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T e American Legion August 17, 2012 • Vol. 21, No. 12 MEMBERSHIP WORKSHOP TOUCHING LIVES

Membership is much more than simple numbers.

By Steve B. Brooks Membership, at its most basic

level, is about numbers. But the impact made by the members of T e American Legion is much more than that. Many who join T e American Legion end up making huge diff erences in the lives of others. During the August National

Membership Workshop in Indianapolis, American Legion National Adjutant Daniel S. Wheeler spoke about the organization’s many assistance programs – the National Emergency Fund, Temporary Financial Assistance and Operation Comfort Warriors, to name a few – and gave specifi c examples of how each of them have benefi tted an individual or family. A strong membership base is

what makes those programs possible, Wheeler said. “Membership is about ...

keeping the heart of the Legion strong, so we will be there when someone less fortunate has no place else to turn,” Wheeler told the more than 350 Legionnaires in attendance on Aug. 3. “T is is one way we are ‘Still Serving America.’ I hope that these examples of our programs, the volunteers who work them and donate to them – and the voices of gratitude – will be remem- bered as we concentrate on the importance of membership.”

P.O. BOX 1055 • INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46206 A National Headquarters Publication

Dispatch is going digital. Aſt er its Dec. 15 issue, the organiza- tion’s monthly newspaper will no longer be printed and mailed. Replacing it will be a more

frequent, current and timely email update and a special landing page on the national website that will be dedicated to the interests of American Legion post offi cers. T e new landing page will

feature guides and materials to help offi cers manage their posts, fulfi ll consolidated post reports, increase membership, submit award entries and communicate with National Headquarters. To help readers understand

National Commander Fang A. Wong thanks Legionnaires for their eff orts during the 2011-2012 year while addressing the annual National Membership Workshop in Indianapolis Aug. 3. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

T e next member you recruit,

Wheeler told the audience, could leave a lasting impact on someone else. “You never know which member you recruit will be the one that touches another veteran and makes a life-chang- ing diff erence,” he said. In addition to moving into

smaller breakout sessions to receive basic and advanced mem- bership courses, and district commander training, attendees also heard from several other Legion leaders, including American Legion National

Non-Profi t Organization




More at stake than budget defi cit



This is your

American Legion PAGE 3


Providing answers, advice


Help in the wilderness


OCW brings wounded warriors to Six Flags


Commander Fang A. Wong While thanking Legionnaires

for their membership eff orts during his tenure as commander – as of July 30, 54 of 55 depart- ments had hit at least 100 percent of their membership goals when including Direct Mail Solicita- tion (DMS) membership – Wong said the eff orts need to continue. “Most of the departments are

headed in a positive direction,” he said. “T e question is: What do we do from here? If you feel that you’re making headway, or if you look at it and say, ‘We’re

falling down into the other direction,’ then maybe you’ve got to sit down and say, ‘What can we do to improve or continue?’ T at’s important. It’s important to talk to the (department) commander who just fi nished his or her year to fi nd out – good or bad, it doesn’t matter – the key things they learned, what they’ve been through, so that you can plot your course for the coming year.” National Membership & Post

See TOUCHING on Page 6

the new format, here are some anticipated questions and answers about the coming tran- sition: Question: Why will T e American Legion no longer print and mail the Dispatch? Answer: Like other publishers, T e American Legion is looking to use its digital assets to provide high-quality information faster and more frequently. By taking away the time it takes to print and distribute a paper edition, the Legion will be able to quickly and effi ciently publish and deliver news and information, as well as provide interactive forms with direct connections to national. Question: Will the digital Dispatch still have the same kinds of stories and photos? Answer: All the stories and information Dispatch readers have enjoyed – Dateline Capitol Hill, Taps, the National Adjutant’s Message, and others will still be off ered in the digital format, as will photos from national Legion meetings and events. T e electronic

See DISPATCH on Page 3

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