There is a lot happening with American Legionnaires throughout our state. Did you head to Raleigh to participate in the Mid-Year Conference? If not, you missed out.
There were lots of meetings, an outstanding report from the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs Office; the VA had a team to assist us in signing up for MyHeathevet and eBenefits; our National Commander, Mike D. Helm, shared his observations and vision for the future; and Department Committees, Commissions and the Department Executive Committee (DEC) shared post activities and set the pace for the North Carolina American Legion.
There were lots of meetings and you could not possibly get to all of them. That’s why posts need to send their leaders and Executive Committee members. The post’s team can fan out and go to the meetings and training sessions. That would make any post stronger. You don’t have to be an expert on any topic, but you will surely learn more about it by just watching and listening.
If you have ever visited a courthouse, a state legislature or Congress, you are sure to have witnessed the larger groups milling about in the hallways, foyers, small meeting rooms, and just outside the main meeting room or chamber. You also saw a full dining area, not to mention the lines and people about the coffee kiosks and service areas. It was in all of these “outer areas” where most of the business was being done. Our mid-year meeting, the state convention, and the fall conference are no different.
Lot’s of ideas are shared. Points are made, friendships are built, people are introduced, and new proposals are hawked (“shared”). We will share some of what we heard with you as separate stories posted to your district news page.
This writer’s favorite time is after the meetings, especially contentious and spirited meetings. It is not unusual to hear a heartbreaking or heart warming story. It is not unusual to hear a fair amount of “Woe is me. … My post is (fill-in your favorite comment),” and worse story. You are also sure to witness many a Legionnaire stand tall and proud as he shared what is in his or her heart. This type of Legionnaire is what you want by your side motivating and encouraging you and members of your post. They told stories of how their post has met lots of obstacles, but there is hope and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that is renewing the post.
It is after these meetings that you mingle with the post leaders who are making progress. You will stop and chat with those who have ideas that might work at your post. You will surely seek out those posts that are doing what you have been trying to do. After hearing their story you will ask yourself, “Why can’t we?”
Whatever you hear, it will motivate you, encourage you, and sustain you. You will return to your post proud of what you are doing, what you are trying to do, and encouraged to do what needs to be done at home.
So, fellow District 12 member or post, plan for the next District 12 meeting. Bring along a car load of post members with you. Share your ideas, your frustrations, and more. But, above all, bring with you a few ideas to share. You will learn more and be able to make not only the district, but your post a better and more active post. And, again, put on your calendar the Department of North Carolina State Convention. It is in June at the North Raleigh Hilton. Start your next Post Year energized.