Indiana Legion Family,
Governor Eric Holcomb has Issued a Directive to “Stay Home”
Governor Eric Holcomb has issued several directives intended to help protect the health and well-being of all Hoosiers and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Find the following links to these directives below:
EO 20-08. Stay at Home
EO 20-09. Continuity of State Operations
EO 20-10. Enforcement Directive Regarding Prohibition of In-Person Dining
EO 20-11. Provisions for carryout consumption of alcohol
Because of Governor Holcomb’s "Stay at Home Order" the Department of Indiana Headquarters Office in Indianapolis will be closed and staff will be working remotely until such time as it is considered safe and appropriate to reopen beginning Monday, April 6, 2020. Should you need to contact the Department of Indiana, regarding a Legion issue that needs attention now and cannot wait:
Contact John Crosby, Department Adjutant at:
Please be assured, our thoughts are with you as your Posts and Districts react prudently to community concerns related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, a message to all members went out announcing that the 2020 Spring Conference has been canceled. All further meetings scheduled at Department Headquarters in relation to Spring Conference have also been canceled.
No additional information regarding Boy’s State, the baseball tournament, or Department Convention is available at this time and decisions regarding these activities will not be finalized until May.
Veterans’ related information to the Coronavirus pandemic is being compiled on the Department website and updated daily, located at www.indianalegion.org/news. Please find a message from Department Commander Allen Connelly and a Frequently Asked Message Forum below:
Message from Department Cmdr. Allen Connelly
“These are unprecedented times we are facing in our nation’s history. Never before in our lifetimes have we been tested with circumstances that challenge us today. The public health concern surrounding COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus, has been elevated to a world-wide pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore causing communities, cities, states and federal government to enact emergency actions in order to contain and combat the impact and risks of spreading the virus.
Upon the recommendations of the President of the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and WHO, the actions taken include, but are not limited to, restriction of mass gathering sizes, restriction on unnecessary travel, closure of restaurants and other public gathering spaces, implementation of “social distancing” guidelines and an overall emphasis on personal hygiene and virus/germ abatement actions.
What does this mean for us?
First I want to begin by expressing how proud I am of our American Legionnaires and our entire American Legion Family. It is not in our nature to stand down, to step aside or to remain idle when our way of life, our families and our communities are threatened. However, during this pandemic, we have been instructed to do exactly that, to stand down. By staying home, and by practicing social distancing, you are helping to stem the spread of this deadly virus. By staying home, you are doing the responsible thing for our communities.
I have asked that all of our American Legion Posts close temporarily to comply with the Governor’s orders. We as veterans must set the example in our communities for others to emulate. Our Posts are making a sacrifice every single day that their doors remain closed, a sacrifice to ensure that our elderly, our youth, our families and our communities remain healthy through this.
We are feeling this sacrifice in several ways - besides the obvious financial burden that will surely impact our Posts, our sense of belonging to our veterans’ community is being challenged by this social distancing. We are a community that thrives by coming together. However, we’ve been asked to stay in our homes.
My message to you all is this: We stand together. We stand together because our mission laid out before us, for God and Country, will not cease through this difficult time. Our work is too great to allow for this snapshot in our history to overcome us. While you and your families are taking refuge at home and following the guidance of our nation’s leaders, remember that you belong to the greater good, The American Legion. I am proud of each and every one of our Legionnaires and our Legion Family.
It is currently your Department leadership’s focus to actively search for ways that we can provide assurances to our Posts during this unsure time. We will continue to talk to our elected officials, monitor the CDC, WHO and the White House. As more programs become available to aid our Posts, our members and our communities through this, we will share with you via our Department website at www.indianalegion.org.
Continue to stay strong, thank you for your service, and thank you for being a Legionnaire.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Do the directives or suggestions to close restaurants/bars affect American Legion Posts since the Post is closed to the public and only open to members and their guests?
A: YES. Governor Holcomb has made it clear that ALL bars, restaurants and clubs must close, including veterans service organizations. We must adhere to these directives and set the standard in our communities as veterans. The Coronavirus does not care what type of ABC license your Post possesses or whether you require guests to sign in. It will spread to those who come in contact with it and the best way to prevent this from spreading is to create distance from others. The directives and suggestions are being given to your community and as a productive partner of your community, you should consider your local authority, your members, and the community as a whole as you respond to directives.
Q: Will my Post be in violation of Constitution and Bylaws if we cancel upcoming meetings?
A: Keeping your members healthy and safe should be your primary concern. Post Constitution and Bylaws dictate the organization and schedules of meetings throughout the year and many Posts include months designated as nomination meetings and election meetings. Many Bylaws do not have allowances for emergency circumstances such as we are experiencing, nor provide accommodations for modern means of communication such as telephone, email or video conferencing. Your executive committees can and should take steps to navigate this obstacle in a manner that keeps the intent of our organization intact and honors the rights of all our members as we get through this pandemic. Your Post will not be penalized for adapting to this unprecedented situation. It may come to pass that elections must be carried out via mail, or other means of digital communication. This could be used as an opportunity to add amendments to Post bylaws that accommodate today’s environment and the future.
Q: Will Department continue to process membership transmittals?
A: Yes, Department Headquarters will continue to process TAL & SAL membership transmittals during this temporary closure. Department mail will continue to be checked once a week and reports will continue to be posted to the Department website at www.indianalegion.org/membership. Online transmittals will be processed as always. If your Post does not currently process online transmittals, this is the perfect time to learn how. Membership can be processed through MyLegion.org in a more timely matter with less potential for human error, duplicates, etc. If you have membership-related questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does The American Legion provide National Emergency Fund (NEF) grant money to Posts who have to close down lounge and restaurant operations due to Coronavirus concerns?
A: Simple answer, no. Reason: Post NEF grants are available to Posts who need to recover from a natural disaster in order to restore Four Pillar programs to their community. Since operating a lounge or restaurant is not an essential component of providing these programs and since we are being asked to discontinue events, the need to distribute funds to restore Four Pillar Programs does not exist.
Due to many of our Posts shutting their doors and many people working remotely at home, this could have a disastrous effect on our membership as we approach the final stretch. With everyone home, this is a unique opportunity to take advantage of conducting Buddy Checks on your members. This demonstrates that your Post is concerned about them during this pandemic.
The Department leadership will continue to dialogue with our elected officials as well as the National Headquarters of The American Legion to learn of new programs, grants and opportunities to aid our Posts, members and communities.
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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