Commander’s Corner

Commander Greg Jackson

Our 2021 Membership goals / quota’s have arrived. The 2020 goal was 21,119, and this year that goal is 21,401. If you notice the goal is only a slight increase from last years’ numbers making this very achievable. Our final membership total at the end of the 2020 membership year was 21,379.  I ask each and every member in the Department of Colorado to not let up on recruiting, retaining and developing our membership.

 

Now, more  than   ever,   we   need  to be increasing our membership numbers and actively involve all our members in our programs. Programs provide assistance and structure to our Veterans, Children & Youth, while increasing an appreciation for Americanism in our communities. In these troubling times in our country our communities look towards the many Veteran Service Organizations for support. How do we do that? Develop a large membership of volunteers that can meet those challenges. This begins with recruiting, training and then retention.

There is a warm feeling that grows within the heart when great things happen in our communities. If you will, take a minute to travel with me on a journey through life with The American Legion. As a child your family had to struggle with being able to afford simple things and often you find yourself missing lunches on days when the school is closed. A bunch of veterans with The American Legion show up and hand out box/bag lunches and food to help your family and make sure you have a nutritious meal at least once daily. And when holidays come, they always seem to host a Safe Halloween party or help insuring you and other children have a Christmas and insure coats, hats and gloves are available for those cold winter mornings. They invite you to attend a sponsored youth program (scouting, Boys/Girls Club, etc) after school that helped with tutoring and teaching life skills. As years go by you start high school as a freshman and it is only a matter of time before you need to think of your future and college options.

And then you  see The American Legion offering opportunities to earn scholarships in the form of an Oratorical Contest and you decide to give it a try. Wow, the contest helped with your ability to speak publicly and learn about our great nation’s Constitution. You also learned some not well-known significant facts about it, which continually redefines our nation into the best place to live in the world. You desire to participate in Baseball and you realize that many famous Major League Baseball players have played American Legion Baseball in their High School years so you become a member of the local team and soon learn about the importance of teamwork and national pride. Not only do you now represent your local Post but you also represent your community. As you mature you now find the opportunity to extend your education in understanding why government operates as it does, and you apply to attend Boys/Girl State and follow in the footsteps of many famous leaders like Bill Clinton(US President), Michael Jordan(Basketball Legend) and Neil Armstrong(US Astronaut) and learn how to develop the 51st state of our country from the ground up. Your last year of school is coming to an end and you have decided to take those scholarships to college and start your journey into adulthood. After college, the job market is bleak and world crisis seems rampant everywhere we look. It is this at this point you decide to join the U.S. Military, and you now experience long deployments, loss of close friends often considered as a brother or sister. You witness many individuals who will never be a whole person again. You learn to deal with it and eventually will seek the help of the VA.

But yet you want more. What can you do to not only help yourself but help others?  Remember, The American Legion was there for you as   a child, teen, and early adult. We are still here and now you join us and  discover others to talk with and share your story. You will find an organization that wants to help and find those things that will bring a better quality of life to not only the Veterans but their families. You find helping others will often lessen any trouble you may have while understanding that you are not the only one who needed help. We can share life’s experiences and pass those many good fortunes that The American Legion provided us onto today’s youth the way they helped us thru our life’s journey. you grow you will eventually take all those leadership skills to become a leader in your community, state or even nation. Can you imagine how much better our nation will be, knowing The American Legion is always present, promoting safety, education, justice, and freedom and developing our youth to be tomorrows leaders. We can change more than just one life at a time, we can change thousands annually for the next 100 years.

All these things take volunteers working tirelessly around the clock, year after year. Veterans never stop serving, so why not encourage them to volunteer with the largest veteran organization in the county, The American Legion Please won’t you help us attain our membership goals/quotas    for this year and continue “Rocking the Rockies” for 25,000 in 5 years. If every member will recruit one member then think of the possibilities of volunteers to help create a tailored list of programs that will benefit our entire community. If membership dues and fees are an issue for a member I ask that you look at how they can do volunteer work to help pay for that membership. After all, we are asking their help in achieving many of those programs our communities so desperately need in these times of Pandemic and social unrest. Please think of how that life cycle benefits all of us from childhood to old age.

KEEPING THE FLAME ALIVE

 

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