After a period of relative inactivity, the Storm Lake American Legion Post will hold a meeting 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 19 at the Iowa Central Community College Storm Lake campus at 916 Russell St.
According to American Legion Ninth District Commander Dana Evans, members of the post, spouses, and any veteran in the Storm Lake area are invited to come to the meeting.
"The Post is starting all over," Evans said. "It has not had any meeting for a while and wants to get active in the community. Many of the things we will be doing are being in the Fourth of July parade, bike safety, high-school oratorical competition, Boys State and Girls State, child health, and any Storm Lake and county veteran events."
In addition to fulfilling civic duties, Legion members also receive a number of membership benefits, Evans said.
"I want to get back active in the community," Evans said, noting a number of Guard members who are eligible for membership in the Legion. For women who may be interested in forming a Legion Auxiliary, Evans said only 10 members are required.
Evans wants to see younger Legion members who may have had duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We want a lot of the younger guys to get involved," Evans said. "Iowa's one of the strongest Legions in the country."
As an example of one of the Legion's many projects, Evans said one southwest Iowa veteran returned home and found his roof newly shingled that day - courtesy of his local Legion Post.
"We'll help the families in Storm Lake," Evans said.
Evans himself is active in local Legion Posts. As a member of the Galva Post, he also keeps busy in his position as Cherokee County veterans affairs director. Evans is also active with other area veterans groups, serving as Northwest Iowa President of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He also works actively with area VFW Posts on such issues as helping veterans get assistance with the Veterans Administration hospital system.
"We're all one big family. We're veterans. We're veterans helping veterans," Evans said of the working relationships among various veterans organizations. One Sanborn high-school student won $500 in the Legion District oratorical competition and is now eligible to win $2,000 at the state and $18,000 at the national level.
While the existing Post has 50 members, Evans said he would like to see more membership activity as well as wives, mothers, and sisters, and granddaughters of vets as Auxiliary members.
Evans said the Legion Ninth District has 8,900 members in 13 counties.
Veterans interested in American Legion benefits and membership may contact Evans at 712-282-4360 or 712-225-6704 Monday and Wednesday.
"I'll help any veteran," Evans said. "I've helped veterans from around the state. Veterans are all brothers and sisters. We're family."