By: Pat Smith, Department Adjutant
In the month of August annually, leaders of the American Legion, from around the globe gather at national convention to discuss the pressing issues of the day for our nation’s veterans.
This year Minneapolis is the site of that gathering. This will be the 93rd time Legionnaires have gathered to make decisions on how we feel our Congress and our President should be treating veterans and their families. Congress and the President listen to The American Legion so the events that take place at this convention will shape our future as an organization and our nation. The decisions made will affect the lives of all veterans. The national convention is important, but nothing happens without the input from our 2.5 million members.
That input starts annually in Colorado during our Fall Conference tour. Immediately after the national convention our Department Commander and his officers will begin traveling the state, gathering Legionnaires from all 14 districts. Your officers will inform those in attendance of the current status of all of our programs. They will lay out our objectives for the year. They will also listen to your concerns. This is the important part of the visits to the Districts for here is where the ideas are formed to impact our policies, and our nation’s policies toward veterans. That input takes the form of resolutions. The fall conferences will focus on resolutions and how to take an idea and convert it into a written policy statement for eventual discussion at a national convention.
As we write this article our districts are gathering in their respective Executive Committees to lay out their plans for the year. Primary among those objectives is to set membership goals for the year for their posts. The intent is to set goals that will produce a positive growth. We know that over 400,000 veterans have gathered in Colorado as a residence. Our job is to ask them to join. Our districts have a big job to do; to teach and educate their posts on how to manage the organization at the post level to gather in those 400,000 veterans.
The real work of this organization is at the post level. Monthly our posts gather to discuss their goals and objectives. Their job is important. They are the most important cog in the wheel that turns this organization. They have their own day to day management decisions but it is important for the post members to remember when they gather they have the ability to make the positive changes to this organization. They can make a tremendous impact.
So that is the way it works. We gather to discuss (and cuss), plan and implement all good ideas that will make this a better world for our veterans, their families and our communities. Now, go forth and gather!