Greetings Comrades! As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of restructuring to our Department website. The new content structure was proposed over the summer and was given the green light in November for me to implement the changes. Below is a brief explanation of the new structure as well as directions for finding things you may have gone elsewhere to find.
Please keep in mind, there may be some small additional changes being made over the next month as people begin to use this new site and provide feedback. You may also see some places where there is no content except for placeholder text. Those spots will be also be completed in the next few days. If you can't find something on here that you feel should have been included or was mistakenly overlooked in the transition, please provide all feedback to the Dept QM so he can consolidate your responses to me.
There are two groups of customers for the VFW Department of Ohio website. The general public, which includes potential donors, and then our membership. The public side of this site is now tailored for the general public and veterans who are not members. Many of the forms available for download are the public forms that can be found on the National VFW site which pertain to the major programs we administer here in the Department.
Members Only Section
Forms and information which we use internally such as General Orders, Business Documents (Audits, Bonding, Operating Plan, etc.) and Program Administration forms are now available in the Members Only section of the site. This is to ensure sensitive information pertaining to our operations is protected a little better. This structure is also better aligned with industry standards for website operation.
To access the Members Only Section, you may click here or use the "Members Only" link in the Login Menu above. Your Username is your VFW Member Number, and your password is your last name (all lowercase). If you are unable to login, please email the Dept QM with your information so he can add you to the system. Every few months, the membership database is updated using information from National, and it is possible (particularly for new members) that your information has not been included or is incorrect.
When you login, you will see a new, shorter list of links available. This reduction was to help eliminate duplication and confusion, clean up the back-end of the site, and streamline how our information and links were organized. Much of the information you may have used in the past has now been consolidated to the "Members Only" link at the top of that list.
A feature of this site which has been underutilized is the "News" section. Previously, when information was given to the Department to post, a new page was created and on that page was just a link to the PDF document for that information. This practice was a major contributor to the disorganization of the site. The "News" section will be the new location of Department announcements. A new posting will contain as much information as possible to summarize any documents (pdf's) which will also be linked within the article. If there is information which should be retained in the "Members Only" section, it will be specified in the article with directions to finding it when you login. Important / time sensitive articles will also be given a slider on the main page. The sliders are meant to call attention to this important information but are also meant to be time limited. That being said, it would be best to get in the habit of frequenting the "News" section to see any new information.
We understand the transition to this new structure might be a little frustrating but I've worked with Department Leadership, and used the feedback many of you have provided to minimize the impact to operations. We all feel the new content organization will actually be easier to navigate as well since it mirrors the Department Operating plan and allows for modifications from year to year.
Thank you for your patience during all the electronic transitions this year; and please, if you have suggestions, don't hesitate to let leadership know so we can always improve this site not only for you but for our veterans and the public we serve.
Regards, Marco Cuevas, Dept Webmaster
Bronze Legacy Life Member