Since 1961, the MOC has itself received support in all its activities from its own ladies auxiliary. Granted the authority to form an auxiliary by the delegates to the 1960 VFW National Encampment, the MOC set about establishing auxiliaries at the Pup Tent, Grand, and Supreme levels. Representatives of these units met in Miami at the 1961 Supreme Encampment. Here the Supreme Auxiliary was instituted and Dorothy Briner was elected as the first Supreme President.
Although MOC and ladies auxiliary members enjoy all Cootie activities - from supporting the National Home to visiting hospitalized veterans to helping out the VFW - members also engage in many activities that are designed solely for their entertainment. These include the method by which they govern their meetings and various procedures followed within them. To describe these methods and some of the other ways Cooties have fun would violate their bylaws, but it is possible to provide a glimpse of how Cooties sometimes have fun in public.
Picture Main Street in a Midwestern city of about 25,000 residents on a sunny Saturday morning in June. The sidewalks are crowded with shoppers, and traffic on the two-lane thoroughfare is almost bumper to bumper. Three men in Cootie uniforms, the lights on their vests winking, are sauntering down the sidewalk in front of the city's largest department store.
Suddenly, one of the men glances heavenward and mumbles, "Oh, my God." The other two look upward. As if they are watching the descent of a falling leaf, all three slowly lower their heads until they are staring at the ground. Taking small manuals from their hip pockets, the three sit down in a circle on the sidewalk, legs crossed and feet tucked under. Opening the manuals, they begin reading the service for a dead Cootie (most of it ad libbed as they go along).
Gradually a crowd gathers around the men, some of it overflowing into the street. As the crowd grows and traffic comes almost to a standstill, two policemen approach to determine the cause of the blockage.
One of the officers glances at the seated trio, then informs them, "You've got three minutes to get him planted, then move on." As a knowledgeable member of the VFW, the officer has quickly sized up the situation. Shaking his head, the officer mutters, "Crazy Cooties," and walks back to his partner.
Attracted by this offbeat brand of humor and the Cooties' light-hearted approach to problem-solving, at present there are about 37,000 Cooties in 1,000 Pup tents. Membership is open to members in good standing in the VFW who have displayed their willingness to work for the parent organization. The Military Order of the Cootie Auxiliary (MOCA) draws its membership from the ranks of women eighteen and older who have been active members of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for at least six months and who are the wife, widow, sister, half-sister, daughter, foster daughter, or granddaughter of an active VFW member in good standing. Today there are approximately 17,000 auxiliary members contained in 597 Pup Tents.
© VFW 1998 . Created by Lynn - Last Updated 29 Dec 2001