Meet Your NEW Officers for 2017 – 2018:
• Commander (& Historian) – J. R. Wilson
• Adjutant (& Judge Advocate) – Russ Mills
• Treasurer/Finance Office – Todd Baumruck
• Service Officer – Cheryl Kehler
• Chaplain – Dennis Janson
• Sgt–at–Arms – Del Duvall
• 1st Vice Commander (and Membership Chair) – Ron Abbe
• 2nd Vice Commander – Dave Rathje
First, thank you to the Membership for nominating and electing me as the New Commander of Post 14. I am much honored. It is my fondest wish that I perform and complete my duties to the betterment of the American Legion and specifically to the members of Post 14.
I guess I’m falling in to the footsteps of my fondest hero – my father, James R. Wilson (Jim), who was a life-long Legionnaire and also the Commander of our local Post 138 in Waterloo, Iowa. He really knew the importance of “giving back” to the community and to other veterans. During WWII, his B-17 was shot down during a bombing mission over Berlin. It was his 14th mission. He had to jump from the plane which was about to crash. He then had to escape from and evade the Germans. He was listed as Missing in Action for an entire year (shot down on May 7th, 1944 and liberated on May 7th, 1945). During that time he hid out in holes, forests, church lofts, barns, attics, and many more locations while trying to get back to England to fight another day. He felt he was saved by the Dutch people who sacrificed to help him. I believe that’s why he always wanted to give back to others. He was especially aware of Veterans – especially those in hospitals and “old soldiers” homes that needed help. He would make monthly trips from our hometown of Waterloo, Iowa to Marshalltown, Iowa to visit the Home for Veterans there. He would bring playing cards and other games and whatever else he could procure. He also spent time just talking to folks – as they had nobody else. He never made a big deal out of his time or efforts – it was just something he felt was the right thing to do.
I hope to do the right thing while being Commander of this Post. As part of the “right thing” I hope to bring an emphasis back to the Veterans in the area – whether they are members of Post 14 or not…although I would hope, and would prefer, that any and all Veterans in the area join our Post. That brings me to one of my hopes and/or wishes – and that is to make the Post a more dynamic and interesting place to visit. I constantly hear that folks who come to visit a meeting say two things about our meetings – first, they can’t hear what’s going on and second, they say that the meetings are almost all business and boring as can be – especially for someone attending for the first time. I hope to change that.
Although helping the community is admirable and gets a lot of notoriety, I believe helping our aging (yep, that’s me too) Veterans should be our first and main priority here in Puerto Vallarta.
That said, I need your help. I want your ideas on how to make meetings AND OTHER ACTIVITIES more interesting. I hope to have outside speakers visit our meetings who have something of interest to say to us. I also hope to institute group visits to sites and activities around the area for our members, their spouses and their friends.
Another goal is to listen to YOU – the members of the Post. Tell me what you would like to see, what to do, who to listen to, and whatever else is on your mind. I really prefer communicating via email and I check it frequently. My email address is: JRinMX@Gmail.com. It really isn’t case sensitive – but I like to cap certain letters to make it easier to remember.
Carla’s Kitchen - A REMINDER - Vets (and other expats) often run out of cash and/or food by the end of the month. Many stop in to Steve’s Sports Bar and ask Carla for help – whether it be for a burger or a few pesos. Carla helps them whenever she can. She has started a small warehouse of extra food for these folks. SO, the next time you are at the grocery store, Sam’s or Costco – grab some extra food and drop it off at Steve’s. Carla will see that it goes to those in need. Thanks in advance for helping your fellow vets!
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