American Legion Post 91 members Lonnie Shere (in truck) and Jerry Hughes (right) deliver supplies to mudslide victims in Darrington, Wash. (Photo by Sofia Jaramillo /

Washington State post helps mudslide victims

Oso, Wash., was devastated March 22 when a massive mudslide struck the small, rural community, killing 35 people and destroying many homes. Food, clothing and other necessities began pouring in to the nearby town of Arlington, but neighboring town Darrington was cut off from those supplies — the highway that connected Arlington to Darrington was flooded.

Members of American Legion Post 91 in Burlington, Wash., realized the need to distribute the overflow of supplies from Arlington to Darrington, and succeeded by mapping out a new, extended route and acquiring a truck.

“The mudslide has touched many, whether they personally know someone involved or not,” said Jerry Hughes, sergeant-at-arms for District 2 in The American Legion Department of Washington. “Even though we (members of Post 91) don’t live there, we are still fairly close-knit and want to help out.”

After three trips from Arlington to Darrington, Post 91 members hauled more than 2,800 pounds of supplies and drove 482 miles.

With the new route, the usual 28-mile route from Arlington to Darrington turned into 82 miles. And donations were delivered in a Toys for Tots truck, donated to Post 91 by the Skagit Valley Marine Corps League. “The American Legion Post 91 enjoys a good standing relationship with other veterans groups in the area,” Hughes said.