Award Top Post in Division 3 from the VFW Department of Wisconsin.

The Mid-Winter Conference represents the halfway point for the VFW year. Posts from throughout the state gather for committee meetings, an award luncheon for Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy winners and status updates on the mission of the VFW Department of Wisconsin.

"Our members, the veterans in your communities, joined the Armed Forces to serve this great country of ours," Ramos said. "When we leave the service, the desire to continue serving our communities doesn't fade away. The members of VFW Post 10818 joined the VFW to continue serving and giving back to our community, to assist veterans in need and to maintain the fight for veterans benefits that are more than deserved. Awards are secondary due to the impressive and arduous work our members do."

The members of VFW Post 10818 and its Auxiliary have already put in over 3,500 hours of volunteer service in the community from July to February.

Part of the criteria for being a Red Carpet Award recipient includes membership goals. With much of the VFW Post and veterans, in general, getting older, most posts are looking for a way to bring in more young members and making sure that those members have something to be proud of when they join the VFW.

"Being able to continue to grow our membership ensures that we have the capabilities to advocate for veterans benefits. There's power in numbers, and when you go to the state capitol to vote on a bill benefiting veterans, it helps to show that you have over 26,000 veterans standing behind you in support," said Ramos. "We have a tremendous demographic in our Post of the younger generation of warfighters and the older warfighters. All of the Officers in the Post are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. We are mentored by our Vietnam veterans who have paved the way for our benefits. It's up to us younger veterans to continue to fight for the benefits our predecessors have worked so hard to get for us."

The members of VFW Post 10818 are now starting to prepare for a jam-packed summer season of events, parades and conventions.