93rd FRA/88th LAFRA National Convention (2021)

The 2021 FRA / LAFRA National conventions were hosted by the Northwest Region, Fleet Reserve Assn October 2 – 9, 2021 at the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Rd, Spokane Valley, Washington.

A special thanks to Branch 38 Shipmates Baldwin, McCully, and Grisham for all the help they gave us all week in the Hospitality Room.  And thank you to Shipmates Miller and Hundley from Branch 97, Whidbey Island, and Convention Chair PRPNW Lazzaretti for their help in the evenings.  Other shipmates from the Northwest Region filled in when they were needed.  You all made the operation of that endeavor successful.

We had four delegates to the convention treated at the Multi-Care Valley Hospital, one receiving stitches in his head for a fall in his shower, one fell and injured his wrist/hand and wore a brace for the rest of the convention.  Two were hospitalized for over a week with medical issues.  They are both home now and doing fine.

This shows the need for informing the local medical and emergency facilities when the FRA/LAFRA conventions are held in their locale.  Our group is ageing, and medical care should be taken into consideration when planning the conventions for the delegates’ safety.

National FRA Officers elected and installed are:
National President                James Campbell
National VPresident             Robby Robbins
Nat’l Exec Director              Chris Slawinski

An additional duty was added to the national Budget and Finance Committee, i.e. Audit.  The committee will now be the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee.  This committee’s chair was approved to be the Jr Past National President of the FRA since they have the necessary expertise from being involved in the budgeting and financials during their terms as National Vice, and National President.

There will no longer be a permanent “Director of Veterans Services” because the FRA has qualified Veterans Service Officers throughout the regions.  The FRA staff will serve as the advisors to the committee which will be chaired by an accredited VSO and contain one member from each region.

The Americanism-Patriotism Essay Contest has seven themes that shall be used on a rotating basis.  The Committee recommended that the themes be revised and updated to the students of the 21st Century.  For example: “What My Vote Will Mean to Me” will now be “What the Vote Will Mean to Me”.  The justification for this is that the school systems are now hosting 1st generation Americans, and soon to become Nationalized American Citizens.  This may also give the American students, who’s generations span 200+ years an opportunity to re-evaluate their heritage.

Bouquet presented to PRPNW Peg Burke for her work on the 2021 convention.