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World War II vet receives recognition from French 70 years after service

World War II vet receives recognition from French 70 years after service

Frank Magrino had tried to enlist - his eyesight was too poor. But by 1943, the Army was calling his number in spite of its previous rejection. "They finally got down to where they needed me," Magrino said. He was 19 years old. He landed on Utah Beach in August 1944, and he was put in a replacement depot near St. Lo, France, he said. Afterward, he was transferred to England, then to Brussels, doing administrative work. He requested to return to active duty, and joined the 8th Infantry Division, 12th Engineer Battalion on Jan. 1, 1945, in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany, he said.

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'Unbroken' inspiration Louis Zamperini honored with monument in hometown

'Unbroken' inspiration Louis Zamperini honored with monument in hometown

The late World War II veteran, POW and Olympian Louis Zamperini is making headlines because of the box office success of his biopic, "Unbroken." But in Olean, N.Y., the town where he was born, Zamperini's actions are etched in stone. Literally. A monument to Zamperini now stands in War Veterans Park in Olean, a short walk from the local recreation center. Legionnaire and Vietnam veteran Bill Moore served on the committee to erect the memorial.

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Ohio squadron raises $10,458 for OCW

Ohio squadron raises $10,458 for OCW

On Nov. 15, the Grand Rapids American Legion Post 232 in Grand Rapids, Ohio, was the host of the seventh annual Doug McCabe Memorial Dance to benefit this year’s American Legion Charity, Operation Comfort Warriors. The dance was sponsored by The Sons of the American Legion Post 232 and the Five O’clock Rush Band both of which Doug was a member of. The event that takes place every year around the Veterans Day holiday week and was attended by a sellout crowd. The event raised over $10,458 for Operation Comfort Warriors of which 100 percent of the proceeds were donated.

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Young veterans help drive Texas post

Young veterans help drive Texas post

The youngest generation of veterans are reaching out and standing up at American Legion Post 436 in Jourdanton, Texas. Isaias and Theresea Cruz, a married dual-military retired couple, are taking charge and leading the movement. With Legion elections right around the corner, they are looking to take over with the assistance of the Vietnam War veterans who have been running the facility for the past decade. Together we can create a partnership of young and old and take The American Legion into the next decade stronger than ever.

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Monument to honor submarine service veterans, local history in New Jersey

Monument to honor submarine service veterans, local history in New Jersey

In South Toms River, N.J., the homestate to two submarine inventors, veterans are at work to add a fitting monument to an existing memorial sub torpedo. American Legion Post 517 member Robert Cloupe said two local United States Submarines Veterans, Inc. bases will add a black granite monument that lists each of the 65 American submarines lost. The submarines lost through World War II will be etched on the front, those post-WWII on the back. Dolphins will crown the front of the statue as well.

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Tennessee post gets free paint job

Tennessee post gets free paint job

American Legion Post 95 of East Ridge, Tenn., has gotten a new look thanks to Randy Newman, a painting contractor in Ooltewah, Tenn. Steve Hemstreet, house manager for Post 95, stated that Newman came to Post 95 on Veterans Day 2014 and said he would like to do something for the veterans who had served our country. Newman furnished all labor and material to re-image Post 95 at no charge. He completed the project on Jan. 12.

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Oklahoma post recognizes veterans with gifts, time, thanks

Oklahoma post recognizes veterans with gifts, time, thanks

As the population ages and the Greatest Generation dwindles in numbers, more veterans find themselves in retirement communities and nursing homes. In Cushing, Okla., Post 108 realized this, and implemented a program honors veterans who might otherwise go unnoticed. Since 2008, the Payne County Forgotten Warriors has brought gifts, help and recognition to veterans in local assisted living facilities. "Quite a number of these veterans don't have any family close to them or at all," said Bobby Bryant, Legionnaire and program coordinator.

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Legion post rallies to provide Christmas dinner to Merchant Marine crew

Legion post rallies to provide Christmas dinner to Merchant Marine crew

We planned that we would close our post on Christmas Day so our members and volunteers could spend the holiday at home, with family and friends. That was our plan. On Monday, Dec. 22, we received word that a Merchant Marine ship, the USNS Matthew Perry, was pulling into port at our local Navy base. Further, the crew was wondering if we would be open for them on Christmas. Without hesitation, we decided to open for the holiday. Someone suggested that we should have some kind of food available for them. On the spot, two hams were produced.

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Korean War Service medals/certificates of appreciation

Korean War Service medals/certificates of appreciation

On Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, Frank Wendland American Legion Post 253, Royal Oak, Mich., presented Korean War Service medals and certificates of appreciation from the government of South Korea to five veterans of the post who had served in Korea during the Korean War, 1950-1953. Post Commander Don Wert had learned of the program some time ago. After researching the post records for those eligible, he wrote the letter to the South Korean government asking that they be presented to the five.

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Rider of the Year

Rider of the Year

The Winona American Legion Riders (ALR) happily announced the 2014 Rider of the Year. The person nominated for this honor is a Rider who shows dedication not only to the Riders, but to their community through their own trials and triumphs in life. For 2014, David “Bronco” Bronk was named the Rider of the Year. David is a dedicated rider who attends many ALR, veteran and community events. He rides throughout southeast Minnesota with the ALR, Patriot Guard and HOGs, typically with his wife as passenger. Please join us in congratulating David on this honor!

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A sentimental journey back to the 1940s

A sentimental journey back to the 1940s

By Joyce Whitis Post 240 Honorary Life Member Brad Thompson, as a young man from Stephenville, Texas, was spending his last days in the U.S. Army Air Corps packing up to ship home, when over the Armed Forces Network Radio came the strains of a new tune he had never heard before, " .... Gonna take a sentimental journey, gonna set my heart at ease, gonna take a sentimental journey to renew old memories ...." "What a way to end it all," he thought. "We had whipped the enemy and after two-and-a half years overseas, it was time for me to go home. What a time it was, those war years.

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Eagle Scout identifies all veterans' gravesites within his community

Eagle Scout identifies all veterans' gravesites within his community

By Charles Molineaux MADISON, AL (WAFF) - As the saying goes, some gave all... only for the passage of time to remove the legacy of a veteran's sacrifice. Eagle Scout John Silvernail has been doing his part for America's veterans in the cemeteries of Madison, making sure that their graves are marked and honored. "They go to war and they defend this country, and they risk their lives doing it," John said. Around the holidays, The American Legion places wreaths on veterans' graves.

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Ohio Legionnaire receives highest French honor

Ohio Legionnaire receives highest French honor

At a ceremony during the post general membership December meeting, George Lizanich, a member of Joseph J Jacubic Post 572 in Parma, Ohio, was given the honor of becoming a “Knight of The National Order of Legion of Honour” by the French Consulate for his actions to liberate France while serving in the 66th Division in northern France from December 1944 to May 1945. The French Legion of Honor is an order of distinction first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802. It is the highest decoration bestowed in France.

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POW/MIA vigil

POW/MIA vigil

On Sept. 19, 2014, the Suffolk County American Legion held a POW/MIA vigil in Babylon, N.Y. County and state officials, as well as numerous members of the American Legion Family, were present. Visit www.suffolkcountylegion.org for more photos from the event.

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A forgotten hero pulled from the dustbin of history

A forgotten hero pulled from the dustbin of history

I, as adjutant of American Legion Post 5 in Colorado Springs, received a call saying that we had failed to honor a local hero. The photo is the last known photo of Pfc. Floyd K. Lindstrom. He went off to World War II from Colorado Springs at 30. He had a fiancée pass away five months before entering service. During a air raid in Sicily Floyd was awarded a Silver Star for saving men and equipment. On Nov. 11, 1943, he became a "One Man Army" for breaking up a German counterattack. For his actions that day Floyd would be awarded the Medal Of Honor.

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Memorial Day in Berryville, "a story worth telling"

Memorial Day in Berryville, "a story worth telling"

Our town, Berryville, in Clarke County, Va., is typical of the small communities found in the rural areas of the USA. We have the pleasure of enjoying the beauty of the town’s location at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley, just west of the Shenandoah River, and in the morning shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As with any town, it has its successes and failings. One lingering fault was that for years Memorial Day was observed with two separate services on Memorial Day weekend. The programs were held at two different times and locations that were only a mile apart.

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"Retreat, hell! We just got here."

"Retreat, hell! We just got here."

America entered World War I to reinforce the battered French and British troops waging a desperate fight against Germany. On June 2, 1918, a division of Marines was sent to support the French army at Belleau Wood. As the Marines arrived, they found French troops retreating through their lines. A French colonel, attempting to acquaint the Americans with the realities of the situation and not trusting his spoken English, scribbled a note to the officer in charge of the Americans ordering them to retreat. The Marine officer looked at the Frenchman coldly and said, “Retreat, Hell!

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World War II gunner's story unites two families across the globe decades after death

World War II gunner's story unites two families across the globe decades after death

William "Vern" Williams' niece and nephews and Uwe Carstens kneel beside his grave in Winfred, S.D. From left to right: Gary Williams, Kay Julius, Uwe Carstens and Ken Williams When Uwe Carstens knelt in front of William "Vern" Williams' grave in Winfred, S.D., it was a trip that took him decades into the past, halfway around the world and brought him full circle.

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Legionnaires envisioning replica of Vietnam Memorial Wall in southwest Florida

Legionnaires envisioning replica of Vietnam Memorial Wall in southwest Florida

In 2013 a group of Vietnam veterans from southwest Florida discovered that a traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall was for sale in Texas. Their question: Why couldn't we bring a permanent Vietnam Memorial Wall to Charlotte County, Florida? Florida has one of the largest concentrations of veterans, and particularly Vietnam veterans - second only to California and Texas. While the Wall in Texas was too expensive, a group of veterans joined together to form the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida Committee to design, raise funds and build a memorial wall in Charlotte County.

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Town repurposes grain elevator to honor veterans

Town repurposes grain elevator to honor veterans

Making the landscape work double-time, residents of Eagle Grove, Iowa, will remember military sacrifice every time they pass through town. The Veterans Memorial Tower recycles a once-abandoned grain elevator near downtown as a simple monument emblazoned with sayings such as "God bless America." The 3,000-foot structure will also display military branch insignia and the POW/MIA flag. Other illustrations will commemorate 9/11 and the 34th Infantry Division, which used to be based in the town.

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Florida Legionnaire continues to serve our nation, 72 years and counting

Florida Legionnaire continues to serve our nation, 72 years and counting

American Legion member Vivian Abalon has been serving her country with honor for 72 years. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., on April 2, 1924, and growing up in the small town of Milford, she was a girl who loved to sing. She wanted and considered nursing as a career, but her father discouraged this career choice for a young teen. In 1942, Vivian Abalon decided to enter defense work and went to work in an aircraft plant. She felt this to be her way of supporting her country.

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Post 434 brings a community together to honor our flag

Department of California American Legion Post 434 Commander Sherry Hill leads a special unserviceable flag retirement ceremony. http://youtu.be/n9NSZzXqlPo

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Why the military community gets upset with impostors

People ask why the military active, reserve, guard, veteran, retiree and their families get so upset with those who choose to buy a uniform, place a whole host of decorations and badges on it then prance around as if they actually accomplished what they are showing. The First Amendment allows these impostors the freedom to express themselves as they see fit. If they choose to express appreciation for the military by wearing the uniform of a particular service then they are free to do so.

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Shop With a Cop in Aberdeen

Shop With a Cop in Aberdeen

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, in Aberdeen, Maryland, the American Legion Riders of the Bernard L. Tobin Post 128 and the Aberdeen Police Department teamed up for their first "Shop With a Cop." The starting point was The American Legion Bernard L. Tobin Post 128, where members of the post and the Aberdeen Police Department met up with several children from the Aberdeen community who, for no reason of their own, would probably not be able to enjoy Christmas due to financial or extenuating circumstances.

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Illinois Veterans Home Gets Needed Help

Illinois Veterans Home Gets Needed Help

The LaVerne W. Anderson American Legion Post 729 in Sheridan, Illinois, has annually supported the Veterans Home in LaSalle, Illinois. This past year we discovered the home was in great need for bed transfer slings to get the residents out of bed each morning. There were 58 residents who needed the sling while there were only eight available. There were no funds to purchase additional slings. Post 729 was determined to help. We designated all our fundraisers for this project, and asked other organizations including other Legion posts in the 12th District in Illinois to participate.

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Nationally touring corporate recruiter addresses veterans at New Jersey Legion-sponsored resource and opportunity fair

Nationally touring corporate recruiter addresses veterans at New Jersey Legion-sponsored resource and opportunity fair

"Absolutely Abby" on cross-country mission to educate 1 million job seekers Abby Kohut is on an aggressive path to positively impact the unemployment figures and get Americans back to work. At a South Jersey Regional Veterans Resource and Opportunity Fair, New Jersey veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and transitioning active-duty servicemembers received her message, filled with the secrets of corporate recruiters that "never tell you why you don’t get the job.” It is her purpose to explain to veterans how to be the one to successfully land a career in a growing field of appl

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Battle of the Bulge veterans honored in song

Battle of the Bulge veterans honored in song

December 1944. The Ardennes region of Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The horrid, frigid weather had never been colder. Desperate men, face to face, killing to stay alive. The Battle of the Bulge. Yet when the sun finally shone in January, the Allies began rolling the Germans eastward, winning the war at the Western Front. In what many historians have called the bloodiest European theater combat of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began Dec. 16, 1944, and officially ended Jan. 25, 1945. Approximately 500,000 Germans, 600,000 Americans and 55,000 British engaged in the fighting.

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In Kansas, post re-lights eternal flame honoring veterans

In Kansas, post re-lights eternal flame honoring veterans

On Nov. 11, the vision of past Legionnaires was realized when an eternal flame -extinguished for nearly 40 years - was re-lit in Lyndon, Kansas. Jayson Massey, commander at American Legion Post 125 in Lyndon, was relatively new to the community when he noticed an eternal flame for veterans near the Osage County Courthouse that wasn't burning. "I said this is an eternal flame.

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World War II vet remembers growing up with the Legion

World War II vet remembers growing up with the Legion

George H. Breuler joined The American Legion almost immediately upon discharge following World War II. He served at Utah Beach, in Vienna, Austria and Czechoslovakia, he said. Breuler returned home from war just in time for Christmas in 1945. His timing was impeccable. He met his wife, Evelyn, at a hockey game on New Year's. "She was with this other fella, and I said, 'I'll call you.' That's how it all started," Breuler said. They were married in June 1946. That same year, he joined the Legion. He had been brought up in the organization. His father, George B.

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Post 42 conducts flag disposal

Emile Ladnier American Legion Post 42 of Ocean Springs, Miss., conducted a dignified disposal of unserviceable American flags this past Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, at the GI Museum in Gautier, Miss. A flag may be made from a piece of cloth or of fine silk. Its intrinsic value is far beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all those veterans who have sacrificed so that we remain free in a free nation of men and women devoted to the ideals of Justice, freedom and democracy. A certificate of appreciation was presented to Mr. and Mrs.

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