Never forget we take care of veterans

By Paul Hassing

Greetings again, Legion family.

I can’t believe October is gone already. I guess staying busy really does make time fly. It has been a busy month with lots of travelling both around the state and to Indianapolis for the Fall Meetings.

Paul Hassing mugshot
Paul Hassing

Thanks again to Adjutant Mike Maxa and Program Coordinator Jennifer Kelley for keeping things straight for me and letting me know where I need to be. I know it is not an easy task.

With all the meetings and business to attend to, it’s easy to get bogged down and lose sight of why we are here. When I get to travel to the posts and talk to members of our Legion Family, it brings things back. We are here to take care of veterans, their families and our communities. If it ever seems like I am forgetting that, please do not hesitate to remind me.

As of this writing, it is Buddy Check Week. Please reach out to members you haven’t heard from in a while. Every one of us can use a friend to talk to occasionally. It doesn’t need to be Buddy Check Week to reach out to someone.

When you think of someone, don’t wait and think you will call them tomorrow; it may be too late. The American Legion’s mission of “Be the One” is happening for a reason. We are losing too many veterans and family members to suicide. We can make a difference. Please reach out if you need anything.

Membership is going well. Right now, Minnesota is going back and forth between second and third place. Thank you everyone for working so hard to keep us up there. We really need to keep up the pace. I know we can do it. The American Legion is too great of an organization. We just need to keep telling our story and what we are about. The American Legion does not exist without its members, and veterans benefits will not exist without The American Legion.

If you haven’t heard already, my project is the Minnesota Veterans Assistance Fund (Minnesota American Legion Foundation’s Fund 85).  There are veterans around the state that really need our help.  This fund provides grants to veterans who need help. Most of us at one point or another have needed a helping hand. Department Service Officer Ray Kane and Assistant DSO Janet Lorenzo do a great job of not only determining if the veteran truly has a need for the grant, but also finding programs available to help the veteran with any issues that may have caused the situation to occur in the first place. It is what we are about. Taking care of our brothers and sisters when they need it.

I want to ask all of you a favor. If you go to, it will bring up a list of legislative actions The American Legion is concerned about at the national level. If you click on the issue, it sends an email to your representatives and senators to let them know we are watching. It is a very effective tool, and easy to use, even for me. Our representatives in Washington need to be reminded of issues that are important to us as veterans and Americans.

I have a hard time putting into words how proud I am of our Department of Minnesota. We really have some great posts throughout our state. The volunteerism in Minnesota is second-to-none. I get to visit a lot of posts, and I learn something from each one of them. I do know that there are a lot of departments that wish they had what we have in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Thank you again for all you do to make things better for others.

Paul Hassing of Bloomington  Post 550 is the commander of The American Legion Department of Minnesota. His theme is “The Road Ahead.”