The gavel has sounded and the American Legion 99th National Convention in Reno, Nevada has come to a close.
As we enter the countdown to the American Legion Centennial, this year’s convention had no shortage of excitement and even a couple of history making moments.
The Hoosier Legion Family had an impressive showing in Reno. Together with the Sons of the American Legion and the Women’s Auxiliary, Indiana had over 200 representatives in Reno and they took little time to make their presence known.
The Sons of the American Legion Detachment of Indiana brought home multiple awards for their contributions to the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation. The SAL Detachment donated 110 thousand dollars to the foundation, which was the largest donation for the 2016-2017 year.
The Women’s Auxiliary was honored with multiple awards that will be officially announced at the Fall Conference.
The American Legion Department of Indiana was also honored for high donations.
James May, the 2016-2017 Department Commander, was presented a Certificate of Recognition by National Commander Charles Schmidt for one of the highest contributions to the National Emergency Fund.
As for the convention itself, this was definitely a year to remember.
For the first time in the American Legion’s 98-year history, a woman will serve as its leader. Legionnaire delegates elected Denise Rohan as national commander.
Denise Rohan joined the Legion 33 years ago after serving in the Army’s Quartermaster Corps at the tail end of the Vietnam War. Now, she will serve the organization’s 2 million members nationwide.
Another first was during the visit from President Donald Trump.
Hoosier Legionnaire, Bob Newman, who is the National Internal Affairs Commission Chairman, said, “It was a very exciting year. This was the very first time that a sitting President had signed a bill into law at the American Legion National Convention”.
The legislation, formally called the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, will “streamline the lengthy process that veterans undergo when appealing their claims for disability benefits” with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
American Legion, Department of Indiana Commander, Marty Dzieglowicz said that he couldn’t be prouder of the hard work put in by the Hoosier Legion Family, but there is more work to come.
He said, “We will continue to work hard because we stand for all Veterans. Past Present and Future”!
The American Legion, Department of Indiana will meet again for the Fall Convention, which will be held Wednesday, October 6th through the 8th at the Marriott East Hotel in Indianapolis.
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