Waseca’s American Legion Post 228 hosted a very special dinner Tuesday.
Each year, the national commander of the American Legion takes a tour throughout the United States to meet with local post leaders regarding national issues that can have an impact at state and post-levels.
Commander Dan Dellinger of Vienna, Va., visited 12 posts throughout his four-day tour of southern Minnesota. Waseca was one of four chosen to host a dinner in his honor.
When the dinner portion concluded and visitors and post members sat munching their desserts and sipping coffee, Dellinger stood and began to speak.
His message was simple: We need to help the veterans.
“You’d be surprised how many people haven’t heard of traumatic brain injury or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Dellinger said. “We need to ensure [Veterans Affairs] is doing more ... It should be easier to help treat this.”
According to Dellinger, the American Legion has distributed books to government leaders titled “The War Within” to spread the word about the effects of TBI and PTSD on America’s veterans.
He also told attendees about the importance of membership.
“There is strength in numbers,” Dellinger said. “There are 3.5 million people in the American Legion family. How do we get new, young members?”
Traveling around the country, he heard twice of people who’d never heard of the American Legion.
“Its the little things we do that make the biggest difference,” Dellinger said. “But we have a long way to go.”
Reach reporter Christen Furlong at 507-837-5451. Follow her on Twitter @WCNchristen.