Presidents Installation Speech
July 15, 2018
Thank you Diana for that beautiful prayer.
I want to thank Sandy for doing the installations as well.
I would also like to thank Darla and Lou for being my Sgt of Arms and Asst Sgt of Arms; and a thank you to Melinda and Joyce for being my Personal Pages. Sue, thank you for being my pianist as well.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not recognize members of the Woodward Post and Unit 211, Dallas County, and Sixth District members for their support. Would all those present please stand and be recognized?
Little did I know in 2005 that I would be standing before you today as your Department President. Believe it or not, I was a shy, unassuming individual when I first joined this great organization and never in a million years would I have dreamt standing here today. I am proud and humbled to say the least. Would Fran Kirk please stand. Fran has been my mentor from almost day one. Thank you Fran for all you have done to help me in my journey.
I’m looking forward to working with American Legion Commander Scott and SAL Commander Alan this upcoming year.
Did you know that America’s wars between 1775-1991 resulted in 41,892,128 of US Military service during wartime and 651,031 in battle deaths with non-mortal wounding of 1,430,290. From these periods of war and peace there are 23,234,000 living veterans and that’s not counting the fact that our country is currently in a global war on terror since 9/11. Why am I telling you all this during my installation speech? Well, my theme this year is “Honoring Our Veterans’ Legacy” with our great flag as my symbol and I want this to be a year of awareness as to the sacrifices our veterans have suffered for the sake of our freedoms. They have given of their youth, sacrificed their careers and given up time with their families to serve this country. As the song says: All gave some, some gave all. I want this to be the year we see our membership increase because I want to see this great organization around for the 23,234,000--and counting--living veterans and our current military and their families now and in the future.
In addition to promoting membership, my goal is to promote honoring our flag and giving it the respect it deserves. Information has been handed out to you with regard to the flag. I hope everyone will read it. More on this subject will be addressed by our Legislative Chairman at the Department Leadership Workshop in August. Right now, please listen….. (That Ragged Old Flag)
Our Mission Statement reads:
In the spirit of service, not self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.
I hope we all keep this mission statement in our minds and hearts as we work the many programs of the American Legion Auxiliary this year.
My projects this year are the Veterans’ Creative Arts Festival both at the local level and the National level and our own Gold Club.
Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Across the country each year, Veterans treated at VA facilities compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes 53 categories in the visual arts division. In addition, there are 120 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing. A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. Select winners are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival each year. Since 2000, the Auxiliary has played a key role in NVCAF as a cosponsor of the event, along with Department of Veterans Affairs. I hope you will embrace this great program and give generously to this project to support our veterans at the local and National levels.
As many of you already know, this year The Department of Iowa American Legion Auxiliary is co-sponsoring with the Des Moines VAMC the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival here in Des Moines.
I also chose to use the Gold Club as one of my projects as it is always ready and available to give to deserving projects and programs.
My songs this year are Amazing Grace, God Bless the USA and How Great Thou Art. My colors are red, white, and blue so I hope to see a lot of these colors throughout the year.
At this time I would like to introduce the rest of my family who were able to make it today. My husband, Jerry, my granddaughter, Elizabeth, and grandson, Geno. Does anyone have anything to say?
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank all of you for your confidence in me as your Department President and I will try very hard to make you proud. I am committed to this great organization and what it stands for and what it does for our veterans, our military and their families as well as for our youth and in our communities. I look forward to invitations from you to your many events throughout the year and plan on attending as many of the district conferences I can, both in the Fall as well as in the Spring.
Our membership team will be promoting membership under the theme “Our Veterans Are Our Heroes” with the stars of our great flag as the symbol. I want everyone to be a star shining brightly for our veterans as well as our military and their families this year. They sacrificed so much and are still sacrificing for our freedoms today so why can’t we search out and find all those shining new stars to join the ranks of our membership in the largest patriotic women’s service organization in the world? Let’s remember what our Preamble says: “To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy.” “To participate in and contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of the American Legion.”
Our membership team this year is Mary Sypherd, Chairman with Judy Ring and Cassie Harrell as team members. Mary will be responsible for the Blue Team which covers Districts 1, 2, and 4. Judy will cover the Red Team which is Districts 7, 8, and 9. Cassie will be working with the White Team which covers Districts 3, 5, and 6.
MEMBERSHIP TEAM…ARE YOU READY?
I would like to close with all of us singing God Bless the USA. Please feel free to wave your flags as we sing.
Let’s continue “Honoring Our Veterans’ Legacy” this year and always.
President Vickie I now give the gavel back to you so you may close your convention.