Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Free concert benefited Legacy Scholarship


Boy Scouts given highest Legion honor


A truly ‘good guy’

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Convention comes to Milwaukee

While the 92nd American Legion National Convention doesn't officially convene until Aug. 31, much will have gone on in Milwaukee - the host city - prior to the sound of the gavel striking down in the hand of National Commander Clarence Hill.

Thursday and Friday feature a Veterans on Campus symposium, as well as a Rebuilding Together event that will include Hill. On Saturday, the Legion's various commissions and committees meet; highlights include Michael Walcoff, acting under secretary for benefits for VA's Veterans Benefits Administration, and David Schettler of the National Cemetery Administration. Also on Saturday, the Legion will sponsor a veterans career fair that will last from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 29, on the convention's annual highlights will start when the parade gets underway at 4 p.m. Brig. Gen. Donald P. Dunbar will serve as grand marshal, while honorary grand marshal will be Past National Commander David K. Rehbein. Aug. 30 is also a busy day, with an update on the U.S. POW/MIA situation, as well as the Past Department Commander's Club luncheon and awarding of the James. V. Day Good Guy Award. 4Troops and country star Michael Peterson will provide entertainment at a free concert that evening.

The convention convenes Tuesday morning and includes Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Reps. John Boehner and Bob Filner, among other dignitaries and officials scheduled to speak.

Monday, August 23, 2010


'Flag Rewards' program benefits posts

Mobile-phone apps

New Legion mobile-phone apps launched

World Series

Oklahoma 'Outlaws' win World Series

Friday, August 20, 2010


Watertown Daily News
Ride to raise education funds
COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: Legion Riders to set out on Midwest Legacy Run


SACKETS HARBOR — Four members of the Sackets Harbor Legion Riders will ride out to the Midwest — making four stops along the way — to raise money for college scholarships.

On Sunday, Leonard R. Misczuk, John A. Repaty and Maggie Moore, all of Sackets Harbor, and Philip A. Seybert of LaFargeville will accompany 333 other riders taking part in the American Legion Legacy Run. Riders will start burning hundreds of gallons of gasoline and travel thousands of miles in an ongoing effort to raise $20 million for children of soldiers who have died on active military duty.

Over the past five years, the Legacy Run has raised $2.9 million, with the first $2,000 scholarship awarded in 2004. The group said that once it has reached the $20 million mark, the scholarship fund will be able to sustain itself through accrued interest.

The Sackets Harbor chapter of Legion Riders was established in 2004. It was the first in Jefferson County and one of the first five in the state.

"The riders share a love of country and patriotism that weaves its way through our lives," Mr. Repaty said.

This is Mr. Repaty's first Legacy Run. The retired Marine, who fought in the Vietnam War, has been involved with other charity rides, but none this far or this long.

"I started to realize that ever since 9-11, the tempo of deployment has really increased, and we started losing a lot more active-duty military," Mr. Repaty said. "I tried to imagine the challenges families would face if the main breadwinner was no longer there. This is something I could really put my heart into."

Mrs. Moore has been a member of the Legion for about a year. She said she joined just so she could be part of the Legion Riders. The ride is not only a physical challenge for her but an opportunity to support a cause.

"I've never done a long-distance ride like this before," she said. "To do a five-day run — to just get on and ride — that's what I love to do. And to meet people that share the enthusiasm that we have will be great. As part of a working-class family, I couldn't imagine doing it all on my own. Those families really need the help because they have given the ultimate sacrifice."

The Legacy Run was established in October 2001 but failed to gain traction again until 2006, when the effort resumed. In 2006, the ride brought in about $163,000. After that, the number of riders — and amount of money raised — increased significantly.

"Our acting director in the state challenged each chapter to raise $500," Mr. Misczuk said. "We did that in a matter of weeks. The Legion ourselves have raised $2,000, and I think we've got about another $800 from other sources."

And while the riders plan to leave Thursday to reach Indianapolis by Sunday, donations will be accepted all week long.

"If someone can't put the $17.1 million in a check, we'll still take partial payments," Mr. Repaty said.

The riders said they expect the trip will prove to be unforgettable.

"It's an adventure of a lifetime," Mrs. Moore said. "I figured I'd take it while I have the chance."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Outlaws win American Legion World Series championship

 By Howie Stalwick, Special Correspondent   
August 18, 2010

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Leave it to a bunch of Outlaws to steal the American Legion World Series championship.

The Oklahoma Outlaws racked up 14 stolen bases, including three steals of home, and swept Eden Prairie, Minn., 11-6 and 10-1 Tuesday night at Avista Stadium.

The Outlaws (66-10), based in Midwest City, had to beat the Minnesota squad twice to claim the title. Eden Prairie (39-9), a 9-6 winner over Oklahoma on Saturday, was 4-0 at the 19-and-under tournament until the final day.

Oklahoma pitcher-right fielder Dalton Bernardi was voted Most Valuable Player.
Bernardi went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs in the final, and he closed the game with 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Bernardi was mobbed by teammates near the mound after he struck out the side in the ninth before an estimated 600 toasty fans late Tuesday night at Avista Stadium.

“We came into these two games confident,” said Bernardi, a standout freshman at Rose State (junior) College in Midwest City last spring. “We knew we could get back-to-back wins against those guys.

“We didn’t play very well at all the first game we played them. They threw the same guy (Caleb Phillips) we saw the first time. We knew we could stroke him.”

The Outlaws outhit Eden Prairie 16-5. Tyler Schuman (1-0), who had not pitched since dislocating his right shoulder in the third game of the season in late May, tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout ball to earn the win.

“For him to come in and throw five innings is unbelievable,” veteran Outlaws coach Doug Weese said.

Bernardi, who stole 12 bases in 12 tries at the World Series, was joined on the all-tourney team by four teammates: pitcher Kevin Hill, first baseman Tanner Hessman, third baseman Josh Halbert and left fielder Turner Coon.

Greg Nelson keyed the Outlaws’ offense in the title game. The second baseman went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the first inning and an RBI double in the eighth.

“Dalton, him and Nelson are the heart and soul of this team right now,” Weese said.
Chris Mullins (16-1), who lost to Eden Prairie on Saturday, won the opener Tuesday. Halbert had a straight steal of home, one of nine Oklahoma steals in the game, and hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning.

The Outlaws lost an outstanding athlete, J.T. Realmuto, when the third-round draft pick signed with Florida after helping Oklahoma win the Mid-South Region to qualify for the World Series.

“The kids said, ‘We’re going to win, anyway, Coach,’” Weese recalled. “I said, ‘You know what? I believe you.’”

Monday, August 16, 2010



Monday, August 16: 
Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 7 p.m.

Game 13: Winners Games 10 and 11, about 10 p.m.

Tuesday, August 17:
Game 14: Winners Games 12 and 13, 7 p.m.

Game 15: if necessary, about 10 p.m.

Click here to watch Legion baseball streamed live.

Another of The American Legion's great youth programs.






Do it here.

INDIANAPOLIS (August 2, 2010) – The American Legion is demonstrating its commitment to helping military veterans find jobs by entering its career fairs in this month’s Pepsi Refresh Everything Project. If the effort is successful, The American Legion will be awarded a $250,000 grant to sponsor events across the country in which employers are paired with veterans looking for work.

        “The unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exceeds 14 percent. This is a national disgrace!” said American Legion Nation Commander Clarence E. Hill. “Every veteran vowed to defend America and protect our way of life. The least we can do is to allow them an opportunity to support their families and contribute to America’s workforce. Hiring veterans isn’t just the right thing to do, but it is smart business! These talented men and women offer unique skills, discipline and a proven work ethic that would benefit any employer smart enough to hire them. 

Additionally, job fairs sponsored by The American Legion include Small Business Development Workshops so veterans can pursue the American dream.”


Friday, August 13, 2010


Provide Job Fairs
and Job Training for Veterans.

Help The American Legion Win $250,000

We owe it to these heroes.
The American Legion is committed to helping military veterans find jobs. The Legion's career fairs are competing in this month's Pepsi Refresh Everything Project. If the effort succeeds, The American Legion will be awarded a $250,000 grant to sponsor job events across the country, pairing employers with veterans looking for work.

"The unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exceeds 14 percent. This is a national disgrace!" said American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill. "Every veteran vowed to defend America and protect our way of life. The least we can do is to allow them an opportunity to support their families and contribute to America's workforce. Additionally, job fairs sponsored by The American Legion include Small Business Development Workshops so veterans can pursue the American dream."

We owe it to these heroes - vote every day until August 31! Vote here.

"Individual voting alone will not win this competition," said American Legion Auxiliary National President Rita Navarreté. "We need people to post it on their websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts. They should use all social media methods at their disposal. Voting online daily for this important program is the least we can do - and our impact will be huge."

American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters
8945 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46260
(317) 569-4500

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Legion “Job Fairs for Veterans” drops to 25th place in Pepsi competition; votes needed

The American Legion’s “Job Fairs for Veterans” lost another position overnight, dropping to 25th place this morning.
Legionnaires, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, their families, friends, neighbors, work associates and members of their communities across the nation are asked to vote every day online at: http://www.refresheverything.com/vetsjobfairs
You can also vote from your mobile phone: Text* 101758 to Pepsi (73774). *Standard text messaging rates apply.
Please vote today and every day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Field set for Legion World Series
The American Legion - August 10, 2010
The eight-team field for the 2010 American Legion Baseball World Series is set.

The World Series opening ceremony begins Aug. 13 in Spokane, Wash., at Avista Stadium, where Jill Druskis, the Legion's Americanism/Children & Youth director, will throw out the first pitch.

The following are the eight American Legion World Series teams.

Northeast Division - Branford, Conn.; sponsored by American Legion Post 83.

Southeast Division - Kernersville, N.C.; sponsored by Loflin Concrete.

Central Plains Division - Eden Prairie, Minn.; sponsored by Eden Prairie Baseball Association.

Northwest Division - Roseburg, Ore., "Doc Stewarts;" sponsored by Post 16.

Mid-Atlantic Division - Chesapeake, Va.; sponsored by Great Bridge Post 280.

Great Lakes Division - Moline, Ill.; sponsored by Post 246.

Mid-South Division - Midwest City, Okla., "Outlaws;" sponsored by Post 17.0

Western Division - Las Vegas, "Lions Legion Baseball Club-Gold;" sponsored by Nevada

Youth Baseball Association and BMI Post 40.

Follow the 2010 Legion World Series teams in action Aug. 13-17 by visiting the Legion's Baseball site, where all 14 games will be streamed live. The first game gets under way live at 1 p.m. (EST).

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Jeff Kent will be among the announcers, along with longtime Legion Baseball supporter Jim Darby. Special visits from past Major League greats and American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill of Florida are also scheduled during the webcast.

The American Legion Web site will also have box scores, statistics, interviews and photos from the tournament.



Once again the veterans lose! When a town board votes 5 to 0 against The American Legion, it seems like it's time to replace that board. Many of the founding fathers of Minetto were charter members of this post in Minetto and I'm sure they are rolling over in their graves right now at this affront to their honorable war service.

We just lost a member who was a 64-year member of our post and who also served as town supervisor for Minetto for many years as well as town assessor. Frank Ranous was another town father who was an avid Legionnaire and patriot.

Many others have passed on and we have a small group of veterans still trying to keep our post alive. All we are seeking is a little recognition with a sign indicating that our post is alive and well and that we still meet on a regular basis. Is this asking too much?

These are the personal opinions of a 50-year member of The American Legion who has served as Commander of Post 486 several years, Oswego County Commander and 5th District Commander; still serving on the county committee.

God bless the USA.

Delos Rowlee

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


August 10, 2010

2010 American Legion Baseball World Series to be streamed live on Web site
SPOKANE, Wash. – All 14 games of The American Legion Baseball World Series will be streamed live on www.legion.org/baseball throughout the eight-team tournament at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Wash., Aug. 13-17. Action starts Friday at 1 p.m. EST.
Former Major League Baseball All-Star Jeff Kent will be among the announcers, along with longtime Legion Baseball supporter Jim Darby. Special visits from past Major League greats and American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill of Florida are also scheduled during the webcast.
The American Legion Web site will also have box scores, statistics, interviews and photos from the tournament.
The following are the eight 2010 American Legion World Series teams:

Northeast Division—Branford, Conn.; 

sponsored by American Legion Post 83

Southeast Division—Kernersville, N.C.; 
sponsored by Loflin Concrete

Central Plains Division—Eden Prairie, Minn.; 
sponsored by Eden Prairie Baseball Association

Northwest Division—Roseburg, Ore., “Doc Stewarts;” sponsored by Post 16

Mid-Atlantic Division—Chesapeake, Va.; 
sponsored by Great Bridge Post 280

Great Lakes Division—Moline, Ill.; 
sponsored by Post 246

Mid-South Division—Midwest City, Okla., “Outlaws;” sponsored by Post 170

Western Division—Las Vegas, “Lions Legion Baseball Club-Gold;” 
sponsored by Nevada Youth Baseball Association and BMI Post 40

Last year’s World Series in Fargo, N.D., marked the Legion’s first-ever live streaming of games, and all expectations were exceeded as the webcast attracted nearly 19,000 unique visitors from 15 different countries. Altogether, more than 42,000 visitors tuned in to www.legion.org to see who would claim the championship title, watching a total of 2.4 million minutes of play and averaging more than 30 minutes per viewing session.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010


 The town board of the Town of Minetto seems to have a problem with this sign which was erected in the park by the river in Minetto last spring. 

Legionnaires wanted to let people know that our American Legion post 486, which was formed shortly after World War I by the local residents, still existed and met regularly at the Minetto Town Hall. 

A few residents objected to the placement of the sign so it was abruptly removed and stored at the town garage last spring. Now our members are seeking to have the sign replaced in its original position. Members have been collecting signatures on a petition to have the sign put back where it was originally. It's about time we started working FOR America, NOT against it.

Many residents were not even aware of the sign and the majority said they had no objection to the placement of the sign. 

The town board meets on Monday August 9th at 7 PM and our members will be present to learn the fate of our American Legion sign. 


at Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Saturday August 7, 2010


Hannah Black from Yorktown, Virginia with a score of 2312.


2nd place - MATTHEW MARTIN with a score of 2453.0.

1st place - CATHERINE GREEN from Coventry, RI with a score of 2460.3.

National Commander CLARENCE HILL was at the National Competition Finals and announced the winners.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Troy Record

U.S. Coast Guard ‘always ready’ throughout 220 year history
Thursday, August 05, 2010

By Katie Nowak
The Record

ALBANY — Veterans and lawmakers alike came together Wednesday morning to celebrate the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard with a ceremony on the USS Slater.

County Executive Mike Breslin issued a proclamation recognizing the military branch’s milestone, lauding its distinguished history and contributions to our country’s freedoms and safety since its founding in 1790.

“Throughout its 220 year history the Coast Guard has lived up to its motto of ‘Always Ready’ with more than a million lives saved and untold disasters prevented since its founding, (and its) role in preserving the American way of life is perhaps the most overlooked of military achievements,” Breslin said.

Richard Walker is one of seven Coast Guard veterans who volunteer to give tours of the USS Slater, and has been doing so since 1998. He served four years of active duty during his 1965-1981 stint as a member of the Coast Guard, and spent time in the reserves at the former port office in Albany.

Walker echoed Breslin’s sentiments that the Coast Guard has been overlooked by most of the general public as the forgotten branch of the U.S. military. He recalled the day of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration when a Coast Guard color guard took part in the parade, and the television announcers incorrectly identified the group as members of the Navy.

He was one of veterans at the Slater who helped organize Wednesday’s ceremony, an annual celebration they began holding three years ago.

“I started talking to other Coast Guard volunteers, and saying we ought to do something for better identification, and we got this idea of having a Coast Guard day celebration, so people would know that there were Coast Guard people involved with destroyer escorts, besides we who were here patching it up and putting it back together,” he said.

The Slater was one of 351 Navy ships that had Coast Guard crew onboard during World War II, a fact that not many people know, he added.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Commander John "Jr" Rogers 2010-2011

John "Jr" Rogers
Detachment of New York
1383 East 56th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11234-

John’s eligibility is through his Father, John, who served in Germany and France, in the Army during WWII.

John, has held the following offices in the Sons of The American Legion, as Squadron Commander, Squadron Treasurer 4 years, County Executive Committee, District Commander, of 2 & 10, and a 2 year term as Detachment Vice Commander, Districts 2 & 10 and also served on the Public Relations Commission. He was also awarded an Honorary Life Membership by members of his Squadron. During his tenure in the Sons, he help establish the 2nd District, and both Kings and Richmond Counties. He is also a dual member, serving over 33 years as a member of The American Legion, Department of New York. John is a Veteran of the Viet Nam War Era, and served 6 years in the Air Force, serving Stateside and at Headquarters 3rd Air Force, (England) and USAFE.

He has also held many positions in the American Legion:
At the Post level, he served as Vice Commander for 3 years, Membership Chairman 6 years, Chaplain 2 years, Ways & Means Chairman 5 years, Finance Officer
2 years, and Judge Advocate 5 years. Also chairing many other Legion Post Committees.
At the County level, as 4th Division Commander, Kings County, 3 years.

On a Community Level, he served his community as being President of the Local Board of Trade, Director in the Local Civic Assoc., an Elected Member on the NYC Community Board 18, and member of the Lyons & Kiwanis’s Clubs.

He was employed and retired from the Human Resources Division of the Department of Veterans Administration, and currently owns a Gift Shoppe is his own neighborhood.

His Better Half, Regina Harris served as Department President, (1999-2000) New York, Also her dad, John Harris served as Department Commander, (1982-1983) New York and with John’s election to the office of Detachment Commander, brings a Triple Crown to the American Legion Family of New York State.

John and Regina have been together for 32 years, and both have supported the Legion, Auxiliary, and Sons.

John is looking forward to representing the Detachment of New York, sharing information and spreading the Legion Family values throughout the Great State of New York.


It’s that time again. Vote, Vote, Vote.

Please use your entire network to ask people vote early and vote often.  Remind them frequently.  It’s a great cause and the troops deserve every chance at a good job when they come back home. At the very least, please make sure that YOU vote every day.  Thanks.

The American Legion’s Job Fairs for Veterans
Competes for $250K Pepsi Refresh Everything Grant
Votes Needed!

The Legion job fairs are among more than 1,200 charities that are competing for a grant.  Pepsi will award $250,000 each to the two charities that receive the most votes on its Web site. 

Visit the Pepsi Refresh Web site and cast your vote daily. Spread the news of our voting efforts with social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. Help us help the men and women have served so unselfishly!
Voters can also text message their votes (standard rates apply) by texting *101758 to Pepsi (73774).


Virginian Pilot
Injured Navy corpsman receives Purple Heart
By Kate Wiltrout
The Virginian-Pilot
© August 4, 2010


Angelo Anderson likes taking care of patients - mothers and babies at Camp Lejeune, clients at the infectious disease clinic at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, and more than anything, Marine infantry troops on duty in Afghanistan.

Last year, while stationed in Portsmouth, the Navy corpsman volunteered for a combat assignment. His first few weeks in Afghanistan were spent working at a battalion aid station, helping care for injured troops flown in on helicopters. But he yearned to do more - to go out on patrol with a small group of warriors, away from the security of a base.

He got his wish. Assigned to a rifle company of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, the Atlanta native began going on missions in and around Marjah, a city in southern Afghanistan where U.S. forces are trying to assert control.

"When you're out with a foot patrol, it's just you and your medical bag," Anderson explained. He'd spend each patrol rehearsing medical scenarios in his head: What would he do if a buddy was shot right here, or a bomb exploded on Marines a few meters away?

He learned to almost disregard the sound of insurgents firing AK-47 rifles. The bigger fear was homemade bombs buried in the streets or fields they were walking.

"The sad thing is when you get to the point where you're really not worried about getting shot. You're worried about stepping on something that will end your life instantly," Anderson said matter-of-factly.

On July 2, the Marines of Lima Company were trying to make friends in a few Afghan villages. A fire team of about eight men walked ahead of Anderson; another team followed behind.

He had just jumped across an irrigation canal and started down a footpath toward some mud huts when he heard a three-round burst from an AK-47. One of the bullets tore through his right arm. A second barrage halted him as he ran for cover. This time, a bullet entered his thigh, shattering his right femur.

Suddenly, the 21-year-old was taking care of a new patient - himself.

He remembers thinking, what can I do to sustain myself until my Marines can get to me?
They dragged him to the side of the road, rolled him over to reach his medical bag and asked him for instructions.

"Doc, we need you now," one said. "You have to talk us through this."
They applied tourniquets and gauze to his wounds. Then, he talked them through taking his pulse - a vital sign the medical team coming by helicopter would need to know.

During the 15 or 20 minutes it took for a helicopter to arrive, Anderson took stock: of his situation and his life.

"I trusted in what I had told my Marines, that they would do all they could for me. And that even if what they did didn't help, if it was my time, it was my time."
He prayed, he said, harder than he had ever prayed in his life.

Then began a series of evacuation flights: first to Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan, then on to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The final hop brought him back to a familiar place: Portsmouth, where he had spent more than year before deploying and where many of his closest friends worked.
Since then, he has occupied a room on 4G, the orthopedics ward. His room is decorated with posters and cards made by his fellow corpsmen, some he has known since entering boot camp in 2007.

They're adorned with pictures of a group of smiling twenty-somethings at the 2009 Corpsmen Ball.

"I call them my love circle," Anderson said. "If you can feel the love in here, that's them."
Tuesday afternoon, almost a dozen of them packed into his room to watch Anderson receive a Purple Heart from a three-star Marine general, Lt. Gen. Richard Natonski.
Natonski, head of the Norfolk-based Marine Corps Forces Command, commented on the crowd when he entered the room with his own retinue of uniformed supporters.
In addition to the Purple Heart, Natonski gave Anderson perhaps the highest praise a Marine can offer.

"It may say U.S. Navy on your ID card, but I will tell you, you are a Marine," Natonski said, as the hint of a smile passed over Anderson's face.

After a round of handshakes, the official party departed. A cluster of corpsmen and spouses lingered, taking pictures and examining the medal.

Anderson now has a titanium rod in his leg and a plate in his arm. He can't yet walk on his own, but he hopes to be playing basketball in a few months.

After that, his future is uncertain. He wants to stay in the Navy, maybe do another stint after his enlistment is up in 2012.

Eventually, he'd like to go to medical school.
He thinks he knows what field he'd specialize in: emergency medicine.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Support Veteran Job Fairs

American Legion National Headquarters is now gearing up for an August effort to win a Pepsi Refresh Everything grant to help us achieve our goal of 1,000 veteran job fairs nationwide in 2010 and 2011. Voting is scheduled to begin Sunday morning, Aug. 1. Check back at www.legion.org to cast your vote.

Every year, The American Legion sponsors nearly 300 job fairs, business workshops and career expos across the country. As veteran unemployment continues to outpace that of the general population, career opportunities for those who served our nation in uniform are more important than ever. Your vote for American Legion Job Fairs can help us reach our goal of sponsoring 1,000 veteran career events in 2010 and 2011.

Your vote is needed to help veterans get back to work. It costs nothing to place your online vote. It could mean everything for a veteran to get a job or start a new business.

Remember, you can vote daily throughout the month in the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Gates urges Scouts to excel
By James V. Carroll - July 29, 2010

Scouts listen to Defense Secretary Robert Gates 
speak on Wednesday. Photo by James V. Carroll

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stood before more than 45,000 Boy Scouts Wednesday and urged them to pursue their dreams - America's standing in the world depends on it, he said. He also said Scouting has played an important part in his life.

Gates was the featured speaker in an arena show extravaganza celebrating the Scouts 100th anniversary at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. Other guest speakers included Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, 2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron, Chief Executive Scout Robert Mazzuca and National Scout Commissioner Tico Perez. Army parachutists, an Air Force drill team and Army trumpeters also entertained the assembled Scouts.

"Scouting has always been a part of my life and my family's life," said Gates, who earned the rank of Eagle Scout 52 years ago at age 15. "Earning Eagle Scout was the only thing I had done in my life that made me believe I could make a difference. It was the first thing I had done that told me I might be different because I worked harder, was more determined, more goal oriented, and more persistent than others."

Gates said Scouting has set the boys and young men "on the path to becoming a man of integrity and decency, a man of moral courage, a man unafraid of hard work, a man of strong character - the kind of person who built this country and made it the greatest democracy and greatest economic powerhouse in the history of the world.

"I am here today because I believe in the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good in a community and in the lives of its boys and young men."

Scouting will produce a new generation of leaders that will assure that America will continue to be a beacon of hope and decency and justice for the rest of the world, Gates concluded.
Later in the day, American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill sat and dined with a number of Florida Scouts and delivered a similar message.

"America's future depends on the positive character and leadership traits groomed by Scouting," Hill said. "The American Legion understands this simple but important fact. That's why Legion posts proudly sponsor Boy Scout troops across the country."

The American Legion recently became No. 1 in terms of the number of Scout troops sponsored by civic organizations, Hill added.
To read Gates' speech, click here.


Legion pursues Pepsi grant for vet jobs
The American Legion - July 31, 2010

(Left to Right) SFC Thomas Cross and MSG Bryan Wagner
speak with Ardina Fox and Bella Taylor, recruiters for
Northrop Grumman Technical Services. Noel St. John

As one of its founding pillars, The American Legion has long been committed to helping separating servicemembers reintegrate into civilian life. Included in that is a dedication to help veterans find rewarding jobs and business opportunities. A Legion commitment that dates back to World War I, career support for veterans has evolved in recent decades, and nearly 140 Legion-affiliated events – business workshops, job fairs and career expos – are conducted each year.

In a struggling economy that has been particularly tough on veterans, the need to find employment for the men and women who served our country has never been greater. That’s why The American Legion is trying to greatly increase the number of veteran career events it produces or supports. Pepsi’s Refresh Project contest presents the perfect opportunity.

The Legion will re-enter the Pepsi Refresh Project contest for the month of August with its veterans career fairs initiative as the beneficiary. Voting officially begins Aug. 1 at 12:01 a.m. EST. The contest, which the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors program won in February, will award a $250,000 grant to the first-place finisher. Funds from the February award are still being used to give wounded warriors items like sweatsuits, DVD players, therapeutic athletic equipment and duffle bags. Should the Legion win again, the money will be used to fund nearly 1,000 career fairs, which will provide veterans, service members and their families with everything from on-site job interviews to resume-writing assistance. It costs nothing to cast a daily vote for the Legion’s job fairs initiative through the month.

Undoubtedly, the need to employ veterans has never been greater. An estimated one-fifth of the nation’s homeless population has a background of military service. Around 107,000 veterans are on the street on any given night and twice as many experience a similar hardship at some point each year. Many other veterans, particularly those who are ages 18 to 24, are considered near homeless or at risk of it because of income-related issues.

The unemployment numbers for former service members, particularly young ones, are equally concerning. The unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan swelled to 21.1 percent last year - up 7 percent from 2008. The number was also well above the 16.6-percent unemployment rate for non-veterans of roughly the same ages, 18 to 24.
Visit the Pepsi Refresh Web site and cast your vote daily. Spread the news of our voting efforts with social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. Help us help the men and women have served so unselfishly!


76 Freedom Car at Watkins Glen

Jerick Johnson and the 76 Freedom Car will be at the Fan Zone, Watkins Glen International Speedway on August 7 and 8. This is being sponsored by American Legion Post 660, Dundee, NY. There also will be a barbeque at Hemrod, NY where you can meet Jerick Johnson.