Legion keeps family first



September 27, 2017 - 12:00 AM

MORAN — Denise Rohan, the new national commander for the American Legion, had a message for Moran members in her visit Tuesday morning.
“The American Legion is about family first,” Rohan said. “We are about taking care of one another and making sure to provide the help they need.”
Last August, Rohan was elected national commander, becoming the first female to hold the position. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband.
Rohan discussed the four pillars under which the American Legion was founded. From national security, veterans affairs and rehabilitation, Rohan mentioned how important each foundation is.
She recalled a story from her time in Wisconsin where a veteran talked with service officers in the area. From his body language, the staff suspected he would likely take his life and stopped to help him out. Rohan said the American Legion service officers and veterans are trained to help and understand everyone’s situation. 
Teaching is one of the most effective ways to prepare the next generation, according to Rohan, including having a thorough grasp of the role of the Legion and of American history.
Department commander Terry Marr echoed Rohan on needing awareness for the American Legion. He said a bad stereotype of the American Legion exists among observers.
“We’re not a bunch of beer drinking veterans in a bar playing pool, cards and dominoes,” Marr said. “That perception has to change and it’s my goal to change it now.”
Rohan hopes veterans can open their post homes to the community on Veterans Day as a way of giving back and avoid any misconceptions on what American Legion is about.
Through education, hard work and spreading awareness, Rohan wants American Legion to continue through another generation of Americans. She said any member is more of a family than just an acquaintance.
“We need to make this nation understand how it’s structured and know how to act when the national anthem is played,” Rohan said. “There are so many things that our organization sponsors to make sure the people of this nation are taken care of. The only way we’re going to continue for another 100 years is through teaching and mentoring about this country.”

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