Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
THERE WILL BE A BENEFIT spaghetti and meatball dinner at Hastings-Gorski Post 1128 on Vidal Drive in Williamstown on Saturday, JANUARY 30 from 1:00 PM until ? There will be music and other good things going on as well. Please try to attend and help out your fellow veteran.
This is to help the KAINE family who lost their home to a fire on Christmas Eve. They lost everything they had and the home was a total loss. They were insured, that is the good news.
Clara Kaine is the President of the Auxiliary Unit 1128 and her husband was burned quite severely in getting everyone out of the house.
Please keep this family in your prayers.
REMEMBER - SATURDAY JAN. 30 - 1:00 PM - Spaghetti & Meatballs
For more information contact: Mr. Eric Durr, 518-786-4581 or (cell) 518-429-5186
All Former New York Service Members Entitled to Funeral Honors
New York Military Forces Honor Guard Will Try Advertising to Get the Word Out
LATHAM, NY (12/28/2009) -- All New Yorkers who have served in the military, even if they never served in combat, are entitled to receive military honors at their funerals, according to Donald E. Roy, director of the New York State Military Forces Honor Guard.
In 2009, the Honor Guard performed honors at over 10,400 funeral services across the state. But too many former Soldiers and their families still don't know they are entitled to basic military honors for any service, not just a 20-year career or combat service, Roy said.
In order to spread that word, the Honor Guard will buy advertising in the obituary section of The Times Union, an Albany-area newspaper, in January to inform former service members and their families of the honors available to them.
Most funeral directors are aware that military honors are entitled to deceased service members. But many family members fail to mention their loved one's military history because they don't think they are eligible for honors due to the fact that they didn't serve in the military long enough, or because they didn't serve in combat, said Roy.
The advertisements will remind families that their loved ones are entitled to these honors regardless of where they served and how long. The ads are being placed in the obituary section because older people tend to read that part of the paper regularly.
"It's very important that we render the appropriate honors to military veterans, no matter if they served in a time of war or peace," said Sgt. Jason A. Daniels, a team leader for the Military Forces Honor Guard with the C Co, 2nd of 108th Infantry Division in Hoosick Falls.
All former service members with an honorable discharge are guaranteed by law at least two Soldiers to provide modified honors that consist of the playing of Taps and the folding of the flag, which is then presented to the next of kin.
These modified honors are offered to the families of veterans at no charge to the family or the funeral home, and allow a grateful nation to pay final tribute to service members who, in times of war and peace, stood strong in defense of the United States of America, Roy said.
"Even if a member of the military served during peacetime and never had the opportunity to venture overseas, it's still very important that we render honors to them," said Daniels, a veteran who served in Iraq. "They were still part of the less than one percent of our country who volunteered and put their lives on the line. They took the same oath that I did."
"There are many veterans whose funerals were held without honors in past years simply because their families didn't know they were available, and it's a shame," said Roy. "The last thing I want is for any Soldier or veteran to go without the honors they deserve," he added.
This is especially important as the World War II generation ages and those veterans die, he emphasized.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
VA GIFT SHOP
JANUARY IS NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH
Am I eligible to give blood?
Need more information? You may call Lynn Fox at 464-1229 for appointment; or 1-800-272-4543 for information.
Jan. 5: Dunkin Donuts, 314 s. 2nd St., Fulton
- 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jan. 6: Believers Chapel, 614 S. 4th St., Fulton
- 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Jan. 8: Dunkin Donuts, 105 Rt. 104, Oswego
- 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jan. 9: Mexico UM Church, 4372 Church St., Mexico
- 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Jan. 22: American Red Cross, 333 W. 1st St., Oswego
- 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Jan. 26: Dunkin Donuts, 255 W. Seneca St., Oswego
- 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jan. 27: Dunkin Donuts, 810 W. Broadway St., Fulton
- 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jan. 27: Oswego Elks Club, 132 W. 5th St., Oswego
- 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Jan. 30: Parish-Hastings Presbyterian Church at Mills & Petrie Memorial Gymnasium, 2938 E. Main St., Parish
- 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Feb. 2: New Haven Community Alliance Church, 4175 S.R. 104, New Haven
- 1:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Feb. 6: Pennellville Fire Dept, 3 Godfrey Rd., Pennellville
- 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday, December 26, 2009
100% Per Capita Banner Program
To qualify a post, unit, squadron or salon must donate one dollar per member based upon its official membership total as of June 1, 2009. The post, unit, squadron or salon has from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010 to complete its donation to the Child Welfare foundation.
contact the American Legion
Child Welfare Foundation
PO Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Commander Richard Palmer
1st Vice Commander Gary Mills
2nd Vice Commander Fred Waters
3rd Vice Commander John Young
Adjutant Paul Cummings
Finance Officer David Walker
Chaplain Albert Breezee
Sergeant-at-Arms Donna Kestner
Judge Advocate Thomas Brown
Service Officer Eileen Yager
Historian Delos Rowlee
Membership Gary Mills
President Elaine Johnson
1st Vice President Carol Mills
2nd Vice President Sandra Lee
Secretary Katie Coe
Treasurer Susanna Thomas
Chaplain Rose Gilbert
Historian Sheryl Lovell
Sergeant-at-Arms Helen Day
Membership Betty Rowlee
Monday, December 21, 2009
As a native New Yorker, I was especially proud of the support we received from you, and I thank you all for you incredible generosity and thoughtfulness. I wish it were possible to thank each of you in person or even with a personal letter, unfortunately it was just not possible. Please accept this message with all the
sincerity and gratefulness as though I was there in person. If your organization, friends, and/or family had a hand in sending us a package this year, please thank them for us.
It was a difficult year for us. It was not all victories and progress. We are now in the process of returning our forces. We have left the souls of 29 of our brothers in arms here. Their losses are felt by many. They were husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons… their losses are real, and painful. We also rejoice in the return of over 250 others who, although bearing the scars of war for the rest of their lives are alive to rejoin their families.
It was an enlightening and challenging year. Many of our Soldiers departed around Christmas time last year. I loaded a bus shortly after our Christmas dinner. We deployed to an area of Afghanistan with significant strategic importance, an area just south of Kabul that had seen a dramatic increase in violence over the previous 9 months, despite the lack of presence of US Soldiers. A common argument given by those opposed to a surge is that our mere presence causes a rise in violence. Wardak and Logar have proven the fallacy of such a theory.
TF Spartan, a force of over 3,000 US Soldiers from Fort Drum, replaced an element about 1/10th its size. TF Spartan was the first of the forces to surge under President Bush’s plan last year, changing in the months leading up
from a deployment to Iraq to a deployment to Afghanistan. Most of our lead up training had been on preparation for Iraq.
TF Spartan was in fact involved in more “significant activities” over the past year
compared to the forces it replaced, however that is not the salient metric to use. Over the past year, the Wardak and Logar provinces have seen dramatic improvements in housing starts, economic recovery, governmental reform, indigenous security, and overall quality of life to name but a few areas.
Surging forces in a counterinsurgency works because it overwhelms the enemy and provides locals with the sense of security that empowers them to stand up against the insurgents. While it is not a popular notion to put more of our best and brightest in harm’s way, I believe it is the only way to achieve victory in an extremely complex and difficult environment. The fight Americans need to be
fighting right now is in ensuring that Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines have everything they need at their disposal to be successful in this fight. Currently, they do not.
Our first priority should be in transferring usable materials, equipment and technologies from Iraq to Afghanistan. This is no small task and will require significant logistical assets to accomplish. Next, we need to ensure that Soldiers have what they need to train at their home stations prior to departing for Afghanistan. Currently, the Army is woefully short in this area, shuttling equipment from post to post just prior to the departure of units in an effort to get them trained. It is too little, and comes too late to have a significant impact.
Next, the Army needs to relook its deployment planning, commonly referred to as
the “patch chart.” The fight in Afghanistan is about relationships. Units should redeploy routinely to the exact same areas, where they can leverage their past experiences and relationships. Additionally, providing Soldiers more stability by allowing them to stay longer with the same unit and do multiple deployments with the same unit, to the same location, would allow units to leverage incredibly valuable experience and institutional knowledge. Currently, about 60% of our unit is slated to change out within 6 months of our return. Many of those Soldiers will move to a new duty station and deploy again within 6-9 months of their arrival with the new unit. This is costly, hard on families, and not the way to
set our Soldiers or their units up for success.
Finally, in order to support the incredible surge currently planned, significant improvements to infrastructure in Afghanistan, particularly in places like Bagram Air Base will have to be completed. There is limited capacity to support the current planned timeline, let alone the assets to transport all these forces and equipment.
The mission we have is important. Having experienced all the frustrations of this war during the last year, I can confidently tell you that this incredibly complex and difficult conflict is winnable. It will not be easy, nor will it come quick. The American service members are committed to seeing this through, they and their families are the ones who have borne the great majority if not all of the burden of this fight. It is my hope that Americans will rally around us and help us see it through. We don’t want to be pulled out, we want the support to be victorious and return home with the knowledge that we have completed our mission.
As a thank you to the posts that supported us this past year, I am offering to come and address your membership personally. We have put together a short slide presentation about our year here and how we are in fact making a difference. I welcome the opportunity to share these experiences and victories with you and your membership.
George I. Corbari
Major, US Army
Chief of Plans
NOTE: Major Corbari is due home from Afghanistan on or about January 15, 2010 and has been invited to attend the Mid-Winter Conference and speak at the Town Hall Meeting on Sunday January 24, 2010.
BASEBALL REGISTRATION CHANGES
I know there will be many questions about the new system. Please feel free to email me your questions. Mid - Winter conference is coming up and provides another venue to get questions answered.
Have a great and safe holiday.
Department Baseball Committee
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The 2010 Mid Winter Conference will be held on January 22 and 23, 2010. Legion sessions are at the Desmond Hotel and Auxiliary sessions at the Marriott Hotel, 189 Wolf Road, Albany. The National Auxiliary President has been invited and will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
Remember TEAMWORK IS THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS. Leadership is a great committee because it is a KEY in every other committee. Everyone is a leader in her own right. Share your knowledge! Share your leadership skills! It could be contagious!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from National Headquarters!
'Tis the season! All of us at your ALA National Headquarters wish you a joyous and blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. As we celebrate this season of gift-giving, please continue to remember our troops, service members, veterans and their families with your prayers and good deeds. We live in freedom and can celebrate our holiday traditions only because of the price our veterans have paid. When you see a candy cane, think symbolically of the red as the sacrifice of the One plus the ones in uniform who gave their ultimate sacrifice for us.
Peace be with you and yours as you gather with family and friends. In observance of the holidays,
AUXILIARY MEMBERSHIP: Target date #4 is March 1, 2010 for 100% of goal. There will be 5 - $50 drawings for qualifying counties. Oswego County is #13 out of 62 counties, 5th District is 3rd out of 10 districts.
Above is link to Need A Lift on-line.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Our next target date is JANUARY 13TH, just before our Mid Winter Conference. Our goal is 80%, however let's join forces and reach 85% by January 13th and be ahead of our goal. We all know that we can do it, So lets just do it!
I Thank all of you for your dedication to our membership and the American Legion.
For the Good of the American Legion,
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Legion Applauds Resolution of Flagpole Dispute
WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 2009) – Calling the decision of the Sussex Square Homeowners’ Association Board to withdraw legal action against a WWII hero, “a great decision,” the leader of The American Legion congratulated all parties involved.
“This is a victory for reason and I applaud the board for making the correct decision to permit this American hero to honor Old Glory in such a fitting way, every day, on his property,” said National Commander Clarence E. Hill. “I also commend Legionnaires and all Americans across the country who flooded Col. Barfoot, the association and The American Legion with letters, emails, phone calls and messages of support and tribute.”
Because of the controversy involving the 90-year-old Medal of Honor recipient, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” Mckeon (R-CA) and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) introduced a resolution, H. Res. 952, allowing Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to properly display the United States flag on their property at all times.
“I thank the law firm of Marchant, Honey & Baldwin for their pro bono efforts in resolving this issue. There is always room for discussion and solutions to be achieved within the system,” Hill added. “In this case, the homeowners’ association recognized the remarkable sacrifice and devotion of this true hero and acted wisely within the boundaries of their authority to do the right thing. We understand and appreciate the important role homeowners’ associations play in local communities. The American Legion encourages all homeowners to continue to properly display Old Glory.”
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Photo: Jayne Fust (left) and Le Carlisle, with the American Legion Auxiliary, make labels for gifts for patients at the VA Medical Center, in Syracuse, NY.
VOLUNTEERS roamed the halls of the VA Medical Center in Syracuse on Monday, delivering gifts and holiday cheer during the annual Veterans Holiday Gift Shop.
Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, the event is designed to give hospitalized veterans the chance to pick out a few Christmas presents for their families and for themselves, said Jayne Fust, the chairperson of the event.
The program is more than 40 years old and has become a holiday tradition. In a typical year, the auxiliary spends about $8,000 on holiday gifts for local veterans and their famlies, Fust said. Various gifts included winter clothing, kitchen appliances and toys and games for children and teenagers.
Volunteers also set up a free gift shop in the hospital's auditorium, where the veterans browsed from a selection of holiday presents. The volunteers wrapped and mailed the gifts for free.
The volunteers will deliever more gifts to veterans at the Community Care Center on East Fayette Street in Syracuse.
Bob Hawed, the voluntary service manager at the medical center, said the annual event fills the hospital with some holiday spirit.
Posted by Matthew Nojiri, Contributing writer
Monday, December 7, 2009
Military families in need of help can turn to The American Legion's Family Support Network. In countless ways, Legionnaires can provide support and services to families affected by the obligations of military service. Families needing help are encouraged to call the toll-free number to get connected with a nearby American Legion post.
Forms to seek assistance are available online: www.legion.org
DONATE TO OPERATION COMFORT WARRIORS
Through Operation Comfort Warriors, the Legion family is providing loose-fitting sweat suits, phone cards, iPods and other comfort items for servicemembers recovering at military hospitals. Use your credit card to donate online at www.legion.org, or send a check to Operation Comfort Warriors, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
Thu. Dec. 15: OSWEGO CO. SAL MEETS at Central Square Post 915 at 7 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 15: VOITURE 895 of 40et8 PROM at Pulaski Post 358 at 8 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 16: OSWEGO CO. LEGION MEETS at Oswego Post 268 at 8 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL.
Fri. Dec. 31: NEW YEAR'S EVE.
Sat. Jan. 1, 2010: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
High School Oratorical Contest 2010
“A Constitutional Speech Contest”
March 6th, 2010
Sand Creek Middle School
Albany, New York 12205
PURPOSE The purpose is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship.
SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS New York – The American Legion, Department of New York offers Zone winners competing in the Department (State) Final, scholarship only, in the following amounts: 1st place - $6,000, 2nd place - $4,000, 3rd place - $2,500, 4th place - $2,000, and 5th place - $2,000. Payments are made directly to your college and are awarded over a four year period. Zone Awards are as follows: First place advances to Department Finals; Second place receives a $1,500 savings bond; Third place a $1,000 savings bond; and Fourth place, also a $1,000 savings bond.
The contest has four levels, County, District, Zone, and then Department before going on to the National Finals Contest. On the County level ONLY, the only timed speech is the Prepared Oration before judges. From the District level up the contest will consist of delivering two (2) timed speeches before judges. The first is the Prepared Oration; the second is the Assigned Topic Discourse. Orations must be delivered in the English language, without notes, a podium, or an amplification system, and must be from memory. Props are not permitted. The same orations used at the lower level contests are used in the Department (State) and National contest.
The Prepared Oration – The subject must be on some aspect of our Constitution with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. The same subject and oration used in the New York contest must be used at the National contest. This oration must be an original effort and must take between 8 and 10 minutes to complete.
Assigned Topic Discourse – The Assigned Topic Discourse must be delivered between 3 and 5 minutes. The purpose is to test the speaker’s knowledge of the subject, the extent of his/her research, and the ability to relate to the basic principles of government under the Constitution. There are four (4) Assigned Topics. The one you will speak on will be drawn by a contest official and made known to you five (5) minutes before delivery. All contestants at each level are required to speak on the same selected topic. The Assigned Topics for 2009 can be found in the last page of the Department of New York brochure.
This is the state contest. Your local high schools should have information on how your local students can participate in this patriotic program concerning our Constitution. All local contests, county contests and district contests must be completed before advancing to the state contests.
Check with your local guidance counselors at your high schools. There may be some local awards in addition to the ones listed above.
More information may be obtained from the Legion Web site at www.legion.org/oratorical.
SCHOLARSHIPS Many local posts and auxiliaries offer their own scholarships to local students who are deserving and excel in their studies. Check with your local Post and see what they have to offer you.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
December 10, 2007
Immigrant of the Day: Fang A. Wong (China)
Fang A. Wong Special Operations Specialist with L3 Communications, ILEX Systems is our Immigrant of the Day. Fang A. Wong has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to his community as a member of senior leadership in the veterans’ organization, the American Legion.
Wong was born in China and came to the United States in 1960. He entered the U.S. military in 1969 as an enlisted soldier. Wong's distinguished military career spanned 20 years and included a 25 month long tour in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendations and Achievement Medals, and Republic of Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals. He retired from active service in 1989 as a chief Warrant Officer-3.
Wong's contributions within the American Legion include becoming Commander of the New York County/First Legion District, National Legion Vice Commander, and other volunteer positions. Notably, his legion post was the closest one to Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 disaster in New York City. He and his Post assisted in organizing and providing relief support and translator services to the community in need after the tragedy.
Fang Wong is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
As most everyone knows, Frang Wong is running for National Commander for 2011. Many fund-raisers and events are being held to supply the monetary means required to attain this high office. Above is just a bit of information about this Legionnaire. (Editor)
Last U.S. vet of WWI wants national memorial in D.C.
Legislation would redesignate local structure on Mall
By Andrew M. Seaman
Frank Buckles, 108 years old, figures he has one more contribution to make.
Buckles, the last U.S. veteran of World War I, wants to see a memorial to his fellow soldiers on the National Mall. To make the case, he is scheduled to appear at a Senate hearing today.
He will be there on behalf of a bill that would redesignate the existing District of Columbia World War I memorial — a modest structure not far from the massive World War II memorial that opened in 2004 — to make it a combined D.C. and national memorial.
Buckles of Charles Town, W.Va., is honorary chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation. The bill is named for him.
"The main thing he has done is lend his name and his voice to this movement to have some kind of representation of the veterans of World War I on our National Mall," says his daughter, Susannah Flanagan.
David DeJonge, president of the foundation, says Buckles was disheartened to see the condition of the D.C. memorial on his first visit in 2008. It was built in 1931 not far from the Lincoln Memorial to honor local men who died in the war. The temple-like structure has been on the D.C. Preservation League's list of Most Endangered Places twice since 2003, Executive Director Rebecca Miller says.
"It was just a forgotten memorial," she says. "It was not on any maps. There is no signage for it. It's not lit. There was, at one point, a tree growing out of the dome."
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is sponsoring the Senate legislation, a companion to a House bill.
"That was the Great War, the 'war to end all wars,' " Thune says, "and lots of Americans who served and sacrificed need to be duly recognized."
The legislation would allow the foundation to add a sculpture to the site and raise money for its preservation. The National Park Service has allocated $10 million to restore the memorial.
There is a hitch, though. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wants her state's Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City to be the official national World War I memorial. She has introduced legislation, too.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Start at 7:00 PM
Tue. Dec. 15 at Central Square Squadron 915
Tue. Jan. 19, 2010 at Phoenix Squadron 418
Tue. Feb. 16 at Parish Squadron 601
Tue. Mar. 16 at Hannibal Squadron 1552
All members are urged to attend county meetings to become acquainted with fellow members and carry out county activities and interact with other squadrons. We need to support each other's projects and activities.
The Detachment Sons of the American Legion Americanism Committee sponsors an essay contest which is open to all NY schoolchildren in the 1st thru 5th grades. The essay contest topic is "What America Means to Me." This year there will be a winning entry for each grade level and they receive a $100 US Savings Bond and a $50 Pizza Party for their classroom.
Deadline for the contest is Saturday May 1, 2010. The winning entry will be notified prior to the school year ending. Squadrons should contact local elementary schools and get the word out. This is an excellent way of encouraging students to learn about their great Nation in these days of spreading Patriotic uncertainty.
Copies of the application are available on our web-site www.sonsdny.org. Need more information? Contact James Coates, Americanism Chairman, PO Box 148, Ionia, NY 14475.
JOIN US ON FRIDAYS and enjoy Friday Night Fish Fry
(Broiled or Fried) Call by 4:30 PM for delivery
Now offering Roast Pork - Dinners every Friday.
Sides: Mac & Cheese, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy
The public is welcome - Catering for all occasions.
For take-outs call 298-5510
Horning-Fournier Post 418, 9 Oswego River Rd., Phoenix, NY
OPEN MIKE NIGHT on Mondays with a band
The Junior Auxiliary will meet after the breakfast.
Sunday DECEMBER 20 - MONTHLY COVERED DISH DINNER for members and spouses. Please sign up at the bar so we will know how many will attend. Thanks.
On DECEMBER 31, NEW YEAR'S EVE - we will have a Karaoke Open Mike for all to enjoy and take part.
Please watch the activity board in front of the Post for more activities.
Raymond-Faulkner-Cook Post 858, Cleveland, NY 13042
on Sunday December 13th
from 8 AM to noon
Come on down and bring the kiddies -
have a nice meal and a fun time.
for funeral details in Oswego County
Please call Kevin at 675-8871 or Bill at 676-5908
Please give at least 2 days notice if possible. Thanks.
Fuller-Taylor Post 915, Route 49, Central Square, NY 13036
on December 19th and
on January 16, 2010.
All are welcome. Open to the public.
Sign up at the bar.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The 5th District American Legion will meet on Sunday December 13th at Fuller-Taylor Post 915 in Central Square at 2:00 PM. Commander Tilman Colston will preside.
The Sons of The American Legion meet at 2:00 PM at the same location.
All members are welcome to attend these meetings. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.
Friday, November 27, 2009
THE BEST GIFTS I EVER GOT
They weren’t wrapped and they didn’t cost a dime.
But I carry them with me everywhere.
By Marian Wright Edelman
From The Christian Science Monitor
Like so many Americans, I am spending too much time shopping for presents to give my children, feeling unsure that the gifts are things they would use or even want. I need -- we all need -- to remind ourselves, during the countdown to Christmas, to reach back to our lessons in true giving.
I was given my love of reading because my daddy loved to read and had a study full of books he spent time with every day. On our living room mantel in Bennettsville, S.C., was a complete set of Shakespeare’s works. Buying books to improve the minds of his five children was an indisputably higher priority for my father than buying a toy or nonessential clothing.
From my parents’ examples, I was given my belief that I and others could do more than complain, wring hands or give in to despair at the wrongs rife in the world. Daddy, a teacher-preacher who never raised his voice in the pulpit, tried to educate our congregation’s mind, as well as touch its heart. He taught that faith required action, and that action could be sustained only by faith in the face of daily discouragement and injustice in our segregated Southern society.
I was given strength from my mother’s strength in the face of tough challenges. I remember once, after I became a civil-rights lawyer in Mississippi, I berought home to visit Mama a small girl who’d lost an eye when marauding whites sprayed buckshot through the windows of her family’s house. I’d been instructed by the girl’s mother how to remove, clean and replace the child’s glass eye, which I felt able to do in theory. When confronted by the reality, though, I quavered. Seeing my hesitation, my mother gently pushed me aside and did it without missing a beat.
I was given my concern for children without homes by my mother, who took in foster children after Daddy died. I am still ashamed of my resentment when asked to share my room with a homeless child for a few days. As I grew older, nearly a dozen foster sisters and brothers were reared by my mother.
I was given a way to deal with fear by Miz Tee -- Mrs. Theresa Kelly -- who lived in a four-room unpainted house with a big front porch and a small back porch on Amelia Street in Bennettsville. I loved to stay with Miz Tee when my parents were away for a convention or visiting a relative. One day when a big summer storm was whipping up, Mis Tee told me to go out on the back porch and bring in the clothes hanging there so they wouldn’t get drenched.
As I went to obey, a clap of thunder boomed. I ran back and told Miz Tee I was scared of being struck by lightning. She calmly explained about faith in God as she returned with me to gather in the clothes: “When it’s your time, it’s your time; when it’s not, it’s not.”
And I was given my understanding of our great black heritage because my high-school English teacher, Mrs. Walker, invited Langston Hughes to read to her students, and because the famous poet took the time to come to Bennettsville to do so. His visit gave me a special connection to the poet I called in my college diary “marvelous./.. down to earth and unassuming.”
I no longer have or even remember most of the presents I found under the Christmas tree as a child. But I carry with me and treasure the lessons in living I was given throughout my childhood by my parents and by concerned and loving community elders.
May these memories give me the strength to stop shopping, and instead to give a child a true gift -- time spent with a caring adult, time spent sharing some of the great lives and spirits of mentors who have enriched, informed and helped shape my life.
Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund. In August (2000) she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Legion membership as of 11/17/09 by Post is as follows:
LEGION POST - GOAL - (NOW) - PERCT
268 - Oswego - 381 - (205) - 53.81%
358 - Pulaski - 250 - (152) - 60.80%
384 - Mexico - 43 - (25) - 58.14%
418 - Phoenix - 133 - (98) - 73.68%
486 - Minetto - 23 - (23) - 100.00%
587 - Fulton - 59 - (44) - 74.58%
601 - Parish - 186 - (118) - 63.44%
858 - Cleveland - 118 - (99) - 83.90%
915 - Central Square - 224 - (134) - 59.82%
1128 - Williamstown - 92 - (60) - 65.22%
1145 - Scriba - 17 - (1) - 5.88%
1435 - Altmar - 44 - (29) - 65.91%
1532 - New Haven - 36 - (29) - 80.56%
1552 - Hannibal - 133 - (110) - 82.71%
OSWEGO COUNTY - 1739 - (1127) - 64.80%
Send the PINK copy of your Legion transmittal form to: GARY MILLS, 64 Dix Drive, Phoenix, NY 13135 with a list of members’ names paid on this report. Thanks! Questions? Call 695-7119.
Auxiliary membership by Units as of 11/21/2009 was as follows:
UNIT & NAME - GOAL - (TOTAL) - PERCT
268 OSWEGO - 154 - (127) - 82.5%
358 PULASKI - 120 - (61) - 50.8%
418 PHOENIX - 65 - (43) - 66.2%
601 PARISH - 105 - (81) - 77.1%
858 CLEVELAND - 56 - (49) - 87.5%
915 CENTRAL SQUARE - 134 - (108) - 80.6%
1128 WILLIAMSTOWN - 51 - (31) - 60.8%
1435 ALTMAR - 24 - (18) - 75.0%
1552 HANNIBAL - 65 - (44) - 67.7%
OSWEGO COUNTY - 774 - (562) - 72.6%
SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
All members are urged to attend county meetings to interact with other squadrons and support each other's projects and activities. The December Sons county meeting will be held on Tuesday December 15th at Fuller-Taylor Squadron 915 in Central Square at 7:00 PM.
The detachment SAL Americanism Committee sponsors an essay contest which is open to all NY schoolchildren in the 1st thru 5th grades. The essay contest topic is “What America Means to Me.” This year there will be a winning entry for each grade level and they receive a $100 US Savings Bond and a $50 Pizza Party for their classroom.
Deadline for the contest is Sat. May 1, 2010. The winning entry will be notified prior to the school year ending. Squadrons should contact local elementary schools and get the word out. This is an excellent way of encouraging students to learn about their great Nation in these days of spreading Patriotic uncertainty. Copies of the application are available at our website www.sonsdny.org. Need more info? Contact James Coates, Americanism Chairman, PO Box 148, Ionia, NY 14475.
I want to wish everyone in the Oswego County American Legion family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As you are celebrating with your families, take some time to think of our military who are serving at the present time and who have served. Elaine Johnson, County President.
The next regular monthly meeting will be held at Russell Horning Post 601, Parish on Saturday December 5th at 10:00 AM. Each Unit is expected to have representatives at each county meeting. This is an obligation the Unit President assumes when she takes her office.
The buzz word for membership is "VETERANS ADVOCATES". Become a DO BEE and start the buzz about membership for 2010.
Target date #3 is 100% of goal by January 1st, 2010 (5-$75 drawings). Let's get buzzing, bees! We are doing very well so far.
Please send Unit Membership reports to: BETTY ROWLEE, 100 MYERS ROAD, OSWEGO NY 13126 OR you may e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you have any questions, call Betty at 592-7093; or call the Dept. 800 number: 1-800-421-6348. Co. Treasurer is SUSANNA THOMAS, P.O. Box 52, Central Square, NY 13036. Phone is 529-8607. Checks go to Susanna Thomas.
Donations are needed for the VAVS to work with the veterans at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse. They may be sent to: Patricia Gilbert, 103 Maple Terrace, Syracuse, NY 13210. Volunteers are always welcome. Pat's phone is 315-396-0516.
Unit poppy orders must be sent in right away so you can get them in time for distribution.
Oswego County is planning an auxiliary study course at Fuller-Taylor Unit 915 for either our March or April county meeting. Membes from all nine units should attend since we can always learn more about our organization.
Dues of $3 are now due and payable to: Sandra Lee, 203 Weller Road, Fulton, NY 13069. We have new Past Presidents cards for your wallet.
The next county American Legion meeting will be held at Wm. S. Monaghan Post 268 in Oswego on Wed. Dec. 16th at 8:00 PM.
EAGLE SCOUT AWARDS
On Wed. Nov 18th Eagle Scout good citizenship awards were presented to 14 Eagle Scouts by Oswego County Boy Scout Chairman James Ellis and County Commander Richard Palmer. A big cake and drinks were provided by Fuller-Taylor Post 915 in Central Square. We thank Commander Herb Pelton for his generosity.
Scouts are listed with Troop # after each name.
John M. Ayleward (888)
William J. Dawson (825)
John F. Emory (825)
Kevin P. Hamon (709)
Daniel J. Howse (825)
Christopher LaFlair (709)
Ethan T. Leonard (709)
Mathew T. McChesney (3112)
Garrett Robinson (888)
Mitchell A. Switzer (750)
Nicholas H. Tomaino (724)
Tyler J. VanAllen (709)
Mark Vliet (724)
Nicholas L. Wilding (724)
Kyle Wolff (709)
Thomas Langer (830) was to be given his award on Sunday.
Most of the awards were picked up by parents or scout officials since the boys were at college and not available. Nicholas Tomaino was present in his uniform (pictured above with James Ellis and Cmdr. Palmer) and Mark Vliet was also in uniform, but in the US Navy uniform since he's in the service. Of course he was presented with an American Legion application.
A large cake, coffee, apple cider and soda were provided by Fuller-Taylor Post 915 in Central Square. We thank Commander Herb Pelton for his generosity. This is an annual event and it is sad that we can't have more Legion participation. We don't always appreciate the good teens.
AMERICAN LEGION SCOUTING:
Support for the Boy Scout movement came at The American Legion's first National Convention in 1919. Today, there are more than 2,500 Boy Scout units sponsored by Legion Posts throughout the country.
Supporting Boy Scout activities is natural for Legionnaires, who bring their service-learned skill and experiences as veterans to bear to help build character and positive traits in "Young Americans." Few other post activities generate more goodwill from the community.
From 1950 to 1962, the Onondaga Council Boy Scouts owned Moose Island in Lake Placid. It was called Oskenonta. Nightly campfires with singing were always a part of the activities there. Across from Moose Island was a summer home of Kate Smith. She would visit the campfire and would lead the singing. Can't you imagine this lovely voice singins "God Bless American" as it drifted across Lake Placid in the moonlight!
Irving Berlin put the song in trust; royalties to be used for the Boy and Girl Scouts. One of the original trustees was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
For the month of DECEMBER 2009:
Mon. Dec. 7: Fuller Taylor American Legion Post 915, Central Square - 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 12: Pennellville Fire Dept., 3 Godfrey Rd., Pennellville - 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thu. Dec. 24: Robert Edwards American Legion Post 358, Pulaski - 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. Whole blood donors can safely donate blood every 56 days. Double red cell donors can safely donate blood every 112 days.
You may call Lynn Fox at 464-1229 for appointment; or 1-800-272-4543 for information.
“For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders. He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. His ever-expanding peaceful government will never end.
He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of the house of David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world.” Isaiah 10:6-7.
PRAYER: “Dear Lord, we thank You at this holiday season for all the blessings and love You have given us. We thank You for America and the freedom that comes with our nation. We thank You for our brave service men and women who are away from their loved ones. We ask that You watch over them and the families left at home. Keep them in Your care. Please be with our organization as they go to battle here at home to keep Your name visible in public places and in front of our children. Be with us as we share our blessings with others this holiday season. In Your name we pray. Amen”
10/5/2009: DONALD E. ROBINSON, 80, Korea Marine vet, member Raymond-Fulkner-Cook Post 858, Cleveland.
10/8/2009: WILLIAM E. "Bud" COTTOM, 89, WWII Army vet, member Wm. S. Monaghan Post 268, Oswego.
10/9/2009: BETTY E. BROWN, 88, past member of Wm. S. Monaghan Aux. Unit 268, Oswego.
10/16/2009: ELAINE B. COLE, 75, past member of Hastings-Gorski Aux. Unit 1128, Williamstown.
10/21/2009: ROBERT A. COLTON, Jr., 73, member Wm. S. Monaghan Sqaudron 268, Sons of the American Legion.
Let's remember all the service members who are serving our country around the world so we may enjoy our freedoms. Protect them and their families who are waiting for their safe return home. We pray that God will keep them safe from harm and heal those who are in hospitals and recovering from their wounds and other hardships. Amen.
VA GIFT SHOP:
If your Unit, Post or Squadron would like to make a monetary donation to the year's Gift Shop, please let me know if it is for postage or gifts. Poppy Fun monies may be used for this purpose.
Write checks to "VA Gift Shop" and mail to: JAYNE FUST, VA Gift Shop Chairman, PO Box 72, Brewerton, NY 13029. Phone is 676-5432. This is a very popular and well-run program for veterans who are in the hospital and unable to be home for Christmas.
Meet at the auditorium at the Syracuse VA Medical Center Dec. 6th at 10 a.m. to unload everything and set up; Dec. 7 at 8 a.m. to distribute, wrap and mail gifts; Dec. 8 at 8 a.m. to distribute, wrap and mail gifts; then pack up everything and take to Co mmunity Care Center; Dec. 9 at CCC at 8 a.m.
Coffee and Donuts at VA (except the 6th) in the morning and free lunch on Mon. & Tue. We will be providing lunch at the CCC on Wed.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sat. Dec. 5: OSWEGO CO. AUXILIARY MEETS at Parish Unit 601 - 10 a.m.
Sun. Dec. 7-9: VA GIFT SHOP at Syracuse VA Medical Center - 8 a.m.
Sun. Dec. 7: PEARL HARBOR DAY.
Tue. Dec. 15: OSWEGO CO. SAL MEETS at Central Square Post 915 at 7 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 15: VOITURE 895 of 40et8 PROM at Pulaski Post 358 at 8 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 16: OSWEGO CO. LEGION MEETS at Oswego Post 268 at 8 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL.
Fri. Dec. 31: NEW YEAR'S EVE.
Sat. Jan. 1, 2010: HAPPY NEW YEAR!