By: Tom Florez, Department Commander – As Published in the September 2015 Internet Observer
Most recently, we had the opportunity to travel back to Indianapolis, Indiana. Yes I rode in the van with our Department Adjutant and Past National Commander for approximately twelve hundred miles, one way. It was a good experience and the trip proved most valued in training and listening, then perceived. Camaraderie with other veterans is an experience that we have all had while we were on active duty that we now share at our Post’s.
As we were nearing Indy, our timing was on the mark as we picked up our Senior Vice Commander Jay Bowen from the airport. All of our efforts were moving in a positive and productive manner. Our purpose in Indianapolis was to attend the American Legion’s National Membership Conference.
Our Colorado team was there to represent our twenty-one thousand members and to garner our Department a square deal with reference to membership goals and standards.
So our members may realize it isn’t all fun and games. I can now more readily appreciate the Adjutant, Past Commanders, Staff and PNC’s years of work and effort to devise our Departments plans and direction. Of course they would be the first to tell you it is a team effort. Success cannot be achieved without our members.
So as we prepared to deliver Colorado’s presentation, I thought of all the work and efforts of our members, Posts and Districts officers that give of themselves. We need to do this right, because we are obligated and accountable to our members.
Commander- elect Dale Barnett (Georgia) and National Membership Chairman Ken Orrock (South Dakota} were at the head of the National delegation, surrounded by about 10 other National members & staff. In all honesty, the training and interaction with the Post’s in Colorado had prepared your Commander for this day. Our presentations went well, and I believe we gained the respect and attention of our National Membership Committee. Only time will prove our efforts, but those efforts were given with our Colorado veterans and Legion members in mind.
We now have an opportunity. As a team, as Legion members and Posts throughout Colorado to continue to render our standard, our American and veteran values. To serve well our communities, our youth and all Colorado veterans.
Our nation, communities and youth need our direction. As a team of American Legion members we can provide programs that truly work. Our Posts and members have shown time and time again the ability to assist and honor fellow veterans and patriots. Our organization needs your help in membership. I ask for a bit of your valued time, at minimum, a day to further what we stand for.
It is our living legacy that will ensure the future of our nation and to advocate for present and future veterans, by our actions now, the service of our members (veterans) in our great organization, The American Legion.