On Veteran's Day 2014, B'nai B'rith International is reminded of the tremendous sacrifice given by military men and women to ensure the freedom of future generations.
This is a long-held position by B'nai B'rith, which has worked closely with the military to ensure that the service men and women, as well as their families, were given the resources necessary to adjust to life after combat.
One such effort was made by the National Service Committee for the Armed Forces and Veterans (S.C.A.F.V.) in October, 1950, in response to the outbreak of war in Korea. The resolution approved by the committee called for:
"...the members of B'nai B'rith and all our fellow citizens to participate actively in civil defense as individuals and as groups in our communities and to support and strengthen our civil defense machinery, local, state and federal."
Put into practice, B'nai B'rith raised funds for active military personnel, veterans and their families, partnering with the USO and Veterans Affairs to ensure the resources were routed where they were needed most.
These projects included sending special kits and supplies to soldiers fighting on the front lines in Korea, sponsoring community farewells for draftees, entertaining GIs in training before deployment, serving patients in 150 veterans hospitals through entertainment and supply distribution, furnishing more than 70,000 tuberculous kits to ill veterans, collecting books and magazines, distributing The National Jewish Monthly and mobilizing volunteer workers in every major city.
In June of 1951, military brass lauded the contributions of B'nai B'rith to the support effort, as covered by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and The National Jewish Monthly:
One particularly impressive statement came from G.C. Marshall, Secretary of Defense:
"I was glad to learn that B’nai B’rith, through its National Service Committee for the Armed Forces and Veterans, has resumed its programs of religious, recreational, and personal services for the benefit of the men and women in our armed force.
"In World War II similar services of B’nai B’rith won the praise of the men and women in uniform, and gained official citations and recognition both of the Army and the Navy.
"I feel confident that the same high standard of service so characteristic of B’nai B’rith will be maintained during the present emergency."
B'nai B'rith continued with the S.C.A.F.V. program, earning additional praise from the military after the conclusion of the conflict.
Via The Jewish Telegraphic Agency on March 6, 1956:
The Veterans Administration has presented a certificate of appreciation to B’nai B’rith for ten years of continuous voluntary service to hospitalized veterans across the nation.
The presentation was made at the annual meeting of the B’nai B’rith National Service, Committee for the Armed Forces and Veterans which took place here yesterday at the Hotel Statler.
Dr. William S. Middleton, chief medical director of the VA, made the presentation to Philip M. Klutznick, world president of B’nai B’rith, in connection with the tenth, anniversary of the organization of the Veterans Administration Voluntary Service to be observed during National VAVS Week, April 15 to 21.
Plans for continued B’nai B’rith participation in volunteer work at military and veterans hospitals, with the Ground Observer Corps, civil defense and the Red Cross were outlined at the sessions of the National Service committee.
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