Cole County has the highest American Legion veteran membership rates in the entire state. But the numbers are still lower than the legion would like to see.
Only 15 percent of Cole County’s veterans are members of the American Legion. Morgan Walker, a past commander of American Legion Post 5 says it’s in every veteran to continue serving the community. However, he says social stigmas do play a part in the low membership numbers.
“Yeah, you do kind of think of them sitting here smoking their pipe, drinking their Scotch and sharing stories, but what they’re really doing is not, they are doing that, yes they are, but they’re not ready to quit serving their country."
"And once a veteran, you never want to quit.”
More registered members equal more dollars that can be used to benefit local communities and the other 9,901 unregistered veterans. Post 5’s membership retention rate is at 92 percent, leading this year’s district membership report.