Article by: Gary Parker, 4th District Commander
Greetings to the Fourth District! This being my introduction article as your District Commander, I thought I would tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Ft. Wayne. I graduated from North Side High School in 1964. After school, I started to work for Zollner Pistons Corp. in Ft. Wayne. In late 1965 I joined the Naval Reserve Unit in Ft. Wayne. I was ordered to active duty in March 1967 and stationed aboard the U.S.S. Dubuque (LPD8). During my active duty service aboard the Dubuque, we made one tour eight months in the war zone of Vietnam. After my time in the navy, I returned home and married my wife Barbara in April 1969.
We have two children and seven grandchildren. I joined the legion in 1979 and have served post, district, and state positions. The highlight being elected Department Sergeant at Arms in 2009-10. In 2011 I decided to become a Fourth District officer and has held most of the offices in the district, this year elected Commander. I would like to wish newly elected Department Commander Connelly and new and re-elected state, district, and post officers a prosperous and fruitful year. If we all work together for the same goals, we will do great things. I want to thank the Fourth District delegates for electing me District Commander.
I would also like to all the past District Commanders for their guidance and support thru the years. The fourth district this year will be working on legion programs training to help veterans with V.A. benefits and legion traditions. I will promote all the post to do a Four Chaplain's program at their post this year. We will be working hard on membership to renew all present members and talking to area vets about the benefits of being a legion member.
God bless the USA
During flu season, protecting your health with a flu shot is easier than ever — and as close as your local VA or neighborhood Walgreens! VA and Walgreens care about your health and are partnering to offer enrolled Veteran patients easy access to flu shots.
VA and Walgreens are national partners, providing no-cost quadrivalent flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. During the program, which runs from August 15, 2019 through March 31, 2020, enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens’ 9,600 locations in addition to their local VA health care facilities. No appointment is required; simply go to any Walgreens, tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility, and show your Veterans Health Identification Card and another form of photo ID.*
Your immunization record will be updated electronically in your VA electronic health record. Walgreens has the capability to electronically send vaccination information to the VA electronic health record. The VA-Walgreens national partnership is part of VA’s eHealth Exchange project. This national program ensured that many Veterans got their no-cost flu shot at their local Walgreens, satisfying their wellness reminder because they either found it more convenient or did not have a scheduled appointment at a local VA health care facility.
Other Options for Immunization
VA now offers expanded access to preventive health care by giving more options for your annual flu shot. You choose! No-cost flu shots are available at your VA health care facility or neighborhood Walgreens! Your VA medical record will be updated either way.
VA Health Care Facilities
You may receive a no-cost flu shot during any scheduled VA appointment, if you are admitted to one of our VA health care facilities, or at one of the convenient walk-in flu stations. For more information on locations and hours contact your local VA health care facility.
Other Non-VA Providers and Pharmacies
Many local retail pharmacies offer flu shots that may be covered by private insurance or programs such as Medicare. There may be a charge for your flu shot at these locations. If you do not have insurance, there will usually be a charge.
Click here for more information.
Article by: Rob Kelley, 3rd District Commander
Greetings from the 3rd District and myself. First, a short introduction: My name is Robert L. Kelley, but everyone calls me Rob. I am a 15-year US Navy veteran. I’m married to a wonderful woman named Charlotte, who is a 12-year US Navy veteran. We met while we were on active duty in, get this, Bermuda. Her first duty station after boot camp and I transferred there after two seasons with Operation Deep Freeze (Antarctica). We have four children (Bob, Robyn, Jennifer, and Shirley) and three grandchildren (Michael, James, and Jocelyn).
My predecessor, Wayne Zeman, said that one of the greatest joys that he found as a District Commander was handing out the 100% packages. I couldn’t agree more. As the District Membership Chairman, I have passed out my share of those packages and the faces of the Posts that haven’t hit 100% in a long time are priceless. I would also like to thank Wayne for taking on the role of Membership Chairman for the upcoming year, with his assistance and guidance, I feel we have a reliable team along with a dedicated group of District Vice Commanders.
In the upcoming year, I would like to hand out more 100% packages than ever before. With the team I have assembled, I think we can do it. I want to thank Wayne Zeman for stepping up and taking the Membership Chair for the upcoming year and the rest of my Officers for doing the best job they can do.
For any Posts in the District, if you are unsure on any procedure having to do with membership, please feel free to contact either me or Wayne Zeman, and we can work out a time for some one-on-one training.
I look forward to working with Commander Alan and the rest of the Department staff and my fellow District Commanders.
The last time The American Legion’s centennial float rode through the streets of Indianapolis, it did so as the recipient of the IPL Indy 500 Festival Parade’s Grand Marshal’s Award for Most Creative Concept and Execution.
Three months later, on Aug. 25, the float again traversed downtown Indianapolis, this time near the front of the 2019 National Convention parade. Along with American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad and other Legion Family dignitaries, it also carried three very special guests.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Maxfield, Sgt. Chris Leverkuhn and Sgt. Chris Henderson – all medically retired after suffering injuries while either in training operations or combat – were guests of The American Legion over the weekend as part of the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors program.
The trio, who served together in the 209th Quartermaster Company out of Lafayette, Ind., were able to do some sightseeing, hit area restaurants and even attend the Aug. 24 Indianapolis Colts game – witnessing quarterback Andrew Luck walk off the field as a member of the Colts for the final time in the process.
The weekend “was pretty cool,” said Maxfield, who was medically discharged in 2017 after suffering injuries to his legs, head and neck during a nighttime training operation. “It was really relaxing.”
Henderson, injured by an IED and awarded a Purple Heart while serving in Iraq in 2004, said, “Everyone we’ve met has been really nice.” And Leverkuhn, who was injured during the same IED blast and wound up with a below-knee amputation, said, “It’s the first time a few of us have been together in a while.”
The trio had another dinner planned after the parade and were going to visit the grave of a fallen comrade before heading back home. Maxfield said the weekend showed the benefit of Operation Comfort Warriors.
“I think more people need to know about it,” Maxfield said. “It’s a really good operation. I think it needs to be more recognized."
The OCW recipients – along with the rest of the parade participants and the large crowd lining Pennsylvania, New York and Meridian Streets – benefitted from unseasonably cool temperatures that hit the high 70s and carried very little of the high humidity typical for this time of year in Indiana.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles served as grand marshal, while immediate Past National Commander Denise Rohan was honorary grand marshal. More than 90 units took part in the parade, including American Legion Riders, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team, and the 38th Infantry Division Band, the Ceremonial Unit Mounted Color Guard, bands and delegations from American Legion Family departments.
The Department of Alabama led off the procession of contiguous Legion departments after finishing No. 1 in membership, which was a source of pride for Alabama National Executive Committeeman Willis Frazier.
““It shows that our members are very dedicated to increasing our membership,” said Frazier, who announced his delegation and joined it on the parade route. “They did a great job. Everybody pitched in. It was a team effort. We’ve got people who just want to be in the Legion.”
The reception the parade got from Indianapolis-area residents also moved Frazier. “It lets us know that we’ve got some very patriotic people in Indianapolis and the great state of Indiana,” he said. “It makes us proud to know that they still care about the service we gave to this great nation.”
Following the parade Legion Family members were able to attend a post-parade party hosted by The American Legion Department of Indiana on the American Legion Mall. The party included food, beverages and live music.
Hoosier Legion Family marches in National Convention Parade
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