Membership update

We are pleased to report that our current membership rate stands at about 75% of our goal of 70 for the year. That may not seem very good, but please note this: our goal for many years was between 50-55 per year.

In member year 2013, we had a big jump in membership to around 70 members, but in that same year, several passed away. Rather than follow its tradition of using the prior year’s goal plus one, our Department decided to use the higher number.

We are fortunate that we’ve had several members transfer in from Post 1000 in recent months, but they do not count on our rolls until member year 2016.

The meaning of membership

With that being said, what does being a member of the American Legion mean to you?

For posts that have a physical location, veterans have a place to go, where they can have their meetings and help with ongoing events and activities like social nights and monthly breakfasts and/or dinners.

Our post does not have a building, so we have to be creative in our efforts. We host annual ceremonies for Memorial Day, Patriot Day (9/11), and Veterans Day at the downtown park. We sponsor a boy for Boys State every spring. These are things we’ve done for years. We are starting to branch out and do new things as well, like School Awards, Environmental Youth Leadership Camp, VA Mobile Medical Clinics for local veterans, and care packages for deployed troops, to name a few. We’d like to have more social functions, besides our annual Christmas dinner in December, but it takes an interested population to be able to put these on.

Perhaps the most important part of Legion membership, I believe, is that portion of our dues which goes to support lobbying efforts at our state and national levels. It was the American Legion that fought for and won additional compensation for World War I veterans in 1924, strongly advocated for the creation of the Veterans’ Bureau (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) in 1930, and campaigned for the passage of the GI Bill of Rights, which was signed in June 1944. There have been many other efforts over the years that I can’t name off the top of my head.

As a younger veteran who is disabled from military service, I worry about the erosion of benefits that may occur over time if I don’t have someone fighting on my behalf. This is what I tell anyone contemplating membership, as well as anyone else who wants to know more about what we do and why.

We need to go into this with the understanding that membership is not about meetings; in fact, meeting attendance is not a condition of membership. We need to understand that there may be personality conflicts, as we have members of all eras who experienced very different situations that affect them in very different ways. What we have to remember is that for the common good, we have to put all that aside. We are losing veterans every day at an alarming rate, particularly among the Vietnam generation. The more people we lose, the weaker our collective voice becomes.

In the end, it’s up to individual veterans to determine if the goals of the American Legion match with theirs. And remember this, especially for the men and women who served outside of our periods of eligibility: the American Legion serves all veterans. You are still a comrade, no matter when you served, and you are welcome at all of our events.

Amy Hussar

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VA Mobile Medical Clinic

VA Mobile Medical Clinic

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September membership update

As of September 11, we are 57.14% of the way towards meeting our 2015 membership goal! Thank you to everyone who has sent their dues in already.

Did you know that you can renew online? All you need is a credit or debit card and your member number. Enter your information in this online form at the national Legion web site, and you will be all set for this year. You can even set your account up for automatic renewal every year. Of course, checks and cash are still good if you’re local. Whatever method you choose, you should receive your 2015 membership card shortly thereafter.

You can also register for, the members-only portal.

-Posted by Amy Hussar

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May and June Events

Upcoming events for our post are as follows:

May 27-29: School Awards presentations for Apricot Valley (5th grade), Grayson Charter (5th grade), Walnut Grove (8th grade), Creekside Middle (8th grade), and Las Palmas (5th grade)

May 31: Apricot Fiesta parade, 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Las Palmas and 9th Street – please wear black and white if you have it

June 1: Meet the Candidates forum, 6 p.m. at the Hammon Senior Center

June 3: School Awards presentation to City Council, 7 p.m. at City Hall

June 11: Kickoff BBQ, Installation, and Continuous Membership Ceremony, 6 p.m. at Father Connors Hall

June 19-22: Annual convention, Santa Clara

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Memorial Day 2014 fundraiser

We are pleased to announce a new joint fundraiser with the Patterson FFA.

Place your order by May 14 for delivery on Memorial Day!

Honor a Veteran fundraiser 2014

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September 2013 events

September 11 – Patriot Day ceremony, 8:30 a.m., Veterans (South) Park

September 11 – Regular meeting, 7 p.m., Father Connors Hall

September 19 – Social night, 6-9 p.m., Father Connors Hall

September 20 – POW/MIA Remembrance, 11 a.m., Veterans (South) Park

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Veteran Grave Sites

In honor of Memorial Day tomorrow, here is a list of known veterans buried in the Patterson cemetery. Please let us know if we missed anyone, or if any information is incorrect – not everyone is identified as a veteran in cemetery records or in obituaries, so we appreciate any and all input!

Veterans Buried in the Patterson Cemetery (PDF – 5/26/13 – 17 pages)

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May and June events

May 8 – regular monthly meeting (elections), 7 pm

May 27 – Memorial Day, 10 am, Patterson District Cemetary

June 1 – Apricot Fiesta parade, 9 am

June 12 – regular monthly meeting (installation), 7 pm

June 13 – VA Mobile Medical Clinic, 11 am-3 pm, Apricot Valley Elementary

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New bylaws

Our post adopted new bylaws at the regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, replacing the version dated 10/11/89.

Visit the Membership page to view and download.

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The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation’s veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.

The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.

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