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The Colony, Texas
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.
Holley-Riddle Post 21
Commander’s Report - September 2020
It is a good feeling to be with all of you in person again this evening. Zoom is an effective alternative, but so much is lost when we do not see the body language and reactions of all, feel the atmosphere of this meeting hall, and engage in the ceremonies that set the tone for the work (and fun) to be conducted. Thank you all for attending.
This is an important meeting for we finally can have the election of, and installation of new officers. They have been previously identified in Zoom meetings, and all have agreed to serve in the positions they will be nominated for this evening. I thank you all for your willingness to serve.
We are especially delighted to have with us this evening the new District 4 Commander, Jason Castleberry! He is Past Commander and a member of the Royce City American Legion Post, has served the last couple of years on the Executive Committee of District 4, and is off to a really good start as District Commander. Jason – welcome.
In preparation for the changing of the guard this evening, Carl Hallmark and I have been discussing the nuances of becoming commander. As you may recall, Carl served several years as First Vice Commander, so he has occupied a place at this front table in the past and sat in admirably when I missed a meeting or two.
We attended the District 4 Executive Committee Meeting together a couple of weekends ago where he was able to meet Jason Castleberry and many other Post Commanders from the posts that comprise this District. As a point of information, the District Executive Committee consists of all of the Post Commanders in the District. Carl and I have talked about the committee structure I am pleased to have put in place and how that helps so much in tackling the many functions of this Post.
I believe Carl Hallmark is ready to become Commander and will do a superb job. He has my full support. Since our last meeting 5 of us answered the call about helping form a new Junior Shooting Sports Program or JSSP. It is a function of the American Legion and has, as its objectives,
1 - Educating young people about firearm safety. 2 – Introducing the shooting sports to community members and educating them about shooting. And 3 – Harnessing shooting sports to help young people develop leadership, discipline, concentration sportsmanship and responsibility. At the current time we have Doug Walter who I have asked to Chair this program, Philip Beims, Pat Leach, David Spencer, and I as the JSSP Committee. We need additional instructors, so if you have an interest in shooting and want to help young people understand firearm safety and learn proper shooting skills, please let Doug Walter or me know! This past Tuesday the 5 of us met with Tom Smart from Bryant, Texas. Tom is Post Commander there, but he is also the Texas Department Junior Shooting Sports Program Director. When we asked for information on how to start a JSSP, he was quick to volunteer to come up here and introduce the intricacies of establishing one. We also asked the Marketing Director of RifleGear, the Store Leader/Manager of Scheels Sporting Goods, and The Colony Police Chief to join us for that session, for we wanted all who might have an interest in knowing about, and helping with this program to start off together. They all were quick to agree to be at that first session which was held at RifleGear. We learned there is much to consider and do to start this program, but all remain enthused about what it can mean to or Post and to our community. One other point. New as we are, we have made just two decisions so far. Young boys and girls ages 10 – 18 will be our focus, and children and grandchildren of Holley-Riddle Post 21 members will have first choice to sign up. We continuously look for ways to create member benefits for belonging to this post and believe the priority admission to this program will be a popular draw. Let me conclude by thanking all of you for your support these last 2 years. Officers, you have been a tremendous team and always available as we have grown in so many ways. This post and I owe you a big debt of gratitude for all the time you spend and all you get done on behalf of the members and the community. For those who have served on the 10 committees, thank you! You have been a big help. Your support of the programs and activities as been remarkable. For those of you who have not been engaged to serve beyond attending meetings, I encourage you to let Commander Hallmark know you will help. He will be announcing his committees and I am sure looking for additional members for any service where you have an interest. Although I will be stepping aside from the role of Commander this evening, I intend to remain engaged. Carl has asked me to run for 2nd Vice Commander, which includes Events Committee Chairman. Thanks for the opportunity to have served as your Commander.