Do you wear a patch?
Monday July 16, 2018 12:26 pm
Do you wear the patch or do you wear the patch? Is the American Legion Riders patch on your back simply a piece of cloth you wear so you can look cool or do you breathe life into the patch and give it meaning?
We have come a long way over these past few years, but I know we are better than what we have accomplished. While we are growing, our parent organizations are not. We need to be the example to them. We have added 17 Chapters in two years and will be voting in two more this month. After that, we are working with 10 other American Legion Posts to add Chapters there.
This is where you come into the equation. You, the individual Rider, are the best advertisement we have. You need to give life to the patch you wear and show veterans and their families why we are the premier veterans service organization in the world. Now I understand life gets in the way and you have other commitments, but if you can donate thirty minutes of your time a month to your Post, Squadron, Unit, or Chapter we can accomplish so much more. Also, I know this is a volunteer organization, but to me, if you put on the patch and pay your dues, you have just volunteered. Especially officers, if you said yes, accepted a title, and took an oath of office, I expect much more from you.
You have heard me talk about American Legion Basic Training and I cannot emphasize the importance of taking that course. It will make you a walking, talking recruiter for your family organization and the Riders. You should also carry applications in your saddlebag. The best ones to carry are the American Legion Auxiliary applications because they have Legion, Squadron, and Auxiliary applications in one trifold. This will allow you to sign up an entire family, not just an individual. We, the Riders, are a family and we do not use that term only when it is convenient for us. We live it.
We also need to work the Four Pillars and I know many of you do. As I travel this great state, I have seen the fruits of your labor. I see you visiting veterans in VA Hospitals and nursing homes. I see you participating in parades and other ceremonies (Preamble stuff there). Yet, there is so much more we can be doing. We need to think outside the box and find creative ways to bring more people into the family fold. If we concentrate on Americanism and Children and Youth, we will blow this organization wide open.
To those of you who have dedicated countless hours to this organization, I thank you. To those of you who may need to give CPR to your patch, think about why we are here and what our mission is. Now let us ride and do great things.
For God and Country,
American Legion Riders
Department of California
Veterans First * Professionalism * Teamwork
Always with passion and a sense of urgency!
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