Walton F. Hoffmann Memorial Post 179

Why are you a member of The American Legion?? 

This is a great question that only you can answer.  I have, over the years, heard many answers both good and bad.  I joined The American Legion to honor my Dad that served in World War II.  Since being a member, I have learned that it was a good reason to join but the right reason would have been to support a great organization with great responsibilities.  This organization was created to protect our veterans, protect our National Security, promote Americanism, and protect and teach our children and youth.  To accomplish this task requires membership and dedication from those members.  Without membership we fail and without dedication we also fail.  Yes, we are volunteers.  No one receives a paycheck.  So why do we do this?  If it is not for the pay, is it for glory?  Ego? or Attention?  Each of us must answer that question for themselves, but they need to be honest with themselves because by their actions they have already been judged by their comrades. 

The Founding Fathers created this organization based on the Four Pillars.  They were driven by their passion to protect and serve the veterans, their families, and this Great Nation.  It was not for glory, Ego, or Attention.  These are the leaders that The American Legion needs today.  So, who are these leaders?  They are your elected officers to the Department Executive Committee and the volunteers that accepted appointments to the Department’s committees.  Our membership has continually dropped since 2002 from 94,000.  National’s provided a number that they want the Department of Texas to reach in membership.  That number is 68,255.  The number set by MOP&A is 55,692 without Post 345.  According to the CB&L of the Department of Texas, the membership number of 55,692 cannot be changed once posted.  So, the posts can achieve 100% but the Department will fail National.  The 55,692 is 3.276% of the total veterans living in Texas.   When do our leaders decide enough is enough?  The 68,255 for membership is achievable.  This is still only 4% of the veteran’s population in Texas.  As your elected State Commander, I want to reverse the attitude of the Department of Texas.  We can no longer accept the idea that losing 3,000 members a year is fine.  We need to find the passion that the Founding Fathers had when they created this great organization.  I am asking ever Department Executive Committee member and those appointed to the Committees for the Department to set the example of our new passion by signing up one new member and one retention member by Fall DEC.  How do we ask the posts to increase membership and not set the example ourselves?  This will be a monthly challenge for the Department. 

I challenge all Legionnaires to avoid the attitude that this is impossible.  We must have a positive attitude to accomplish.  No more negative attitudes.  Legionnaires will give you 100 reasons why we cannot reach the goal of 68,255.  No more: “This can’t be done.” attitude.  The new attitude of the Department of Texas is: “WE CAN DO” and have the passion like the Founding Fathers to achieve what must be done.

Last question:  How many true leaders (elected or not elected) do we have in the Department of Texas to achieve what the Founding Fathers created?  I have faith that each one of the members in the Department of Texas is capable of reaching our goal with the elected officers setting the example.

Thank you for your service,


Jeff Perkins

State Commander

Department of Texas


God Bless the United States

God Bless The American Legion Family