In only the fourth time in the 100-year history of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the national president is visiting District 14.
Armithea “Sissy” Borel arrived at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport on Friday morning to cheers of delight as she made her way through the “Aisle of Honor” flanked on both the left and the right by American flags held by Ladies Auxiliary members.
The honor is extended only to the national president.
“Look who’s here!” the Louisiana native said as she passed under the tunnel of flags. “Thank you so much for doing this!”
But, Borel is leaving all of the festivities behind her at the airport. She is in District 14, which covers 11 posts from Temple to Marble Falls, to work.
Borel has a rigorous schedule in order to be able to visit as many Veterans of Foreign Wars locations in the district as possible in addition to visiting Fort Hood and the VA hospital in Temple.
“I am hoping to get to visit as many veterans as I can and interact with some wives to share our program and what we have to offer,” Borel said. “Many of our younger members are busy raising their families and we want them to know that we are here for them.”
Borel said growing membership in both the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary is a priority for her as are government military benefits.
“We are fighting in Washington to keep our benefits for our service members and retirees,” Borel said. “We’ve been there when our service members have been overseas, deployed and when they come home. It’s safe to say that we are not going anywhere.”
The VFW has existed for 115 years and the Ladies Auxiliary for 100 years.
Borel came to the area at the request of VFW Ladies Auxiliary State President Melanie McConaghy who lives in Harker Heights. Borel also is a member of VFW Post 3892.
“This gives us a chance to show off our district. She will listen to our veterans and their spouses and take back the issues she hears to the national office,” McConaghy said.
Diane Farmer belongs to VFW Post 30 in Canton and made the trip to Killeen to see Borel.
“I have never gotten to meet her and thought I would tag along. This is a real opportunity,” Farmer said.
The national president also visited the Killeen area in 1988, 1995 and 2003.