SAL members at work in their community

Squadron 327 in Tidewater, Va. Sons of The American Legion members from Squadron 327 and Auxiliary Unit 327 served a lasagna luncheon for a group of veterans participating in the Welcome Home Initiative program. The program provides combat veterans and their spouses with a retreat and opportunities to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, societal acceptance, marital problems, and drug or alcohol abuse issues.

Squadron 327 members met with the veterans after the luncheon to share about the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program and to hand out OCW commemorative coins. Virginia’s 2nd District honor guard joined the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus in a closing ceremony for the retreat.

OCW provides wounded, injured or ill military personnel with comfort items not usually supplied by the government. Items include toiletries, clothing, electronics, rehabilitation equipment, adaptive sporting equipment and other necessities.

Squadron 1175 in Windsor Terrace, N.Y. The New York Harbor VA Healthcare System was the beneficiary of an OCW grant through the efforts of Squadron 1175. The idea to provide the grant came from Past Detachment Commander Joe SantaCroce and then-Department Commander Jim Yermas. 

SantaCroce and his wife obtained a wish list from New York Harbor VA staff. The $9,000 OCW grant provided rehabilitation equipment, clothing, televisions, DVD players, ping pong tables and a foosball table. It also provide shoes, socks, T-shirts, sweatpants, belts and under garments for men and women who arrive to the hospital with only the clothes on their backs.

Squadron 145 in Poland, Ohio. Kenneth Vrable of Squadron 145 participated in a Wreaths Across America ceremony at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. The mission on National Wreaths Across America Day, observed annually on the third Saturday in December, is to place a holiday wreath on veterans graves across the country to remember, honor and teach.

Squadron 52 in Kearney, Neb. Sons members from across the country sponsor golf tournaments to raise money for programs that support children and youth, veterans, and their families. Squadron 52 held its second annual Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament that attracted 31 teams and 124 golfers from all over central Nebraska. It was a patriotic day highlighted with the Post 52 color guard presenting the colors while the golfers and volunteers recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The tournament raised $18,000, which was donated toward the construction efforts of a veterans memorial on the property of the newly constructed Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney.

In just two years, the squadron’s golf tournament has raised $36,750.

Squadron 113 in Napa, Calif. Donations from the squadron’s fifth annual Mike Tami Memorial Golf Tournament allowed for the present of a $2,000 check to both The Pathway Home in Yountville, Calif., and American Legion Post 113 in Napa.

The Pathway Home is a nonprofit recovery program located at the Yountville Veterans Home. Desert Storm and Desert Shield veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury are provided with the tools they need to manage mental health issues. The center provides veterans with educational programs and the tools to gain employment, maintain healthy relationships, and successfully reintegrate into society.

Squadron 88 in Hamden, Conn. The Boy Scouts have found good friends in at Squadron 88. For that past 12 years the squadron has presented a check to Troop 610. This year’s check was for $500.

Squadron 88 runs various fundraisers during the year with proceeds going toward maintenance and upgrades to the Legion post, as well as to Troop 610. On top of their own initiatives, squadron members are quick to volunteer for many of the post’s functions. These include cookouts, holiday parties, dinners, yardwork like landscaping and mowing, and maintenance of the post home.

Squadron 205 in Saegertown, Pa.  Squadron 205 is very committed to supporting veterans and members of their community. Everybody pitches in for fundraising activities which results in success. For example, Squadron 205 presented a $1,000 check to the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home to benefit its activities fund.

Squadron 781 in Mountain Top, Pa. The squadron held a Christmas raffle last December and donated proceeds to two local food banks – $1,000 was shared between the Mountain Top Community Food Bank and the Emmanuel United Christ Methodist Church Food Bank.  Over the past year, Squadron 781 has raised and donated over $7,000 to local, state and national programs that help veterans, their families, children and community members.

Squadron 24 in Canton, Mass. The squadron held a successful raffle that raised $1,800. The Sons donated the money to the community’s efforts to help save the Canton Legion Baseball program for the 2018 season. That single SAL contribution gave more than 20 young players the ability to play ball and participate in the league this summer.

Squadron 503 in Calabash, N.C. The squadron sponsored its semi-annual “Joe Roundy Memorial Backpack Bowling Benefit” in March where dozens of bowlers and volunteers gathered at the Brunswick County Bowling Center in Shallotte, N.C. They raised $1,200 for the Jesse Mae Monroe Elementary School’s “Book Bag Buddies” program. The squadron’s contributions to this program now stands at $2,400.

Squadron 135 in Perryville, Md. Squadron 135 and the Auxiliary unit presented seven GI Josh Dogs to the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

Squadron 254 in North Port, Fla. In February, the squadron held its second annual Harvestfest, which has been renamed to Country Meets Rock. The event was originally scheduled for November 2017 but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Squadron 254 gives a lot of credit to the Auxiliary for all of the hours, blood, sweat and tears that were required to make the event possible.

This year’s attendance doubled in size as nearly 1,100 people showed up to rock.  And more than $12,000 was raised.

The evening started off with performances from bands, including Florida bands Maiden Cane and the Jack Michael Band, who were on stage together dueling country and rock.

Visitors were treated to shopping, food, and beverages, and according to City Councilor Jill Luke, “One of the biggest events to hit North Port!” 

A motorcycle was given away, $6,500 in cash, Mega 50/50, and one awesome concert.