What: Statewide American Legion Department of New Mexico Convention
When: Thursday to Saturday
Where: Various local locations
Events scheduled during the three-day convention include seminars to update veterans on new developments, breakfasts, a ribeye steak dinner and an election for state commanders. The event is expected to attract 350-450 members.
• The American Legion was formed on Nov. 11, 1919, during World War I, by American soldiers fighting the war in France. Members of the American Legion must be veterans of the U.S. Military and have served during a conflict or war.
The American Legion Posts in Clovis have members representing each American war from World War II to the Iraq War.
By the numbers:
500 — local American Legion members
275 — out of town members attending the convention
300 — Ribeye steaks for the steak dinner
200 — motel rooms set aside for conventions members
$86,000 — donated by Clovis American Legion Posts 25 and 117 to charity last year
On belonging to the American Legion:
“It keeps the part of giving from being in the military, the military structure of a veteran is still intact, and it still has a part in the freedom of our country because we still support the veterans and active duty.” — Post 25 Commander Randy Lopez.
“We are really involved in the community, the schools, and the state. We like to get involved governmentally.” — Post 25 1st Vice Commander Alfred Rubio.
“The things we do and the things that we stand for are important to me. We help out a lot of people especially the kids, and we are still helping out our fellow men.” — Post 25 2nd Vice Commander Ray Anaya.
• The local American Legion posts awarded 10 scholarships worth $1,000 to high school students who graduated in 2008.
• Local American Legion members also donate their time to local hospitals and to local schools.
• The American Legion posts purchase eye glasses for local children, school supplies, and donate meals and toys during the holidays.
Source: American Legion Department of New Mexico.
– Compiled by CNJ staff writer Keely McDowell