It was a cold Sunday in February, and little did I know I was going to see something that was so heartfelt, I was going to have to find a way to get it for our American Legion Post. I was headed to an American Legion Auxiliary meeting in Moscow, PA. As a District President, it is an exhilarating feeling to be asked to attend a meeting, and before I went to this meeting, I went for breakfast at a restaurant called “The Mess Hall.” What a place this is to see! Everywhere you look there is something military related. As owner Kelly Borelli told me, “I do this for my father, a Vietnam Veteran, and all veterans.” As I was leaving, in a corner, I spotted this chair. I asked her what it signified, and she said, “You haven’t heard of this?” When I replied that I hadn’t, she explained to me that it was a POW-MIA Chair of Honor, and it meant there would always be a seat there at The Mess Hall for any POW-MIA. It is promoted by the Rolling Thunder.

I knew right then and there I had to get a Chair of Honor for our Post, and when I asked her how to go about doing it, she gave me her number, and I told her I would call her the next day. I called her first thing in the morning, and she gave me the names of Hussey-Seating, where we could acquire the chair, and Patrick J. Hughes, the National Photographer in the Rolling Thunder, and a Vietnam Veteran. I went on the website to Hussey Seating and emailed them a story of three of our own members who were POWs in World War II, impatiently and excitedly waiting for them to get back in touch with me. I then went on Patrick J Hughes’s website and entered all the information needed. Within five minutes he called me, and we spoke for quite a while about how to get this chair. Patrick even sent me a sample ceremony for the dedication and advised me on what to add to the ceremony. He also gave me dates that he was available to attend the dedication.

Once I got that set, I spoke with Ron from Hussey Seating and ordered the chair for our Post. He explained to me that the Chair was $200, and shipping was $200, but that if we would advertise, they waive the cost of the chair and only ask that we pay shipping. I told the Auxiliary members all the information, they were so excited to get this Chair of Honor and dedicate to our Legion Post and our Veterans. The members stated that this is the least we could do for our veterans, they gave up so much for us. After four weeks, the chair was delivered– what a relief this was really going to happen! In the meantime, Patrick Hughes and I kept in touch weekly, he mentioned his friend, Ralph Galati, a POW from Vietnam. Patrick gave me Ralph’s information to see if he would like to attend our event and speak. I contacted him, he responded absolutely. It was all coming together.

Now, we needed to get everything together for the chair. We needed to get a platform built, and we decided to carpet the platform. We, the Auxiliary, asked our Commander where we could put the chair, so we searched our post and found the perfect spot, right next to the POW-MIA Table. The Auxiliary purchased a plaque, stanchion posts, velvet ropes, new flag stands and flags—both a United States of America flag and a POW-MIA flag. The Commander and I worked together to get the people needed to participate in the ceremony. I added the roll call of the missing to the ceremony to make our dedication even more meaningful. We had the local newspapers there and we were lucky enough to have a news crew there from WBRE. This was really going to be a big deal for our POW-MIAs, for our Post to have this Chair.

Unfortunately, COVID-19, still has a hold on us, the day before the ceremony, Ralph Galati, called and told me the bad news that he has been struck with COVID-19. He sent his speech and asked if someone would read his speech, we complied and had our adjutant read his speech. It was so touching. He explained about the POW-MIAs, he mentioned how The Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, the song God Bless America, and Church Services were forbidden to be discussed or performed, but those are the things that mattered most to the POWs, and regardless of the punishment or consequences, they proudly recited them. He mentioned as captives, their new mission was to resist the enemy to every extent possible, and they couldn’t give up because their fellow comrades were fighting for them and searching for them,

he then explained how he felt about the Chair of Honor, and what he endured. The Auxiliary was dressed in our uniforms, blue dress pants, white shirt, and red dress jackets with our American Flag scarfs. Two of the Auxiliary members unveiled the chair, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

We presented the plaque to the Legion along with the chair. They were very thankful and appreciative. Now, as you walk into our post, immediately on your left is the POW-MIA chair of honor, a seat so all POW-MIAs know there will always be a place for them to sit in our Post. What a fine tribute to our veterans and our 81,000 POW-MIAs, and anyone who passes by, they have no choice but to think of our POW-MIAs. All our veterans signed that blank line, not knowing if they would ever come home, and every veteran deserves the right to come home. As we remember these POW-MIAs, with this chair they know they will never be forgotten.

Written by Tina Haggerty from Unit 357

Welcome to the new American Legion Auxiliary Department of Pennsylvania website! Thank you for your patience while we worked together to create a website that you can be proud of. This is a work in progress. We welcome any and all suggestions to improve the website.

Greetings from the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Pennsylvania. I am proud to serve as Department President 2021-2022. I chose “Making a Difference Through Music” as my theme. Music can be a pick-me-up, have a calming effect, and just generally make us happy. Take a moment to listen to one of your favorite songs. My special project is to provide funding for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors and our VA hospitals and homes throughout Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors provides support to Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors and their families as well as veterans in crisis. Our VA Hospital Representatives and their Deputies use funding to provide for the needs of the veterans in these facilities. This includes Bingo, birthday parties, clothing needs, and personal care products just to name a few. I wish you well as you continue to support the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary. Stay safe and God Bless.

Pat Carnes

Leadership is to develop and prepare knowledgeable and capable leaders to carry on the growth and success of the ALA by promoting resources that educate, motivate, and mentor members of all ages and at all levels of the organization.

If you’re willing to devote your time and energy to listen, learn, and communicate, you can be trained to be a leader. Leaders are not born; they are trained because they are committed.

I encourage each member to take the Leadership Correspondence Course to help educate themselves and others about the ALA. You can go to the website www.alaforveterans.org for more information.

Leadership is the responsibility of every member, not just our current and past leaders. You can do this by encouraging others. Hopefully they will embrace our vision and contribute their own unique skills. This will help to strengthen the future of our organization.

I think about sacrifice, honor, and hope.

When I was about 8 years old, I was chosen to recite the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae on Memorial Day at a local cemetery. I had to memorize the poem. I was not good at memorization. So, I studied the poem to help myself remember it.

I remember asking my parents many questions. Where is Flanders fields? Why are there so many crosses? Why are there guns? Did all those people die in the war? Who were they? Why? Why? Why?
I learned about the war and the many soldiers that lost their lives. It upset me to realize that people died so that others could live. I continued to try to understand the poem. So far, I had learned about death, war, and sacrifice. What did that have to do with birds singing and poppies blowing?

That year my mother and I grew poppies in a little garden by the fence in our yard. She told me we did this to honor the soldiers that died. I was a little closer to understanding.

I’ve always loved music. It lifts you up when you are feeling down. Bird song is music! Then I really began to understand. This was a poem about honoring the soldiers that sacrificed their lives to protect others, but it was also about hope.

This year, share your own poppy story! Poppy Day is May 27, 2022. Make sure to order your poppies through department.

PA American Legion Riders Annual State Benefit Ride 2022

May 12-15, 2022

Host: Legion Post 0515 Thomas B. Anderson, Inc. Latrobe

1811 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, PA. 15650

The registration for the ride is $25 if you are a rider and $20 if you have a passenger. Your registration fee also includes the 2022 State Ride Patch.

Please support this year’s ride. All riders are welcome, not just American Legion Riders members. Please pay with cash or checks payable to PA. American Legion for registration.

This year’s funds will go to support State Commander, Michael D. Murphy’s project: The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance Fund. ALL FUNDS WILL GO TO OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

 Since its establishment in 1925 The American Legion Temporary

Financial Assistance Program has awarded cash grants to minor children of current active duty or American Legion members. These grants help families in need meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses, thereby keeping the child or children in a more stable environment.

Please go to your Post, Auxiliary, Sons and Riders for donations so we can make our State Commander Proud.

Not only does our annual ride raise money for a great cause, but we have a great time doing it!

Come and support our Ride. Bring your friends, everyone is welcome. You don’t need to be there all three days, just come and join us any of the days. Or just come out and join us at Post 515 in the evenings. Make new friends and see some old ones.

Eastern Riders will be leaving Legion Headquarters 800 North Front Street, Wormleysburg, PA  17043 @ 10:00 am on Thursday, May 12th.

Riders can meet up with all of us at Latrobe that evening (there will be a shuttle from hotel & back each evening).

Hotel Reservations: Hampton Inn 3970 Route 30, Latrobe, PA. 15650

Booking: 724-539-0499             Front Desk: 724-539-0400

GROUP: American Legion Riders, Group Code: ALR   Discount Price: $116 (tax included)

Deadline to register 4/12/22

Any questions please call:  Dave Hochstein 814-241-4618

The American Legion along with Veterans First,

and Allegheny Health Network are

holding a food and clothing drive

on December 14, 2021, from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

 

If  you wish to donate you can drop clothing and food to:

American Legion Post 80

172 6th Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15229

 

All donations are welcome.

Please remember that food should be non-perishables.

Things in need are jackets, blankets, gloves and socks.

Please help us fill this truck on December 14th!

Please feel free to contact Dan Campeau with any questions.

LEGION COLLEGE UPDATE -

Per Cumberland Valley (East - 10/30) and Greater Latrobe (West - 11/06) school district requirements, there are a few rules that must be followed for our use of the facility.

These rules apply to both Legion College East and West. The rules are not optional. If not followed, you will be asked to leave immediately without a refund.

As a reminder, you are expected to attend your class in which you signed up. If you traveled as a group and will be waiting on others to finish their class, you must report to the General Class while you wait. There will be no roaming of the halls or disrupting other classes.

We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to having a successful event.

2020 DECEMBER SWEEPSTAKES WINNERS

$10,000 GRAND PRIZE - after taxes $7,501.25 -Joseph Chernikovich, Newark, DE

$2,500 SECOND PLACE WINNER- Robert Baynard Sr., Coatesville, PA

$1,000 THIRD PLACE WINNER-Gregory Noll, Lancaster, PA

$500 FOURTH PLACE WINNER-Thomas Bowditch, Mountain Top, PA

$250 FIFTH PLACE WINNER- Irwin Mattis, Bristol, PA

$250 SIXTH PLACE WINNER-Michael Dobish, Ramey, PA

$250 SEVENTH PLACE WINNER- Lawrence Schorr, Newton, PA

$250 EIGHTH PLACE WINNER- Jackson Baumbach, New Cumberland, PA

$100 NINTH PLACE WINNER- Jonathan Bacon, Warren Center, PA

$100 TENTH PLACE WINNER-Gene Fetterman Jr., Orangeville, Pa

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AGENDA

57th Annual National Membership Workshop

VIRTUAL THROUGH MICROSOFT TEAMS

August 3-6, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

GROWING A POST

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2020

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                            TOPIC: THIS IS THE AMERICAN LEGION

Basic Introduction To The American Legion

Presenter: Matt Herndon (IN), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM                            TOPIC: MISSION & VISION

Focuses On The Importance Of Developing A Mission Statement And Having A Vision Towards The Future

Presenter: Ron Neff (IN), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2020

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                            TOPIC: BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE MEMBERSHIP TEAM

How To Organize A Membership Team That Focuses On A Clear Goal Through A Developed Plan Of Action

Presenter: Kevin Mook (MD), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM                            TOPIC: RECRUITMENT OF VOLUNTEERS

How To Locate And Keep Legionnaires Engaged

Presenter: Doug Chace (IN), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2020

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                            TOPIC: MEMBERSHIP RETENTION

Focuses On Growing Membership Through Retention

Presenter: Michele Steinmetz (CA), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM                            TOPIC: EVERY LEGIONNAIRE IS A RECRUITER

                                                              Focuses On Growing Membership Through Recruiting

Presenter: Ron Neff (IN), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2020

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                            TOPIC: DEFINE A GREAT POST

                                                              Discusses Ways For Posts To Be An Asset In The Community

Presenter: Doug Chace (IN), IA&Membership Division

Attendee Link:

 

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM                            TOPIC: MYLEGION FOR THE POSTS

                                                              Online Membership Tools For Post Adjutants

Presenter: Libby Vickers, IT Division

Attendee Link:                

 

 

 

 

 

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