Dear American Legion,
My name is Joe Rubio and I’m writing in response to your notice in April’s magazine reference shared feelings of people who have proudly served in the U.S. Military. I’m writing about my family; The Rubio’s from San Bernardino, California. I’m only sorry that I didn’t do this year’s ago when our mother and father were still with us.
The attached photo is sent only to show how some of us continued to “serve,” after the hitches.
Our mom and dad had 14 kids; two girls and 12 boys. Of the 12 boys, “NINE” served in the U.S. Military.
I am a proud member of Post 107 in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. I wake up thankful every day for the generations before me who served this country and kept us safe. My grandfather, Richard Paige, served in the Navy during the Korean War and has been a member of The American Legion ever since. My younger brother, Scott, is a Sergeant (11B) in the Army currently on his second deployment to Afghanistan with the 173rd Infantry. Scott exemplifies what it means to be from the Volunteer State, and is a member of Post 107 too.
I am a 59-year member of The American Legion. My dad was a World War I wounded veteran, and very proud to be a Legionnaire. He was a past commander of Connor-Trafton Post 119 in Guilford, Maine, as well as a a 20-year service officer, 17-year officer of the day for Memorial Day, and a past state sergeant-at-arms. I started my own Legion history as a member of the Sons, and as a bugler with a bugle-and-drum corps at 11. We were state champions in 1940, by default – we were the only corps to march on a rainy and muddy field. I joined the Legion in 1951, along with my two brothers.
John Brochetti came back from his service in the 1940s to help establish Cosgrove Post 523 in Rural Valley, Pa.
John – or “Spy,” as most know him – worked in the mines, yet always found time for the post. He started the baseball program and received all the equipment on credit – unheard of at the time. Each year, Spy would lead the Memorial Day parade from the Legion post to St. Mary’s Cemetery, where he helped the local schoolchildren put flags on all the veterans’ graves. Last September, he and his wife, Liz, helped dedicate the Shannock Valley War Memorial.
We are a multigenerational military family with many years spent serving veterans through The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary. My grandfather, C.E. Harkness, was too young to fight in World War I, and lied about his age to serve our country and was sent to France. My dad, Charles F. Goodwin, who has been instrumental in keeping Heinline-Hanks Post 38 active, has 61 years of continuous membership since he served World War II. While growing up, my sister and I sold poppies and helped with bake sales to benefit veterans homes.
My family is very active at Frank P. Dorris Post 145 in Douglasville, Ga. My father, Robert Budahazy, is a retired Vietnam Air Force veteran. He is senior vice commander of the post, and our main bingo caller. My brother, John, is retired Navy, a Legionnaire and a member of the Legion Riders. I myself am an Army veteran, executive-board officer and Saturday-night bingo caller. My son, Joshua, is an Iraq Marine Corps veteran and active at the post. My mother, Verna, has been active in the Auxiliary for many years and has served in various positions.