Sons of The American Legion

Detachment of New Jersey

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Commander's Message

2 weeks ago

May 23, 2020


I hope this finds our membership in good health. Although restricted by the effects of the Corona virus in regards to having physical meetings and a convention, our Detachment is still going strong.

First off, the information to the right is totally inaccurate; the membership total is way off and there is no American Legion Convention in Wildwood scheduled for 2020.

At a recent conference call of the Detachment of New Jersey, the following issues were addressed, along with a very brief synopsis:

NATIONAL: The mandatory $3.00 National S.A.L. dues increase goes into effect this year.

STATE: A $2.00 Department requested dues increase was discussed. Although recommendations by the SAL FINANCE OFFICER and SAL FINANCE COMMITTEE were in line with the Department recommendation, there was considerable discussion and there will be an upcoming meeting to go over this issue again.

***There was a concern about increasing everyone with a total of a $5.00 increase between the National and State dues.

CHARITABLE FUND RAISERS: The current status of our fund raisers was discussed. The Children and Youth areas of CWF, COTA and Special Olympics, as well as NEF are progressing. The Commander’s Project has amassed $23,145 of the $25,000 I thought we could raise to give Department Commander Robert Newell to assist in the improvement of Veteran facilities. Each area still needs more funding; please continue your donations.

CSRs: The due date for submission has been extended to June 1. Please get these in!

AWARDS: There will be another meeting to discuss the issuing of awards after more CSRs are submitted.

MEMBERSHIP: Keep pushing; we’re behind nationally on our target goals. Buddy checks to see how our members are faring, is essential. Securing dues from members who have not paid up yet also needs to be addressed.

DECs: Recruitment and training were discussed. Those who had said they were interested will be contacted over the next few weeks. We are targeting August to have everyone on board.

As far as I know, everyone has remained in good health. I have not heard of any S.A.L. member having a serious issue. Let’s hope things progress smoothly.

Please practice safe behavior and stay healthy!

For God and Country,

Matthew C. Thalasinos Commander Sons of The American Legion Detachment of New Jersey 2019--2020

Commander's Message

April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020


I have a few items since the prior message:
1. Our Vice Commander out of Belleville Post 105 is Steve Sangemino; I typed the wrong name in my previous message.
2. PDC Jeff Hicks is the Chairman for Corona Virus Information, not the Director.
1. CSRs are due to PDC Carl Albern, Jr. by May 1.
2. Keep pushing membership; reaching others by phone should be a little easier at this time.

Stay safe,

Matt Thalasinos
Sons of The American Legion
Detachment of New Jersey

Commander's Message

April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020


I hope this finds you in good health. The ramifications of what the Corona virus has imposed on us severely handicapped the events, programs and personnel in our entire American Legion Family. It is my greatest hope that no more of us become affected by the virus. To those that are, I think I can safely assume that our entire brotherhood is praying for a healthy and speedy recovery for you or someone you know that is. This is a scary time, but we shall endure as we forge ahead.

The Department of New Jersey followed the lead of the National American Legion and has voted that all officers and personnel stay in office another year. As we are a program of the Department, we will follow suit. The Auxiliary is also doing the same. The extension of our terms of office gives us all more time to get our fund-raising goals and programs more time as we have already lost a quarter of our year. I anticipate we will match that (or more) between the months of June, 2020 and June, 2021, especially if projected reports that another round of a high percentage of Corona cases could return in October/November. Although I stopped my travelling in mid-March, I am fortunate in that I did an abundance of travelling throughout the year and achieved many strides in accomplishing my goals.

The restrictions imposed on us due to the Corona virus are handcuffing what we do as volunteers to assist our veterans, children, communities, state and nation. There are, however, some programs that we are pushing through. All our fund-raising projects are still in effect. Our Ernie Wilson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship will be awarded. A couple of other awards will also be reviewed for inclusion for this term. In a short time attention will be given to the DEC Development and Training program with our Chairman, Tony Gladden.

Please report any situations to our Chaplain, Nick Wingler.
Our Vice Commanders, Henry Hasselhan, Larry McKenna, Mark Natale, Steve Severino and Greg Shaffer, are also staying in touch with the Squadron Commanders in their counties throughout the state. Continuous communication is vital.

PDC Jeff Hicks has accepted my offer to be the
If you have any questions or concerns about the virus, or know of someone who needs information, please contact Jeff. He can be reached by email ( or by phone (609-206-6583).

Please continue safety-first practices—social distancing is a necessity as well as wearing masks and gloves.

Stay healthy!

For God and Country,

Matthew C. Thalasinos Commander Sons of The American Legion Detachment of New Jersey 2019-2020

A Message from the Commander

March 31, 2020

On Monday, March 16th at 8pm our world changed. For the past two weeks we have had to adjust our lives to deal with our current health situation. I don’t think any of us ever expected to have to live through this experience, but we are and we will persevere. First and foremost, keep yourself, your families and your extended families as healthy as possible.

I am requesting that each of us do a minimum of one “Buddy Check” call a day. Do not count talking to the same person twice in one week. You may want to reach out to someone you normally wouldn’t call; it could mean something special to that person as we all cope with adjusting to this new life-style. IF you know of someone who has the Corona Virus and is in need of help to get supplies, start making phone calls to members in other areas to see if they can get supplies that you can’t. We are all in this together. Chaplain Nick WIngler is also available for support and concerns if you need to talk.

Although our “busy season” has been cut short with activities and events that we typically run, we still have to keep moving ahead with those activities we can still maintain.

Detachment Officers and Committee Chairmen:
Have your reports to the Adjutant, Tom Marsden, by Friday, April 10. I would like you to also send copies or a similar update to our SALute Editor, Gary Crawford by then as well.

Squadron Commanders:
We still have to bolster our membership, so I am also requesting all Commanders to take their list of unpaid members and give each of their officers a portion of their list of members, along with their phone numbers, to contact. Approach those phone calls with a “buddy check” mindset—see how your member is doing and feeling. When you remind them that they need to pay their dues you could emphasize that we are still running our programs.

Detachment Vice Commanders:
Keep in constant touch with your Squadron Commanders and see if they need assistance with anything. Remind them that CSR reports are due “soon”, applications for awards such as Son of The Year, Young Citizen’s Award and the Ernie Wilson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship are on-line and can be filled out and sent in. We are also still collecting donations for our programs:
Veterans: Commander’s Project, VA and R and Veteran Homelessness Clothing Drive.
Children: CWF, COTA, and Special Olympics.
Remind them that they can still make donations and give them the contact information they need.

One of my main concerns going into our Convention is the state of our finances. Finance Chairman Carl Albern, Jr. has worked diligently with his committee and Finance Officer Dave Page to get this straightened out. There is a Finance Committee Conference Call slated for Sunday, April 5 at 12pm. We are looking at revamping the existing allocations as well as a potential $5.00 increase in dues, as $3.00 is needed for National and a raise of $2.00 for the state.

I have increased the number of DECs from 8 to 15, but not everyone has filed their paperwork. I do not see the need for me to call you since you volunteered to step up. If you are having a problem getting your signatures, contact me for assistance. Please get that paperwork into the Adjutant ASAP; your input and votes will be needed shortly. If you don’t comply you are putting your own county at a disadvantage.

Looking ahead:
Not knowing where we will be in regards to health regulations and social distancing could affect our Convention, I am looking to accumulate and assess ideas for alternatives to having a physical convention for a meeting in June. If we wind up shifting our Convention to another date, then we won’t have to worry about this; I just want us to be prepared.
One idea I am thinking about is having a meeting in a chat room on the internet. I don’t believe a conference call by telephone would work as efficiently and would be harder to manage with the amount of personnel that would be involved. I can easily set up a free chat room or look into purchasing a different kind with audio capabilities.
I welcome any and all ideas for assessment. Please email me your thoughts.
Please by safe, continue conducting yourselves in a health-conscious manner and be patient. We will get through this.

For God and Country,

Matthew C. Thalasinos
Sons of The American Legion
Detachment of New Jersey

Detachment of NJ Commander
Detachment Commander
Matthew Thalasinos
Currently 8876 of 9994 members for 2020 membership year.
Upcoming Meetings
June 11, 2020 at 8:00am
Annual Detachment Convention

June 12, 2020 at 8:00am
Annual Detachment Convention

Squadron and County Events
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