By: Ralph Bozella, NEC
From August 24th through 31st 2012, 39 members of the Colorado American Legion Family took part in the 94th American Legion National Convention, in the headquarters city of Indianapolis. Delegates, alternates and guests to the national conventions of the Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, and The American Legion spent the week in various national commission meetings, committee meetings and their respective conventions where decisions were made on resolutions, leadership elections and other important matters to the members.
The American Legion National Convention begins with pre-convention activities of resolutions assignments (Neal Thomas, Resolution Assignment Committee), and resolutions screenings for some delegates at national commission meetings (Jim Gates, Americanism). This is followed on Saturday with the 12 national commission meetings to review their resolutions and make recommendations for the convention committees scheduled to meet the next day. The national convention committees are called to order by national staff, and their first order of business is to elect a convention committee chair, vice chair and secretary. Congratulations to Jim Gates who was elected as vice chair for the Americanism Convention Committee. The convention committees then consider all resolutions assigned to their committee. The convention committee chairs are then scheduled to make a report to the national convention body, which is the governing body of The American Legion. The resolutions are voted on by the convention delegation; those that pass become Legion policy. Those with legislative intent are passed on to the National Legislative Commission which sends the resolutions to U.S. Congress. This how our organization operates and thanks to all the Colorado legionnaires who attended the convention as delegates, alternates and guests.
There are many other events that take place at our national convention to include pre and post convention NEC meetings, the Western Caucus (chaired by Tom Bock), the Colorado Caucus (chaired by Jim Gillis), a parade of the departments on Sunday afternoon, various receptions, lunches, banquets (including the National Commander and National Auxiliary President banquets) and other hospitalities. Thanks to Colorado lead delegate Jim Gillis and wife Anne for hosting a reception for the Colorado delegation, where a very important announcement was made. Colorado celebrated the announcement of Sons of The American Legion member Mike Moss, who has held many leadership positions at the department and national levels. Mike was named a candidate for the high office of national commander for the S.A.L. Congratulations to Mike and our entire S.A.L delegation for their outstanding work.
As is our custom at the national conventions the Four Corner states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah held their annual Four Corners party of Monday afternoon which was attended by more than 2,000 delegates from all American Legion departments.
The convention delegation elected Jim Koutz from the Department of Indiana as The American Legion National Commander for 2012-2013. You can read about Commander Koutz and hear his address at this site: http://www.legion.org/convention/211890/koutz-elected-national-commander . Jeanette Rae from the Department of Nevada was elected National Vice Commander for the Western Region. Congratulations to Ms. Rae and we in Colorado look forward to working with her.
The last item to report is that Colorado NEC Ralph Bozella was named chair for the National System Worth Saving Task Force which conducts site visits at VA hospitals throughout the nation.
Congratulations to the entire Colorado legion family delegation for a great convention.