October 2017 Reconnect Report

Gary Tanner

Chairman, Department Reconnect Committee

What is Reconnect?  Believe it or not, I still get asked this question while traveling around our state.  The Department of Michigan Reconnect Committee has been developing and implementing comprehensive, innovative Troop and Family Support Services as well as temporary financial assistance for unforeseen hardships.  Even with the force drawdowns and decreases in Michigan National Guard deployments, our requests for assistance have continued to increase each year.  Last year our committee received more than $100,000 in privately funded donations and provided more than $90,000 in assistance.  That’s right!  You read those figures correctly.  In addition, an astounding 100 percent of every dollar received by the Reconnect Committee’s programs goes right back out to the families we assist!  Thanks to the Michigan American Legion Foundation, every donation is 100 percent tax deductible too.

Our National Commander, Denise Rohan, is focusing her attention on the department Reconnect efforts.  Department has distributed a Reconnect Certification Reporting form from Commander Rohan.  Please use this form to record your post Reconnect activities each time you reach out to our Michigan military families, our Michigan National Guard and Reserve units, our Military recruiters and our deployed service members.  This form will also help districts to recognize their posts with nominations for the Jim Schutze Department Reconnect Award which recognizes the post working the best Reconnect programs.

Thank you for our Legion posts, Legion Rider chapters, SAL squadrons and Auxiliary units who provide support items and hold fundraising events in support of the Reconnect Committee initiatives and programs.  Your generous support contributes the largest portion of the donations received.  A very special thank you goes to Past Department President Ellen Jackson for adopting the Michigan Wounded and Returning Warrior Program as her personal project last year. You truly are amazing and inspiring!

The American Legion Department of Michigan Reconnect Committee has earned a solid reputation as the “go to” resource for veteran needs and assistance here in Michigan.  Everyone including the VA Medical Center counselors, county agencies, National Guard Family Assistance Coordinators and non-profit organizations such as Operation Homefront and Buddy 2 Buddy all contact the Reconnect Committee directly and refer veterans seeking assistance.  We are often the only organization willing to help, and we become their last hope for assistance and a better quality of life!

I can’t thank you enough for your continued generosity and support!

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