By virtue of being veterans who have served their country in its time of greatest need, the fun-loving, hard-working Voyageurs Militaire maintain a strong commitment to the American way of life. Americanism projects, respect for the flag, Constitution, Law and Order and the proven willingness to defend these principles is evident in the day-to-day activities of members of our society.
CHARLES W. ARDERY MEMORIAL CHILD WELFARE TRUST FUND
The primary function of the Charles W. Ardery Trust Fund is to provide reimbursements of funds expended by a Voiture Locale or a Grande Voiture in meeting the emergent needs of children 17 years of age or younger. Emergent is defined as: A situation which has developed of a serious nature demanding prompt attention." This situation may arise out of natural disasters, i.e., floods, tornadoes, hurricane, fire, etc. Emergent cases are given prime consideration and are undertaken by the Local Voiture where established agencies, (Red Cross, churches, welfare, etc.), are unable to move rapidly or cannot act at all. However, this aid is not intended to replace or supplement that assistance which may be available through established agencies.
GEORGE B. BOLAND NURSES TRAINING SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FUND
The Boland Nurses Scholarship Trust was founded to provide additional scholarship support to those Voitures Locale who have exhausted their scholarship funds but who still have qualified individuals applying for scholarships. The trust is administered by Voiture Nationale, and all determinations regarding the awarding of scholarship grants are made by the Boland Trust Committee consisting of three (3) members of La Societe. Only those Voitures Locale who have an official Nurses Training Program in place may apply to the Boland Trust for further assistance, as the Trust Fund is intended as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, a local nurses training program.
BOX CAR ASSOCIATION
The National Box Car Association (NBCA) is an independent association within the Forty & Eight which raises funds by selling Crew or Associate Membership Cards. All funds raised by the Association are used within the year they are obtained. The National Box Car Association supports several special projects at Promenade Nationale (National Convention). Each year, a party for special children is planned at the host city. These special children and their escorts are treated to lunch, train rides and entertainment provided by HOBO Clowns and bands. The entire cost of this party is paid by the NBCA from the funds collected in their annual membership drive. Another project at Promenade Nationale, is a monetary donation made to the local VAVS Hospital or Clinic. This contribution usually goes to the Patient Services area. The NBCA also contributes large amounts to the various programs of Voiture Nationale (National Headquarters), such as the Boland Nurses Training Trust Fund and the Charles Ardery Child Welfare Trust Fund. Monies are also given to the other programs which may require assistance, such as the Membership Committee, Forty & Eighter Magazine, Law Officer of the Year Program and many others.
As one of their ongoing programs, the Voyageurs Militaire offer continuing support of the publication, "The Carville Star," which disseminates the information regarding the research into Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) taking place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There they have been successful in isolating, controlling and soon, through their research, the development of a vaccine to prevent Hansen's Disease. "The Star" is published at the former United States Public Health Service Hospital located in Carville, Louisiana. This patient-published publication carries the research works of not only this center, but those of the rest of the world, and is translated into and forwarded to 128 countries in addition to a circulation of more than 60,000 in the United States. The FORTY & EIGHT provides and maintains all the equipment necessary for the publication and distribution of this magazine, from the modern four color offset presses to the latest computer typesetting and addressing systems. We are justly proud of our ability to provide over ninety percent of the funding for this project.
The Voyageurs Militaire (Military Travelers) founded a Child Welfare Program in 1923 to ease the pain and suffering of those children whose fathers never returned or who were unable to care for their needs after the "Big War." Today, this program has grown to include all children with emergent needs, and our efforts amount to over eight millions of dollars annually.
The Forty and Eight General's Club was formed in 1973. Its original purpose was to honor and dignify the profession of law enforcement. Funds generated by the annual dues in this elite club, underwrite the expenses of the Outstanding Law Officer of the Year program. In so doing, the General's Club affords each annual Outstanding Law Officer of the Year award recipient, the opportunity to attend Promenade Nationale, as a guest of the Forty and Eight.
In recent years, the Club has taken on additional fiscal responsibilities associated with the Americanism Award program. For nearly 40 years, the General's Club has been a very important and select element within the Forty and Eight.
In 1955, the Voyageurs Militaire, recognizing the shortage of Registered Nurses, adopted a program to provide financial assistance, in the form of scholarships, to those individuals who enrolled for this training. With 2,131 students receiving over $1,100,000 in scholarships this past year, the FORTY & EIGHT has granted in excess of $20,000,000 and graduated over 23,000 Registered Nurses since the inception of this program.
NATIONAL PAST CHEF DE GARE CLUB
The object of the organization of the club are as follows; To honor, thru membership, those voyagers who have served their Voiture Locale and/or Grand Voiture as Chef De Gare. To directly support the Forty & Eighter Magazine with a $25,000.00 per year donation derived from membership dues, memorial donations, gifts and other special fund raising projects that the club may undertake. To Increase comradery between club members who have common bonds, and who are "Etiam Servans". (Still Serving)
The purpose of the National POW/MIA Program is to raise funds in Honor of the Servicemen & Women who were Prisoners of War, or are considered Missing in Action while serving in the defense of the United States of America, or its allies during times of armed conflict. The funds are raised to facilitate the formation and continuance of a Scholarship Trust Fund for the direct descendants of verifiable POW/MIA Servicemen and Women. Scholarships are limited to the Veteran, the Spouse of the veteran, children, and grandchildren of the veteran.
Our Ritual & Manual of Ceremonies is our guide for all ceremonies. Read it, study it and learn to use it properly. It is recommended that each Grande Voiture and Voiture Locale have a Ritual Committee. Their duties should be to study thoroughly the Ritual & Manual of Ceremonies and offer suggestions to improve it to the Permanent Ritual Committee for its consideration and recommendation to the Promenade Nationale. We believe this committee could and should encourage a more proficient use of our Ritual. The Committee should encourage all those using the Ritual to commit their parts to memory. It might be well for this committee to conduct classes for this purpose.
(VAVS) VETERANS AFFAIRS VOLUNTARY SERVICE
The Forty & Eight, as are most Veterans Organizations, is an active member and participant in the VAVS program. As part of this program, Voyageurs (called Deputy Representatives) visit the Veteran Administration Medical Centers on a regular basis, where they give comfort and assistance to, or just visit with, the hospitalized veterans. The Forty & Eight has adopted an additional program for these veterans, called "Keep Those Wheelchairs Rolling." Under this program, the VAVS Representative writes a brief letter outlining a "need" of the patients. These "needs" may cover a project, equipment or comfort and convenience items needed by the hospitalized veterans. The entries are then judged on the need and benefit to the patients, and those selected receive the item(s) requested, courtesy of the National Box Car Association.
This is a program that is intended to be a measure of a Voiture Locale's activities and member involvement. It is a measure of the Voiture as a unit.It is intended to measure the percentage of participation on the part of individual Voitures. In the simplest of terms, the higher the percentage the better the program.
Some of the activities that can be measured by the program, include the following, but not limited to these.
* A Brunch, Dinner, Bar-B-Q.
* Dance, Kids Party, Flag Respect Demonstration
* VA Activity, Party for Patients
* Veterans Day/Memorial Day Activity
* Any Veterans Organization meeting the Voiture was in attendance.
* All Locale Promenades/Cheminots
* Grande Events
Any activity the Voiture sponcers and any that a quorum of the Voiture is in attendance.
The Youth Sports Program was established in 1994. Through this program, the 40/8 provides financial assistance in the form of grants to individual athletes or teams who lack the funds required to attend and participate in amateur sports programs. This program encompasses all amateur sports programs for all youths from 7 to 20 years of age.