Thank you, Vice-Commander Nielsen for bringing light to the issue of active members in the American Legion Family (“Farewell to Legion Auxiliary,” The Billings Gazette, Aug. 25). Unfortunately, not all your information is accurate.

While it’s true a vote is being taken on whether Trevor J. Johnson Auxiliary Unit 44 in Colstrip will continue as an active unit, no single person has the right to charter a unit, nor does any one individual have the authority to drop the gavel to surrender a unit. I recall publicity of a similar nature some years ago in Big Timber and I can assure everyone, Auxiliary Unit 19 is still alive and well. Based on the reaction from its members, Unit 44 isn’t going anywhere and it’s premature to disclose anything in that regard.

At the 99th National Convention this past week in Indianapolis, the delegation approved the resolution to allow spouses of all veterans to join this organization. This bold move will open the door to an entirely new segment of volunteers and we’re looking forward to additional growth, especially in rural communities such as Colstrip and Big Timber.

It’s an era where we don’t fill chairs in meetings, however via a simple text, we can be ready serve the public at a moment’s notice. Don’t write us off yet.

Jamie DeBates

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