Rick Johnson, Department Commander
First and foremost, I’d like to send my sincerest condolences to NECA Art Schwabe for the loss of his wife, PDP Erna Schwabe. She was a very special lady to us all and will be sorely missed.
As we move forward in great uncertainty, during this difficult time in our country, we need to stay strong as a family. Your Department leadership is working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep everyone informed as much as possible. Please rest assured, any information received is verified from reliable sources, before released to you. Social media has been a valuable tool for us, and represents us to the general public, donors, veterans, potential members etc. As of late, some have chosen to focus on negative issues, often beyond our control. Please, lets flood with positive posts and encourage more support, which will ultimately benefit us all.
There are so many negative issues plaguing our country right now, and it is more evident than ever that we need to stay focused, positive and continue living by our Preamble. The destructive culture we’re suffering now, will not be alleviated anytime soon, and not without great change. Let us reflect on our history, and learn from past conflicts and strife, make better choices to strengthen our country as a united front.
Watching the news today, I am in shock of the civil unrest plaguing our nation. This not who we are. We, as members of The American Legion, must stand and set the example within our communities for a better tomorrow. Let’s flood our elected officials, with a positive stance on how we can infect change with our combined mission. I could truly rant on this subject for days, but we all know what we need to do. Let’s do it.
With all the trials of this past year, your membership numbers were only 414 behind last year’s, an amazing feat in the face of turmoil. We were unable to reach our goal, but a goal should also be attainable to be successful. Our traditional membership was stellar, with a retention rate of 92%. Please congratulate our 6th and 15th Districts as Race to the Top winners.
I applaud all of you who worked hard to make the year successful. Our membership teams have undergone training and have a renewed understanding to prevent and efficiently attach any issues early. Please communicate with our membership team and allow them to HELP with anything you might need to operate your post at its full potential.
In an effort to put our members, veterans, and posts first, we have begun a series of webinars, focusing on issues involving veterans across the State of Florida on a local, state and national level. The first webinar featured Senator Marco Rubio, with updates on the COVID pandemic and other issues veterans are currently facing. The second webinar I shared with you the latest information gathered and answered many of your questions. Both webinars were well attended. We hope to entice Governor Ron DeSantis to join us discussing many of these issues further. Let’s flood his office with positive requests and sincere interests.
Please stay safe and healthy, and strong as we deal with the hand we’ve been dealt. From my wife, Reenie, and myself, God Bless you all and God Bless America.
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