Commander honors Legionnaire for NEF efforts

National Commander Jim Koutz presented Legionnaire Joe De La Cruz with a plaque during the Department Service Officer training conducted in Indianapolis on Aug. 1.

De La Cruz, a volunteer, was recognized for his work in assisting veterans after the two May tornadoes in Moore, Okla. De La Cruz assisted with the gathering and filling of National Emergency Fund and Temporary Financial Assistance applications along with distributing grant checks to those who qualified.

In other news:

CPR winners: In order to increase participation in filling out Consolidated Post Reports, National Commander Jim Koutz instituted the following challenges and recognition to department leadership:

  • Plaque at National Convention for 95 percent to 100 percent reporting.
  • Certificates mailed for those that are over 75 percent reporting and show an increase in their response rate from 2012.
  • Publish department commander’s picture in The American Legion Dispatch for those in the 100 and 95-99 percent clubs.

The winners of 100 percent reporting are: Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Those department commanders will be recognized on stage in Houston with a plaque presented by the national commander.

Departments receiving a certificate recognizing them for 75 percent or higher reporting and showing an increase over last year are: Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Ohio.

Riders deadline: The deadline for registering online for The American Legion Legacy Run is Aug. 9. Paper registrations and payment will be accepted until the start of the run. The Run includes events within the departments of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Route planning is complete and is now posted online at The Legacy Run will depart from American Legion Post 64, 601 S. Holt Road, Indianapolis, on Aug. 18. It will arrive at League City American Legion Post 554 on Aug. 22.

Baseball tournament: As American Legion Baseball department tournaments wind down, the state champions will head to their respective regional tournament sites on Aug. 7. All 15 games of each regional tournament will be scored live by a group of dedicated scorekeepers. Volunteers and national staff are currently setting up links that will allow fans to follow the live action of each game via GameTracker. Game Tracker will be available on the baseball web page of the Legion website at during regional tournament play.

Children & Youth (C&Y) Conference: Letters have been sent to department Children & Youth chairman authorizing their attendance to the seventh annual National Children & Youth Conference in Indianapolis. The conference is also open to all Legion Family members. This year’s opening session is Sept. 20, with information sessions scheduled Sept. 21-22. Registration is available to all Legion Family members online at:

Membership and DMS Program: The delegate strength date was 7/29/2013 and the report has been downloaded. There will not be a membership report downloaded until after the delegate strength membership report has been sent out to the departments.

On-Line Renewal Activity: 2014 Membership Year online renewals (since July 1): 77,837

Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2013 currently stands at 350,372 members or 99.1 percent as of Aug. 1. The Sons are running 3,155 members ahead of this same date last year. The first SAL membership target date for the 2014 membership year is Sept. 11, which is the 10 percent membership goal.