It’s July and the start of a new Fiscal Year! Despite COVID and Pandemic Lockdowns, I believe we had a successful year in the Functional Area of Veterans Affairs – making good progress against the 5 established State Goals. For FY 2021- 22, we will continue efforts in those 5 areas – and expand on some – especially around Military Chaplain support, where an extremely critical shortage exists. A quick Summary of those 5 Areas, and focus for the new FY:
VA Voluntary Services: Indiana Knights are now successfully represented at all 5 Supreme Council-supported VA Medical Centers in our state (Indianapolis; Marion; Ft Wayne; Evansville and Crown Point). We now need to proactively participate in the Quarterly VAVS (VA Voluntary Services) Quarterly Committee Meetings to identify areas the Knights of Columbus can assist these local Hospitals/ Clinics and Hoosier Veterans. I know our current serving Reps will represent the Indiana Knights well.
Supporting “Warriors to Lourdes” and “Military Chaplains Scholarship” Funds: Indiana Knights Councils and Assemblies have helped push us over the $3,000 level in each of these funds. For FY 21/ 22, we will continue to raise awareness and funds for these two most worthy efforts.
Repository of Veteran-related Information: During FY 21, I received much information on the VA, Veterans Affairs, and various K of C Council/ Assembly patriotic activities. That information has been saved – and during this new FY, I hope to work with our IT to discover easy methods for this information to be available, On Demand, for use by our Knights. Stay tuned for further developments.
Hoosier Veteran Knights “Living History Program”: FY 21 saw us initiate an Indiana-unique Program to identify Knights who are military Veterans and develop a collection of One Page Biographies that summarizes their military service, as well as the impact of that service on their Faith, Family, and civilian career. A main purpose for these Bio’s is to shine a light on Veterans and their positive contributions to Faith, Families & Communities – and our Knights of Columbus have many great stories to share! Currently we have 22 such Biographies – and will continue working in FY 22 to achieve 100 Veteran Knight Biographies.
I will provide more information in the coming months – but hope the above will provide your Councils ideas for consideration during your upcoming Annual Planning Meetings. We are also working on some new initiatives to support Seminarians who have chosen future service as a Military Chaplain, as well as those from Indiana’s Dioceses currently serving our Armed Forces.
Most of all, I want to say “THANKS” for the support you have provided for Indiana K of C Veterans Affairs during FY 21 – and I look forward to your continued support in the future. I am very honored and proud to serve as our Indiana Veterans Affairs Chairman! (As we say in the US Army/ Marine Corps Field Artillery, “KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY!”)
Steve Lutz PGK/ FDD
State Veterans Affairs Chairman