Department Commander David Woodward for 2018 –2019
Department Commander March Message
As I write this, I am heading back to VT after being in Washington for spring meetings.
February, although starting out slow became a busy month for me as it went on. On February 14, I had the honor of participating in a nursing award by our VA&R committee to the nurses at our White River VA hospital. On the 15th, I participated in the Green Mountain Eagle Scout luncheon. I arrived in Washington on the 20th and was able to see some of the capital before meetings.
Some of the things that were mentioned in some of the meetings I attended were National Commander Reistad’s National week of calling. This is a week in March to reach out to veterans, current and non-renewed members of The American Legion, just to check on them and see if they are OK. Of course, if they are non-renewed members, try to get them to renew. While sitting in a meeting talking about making these calls, a member mentioned before making calls to have all the available resources for VT veterans available so you can give information if asked. Also, if someone asked for information, call him or her back to see if they were helped.
I know as most of us probably do, 20 veterans a day take their own life. What I did not know is that of the 20 a day only six are in the VA system. 14 veterans a day are not getting the possible benefits of the VA for assistance. If you know a veteran that is not enrolled in the VA, encourage them to do so. I recently joined and just having a VA card, I find many available benefits throughout society. (Thank you Shari!)
While at the commanders call, the chief petty officer of the Coast Guard thanked The American Legion for the almost 1.5 million dollars we donated to the CG while there was a partial government shutdown. That does not include the countless gift cards/food donations, etc. that were given by the many posts around the country to the CG. If that is not a statement of what we as The American Legion do, And what a difference we make, I do not know what is.
While in Washington, the Department of Vermont laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ken Coonradt and I laid the wreath, and I want to thank the members of the department, Elaine Coonradt, NEC Marty Lemnah, Silas Loomis, Chris Moore, Cathy Tester, Fred and Vivacious Vivian Stebbins, that took the time to participate in this ceremony.
Remember, we are turning 100 this Month. I would encourage all posts to reach out to their local communities and have a resolution signed by the town select board acknowledging our centennial. Let’s get the word out, they don’t know if we don’t tell them.
For God and Country,
David Woodward, Dept. Commander