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Commander’s Christmas Message

American Legion Donates over $36,000

To Hospitalized Veterans

The American Legion completed its annual Christmas Tour on December 13. The tour covers over 1300 miles and takes seven days. The Tour visits fifteen Veterans Homes and Hospitals throughout the State of Pennsylvania.

These stops include:

Southwest State Veterans home Pittsburg

Oakland VAMC

H.J Heinz III Progressive Care Center Pittsburg

Butler VAMC

Pennsylvania Soldiers & Sailors Home Erie


Hollidaysburg State Veterans Home

Altoona VAMC

Wilkes Barre VAMC

Gino Merli State Veterans Home Scranton

Lebanon VAMC

Philadelphia VAMC

Delaware Valley Veterans Home

Southeast State Veterans Home

Coatesville VAMC

At each location the Legion party visits each resident wishes them a very Merry Christmas and presents them with a book worth $10.00 to be used at their individual canteens. We visit over 3600 patients on our tour

This is very satisfying experience and the veterans really appreciate the visit. In some cases we are the only visit that they will receive during the Holiday.

This is another reason that we are Legionnaires. We are Veterans still serving our fellow Veterans.

This is the first time in the History of the American Legion we had our complete family on the tour. Pictured from the left is John Metzger the Commander of the Sons of the American Legion, Jon Hosfield State President of the American Legion Riders, Barbara Lysic Department President Legion Auxiliary, Joe Cocco Jr. Department Commander American Legion, and Sammy Claus Past National Vice Commander and Past Department Commander James Hales Jr.


2 Responses to “Commander’s Christmas Message”
  1. Deb Riley says:

    I congratulate on on a wonderful job, I don’t know how u did it. Please tell me how. I am the Historian at post 175 in washington, pa, I volunteered one year to go to veterans home , there was nobody to help or it wouldn’t get done. I didn’t want to see the veterans go with out. I work full time, had only 1 week. I visited talked too staff, bought gifts, wrapped, and delivered in 5 days, Let’s just say I will never forget the expierence i went through. My own children helped and i didn’t get to by them a gift that year. I would do it all over again, it changed my life. Nobody helped me, how did you get all that help & what can i do to help. I work in a nursing home 12 hr days, but i find time. Just tell me how our legion can do what you did, it’s a start from someone who cares about our veterans. ‘ So proud of you all’
    Deb Riley Post 175 Washington, Pa 15301
    Historian Exec board member

  2. Todd Van Tassell says:

    This was my 3rd Commanders Christmas Tour. I started to do the tour 3 years ago because my father was in the Dimensia ward at the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie, Pa, this was a great way to visit dad and shake the hands of Heroes and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. The 2012 Tour was special because the VA hospital in Erie, Pa had just opened up a nursing home on their 4th floor, my father is a resident there now and he loves it, I like it as well, they keep him occupied with plenty of activities and the health care is phenominal. Commander Coco and Commander Metzger earned my respect along with Harry Stewart, Captain of our Honor Guard for Erie and Crawford County of which I am a proud member.
    My father is Roger Van Tassell, as a Marine with the 1st Division in Korea he saw plenty of action in combat and was wounded 3 times, twice in the same battle at Chosin, shot in the leg and bayoneted in the head he was left for dead by the Chinese. He told me that the Chinese were so close that as he shot them with his 45 cal. he was burning their faces with the barrel. A haunting memory I am sure…

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