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MAY 18, 2012 COMMANDER’S MESSAGE


PLANNER MAY


28 Memorial Day


31 End of Child Welfare Foundation award year


JUNE


14 Flag Day (Pause for the Pledge, 7 p.m. EDT)


JULY


1 Department Children & Youth reports due to National Headquarters


4 Independence Day


15 Child Welfare Foundation grant applications due to National Headquarters (postmarked NLT)


20-27 American Legion Boys Nation, Washington


26-28 National Membership Workshop, Indianapolis


26-28 Department Service Offi cers School, Indianapolis


AUGUST


1 Samsung American Legion Scholarship applications due to National Headquarters


7-12 Junior Shooting Sports National Championship, Colorado Springs, Colo.


8-13 American Legion Baseball regional tournaments


17-21 American Legion Baseball World Series, Shelby, N.C.


21-23 National Commander’s Ride


23-25 American Legion Riders Expo, Indianapolis


24-30 American Legion National Convention, Indianapolis


Published monthly. Printed by HNE Printers, Columbus, Ind.


All American Legion publications are entitled and encouraged to reproduce all staff -written stories within, but please credit Dispatch as the source.


A proud member of The National American Legion Press Association. ACTIVATION


Want to get involved in one of The American Legion’s many national programs? Do you have a question about veterans aff airs, national defense or what is going on in Washington? All you have to do is pick up the phone or send an e-mail.


Americanism/Children & Youth (317) 630-1203 acy@legion.org


Economic (202) 861-2700


econ@legion.org Finance


317-630-1222 fi nance@legion.org


Internal Aff airs (317) 630-1330 ia@legion.org


Legislation


(202) 263-2981 leg@legion.org


National Security/Foreign Relations (202) 861-2700 nsfr@legion.org


National Convention (317) 630-1292 dholmes@legion.org bwilliams@legion.org


National Emblem Sales (888) 453-4466 emblem@legion.org emblem.legion.org


Public Relations (317) 630-1253 pr@legion.org


The American Legion Magazine (317) 630-1298


magazine@legion.org


The American Legion Library (317) 630-1366


library@legion.org


Veterans Aff airs & Rehabilitation (202) 861-2700 var@legion.org


American Legion Baseball (317) 630-1249


jquinlan@legion.org legion.org/baseball


American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (317) 630-1202 www.cwf-inc.org


American Legion Endowment Fund (317) 630-1202


American Legion Riders (317) 630-1327


legionriders@legion.org Boys Nation


(317) 630-1207 acy@legion.org


Family Support Network (317) 630-1395 (800) 504-4098


familysupport@legion.org


Junior Shooting Sports (317) 630-1249


cshort@legion.org


Legion College (317) 630-1265


mherndon@legion.org


National Emergency Fund (317) 630-1321 ia@legion.org


National Oratorical Contest (317) 630-1249


cshort@legion.org


Sons of The American Legion SAL@legion.org


Facebook: A tool worth using “I think there’s confusion around what the point


of social networks is. A lot of diff erent companies characterized as social networks have diff erent goals – some serve the function of business net- working, some are media portals. What we’re trying to do is just make it really effi cient for people to communicate, get informa- tion and share information.” – Mark Zuckerberg,


founder/CEO, Facebook T ere is no denying the


power of social media when it comes to getting word to the masses in the quickest way possible. Email and the Internet used to be the best way for an organization or business to put their message out there. Now, those same businesses and organizations – while still main- taining a strong Web presence – are devoting time and manpower to achieving an equally strong footing in the social media arena. Developing a strong following on Twitter is one


Fang A. Wong National Commander


place to start. In just two years, the Legion’s Twitter audience has grown from fewer than 2,000 to nearly 10,000 people. When an event of national importance within or relating to our organization occurs, close to 10,000 people learn about it almost instantaneously. Just like Twitter, Facebook is critical in T e


American Legion’s social media strategy. We’ve refocused its eff orts in this area, working to develop a Facebook strategy that serves both the organization and its members. Since 2010, T e American Legion Online


Update has served as the Legion’s primary Facebook presence, gathering nearly 24,000 followers in the process. T e ALOU page currently serves as a news feed, providing links to


Correspondence and letters to the editor: The American Legion Dispatch P.O. Box 1055


Indianapolis, IN 46206


Subscriptions or customer service: (317) 630-1298


Annual subscription rate: $15


Editorial offi ce: (317) 630-1352 Fax: (317) 630-1280


Online: www.legion.org STILL SERVING AMERICA


Does your post have a unique community program, an innovative recruiting method or a creative way of spreading the Legion message that could be implemented at posts across the country? Tell us how your post and its members are Still Serving America.


In submitting your information, include your full name, address and telephone number. Send your items, labeled Still Serving America, to the correspondence address at left.


EDITOR Steve B. Brooks


CONTRIBUTORS Matt Grills Jeff Stoff er


DESIGNER Jason Reed


articles that appear at www.legion.org, as well as outbound links to national media. Next on the agenda is expanding the audience


for T e American Legion National Headquarters Facebook page. T is is where we want Legion- naires – and prospective members – to go to learn about the organization, its mission, and what we’re doing on a daily basis. T is page will serve as the voice of T e American Legion on Facebook. T at’s not all that’s happening, though. T e


Legion recently created Facebook pages for the American Legion Riders and the organization’s national convention. T e convention page debuted in April, while the Riders launched in May. American Legion Riders, the Legion’s fastest-


growing program, duplicated that success on Facebook. Not even a week aſt er its creation, the ALR page had 1,000 followers; that number is now above 1,200 and climbing. T e page itself is a perfect example of what we’re seeking to achieve through Facebook: getting information quickly to our membership while providing a spot in cyberspace for Legionnaires to share their ideas, questions and concerns with each other. ALR Facebook fans are posting information


and photos about their various fundraising eff orts. T ey’re answering questions posed by others on the site. And they’re spreading the word about all the good work the Riders are doing. If you’re on Facebook, fi nd T e American Legion National Headquarters page (see link at right). From there, you can easily access the Legion’s additional Facebook pages. Social media is an easy way to spread the word about our great organization and its incredible members. Please hellp us get do th


p us get do that by following us on Facebook. by fol g us on Fa k. Memoranda


FOLLOW THE LEGION ON FACEBOOK:


The American Legion has several Facebook pages for its various programs: Legion Riders, the national convention, the Citizens Flag Alliance and others.


Go to the National Headquarters page to link up with the Legion’s other Facebook pages.


www.facebook.com/ americanlegionhq


LEGACY RUN REGISTRATION ONGOING AT LEGION.ORG


Registration for the 2012 American Legion Legacy Run Home is available at legion.org. This year’s Legacy Run starts with the National Commander’s Ride, which departs New York on Aug. 21 and arrives in Indianapolis Aug. 23.


Starting Aug. 23 and running through Aug. 25, The American Legion Riders Expo will feature a planned series of American Legion Rider events, such as range and classroom training, Rider program development courses, skills training and Motorcycle Safety Foundation exhibitions.


www.legion.org/riders/ legacyrun


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