2018 09 10 Sept 2018, Disaster Assistance, Patriotic Dates
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Sept 2018, Disaster Assistance, Patriotic Dates

In this issue:


An urgent matter needs your attention

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,
I had wanted my first email communication to you to be about Team 100 — my theme for this historic year as The American Legion transcends its first century of service into its next.
There will be plenty of opportunities in my year as national commander to discuss Team 100, pay tribute to the Legion’s century of accomplishments and celebrate our rise into the next 100 years.
But I learned of an urgent matter today that has a potentially significant impact on The American Legion and all its members. I am asking for your support.
The United States Postal Service has proposed a rule that would prevent The American Legion (and other nonprofits) from sending merchandise or goods like calendars, stickers, etc. in nonprofit marketing mail. Instead, the USPS would classify these mailings as first-class mail.
This is not a simple change in the category of how mail is sent. This change would eliminate the use of premiums in nonprofit fundraising mail — and would increase The American Legion’s mailing cost by 200 percent.
That significant increase would critically impact our programs dedicated to helping and advocating for veterans, mentoring children, assisting transitioning servicemembers, providing scholarships for students, comforting the afflicted throughout every community in our great nation.
We must quickly work together to let the USPS know this proposal is unreasonable. My team has prepared a sample templated letter. I encourage you to download the template, personalize it with your information and email it to the USPS (mailto:ProductClassification@usps.gov) with the subject line: USPS Marketing Mail Content Eligibility.
Please don’t delay. This is an urgent matter and the letters must be emailed no later than Friday, Sept. 14.
Thank you for your assistance, and for what you do every day on behalf of our nation’s veterans, servicemembers and their families.

Brett Reistad
American Legion National Commander

A Son helps a Veteran

Mike & Janice Lawler of Mazomanie, despite suffering devasting losses of their own during the August flood, went above and beyond to save treasured memories of a 100-year-old WWII veteran that were damaged by the flood.  Friends, this is truly an amazing story and worthy of your time to read.

Help one of our own

Now it is time to give back to one of our own.  Mike & Janice Lawler have lost the two homes their daughters lived in due to the severe flooding in their hometown of Mazomanie, WI in late August, 2018.   Not only are the structures gone, but so are all of the contents and personal belongings.
These homes were not in a flood plain, so there was not any flood insurance, and homeowners insurance does not cover floods.
Legion family, this is a chance to help our own and give back to a very special family that has tirelessly given to others.
While Mike, as we all know, remains upbeat and positive, they will need financial assistance to replace the structures and contents.
Please help in any way you can.  Every contribution is greatly appreciated.

National Emergency Fund – Assistance for members and Posts

The National Emergency Fund is available to provide assistance because of natural disasters.  With weather wreaking havoc across our state, it seems like an appropriate time to remind everyone of this program.
Eligibility is open to Legionnaires and Sons of The American Legion members (up to $3,000) Legion Posts (up to $10,000).  Applicant must have been displaced from their primary residence due damage sustained during a declared natural disaster.  This is not meant to replace or repair items, only to meet most immediate needs (i.e., temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc.) during the period immediately following the disaster.  It does not cover insurance compensation or monetary losses from a business, structures on your property (barns, tool sheds, etc.,) equipment or vehicles.
To qualify, membership must be active at time of disaster and the time of application.  Application must be submitted to the Department Headquarters within 90 days of disaster.
Disaster must be a "declared" natural disaster for Legion Family members.  Supporting data (photos, receipts, repair estimates, etc.) should be included if at all possible or statements (testimony) from post/district/department officers attesting to damages to residence requiring displacement.
Only one grant per household per disaster.
Post grants must derive from a declared natural disaster and substantiating documentation must provide that The American Legion post will cease to perform the duties and activities in the community due to losses sustained.

Patriot Day – September 11

Patriot Day, also known as the national Day of Service and Remembrance, occurs on September 11 each year in memory of those killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Those we lost September 11, 2001 will forever hold a cherished place in our hearts in the history of our nation. By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), Congress authorized the President to designate September 11 each year as “Patriot Day” to perpetuate the memory of those who perished in the attack on America, and to pursue peace and justice in the world and security at home. Appropriate ceremonies and activities include a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. EDT, remembrance services and candlelight vigils. Flags should be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day.

POW/MIA Recognition Day – September 21, 2018

POW/MIA Recognition Day honors the commitments and the sacrifices made by our nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.  National POW/MIA Recognition Day on the third Friday of September, is one of the six days specified by law on which the black POW/MIA flag shall be flown over federal facilities and cemeteries, post offices and military installations.  The other days are:  Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.  Plan ahead and check with your local facilities to make sure they have a POW/MIA flag and if not, it would be a great time to make a formal presentation of the flag to the facility.  POW/MIA – YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.

Gold Star Mother’s/Family’s Day – September 30, 2018

Gold Star Mother’s/Family’s Day honors mothers and families who have lost a service member in combat. The name comes from the custom of families hanging Service Flags in the window of their homes. The Service Flag has a star for each family member in the armed forces. A blue star represents a family member in active service, a silver star represents a family member wounded or injured in a war zone and a gold star represents a family member killed during active-duty and stands for sacrifice made for honor and freedom. The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was founded shortly after World War 1 by Grace Darling Seibold, who lost her son, George Vaughn Seibold, during the war. Gold Star Mothers are often socially active, but are non-political. Gold Star Mother’s Day was designated by Congress on June 23, 1936. In September 2012, President Barack Obama rededicated the last Sunday in Sept as “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.”

National Convention Recap

We turned out in great numbers to attend the 100th National Convention of The American Legion in Minneapolis, MN in late August.  We, the Sons of The American Legion, received an award for exceeding over 90% membership renewals (90.65%), as well as  receiving our 100% ribbon for 2018 membership.  There was an unexpected award for Best Children and Youth Program in the Central Region which went to Squadron 90 in Ashland.  This is also the post of our Department Commander Frank Kostka.  Congratulations to Squadron 90!  Also, Michael Lawler of Squadron 437 Mazomanie was appointed to the National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission.
What a thrill it was to have our very own Denise Rohan address us as National Commander of The American Legion.  It was a double-thrill when our very own Diane Duscheck came before us as National President of The American Legion Auxiliary.
The American Legion Family also raised over $500,000 for the Child Welfare Foundation and the “Sons” accounted for $325,000 of that.  We had the national parade attended by many in the Wisconsin Family.  Congrats to the Legion Band from Oconomowoc, WI for playing “On Wisconsin”!  It was a terrific moment!
As we move forward this year, please remember that we are able to receive these awards due to you, the squadrons, turning in your consolidated report forms.  Continue to remember to donate to the GI Josh program for our veteran's children as our heroes deploy to keep our freedom (wisal.org/josh)
In the end, the Sons of The American Legion elected Greg “Doc” Gibbs from New York as our new National Commander.  His motto for this year is “Honoring the past...continuing the legacy”.

Our Goals for 2018-2019

Detachment Commander Sherman outlined our goals for 2017-2018.  These goals are going to require all of us to work together to achieve them.
  • Be 100% in Membership by Veterans Day as a tribute to all veterans.
  • 105% Membership total.
  • Retain 85% or more of our current members.
  • Charter 5 new squadrons, continue to reinvigorate current squadrons
  • Raise $1.00 per member for the Child Welfare Foundation
  • Raise $1.00 per member for the GI Josh Dog Program
  • Support the National Emergency Fund and The American Legion Foundation
  • Outreach in support of veterans, their families and our communities
  • Continue educational opportunities for our officers and members
Commander Sherman has every confidence in us to do this!

Spread the Word

Knowledge is Power, but it is Powerless if it is not shared.  Forward this newsletter to someone and ask them to be a subscriber by going to www.wisal.org/newsletters
Proud Possessors of a Priceless Heritage

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