My dad was a BM2 in the Navy stationed in Pearl Harbor when World War II ended in August 1945. He was on the aircraft carrier USS Corregidor, CVE58, part of Carrier Division 24. During his time in the service he accumulated many small items which he kept in a cigar box in his Navy bag. The things he collected were novelties such as 5-cent tickets good at the USO club in Honolulu, various pictures of the chaos in downtown Honolulu after the war ended, chevrons with different ranks on them, ribbons with battle stars on them, tobacco ration coupons and liberty passes.
In a small Oklahoma town, big things are brewing at Post 147. On Memorial Day Weekend 2015, the Miami, Okla., post will open its museum to the public, coinciding with the beginning of Boys State, which is held in Miami.
"The reason for the museum we noticed there’s a lot of younger people not fully aware of what has taken place in the past," Legionnaire Roy Woods said. "We don't want valuable parts of our history forgotten about.
To all my friends, relatives, fellow Facebook folks, Vietnam vets, fellow members of the VFW and American Legion, and subscribers to "Vietnam Magazine": Seeking your help where you can. The Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML), 194 South Michigan Ave., Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60603 is honoring the photo unit I served with during the Vietnam War. Our unit was the Department of the Army Special Photo Office (DASPO). Many of the Vietnam combat photographs and camera footage you see in publications on the History Channel and many other media sources were taken by DASPO combat photographers.
In King, N.C., a legal battle threatened to omit a veterans monument from the town. Now, there are several.
Legionnaire Steven Hewett sued the city regarding the public monument, located in a city park, a steel silhouette of a soldier kneeling at a battlefield grave in the shape of a cross. He argued the statue violated his first amendment rights, promoting Christianity.
The bronze monument in front of Post 147 in Miami, Okla., bears words that denote patriotism, a call for brotherhood and a mystery.
After the Honor Guard performed the funeral services of a local veteran, Vernon Allen, the post received a call from his son. Legionnaire Roy Woods said while going through Allen's things, a giant bronze plaque was found, covered in trash, collecting dust in a garage.
Schuyler County Veteran’s Memorial Park
Located at the intersection of State Route 228 and County Route 10 in Odessa, New York, this park opened in the summer of 2006 to honor veterans or currently serving military personnel.
Photo courtesy of the Post 108 Museum in Oxford, Mich.
Legion member James Parkhurst curates the Walter Fraser Post 108 Museum in Oxford, Mich., which houses more than 200 military uniforms and even more artifacts from past and present eras of military history. Schools, civic groups and passersby all visit the free museum.
Post 108 raised the initial $15,000 to fund the museum and built the showcases. Another $8,000 was donated later for expansion.
It began with about 35 uniforms in the basement of the post in 1993, Parkhurst said.
By George Gardner, former mayor, St. Augustine
In more than 450 years of continuous occupation since its founding Sept. 8, 1565, St. Augustine represents four and a half centuries of continuing military history, and a primary reminder is Charles F. Hamblen American Legion Post 37, prominently sited on the city’s historic bayfront.
Suitably, the 129-year-old former estate and later Working Men’s Club is a focus in this 450th anniversary year of St. Augustine.
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.
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.
A monument honoring veterans from five branches of service used to stand in Lake Placid, Fla. But when the town recently renovated its downtown, the monument Post 25 had donated back in 1985 no longer was an aesthetic fit. (A flag still stands downtown.)
The monument, made of five 6-foot concrete slabs, each approximately 250 pounds, representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, needed a new space. The town offered to give it back to the post.
"We couldn't see it just lay in the weeds and nobody using it," said Robert Moore, former post commander.
Ernest Guenst thinks up a new small memorial to honor veterans each year at Post 255 in Sellersville, Pa. This year's memorial has a unique element: shells fired over the graves of the fallen.
The simple memorial, with flags, a small white cross and symbols honoring the different branches, sits on a well-trafficked street, right in front of the post's flagpole.
"The people come by and admire it, and you even have people that have lost someone.
When high school classmates Rich Husman and Doug Prewitt asked retired art teacher Karol Holton to paint a mural for Post 125's meeting room in 2010, it was only six months after her husband Pat died from pancreatic cancer.
"That Merrill Legion group sent all of our sons to Boys State when they were juniors in high school," she said. They also sent one of her daughters to Girls State. She told them she would do it for free because they had done that for her kids.
"They got very involved with it," she said.
In February 2014, National Vice Commander Paul E. Dillard and Department of Florida State Commander Art Schwabe toured the National Naval Aviation Museum and the National Flight Academy onboard Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.
A top tourist attraction in the state of Florida and the country, the National Naval Aviation Museum engages the public by preserving the history and heritage of naval aviation. Renowned for its one-of-a-kind historical aircraft and dioramic exhibits, the National Naval Aviation Museum brings history to life.
Vietnam veteran Wayne Sayer has traveled Idaho roads back and forth, up and down, and has thought a lot about what small towns can do.
He’s seen thoughtful veterans’ memorials, but in his community, near Kimberly, Idaho, there was nothing. Sayer said he thought of vets such as his father-in-law, who served in World War II, who "next to his family that’s probably the proudest thing he did was serve in the Army."
"I thought, 'Well, there ought to be something done here,'" Sayer said.
So he approached American Legion Post 76 and began laying the groundwork.
More than 150 people gathered at Post 748 in Loretto, Pa., for the dedication ceremony of the Loretto Area Veterans Memorial.
The project chairman for the memorial site was Larry Hoover, post chaplain. The Barlick Art Studio of Cresson, Pa., provided artistic design. Stephen Parks and Associates served as architects of the project.
At Post 184 in Hudson, N.Y., the parades were thinning out. Only two or three American Legion members were walking in the celebrations. Many veterans who wanted to show their patriotism and participate on Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day couldn't because of age or disability. Henry "Hank" Crouteau, Jr. was struck by an idea: a parade float with seating.
It was important to the post that its "classic" veterans, World War II, Korea and Vietnam vets, be able to participate in the city's patriotic affairs.
"They have no other means of being able to enjoy the occasion," Crouteau said.
Elmwood, Neb., American Legion Post 247 had a twofold dream: of preserving a Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Hall and creating a museum to help preserve the military history of the hundreds of local veterans. A G.A.R. post with 16 charter members had been established here in 1882 and the hall built in 1886. It is now one of the four remaining G.A.R. halls in Nebraska from more than 100 at one time - making the preservation of the building important historically.
On Nov. 11, 2013, Veterans Day, a Purple Heart Wall was dedicated to thank our soldiers who gave their all and those soldiers wounded in service to this great nation. American Legion Memorial Garner-Grant Post 101 of Bushnell, Fla., welcomed the community to celebrate with them both the unveiling of the Purple Heart Wall and the 75th anniversary of being chartered by the national organization in 1938.
Commander Dennis Angelo, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, after community recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, asked Sgt. at Arms Dan Lanning, a veteran of the U.S.