By: Daniel S. Wheeler, American Legion National Adjutant
For all you Twitterers: With Veterans Day right around the corner and the inevitable “Legion (VFW, DAV, etc.) is dying articles,” I thought you should know The American Legion has signed up 185,000 new members since July, and more than 30,000 of those were Gulf War/OEF/OIF vets (we plan to ask for more defined periods on the app, and show more defined periods on the card starting in 2011 membership year). Hardly sounds like a dying organization, now, does it?
Just this week we sent 18 young American Legion Baseball stars to the World Series, and $150,000 worth of goods to soldiers in Afghanistan. You probably have 25 other things you just did in your departments. Don’t wait for the local newspaper to call you; call it. Tell the reporter you want to talk about Veterans Day before he/she writes his/her story. Tell herm you want herm to speak to “whoever can tell the best story about what veterans means to America.” Line them up; make it easy; reporters are sometimes not the most energetic or imaginative people. Make sure you know what we’ve done recently. Go to the National Commander’s blog if you have to refresh your memory. (http://clarencehill.legion.org/)
In the meanwhile, you should know that the National Commander is going to followed around Washington, DC, by a fellow video-taping, another photographing, and yet another tweeting his every move. We plan to have live coverage of all that he does pumped onto the website and the social networks. Our media division will be working that day.
The National Commander’s Schedule, which I think may be of interest to some media types, and certainly gives your spokespersons even more to talk about:
Breakfast at the Pentagon with the Secretary of Defense (Gates)
Trip to Bethesda Naval Hospital to visit with the wounded troops
Speaking engagement at Catholic University of America to talking about the significance of Veterans Day
Breakfast reception at the White House with President a few select VSO heads
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for official ceremony
Speaking at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for official ceremony, and laying wreath
Another White House reception, hosted by VP, honoring vets of the Berlin Airlift
Speaking to the families and vets of the Berlin Air Lift at an event downtown DC
7 am, headed to Florida for official visit.