Family is obviously very important to me. I chose the theme for my year as national commander to be “Family First” not just because I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and daughter. My family is bigger than that. I extend family to include the fellow soldiers who I served with as a proud member of the U.S. Army. I use the term to describe my brothers and sisters who are military veterans or are loved ones of those who served. In short, The American Legion Family is my family.
Due to frequent address changes, long separations and the inherent risks of defending our nation in war, military families understand the true meaning of sacrifice. President Trump appropriately proclaimed November 2017 to be National Veterans and Military Families Month.
“Many military spouses face the task of making ends meet while their loved ones are away and of securing new employment with each change in duty station. Children grow up living a nomadic life – periodically calling a new place ‘home’ and adjusting to different schools, trying out for new sports teams, and making new friends …” the president’s proclamation states.
Our American Legion Family should be reaching out to these patriotic families. We should also do everything we can through our programs and our outreach to support families in our communities. Strong families mean less poverty, less crime and a generally healthier society. In short, strong families mean a strong America.
The American Legion has long called for Congress to establish “National Family Week,” to be observed annually during the week of Thanksgiving. The president often issues an official proclamation to kick it off and delegates at our 98th National Convention renewed our stance in 2016.
Whether it’s opening your Legion post for a community dinner or delivering turkeys to homes in need, I would like to hear about what your American Legion post is doing to support and strengthen families in need. Please share your stories at www.legiontown.org.
As you gather around your dinner table, in your post home and elsewhere celebrating the spirit of giving thanks, I want to extend the warmest Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all of our extended family members – our Legion Family, our brothers and sisters in arms, and their families. Happy Thanksgiving!