Please accept this invitation from your Department Commander, R. Tim Grabin to attend Your Department Convention. I promise it will be one of the very best you have attended. Our National Commander Marty Conatser, and National Regional Membership Representative, Jin Kong will be there. Our special guest at our convention Banquet as our keynote speaker is U.S.N. Rear Admiral Hamby and entertainment by the U.S.Army. Harmony In Motion Singers! Where: Colorado Springs at the Crowne Plaza, 2886 S. Circle Dr. off of I-25 and Circle. When: June 26-29th. Room reservations call (719) 576-5900 no later than June 11th. Be sure and ask for the Legion rates. Welcome delegates, members, and guest. The hotel has been completely remodeled (restaurant and lounge) and main entrance is open and waiting for You. Let us support our new incoming officers.

What an honor to have served as your Department Commander in the great state of Colorado. I am grateful for our Department of Colorado Headquarters Staff for their logistical planning and experience.

What a year of success it has been team. I am thankful for our Department Officers, Executive Committee, Committee Chairman and Finance Committee and District Officers. You were the team with stamina to the end. You made the difference to our posts and The American Legion.

The American Legion and The American Legion Family standing in Unity has created teamwork and set the standard high. To our American Legion Auxiliary President, Dee Chappell-Haley and Sons of The American Legion Detachment Commander, Mark Kilstrom, it has been an honor to serve with you.

Mission: Bridging to Success

Vision: Every American Legion Member must focus on service to

Veterans and their families.

My project was supporting The Colorado Youth Foundation this year of 2007-2008 with a fund raising pin and other donations. The pin exemplifies a suspension bridge made up of towers (four pillars of the American Legion) Veterans and Rehabilitation, Nation Security, Americanism and Children and Youth. The mighty cables are The Legion Family – The American Legion, The American Legion Auxiliary and The Sons of The American Legion who form the wires that keep the bridge strong. In unity we overcome every barrier. Our patriotism and freedom must be passed on to our families for generations to come. Is. 40:31 has been there as my strength, “With Wings as Eagles, May We Not Grow Weary. Think Big!!! Make a difference!

. During our Department Fall Visitations we visited all fourteen Districts within Colorado, five State Veterans Homes, both the Western Slope and East Front Range State Veterans Hospitals. The Team also visited The Fisher House.

I was asked to serve on Congressman Doug Lamborn’s Veterans Advisory Board. Then on May 2, 2008, the Subcommittee on Disability assistance and Memorial Affairs, held a hearing on “Is the VA Cemetery Construction Policy Meeting the Needs of Today’s Veterans and Their Families” and as your Department Commander, I gave testimony before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on the need for a brand new

National Cemetery in Southern Colorado.

Jim Fiedler, Rick Friend and Team worked Colorado April 21 to May 3, 2008 spending considerably time in the Grand Junction area.

Appreciate the United Veterans Committee of Colorado for all your hard effort in making a difference for Veterans. Thanks again for your invitation to State Capitol for Military Appreciation Day and you to Ralph. United Veterans Banquet as usual was great and well attended.

Our team of delegates attended the annual Washington Conference with appointments to spend time with our congressional representatives and discuss legislation that is needed to better care for “all” veterans.

A special thank you to Charles Bogle for introducing the American Legion to the 091 Foundation. We look forward to a long relationship with this important organization-serving veterans.

Our National Vice Commander Peggy Detori toured several posts and attended our joint Commanders and President Home Coming May 10th, 2008 at Security Post 38. We had a great turn out and it was fun.

District Spring Convention with election of officers and passing of resolutions was conducted with attendance of one or more Department Officers. National Commander Marty Conastser’s challenged us to increase reporting on the Consolidated Post Reports. Remember, it is not the cost of membership, but the value of our membership.

Thank the membership team and Chairman Gar Williams for making better than 75% with our headquarters transfers. We had Districts 1, 8 and 14 making 100% or better.

Special congratulations to District 8, for you are the only District to achieve the difficult task of reporting all of your posts at 100% of their assigned goal. Truly, Bridging to Success.

This is the 3rd year in row that Department of Colorado Membership with DMS has shown continued growth. Here are the numbers by year; 2005-2006, 26,624members; 2006-2007, 25,651 members; 2007-2008, 25,780 members.

Congratulations, Adjutant Pat for your vision and hard work in constructing a one of kind Veterans Educational Training Center for the Denver Vet Center. This is an educational opportunity available to veterans to learn about computers not found anywhere else in the country in the VA system.

It was an honor to hear Adjutant Pat as keynote speaker at the Nisei War Memorial and I was privileged to play Taps for our Japanese-Americans who fought and died during WWII in defense of the homeland that had incarcerated them. Our team of Legion Family also participated in the Denver Memorial Parade and I participated in Memorial Day at the Florence Veterans Home as keynote speaker and playing of Taps.

This year I have visited a number of Posts above and beyond. I have received a number of invitations that were delegated to other officers to attend on my behalf. Thank you for your generosity. Like all the other commanders before me, I did not accomplish everything I would liked to have. My five years as a Department Officer starting as Co Chairman of Membership has been a life changing experience, one I will never take lightly or forget. Department Adjutant, Pat Smith, you are the mentor of a lifetime.

May we keep our National Executive Committeeman Jeff Luginbuel, and family in our prayers. Thank You Legion Family for all that you do and what we stand for. Put a Period on it. Tim.

To The American Legion – Duty, Honor and Country

Raymond “Tim” Grabin

Department Commander of Colorado