After then-National Commander Vincent J. Troiola visited American Legion Post 160 in Yukon, Okla., and talked about the organization’s Be the One mission, members of the post took the message to heart. And now, they’re hoping the result of that discussion becomes a regular program within the post.
The Be the One message resonated with Post 160 Commander Michael Devenitch, who then extended the message to Buddy Checks. He began calling Post 160 members to see how they were doing and if they needed any assistance.
“I called all of our members that don’t have email, which is more than 65,” Devenitch said. “I discovered several of them have issues. I was surprised that so many of them had needs that we could do something for.”
The post then decided to put together gift baskets containing food and other items for four of the veterans that Devenitch had contacted. Following the post’s August meeting, teams went out and delivered the baskets to the thankful recipients.
“The basket that I took, the veteran had dementia, but talking to him you’d never know it,” Devenitch said. “His wife’s his caregiver, and they were short on food. So, they were extremely happy to get (the gift basket).
“I also fixed their flagpole and raised the flag, and it was the first time that it had gotten raised in years. So, they were pretty happy about that.”
Devenitch said Post 160 already is planning the next round of deliveries to other members in need. “We’re getting ready to do it again here in the next month,” he said. “We were surprised to find out that several (Post 160 members) are battling cancer. There’s another veteran that I’m going to reach out to that is hesitant to go outside. So, I’m going to do some visits to her.
“We just want to put some baskets together and tell them that we’re thinking of them.”