MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Jane Bennett is behind the many ideas to help better serve our veterans in the community. The group she leads is one of the largest in the state.

“After our father passed away, we moved back home [and] I had given up my interior decorating business in Colorado,” said Bennett. “I was at loose ends and the American Legion Auxiliary has been amazing [and] just the goal of helping somebody else helped kind of pulled me out the grief from my father, I just think it was life saver for me.”

Bennett is President of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 19 in Midland and said she hopes it will do the same for others.

“Locally, we have been in existence since 1917,” she said.

The American Legion Auxiliary supports the American Legion.

“We get lots of calls from the VA homeless program, Midland Vet Center [and] any time that there’s a veteran that needs help, they give us a call,” she shared. “They know we will figure out a way to help them.”

Bennett is president of the unit which is made up of almost 400 members.

“Right this minute, we are the largest unit in Texas,” she said. “There are over 200 units in the State of Texas and Midland is the largest unit.”

Bennett expressed her gratitude for the group members and the organization.

“I just feel I work with an organization completely composed of remarkable women and we all work together as a team,” she said.

She also said the unit works actively on a project every month to help local veterans. Recently, it was able to gather boxes of donated goods once again to send troops overseas.

“We didn’t send out stuff last year, but we usually send out two or three times a year, just depending on the season,” Bennett said.

Bennett continues to lead by example.

“I am currently in my first committee chair, which is the Auxiliary Veteran’s Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee for the state of Texas,” she said.

She hopes more eligible people will join the unit.

“I wouldn’t be able to do anything without all the help of all the remarkable women that I work with every day,” Bennett expressed.

Below is a brief list from Bennett of the many projects the organization works on:

“Some of the projects we have going on right now are donating medium size heaters to the Senior Life Giving Tree (we donate fans in the summer) for homebound seniors, we just donated groceries for 11 Thanksgiving dinners for veteran families through the Midland Vet Center (total 42 people) and will be donating groceries again for Christmas, donating Christmas gifts, snack and Wish List items to the patients at the Big Spring VA Hospital, and Christmas gifts for Children of Veterans.
We donate Quarterly to the VA Homeless program in San Angelo, local food banks and Meals on Wheels.

We are also working on getting 240 new black padded folding chairs for our Bingo/rental hall in the back of our Post since the old ones are incredibly uncomfortable and are over 4 years old.”

If you would like to know more information about the unit or would like to join, please call 970-390-1302.