BY TOM EADER
ST. CROIX — Members of American Legion Post 102 and Auxiliary Unit 102 held the organization’s first American Legion Family Day on Saturday at its Peter’s Rest headquarters following the passage of a resolution on a national level.
The American Legion National Executive Committee passed a resolution during its fall meeting in October 2022 that established an American Legion Family Day to be observed annually on the last Saturday of April.
During the Family Day observed Saturday, Legion posts nationwide were encouraged to open their doors to the community for the day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion members, Legion Riders and Auxiliary members, as well as to bring awareness to the organization’s Be the One initiative to reduce the rate of veteran suicide.
“What we tried to do is share with the community what The American Legion is doing for family, as we are one family for veterans, and let them know we are there for them,” Secundino Roman-Cruz, commander of both Post 102 and the American Legion Department of Puerto Rico's District 10, said. “There’s a lot of veteran suicides nowadays and we are making sure that we are there in support for those veterans in need, and let the family know also that they are not forgotten.”
Vincent Troiola, national commander of The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans service organization, stated the observation of the first Family Day.
“Tell them about our Be the One campaign and our efforts to destigmatize the courageous decision to seek mental wellness,” he stated. “Too many veterans take their lives while feeling isolated and alone. Some have no close relatives to whom they can reach out. It is a mistake for them to believe they have no family. Whether they know it or not, they have an American Legion Family.”
American Legion Family Day provided members of Post 102 an opportunity to connect with the community, including children and adults.
“As Legionnaires, we served our country as a whole nationally, but we also want to serve our community, and this is a community effort of The American Legion,” Annie Day Henry, Post 102 first vice commander, said. “It’s a family and friends’ day, so you have young people from school come."