Summer is now officially here and as we prepare to end the 2017 membership year, I want to thank all those Legionnaires who worked and promoted the programs of the American Legion. There were ups and downs throughout the year as there always are, and I thank you for your dedication this year. Now as we prepare ourselves for the 2018 year we must be willing to address our shortcomings as well as continuing to build upon the accomplishments of 2017.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Commander of the American Legion Department of Ohio this past year. It has been a truly great experience for me and I wish nothing but the best this upcoming year for our newly elected officers of the Department of Ohio. I am looking forward to the future of our organization and hope to stay active and help in any way that I can.
This past year we were finally able to get back into our headquarters building and put the fire of 2015 behind us. We have seen a re-alignment of Director’s duties, and changes in the way we do our everyday business. The announcement of Americanism/Children and Youth Director White and the hiring of a replacement Director (Tara Henderson). The historic and successful move to Miami University of our Buckeye Boys State Program. We have utilized conference calling for some of our committees and there are other changes on the horizon as we look to the challenges of the upcoming year. We could hold successful revitalizations in our Districts and had the opportunity to host our National Commander Charles E. Schmidt at our Mid-Winter Conference. National Vice Commander Paul Martel visited our Great State twice this past year and National Americanism Director Jill Druskis was a guest at Buckeye Boys State.
As we all know and hear each year Membership is the Life Blood of our organization. When I took office last June I was committed to keeping us in the large group of Departments and refused the cut in membership from our then leading candidate Charles Schmidt. Had we accepted the numbers offered at that time we would be looking at a 98% membership instead of the 92% where we are now. Those are just numbers, but a lesson was learned and hopefully move forward from this year’s set back in membership.
Once again thank you for allowing me to serve you this year, and I hope to see many of you in Dayton at our 99th Department Convention next month and again at our historic National Convention in Reno, Nevada as we elect our first woman Commander at the 99th National Convention of the American Legion.
For God and Country
Commander Dept. of Ohio