American Legion members and Soldier's Wish help renovate a Legion post in Tulsa, Okla. (Photo by Lucas Carter)

Legion renews relationship with Soldier's Wish

The American Legion has renewed its relationship with Soldier’s Wish – on the heels of the organization leading the charge to renovate an American Legion post in Tulsa, Okla., in dire need of a makeover.

During its annual Spring Meetings on May 7, The Legion’s National Executive Committee passed a resolution that reaffirms “The American Legion’s commitment to cooperating with Soldier’s Wish … which has the primary purpose of identifying unmet needs of U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families, and supplying the resources to meet those needs.”

During its meeting, the NEC heard from Soldier’s Wish Executive Director Kevin McDugle, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was on site at the Post 1 renovation in Tulsa. “This is just the beginning,” McDugle said of the renovation. “There’s so many other people we need to serve, so many more things we need to do.”

McDugle said that in addition to helping Post 1’s physical presence, the renovation helped bring in more than 100 new members – including McDugle – into the post. “Most of them weren’t former Legionnaires,” he said. “Most of those new members were younger generation coming in to help out, to lend their time. (Post 1 Commander James Baker) thought that everything was dying. Now he has new life. He has new hope. He can step out and continue to do what they’ve always done: to serve another generation.”

McDugle said that American Legion Past National Commander Jake Comer had asked for a wish to be granted: that Soldier’s Wish could help renovate American Legion Post 49, which was destroyed during the recent tornado in Tupelo, Miss. “Absolutely,” was McDugle’s response. “The work’s already beginning.”

Comer, flanked by fellow Department of Massachusetts Legionnaires, presented McDugle and the Legion with $5,000 to put toward future Legion-Soldier’s Wish projects.