A member of the Strathmore Legion discusses how getting involved with that branch allowed him to connect with the community.
Many assume that the Legion is only a place for veterans and their families.
While that is true, the Legion also focuses on giving back to all community members and has worked to create a welcoming space for all people.
On the Strathmore Legion website, their mission statement reads: “Our mission is to maintain remembrances for those who sacrificed their lives in the service of Canada. We support our veterans, their families, and our community. The Legion is a special place for special people, and you are all welcome to join or simply visit with us. You would be most welcome!"
Kevin Armitage, a local veteran and Sergeant at Arms with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10 Strathmore, discusses why he initially got involved.
“For me personally, it is about helping veterans, but it is also about helping their families. The principles that the Legion stands on are support for our veterans, their families, and community service. We do a lot in the community that many people don't see,” Armitage said.
Armitage served eight years with the Canadian Military. He has been a member of the Legion for over 40 years, but only recently got really involved a year and a half ago.
“I got involved with the Legion while going through some strife in my own life, and I got a lot of help through Veterans Affairs."
Armitage signed up with the Legion because he wanted to help other veterans, like himself. He knew many would decline help or assistance, and he wanted to change that.
“I have a bit of a character that doesn't let me just walk away."
Armitage says the Legion supports veterans and their families by offering programs like the Buddy Check Coffee Program, which is an informal way for veterans, RCMP, or anyone who is interested to come into the Legion once a week and meet for coffee and chat about life.
And, if needed, the Legion can offer a list of resources for mental health support.
The Legion puts money back into the community by supporting organizations like the Strathmore Fire Department, the Cadets, Happy Gang 50+, the Wheatland Lodge, and more.
By becoming a member and getting involved, Armitage says that it is a way to directly support the town and the people in it.
This past weekend (Feb 3–4), the Legion hosted a provincial cribbage event.
Events like this not only benefit the Legion but also benefit the community because they bring in people from out of town who will then support local hotels, businesses, restaurants, taxi services, and more.
The Strathmore Legion also frequently hosts events like bingo, karaoke nights, darts, and they are looking ahead to future events they could plan that would be enjoyable for community members.
There are many big plans for the Strathmore Legion, and they are encouraging all to come in, find a welcoming and supportive place within their community, and in turn, give back.
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