Commander's Column

First Vice Commander's Column

Second Vice Commander's Column

Hight's Horizons

Toledo will host 2015 Department Convention

Letter to the Editor

Chaplain's Corner

It's an Internal Affair

Mid-Winter Conference a success

Legion Riders attend Mid-Winter Conference

Who we are and who we were


Law and Order program encourages nominations

Department Executive Committee highlights

District 1

District 2

District 3

District 4

District 5

District 6

District 7

District 8

District 9

District 10

District 11

District 12

District 13

District 14


Department of Ohio teams with Anytime Fitness

Pictured (L-R): Post Adjutant Jay Musson, Post Commander Steve Downey, Post 2nd Vice D.J. Douglas, Post 1st Vice Jordan Page, and Department 1st Vice Jim Campbell.

What have they done for us lately?

By Jason Graven

In the previous issue I had the pleasure of featuring the Charter presentation and POW/MIA Chair of Honor dedication at the University of Akron campus home of Post 808. There has been a wealth of positive feedback on the event with their video, the article, and across their campus. They came in with high hopes, a new vision, and a belief that the younger generation will catch on. But as one member with whom I spoke with has said, "what's next?"

I contacted Post 808 Adjutant Jay Musson to discuss what they have accomplished since the chair, or was it just a flash in the pan prepared to die out? "We developed a close relationship with the University of Akron Foundation due to the fact that the university had previously promoted a veteran friendly agenda on a number of fronts that included a veteran's lounge, a Korean War Memorial, and veteran specific scholarships. They found that a number of alumni donors requested veteran specific projects. The Post and the foundation worked up a number of different projects for potential donors to review. One of the ideas was funding the first year's membership dues for one hundred student veterans.

"This idea was quickly picked up by one donor who saw the value of this for the new post so he funded five years' worth of memberships. This enabled us to sign up 70 new members in one week by setting up a table in the Veteran's Service Center and sign up student veterans as they came in to verify classes during the first week of school. We knew they were qualified for Legion membership because they were drawing GI bill benefits.

"Another donor saw value in the WebEx broadcast project and he funded the necessary equipment needed to allow us to make that project happen. Another project was to fund graduation caps and gowns for Post members," Jay informed.

What is WebEx? I'm sure you asked, as did I. "We are using WebEx to broadcast membership meetings to those who were unable to attend meetings. Additionally, Post members who may be deployed could attend the meeting remotely as the product enables the remote people to be seen and heard.

"The meeting is recorded so that it can be seen at a later time. Also, we can have speakers address the membership from anywhere. The only equipment requirement is that the speaker would have to have a laptop computer. An example would be that the National, Department, or District Commanders could take ten minutes wherever they might be to dial up our meeting access code and speak to us and be questioned by us, if that was the format, and be able to move on to his next task.

"Travel times can be drastically reduced and PowerPoint presentations can be shared. We are currently looking at having a virtual post of a deployed unit attending our meetings from their deployed location." Videoing and archiving meeting minutes has huge potential in our organization.

No longer would minutes have to be taken, the Post could make the archived meetings available at any time to any member. It can be used to verify a vote on an action, verify attendance, hold the leadership of Posts accountable to their members, etc. The accessibility to members anywhere in the world has potential on its own merit. As Jay pointed out, an entire unit can access and participate in the meeting from anywhere in the world with nothing but the internet. Want to congratulate a deployed soldier on his new born child? Invite him. Want to present an award to a unit that is overseas and thank them? Invite them. Have active Post members currently serving and you need their opinion on a crucial vote? They can be there, all you have to do is invite them.

One of the common arguments concerning the Iraq/Afghanistan generation was that with work, school, and families they just didn't have the time to be involved with The American Legion. I asked Jay how they have approached this issue. "Probably the biggest thing we are doing is bringing student veterans and alumni veterans together so the alumni can help the students navigate the overwhelming level of detail associated with being a student veteran in today's college environment. This allows the students to direct more of their energy to the scholastic part of their college experience and provides more free time to give to the causes they believe in such as helping other veterans through The American Legion Post," Jay said.

After our conversation, I left with a sense that what is next is bigger than we can imagine at this point, and that's why the college campus posts are vitally important to our continued success as an organization. Not only are we teaching the younger generations what we do and who we are, but they are also teaching us by showing us new, cheaper and more efficient ways to get things done, spread our message, raise money outside of the canteens, and how to be relevant to this next generation of veteran. The question isn't "what have they done for us lately," they are doing plenty. The question should be, "what will we be doing for them tomorrow?" The answer needs to be: listen and learn.

If you would like to follow what The American Legion University of Akron Post 808 continues to do with regards to our newest generation of veterans please visit www.al808.org.

Department of Ohio Washington guided tour

Would you like to visit Washington, D.C., and not have to worry about parking, traffic, where to stay, where to eat, and when, where and what to see?

L&M tours is working with the Department and will take care of all this for you. Promptly at 9 a.m. on October 2nd, buses will leave from Department Headquarters for a 3-day guided tour to: WWII Memorial, FDR Memorial, Vietnam, Korean, and Lincoln Memorials, the Washington Monument, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, and the Union Station. And a few surprise stops along the way.

This is a very good price at $325 per person. The price includes a two night stay at the Weston Hotel in Falls Church, VA., bus transportation, beverages on the bus, a souvenir package and a hospitality room provided by L&M tours. All sleeping rooms are doubles and reservations will be made by L&M from your entry form.

Tour Reservations are due Wednesday, September 16th. See the form on Page 28. You can mail your reservation with a check or credit card information to:

American Legion Department Headquarters
60 Big Run Rd.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
ATTN: Brenda McGowan

Overnight parking is available at Department Headquarters and hotels are close by if you want to stay the night before departure.

This is a great way to spend time with fellow Legionnaires, Auxiliary and SAL members. This tour is also open to the public. Bring membership applications with you. Maybe there is a Veteran who is not a member?

If you should have any questions contact Brenda McGowan, Events Director, at Department Headquarters.