Department President Cathie Goth, above right, of Clinton, Missouri, accepts the “National President’s Award of Excellence” for Rolla Dicks Unit #315 of Burlington Junction, Missouri. (Submitted Photo)
Submitted By Sheridan Mires
Sheridan Mires, member of American Legion Auxiliary Allen Schiffern Unit #199, joined nearly 1,500 delegates, alternates, and distinguished guests from across the nation to attend the 97th American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) National Convention August 18-24, 2017, in Reno, Nevada. The annual event brings members of The American Legion Family together to celebrate successes from the administrative year, elect national officers, and set national priorities to guide their organizations in the coming year.
Mires participated in a variety of activities throughout the week, including National Executive Committee meetings, divisional caucuses, sessions on how to continue the ALA’s mission of serving veterans, the nomination of state and national officers, and recognition of the year’s achievements. Mires served as a Department of Missouri President’s Page for the Convention.
The highlight of the National Convention was when National President, Mary E. Davis, announced Rolla Dicks Unit #315 of Burlington Junction, Missouri, as one of four Units to receive this year’s “National President’s Award of Excellence.” Unit #315 was nominated by Department President Cathie Goth of Clinton, Missouri, based on their outstanding programs for the Veterans, Active Military and Junior Members. What an honor it was to be sitting in the audience and hear one of our local units announced as the recipient of this prestigious award. Many pictures of the various activities of the Unit were displayed on the large screens. As District Four President, I am so proud of these ladies and all their work. The American Legion Auxiliary Units in Northwest Missouri are showing their communities “WHO WE ARE” – “WHAT WE DO” – and “WHY IT MATTERS”.
Another highlight of the convention was the opportunity to see women from the 5 branches of the military receive awards and speak to the delegation. These amazing ladies shared a little about their careers and thanked the American Legion Auxiliary for the honor of representing service women around the world.
A highlight from the American Legion was the election of Denise Rohan, Department of Wisconsin, as the first female National Commander of the American Legion. Another highlight from the Legion was the opportunity to witness the historical event of President Trump signing into law a bill that will help “streamline the lengthy process veterans undergo when appealing their claims for disability benefits” with the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is the first time a President has signed a bill into law at a National American Legion Convention.
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.