American Legion Auxiliary National President to tour Iowa

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Members of the Department of Iowa American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary family will host a 5-day visit with National President Sharon Conatser April 10-14 during a stopover in her year-long nationwide tour to call on community members. She will visit VA hospitals and attend special presentations by several American Legion and Auxiliary posts and units throughout Iowa. The tour across Iowa will include stops at the VA hospitals in Iowa City, Des Moines, Sioux Falls, SD, and Omaha, NE, as well as the Iowa Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown. Each day various Legion and Auxiliary posts and units will host Open Houses/Meet and Greets, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in honor of President Sharon. The hosting posts and units will be from Swisher, Ames, Sioux Center, and Onawa. She will also have the opportunity to visit the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery in Van Meter and meet Governor Terry Branstad and Colonel Robert King, director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. A visit would not be complete without stopping to see the Patriotic Freedom Rocks in Bondurant and Greenfield.

The American Legion Auxiliary members volunteer countless hours at the VA hospitals across the state to pay tribute and to express appreciation to hospitalized veterans. The tours of the VA hospitals and the Iowa Veteran’s Home are crucial in the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to assist veterans and their families as they transition back to civilian life.

Sharon Conatser, of Champaign, Ill., was elected national president of the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) during the organization’s 95th National Convention in August 2015. Conatser, a lifetime member, joined the American Legion Auxiliary through her father Clay Lofton, an Army veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War. She is also eligible though her son, Rick Malloch, a Desert Storm veteran, and her husband, Marty Conatser, a Vietnam-Era veteran and past national commander of The American Legion. Conatser is the first national president who is also a former First Lady of The American Legion.

American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.