MILLSBORO – Back after a cancellation due to COVID-19, tradition resumes at American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28 with an annual visit by the auxiliary national president.
In mid-January, American Legion Auxiliary National President Kathy Daudistel comes to Delaware, joining forces with the American Legion Auxiliary Department for events scheduled in Dover, Milford and Millsboro.
Delaware’s ALA Department is planning a full schedule for her four-day visit. National Executive Committee member Debbie Guenther will be Ms. Daudistel’s official escort during her visit Jan. 16-19, which this year ties into an event associated with Dr. Martin Luther King Day.
Ms. Daudistel, along with NEC and Department of Delaware President Janet Link and others, will participate in the MLK Day of Service event “Fall in for a Baby Shower” at Unit 28 in Millsboro. This event, open to public, supports Delaware National Guard families.
“We like to try to get her (national president) here when we are doing something that supports the mission,” said Beth McGinn, ALA Unit 28 secretary and ALA national legislative chairwoman. “That’s why we wanted her here for Martin Luther King Day.”
Ms. Daudistel and party will also visit Dover Air Force Base, the Home of the Brave in Milford and have a meet and greet at Milford Post 3 in Milford.
“We don’t have a real big spectrum like other places, like a big VA hospital and other kinds of memorials and stuff like that,” said ALA Unit 28 spokeswoman Tina Washington. “We always try to get them into Dover Air Force Base, because we have the distinction of being the only dignified transfer base. We try to get them in so that they can go to the mortuary. They get a tour of the mortuary when it has been applicable. Most of the time we have been able to go.”
The Dover visit will encompass the Fisher House for families of the fallen, Ms. McGinn said.
Another visit is Home of the Brave, a facility that provides temporary housing, food, stability, guidance and support to assist veterans in their journeys towards permanent housing.
In support of Home of the Brave, ALA Unit 28 has received several foundation grants for computers, a minivan and other needs. Grants, which can range up to $10,000, typically include a 20% local share, which is covered by the Department or a unit. “Usually, Unit 28 has been the one that does the 20 percent,” said Ms. Washington.
Ms. Daudistel will conclude her visit Jan. 19 with a Legion family luncheon hosted by ALA Unit 28 and Legion Post 28.
“We always get the national president every year … up until COVID,” said Ms. Washington. “Usually, we get the national ALA president, and the Legion (Post 28) gets the National Commander.”
Luncheon invitations are being extended to the many ALA units, Legion posts, and Sons of the Legion throughout the state.
Fall in for a Baby Shower
ALA Unit 28’s annual community service project coinciding with MLK Day of Service will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Legion Post 28 on Legion Road just off John J. Williams Highway, several miles east of Millsboro.
Unit 28, which is hoping to fill upward of 200 backpacks, requests donations for bibs, baby lotion, baby shampoo, socks, receiving blankets, wipes, diapers and bottles. “We have the backpacks. We just need the products,” said Ms. McGinn.
The initiative will help support National Guard families.
“We wanted to support them because they face challenges, more challenges and unique challenges than the average family,” said Ms. McGinn. “Their people, whoever it is, could be activated at any moment. When one parent or two parents leave, that leaves a hole in the family. That puts a burden on that family. So, we wanted to do something to ease their burden a little bit. We just wanted to recognize them for the sacrifices that they make.”
Monetary donations also appreciated. Supporters have a shopping option at Amazon Smile, for delivery of items to the unit.
Linda Shelly, ALA Unit 28 president, will provide a pancake breakfast for MLK Day of Service participants and volunteers.
For more information call 302- 381-3897, 484-571-9214 or 302-945-1673, ext.14.
Ms. Daudistel, an ALA member of the Department of Kentucky, became the national president of the American Legion Auxiliary during the organization’s 100th National Convention held Aug. 27-Sept. 2 in Phoenix. She succeeded Nicole Clapp, who served as ALA national president for two years, 2019-2021. That included the 2019 centennial year.
An ALA member for 25 years, Ms. Daudistel has held numerous leadership positions at the unit, district, department and national levels, including national vice president; national committee chairwoman of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Poppy, National Security, Americanism, Membership, and Leadership; national committee vice chairwoman of Junior Activities; National Executive Committee; and alternate NEC.
Ms. Daudistel is eligible for ALA membership through her father, William Kaelin Jr., a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean War era.
As national president, Ms. Daudistel’s theme for this year is “caregivers,” especially military caregivers.
Ms. Daudistel retired from a Fortune 500 company after more than 30 years where she worked in the information technology department. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in information technology from Northern Kentucky University. She has two daughters, four grandchildren and two sons-in-law.