WELCOME TO LEGION NOTES
W. B. WILLIAMSON AMERICAN LEGION POST 1
How do you like the idea of a newsletter every other month? We need your opinion.
April 14, Lt. Col. Mitchell Bell, retired USMC KC 130 pilot and now pilot for American Airlines, contacted me for the use of our Post building. He received a request for re-issuance of a Bronze Star with Valor which was never given to its recipient, Mr. Albert Malveaux of Lake Charles, LA.
Purple Hearts Reunited, for which Mr. Bell volunteers, tracks lost medals and awards and reunites the person with their long lost awards. Two years ago, Mr. Bell came to Lake Charles so as to return to a family member a long lost Purple Heart found in a garage sale chest. The owner of the chest hadn’t opened it for 40 years. He didn’t know what was in the box as he carried it with him to his many duty stations. His wife made him clean out his shop and guess what he found! The Purple Heart was given to the family of Clayton Hamilton, who was killed over Nuremburg, Germany February 17, 1945. The remaining family (two nieces) lived in Sulphur, LA so Mr. Bell was looking to reissue this medal at the convenience of the family.
By luck, Post 1 was called for the use of the building for 1-2 hours. A day was selected and I called in the local news media (KPLC and American Press) especially after I found out one of the family members was my personnel director at Firestone.
A month ago, Mr. Bell contacted me again for the use of the building to make another presentation, Mr. Malveaux’s bronze star. In 1969, Mr. Malveaux was issued a Purple Heart for valor in Vietnam and a Bronze Star while convalescing in a hospital. The Bronze Star had the wrong name on it. What does the Army do? They took it back and said they would give him another one. He spent 23 years in the Army and was never issued his award.
His son heard about Purple Hearts Reunited at Post 1 and contacted the organization for help because Mr. Malveaux is in poor health and he can’t wait much longer. He has dialysis 2-3 times a week.
Mr. Bell requested use of the hall for one of Mr. Malveaux’s off days of treatment. April 25 at 11 a.m. was selected so Mr. Bell could catch a flight back to Dallas before our lovely airport shut down for the night. The last flight to Dallas was 1:30.
With very short notice, Sandy contacted all local Posts, Units VFW, Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapters and local media. Mr. DeRosier, our D.A. covered any expenses (which were few) because Mr. Bell didn’t want a large affair. A good time was had by all.
Would you like to witness a flag retirement on Flag Day (June 14)? Let me know at 337-377-5093.
On May 1, Mrs. Claire Sylvest took her 5th grade Spark class to tour the WW II Museum. Joe Rabalais, myself and Sandy took 3 seats on the bus to fill all seats. What an experience we had with these young people who have been studying WW II history both in Europe and Pacific theaters. The museum is continually changing thus we saw new exhibits.
Shame on Baton Rouge traffic; we didn’t get home until 9 p.m.
I had the pleasure of delivering a 60 year membership certificate to Mr. Joe DeMarest and 50 year membership certificates to Roy Sanders and Frank Sylvester. Congratulations, gentlemen.
POST 1 COMMANDER
Those of us who served in the United States military have so much to be thankful for today. As I think of all the things that Memorial Day means to me and the many things I would like to say I find myself without the adequate words.
Even though numerous communities had been independently celebrating Memorial Day for years, the federal government declared Waterloo, N.Y. the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo first celebrated the holiday on May 5, 1866. Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 for decades, but in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and a federal holiday.
• Red poppies are known as a symbol of remembrance, and it's a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war.
Civil War: Approximately 620,000 Americans died. World War I: 116,516 Americans died, World War II: 405,399 Americans died. Korean War: 36,574 Americans died. Vietnam Conflict: 58,220 Americans died. Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: 148 U.S. battle Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4,422 U.S. service members died. Operation New Dawn: 66 U.S. service members died. Operation Enduring Freedom: 2,318 U.S. service members have died as of May 12, 2014.
May 12 was a beautiful groundbreaking service at the Veterans Memorial Park in Lake Charles. The wind was blowing and the American flag was stretched out in beautiful site. They were planning on spending in excess of $280,000 to upgrade the Memorial Park.
June 14 at 10 AM will be a Flag Day celebration of the retirement of flags at the American Legion Post One. If you are available it would be a great time of fellowship and paying respect to the American flag.
At the Memorial service on May the 10th at the American Legion Post One I read a poem entitled We Remember Them. One said this, As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them. There is something so beautiful when you meet people and they remember you. Thank God for a beautiful thing called memory.
May the Lord bless the American Legion, our community and the United States.
POST 1 CHAPLAIN
AGNES ARMENTOR EFFIE FONTENOT BOB MUTERSBAUGH
PRIS FRUGE GUS RICHARD EDDIE RICHARD
ALBERT DUPLANTIS GAIL REIFSNIDER
MELBA PORTINAUSE AL PORTINAUSE
AL COCHRAN BILL ABSHIRE ROY BENOIT
MARGIE NELANDS CHARLES WHATLEY
HELEN GOWN STEPHEN ROTHERMEL
ELISTA PRICE MONA LAFLEUR STEVE ROTHERMEL
JOE & MARIE RABALAIS ROY SANDERS
HARRY CORMIER 3/2017
RAY COOLEY 3/21/17
HARLEY HEBERT 5/18/18
Attn: ALL Legionnaires!
In addition to reminding everyone to make sure that your dues are paid, I would also like to remind you to make sure that your family members know that you are a Legionnaire. Unfortunately, many members have and will miss out on memorial services, resources and personal interactions due to their family’ s lack of information. It happens frequently but it doesn’t have to. Please make sure your loved ones know that you belong to the American Legion and the Post you are affiliated with if possible. These records are vital to the Nat’l., State and Post departments. Please make sure that your 2017 dues are paid up. Thank you all for your commitment and loyalty to Post One.
WHEN A LEGIONNAIRE DIES
Anytime a member of Post 1 or Unit 1 dies, it is very important that the Post and Unit be notified. This does not happen automatically nor should you depend on someone seeing it in the newspaper-contact the Legion home as soon as possible. If the family of a member (Post) would like to have a memorial service along with the plans at the funeral home, this information must be channeled through the Legion home. There again, these things do not happen automatically, but must be planned with the Post. This is why it is so important to make sure that the Legion/Auxiliary member’s dues are paid in a timely manner. If they are not paid up to date at the time of death the member (Legion or Unit) is not entitled to this service.
In the event of the death of an Auxiliary member, again the Post home or a member of the Executive Board of the Unit should be notified as soon as possible. Members of the Auxiliary, are included in Memorial Services on the District and Department levels sometime during the year of death or the one following. Anytime there are questions concerning anything relative to a veteran, you can always call your Legion Post and someone will be found to answer your questions. There are many community and state services that families may not be aware of; the answer is often at your Post.
KEEP THIS INFORMATION ALONG WITH YOUR PERSONAL PAPERS FOR REFERENCE. Post 1 phone is 337-436-3300.
ROY C. SANDERS
POST 1 ADJUTANT