Tim Sproles/American Legion Department of Indiana
The American Legion Department of Indiana has another successful conference in the books. The department hosted their Fall Conference on October 6th-8th at the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel East.
Over 200 Legionnaires from across the state came to collect information and materials, discuss best practices and vote on American Legion Dept. of Indiana business.
On Saturday the 7th, The Department held its General Session. The timing couldn’t have been better. The American Legion National Commander, Denise Rohan happened to be in town, so the Department was honored to have her in attendance as a guest speaker.
Cmdr. Rohan took the opportunity to speak about her command theme of “Family First”.
She said, “When the branches of our military join together for a common goal, it’s often referred to as “Going Purple”, because when you mix all of the uniform colors together it makes purple. That’s why I chose purple as my commander’s color. That is exactly what the American Legion Family is doing right now. The American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion and the Women’s Auxiliary are coming together for the common goal of taking care of our veterans”.
The Commander also gave Hoosier Legionnaires a homework assignment to show the community what the American Legion does.
She said, “There are a lot of misconceptions of what the American Legion is all about. There are many people who don’t understand about our four pillars, or our numerous programs. All of those things that you do at your post to make a difference in our community. So, on Veterans Day and every day that you possibly can I ask you to open the doors to your post to the community. Especially on Veterans Day. Let them come in and see for themselves exactly what the American Legion Family does each and every day”.
As the session continued, Department leadership took the opportunity to not only make important announcements, but to also honor those who went the extra mile to help our nations veterans.
Past Department Commander, James B. May was recognized for his fund-raising efforts for the American Legion’s National Emergency Fund.
Under Commander May’s watch, the Department of Indiana was recognized on stage at the American Legion National Convention as having raised the highest National Emergency Fund donations total in our Big 12 Category.
Those dollars given to the National Emergency Fund are helping our fellow Americans who are recovering from the devastating Hurricanes that made landfall on Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas.
The Department’s newly elected National Committeeman, Jerry Jordon made a special presentation to his predecessor, Paul Steward.
Paul served Hoosier Legionnaires for 8 years as both the alternate NEC for 4 years and NEC for 4 years.
Jordon said, “I think we all can agree that we couldn’t have picked a better person to represent the Department of Indiana at the national level. His conviction to his duty was always on display. It has been my personal honor to work with Paul over the last 4 years as his alternate NEC. All of us in the Department of Indiana owe him a great debt of gratitude for his service”.
Steward, who was caught by surprise by the presentation, jokingly said, “For 8 years I have come in here with a suit and tie and the one day I decide to dress down and look what you do”.
He also said, “In my time serving our Hoosier veterans, the pleasure has always been mine. Thank you all for this and thank you for letting me serve as your NEC”.
Department of Indiana Commander, Marty Dzieglowics, also recognized special efforts made during the Department’s recent donations of hurricane relief supplies with the “We Change Lives” award.
He said, “This entire project to bring aid started with an idea at the Kenneth Dowden-Wayne Post 64 in Indianapolis. Without their generosity and their connections with Teamsters Local 135 we wouldn’t have been able to help hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida”.
Post 64 donated more than $10,000 and 20 pallets of water for the cause, spearheading this effort and making it all possible.
Dzieglowics also presented Teamsters Local 135 with the award.
He said, “Of course, none of this would have been possible without Teamsters Local 135. They donated their time, equipment and manpower to support this effort. Specifically, Rick Smith, who drove the trailer to the Department of Florida Headquarters in Orlando just days after the storm”.
The Indiana American Legion Family also presented Rick Smith with a membership to the Sons of the American Legion.
Dzieglowics said, “We did a little research and learned that Rick was eligible for SAL membership through his father and grandfather’s military service. We already consider him part of the Hoosier Legion Family, so we might as well make it official”.
The American Legion Department of Indiana will gather again at their Mid-Winter Conference, January 12th through the 14th.
View photos from the Fall Conference Session as well as view the Live-Stream of session below.
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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