American Legion 
Carl S. Martin  Post 635  Normal, Il. 
108 ½ North Street / PO Box 402,  61761-0402
Phone: 309-452-1671

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​My fellow veterans. We are about 3 months into the new membership year. As a post we are at just over half of renewal for our post membership. This tells me that your continued membership in the American legion is an important part of your life. Thank you for your early renewal. We still have a long way to go. I would like to get to 100% for the second year in a row. This will be quite an accomplishment for a post our size. If you have not renewed your membership, I encourage you to do this now, so we are not waiting until the last minute to achieve our goal. 
Congress has passed the Legion Act that now allows us to extend membership to any Veteran that has served honorably since December 7, 1941. Nation wide this is about 4.2 million Veterans. I have herd the excuses, they didn’t want me when I inquired before why should I join now? It is just a good ole’ boy system where old veteran’s sit around and drink and smoke. These are the two biggest excuses that I hear. Let me address each one. 
First it was not the American Legion that did not want them to join. We are a Veterans group that is here to help Veterans any way we can. Therefore, we lobbied congress and fought to get the law changed. Those that were in Post-Vietnam War era and like me who served during the Cold War contributed as much to the Military then those that served in a campaign. It was not the American Legion that set the dates it is governed by Congress. 
Secondly, I am not going to say that all posts have changed their mind set but most posts have. Of all the Posts that I have visited it is no longer a smoke-filled bar with old Vets drinking all hours of the day. We have changed. The American Legion is about Community service and continued service to our country. If you love this country as much as I do and as much of those Veterans that I currently serve with then we have a place for you at our table. 
The Post 635 family had brave individuals participate in the Labor Day Parade. For those that did we had a great time. I was impressed that our community stood in honor of those of us that were there and stood and applauded our Veterans as they passed many times during the parade route. This shows me that our community appreciates us as Veterans and what we did.
Upcoming activities include finishing up assisting at Colt Stoval’s house. He is a local Marine that lost his leg to an IED and is currently recovering and in physical therapy in Walter Reed. 21 September we will be back at the house to install kitchen cabinets and appliances in preparation of his home coming the first week of October. We are going to be doing two Buddy Checks this year the first one will be 12 October at the post. If you can come and give some time to contact members, I would be appreciative of your time. We will be participating in the ISU homecoming Parade 26 October 2019. Rumor has it there may be a family picnic afterwards. For those that would like to walk are welcome to, but those that cannot walk the route or would like to ride we will have rack wagons to carry those. I am inviting all members of the American Legion Family to participate.
I hope to have a guest speaker on Veterans Benefits. So get your membership renewed, more to come on this event. Keep any eye on our website and Facebook page for more information on this event. 
We are just a short time away from the reconstitution of our post’s Auxiliary unit. They currently meet the third Tuesday of every month at the Department Headquarters starting at 6:30. If you have a qualifying family member that would like to get involved, they are welcome to attend these meetings and help them get going. They are welcome to attend these meetings to get involved or to find more about the benefits and reasons to get involved.
Thank you for your continued membership and involvement in the American Legion. I look forward to my continuous service this membership year and accomplishing more. 

Chris Riley
Commander Post 635
Vets Serving Vets.