The American Legion is ready for change

During the first weekend in October, the American Legion held its annual fall conference. The basic agenda is very similar fall to fall. We always begin the three-day program with a reading of all of the names of those Legionnaires who passed away and transferred to the Post Everlasting during the previous 12 months.

The readings are done in post number order. First was Post 1 in Florence; last was Post 270 from Woodruff. This time it seemed more important, because it made us well aware that we are losing membership at an alarming and increasing rate. Our average age is in the 70s for most posts.

I was really shaken when one post lost 50 members in one year. True, it is a large post, but that number prompted me to write this piece.

We are losing 3% to 4% per year on an increasing rate.

We recognize our need to change to meet the needs of the “Next Generation.” Accomplishing this vital step will require us to get more family-oriented and to do more programs for the community, especially the youth of America. None of this can be done without more active members with young ideas and leadership skills to lead the change.

There are some 18,000 veterans in just the Florence-Darlington area. We need you.

We have reached out to the local National Guard Battalion and the Army Reserve for input as to what they want the Legion to become. We need your help to make the NEW LEGION — veterans helping veterans.

For more information, please contact anyone of the following Post 1 officers:

» Ken Curran, post commander, 843-601-0257.

» Mike Richey, post adjutant, 843-617-7181.

» Charlie Bethea, post treasurer, 843-395-0161.

KEN CURRAN

Fred H. Sexton American Legion Post 1 Florence

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