After leaving the DEC meeting in Lansing for the drive back home to Battle Creek, I stopped at Eaton/Greenawalt-Flaherty Post No. 42 in Charlotte to drop off "Request to Transfer to Local Post" and "Project Stay Alive" forms for their post, which were distributed to District Commanders earlier.
I thought it would save time and help the post process their transfers more rapidly. After removing my tie and sport coat, I entered the lounge, and asked the lounge manager to give the forms to the first vice commander. I explained how important they were, and the young lady put them in an envelope, attaching a note with my name and contact information.
Ten minutes later while talking to some members, a gentleman came up to me and proudly spoke about Post 42, the American Legion, and what his post was doing for his community of Charlotte. In one hand he had the envelope, and in the other was a blank triplicate transfer application. He then proceeded to tell me that I would be welcome at their post, but I needed to provide copies of my DD-214, and current membership card to process the transfer. The man truly made me feel great, and stated on behalf of Post 42 he wished to express to me, a warm welcome to Charlotte.
At first I didn't realize where this was going, but then understood he thought I was a Legionnaire interested in transferring my membership to Post 42. He was somewhat embarrassed when he recognized his error and was apologetic, especially as others had been aware of his great recruitment effort.
I announced to all who were present that there was no apology needed. This is exactly the type of demeanor and attitude we want at the post level as members greet guests, speak to people about transferring, and solicit veterans to join the American Legion.
Arriving home I immediately called Post 42 Commander Dale Rehard and expressed my thanks for the "above and beyond" effort of this man, Adjutant Max Denton. The commander told me how valuable Max has been to his post over the years, and how he thanklessly takes on many tasks including mowing the lawn. If you have never been to Post 42, their lawn is huge!
It is ironic because newly elected Commander Rehard, was the first recipient of our 3rd District "Distinguished Service Award," a recognition program that I implemented within our district in 2011. Any Post, Sons of the Legion, Auxiliary, or Legion Rider member is eligible, if their name is submitted for consideration. Coincidentally, the next meeting of the 3rd District will be held in September at Charlotte Post 42.
At that meeting, it will be my honor, and the honor of our membership, to present Adjutant Max Denton with a 3rd District "Distinguished Service Award" for his quiet, diligent, and persistent dedication to the mission of The American Legion, not only as a proud Michigan Legionnaire, but as a role model and officer of Post 42.
Thank you Adjutant Denton, for your service, and it was my pleasure to meet you.
Jim Carlin, 3rd District Commander, www.MichiganLegionDistrict3.org