The American Legion
The 101st National Convention of The American Legion in Indianapolis gets underway Friday, Aug. 23, with community activities, meetings, workshops, training sessions, distinguished guests, speakers and more, and concludes Aug. 29 with the election of a new national commander.
For a schedule of events, tour opportunities and more visit:
A few activities held during convention include:
•American Legion community service project – Friday, Aug. 23
• Color Guard contests – Friday, Aug. 23
• Band contests – Saturday, Aug. 24
• Legion Family Night with the Colts – Saturday, Aug. 24
• Legion Family Night at Victory Field where Indianapolis Indians take on the Louisville Bats – Saturday, Aug. 24 (National Commander Brett Reistad will throw out the first pitch)
• National convention parade – Sunday, Aug. 25
• Centennial Film Festival – Monday, Aug. 26
• Legion Family Night with WNBA Fever Basketball at Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Tuesday, Aug. 27
The following workshops and conferences will be held in conjunction with the convention:
•Indianapolis Military Hiring Fair – Thursday, Aug. 22
•Subject Matter Expert Training – Saturday, Aug. 24, and Monday, Aug. 26
•Digital Media Training Workshop – Monday, Aug. 26
•National Credentialing Summit – Wednesday, Aug. 28 and Thursday, Aug. 29
Other convention news:
• The U.S. Mint will be selling American Legion centennial coins in the Exhibit Hall at the Indiana Convention Center.
• The American Legion’s traveling GI Bill exhibit is on display in the rotunda at the Indiana State Capitol, 200 W. Washington Street.
• A naturalization ceremony and voter registration will be conducted with 100 new citizens – Tuesday, Aug. 27
• Several national convention events, including all three days on the convention floor, will be streamed live. Click here to see the complete schedule and how to watch.
Stay updated with what’s happening at The American Legion’s biggest annual gathering by following online at www.legion.org, on Facebook and on Twitter.
The Legion’s National Convention mobile app is also available for download, free of charge, from the Apple Store or Google Play. Click here to access it. The app includes maps, information from meeting times to registration and shuttle hours, social media links, a guide to Indianapolis and more. It will continue to be updated with information, headlines and alerts throughout the convention. If you still have last year’s app on your phone, you can simply update it for 2019.
To view this article on the original source, Click Here.
Story and Photos by Tim Sproles
In the quiet town of Dana, Indiana, a white two-story house with an amazing story sits on the corner of North Maple Street and Briarwood Avenue.
The house itself has seen better days. It was built over a century ago, and this time-damaged house is starting to show its age. The wood siding has even reached a point where it is too old to hold a new coat of paint.
Integral repairs are needed and people around the state are getting involved because this isn’t just any “old” house. This is the birthplace and family home of Pulitzer Prize–winning Hoosier journalist and World War II correspondent, Ernie Pyle.
The house and surrounding grounds make up the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum, which is facilitated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of Ernie Pyle.
Steve Key, President of the Friends of Ernie Pyle, said, “we priced out how much it will take to make these repairs and it came out to just over $90 thousand. It’s a large amount, but we had to do something.”
Members of the board knew that they would need help raising the money to make this project happen, luckily, they didn’t have to go far for assistance.
Key said, “We are honored to have Past Department of Indiana Commander, Rodney Strong as a member of our board. Back in 2017, he brought it to the board’s attention that his command year was approaching and he needed a commander’s project.”
There is a time-honored tradition that each Commander of The American Legion Department of Indiana name a special fundraising project to collect donations throughout the year and PDC Strong had just found his.
Strong said that it was easy to put the two together, because The American Legion has history with this museum.
He said, “In the 1970s The Department of Indiana helped raise funds to salvage this home and turn it into a museum and in 2016, a resolution was passed by our Department Executive Committee in support of the Ernie Pyle World War II museum.”
But the correlation between Ernie Pyle and our Hoosier veterans goes even deeper.
Strong said, “During Ernie Pyle’s time as a war correspondent, he was known as a serviceman’s friend. His dispatches fully illustrated the horrors of war and highlighted the brave Americans who fought it. For many, support for this museum not only preserves the Legacy of Ernie Pyle, but the servicemembers he wrote about.”
Key said, “When you read his work, you can feel the heat of the north African desert, you can feel the blistering cold of the winter in the mountains of Italy, or you can see the tired soldiers marching to their next battle. His writing endeared him to those veterans and their families, and that respect continues today.”
Throughout the 2018-2019 command year, PDC Strong campaigned for donations, and they rolled in from every corner of the state. On Saturday, Aug. 3, PDC Strong presented the Friends of Ernie Pyle with a check for $39 thousand to go toward the preservation project.
When handed the check, Steve Key immediately showed his appreciation by hugging PDC Strong.
He said, “I didn’t think a handshake fully covered it. We are so appreciative of the hard work of Rodney and the outpouring of support from The American Legion, I couldn’t contain it. This brought us within a third of our goal. That kind of donation deserves a hug.”
Steve Key and other members of the Friends of Ernie Pyle will bring greeting during the Department Fall Conference General Session Saturday Oct. 5.
For more information on the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum, and how you can help secure the legacy of Ernie Pyle, Click Here.
Story and Photos by Tim Sproles
ANGOLA, Indiana– Politics are everywhere. On any given day, the headlines in your favorite news outlets have a political tie-in, but the entire political process is much more than just headlines or individual issues.
Young men taking part in Hoosier Boys State found this out first hand by breaking down the entire process to gain a complete understanding of the political process and why it is important.
Hoosier Boys State is an annual American Legion Department of Indiana program for Junior-aged high school students to actively work together to win elections, propose laws, negotiate bills and enforce the legislation and procedures established from the local, county and state levels. By week’s end, graduates know more about Indiana’s state government than 90 percent of their fellow Hoosiers.
The Department of Indiana celebrated the 82nd Anniversary of Hoosier Boys State as 304 students graduated the 2019 class Friday, June 19, at Trine University in Angola, Indiana.
“We simulate the entire process of running a campaign to the election. From there, we investigate all aspects of the Government and how it works.” said Scott Weyler, the Director of Hoosier Boys State. “We have two political parties, the Federalists and the Nationalists, which we split the group into. It is always great to see the boys work together and identify the benefits as well as the frustrations of democracy.”
Since Hoosier Boys State started in 1937, the program has reached more than 60,000 Hoosier youths including some notable Hoosier Boys State graduates such as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former U.S. Senator Dick Luger and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The First Hoosier Boys State in 1937
Anthony Fleming, who was attending Hoosier Boys State from McCordsville, Indiana, said that Hoosier Boys State isn’t just a week of instruction, it’s a deep-dive into Indiana’s Government.
He said, “It really helped me understand how our state Government works. What we learned here; you can’t really learn that at school.”
With a program that simulates a complete government, students work closely together, build alliances, campaign for their parties, and lobby for bills to be passed.
“To be completely honest with you I was a bit confused when we started,” said Anthony Fleming of McCordsville, Indiana. “I’ve seen bits and pieces of this process on the news. Without an understanding of the process, a lot of times, I just thought some of these politicians were crazy. It’s more than just learning a bunch of stuff. We are walking away with an understanding.”
The weeklong program also provides scholarship opportunities and leadership guidance to help put these young men on the “fast-track” to success in life. Hoosier Boys State handed out over $10 thousand this year alone.
Even though only a select few walked away with scholarships, Ethan Roos, who was elected as 2019 Hoosier Boys State Governor, told the audience at the closing ceremony that every single delegate of Hoosier Boys State comes away from the experience with something just as valuable.
He said, “Hoosier Boys State gave every single one of us a mold for our future. A mold that could lead us toward political change. What you do with this mold is completely up to you. Whether you fill your mold to the top, only partially, or you step outside the mold to create your own thing, Hoosier Boys State has given us a strong foundation to build on. Now it’s up to us.”
To learn how you can get involved, or to take advantage of this unique, time-tested opportunity, visit www.hoosierboysstate.org. Follow Hoosier Boys State on Facebook and Twitter.
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