1. During the course of this administration to date, I have traveled 4,475 air miles, 11,477 miles by car with approximately 4500 miles yet to travel on my itinerary. 878 Email messages have been received, 338 sent and 367 mailings have been received and 247 mailings sent out. It has been a busy but very productive year thus far.
2. Sr. Vice Commander-in-Chief Alan Loomis and I traveled to Jackson Tennessee where we had the pleasure of installing the officers and presenting the charter to the new Department of Tennessee. I also presented a real son certificate to Waldemar Williams of that Department. We had an afternoon of fellowship with our Tennessee Brothers and managed to take a tour of the Shiloh battlefield while there.
3. On May 18th I traveled to Ft. Myers Florida and installed the officers and issued the charter to the new Department of Florida. Our Brothers in Florida are very active there and have many plans for the future of their Department.
4. Department Secretaries are to submit the name of the top recruiter in their Department with the number of new members recruited to the National Secretary by July 30. The top recruiter in each Department that has a minimum of seven (7) new members that he has recruited will receive a miniature GAR lapel pin. The top recruiter in the Order will receive a walnut plaque honoring him for his outstanding contribution to the Sons. All recommendations for these awards are to be submitted to the National Secretary by the Department Secretaries.
5. The following awards have been issued to Brothers of the Order since the last issue of the Banner.
Certificates of Merit:
Donald Cheney California Efficiency in office Andrew Johnson Maryland Efficiency in office William B. Neal Maryland Efficiency in office Dean Speaks Iowa Camp organization George Flagg Iowa GAR memorial fund James a McCafferty Maryland Efficiency in office Robert J. Eck Maryland Efficiency in office Gene Armistead California Camp organization Charles Davis California Camp organization David R. Curfman Maryland Memorial day events Albert L. McMullin Maryland Patriotic leader Ronald Bair Florida Department organizer Charles Yates Tennessee Department organizer Robert Beverage Maine 6 new members Robert Lennel Maine 5 new members Warren Gentzel Florida Camp organization
Otis Evans, Sr Maine 4 new members Duane Gettings Ohio 3 new members Donald Hazel Ohio 3 new members Donald Meredith Tennessee 3 new members
6. The 130th anniversary of the founding of the GAR was celebrated in Decatur, Ill. which was sponsored by the Department of Illinois. It also included a tour of the GAR hall at Tuscola, Ill. After this event we traveled to Springfield, Ill for the Lincoln Tomb ceremony.
7. We were all saddened by the death of Irene Looker, the National President of the Ladies of the GAR. Irene was extremely dedicated to her work and will be missed. Not only had we traveled together many times but she was a dear friend of mine for many years.
8. On August 1, I will attend the opening ceremonies of the annual encampment of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Richmond, Virginia where I will present greetings from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
9. All Committee reports at the National Encampment will be confined to one side of an 8 1/2 by 11 paper. We must conserve floor time as we have a full schedule for the 11th encampment. Chief of Staff Andrew Johnson will supervise this operation.
10. I want to extend my thanks to all Departments where I have attended functions for the generosity and kindness that was extended to me on my visits. I also would like to extend my thanks to the Departments that had invited me to their functions which I could not attend do to prior commitments. I would also like to extend my thanks to the following Brothers who have represented me at functions around the country: PCnC Elmer Atkinson, PCNC Richard Schlenker, Pcnc Clark Mellor, PcnC George Long, Sr. Vice CnC Alan Loomis, Jr. Vice CnC Richard Orr, Patriotic Instructor David Turpin and Commander Robert E. Bartholf.
11. This has been an outstanding year in new achievements for the Order. A national legal staff has been formed and is functioning. Complete internet participation including a Web site which has had several thousand inquires into the SUVCW. Also most of the National Officers are now on Email which has made communication among national officers more efficient than it has ever been. We have established new Departments and Camps this year and have several more lined up to come on line. The ground work has been laid for the establishment of a National Headquarters at Harrisburg, Pa. Hopefully the work can be completed to present the proposal to the National Membership in the near future. The Chief of Staff position at the National level has been given an active role in conducting national business. This position now supervises all standing and appointed committees. Several other new innovations have been put into place this year. None of this work could have been done without the dedication and expertise of our national officers both appointed and elected. All I can say is "God Bless then All" for this outstanding volunteer work which they are doing for our Order. They get criticized many times but let us not forget they are doing this work for us at the same time they are supporting and raising families.
12. I have had the pleasure of attending events around the country with our Sisters in the Allied Orders. We have worked well together throughout the year and they are fine folks. No one Order is more important than the others. We are all Brothers and Sisters doing the work set aside for us by the GAR and may we always go forward hand in hand.
13. I would like to remind all Brothers to support the GAR Memorial fund supervised by Patriotic Instructor David Turpin and the Sr. Vice CnC fund supervised by Alan Loomis.
14. Encampment committee assignments will be made at a later date and announced at the 115th encampment.
15. I would like to close this last General Order with these thoughts. The GAR was created to die with the passing of its last member. We were created to carry on their work. We will not always agree on issues. We must always work toward solutions in fraternity, charity and loyalty. Even though we may differ we must go forward together should to shoulder in tight formation just as our ancestors did in 61 to 65.
God Bless you all and may peace and harmony always be utmost in our thoughts as we move toward the 21st century.
By Order of:
David R. Medert
David F. Wallace