A response team from The American Legion this week assisted tornado victims in Tupelo, Miss., where a Legion post was among the buildings destroyed in the storm.
No one was hurt when the tornado obliterated the building for American Legion Post 49 in Tupelo. The building was built in 1936 after a tornado destroyed the original one for the post, chartered in 1919. Amid the rubble, "The flag is still flying. The pole has a bend in it, but the American and the POW flags are still flying high," said National Executive Committeeman Robert Gosa of Mississippi.
Gosa is assisting the post and Legion Family members with applications for the National Emergency Fund  (NEF), an American Legion program that assists members recovering from natural disasters.
"There was a lot of devastation up there," said Gosa, who said 70-year Legion member Fred Ingellis and his wife, Virginia, lost their home. "They were in their home of the past 50 years when it was destroyed. But they were uninjured. They're alive and kicking."
Gosa assisted them with an NEF application for their two-story home, which sustained major structural damage and flooding.
"The recent tornadoes in Mississippi and other states serve as yet another reminder how valuable the National Emergency Fund is for our members who – in a flash – lose their homes, their possessions," National Commander Dan Dellinger said. "We can't prevent natural disasters from occurring. But we can provide financial and emotional support to our brothers and sisters when disaster strikes.
"Please consider a donation to the NEF so that the Legion can continue to provide relief in the wake of tragedy."
As the long process of recovery and rebuilding gets underway in Mississippi, Gosa also makes a plea for another type of assistance: "Keep our people in your prayers."