Kansas post opening up to community on Legion Family Day

Kansas post opening up to community on Legion Family Day

In October 2022, The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution No. 7, American Legion Family Day. The resolution established an American Legion Family Day to be observed annually on the last Saturday of April — this year, that is April 27.

For Legion Family Day, posts are encouraged to open their doors to members of their community for the day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion members, Legion Riders and American Legion Auxiliary.

The American Legion Family at Argonne Post 180 in Great Bend, Kan., is taking that suggestion to heart this weekend with its own Legion Family Day this Saturday. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the post will open up to the public, providing free hot dogs, face painting, balloon animals and other treats for kids.

Sons of The American Legion Squadron 180 Adjutant Chris Krueger said he and fellow squadron member Terry Harris – who currently is serving as SAL Midwest Region national vice commander – took the Family Day idea to the post, saying it could assist in bringing in “new blood” into the post’s American Legion Family. A committee with all four facets of the Legion Family – the Legion, Auxiliary, Sons and Legion Riders – has been guiding the project.

“We see this as a way to let the community know what we do,” said Krueger, who also serves as the department’s SAL and Legion Riders liaison. “Share the benefits we provide: scholarships, Boys State, Girls State, Cadet Law (Enforcement Academy). All that stuff. Show that we want to be a resource for the community.

“And in the meantime, let’s get some new members. Let’s get some people who can help with bingo twice a week, help with all the meals we put on. We need people to help keep things going.”

During the event, the Great Bend Police Department will provide Ident-A-Kid packets for parents. The packets provide parents with information about their children, including fingerprints, which they take home for safekeeping. If a child is lost or abducted, the information would be used to assist in the investigation.

“One of our members said, ‘Hey, this may be another way to bring parents with kids in.’ It’s an additional draw. We’ve got a great relationship with our local police.”

And once Post 180 began advertising the event, the Great Bend Fire Department wanted to get involved. Krueger said the department is bringing one of its trucks and will set up a table and hand out kids firefighter badges.

“It’s really coming together very well,” Krueger said.  

American Legion Family Day also is an opportunity to bring community awareness to the organization’s “Be the One” initiative to reduce the rate of veteran suicide. And American Legion posts are encouraged to share details on their Legion Family Day events, either in advance or afterward, at Legiontown.org.