It has been a busy twenty-two months since our 2010 National Reunion in Anderson, South Carolina where you honored me by electing me as Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief of our beloved Sons of Confederate Veterans. As we have moved further into the Sesquicentennial of the war so bravely fought by our ancestors, we also have been faced by increased assaults on our Southern heritage around the country, distortions of our history and outright lies about our ancestors.It has been my honor to be on the front lines of many of these struggles and to help plot our course for the future.
Constitutionally, my duties are to be responsible for recruiting and retention of our membership. This is a duty that I have taken very seriously and have worked diligently to address that charge. We have conducted an electronic and print media-recruiting program that, in the words of Executive Director Ben Sewell, “has been the most successful in our history” and left our Headquarters “swamped” with responses from those seeking information on the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Also, at my direction, we have recently mailed letters from our National Headquarters to every member that did not renew their memberships this year, not only to attempt to recover them as members but to ask their feedback about why they did not renew so that those reasons might be addressed in the future.
To assist all of our Camps and individual members with recruiting, I have also negotiated discounted memberships to both Ancestry.com and Fold3 that have the added benefit of returning a percentage of that cost directly to the SCV.
Also, because of the direct relationship with recruiting and retention, I have initiated a leadership training and development program that is unprecedented in the SCV. To date we have held National Leadership Workshops in Chickamauga, Georgia, Burlington, North Carolina and Monroe, Louisiana featuring a variety of lectures from nationally recognized SCV leaders. Nearly 200 of our members have attended these conferences and several have found them of such benefit that they have attended all three. If I am favored with re-election we have already initiated planning for next year’s schedule; Colorado Springs, Colorado in August, Richmond, Virginia in November and Foley, Alabama in March.
Consideration of any candidate for any office should begin with that candidate’s record of service and VISION for the future. Much has been accomplished but much remains to be done and especially with the challenge of VISION 2016 to raise our membership to 50,000 by that date, the role of the Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief is of even more importance. Serving as you Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief is a great HONOR but it is not an HONORARY position. It requires boundless energy and hard work. It is for that reason after receiving the blessings from my wife, Cassie, my daughter, Georgianah and my son, William that I humbly ask your support for re-election to my post, that I may continue to work for the benefit of our organization in the challenging years to come. Please visit www.barrowscv.net or call me if you have any questions
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans