Brown County Browser: What every Veteran should know – part 2

New Year’s greetings to all Journal readers from your friends at the County Veterans Service Office. 2019 will again be memorable for members of The American Legion, their Auxiliary, Legion Riders, and Sons of The American Legion as this year marks the 100th anniversary of their founding.

The American Legion has been so instrumental in promoting Veterans benefits and other patriotic and youth oriented programs over the past 100 years that it would be distressing to imagine a world without them. But, that’s what is happening, not only to The Legion, but also the Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

What’s happening is that their membership is shrinking from attrition, and we don’t have “joiners” in today’s society. This is not isolated to Veterans organizations; I’m sure you’ve seen it too at the bowling alley, quilter’s clubs, Hub Club, and even the Brown County Poultry Association. Our memberships have dropped off drastically; and unfortunately many Veterans are not able to join even if they wanted to because of strict military service dates occurring during war time periods.

Who will carry the flags at parades and sporting events? Who will play taps at the cemetery? Well…it will wind up being the few who can hang on to keeping their organizations alive.

What can the general public do to help? Go to the Legion for burger night (Tuesdays in New Ulm), go to the Omelets in a Bag breakfast (New Ulm on Feb 10th), go to the Comfrey French Toast breakfast (April 7th), go to Springfield’s steak fry every 3rd Saturday, go to Springfield’s BINGO on the last Saturday at 7pm. Go to St. Peter’s Steak, Windsor Chop Dinner on Jan 5 at 5:30 p.m. Go to Mankato’s Morson-Ario VFW for their daily lunch specials.

Will you be driving to a business meeting or a vacation this summer? Stop into the local Veterans post for some pizza and watch the Vikes or Twins, Wild, or a Wolves game. Give your gently used clothing to the DAV clothing drive.

With your support we can extend our impact to your community well into the future. Most Posts have historical biographies of their namesakes that put the icing on the cake when you make the effort to visit a Veterans locale. Also, join if you’re eligible…be a citizen who desires to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation.

Big plans are in the works for this year’s Veterans Day on the Hill Rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on March 21. This one-day rally brings together several hundred Veterans from around the state to call on our elected representatives to do right by those who have given so much for our American way of life.

You may not realize, but many bills signed by the governor have hours of lobbying and committee testimonials done by our state’s Veteran leaders. In 2017 legislation gave disabled Veterans free annual State Park passes; it also gave survivors of totally disabled Veterans a property tax reduction. Recent legislation has added new State Veterans cemeteries in Preston, Duluth, and one is planned for Redwood Falls.

A motor coach will take Brown County Veterans (no spouses) to this rally — free of charge. We will pick-up in Springfield, Sleep Eye, and New Ulm. A free luncheon will be held prior to the rally and if the weather is nice you can see the gun that sank the first Japanese sub in Pearl Harbor. Don’t worry, we should have you home by supper time. Call my office at: 507-233-6636 to reserve your ride. Thank you for reading, I hope to visit with you more this year.