Dear American Legion Family members and friends,
As the nation’s largest veterans service organization, The American Legion has the ability to create positive change in the lives of veterans, servicemembers, their families, and our nation’s children and youth.
We’ve seen it in legislation that protects and provides for veterans.
We’ve seen it in relief efforts following a destructive natural disaster.
We’ve seen it in the leadership development of young people in our youth programs.
And there are many more examples. Now, just think of the impact American Legion members could have if every single one of us would “Be the One.”
The American Legion’s Be the One campaign has the potential to not only change lives, but save lives. The initiative aims to provide education and resources so that anyone — veteran, servicemember or civilian — can take the appropriate action to intervene when a veteran’s life may be at risk to suicide.
I am so pleased that we are already seeing posts achieve successes. Among those:
• In Portland, Ore., American Legion Family members distributed nearly 800 Be the One bracelets and information cards to fans attending the Trail Blazers game on Nov. 15, Military Appreciation Night. Post 104 led the effort, which included two wristbands. The idea for the wristbands is to “wear one, share one,” which spreads our message even further.
• Also in November, American Legion Post 373 in Baldwinville, Mass., coordinated a daylong symposium on veterans suicide awareness. Various speakers, area nonprofits and others delivered success stories, resources and information to veterans and their family members.
These are just two of the ways that posts can spread the Be the One message and help eliminate the stigma of asking for help, and, therefore, reduce the number of veterans who die by suicide.
Want to get started but don’t know where to begin? We have creasted resources that include videos, brochures and more that are available here.
The success of Be the One will depend on our organization’s combined efforts. Everyone of us can “Be the One.” Join me in support of this critical mission. Thank you for your commitment to saving the lives of our military brothers and sisters.
Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola