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Commander's Corner

Commander’s Corner

Department Commander Michael Raymond

Department Commander Michael “Gambler” Raymond

November 2023

As you all know, the last few months have been a trying time for all of us in the Department of Florida. Our members are experiencing devastating illnesses, severe health conditions, and, of late, some lives lost. We try to be strong for our members, their families, and close friends of those stricken. We try to be there when needed and offer any assistance they may need. The American Legion Family has always been there when we are needed most. Your efforts make a difference, and I ask that you continue to provide love and support, whether it’s a visit, a phone call, or even a prayer. It means so much to so many. Please continue to show others the love and caring that the American Legion is known for.

As my year continues at full speed, I am reminded daily of what it takes to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we accepted the challenge. The only way we win is if we have a total team effort. As of today, it looks like we are headed in the right direction. Our numbers are starting to rebound, and we are ahead of last year by a few percentage points. But let’s not just look at it as achieving goals. We must look at it as building strength in our organization. The stronger we are, the louder our voice and the more we can accomplish. A perfect example is our very own brand-new Post 418. When they decided to partner with their local VFW, they doubled their strength and attracted even more members. During their “Vet Fest” hosted by both the VFW and the Legion Post, along with assistance from the Vet Center, they signed up an additional 14 members in one day and now boast a Post membership percentage of over 200%. A big surprise may be on stage at our Department Convention this year. And I’ll be proud to do it!

I want to share a few items of interest I picked up at the Fall meetings in Indianapolis. Our National Judge Advocate spoke to us on several subjects, including several things we’ve been dealing with recently. Most importantly, we must understand that the National organization cannot be involved in Post / District level disputes. We must encourage Posts to handle their business in the Post. When all else fails, contact your District Commander for guidance. Any correspondence received by the National organization will normally be sent right back to the Department, which in turn will be returned to the District. Remember, most of the answers they need are correct in their Constitution and Bylaws or Officers manual. Also, please be sure each Post is incorporated. Not only does it protect the members but all levels of the American Legion.
Stay healthy, God Bless.

“I’m Proud To Be Legion!”

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