The suggested remarks for Flag Day 2013 have been completed and are posted on The American Legion website . Copies will be distributed early next week.
Related to Flag Day, Americanism/Children & Youth staff will assist the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana and the Indiana War Memorial in conducting a U.S. flag collection ceremony on April 22. Each year the Girls Scouts hold a flag collection ceremony in which tattered flags are collected and retired. ACY staff will provide flag etiquette training, to include teaching the young ladies the difference between burning flags and retiring flags, and will assist the Girl Scouts with the lowering, folding and retiring of the U.S. flag flying above the Indiana War Memorial.
Also, last week an email alert was sent to more than 27,500 subscribers of the Legion's half-staff notification service in response to the presidential proclamation for the victims of the Boston Marathon on April 15. The flag is to be displayed at half-staff until sunset, April 20. To subscribe to the alert, click here .
In other news:
National School Board Association Conference: Representatives of The American Legion's National Committee on Education (NCOE) exhibited at the annual conference of the National School Board Association in San Diego from April 12–15, having opportunity to share information about academic scholarships, Legion youth programs and flag education. About 4,000 secondary school teachers, counselors, principals, and school board members were in attendance from across the nation, with NCOE representatives distributing 450 packets of literature.
LEAD training: The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) series of training sessions have been a huge success. So far this year 19 departments have scheduled LEAD training, or recently completed their training. Those departments are Indiana, Alabama, Texas, South Carolina, Washington, North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Nevada, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Kansas, Florida, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri and Vermont.
A LEAD training event includes, at the minimum, eight hours training selected from the LEAD course booklet. Any combination of 24 offered classes may be selected, making up eight hours of instruction. Once completed, a course pin will be presented to each Legion Family member that completes eight hours of instruction.
Operation Comfort Warriors: Last week OCW  received 14 assistance requests, including two each from Florida and Georgia, and one each from South Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Maryland, Arizona, Virginia, Kansas and Virginia. All were forwarded to their respective departments for follow up. National staff visited the WTB at Fort Carson, Colo., to provide gifts with National Commander James Koutz and delegation from the Department of Colorado. OCW purchased archery targets, air rifles, gift cards and miscellaneous sporting goods to wounded warriors.
Membership and DMS Program
The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,906,009, which is 95.5% of the 2013 goal.
The 2013 membership year began on July 1, 2012. The fourth DMS mailing for the 2013 membership year was completed on February 4, 2013. Approximately 1.6 million pieces were mailed at that time. Responses from that mailing are now being processed.
Based on the four DMS mailings this year, we have acquired:
DMS Acquires: prospects 94,371, expires 76,825, total 171,196.
2013 Goal – 185,000; percent of goal 92.54 percent
Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members — 48.7 percent (92,340 of 189,685 new 2012 members)
On-Line Renewal Activity: 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1) – 180,587