Supporting our communities like only The American Legion can

Supporting our communities like only The American Legion can

Dear American Legion Family Members and Friends,

When a crisis develops, American Legion Family members are there to help their community overcome it. When disaster strikes, American Legion Family members are there to comfort the afflicted. When a veteran needs assistance, Legionnaires are there to prop up their brother or sister.

That’s the way it has been for a century of service to communities, states and nation. While The American Legion has responded to disasters and other setbacks over our organization’s lifespan, we have never experienced such a unique challenge that we face now with the coronavirus outbreak.

If this was a normal year, this morning I would have presented my report to the National Executive Committee as part of The American Legion’s Spring Meetings. Those were wisely cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead I wanted to share with you this message of how we are leading the way during this tumultuous time.

As I stay sheltered in place in North Carolina, I am so inspired by how our American Legion Family is continuing to serve its communities — from a safe distance. From coast to coast, American Legion members are providing food to health-care workers, securing personal protection equipment for first responders, and solving problems for the betterment of veterans, servicemembers and youth in their communities.

If you have not already, please reference the new Buddy Check kit, which has been enhanced to better serve senior members of our veteran community, who are at the highest risk of COVID-19. Posts can carry on the Legion’s mission by putting together a Buddy Check on the older veterans in the community. At the same time, don't forget families of deployed troops, veterans' widows, youths and others in your community who may need assistance, or just a friendly call.

There are many other ways that Legionnaires can contribute while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Among them:

• Remember to submit your Consolidated Post Report to help us gauge the impact our organization is having worldwide. You can easily log into and submit the CPR for your post electronically. Or download the form at the national website. They are due to departments by June 1 and national by July 1.

• Work with your local American Red Cross chapter on sponsoring a blood drive to help fill the urgent need at this time.

• Take a few minutes to fill out our COVID-19 impact survey. The American Legion is using this survey to track trends in response to the pandemic. Your identity will remain anonymous unless you choose to be contacted for assistance.

Stay safe, my friends and comrades.