Taking on the role of the National Commander of The American Legion calls for being on the road 344 days of the year. Present National Commander Jimmie Foster made Cambridge one of his stops, bringing his enthusiastic leadership to town.
Taking on the role of the National Commander of The American Legion calls for being on the road 344 days of the year.
Present National Commander Jimmie Foster made Cambridge one of his stops, bringing his enthusiastic leadership to town.
Foster is a 30-year American Legion member, serving in both the Marines and Army. The Anchorage, Alaska resident felt right at home among the snowdrifts and icy roads when he was the Cambridge Post 290’s guest for a breakfast stop on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
“I checked the weather this morning, and it was -24 degrees in Fairbanks (Alaska). So it’s downright balmy down here,” joked Foster as he took the podium following the full breakfast. “And I look forward to returning to Minnesota for the National Convention this August.”
Pictured: Pictured with Jimmie Foster, National Commander of The American Legion (center) are Cambridge Legion Post Commander Clark Swanson and Post 290 Auxiliary President Amy Weller. (Photo by Greg Hunt)
His visit in Cambridge was the beginning of Day 2 of a four-day tour of Minnesota Legion posts. His next stops on Tuesday were lunch in Grand Rapids and dinner in Walker. Then his entourage will eventually work the west side of Minnesota before closing at Chaska on Thursday evening.
A central part of his message at Cambridge was reaching out to the younger veterans returning from overseas duties in large numbers.
“Never before have active military and National Guard members been activated like they are today. We have U.S. military serviced in 133 foreign countries,” said Commander Foster. “You may have to look at wiring your Legion clubs for wi-fi to keep up with the technological demands of these new veterans, and that might be a good thing for you older members, too.”
Working under his acronym “SAVED” (Serving American Veterans Every Day), Foster highlighted more efforts ongoing on the national Legion scene which is filled with 2.5 million members.
He spoke on the benefits of “Operation Reconnect” where Legion members visit active duty or Guard training sites to keep in touch with how duties compare to those in the past.
He also spoke highly of the Legion Riders going on 7-10 day motorcycle tours to raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund which supports children of military members killed in action after Sept. 11, 2001 going to college.
Minnesota Legion members number more than 93,000, and their member percentage is among the top three in the nation. Foster offered more advice on member retention.
“Have an open mind during your meetings. Communicate with your members,” he spoke. “Stay positive and stay focussed. Lead by example.” Good advice for any organization.