Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Commander Year-End Report


            1st District Commander Year-End Report -2020


                                                                                                  By Commander Jeff Haeseker



Another Legion year comes to an end.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus is still with us, and again it has forced the cancellation of our youth programs. The second year of the recently merged 1st District has seen the closing of a couple of our Detroit posts as a result.  We may be smaller, but we will come back stronger. 


Dan McCrary, our 1st District Americanism Co-chair, and Grosse Pointe Post 303 Commander are doing an amazing job with our District 1 Oratorical Contest again this year.  Our winner, Sophia Hugh (of Grosse Point Park), went on to win Zone 1 and then placed second in the State’s Oratorical Contest. Our Finance Officer, Roger Avie, had the pleasure of issuing Miss Hugh a $175 check for the district win. Well done!! Our District was also proud to award “Brewer” and “Wilson” Scholarships to several well-deserving applicants.  Commanders Dan McCrary (Post 303) and John Burke (Post 86) are doing a great job with high school Junior ROTC Programs within the 1st District. These programs are running very strong on the east side of the district, and both Post 303 and Post 86 are always happy to support recognition awards for these high schools.

PDC Dick Chatman has been very busy with the Homeless Vet Program. PDC Chatman recently hosted the 1st District’s Memorial Service at Post 32, remembering our Legionnaires, Unit members, Squadron members, and Riders that have departed our ranks from 2019 to 2021. This is a time-honored American Legion tradition to honor the promise “We will not forget you.” He is also setting up a “District Michigan Family Committee” to promote mutual comradeship, respect, and helpfulness among the 1st District Legion Family and be a liaison between Legion Family Members and 1st District Officers, Executive Board, and Associated Posts.

Congratulations to Post 32 Commander Dan Newton, who has been elected as the new Commander of the 1st District. I know that you will do well with the great team that we have in place.  Welcome aboard, Dan!  

District 1 Adjutant Gary DeMars (who developed and maintains our web page “District 1 Blog”) https://al.aldist1.org/ , provides an information portal that can be accessed by any web browser.  The blog contains notes, articles, and links to sites the Post Commanders and members may be interested in reviewing. It is an excellent place to start for retrieval of information about our District, the VA, or any of the National American Legion programs.  Gary has been an invaluable mentor and advisor for the District. He will do well as he advances to future positions. He has been a good friend.  

It has been an honor to serve as the 1st District (and 17th District) Commander for these past three years, and my hope is that I have served you well.  Please, everyone, stay safe, and we’ll see you on the other side. 

-May you have fair winds and following seas!