Heart of the Mission: Corrinna Colson

Posted On: Monday, 18 March 2024

Since her father’s passing in 2010, Corrinna Colson has dedicated her life to fulfilling the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission of serving veterans, military, and their families. Her father, Eric Norman Colson Sr., was a proud U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. 
“Being a member of the ALA is my way to honor my father and it’s my way to give back to the people he would want me to give back to — our veterans,” said Colson. 
Colson has held many leadership positions within the Auxiliary at the unit, department, and national levels. She is the current national Membership Committee Eastern Division chair and Department of Vermont historian. As a proud member of Hardwick Unit 7 in Vermont, she is always looking for new ways to help veterans and support fellow members. 
The American Legion Family is an incredibly important part of Colson’s life. All seven of her grandchildren are Junior members and Sons of The American Legion members. She is working to ensure younger generations carry on the ALA’s mission of serving veterans for years to come. Colson is also a part of the American Legion Riders — she drives a purple 2016 Harley Heritage Soft Tail Deluxe that she loves to ride whenever she can. 
Why did you join the American Legion Auxiliary? 
My dad was a very proud veteran. He was my hero and my best friend. When he passed away, I was kind of lost. But when I was at his funeral and the commander of our Legion post gave my father’s eulogy and I heard about his service, it brought my dad’s service into perspective for me. Everything clicked and I knew what my dad would want me to do. So, I immediately joined the American Legion Auxiliary and I have been going strong ever since.
​Why did you take the next step in the ALA and choose to purchase your Paid Up For Life (PUFL) membership? 
As a membership chair, you try to encourage people to pay their membership dues. And being offered the ability to pay it all at once and get the discount and everything else seemed like the right thing to do. Because how can I say to people, ‘Oh you should pay your membership or have you?’ I guess purchasing it was my way of saying this is how important being an Auxiliary member is. I felt I was setting an example for our members by buying my PUFL membership.
What does your PUFL membership mean to you? 
It means I am a member of the ALA for life, and I am very proud of that. I am very proud to be a lifelong member of this organization because it does so much for veterans. This is the way I give back as my father would want me to do. And there is no greater gift that somebody can give you than to serve their country so you can serve in the capacity as an Auxiliary member — I strongly believe that. And that’s truly what I think my PUFL membership says. I am grateful I am able to be an Auxiliary member under my father. No one can take away the gift he gave me.
Why do you think fellow ALA members should consider becoming a PUFL member?
Well for one, it saves you a boatload of money in the end, and I think it’s basically committing to being a member for life. So, I think it’s a way for a member to say, ‘OK, I love serving veterans and I’m going to do it for a lifetime.’ It’s kind of like a badge of honor. All I can say is why not buy a PUFL membership? Being able to commit to something for life — I can’t think of a better organization to commit to for life than this one.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.