2019-2020 Americanism Report

The American Legion Department of Colorado

2019-2020 Community Service Report

Bill Hartless Selected as

Post Commander of the Year

Commander Dean Noechel has announced that Canon City Post 13 Commander Bill Hartless has been selected as the 2019-2020 Post Commander of the year. Bill will receive a special plaque honoring his selection to be presented at a future date. Following is the citation.

William Hartless Canon City Post 13

 In recognition of your outstanding leadership as Post Commander of Wray McKinstry Post 13, Canon City, Colorado. Your dedication to the aims and purposes of The American Legion, your community and our Veterans is unwavering. Commander Hartless is a very active member of his Post and the community, ensuring that everyone knows about The American Legion and what we do for Veterans Assistance, Americanism, Children & Youth and Strong National Defense. Commander Hartless led the charge of refurbishing the Post home inside and out, participated in and executed the Post’s 100th Centennial Celebration and participated in numerous Honor Flights for our WWII and Korean War Hero’s. Commander Hartless also spearheaded the adoption of the Abbey cemetery to ensure that no Veteran is ever forgotten. Commander Bill Hartless is leading the way in Re-Igniting Patriotism.

Thank You for “Re-Igniting Patriotism” in Canon City, Colorado.

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American Legion National Commander starts 100-mile journey

American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford stepped off on the 100 Miles for Hope virtual challenge in support of The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation. Learn more about how to participate at https://www.legion.org/100miles

Message from the National Commander

The Other Virus

There is a virus in America that could cause more long-term destruction than COVID-19. Just as the novel coronavirus can quickly devastate a healthy body this other virus threatens lives, neighborhoods and infrastructures. No person or place is truly safe. It can embed itself inside a peaceful protest and turn it into a nightmare of violent rioting and retribution. It turns Americans against Americans. This virus is called anarchy.

Perhaps no one should be more concerned about this virus than those who justly fight for civil rights and equality. Their cause has been hijacked. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor receive only occasional mentions on the evening news while footage of statue-toppling, tear gas and batons dominates. One network’s description of a live event will usually have the opposite perspective of another network. Division is a symptom of this virus and its cancer has reached a stage unseen since the Civil War. The patient is quickly approaching stage 4.

At our 1962 National Convention, American Legion delegates defined “Americanism” in such an eloquent manner that we still adhere to it. It stated that the essence of Americanism is class, religious and racial tolerance. Written as if it were a vaccine against our current anarchy virus, it further states “law and order are essential to the preservation of Americanism while lawlessness and violence are distinctly un-American.”

That’s worth repeating. “Lawlessness and violence are distinctly un-American.” Peaceful protests against racism are just, admirable and constitutionally protected. It’s ok if protests make people feel uncomfortable. A good protest is supposed to do that. But many people feel unsafe. This is what distinguishes protestors from anarchists and rioters.

Whether generated from the extreme left or the extreme right, the cracked skulls and burning buildings don’t care. They are damaged, sometimes permanently.

Instead of fighting this virus like good scientists, public officials are failing us. People are being killed while local, state and federal agencies fight over jurisdiction. Add partisan politics to the growing list of symptoms.

Most police officers are brave and honorable. Some are not and those who abuse their positions should be held accountable. In the fog of a riot, it is sometimes difficult for officers to distinguish between a peaceful protestor and a violent anarchist. Again, police officers who commit crimes should be prosecuted. Same with a brick-throwing anarchist.

Federal agents are charged with enforcing federal law and protecting federal property. State and local law enforcement officers have parallel responsibilities in their respective areas. Mayors, governors and the federal government must work as one when it comes to public safety. Agencies at every level must collaborate. People are dying. The enemy is not each other. It’s the violent anarchist. Unity is the cure.

For God and country,

James W. “Bill” Oxford
National Commander

Colorado American Legion Posts in Action

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Dean Noechel selected for the

Department Commander of the Year Award

The Department Commander of the Year Award is presented to any department commander who meets or exceeds their assigned 100 percent membership goal by the May target date. Seven American Legion departments met or exceeded the 100 percent membership target date of June 17 (pushed back from May due to COVID-19) for the 2019-2020 membership year.

The following will receive the Department Commander of the Year Award:

• Colorado – Dean M. Noechel

• Mexico – Milo Vukovich

• Montana – Jeffery Nelson

• North Carolina – James D. Moore Jr.

• Philippines – John T. O’Brien

• Utah – Martha A. Bigbie

• Wyoming – Mike Cooke

August 2020

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Dean Noechel is eligible for his membership in the American Legion from his honorable service in the United States Army from 1999 to 2005, he served in the United States Army as a Blackhawk helicopter repairer (15T). During his military time he served with the 68th Medical Company (AA) and the 571st Medical Company (AA). He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2004 as a Medevac Crew chief. He was awarded the Air Medal with Valor and the Air Medal for service.

Dean joined The American Legion in Colorado in 2003, he held the offices of Post Commander, Post Senior Vice Commander and Post Adjutant. He joined the District 7 Team in 2013 serving as the District Senior Vice Commander 2013-2015, District Commander 2015-2016. In 2016 Dean was recognized for his leadership with in The American Legion District 7 as a Race To The Top District Commander Category II.

Dean joined the Department Team as Junior Vice Commander for Colorado 2016-2018. While serving as a Junior Vice Commander he was selected as Department of Colorado Legionnaire of The Year 2017, Silver Brigade Recruiter 2017, Gold Brigade Recruiter 2018. He recently served as Senior Vice Commander and Membership Chairman 2018-2019. Dean has served The American Legion at the Post, District, Department and National Levels, he believes in our Country, Our Communities and Our Children.

The Commanders project is the Colorado Veterans Assistance Fund, all donations can be made and mailed to:American Legion Dept. of Colorado, 7465 E 1st Avenue Suite D, Denver, Co 80230

Know Your benefits


Filing for VA Benefits Prior to filing for any VA benefit, it is highly recommended the claimant consult with an accredited American Legion service officer.  The American Legion has approximately 3,000 accredited service officers to assist you.  To locate a service officer, please go to www.legion.org/serviceofficers.  Submitting all of the required information with the proper claim form to VA may reduce processing time by as many as 120 days.  American Legion service officers are able to explain the claim process, help with the proper forms and required documentation for veterans and their dependents at no charge.

USAA is proud to be Preferred  Provider of insurance and Financial Services to The American Legion.

Please visit usaa.com/legion or call 877 699-2654