Unit 17 of Lewes recently welcomed Dave Wolpert as its first male American Legion Auxiliary member.
Until last year, membership in the auxiliary of any post was limited to female relatives of U.S. servicemen, whether alive or deceased. Specifically, that was female spouses, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and direct and adopted female descendants. But while celebrating its 100th anniversary, the national auxiliary passed a resolution to open its membership to the male spouses of female service members who are active duty, honorably discharged or retired, as long as that wife is a member of the same American Legion Post.
This new membership eligibility has much promise for growth in the auxiliary, whose mission provide support for military families by shaping a positive future in an atmosphere of fellowship, patriotism, peace and security. Local post members hope that this change will lead to new resources, increased funding opportunities, and additional diversity and talent within local Unit 17.
“By welcoming male spouses into our auxiliary, we gain additional perspectives on the needs of military families, empowering us to further support our local veterans and service members,” said Murt Foos, auxiliary president for Unit 17. “This is a great step forward in creating a more inclusive partnership of community members to lead and serve.”
Wolpert’s wife Kim first joined the Lewes Post 17 as a Legionnaire based on her 21 years in the U.S. Navy. She was one of the first women to serve on a naval combat ship and earned the prestigious Surface Warfare Pin onboard the USS Hayler DD-997. Dave joined as a SAL (Sons of the American Legion) member, but now can more accurately be categorized as an auxiliary member.
The Wolperts were inspired to join Post 17 for the fellowship; as they say, “The people make us feel like family.” Dave intends to continue to volunteer as needed, especially for community events in the pavilion, which are his favorite. “I’m honored and proud to be a member of the American Legion Auxiliary,” he said.