IMPORTANT VFW UPDATE: YOUR VOICE HAS BEEN HEARD.
The Texas Council of Clubs and Independents and its member clubs would like to thank Texas State Commander King of the VFW and his colleagues for agreeing to meet with TCOC&I representatives multiple times over the last two weeks. In those meetings, VFW representatives listened to the concerns addressed in a statement released by TCOC&I on 09 October 2019 in response to the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars’ October 2019 General Orders. On October 12, 2019, TCOC&I representatives were able to highlight the negative impact wholesale bans on the motorcycle community would have on VFW Posts across the State while also perpetuating the stigma contributing to the negative profiling of the Veteran and motorcycling community statewide. This meeting was an open dialogue and included the history of TCOC&I, the goals of TCOC&I both legislatively and in safety awareness, and the desire for TCOC&I to continue productive relationships with the VFW across Texas. Both parties left the meeting with a clearly defined path in which to achieve that goal. On October 23, 2019, Texas State Commander King agreed to a final meeting in which he and TCOC&I representative Paul Landers were able to confirm that the “actions of a few should not impact the rights of the whole”. During this meeting, Texas State Commander King agreed to amend the October 2019 General Orders in a fashion that would NOT exclude MCs and 1% clubs from VFW Posts.
In Texas State Commander King’s words, “The Texas VFW leadership met with representatives of the Texas Council of Clubs & Independents about General Order #2 issued October 2019 and received input from them that further clarification was requested to separate “Gangs” from MC’s. Motorcycle Clubs are Not Street Gangs. This was a very informative meeting with all attending sharing valuable information concerning the groups. We all agreed that our organizations did many good things for the communities in their areas. We all agreed that respect for one another is vital. As the original General Order stated, posts will have the right to permit the groups they have good working relationships with on their property. Notice that this means they will have the right to wear their patch as well if the post allows it. We all agreed to police ourselves. We believe that by working together we can strengthen our community involvement as many riders are in fact veterans themselves.
We hope this clears up the situation concerning MG’S and the VFW in Texas.”
The Texas Council of Clubs & Independents encourages our Veterans, Veterans MCs, and MCs that utilize VFW Posts to continue as you have in years past with the understanding that a healthy relationship with your local VFW will positively impact the motorcycle community’s relationships with VFW Posts statewide.
Texas Council of Clubs & Independents
Texas Coalition of Independent Riders