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Posted 1 January 2018
 
 
 

Posted 30 December 2017
 
Keith Kreul Update
 
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 Keith A. Kreul, age 89, of Fennimore, died on Thursday Dec. 28, 2017 at the Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster. He was born on April 21, 1928 in Mt. Ida Township, Grant Co., WI, the son of Harry and Elsie (Wehrle) Kreul. He was united in marriage to Dolores Morfey on Feb. 14, 1953.
 
Following graduation from high school, Keith attended and received his bachelor’s degree from U.W. Madison in Mechanical Engineering. In Oct. of 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Army until being honorable discharged in Oct. of 1953. Keith was employed at Fairbanks-Morse in Beloit until he moved back to Fennimore and joined his father on the family farm operating under the name “Diamond K Farms”. In 1966, he was a part of the Fennimore Good Samaritan Society Steering Committee, which was instrumental in the building of the nursing home. Keith also held various positions within state organizations. In 1970, Keith was Chairman of the WI Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service, 1971, State Executive Director of that USDA agency, he managed the WI ASCS office in Madison, 1981, and Keith was appointed State Director Farmers Home Administration. He was also very active in the American Legion post #184; serving as County Commander from 1964-1966; District Commander from 1970-1972; Department Commander from 1973-1974. In 1979, he was elected National Vice Commander and in 1981 was appointed Chairman of the National Legislative Commission, and in 1983, Keith was elected National Commander. In 1985, Keith accepted a district director position with the ASCS agency where he held that position until Nov. of 1996 when he retired.
 
Keith is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years; Dolores of Fennimore, four children; Jeff (Lorie) Kreul of Madison, John (Karen) Kreul of Fennimore, Jim Kreul of Fennimore, Kim (Steve) Schroeder of Dodgeville, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren along with several nieces and nephews.
 
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers; infant LeRoy, Richard “Dick”, and Roger Kreul.
At the request of Keith and his family, there will be no formal memorial services held at this time. A private burial with Military honors will be held at a later date at the Prairie Cemetery in Fennimore. Memorials may be given to the Fennimore American Legion Post #184 or the charity of your choice in loving memory of Keith A. Kreul. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family.

Posted 29 December2017

Chaplain's Alert for December 29, 2017-Kreul

http://www.wilegion.org/view/image/nc_kreul.keith.jpg

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of PDC (1973-1974) and PNC (1983-1984) Keith A. Kreul.
Arrangements are pending and will be shared when they become available.

Condolences may be sent to:

Larson Family Funeral Home
C/O Kreul Family
925 10th St.
Fennimore, WI 53809

 


Posted 22 December 2017

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Single mom, son relish college ‘milestone,’ thanks to Legacy Scholarship

DeAndre Johns of Texas said he can "make a place in this world" because of The American Legion.

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Indiana Blue Star Spirit of Christmas: An ‘incredible day of giving’

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A mission of honor and remembrance by Riders in Illinois

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Tampa post honors veterans on Wreaths Across America Day

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Vietnam Marine and Purple Heart recipient Glenn Shelton laid to rest as almost 300 strangers attend his Memorial Service

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OTHER HEADLINES

 

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Legion applauds VA’s updated guidance on medical marijuana

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Iowa Legion post gets $20,000 'surprise'

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OCW helps VA patients deliver Christmas to family members

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I Am The American Legion: Josh Clement

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USAA Tips: More advice on setting financial goals for the new year

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Honor and Remembrance: Looking back at the Tet Offensive

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TALARC members help fulfill dying veteran’s last request

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EMP threat ‘as real as the sun’

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A place to land

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Posted 14 December 2017

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Bipartisan support for legislation expanding caregiver benefits

The American Legion and other VSOs call for passage of S. 2193 to expand VA’s caregiver support program and benefits for all disabled veterans.

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Learn more about the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2017

 
 
 
 

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OTHER HEADLINES

National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 16

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American Legion National Commander Rohan reflects on day of infamy

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Legion Family members nationwide deliver the holiday spirit

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RIP Clarence Beavers, last of the all-black paratrooper 'Triple Nickles'

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More from the Burn Pit

 
 
 
 

Army edges Navy, wins first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy in 21 years

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Navy misses field goal on final play, Army wins for second year in a row

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Legion testifies on pre-discharge programs for separating servicemembers

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USAA Tips: How to set financial goals for the new year

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Military health discussion at National Defense Forum

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Legion Baseball alums Morris and Trammell elected into HoF

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A salute of honor to hospice veterans

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Palm Springs ham club to host chat with Santa

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Posted 12 December 2017

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A salute of honor to hospice veterans

Legion Family members from four posts in Illinois volunteer with the Quad County Hospice No Veteran Will Die Alone program. 

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Commander’s message: OCW program helps families all year-round

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Adjutant’s message: Legion Family delivers the spirit of Christmas to children

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OTHER HEADLINES

Legion membership promotion terminated

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Painting gives recognition to the fallen during Christmas

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Help build the Legion’s database of veterans memorials

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Legislation proposed, enacted into law that affects veterans

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96-year-old World War II veteran joins the Legion

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Wyoming post launches Students 4 Veterans program

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Membership message: Engage first-year members

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Posted 28 November 2017
Your kind contributions directly benefit those who need support most.
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Help us help veterans and children on Giving Tuesday
 
Dear American Legion Family and Friends,  

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, I encourage you to consider a donation to the Commander’s Charity Fund. Perhaps there is no better day than today, Giving Tuesday, to generously give to programs that help veterans and children in need.

Throughout the year, American Legion service officers work tirelessly to help veterans understand and apply for the benefits they’ve earned through military service. Your donation to the Commander’s Charity Fund directly helps service officers and stands as an investment into the long-term needs of those who have served our country in uniform. 

Donations to the Commander’s Charity Fund also supply much-needed resources for The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance program. This special fund is for veterans and military families who are facing economic difficulties with minor children at home. While supporting these families 365 days a year is important, there is no better time than now to offer your assistance during this time of giving.  

Join me and other American Legion Family members across the nation in pledging our support -- $25, $50, $100 or whatever amount you feel is appropriate – to help our veterans and military families in need. To donate, please visit www.legion.org/donate  

Family First.

Denise H. Rohan
National Commander
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20 November 2017

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10 fallen heroes from the War on Terror come home in an artistic tribute

The mural painted by SAL member and artist Mike Sekletar and Brian Goodwin of Amherst, Ohio, was unveiled on Veterans Day before Gold Star families, Legionnaires, community.

Honor wins out over cold temps in NYC

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New naval asset named for Legionnaire Woody Williams

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OTHER HEADLINES

Virginia post restores cannon from World War I

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D.C. area program provides vehicle for veterans to put skills into context

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U.S. Department of Labor announces new HIRE Vets Medallion Program

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Beyond the common knowledge of World War I

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Boys State 'really is for everyone'

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Legion celebrates passage of commemorative coin bill

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PBS presents: "VA: The Human Cost of War"

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Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge escorted by Riders

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Double amputee veteran runs 31 marathons in 31 days

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Legacy Scholarship helps daughter of a disabled veteran follow dreams

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Support National Family Week, Nov. 19-25

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Posted 9 November 2017
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America has been blessed by its veterans
 
As mass murders, terrorist attacks and devastating natural disasters dominate recent news, it is easy to despair. But as Veterans Day approaches, we have the opportunity to focus on something positive. For it is usually veterans who protect us and come to our aid during the most desperate times.

Although the forces of Mother Nature cannot be stopped, there is a good chance that those handling the majority of rescues following a hurricane or other natural disaster are military veterans. Whether it’s a Coast Guard search and rescue team or a police officer with prior military service, they risk their own lives to save others.

Like many Americans, I was struck by a viral photograph that circulated the web following the horrific attack in Las Vegas last month. The New York Post published the picture with the not-surprising headline, “Hero who shielded woman from Vegas carnage is a U.S. soldier.”

The heartbreaking image of a brave man using his entire body to comfort and shield a wounded woman from further harm was not just a true depiction. It was a metaphor.

Our military – soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – protect, shield and comfort all of us every day. Since the founding of our American Legion, veterans have shielded us from the likes of Hitler, Imperial Japan, Marxist tyrants and terrorists.

The soldier in the Las Vegas photograph, Matthew Cobos, was off-duty. He was not wearing his uniform, yet he still offered his body to buffer bullets in a moment of peril. After pulling the woman to safety, he ran back to the danger zone to rescue others. That is what soldiers do. That is what veterans do.

A century ago, Americans were fighting a war to liberate Europe. Compared to other countries, U.S. involvement was relatively short in time. But the sacrifice was enormous. A total of 116,516 Americans paid the ultimate price. Another 200,000 were wounded. It finally ended as an armistice went into effect at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. The moment lives on as the designated date to reflect on the contributions that U.S. military veterans have made since the founding of our great Republic.

In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act, legislation which had the full support of The American Legion. The proclamation calls for the American people everywhere to observe a two-minute national moment of silence on Veterans Day, Nov. 11,  at 2:11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

I will be in New York during the moment of silence but even in the bustle of America’s busiest city my quiet thoughts will reflect on the sacrifice and service of the millions of men and women who have worn the greatest uniform the world has ever known.
 

Denise H. Rohan
National Commander
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Posted 2 November 2017
The American Legion releases medical cannabis survey results
 
A press conference is held in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., to share the results of a recent survey regarding veteran opinion of medical cannabis as a treatment option. To learn more, visit www.legion.org/mmjresearch #Vets4MMJrese
 
Link to Medical Cannabis Press Conference

Posted 13 October 2017

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National Commander Denise H. Rohan and Legion leadership meet in Indianapolis to vote on resolutions, receive donations and promote Family First! initiatives. 
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U.S. Sen. Todd Young, instrumental in passage of the legislation, praises organization for its efforts across the nation. Read more
 
     
 
 
     
 

Posted 12 October 2017
The
American
Legion
 
For God and country
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS P.O. BOX 1055 INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46206-1055
(317) 630-1253 Fax (317) 630-1368
www.legion.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Legion Reaffirms Position for ‘Strong America’
 
INDIANAPOLIS (October 11, 2017) – In response to recent headlines about a divided country, The American Legion’s board of directors unanimously passed a national resolution titled “Reaffirmation for a strong America.”
 
In a meeting today in Indianapolis, the organization’s National Executive Committee passed the statement which reaffirms the Legion’s “unwavering support for the American way of life”  under the U.S. Constitution, and “urges Americans and freedom-loving peoples everywhere to stand united in their respect” for each other, for military troops and law enforcement officials. It states that law enforcement officials “have the duty and responsibility of providing an orderly process to our way of life.”
 
“It’s time we spoke up and have our voice heard as we stand up for this country and for the principles upon which The American Legion was founded,” said Americanism Commission Chairman Rich Anderson, adding that the resolution calls for unity and respect. “It cannot be disputed that we are a nation of diverse people having diverse perspectives, but I am confident that coming together as Legionnaires and especially as proud Americans alike, that a 100 percent Americanism will persevere.”
 
A complete text of the resolution can be found on www.legion.org . With a current membership of 2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts across the nation.
 
Contact: John Raughter, (317) 630-1253, jraughter@legion.org

6 October 2017
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Legion Family members in Wharton, Texas, assess damage and thankful for support after Hurricane Harvey.  Read more | Rebuilding 40 years of memories

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Posted 4 October 2017
Veterans Angry, Disappointed following PBS' Vietnam War Documentary
 
American Vietnam War veterans and South Vietnamese Vietnam War veterans meet up to discuss the PBS documentary on the Vietnam War by American filmmaker Ken Burns on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.
                                         American Vietnam War veterans and South Vietnamese Vietnam War veterans meet up to discuss
                                         the PBS documentary on the Vietnam War by American filmmaker Ken Burns on Thursday, Sept.
                                         28, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. Mercury News | 2 Oct 2017 |
A gripping documentary on the Vietnam War -- described by many viewers as a masterful depiction of a prolonged conflict that divided the nation -- has left many American and Vietnamese veterans feeling deeply disappointed, even betrayed.
"The Vietnam War" -- a 10-part, 18-hour PBS documentary by American filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that concluded Thursday night -- depicts the history of the war through photographs, archival footage and interviews with more than 80 veterans and witnesses from all sides. The film has been hailed as a hard-hitting, raw account of the war and the players involved.
But veterans of the South Vietnamese military say they were largely left out of the narrative, their voices drowned out by the film's focus on North Vietnam and its communist leader, Ho Chi Minh. And many American veterans say that the series had several glaring omissions and focused too much on leftist anti-war protesters and soldiers who came to oppose the war.
On Thursday evening, hours before the film's final installment aired, a group of American and South Vietnamese veterans came together at a San Jose home to share memories of the war and talk about the documentary.
Sutton Vo, a former major in South Vietnam's army engineering corps, watched the series but has told friends and family not to do so. The film is "pure propaganda," he said.
"The Vietnam War included the Americans, South Vietnam and North Vietnam. But in the 18 hours, the role of South Vietnam was very small," said Vo, 80. "Any documentary should be fair and should tell the truth to the people."
After the war, Vo was sent to a communist "re-education" camp, where he was imprisoned for 13 years. At one point, he said, he was confined for three months to a pitch-black cell virtually 24 hours a day -- his feet shackled and his hands bound with rubber string -- after an escape attempt.
Despite South Vietnam's fall to the communists in 1975, he said, South Vietnamese soldiers did what they could with what little they had.
"We fought for our country with our best," Vo said. "We didn't need the Americans to do our job for us. We didn't need the American GIs to come and fight for us. We needed money, supplies and international support."
Like Vo, Cang Dong spent time in a re-education camp; he was freed in 1987. Dong, 70, president of the local chapter of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, has just started watching the series, but said he's unhappy with what he sees as the filmmakers' glorification of Ho.
"Everything is a big lie," he said. "To our people, Ho Chi Minh was a big liar and immoral."
Veteran Jim Barker, 70, of San Jose, also said he was surprised by the extent of coverage given to North Vietnamese soldiers in the film.
"What bothered me is the element of arrogance that seemed to come out in seeing themselves so superior. I had trouble with that," said Barker, who was an adviser with a South Vietnamese intelligence unit in the Central Highlands and survived the siege of Kontum in 1972. "That focus detracted attention from the people of South Vietnam and the idealism that was there."
In a recent interview with New America Media, Novick acknowledged that historically the stories of South Vietnamese were simplified in the U.S. news media, which she said portrayed the South as "inept and corrupt."
"But the film has gone a long way to tell their stories, the heroism and the stories of personal sacrifice made by those on the losing side," she said.
Asked about criticism that stories were missing from the narrative, Burns in the same interview said he and Novick had to make "huge, painful decisions."
"We cannot tell every story," Burns said. "Even if it were 180 hours, people would say, 'You left this out.' What you want to do is tell a story in which this Gold Star mother had to stand in for lots of Gold Star mothers, and this Saigon civilian has to stand in for many Saigon civilians, and this ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) marine has to stand in for many, many ARVN marines. But we feel that we put our arms around everything."
PBS did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.
Jack Wells, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, called the documentary "a masterpiece of video and footage" in which he learned a number of things, but said he identified several omissions that bothered him.
He pointed to the film's depiction of Kim Phuc, "the Napalm girl" who became a famous symbol of the war after a 1972 photograph showed her running naked on a road with other children, her back severely burned by a South Vietnamese napalm attack. The film said Phuc left Vietnam and eventually moved to Canada but didn't mention that she had requested political asylum from the Vietnamese communists, who had used her as a propaganda symbol, Wells said.
The documentary had serious biases, the 73-year-old Cupertino resident said.
"If they had an anti-war protester, they didn't seem to give the same amount of time to someone who wasn't a protester or someone who saw humanitarian treatment of the enemy," Wells said.
Barker agreed. "A lot of us have a tremendous sense of pride for what we attempted to do and defend," he said.
Beth Nguyen, an author and a graduate professor at the University of San Francisco, arrived as a baby in the U.S. from Vietnam in 1975 after her family escaped by boat. The family settled in Michigan.
"I grew up knowing about the war in the same way that most Americans grew up learning about the war, which was through movies or books," said Nguyen, 43. "Mostly every movie is done by a white man. And this documentary is sort of the same perspective."
Nguyen said she also felt the film diminished the voices of South Vietnam, which she said was "expected and disappointing."
"America was divided by the war," she said. "American pain and suffering is something I feel is important to discuss and think about, but it should not come at the expense of Vietnamese pain and suffering, which is what usually happens."
The documentary took on a different meaning for 54-year-old Andrew Lam, whose father, a former lieutenant general for the South Vietnamese army, was featured throughout the documentary.
Lam, a Fremont resident who grew up in Milpitas, was the journalist who interviewed Novick as well as Burns earlier this month for New America Media, a multimedia ethnic news agency based in San Francisco.
The film brought out emotions in his father, 86-year-old Thi Quang Lam, that he had never seen growing up, he said.
"It was very emotional, because I knew the events, but I never knew how he felt," Lam said.
A pivotal moment in the film came when his father was asked to describe how he felt when the ship he was traveling on toward the Philippines -- where he would ask for political asylum -- asked Lam and fellow vets to take down the South Vietnamese flag that had been hanging from the ship.
"I could hear the cry in his voice, which to me was a shock because my father was a general," Lam said. "We didn't talk about how we felt." ___
This article is written by Tatiana Sanchez from Mercury News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.
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Posted 28 September 2017
The American Legion: Hollywood’s Hottest Private Club
Younger veterans took control of Post 43 and lured a cool crowd with Art Deco bar and movie house—plus free parking
embers of American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, Calif.
Members of American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, Calif. Photo: Jon Endow
 
By Michael M. Phillips
Sept. 26, 2017 11:32 a.m. ET
HOLLYWOOD—Here are words not often seen together in a sentence: American Legion and cool.
The young guns who have seized control of American Legion Post 43 are trying to fuse them together in the minds of a new generation of combat veterans, rebranding their venerable Egyptian Revival building, with its underground Art Deco bar, as “the coolest private club in Hollywood.”
“We have the cheapest drinks, the nicest people, the best-looking bar,” says Post Commander Fernando Rivero, a 42-year-old TV producer who engineered a bloodless coup that overthrew Post 43’s old guard. “We have free parking, which is of tremendous value in Hollywood. There’s really no other place I want to go.”
The American Legion has an image problem. Though the group is immersed in good works, its name summons visions of crotchety vets nursing beers in linoleum-floored posts. An “old-timey funny-hat club,” in Mr. Rivero’s words.
At one California Legion convention, he was aghast the program mostly featured ads for hospices and cemeteries. He waved the booklet in frustration. “You realize your advertisers are branding you?” he said. “Welcome to the American Legion—prepare to die.”
The organization also has a demographic problem. World War II and Korea vets are indeed dying at a rapid clip, with the Vietnam generation next in line. Despite constant war since the Sept. 11 attacks, the country’s veteran population is expected to fall to 13.6 million in two decades, from 20 million today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Hollywood post, which opened in 1929, has in its new incarnation managed to prosper and attract vets for whom hip isn’t necessarily a prelude to replacement.
emorabilia in the Post 43 museum
Memorabilia in the Post 43 museum Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
“I never thought in a million years that I’d be so into this,” says Second Vice Commander Jennifer Campbell, 35, a former Army truck driver turned personal trainer. “I’m as surprised as anybody.”
Down the road from the Hollywood Bowl, Post 43 has long ties to the entertainment industry. Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan and Rudy Vallee were members. Shirley Temple was an honorary colonel, and photos of her curls stand out in the Post museum amid the machine guns, a dog-tag stamping machine and an Adolf Hitler pin cushion. (Suffice it to say he’s bent over.)
In recent decades the Post business model provided ample money for good works, from Boys State to patriotic oratory contests to projects to help veterans navigate the VA. The legionnaires rent their parking lot during events at the Hollywood Bowl. Movie and TV producers film at the Post; a young Jim Kirk lost a fight in the Art Deco bar in the 2009 movie “Star Trek.” For nine years starting in 1984, the entire clubhouse was a stage for the immersive production of the play “Tamara.”
But there was little effort to make the Post a social center for new vets.
ost 43 Second Vice Commander Jennifer Campbell in the Post museum
Post 43 Second Vice Commander Jennifer Campbell in the Post museum Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
“We appreciate the generation that came before us,” says Ms. Campbell. “But we don’t want to hang out with 80-year-old men all night.”
To join, vets previously had to show up in person when the Post was open, find their way past the locked side gate and pay the $33.50 annual fee with a check. “The only way to communicate with the office in 2011 other than phone was with a fax—it was like 1986 in there,” says Mr. Rivero, a Navy lieutenant commander who served in Afghanistan.
Membership was limited to 500, partly out of concern that, if more joined, there would neither be enough parking nor enough food at the twice-monthly free dinners.
In 2014, Mr. Rivero and seven other members—mostly post-9/11 vets—met secretly at a Burbank steak house to devise a plan to take control of Post 43 and make it more fun. They code-named the operation the 1st Reformational Congress, then changed it to more voter-friendly Future 43 movement.
They drew up a party ticket and challenged the old guard in elections for leadership positions. “We thought we’d be run out of town,” recalls Mr. Rivero, who produces trailers for “American Horror Story,” a show on FX Networks, which shares common ownership with The Wall Street Journal.
ost Commander Fernando Rivero examines a photo of members past
Post Commander Fernando Rivero examines a photo of members past Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
It turned out the old guard was no match for the high-tech electoral prowess of the young guns, who used email and text messages to round up votes. Mr. Rivero softened his own image by putting a photo of himself with his mother on a campaign flier.
The cabaret room went silent when it was announced that three Future 43 candidates had won spots on the executive committee, enough to form a ruling junta with some sympathetic old timers.
Subsequent elections secured the Future 43 party a majority of seats, with post-Sept. 11 vets now holding the posts of commander, first vice commander and second vice commander.
Their first move was to set a goal of doubling the rolls to 1,000 by 2019, parking be damned. Suddenly, the bar—a classic speakeasy—opened more than one night a week. There was karaoke, comedy and live music. Members formed a shooting club, a motorcycle club, a running club. They held barbecues on the plaza in front of the building, where passing vets could see signs of life and inquire about membership.
A Hollywood group, Veterans in Film and Television, began meeting at the Post.
eterans A.J. Perez, left, and George Cantero at the Deco bar at Post 43
Veterans A.J. Perez, left, and George Cantero at the Deco bar at Post 43 Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
In January, the new management put up a website allowing vets to join by clicking and paying dues by credit card. (Vets must email a Pentagon form showing that they served honorably during wartime.) The site shows attractive vets hiking, and posing for glamour shots in the speakeasy.
So far this year, more than 260 have signed up, compared with 19 inducted in 2011.
“At first I was referred to as the girl with purple hair,” says Danielle Baker, a 35-year-old former Army chemical-warfare specialist with purple hair. “But I’m not the only girl [at Post 43] with purple hair.”
The Post trumpets its diversity by gender, race and orientation, but still wrestles with a rules from the past. The Legion auxiliary was created for members’ wives and daughters, which means the spouses of lesbian veterans can join, but husbands of gay vets cannot.
The younger vets pushed through a $2 million project to convert the big meeting hall into a 482-seat digital movie theater where, after construction is complete next year, studios will be able to screen military-themed movies. “They’re going to go with the polished concrete floors the young people love today,” says Tim Shaner, 70, a Vietnam-era Coast Guardsman.
“It’s going to make Grauman's Chinese Theatre look like a second-rate place,” says Jimmy Weldon. Now 94, , Mr. Weldon served in Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army, helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp and, later, performed the voice of Yakky Doodle duck in the Yogi Bear cartoons, a character that still creeps into his daily conversation.
merican Legion Post 43 in Hollywood
American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
The new generation leaders try to show respect for the old ways. Mr. Weldon still wraps up the monthly business meeting with the words, “Let us close with Irving Berlin’s ‘God Bless America.’”
Still, the young guns’ offensive has met with light resistance.
Some older members worried about taking on debt to fund the theater renovation. Some feared the young vets were going to take away the free dinners at post meetings. Mr. Weldon is unhappy that not all meetings open with prayers: “This was a shock to us.”
It is, old timers admit, the way things have always worked at Post 43. “The Vietnam vets, much as we wanted to make changes, were dragged down by the WWII vets, who were dragged down by the WWI vets,” recalls Mr. Shaner. At one point, the WWII vets—who sometimes treated the Vietnam vets with you-lost-your-war scorn—refused to disclose the full membership roster to the Vietnam vets, he says.
Even supporters of the new generation find the new branding a bit jarring. “I’ve never used the word ‘cool’ in my life,” says legionnaire Les Probst, 84, who patrolled the demilitarized zone for North Korean infiltrators in 1953. “I don’t know what ‘cool’ means.”
Resistance, however, has melted away before the undisputed recruiting success of the post-9/11 legionnaires. Says Max Thayer, a 71-year-old Vietnam-era Army medic: “It has been like a blood transfusion.”

Posted 28 September 2017

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NFL kneelers collide with American patriots

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The American Legion blasts NFL for disrespect

 

INDIANAPOLIS (September 25, 2017) –  The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization characterized professional athletes and other Americans who fail to show respect for the national anthem as “misguided and ungrateful.”
American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan lamented the politicization of what used to be a display of unity at NFL games and other sporting events throughout the country.
“The American Legion is one of the original architects of the U.S. Flag Code,” said Rohan, a U.S Army veteran. “That code was produced by 69 patriotic, fraternal civic and military organizations in 1923. It included members of all political parties, big labor, industry, and minorities. The code calls on all present to stand at attention while the anthem is played. It wasn’t political when it was written and it shouldn’t be political today. Having a right to do something, does not make it the right thing to do. We salute Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who stood alone respecting the flag as his teammates stayed in their locker room. NASCAR also deserves credit for their support of our anthem. There are many ways to protest, but the national anthem should be our moment to stand together as one UNITED States of America.”
With a current membership of two million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts across the nation.
 
 
John B. Raughter
Deputy Director, Media Relations
Phone: (317) 630-1350  Fax: (317) 630-1368

 

 


Posted 25 September 2017

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Help reduce the number of veterans suicides 

Dear American Legion Family and friends,

As I sit down to write this message, I am faced with a harsh reality: Just 24 hours after you read this, we will have lost 20 more veterans to suicide.

Twenty veterans who have left spouses, mothers, fathers, children, siblings and others wondering why.

Twenty veterans who won’t be with their families and friends at holiday celebrations this year.

Twenty veterans who we won’t be able to salute and say thank you to on Veterans Day.

Every day in America, we lose 20 of our comrades to suicide. That striking figure is not new but it was confirmed in a recent report by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA report indicates that the risk of suicide was 22 percent higher for veterans than those who have not served. While the numbers are dire, we can make a difference.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day any day of the year. The number is 800-273-8255 and press 1, or you can chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or send a text to 838255.

Additionally, if you know of a veteran who is showing signs of depression or has talked about suicide, there are many ways you can help. For example, pay the veteran a visit, meet up for coffee, or invite him or her to participate in a healthy activity like walking or biking.

The American Legion has also prepared a brochure to help with identifying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and where to seek help. Download "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A guide to identification and getting help," for free here.

This week concludes National Suicide Prevention Month. But, in reality, it’s up to all fellow veterans and their families to have the backs of our comrades every single day. Please be on the lookout for any of our brothers and sisters showing possible signs of suicide and take appropriate action.

Family First.


Denise H. Rohan
National Commander

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American Legion Suicide Prevention Awareness message

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Posted 24 September 2017

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'I'm not going to let (Post 11) close'

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'I'm leaving here today feeling confident'

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Posted 6 September 2017