The American Legion
Department of Wyoming
RE: Note from the Commander:
I really like to put things in a positive light but in this case you may look it as a negative, so please stay positive…. We are currently approximately down 453 members from where we need to be by the 10th of March. When you receive the next issue of the Legionnaire my article will explain the “Big 12” and how we stand to make it short and sweet, if we renew or add enough new members (total of 453) our department will win $2,000.00, if we do not some other Department will win. It is all up to our dedication and work. Between now and 30 June we need to gain 1179 members to meet our goal. This is merely signing up the same amount of members we had last year. I know this is very doable if we all work together. We currently have 7 posts at 100% or greater. Some of those posts are still adding members. I ask the District Commanders and Vice-Commanders to make contact with your posts and work with them to get those renewals in and new members forwarded to Headquarters. Post Commanders and Vice –Commanders please work your membership lists (or have your membership team work the list) and get those renewals in and new members added. Remember a couple months ago Julie and Bill forwarded a list of 550 DMS members who are at national level, contact them and bring them into your post. Our Department is currently at about a 13% market penetration. There are a lot of veterans out there eligible to be American Legion members. In a lot of cases all it takes is to ask them. Remember membership is the lifeblood of any organization.
All that being said promote all the good things your Post does in the community. When you are out and about wear an American Legion ball cap, shirt, or jacket. Especially do this when you attend any veterans’ event or American Legion sponsored event. i.e. American Legion Baseball, AL meetings, Junior Shooting sports, Wyoming High School Rodeo. Be prepared to answer questions about what the American Legion is and what we do. A good strong post is the best recruitment tool. Those of you that attended the Midwinter Convention and also attended the American Legion Extension Institute course gained a great amount of knowledge about what the American Legion is and does. Those that were not able to attend can take advantage of that course on line for a fee of $4.95.
Remember the American Legion is the largest and strongest organization that supports veterans in this country. The American Legion is the oldest Congressionally Chartered veterans’ organization. That occurred September 16, 1919. The VFW is older but was not Congressionally Chartered until the mid 1930s. The DAV was not Congressionally Chartered until the mid 1920s. Unless an organization is chartered through congress, congress may choose not to listen to them. It is to the benefit of all veterans to have a strong American Legion to protect veterans’ benefits we have worked so hard over the years to achieve. Our record membership year was 1952 when we had just under 11,000 members. We need to work at achieving a new record by our centennial year 2019 that is the goal of the national office; we need to do our part.
I look forward to seeing everyone at District Conventions. Please bring an American Legion family member or eligible veteran who does not normally attend. If they attend one meeting chances are they will feel comfortable at future meeting. Remember this is your Department, District, and Post; you need to be a part of the operation and guide it in a positive direction.
I would also like to thank everyone for their hard work up to this point, it has not gone unnoticed and it is greatly appreciated!!!