I have been told this is the last Reveille that I will be addressing you as your Commander. In March we will be accepting nominations for officers. In April we will dissolve the nominating committee and form an election committee and then on the second Tuesday in May we will hold elections. As I stated before I will not be running for any office. I will however automatically hold a position on the Board as the immediate Past Commander.
During my tenure as Commander of our Post I have learned a lot, for instance the Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) that I know. What I learned is that not all Marines are faithful or for that matter honorable (I guess every service has that 10%). I have learned the meaning of "fair weather friends", and "a friend in need is a friend indeed." Mostly I learned the true difference, friends vs. acquaintances; I have plenty of the latter. As Commander I have experienced some of life's lessons that heretofore I have never really given much thought to because quite frankly they have never affected me. I hope in the years I spent as commander that I have served you well. I do know that I have served you with total dedication, honesty, and integrity. Every decision I have made, I made with the best interest of the Post at heart. Some however have maligned me, they criticize how I run the post and the decisions I make while sitting at the bar pontificating on how they can run it better. In response to
those I can only refer to the quote attributed to Mark Twain; "It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
To those of you who have been true and loyal members I hope that I have not disappointed you. I thank you for your support and for supporting the Post. I will truly miss serving you. Overall I would like to wish each and every one of you (including my detractors) the best. I hope that my successor will lead our Post to a bright and successful future. Remember that it is you the members that ultimately control the future of our Post. Bear that in mind when you go to vote. You can vote for a person who slaps you on the back and says, "how you doin?" or someone who comes in making promises of changing things, while having no idea of how the process works or what the American Legion is all about, or a puppet for someone else who has a totally different agenda that has nothing to do with the Legion or the Post. We are an American Legion Post not the DAV, or the Moose, or any other organization.
Normally an outgoing leader will point out the accomplishments made during his or her tenure. I choose not to pat myself on back, or bore you with superficial rhetoric, that's not my style. I will advise you that we are at a time when a lot of American Legion Posts are experiencing a downturn in membership and new members (especially our young veterans) are not joining. We need to make a concerted effort to get them in and make them feel welcome. In the meantime, farewell, may God bless all of you, and your families, may he watch over our troops and keep them out of harm's way, and may God bless America!
Eddie Cruz Commander
For God and Country