Commander Huber said, “the American Legion Lafayette Post #27 is dying.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Commander Huber said, “it’s going to happen someday soon.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Commander Huber said, “You are not surprised.” I’m not.
Commander Huber said, “the members know why.” The members “really” do know why. As the Commander delineates what he thinks is “why” the question begs; does “he” really know why?
The old adage, “attitudes permeate from the top, down” or in the vernacular, “you know what flows downhill” might well apply here.
Commander Huber complains, “Members don’t go to meetings.” True, but is the Commander asking why? And if he is told why, is he really listening? Maybe the majority of the members don’t go to the meetings because they might feel disenfranchised. Maybe they feel that no matter what they say or do, they can’t seem able to change the environment. Maybe they don’t attend because the reminder for the Legion meeting isn’t published on a consistent basis.
Commander Huber complains, “if they do (attend the meetings), they’re late.” Again, is the Commander asking why? Is it because, they might feel that it is not important enough to get there on time? If so, why do they feel that way? Is it because; the meetings don’t start on time? Is it because they feel nothing important is ever addressed? Is it because they feel like they are wasting their breath to question how things are being run/done at Post#27? Is it because they feel they are never listened to? Do the members feel like they are being run rough-shod over, if they express a contrary opinion? There are reasons, real reasons, why the members don’t make an effort to attend or show up on time or run for office. But none of the current leadership seems to care enough about American Legion Lafayette Post #27 to find out WHY! Believe it, it’s not because “the weather doesn’t suit them.”
Commander Huber complains, “if they do attend…some find fault with the work of the Officers.” What “work” of the Officers? What “work” is getting done by any of the “Officers?” And again, is the Commander listening to those members? Does the Commander or any Officer try to resolve the conflicts with those members?
Is the meeting being run by Legion protocol? Mostly. Does the Commander have control of the meeting? Barely. Are the official reports being kept and presented in accordance with American Legion Standards? No! Are the assets and inventories being kept, secured, and inventoried in the proper manner as suggested by American Legion standards? No!
The Commander said, “there’s no new, young members…” The sole responsibility of the First Vice Commander is membership. But he is the Commander of the local VFW. Do you see any conflict of interest there? Almost all of the Officers of American Legion Lafayette Post#27 are Officers at the local VFW post. Do you see any conflict of interest there?
The Commander complained, “some members never accept office.” One of the reasons that almost no one wants to be an Officer at Post#27 might be because of the existing leadership’s fear of losing control, the fear of not getting the credit for a job well done or just the inability to delegate, to relinquish the authority to let someone do the job they would be elected to do.
The Commander complained, “members get sore if…not appointed on a committee…if they are (appointed), do not attend committee meetings.” What committees? Post#27 doesn’t have any committees. Who is on the membership committee? If there is one, according to Commander Huber, they must not be attending the committee meetings.
There have been members who volunteered to help in certain areas. Members with the experience and knowledge to be able to do a good job and make improvements in and for Post#27. Volunteers, willing to give their time and efforts, at no cost to Post#27. They were ignored, given no support, so discouraged that they just went away. Why? Again, because the existing leadership would not, could not relinquish the authority to let them help.
The resounding denouncement here, by the Commander is, it’s all the fault of the members. Remember this old adage, “You are guilty of what you complain about.”
“My Condolences?” American Legion Lafayette Post#27 doesn’t need condolences. It needs leadership.
This is not a case of “Methinks the fellow doth protest too much” so let me emphatically state, I would never want to be Commander. It’s a demanding job. It’s a hard job. Right now, it’s a lot harder than it needs to be.
I figure if someone has time to whine and complain about something then they have the time to do something about it. That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.
George M. Allen of Crown City, Ohio, is a member of American Legion Lafayette Post# 27. He wrote this as a rebuttal to a Letter to the Editor submitted by American Legion Lafayette Post# 27 Commander Charles Huber.