Charles Pat Smith
As we wind down our fall conferences and enter into the fall and winter months we need to be reminded that the work of the American Legion does not stop with the change of seasons. At the fall conferences our VA&R chairman Gar Williams introduced the “Operation Soldier” program. This program has the potential of not only recruiting new members for the Legion but to provide a much needed base of support for new Army recruits and their families while the new soldier is serving on active duty. We have put together a booklet that sets out the guidelines for this program and we just mailed a letter to all post commanders with some of the information needed to implement this program. We distributed the booklets widely at the fall conferences and we will gladly mail it to you or your post. Please call us at Department at 303-366-5201 or 1-800-477-1655.
Commander Frank has requested that we do an Adjutant’s training class of about 3 hours for all new Adjutants and as a refresher for the “old timers” in the bunch. We have set November 14th as the date for the training. Our initial training will be in Colorado Springs to accommodate those adjutants in districts 1, 2, 7 and 8. If successful and enough interest we will schedule another date for districts 3, 4, 5 and 6 up north of Denver. At the same time we will conduct a simultaneous session for service officers. We will mail a RSVP request to all adjutants and service officers in those districts to gauge the interest for these schools. Watch for more details on these events.
We are asking all posts this year to make a special effort to submit their annual Consolidated Post Report (CPR). This form will be mailed to each post in April of next year but you need to start collecting the data now. One of the best ways to do this is for the post adjutant to record in your monthly minutes all of the activities that took place during the month. If you run your post in the proper manner reports from your officers and committee people should be a standard agenda item. Be sure to record dollar amounts for donations, any number of volunteer hours given to any cause or event sponsored by The American Legion, number of funerals attended or where an honor guard was provided and anything you think is important. For information on the data asked for on this form just visit our website at http://www.coloradolegion.org/cpr-march2009-released.pdf and you will find the 2008-2009 form. When we receive the 2009-2010 form we will post it, but for now the information seldom changes on the form so this will be a good guide for you. We would also request the District Commanders assign to a district officer the task of following up on this project. So you may ask why this is so important. On September 16, 1919 Congress granted The American Legion a charter to do business and granted us the right to be a non-profit organization. Part of the requirement was that we submit an annual report on our activities to keep our non-profit status. The CPR is where the national organization derives the information that they report to Congress. So that is why it is so important.
Another item that needs your attention is the Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) free AD&D insurance. The LIT provides this insurance at no cost to our members and if you sign up and designate a beneficiary you will be covered until August 1, 2016. Copies of the brochure explaining the program and the beneficiary form were distributed to each post during our fall conferences. If you did not get the form please contact your post commander or call us at department and we will gladly see that you get one.
We just completed the Youth programs sweepstakes and thanks to all of you that donated. As a result of your generous donations over $12,000 will go to help fund Legion Boys State and Oratorical programs. The finance committee and the Department Executive Committee will look at authorizing this program again next year.
You may have heard rumors that the new VA hospital in Denver will not have a PTSD component. That is absolutely false. The new hospital will continue to diagnose the existence of PTSD in a veteran and will provide the necessary medical remedies but the long term treatment will be away from the sterile environment of a hospital and will be offered in a treatment center operated by the VA. Currently we have the Vet Centers, one of which operates out of your headquarters building, which offer long term counseling services. The Vet Centers are a valuable part of the treatment for a veteran and The American Legion will continue to strongly support this concept of treatment for PTSD. We also strongly support treatment, beyond the counseling aspect offered in a Vet Center, in an environment that will permit the veteran and his family to recover and return to society as a productive member. We will continue to monitor the progress of the new medical center to be sure no class of veteran is forgotten in their care.
In closing put January 29-31 on your calendar for the Mid-Year at the Radisson Hotel, 3333 Quebec St in Denver. See you there.
September 28, 2009