It’s been more than 13 years since the passing of my dad, John “Jack” Gothreau, who died in October 2001. In tribute to his memory and to all those who served in our nation’s conflicts I thought it worthwhile to share the experience of my dad’s family in World War II.
Five of 10 children would heed the call to service. Dad, as well as his brothers Chris and Eugene, went to the Pacific theater, while brother James was sent to France, and sister Marge served as a naval nurse stationed at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, N.H.
Veterans in Granville County, N.C., are now honored with a memorial thanks to Post 90 in Oxford, N.C.
The Granville County, N.C., Veterans Memorial, which cost about $25,000, was paid for through donations, selling commemorative bricks to honor veterans and a T-shirt campaign, said Frank Strickland, Post 90 fundraising chairman.
"We started at a low budget, but once the project started and the support from the community caused us to change our plans.
On Tuesday, Aug. 12, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (Brooksville, Fla.) approved a resolution commending Chaplain Charles Haig, recipient of Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.
They presented Haig with a copy of the signed resolution and a framed copy of the “Legion of Honor” award he received for his selfless continued service to God, America and his community.
Our post has 85 members, and we are located in a 55+ mobile-home community in Leesburg, Fla. Being a small post with no real home, we meet in a room that the community clubhouse provides. We average 20 members at our meetings, which is about 28 percent.
The average age of our members is 75. Many of our active members who participate in our events are 85 or older.
We have been participating in various parades held in the surrounding towns in order to get the word out that we are an active post.
Back in 1943 I turned 18 years old, which was just the right age for induction into the military service. The military was trying to determine where each outfit was going to be shipped so they were building up their divisions, companies and batteries, with the number of people they needed.
I came from a large family of nine - four girls and five boys. Four boys served in the military. Two were in the Army, one was in the Navy, one was in the Marines, and three of my sisters were married to servicemen. One brother was killed in Anzio, Italy, in 1944.
In Anthon, Iowa, a new Iwo Jima Memorial stands beside Post 389.
Legionnaire Marvin Hansen served at Iwo Jima on a supply ship.
"He said they woke up that morning and they could see that flag and it put a whole new light on everybody's face," said Joe Harbaugh, Navy veteran.
The monument was Harbaugh's brainchild. It was an idea he couldn't shake, then began overtaking his basement in 2007. He wanted to honor Hansen, a friend and active member, as well as see through one of his preoccupations.
Purple Heart Appreciation Day, Aug. 7, is a date to remember and honor those who have been wounded or killed in service to the United States. But at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, N.Y., that commemoration happens every day.
Afghanistan veteran Capt. Aristeas K. Tzovaras will receive the Purple Heart at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Hall. Lt. Col. Mark Baaden, who received the Purple Heart last year and served under Tzovaras, will present it.
I save old, torn, worn-out American flags. Most years, my husband, Philip, and I bring the flags to a friend who resides in the small Michigan village of Grand Marais, where they are burned in a solemn ceremony every Fourth of July.
When the church bell struck the hour, the parade started, music blared, and everyone waved, grownups and children alike. This is a small community, so the parade went around the block three times.
After the parade broke up, the flag burning ceremony began at the war memorial in the park.
Boy Scout Troop 224, SW Ranches, Fla., conducted an American Flag Retirement Ceremony to honor the flags collected over the past year. Pembroke Pines Post 385 supports Troop 224 and was in attendance during the ceremony. It had rained hard earlier in the evening, but when the time came the skies cleared and the fire climbed toward the heavens.
The flags were accorded the same dignity at the end that they rightly received during their lifetime.
"We pay honor to this flag for the service it has rendered."
The Ottawa (Ohio) American Legion Post 63 recently celebrated the continuous membership of Andy Macke and Sidney Goodkin, who have both been Legionnaires for more than 70 years. They are both World War II veterans.
Pictured: Left to right, Bryce Agner, Post 63 adjutant; Andy Macke; Sid Goodkin and Bill Roberts, commander of Post 63.
The 1st District of the Wisconsin American Legion is comprised of 45 posts from five counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Every year since September 1984, the 1st District Legionnaires, along with all other veterans and civilians, have rendered respect for those who may still be serving this country as a POW or are classified as Missing in Action. This tribute takes the form of a Silent March.
The Silent March is best described as a quiet, solemn procession. The participants walk in unison with reverent silence and the only sound to be heard is a lone drumbeat.
On Saturday, July 26, the Department of Florida Legion Riders chapters provided a motorcade escort for Department Commander Jay Conti to the Orlando Harley Davidson to appear as a guest speaker at the Veterans Appreciation Event.
The annual Clarke County Veterans’ July Food Drive was held during the month of July. The veterans of American Legion Post 41, along with the good people of Clarke County, have made this year’s effort another success. Over 600 pounds of food has been delivered to the FISH of Clarke County Food Pantry in Berryville, along with cash donations in the amount of $695.
This joint effort between our veterans and citizens to collect both money and food for the benefit of the less fortunate in Clarke County, is one in which we all can take great pride.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Atchison Lodge #647, has awarded Levern Dunavan the prestigious “Veteran Volunteer of the Year” award. This award may be presented to only one male and one female in the state of Kansas each year. It honors those who have dedicated themselves to ”Serving Our Nation’s Veterans.”
Levern is a Life Member of the American Legion Homer White Post #66 of Hiawatha, KS, serving many years as post Adjutant. Levern is one of the original members of the Brown County Veterans Honor Guard. Levern himself is a veteran of the Korean War era.
(From left) Senior Airman Michael Murphy and Staff Sgt. Thomas Spencer from the 69th Reconnaissance Group hand bags and plastic containers filled with soda pop tabs to Robert Greene, American Legion Post #6 commander, on June 25, 2014. Greene took the pop tabs to the American Legion Department of North Dakota Convention in Minot where officials confirmed that 68,003 pop tabs were collected for the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez)
by Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
7/17/2014 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D -- The Warriors of the North and local Legionnaires pulled together to pull pop tabs off tens of thousands of cans to support programs that improve the lives of families with children needing medical attention.
Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 964 here and members of the American Legion Post #6 in the city of Grand Forks, N.D., collected a total of 68,003 pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck, N.D.
As commander of a SAL squadron affiliated with Post 555 in Midway City, Calif., I have met and worked with many fine people. I am honored to say that I have an individual in my squadron who is exceptional.
A year or so ago a soft spoken, well-mannered young man, Nickie Eustace, came in with his father, Michael Eustace, to join the Sons and Legion, respectively. Nickie soon became acting sergent of arms and is now second vice commander.
As a member of the American Legion Riders from Russell D. Williams Post 471 out of Portsmouth, Ohio, I wanted to share our story of the distinct honor of our ALR group escorting our troops.
On May 30, 2014, we along with other motorcycle groups including members of the Patriot Guard had the honor of escorting the 1191st National Guard Unit from Portsmouth, Ohio, to Richenbacher airport in Columbus, Ohio.
They flew from Columbus to Texas where they will train for a month and then leave from there to Afghanistan.
A Korean War veteran who wishes to remain anonymous still wishes to honor his fallen comrades with this beautiful monument. He had this large rock on his property, and hauled it to where it sits now. He made this beautiful artwork with real materials. His helmet from the war is also in the display.
By Richard Eckert Sr., American Legion Post 42, Ocean Springs, Miss.
This past weekend we celebrated the 4th of July - 238 years of freedom.Many of us displayed our American flag and some communities placed flags in their neighborhood.
Our national commander, Daniel M. Dellinger, who testified before Congress on
the VA scandal, had this to say about the impact of the Legion: "We are the nation's largest advocacy group for veterans.
Every year a group of veterans from Monroe, Mich. (where Matt Urban grew up) go to Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day and visit our friend and neighbor from Monroe, and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We have a very nice memorial site for Matt in our city.
Most of us are members of Matt Urban Post 40 in Monroe.
On July 13, 2014, American Legion Post 473 and VFW Post 5010 of Freeland, Pa., honored recipients of the Purple Heart with a dedication service. The dedication was hosted by Post 473 Commander Gerald Gaffney and Post 5010 Commander William DeFrancesco. Speaking at the ceremony were congressman Louis Barletta and Judge Thomas Munley. During this ceremony at the beautiful Freeland Public Park, a shining new monument was unveiled. Under the shade of the park's grand old oak trees, the monument was dedicated to those who have earned one of America's most honored medals: the Purple Heart.
On July 12, 2014, Post 71 in Lake Wales hosted a Veteran's Town Hall Meeting. VA Clinic and CBOC representatives including Amelia Guilford from James A. Haley and Haywood Pittman (director of CBOCs) and a panel of others on their team provided overviews of VA benefits, claims and other veteran programs, National Cemetery information, homeless outreach and grants, and vet ready centers.
There were more than 50 veterans in attendance who had their questions answered by the VA reps.
The Lutz-Land O’Lakes American Legion Post 108 places small American flags on the grave of each identifiable veteran at the Lutz cemetery three times a year. We do this on each Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day and have been doing these postings for many years.
We posted approximately 165 flags during the last posting in the Lutz cemetery on July 3. The flags remain for about three days and are recovered by the post for use on the next occasion.
A year and a half ago, SAL Squadron 731 member Chris Limon approached the Post 731 officers with a proposal of building a much-needed new community skate park for our youth.
The officers did not hesitate to commit and support Limon's dream.
Nebraska gets new rest area signs honoring Veterans
It's just a small sign with a simple message: "Nebraska honors our troops. Thank you for your service." Short, concise, and to the point. Bob Swanson, a U.S. Navy veteran and past commander of American Legion Post No. 1 in Omaha, thought it would be great to honor the 148,000 veterans in Nebraska with roadway signs bearing that message of gratitude.... Nearly one million men and women have died defending America since our founding, and we owe it to them to never forget.
The Winona American Legion Riders of Post 9 had a motorcycle show to raise funds for the Freedom Honor Flights. In the picture is Winona ALR Shannon Doberstein presenting a check to Bill Hoel.
Also pictured from left to right: Rick Craft, LaVern Hauschildt, Bryan Dulas, Tom Schmidt, Rich Jonsgaard, Brian Tomashek, Mike Doberstein, Karla Miller.
Picture taken and submitted by ALR member Karen Nay. Winona American Legion Riders can be found on Facebook at Winona ALR.
My father enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in September 1948. During his career, he served in munitions and then spent 18 years in EOD. He retired as a SMSgt on Sept. 1, 1969. My father served in Okinawa during the Korean War, later in Texas, Maine, England, South Carolina, Canada and New Mexico.
On Sept. 2, 1969, I enlisted in the Army and served as an instructor in the Army Signal School at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
In the spring of 1995 my son enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard in a Signal Unit. He did his AIT at Signal School at Fort Gordon, Ga., in 1996.
Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott awarded Commander Tewes, VC Fraser, Chaplain Nagle, PAO Santos, and post members Schofield and Gilbert with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award for their service to Florida and the nation. The ceremony took place at VFW Post 8195 in Hollywood, Fla.