American Legion Riders listen as Mayor Del Jurney issues a welcoming statement Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Hall of American Legion Post #28. (Mark Wilson Photo)
It took several years and a dedicated group of individuals who would not accept “no” for an answer. Now, thanks to their quiet but diligent effort, Roswell has its own chapter of American Legion Riders.
A chartering ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Hall of the American Legion Post #28 Saturday afternoon made the new chapter of the ALR — Chapter 21 — official.
The ALR is for motorcycle enthusiasts who not only want to support the American Legion, but their community at large. Pansy Moffitt, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #28, said that the post was chartered in 1926. The idea to create a group within the American Legion for motorcycle riders associated with the American Legion first came about in Michigan in 1993.
Roswell’s chapter of the ALR, which took about three years of planning, was a long time coming.
“I think (the ALR) will help build our membership,” Moffitt said. She also said Roswell’s ALR will help provide well-deserved benefits for veterans.
Recognized as a national organization, members of the ALR typically participate in charity events, help raise funds for Veterans hospitals, are present during memorial services as well as parades, and help provide recognition for Veterans, to name a few examples of their work.
Mayor Del Jurney said he was proud to be present at a ceremony representing an organization that in turn helps veterans and their families.
“The support and encouragement you give to those families is really very special,” Jurney said. “We can’t do enough for men and women who have given their best to protect our freedoms.”
Officers for the New Mexico State ALR were present to install local officers. Brad Schroenghamer, president of the New Mexico State ALR, gave a brief history of the organization and reminded the local officers of their newly-acquired duties.
“The welfare and success (of the new ALR chapter) depends largely on you,” Schroenghamer told the new officers. He said they had the responsibility of sharing the values of the American Legion through their example. Schroenghamer told them to exalt the American Legion in the eyes of others.
Newly installed ALR Chapter 21 president Orlando Padilla thanked the members of other ALR chapters who were present for the event — including a sizeable group from Carlsbad’s ALR.
Padilla said officers have a two-year tenure, and were elected by other members of the American Legion.
“We’ll be doing a lot of work towards the goals of the Riders program,” he said.
For more information about the new, local ALR, including how to become a member, call 317-1070.