South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary


2016 - 2017

South Dakota Department President

 Melanie Martens

Theme: "Have You Hugged A Veteran Today" 

Flowers: Poppy, White Shasta Daisy, and Blue Cornflower

Colors: Red, White, and Blue

Songs: God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood

This Land is Your Land

Amazing Grace

Presidents Blog

I am truly humbled and honored by the trust and confidence you have placed in my abilities to lead this wonderful organization for the coming year. I am very excited about the year ahead and look forward to spending time with many of you.  I ask for your support and cooperation as we work together For God and Country. Please pray for us to have the wisdom, strength and knowledge to fulfill our duties as we serve.

The Department of South Dakota has some very dedicated members that work tirelessly to meet our goals, they are called winners. Winners assemble as a team and find ways to accomplish their goals. This year we are going to focus on “Team South Dakota.” We need to come together to work as a team, not divided by our own personal agendas or past disagreements.  Our Auxiliary needs to develop and grow and we can only accomplish this by working together. Membership is our key to the future, we need to continue to focus on recruiting and retaining members to ensure that our organization will be here to serve all veterans.  My membership theme is Embracing Membership…..  Helping Us Grow Stronger (HUGS).

As Department President I feel that your symbol and theme should portray what is important to you personally. My theme is “Have You Hugged A Veteran Today?”    I have used this message over the years as a way to express gratitude to our veterans and how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made for our freedom.   A hug can be in many forms, helping a neighbor in need, visiting with a shut in or cooking a meal for someone.

 My pin has hands hugging a heart of gold to represent the heart of gold that our veterans have. My dad had a heart of gold and was very proud of his service to our country.  At the age of 90 he could still fit into his Army uniform and did so on many special occasions. My pin is dedicated to the memory of my father.

My flowers are the Poppy which represents the blood shed by our fallen soldiers, the Shasta Daisy which is a symbol of purity and innocence and The Blue Cornflower which represents tenderness and tradition. My songs are Amazing Grace, This Land is Your Land, and God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood.  These songs are some of our most beloved music and we DO need God to Bless and watch over The USA every day!

 My homecoming is scheduled for July 23rd starting with a social at 1pm at the Sanford Lab Visitor Center in Lead. I hope to see many of you there.