"There is a bond that is formed in the military and it does not matter which branch of service a person served in," wrote Timothy Brandt, an Air Force veteran, in his Veterans Day story for 2011. As a young student at Muskegon Community College, Brandt is president of the college's Veterans Student Organization(VSO). He was introduced to the VSO through Nancy Maycroft, a military veteran and member of the Legion, who was in charge of veterans affairs on campus. The first objective of the members of the organization is to make their presence known around campus and to reach out to other veterans who may be in need of help with class studies or just wants a friend to talk to. Other objectives of the VSO are to be available to other veterans transitioning from active duty to an active academic career and to help the National Guard and reservist who may be called to deploy transition back to active duty.
While many of you were attending Veterans Day events at a park, in a community mall or an American Legion post, the VSO of Muskegon Community College participated in their first Veterans Day ceremony on campus. The high point of the college event was the dedication of a new veterans memorial featuring all branches of the military. As I looked around the room there were very few American Legion family members in attendance. Being where the action is gives Legion members an opportunity to be a representative of the world's largest veterans organization!
After taking a poll of our Legion family membership, it is apparent that our members are active in many areas of his or her community. At every opportunity, take the time to promote the Legion family and its benefits. Carry a business card with the Legion's name, your name and contact information to hand to a person you may be meeting for the first time. This little card could open up the door to further conversation on becoming a Legion family member. Also, have a membership form with you so the person you are speaking with can join, if eligible. Or, invite someone to your local post. By inviting them to your post you are introducing them to the many opportunities to become involved with other veterans and their families.