Let me begin by expressing my sincere thanks to you for being a member of our American Legion Family here at Post 109. My name is Rick Flinn and I am honored to be the new Commander of the Post. On behalf of all the membership I want to express my thanks to our past Commander Jamie Lethiecq whose leadership, dedication and experience led to many accomplishments and successes this past two years.
Just a little about myself so you get to know me. I grew up in western Pennsylvania and in 1973 joined the Army as an enlisted medic. In 1984 I got the Patriotic urge to rejoin the military and received a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a Medical Service Corps Officer with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. I retired in December 2013 as the Commander of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Medical Detachment headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap.
I have had the opportunity to work at the local, state, and federal levels of government as well as for a non-profit organization and continue to volunteer with a local fire department. I retired from full time work in 2018, and in 2019 I became active with Post 109.
My primary reason to become active with the Post was simply because of its mission which is:
TO DEDICATE OUR EFFORTS AND PROGRAMS TO THE SERVICE OF VETERANS, THEIR FAMILIES, ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS AND THE COMMUNITY.
I want to share with you my vision and some of the goals I would like to accomplish this next year.
POST 109 WILL CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO BE THE BEST POST IN THE STATE AND NATION.
⦁ TO CONTINUE AND ENHANCE OUR PROGRAMS THAT COINCIDE WITH THE FOUR PILLARS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION: VETERANS AFFAIRS & REHABILITATION, NATIONAL SECURITY, AMERICANISM AND CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
⦁ TO MEET AND EXCEED OUR GOALS OF MEMBERSHIP.
⦁ TO INVOLVE MORE MEMBERS IN POST ACTIVITIES.
⦁ TO MENTOR AND TRAIN FUTURE POST LEADERS.
⦁ TO CONTINUE TO COORDINATE AND INTEGRATE THE HOME ASSOCIATION, SONS, THE RIDERS AND THE AUXILLARY TO ENSURE WE ARE ALL WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THE POST AND ITS MISSION.
⦁ TO ENHANCE COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY TO ALL MEMBERS.
⦁ TO DEVELOP A POST STRATEGIC PLAN AND A FINANCIAL STRATEGIC PLAN TO GUIDE US THROUGH THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.
⦁ TO RECOGNIZE AND AWARD PARTICIPATION AND SERVICE TO THE POST BY OUR MEMBERS.
⦁ TO HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE VIRTUAL CALENDAR THAT IDENTIFIES, FOR EXAMPLE, MILITARY AND VETERAN EVENTS THAT WE SHOULD HONOR AND PARTICIPATE IN, SPECIFIC POST EVENTS SUCH AS THE POST REMEMBERANCE SERVICE, ESSAY CONTESTS, BOYS STATE, LEGION BASEBALL, ORATOR COMPETITION, HONOR GUARD EVENTS, DISTRICT AND DEPARTMENT MEETINGS, COMMUNITY EVENTS, BLOOD DRIVES, MEETINGS OF COMMITTES AND OF THE OTHER GROUPS IDENTIFIED ABOVE AS WELL AS ENTERTAINMENT AND SPECIAL EVENTS.
⦁ TO HAVE WRITTEN DOCTRINE FOR THE EVENTS AND PROGRAMS WE OFFER. WE HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION AND WE RELY ON THESE FOLKS TO REMEMBER HOW THINGS ARE ORGANIZED AND IMPLEMENTED, HOWEVER WE NEED TO HAVE IN PLACE A CONTINUITY PROGRAM THAT IF THAT PERSON IS NOT AVAILABLE SOMEONE CAN STEP IN AND UTILIZE THE WRITTEN DOCUMENT ON HOW TO DO THE JOB.
To meet these goals, I am asking for your help. We have on our rosters over 1000 Veterans (over 800 active membership), The Sons of the American Legion have 927 members on their roles again not all active and the Auxiliary have approximately 730 members.
Unfortunately, a very small percentage of our total members participate in our programs to help Veterans.
I recognize all volunteer organizations struggle to have members participate. Family and jobs are clearly a priority and always should be.
I am asking for you to consider helping even if it is only for a small amount of time each month. We need Veterans, Sons, and Auxiliary as well as members of the Riders to be active in Post meetings, committees, and programs. We need individuals who have leadership experience to prepare to be future leaders of the organization.
We need individuals who have financial, marketing, computer (IT), facility management, accounting, public relations, and construction among many other skills. We also need help with our fund-raising efforts from bingo to bake sales to chicken and pork barbeques and individuals who can be active with our honor guard. If you can help, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out our website: https://www.americanlegionpost109.com.
One of the major changes to our Post was the renovation of the second floor Bentzel Hall. We now offer a non-smoking environment for dinner and meetings and banquets. Please check the website and our Facebook account for times and menu.
Understanding what the Legion does and the roles of officers is a vital part of being an active member. I encourage every member to sign up at mylegion.org and take the short online basic training course.
Finally, for those who have renewed for 2024 thank you! If you have not, please do so to maintain your membership. An easy way to do it is pay online at mylegion.org. You can print out your membership card, but we will also send you a card directly from the Post. As a reminder we pay for all WW II and Korean War members so please do not renew your memberships.
I look forward to leading this wonderful organization and your anticipated participation. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any concerns or questions at email@example.com.