DEPARTMENT OF FRANCE NEWS
Posted 4 January 2018
Upon speaking with you on the telephone, Sonja and I wish you a safe journey and happiness in your new job. You have been a great asset to the Department of France as an Vice Commander and as a dedicated Legionnaire. I hope you will carry your professionalism and dedication to the American Legion and it's programs with you. I know you will be an asset to National. I hope to see you in May when I come back for the Sons of the Legion NEC.
Until we meet again.
PS: Resignation accepted. :)
Department of France
Posted 1 January 2018
Greetings Adj Rice,
Can you hard-copy print this attachment and distribute to the required officers and record custodians? I included all Dept Officers in the CC line as a courtesy.
I have accepted a job offer from The American Legion HQ in Indianapolis to take the position of Veteran Program Trainer. I will be leaving Europe in late January, with an expected report date of 5 February 2018 to National Headquarters.
I have been informed that Nat. Adj. Wheeler will tell me I must sever all post and department level ties, so, I am submitting this resignation letter in advance.
I will always be humbled by the faith and trust that the Department of France bestowed on me by raising me to the Department Vice Commander position. Thank you comrades!
- Dave Etter
Vice Commander Dept of France, TAL
01 6099 68 6767 (cell / text)
THE AMERICAN LEGION
DEPARTMENT OF FRANCE
25 December 2017
Commander, Department of France
The American Legion
Greetings Commander James,
Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as Department Vice Commander. My last day will be 31 January 2018.
I received an offer to serve as Assistant Director – Veteran Program Trainer at The American Legion Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and after careful consideration, I realize that this opportunity is too exciting for me to decline.
It has been a pleasure promoting the four pillars and working membership for this great Department. The Department will continue to grow under your leadership and I wish you much success as the 100 Year celebration approaches.
To all the membership of the Department of France who elected me to this position, I was and continue to be humbled. I wish each of you all the best and I look forward to staying in touch with you. You can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via Facebook Messenger or Skype, username bigdavee59.
Posted 31 December 2017
The Peace Light: From Bethlehem to Margraten
By Historian Ray
On the 30th of December Post NL01 “Margraten” was given the honor and privilege to participate in the Vredeslicht (Peace Light) event at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, NL. The Boy and Girl Scouts of Landgraaf, NL where given the honor to carry the Peace Light to their chosen location; The American WWII cemetery.
The origin of the Peace Light begins during advent when a candle is lit to an eternal burning flame, originating from the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel. The Peace Light is meant to promote peace, harmony and unity among the people of the world regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. For several decades the International scouting movement - Both Boy and Girl Scouts, have actively promoted global peace and harmony through the distribution of the Peace Light. Each year, a child from Upper Austria is named the Peace Light Child and travels to Bethlehem to receive the flame from one of the Grotto’s oil lamps. These lamps have been burning continuously for over 1,000 years. The light and child then travel back to Vienna, Austria where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations of Scouts from across Europe, who in turn takes it back, with a message of peace, to their own countries.
Post Commander Ray Vincent was asked to give a speech to open the event. Commander Vincent talked about the origins of the Peace Light and his personal opportunity to visit the Grotto in Bethlehem while he was on deployment. He went on to say, “To me personally, there’s no better place to remember the mission of the Peace Light than at this cemetery. For those who have given their all, are laid to rest. These heroes did not seek to promote war and death, but rather to end it so that the world can heal. Sadly we know this wasn’t to be the last war, war still rages around the globe today. But WE by partaking in this ceremony have not failed in the goal of the Peace Light Mission. Not at all. Cause WE are here today to honor those that gave their lives in the name of achieving peace. The only way we can fail in this endeavor is if WE stop trying.”
Posted 22 December 2017
The graveyards of Ireland are littered with tales of a rich military history. Men who lived, fought and died in wars across the old world and the new, in unifor...ms as varied as the landscapes in which they battled.
In Glasnevin Cemetery combatants range from those who fought alongside Wellington through to the battlefields of the American Civil War, the trenches of WW1 and the air raids of the 1940s. One of these soldiers who fell in a foreign field was Edward Michael Howell.
Sergeant Edward Michael Howell was born in Dublin on June 21, 1937, and later resided in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a specialist 1st class in the US Army, 4th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart during his service. Sergeant Howell died in the province of Long An in South Vietnam from small arms fire on April 17, 1967.
His body was returned to his sister Bridget in Dublin and buried in YE 70 St Paul’s section, Glasnevin Cemetery.
Rest, warrior rest.
With thanks to Post member Vincent Hourican, we have some very helpful information on SSGT (later, SFC) Edward Howell.
Please see the link below.
Thanks to both Robbie and to Vince. We will remember him.
With kind regards,
The Pride of Erin Post IR-01
American Legion, Dublin, Ireland
Good morning, Robbie,
Thank you very much for your note and lovely good wishes for Christmas, which I am happy to return to you and to your family on behalf of our Post.
Let me say thank you as well for your interest in and dedication to the memory of SSGT Edward Howell, late of the United States Army and Vietnam and now reposing in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. (Photo attached.) You have been very thoughtful in decorating his grave, this year as well as in past years, and clearly this is something that our Post needs to step up to and support.
I agree with you that the headstone needs to be cleaned and refinished. I would like for our Post to support that and will contact Glasnevin to get a source and quote to do this. Then, I intend to put the question to our membership as to a committment for adopting this grave for continuing remembrance and upkeep.
The American Legion manages the Overseas Graves Decoration Trust, which makes small allowances (up to $50) available yearly for flowers. I will apply for a grant for this purpose straight away, as the 2018 programme was just announced on the 8th of this month.
Do you know if SSGT Howell has any family residing in Ireland? If so, do you have any contact information? If not, perhaps I can obtain same from the cemetery.
Many thanks again for bringing this to our attention and your own interest and support for remembering him. God bless you for that.
With very best wishes for a Happy Christmas, I remain
The Pride of Erin Post IR-01
American Legion, Dublin, Ireland
Firstly, may I wish you and all your family a Very Happy Christmas and New Year. My enquiry is regarding the possibility of having the headstone of S SGT Howell properly cleaned and restored. As you can see it is showing the signs of the harsh weather it has been exposed to over the years. I was wondering if there is an official system in place for this work to be carried out through the US Embassy here in Ireland ?. Or maybe the American Legion organizes such works to be done on fallen soldiers graves. I would appreciate any information or advice regarding this matter John, as I am sure his family would be very appreciative of their loved ones grave been properly maintained by the country he lost his life serving in Vietnam.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Posted 17 December 2017
Honor Veteran's Graves in Ireland
"Go Fund Me" Program
Marking the Graves of US Veterans buried in Ireland Since the American War of Independence, Irish citizens have served in the US Army and Navy. Of course, many people would recognize the name of John Barry, often called the "Father of the US Navy". Barry was born on March 25, 1745, in Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland. Not all Irish veterans would be as notable, but their service to the USA was never doubted. Estimates range from 10 thousand to over a 100,000 Irish men and women have served in the US military in the past 150 years. Many of the vets returned to Ireland, including many who served 20 years or more on active duty. Sadly, many have passed on without due recognition of their service and lack any such markings at their graves. Our American Legion Post (IR63) named for John F. Kennedy, has undertaken to identify, honor, and recognize these forgotten veterans by placing grave markers at their graves. This is a time-honored tradition of the American Legion throughout the States. Here in Ireland, we hope to add as many as 15 unmarked graves between now and Memorial Day 2018. Each marker, after engraving and shipping, costs about $75 dollars. At present, we have identified four veterans including World War 1 US Army nurse (see https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/1101/916742-bracelet/ ). Our Post is undertaking this as a local initiative and is not part of a larger American Legion program. We do not receive funding other than from this fundraising effort. All donations made go directly to the Post bank account for disbursement by the Post Financial Officer. If you wish to donate the costs to purchase one marker ($75.00), we will ensure it is properly marked with the donor's name. Help us honor and recognize our Veterans!
THIS GO FUND ME PROGRAM IS TO BRANCH OF MILITARY GRAVE MARKERS NOT HEADSTONES.
Margraten Post NL01 is honored to be here with our comrades from BE02 for Nuts Weekend in Bastogne, BE
Posted 14 December 2017
Change in General Membership Meetings Date & Time
We would like to inform you of a recent change to our bylaws.
During yesterday's (5 December 2017) meeting, our members voted to change our general meeting date and time from the first Tuesday of the month at 1900 to the first Saturday of the month at 1500.
This change will take effect immediately and our next meeting will occur on 06 January 2018 at 1500.
We are chartering a committee to update our bylaws and will provide the updated to the Department, once complete.
Please let me know if there are any other individuals that require notification.
Comrade Mike Murley
American Legion Post GR07
Posted 20 November 2017
Carl W. Hale, elected to serve as Commander, Paris Post 1, during the annual meeting in Pershing Hall. Committed to serving the community.
The American Legion Auxiliary represents Paris Post 1 at a Dedication Ceremony
100 years ago, the American Army was arriving. The association “Le Souvenir Françoise” help to keep the memory of the American forces that came to Europe 100 years ago by planted an American red oak tree for remembrance.
“The tree leaves are red like the blood shed by the soldiers who came across the Atlantic Ocean to the old continent 100 years ago. This tree will keep the memory of the 130,000 American soldiers killed in action and the 23,000 injured. If the American army arrived officially in 1917, let us not forget the Foreign Legion soldiers who arrived in 1914 and the Airmen of l ‘Escadrille Lafayette”.
These are the words pronounced by Christian Caron, President of the Souvenir Françoise.
At the end of the ceremony American taps and the American National Anthem were played, then the Marseillaise.
American Legion Auxiliary President FR01 Ginette Crosley was present with the American flag.
Department Officers and Kaiserslautern Post 1 attend wreath presentation, visited the Department of France Headquarters, and broke bread at Kaiserslautern Post 1.
Posted 13 November 2017
Veterans Day week-end you can easily say that the American Legion Margraten Post NL01 was active doing the ‘Legions’ work. Wreath presentations at the American Cemeteries in the Netherlands and Belgium but also remembrance events at WWII memorial.
On the 11th November Margraten Post 1 had the honor to attend a memorial service in the Dutch village of Oud Beijerland, just south of Rotterdam.
In this village there is a memorial that has been erected to remember the 87 aircrew members that crashed in the immediate area during WWII. This has been accomplished by Anton de Man, who was a boy of 4 years old living in that village and remembers the conflict clearly to this day. He and a small group of dedicated individuals have built this memorial and is still a work in progress. They give lectures at the local schools so that the memories live on and these events will not be forgotten.
The top of the memorial is a steel plate in the shape of the area where the aircraft crashed, this is called the Hoeksche Waard. It has the silhouette of a B-17 and three Spitfires, positioned to represent their return flight to England after flying their missions over Germany. A flight never completed.
There are 87 names listed on the panels at the base of the monument. Ten (10) are of the Royal Netherlands Air Force flying out of England. There are 77 allied aircrew members also listed representing the Royal Air Force (England), the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Polish Air Force and the Royal New Zeeland Air Force. There are also 15 names listed for the United States Army Air Corp. Of these 15 aircrew members, one was returned to the States, 7 are still listed as Missing in Action (MIA) and 7 are laid to rest in the American Cemetery, the Netherlands (Margraten).
Again, it was an honor to attend this remembrance, proud to represent The American Legion and our Post NL01, Margraten. Look forward to working with this group of dedicated individuals who honor us and keep the memory alive.
Posted 13 November 2017
Post 1982 Commander Houston and post members had a great breakfast at Ansbach Elementary School in calibration of Veteran’s Day. Ken Aungst awarded the 3 top Veteran’s Day poem writers with cash rewards after they read their poems.