From the Adjutant
(please remember these are personal thoughts, not official comments to represent the views of the Post,
the Department of Michigan, or The American Legion National organization.)
It has been a little while since I've done one of these. This is from the next newsletter which should be going to print this weekend.
A couple years ago, The American Legion put out the word they were looking for a motto, a catch phrase to use to tell in just a few words the purpose and meaning of the American Legion. I quickly sent back the phrase "We Are America, Past, Present, and Future."
Whatever comes to mind when you think of the United States, there is probably an American Legion Member somewhere in the picture. Even something as mundane as a Visit to the grocery store, attending a religious service, walking your dog, attending a festival, or riding a motorcycle can bring you into contact with another Legion member. Or at least a Veteran. World War 2, Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Cold War, Panama/Grenada/Lebanon, the First Gulf War, the Second Gulf War, and any time in between, men and women have been serving our country, making our country the best it can be.
It is because of the shared experience of military service that the American Legion Exists. It is the basis of the phrase "Still Serving America", because most of us who are Veterans have this strange desire to do the right thing, To contribute, and to continue to contribute long after our obligation has ended. For 97 years, Veterans have been supporting each other, their communities, and the country as members of the American Legion.
So that’s the "Present"and the "Past". What about the "future"? Oh, yeah. That’s the part where you come in.
It is up to you, the American Legion Member, the Legionnaire, to determine the future of the American Legion, at least in Boyne City. I have read recently about Honor Guards and even Posts no longer able to participate because of age. They report not being able to get volunteers to commit.
I wonder if they ASKED anyone. If we don’t ask, other veterans won’t know that we need their help. If we don’t ask, other Veterans won’t know that our basic premise is respecting each others’ service. If we don’t ask, the Veteran who is looking for that chance to contribute will get asked by someone else, or just figure that there is nothing out here for him or her. If We Don’t Ask, we take away the "future". We can’t count on someone else doing it for us.
The 100th Anniversary of The American Legion is coming. Where will we be? How will we commemorate 100 years? Let’s make sure we ARE America, Past, Present, AND Future!
Post 228 is currently at 110 members for the 2016 Membership Year, against a goal of 124. There are 39 members on the roster who have yet to renew, and there are many more eligible Veterans in the Boyne Valley who have yet to be asked. There is no reason for us to stop at the 124 mark. There is no reason we can’t grow this post to double that number by the 100th Anniversary. Just Ask!
For God and Country,
Brian Morrison, adjutant
29 December 2014
If you're reading this blog, there's no question that you know how to use a computer. So the question then becomes
how do we best use this medium to get our message out to the rest of the world? Here at Post 228, we have
opportunities that go unused---individual members at mylegion.org, online renewals at legion.org, separate e-mail
addresses for the Commander, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Ritual, Membership, SAL, Auxiliary and more, a Face
Book Page, a Face Book Group. We have NOT gotten into Twitter or Linkdin since we don't manage to make better
use of what we have so far.
How can we best use the Internet to reach our members?
How can we use it to reach our Community?
How can we use it to serve Every Veteran in the Boyne Valley?
I really would like to hear from you, the members and public who visit our website. Please drop a line to
Remember, we are what we do.
For God and Country,
28 November 2014
"A GROWING AND INVOLVED MEMBERSHIP"
For anyone that missed our most recent newsletter, I put a short introduction in there so those I haven't met
directly will have a better idea of who I am and what it is I do at Ernest Peterson Post 228 (see short
list at end of this blog). Yet, even as I list the tasks I've taken on in my dedication to The American
Legion and what it can mean for our community, I add one more item: this web log (blog) of my
thoughts on what it means to be a Veteran, what it means to be a Legionnaire, and what it means
to be a Citizen of the United States (and other random thoughts that aren't too far off topic).
The thing is, I don't really want to do all this by myself. I truly believe that everything this Post does
should be a group effort-from deciding what is in the Newsletter to conducting raffles to getting
to the point where we once again have a growing and involved membership. That last is the Main Goal
I have in mind: "a growing and involved membership". Would anyone out there care to define that for us?
The concept is: A Membership involved in Post activities generates enthusiasm. This enthusiasm then
generates public awareness. This public awareness then generates interest with the Veterans of the
Community. This interest then generates a growing Membership. This growing Membership then
generates involvement in more and higher level activities. With a higher enthusiasm, a greater public
awareness, a larger interest, and more activities, the Post is also able to do the thing we are supposed
to do best: SERVE VETERANS.
A few things we're missing locally because we do not have the involved Members (and excess funds)
available to head up the programs:
Shooting sports-- a local based NATIONAL air rifle competition program where those with dedication can win,
at the minimum, bragging rights and/or scholarship money and/or a chance to compete in the Olympics.
One or two coaches with a knowledge of competitive shooting would get us started.
AL Baseball-- a regional sports summer program giving players a chance to improve their skills, develop
friendships, and, if they do well, play in The American Legion World Series of Baseball (like a team from
Midland did last year, losing in the final game to someplace in New Jersey.) Three or Four volunteers to
recruit the coaches and team members and coordinate with the Department Program and locate co-sponsors
for transportation, uniforms and equipment would get this one going.
Color Guard Competition--The American Legion hosts the competition at Department and National levels,
yet there are few teams competing and odds are pretty good that a sharp, well-rehearsed and dedicated group
from our Post would go far. This is one activity that would involve personal expense for team members, in
travel and lodging and would require a high level of dedication. But I think it would be cool to be the team
presenting the Colors before the Department and National Conventions. (Believe me, I've seen the current
team at the Department level several times now and . . .. I won't say anymore.)
But what about . . .? or . . . ? Look it up at legion.org. See what possibilities exist for our Post to do great
things for the Youth, for the Veterans, for the Community. Scouting, Student Trooper, Children
and Youth, Public Relations, Ritual, Membership, Scholarship, Boys State, Americanism, or
maybe we want to do something not officially on the program. It's all about visibility, reputation,
We Are What We Do. What shall we do next?
(oh, yeah, the "list":
Adjutant, membership chair, Newsletter editor, Web Master, FaceBook page Admin, Boys State Commitee (Post, District, and Department), Community Member
Program Chair, Color Guard, Honor Guard, and Legion Riders organizer.)
Brian K. Morrison,