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Laying the foundation

The Department of Texas' 100th Anniversary challenge coin.

Next year’s national convention in Minneapolis will kick off the American Legion Centennial Celebration on the national level, which will run for 15 months and finish on Veterans Day 2019. Departments’ own celebrations will vary as widely as the departments themselves do, and two of them – Texas and Florida – are already making plans and raising funds.

According to Ronnie Pietzsch, chairman for the Department of Texas’ centennial committee, among the plans for their 2018 convention in San Antonio are the placing of a time capsule and the presentation of two plaques – to the hotel where the first state caucus was held and the family of its chairman. To pay for these and other projects, the department has introduced an array of Centennial merchandise; “sales are doing well,” Pietzsch says.

“This 2017-2018 year has a lot of opportunity for The American Legion,” he adds, “and I will do everything I can to make it a great year.”

The Department of Florida’s centennial committee is also developing revenue streams to pay for its projects. Chairman Andrew Nagy says they are selling pins and coins, and development is underway on a table book. “The book will have all the posts in it,” he says. “First will be the posts that have filled out the history for the website. Depending on number they will get either a full page or part of a page, with their history.” In addition, a huge centennial parade is planned for their 2019 convention.