The American Legion Department of Tennessee

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VOLUME XXXXI, NO. 1                                                                                                                                                                                 AUGUST 2023

Veterans Serving Local Veterans

     I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our recent Department Convention and especially to those who supported me in my run for re-election as your Department Commander. I really appreciate the vote of affirmation and confidence. 85% of the delegate votes were cast in my favor.
     Thank you also for all of the challenging work that everyone has done this year. There are many reasons why this year could be considered a success. It has absolutely been a team effort. Many of our fellow legionnaires really stepped up and contributed to that success. 
 
     Seventy-one posts met their membership goals this year. The Department of Tennessee went from 28th out of 55 Departments all the way up to fourth. No one thought we could accomplish that. We actually "Stopped the Slide" in membership. Last year we had 21,018, this year we finished with 21,112!!! We had 3 Gold Brigade Recruiters as well as 2 Silver Brigade and one Bronze Brigade. No one can remember the last time something like that happened. 
 
     We had more members step up for training than we have had since we started our program 10 years ago. Our Intro to Basic Training classes with Past Department Commander Weisman had record attendance this year with thirty-four in the 1st District class alone. For the first time ever, our Tennessee Legion college class was full with thirty-five students in attendance. We actually had to turn some people away.  
 
     Our Department Oratorical Champion finished in the quarter finals. There were 390 Boys State Delegates pre- registered. Our Women Veterans now have Chairpersons in every District. Carla Bell has done a great job of getting them more organized. They are taking leadership roles in posts all across the state. Junior Shooting Sports teams are starting to get formed everywhere thanks to the efforts of our Chairman Bud Davis from Bristol Post 145. Lavada Del Conte also from Post 145 has revived the Children and Youth Programs and is generating a lot of interest. The Sons of the American Legion met their Membership goal. Our 2nd Annual Legacy Scholarship Run was hugely successful. Participation was up over 50% and our total money raised was over double the amount from last year with over $43,400 being donated. 
 
   And "Be The One" and "988" have really taken off. We had at least four situations where we were able to actually save a life. Now what more success can you have to save someone from suicide? 
 
    Yes, this past year could definitely be considered a success. Thank You very much for everyone that contributed. But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We will have to work even harder to keep the momentum going. We must continue to " Stop the Slide". Our organization is too important to let our numbers dwindle. The American Legion has changed this country. This Department is changing people's lives. Keep spreading the word about the remarkable things that The American Legion does. Be The One to listen and help save a veteran from suicide. 
 
    Thank you again and God Bless you all. And God Bless America.