John Neylon, National Executive Committeeman Report

The 2010 National American Legion Convention

National Executive Committeeman Report

By John Neylon

New Hampshire Legionnaire
Official Publication of the American Legion Department of New Hampshire

September/October 2010, Vol. 23, No. 5
John Neylon,
National Executive Committeeman

The National Convention has come and gone and in some ways was very disappointing for New Hampshire. The contingent of delegates and the number of people marching this year was down dramatically. Many people sign up to be a national delegate at the Department Convention, but after being elected they don't see fit to attend the National Convention. The legion was authorized 29 delegates, yet only 13 attended and only 10 marched. The death of PDC and Past NEC Talford and the hospitalization of PDC Rabbia contributed to the absence of a couple of delegates, but the lack of interest in replacing these individuals, even with a call-in, was quite surprising. The lack of interest in attending National Conventions and the Washington Conference is alarming, as people continue to run for department positions, but don't participate in related activities.

On the brighter side, three of our former comrades, PDC Bill Egan, PDC Ben Talford and PDVC Lou Trundy were honored with a Memorial Resolution during the Pre-Convention N.E.C. Meetings. Additionally, I would like to extend my thanks to the New Hampshire Riders for their efforts in supporting the American Legion Legacy Fund with a check for $12,000. Thank you for job well done, by the men and women of the New Hampshire Riders, you make the department proud! The Legacy Fund is nearly $600,000 richer for the efforts of the Legion Riders, surpassing the goal of $450,000.

This past weekend was very special for New Hampshire, who hosted our new National Commander. Commander Foster could have picked any state for his initial visit, but he chose New Hampshire. His visit coincided with the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and was packed with support of New Hampshire's veterans and National Guard. Commander Foster's first in the nation visit was to American Legion Post 90, in Raymond, NH, where he received citations from Governor Lynch, the NH Senate by Sen. Jack Barnes, NH House, by Rep. John Graham and the Town of Raymond, by the Town Manager. The National Commander received greetings from David Salois, Raymond's Chief of Police, and from the Town's Fire Chief. Additionally, our National Commander was presented with a State of New Hampshire Flag, which was flown over the State Capitol, and numerous gifts from the leaders of the Post 90 American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion.

Day 2 was jam packed with emotion as we attended the opening ceremonies of the 15th annual, 24-hour, New Hampshire, POW/MIA vigil at the Vet's Home, the deployment ceremonies of the NH National Guard's 197th Fires Brigade (including my daughter) and the dedication ceremonies of New Hampshire's Global War on Terrorism Memorial.

We closed out day 3 by attending the closing ceremonies of the POW/MIA vigil and attending a banquet honoring our National Commander at MartelRoberge, Post 47.

Thank you and congratulations to Butch and his committee, the commander enjoyed "standing watch" and meeting the legion family. Thank you to Jim Goss for arranging the National Commander's VIP pass for the deployment ceremonies, where he met our Governor, the Adjutant General, our elected national and state representatives and the leaders of the NH National Guard and Air Guard. Thank you to Cmdr. Fatello and Post 35 for featuring the National Commander at the G.W.O.T. dedication ceremonies [on Saturday evening, September 11th]. Thank you, to all who traveled with the National Commander, set up his banquet and post visits, helped with scheduling, transportation and made presentations. Jimmie Foster made New Hampshire "first in the nation", it required much help and you provided it!