Department of France 0914 newsletter

Department of France
My Fellow Legionaries
It was my sad duty to report
to you that we had two
Department members Report
to PEL. Comrade's Phillip
Gatchell, a charter member
GR03,Reported to PEL on 13
Gorley Stokes (1994-1995)
reported to PEL on 18 August 2014.
Comrade Gatchell was laid to rest with Military Honors
in Heidelberger, Germany on the 27th of August 2014
On the 12 of August 2014 Myself, along with VCAL
Brown, VC Logan, VC Aman, and Madam President
Settle, attended the Memorial Ceremony conducted for
Comrade Richard Miller conducted at the GR1982 Post
Home. The Ceremony was conducted by a Military
Chaplin, and paid honors and respect to Comrade
Commander Richard Miller. After the Memorial GR1982
conducted their General Membership Meeting. it was a
good meeting, and very well conducted, it was very
obvious that the post as a very good working
relationship with the Military Community.
If you have any questions on membership do not
hesitate to contact the Membership Chairman Comrade
Brown, at [email protected] He can
answer your questions and resolve any problems you
are having, with membership.
During the Department Convention I again mentioned
involving the SAL and Auxiliary, in our events. My goal
is to continue to make this Department a total Legion
Family orientated Department. However we must do this
together through communications. If you have an
Auxiliary Unit and or a SAL Squadron at your location
communicate with them and get them involved in your
Post activities. If you want to or have the capabilities to
start an Auxiliary Unit at your post, please contact the
Auxiliary President at [email protected] In the
case of SAL, you can contact the SAL Commander at
[email protected] . Both will be more than happy to
assist you in your questions.
The Department of France will conduct a Veterans Day
Memorial Service at the Lorrain Cemetery Chapel, in
saint Avold France on 11 November 2014 at 11:00
In closing, I hope all of you had a safe and wonderful
summer vacation. Please keep those in harm's way and
their families, in your thoughts and prayers also.
On the 23 of August 2014 the SAL Detachment of
France conducted its first ever fishing event in the
Heilbronn area. Thanks to the hard work of Detachment
Commander Logan and 1 Vice Brown the event was a
huge success, which included a fish fry at JWP 79's Post
stress membership enough. It is the bloodline of our
organization. It enables us to perform our missions to
the Veterans and their Families, and supports not only
National Programs but ours also. While you are out
there recruiting, new members do not forget your
current members, get them to renew in a timely manner.
James M. Settle
Department Commander
Phone: 07138-67359
E-Mail: [email protected]
The Department Web Page is:
The department has a Face Book page at the following Please visit and like
this page. Thanks
Department Officers - 2015 Membership Year
James M. Settle GR42
[email protected]
Maxwell Rice GR79
[email protected]
John Miller GR1982
[email protected]
Liam Kane IR63
[email protected]
Joe D. Brown GR79
GR03 GR07 GR13 GR30 GR42
& New Post Development
[email protected]
Stephen Ward GR01
GR20 PO01 FR05
SP292 IR63
[email protected]
Quincy Foster GR05
GR01 GR02 GR14
FR01 IT01
[email protected]
Jerry Aman GR09
GR06 GR1982 CH01 GC01
IR02 BE02 IR03
[email protected]
Casby Logan GR07
GR05 GR09 GR45
GR79 DK01 NL01
[email protected]
Ronald Moore GR05
[email protected]
Michael Keating IR02
[email protected]
Gary Miller GR06
[email protected]
George Hall GR03
[email protected]
George W. Seeburger GR14
[email protected]
Hal Rittenberg GR09
[email protected]
Hello fellow Legionnaires,
can do this, but my fellow
Legionnaires we need your help
and support. Remember this is
our department, let’s move it ahead together, and have
fun in doing so. We are a family of Legionnaires with
a common goal, to keep the American spirit and
tradition alive, we can this and do it well, with your
added support.
Convention in Charlotte North Carolina. The Post will
be on the way to the top because they have good
leaders in Commander Jennifer Mefferd and First Vice
Commander Melanie Deumeland.
GR 03 Membership is on a good start, but we need
more legion members from GR03 to step up and help
Commander George Hall with the post finances and
day to day activities. Department Commander Settle
and Finance Officer Gary Miller will do all we can to
keep it going.
I attended Phil Gatchell’s funeral.
I visited GR01-GR02-GR03-GR06-GR13-GR 79 and
GR 1982 Membership meetings. I helped GR 01 with
their membership drive, I recruited 4 new members,
one for GR01 and three for GR02. I visited with the
Second Vice Commander Mike Young from GR01 and
the First Vice Commander William Beaver, we talked
about membership for GR01. They stated they will
make a 100% this year, thanks to the strong staff the
post has, at the last meeting there were 18 members.
The charter for GR02 will be presented to the National
Executive Committee for approval at our 96 National
I visited GR06 membership meeting, there was a nice
turn out. Sean Setter is new membership chairman.
Post 6 sponsored their 9th annual golf tournament on 9
August 2014. They solicited donations from many
professional sports teams ( NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA
etc.) and received many donated items, Signed
footballs, signed pictures, sign caps. This is one of the
major fund raisers that help Post 6 support their
programs throughout the year. The post rose over
$2100.00 to support Post 6.
Post 6 also sponsored the first annual Breast Cancer
Awareness Softball tournament. The post raised
$1000.00 for a donation For the Sara Long Harte
Memorial Scholarship fund. Sara lost her 18 month
battle with breast cancer just before she was to start her
9th year of teaching. The scholarship is given to
students that want to continue the journey (teaching
degree) that Sara had begun before she was taken from
I visited GR 13 meeting, the post has new members
supporting the post now and will be losing a long time
member (26 years) and a Past Post Commander,
Robert Burdette, who will be moving back to the USA.
That will be a big loss, I wished him the best in his new
GR 14 - I talked to the Commander Joe James, the post
is doing alright and the Post Adjutant is doing better.
Back in Germany is Carl Hackworth and Claudious
Jackson is doing better with his leg .
GR 09 - Jerry Aman the post ok and moving on.
GR 30 - I talk to Commander James Dennis and his
father in-law is doing better. The membership is going
to pay online this year.
GR 42 - The adjutant David is ok but move slowly and
the commander Charles Vaughan was in the hospital
and back home and recuperating.
I visited
GR 1982 membership meeting. Past
Commander Dick Miller was a good Comrade, he will
be missed by all who knew him. The membership is
doing well, like always keep up the good work.
GR79 - This month was good for GR 79, we picked up
4 new members. We helped sponsor a SAL Fishing trip
and a Fish Fry at the post home. We had a nice turn out,
the fishermen snagged the following, Sal Commander
Logan for 9 fish, past Sal Commander Joshua Settle for
6 fish and the Department Commander James Settle for
3 fish. The VCAL Charlie Brown caught 8 fish and
members James MacAndrew’s and David Craig each
nabbed one fish.
SEPTEMBER 13, GR 79 will be hosting a 911-2001
Remembrance Ceremony at the Post Home and on 27
September there will be a Legion Riders Bike fest at
the post home. GR 79 was the first Post to make 100%
Membership for 2015.
In closing I wish to remind all that September 11th is
upon us, I do hope each post has planned something in
remembrance of this tragic day in American history. I
would remind all of us to say a prayer for all our
service members and their families deployed into
harm’s way, that the good lord protects them and
brings them home safely.
Charlie Brown
OCTOBER 8, 2014
NOVEMBER 14, 2014
DECEMBER 10, 2014
JANUARY 21, 2015
FEBRUARY 11, 2015
MARCH 11, 2015
APRIL 8, 2015
MAY 13, 2015
MAY 14, 2014
NOVEMBER 5, 2014
JANUARY 1, 2015
FEBRUARY 25, 2015
APRIL 15, 2015
JULY 3, 2014
OCTOBER 2, 2014
DECEMBER 2, 2014
JANUARY 22, 2015
MARCH 13, 2015
APRIL 30, 2015
Transmittals received after a cutoff date will not prevent a subsequent note from being delivered at or around the renewal date.
Greetings, Commanders &
As the Department of France
Vice Commander, I have been
assigned the following Posts:
John F. Kennedy Post IR63
site: Eifel Post GR20, Riveria Post FR-05, Madrid Post SP-292, and
Portugal (Nunv Alvares Pereira) Post PO-01. Doug
Haggan (FODPAL Secretary) is asking the Department
and Posts to submit pictures and small articles to the
FODPAL website:
Members FODPAL site listed at Quick Links. FODPAL
(Foreign and Outlying Departments and Posts of The
American Legion) is asking for special programs &
events and Facebook sites. The Department of France
Newsletters is posted on the FODPAL website. Click
Newsletters. Also, listed in the FODPAL Newsletter
site is Post IR63 Spring Newsletter 2014 (check-out
there events. November 11, 2014, Flowers and
Memorial Service at the grave of John O’Sullivan
Carstown County, Louth. November 27, 2014,
Thanksgiving Dinner and Annual General Membership
Meeting. If you like a copy of the Spring Post
Newsletter 2014 from Post IR-63, Dublin, Ireland,
please contact [email protected] Post IR-63 has
many activities in the coming months, if you like to
In the FODPAL site, posted is the Ireland’s National
Day of Commemoration to honor all Irishmen and
Irishwomen who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving not
only Ireland but in the uniforms of other Nations and
the United Nations. The John F. Kennedy Post IR-63
American Legion members in Ireland joined with the
Irish Defense Forces Veterans in solidarity for Justice
for Privates Smallborne and Barnett murdered while
on UN duty in Lebanon.
Irish Veterans Charter #1 plans to dedicate (October 4,
2104) to the memory of U.S. SEAL Lt. Michael P.
Murphy, Medal of Honor, Afghanistan, 2005. His
parents from the States plans to bring the MOH at the
dedication ceremony. A special evening dinner
(October 4, 2014) at the White House Hotel town of
Kinsale (West Cork). Commander Ron Howko
(Commodore John Barry Post IR-03) is a guest speaker
at the event. For more information of the event,
contact Declan Hughes
I’m looking forward to meet the Detachment
Commander for the U.S. Embassy Lisbon, Portugal (26
September 14). The Marine Detachment at the U.S.
Embassy Lisbon, Portugal dedicated the Heritage
Room at the American Embassy to Lance CPL. Joaquim
Vaz Rebelo served in the Marine Corps and went
above and beyond the call of duty.
Recently, a dear friend and Comrade answered the call
to Post Everlasting (Phillip Gatchell). His dedication as
a Charter member of Heidelberg Post Rhein Neckar
Post GR03 was evident. He maintained the best Post
records and Post Website. He always offered sound
advice. I’ll miss his conversations on Skype but he will
always be remembered.
I stress the importance of membership in the Posts,
Department, and the National Organization.
Membership is our Voice on Capitol Hill. Please send
your Post transmittal to the Department Membership
Chairman. I encourage the Posts to transmit each
month to the Department Membership Chairman (Joe
Dan Brown). Join the Paid Up For Life Program instead
of paying Annual dues each Month and receiving
renewal notices from National. If you have interest in
the Paid Up For Life Program, please contact me at
[email protected]
Commanders & Fellow Legionnaires, many thanks for
what you do for your Posts and the communities you
serve.Friday, September 19, 2014 is POW/MIA
Recognition Day. We as many Americans take the time
to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW)
and those who are missing in action (MIA) as well as
their families. God Bless them and God Bless America.
The Landstuhl Opthomology Clinic and the Landstuhl Optometry Clinic have opened up their doors for us. We need to
respond to this welcome. The Ophthalmology Clinic still has open appointments for cataract screenings on Friday 5
SEP and now the Optometry Clinic is hosting a diabetic exam day too! On Wednesday 10 SEP. Let us say “We
appreciate you back” by filling up these appointments (of course only if you need them)
Stephen A. Ward received the VFW National Recruiter of the Year from
the VFW National Commander in Chief at the VFW National Convention
(St. Louis).
Uncle Sam Day…September 13
Uncle Sam Day celebrates a symbol of America. Uncle Sam is certainly one of
America's most recognized symbols. Uncle Sam appears on everything from
military posters to cartoon images to advertising media. He is perhaps, the most
recognizable symbol in the world.
Did you Know? There are other human symbols
representing our country. None anywhere near as
popular as Uncle Sam. They include Brother
Jonathan, who largely disappeared after the arrival
of Uncle Sam, and Columbia, a female.
Origin of Uncle Sam Day:
There are two theories as to how Uncle Sam
emerged. Both date back to the early 1800's.
The officially recognized theory dates back to
soldiers stationed near Troy, New York during the
war of 1812. Barrels of meat they received were
stamped "U.S." The supplier was Samuel Wilson
of Troy, New York. Solders jokingly referred to
him as "Uncle Sam". In 1813, the first image of
"Uncle Sam" appeared. In 1961, the U.S. Congress
issued a resolution recognizing "Uncle Sam"
Wilson, and authorizing a monument in his
hometown in Troy, NY.
There is a second, less popular theory of the
creation of Uncle Sam. During the early 1800's,
Irish immigrants were coming to America. Some
believed that Uncle Sam emerged from these
immigrants. In their Gaelic language, the United
Stares of America was "Stáit Aontaithe
Mheiriceá", abbreviated "SAM".
Uncle Sam Day became official in 1989, when a
joint resolution of Congress designated September
13 "Uncle Sam Day". This date was selected, as
"Uncle Sam" Wilson was born on September 13,
Past National Commander Jake Comer swears Mike Helm in as new American Legion national commander.
Department of Nebraska Legionnaire Mike Helm wants
his fellow Legionnaires to “stay the course” this year.
But don’t think for a minute that means maintain the
status quo.
Helm, elected American Legion national commander
Aug. 28 during the final day of the 96th Annual
American Legion National Convention, said during his
acceptance speech that he wants Legionnaires to stay
true to the ideals of the organization’s founders and use
them as a guide toward future progress.
Helm, a U.S. Army Rangers veteran and member of
Jack Helt Post 313 in Lebanon, Neb., has served as
post, county, district, department and national vice
commander, and has chaired the National Veterans
Affairs & Rehabilitation and Foreign Relations
He will use his VA&R experience this year to focus on
current issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“That is the plan for this year: stay the course,” Helm
said. “And no, I do not mean that we shouldn’t raise
the bar and constantly seek to improve. What I mean
by ‘stay the course’ is to continue to live and honor the
great traditions and values established by our founders
nearly a century ago. These policies and traditions that
got us here will continue to guide us forward.
“Under the leadership of our (immediate Past National
Commander Dan Dellinger), we have drawn the line in
the sand,” Helm said. “We say now that the health-care
needs of the individual veteran must be met in a timely
manner. We say that the VA can do a better job in the
claims and appeals process. At the same time, we will
continue to seek out answers to what went wrong at the
VA and why it went wrong." Those people involved in
the scandals have to be held accountable, Helm said.
We are a God and country organization, and we will
not apologize for that. We know that a veteran is a
citizen of this country who has offered his or her life to
honor this nation’s commitment to justice freedom and
democracy, and by that action has had his or her life
radically and sometimes violently changed forever. We
will not let this nation forget that we owe that
individual respect and any help they need in making
their lives whole again.”
“We know that what happened wasn’t an accident or a
circumstance. There is an entrenchment in VA that is
not helpful to veterans’ health care or compensation.
We will find it and get rid of it. At the same time, we
will continue to support the VA as a national provider
of veterans’ health care. We need our VA medical
facilities because we know it can be and is the best care
anywhere if administrated properly. "Those calling for
the end of the VA and privatization of veterans health
care are wrong. We continue to see The American
Legion as partners and friends of the VA. We know
they can and will do better."
membership,” Helm said. "Practice those four Rs.
Recruit every eligible veteran that you come in contact.
Recruit their sons, grandsons, wives, daughters and
granddaughters into the American Legion family.
National security also is on Helm’s radar. “We cannot
continue to see the mounting crises erupting in the
world and still think it is a prudent thing to reduce our
military force and training,” he said. “Those forces of
evil and hate are enemies of our way of life. This
nation must be ready to answer that challenge.
“You don’t need to be near a military base to reconnect
with servicemembers. Reserve and Guard units have
deployed in record numbers since 9/11, and most are
eligible for American Legion membership.
“We will also continue our efforts to end illegal
immigration. It is a national security issue of great
importance. Fair and legal immigration is a good thing
that has helped build this country into a great nation.
We must continue that process. Anything else is a
constant danger – especially amnesty proposals which
seek to reward illegal behavior and penalize those who
have waited patiently to immigrate the legal way.”
Helm said the Legion will continue to support its youth
and Americanism programs, saying those programs
“make up the fabric that keeps us strong as a nation.”
And rather than focusing on a specific fundraising
program, Helm has set a goal for the Legion family to
raise a combined $4 million for the various Legion
charitable programs.
“I am leaving the choice of fundraising to you,” he
said. “All I ask is that you give. America is paying
attention to The American Legion not just because we
are right on the issues, but because we are doing these
great things in our communities.”
Many of those charities benefit not only members of
the military and veterans, but also their families –
which matters, Helm said. “Most veterans believe that
the nicest thing you can do for them is to be kind to
their families,” he said. “The most common request of
a soldier who is dying on the battlefield is ‘tell my wife
I love her.’ Nothing will be appreciated by a veteran
more than taking care of his or her family. And that’s
exactly what these programs are intended to do.”
When it comes to membership growth, Helm said he
wants Legionnaires to focus on the four Rs: recruiting,
revitalization, renewals and reconnecting.
“We will always be about service first, but folks, we
can’t provide the programs or the service without the
“Renewal efforts shouldn’t just include those who left
your post in the past year, but check back on those who
might have left five or even 10 years ago. They might
have had a change of heart or simply forgot to renew
because nobody was pro-active enough to take an
interest in them. And National Headquarters also offers
plenty of resources available for posts that wish to
revitalize. Think of it as a 5-Hour ENERGY Shot for a
tired post."
Helm took time to honor Jerry Hedrick, the longtime
National Executive Committeeman from North
Carolina who passed away unexpectedly Aug. 25
during the convention. “Jerry Hedrick … was a
presence in this organization for so many years that he
has touched the lives of us all in a very good way,”
Helm said. “Jerry was always positive. I don’t believe I
ever heard Jerry say a harsh word about anyone. He
would look at an issue and give you an honest course
of action that he thought was best for you and best for
the organization.”
Helm was surrounded by many members of his family
on the stage – and by two others from more than 6,800
miles away. Helm’s son Aaron and his wife, Robie –
both currently stationed at U.S. Army Camp Arifjan in
Kuwait – were able to watch Helm be sworn in via
Elected as national vice commanders were Doug
Haggan, Department of France; Paul O. Sanford,
Department of Kansas; Richard W. Neville,
Department of North Carolina; William R. Bryant,
Department of Virginia; and Gerald L. Jacobs, of
Also appointed were National Historian Sue Mason,
Department of California, National Sergeant-at-Arms
Leon Hagan, Department of Nebraska; National
Chaplain Randy Cash, Department of South Carolina.
Department of France Delegates at National Convention 2014
 Comrade Shepard III from GR79 is in the Hospital in Stuttgart.
He had heart surgery Last week and
now is in intensive care with pneumonia. Once more Information is available it will be sent out.
It is my sad duty to inform you that my friend and sidekick Past Department
Commander and Past Department Adjutant Gorley “Shipmate” Stokes transfered to
the Post Everlasting. I have a lot of great memories of Gorley, as Department
Adjutant he was a tremendous help to me the two years I was Department
Commander and the two years I was NECman. I can still remember the look he use
to give me when my speeches were getting to long winded, o that look. In closing
could everyone please keep his wife Linda in your thoughts. I will miss you
Shipmate. Doug Haggan-FODPAL Secretary-Past Department of France Commander
It is my sad duty to report to you that Comrade Phillip F. Gatchell, a Charter Member of
Rhein Neckar Post GR03 reported to PEL on 13 August 2014 at 1800 hours. Please
keep the Gatchell family in your thoughts and prayers during this trying time in their
lives. Rest in Peace Comrade Gatchell.
I am now set up at my home for VA, DAFS, SSA, ACG, CA.
The address is AmKirchwald 3, 69251 Gaiberg
Phone H 06223 5475
Phone M 0176 7227 6350
Email [email protected]
Who is illegible to join the Department of France Past Commanders Club?
PAST AND PRESENT Department Commanders, Department Vice Commanders At Large, Department Vice
Commanders, Post Commanders, SAL Detachment Commanders, SAL Squadron Commanders, Auxiliary
Department Presidents, Auxiliary Unit Presidents…so if you were just voted into office you are illegible to join
Initial dues for the Past Commanders Club is only $25.00 which will entitle the new member to a Past
Commanders Club cap (YES, the caps are here), Past Commanders Club pin and membership card
Renewal dues for the Past Commanders Club is only $10.00
Our next meeting will be held at the Second DEC
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE… David Greaux, PCC President “1999”
I doubt anyone will ever forget where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001, when they heard of the attacks on the twin World
Trade Towers in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington. This horrible and tragic day is etched forever in our memories.
Like the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought us into World War II, the 911 attacks led us into a new war... the war on terrorism. It also
touched and changed forever, the lives of each and every American.
On the anniversary of 911, we encourage you to spend a few minutes reflecting upon this event, and praying for the victims who died, and
their families and friends.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen Islamic al-Qaeda militants hijacked four planes. The hijackings occurred from
Boston, Newark and Washington airports. The planes selected were long distance flights, which would have more fuel in the tanks.
One plane each hit the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York city. The planes and engulfing firestorm,
ultimately brought down both towers.
A number of other buildings were also damaged or destroyed. Most notably was the Marriott hotel, which was also destroyed.
A third plane hit the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
The fourth hijacked plane ultimately crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA. Passengers on the plane learned of the fate of the other
planes, and unsuccessfully attempted to take back control of the plane from the suicidal the hijackers. Everyone aboard died.
In total, thousands were killed.
There are few programs within The American
Legion Family where all parts of the family can
participate together. The Riders’ goal is to bring
safe motorcycling principles to a family sport and
ensure that there is additional support for the
Post and its community.
The only requirement is that you or your spouse
owns a motorcycle or trike, and it is registered,
insured and the operator is properly endorsed to
operate the vehicle. Members of the Legion,
Auxiliary and Sons can be members of an
American Legion Riders Chapter, either with a
chapter sponsored by their own Post or with a
chapter at another Post. The Post ALR Chapter
sets the minimum motor size for the motorcycle
or trike.
For some reason, I get a lot more attention and
show of interest when I’m wearing my Rider vest
and explaining about The American Legion Family.
The Department of France only recognizes ALR
Chapters sponsored by Posts. To my knowledge,
there are chapters being sponsored by GR07,
GR01, BE02 and GR05. There are other Chapters
being formed and I will introduce them in next
month’s newsletter.
Rhein-Main Post GR05 told me that they decided
to become a Legion Family Post and will be
establishing an Auxiliary Unit and Sons of The
American Legion Squadron as part of their Post
Revitalization Program. Their planned GR05 ALR
Chapter is already up and running.
If I can be of any assistance in setting up an
American Legion Rider Chapter in your Post or
you, as a member of the Legion, Auxiliary or Sons,
are interested in affiliating with a Rider Chapter,
please contact me.
Keep the dirty side down and ride with God.
Ron “Gypsy” Moore, AL Rider Director
Department of France
Cell: +49 (0)172-741-7812
Email: [email protected]
The American Legion Post BE02 conducted the first official Adoption ceremony on Saturday, 16 August for their
adopt-a-grave program at the Flanders Field American Cemetery. Over 400 adopters, family members and friends
participated in the ceremony on Saturday. The US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Denise Bauer, attended
the ceremony and participated in the program by giving a speech and presenting the Mayor of Waregem his Certificate
of Adoption. Post BE02 also had help from some members of the Venturing Crew 511 - Charlemagne District located
here in Belgium. Two members of the crew made the program very special in that they read the names of every
Soldier, the unit and their day of death. This had never been accomplished before. We also had help from members of
Paris Post #1 and the Paris chapter of the VFW.
This program is special is several ways. The most important is that we are again remembering the sacrifice made by
young Americans during WWI for the liberation of a small country. The second is that we are forming bonds between
Americans and Belgians. Many of the adopters have already reached out to the families and communities where these
Soldiers originated. Newspaper articles have already been written in New Jersey and Ohio. One of the adopters is in
contact with a Post that is named after one of the Soldiers at the cemetery. Our hope is to have many of the families
(next of Kin) come to the annual Memorial Day ceremonies and meet their adopters of their family members.
Golf Tournament 2014
Post Adjutant GR42 David Greaux (L) traveled thousands of miles to
present post member Edward Zackery with his 2015 Legion
membership card…
While visiting Canada this past month Adjutant Greaux drove down to
Medina, Ohio to visit with Comrade Zackery and his family who left
Germany some seventeen years ago. Comrade Zackery is a 22 year
member of the post and was very active with the post while he was in
Germany. A great time was spent reminiscing about fun times. Still
serving America Comrade Zackery works at the Medina County
Veterans Service Office as the Director/Service Officer.
POW/MIA Recognition Day… third Friday in September
POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of remembrance and hope for the speedy and safe
return of American Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action. It also seeks the
return of the remains of fallen soldiers.
The first official commemoration of POW/MIAs was July 18, 1979. It was the result of resolutions passed in
Congress. The first national ceremony was held on this date. Over the next several years, it was held in
varying dates of the year. Finally, in 1986, The National League of Families proposed the third Friday in
September as a day to recognize and remember POW/MIAs. This date was selected, as it is not associated
with any wars. Each year, the president of the United States issues a proclamation on this day.
Did you know? Federal law requires the POW/MIA flag to be flown on the following days:
Armed Forces Day, May 16
Memorial Day, May 25
Flag Day, June 14
Independence Day, July 4
POW/MIA Day, 3rd Friday of September
Veterans Day, Nov. 11
You will also notice the POW/MIA flag flown at all US Post office buildings, Veterans Administration,
military memorial facilities, and many U.S. government buildings.
Please take a few moments today, to remember our missing soldiers, and those held as prisoners of war.
Attend a ceremony in your area. Say a prayer for POWs and MIAs. Also, write to your senators and
congressman to urge continued and increased effort towards bringing every service man and woman home.
You are cordially invited to the September General
Membership Meeting (GMM) of the American Legion (JWP
79) which will began Saturday, September 13, 2014
beginning at 1100 hours at the Post Home at
Klostergartenlaube Klosterstrasse 1, 74348 Lauffen am
Neckar. At approximately 1145 we will close the meeting
and have a short service in remembrance of September 11,
2001 (911). After services we invite all present to join with
us inside for dinner from the menu. A menu is also attached
to this correspondence but it is a couple months old. It’s
another chance for us to stand together for the good of all
mankind and enjoy the comradeship as we socialize with our
community, veterans, families, and friends of the American
Thanks to all the active duty, reservists, veterans, retirees,
families and friends as well as our Host Nation Citizens that
continue to offer and provide their support. We look forward
to seeing you.
Please feel free to contact me in order to discuss, request, or
clarify information concerning this correspondence by email
at [email protected] or by telephone at
Charlie Brown
Commander JWP 79
Week ending 8/15/14
1. Iraq: Nouri al-Maliki Finally Steps Down
After eight years in power, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki announced late Thursday that he would resign and endorse
Haider al-Abadi (Reuters), the longtime political ally chosen by al-Maliki's own political bloc to succeed him and form the
country's next government.
The White House commended the move, saying it marked "encouraging developments" that Washington hoped could set
Iraq on "a new path."
The resignation follows weeks of international and domestic pressure on al-Maliki, who has been accused of exacerbating
the country's sectarian divisions and facilitating the arrival of the Sunni Islamist insurgency engulfing the country.
2. Ukraine: Ukraine Says It Destroyed Part of Armed Vehicles From Russia
Ukraine on Friday said its troops attacked and partially destroyed an armed convoy that had crossed the border from
Russian territory.
Ukrainian government troops engaged the vehicles that had arrived overnight through a rebel-held section of the border,
Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the country’s military, told reporters in Kiev today. Ukrainian soldiers continue to come
under shelling, including rounds fired from Russia, he said.
The government in Kiev has for months said that separatist rebels in its easternmost regions are receiving support from
Russia, which backs them with artillery fire. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Ukrainian unrest.
3. Asia-Pacific: Asia Pivot on Track According to Pentagon
The Defense Department’s spokesman on Thursday said military leaders remain committed to carrying out President
Obama’s pivot to Asia, despite ongoing unrest in other parts of the world.
“I mean, more than 350,000 American troops are based somewhere in the Pacific, 200 ships, the majority of the Navy is in
the Pacific. And we have five of our seven treaty alliances are in the Pacific region. We're very committed to that region,”
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.
Kirby also pointed out that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel just returned from his sixth trip to the region and plans to
make four visits this year. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work will travel to the region next week, Kirby added.
The pivot, or rebalance, of U.S. military forces away from Europe and the Middle East toward the Pacific has been a major
strategic goal for the Obama administration. The move is widely viewed as a means to counter China’s rapidly expanding
military and a belligerent North Korea.
However, U.S. military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and Russia’s aggressive behavior toward
Ukraine have overshadowed the effort.
But, Kirby warned, if sequestration “remains the law of the land, it's going to be harder and harder" for the U.S. to live up
to its security obligations.
3. Border Security:
More than 600 convicted criminals, including felons, were among thousands of illegal immigrants freed under the Obama
administration in advance of 2013 budget cuts mandated under sequestration.
That’s according to a new report this week from the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the IG’s report, at least two-dozen “aliens” were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement even
though they were in a “mandatory detention category.” (After an internal review, ICE later redetained them.)
The report provides a scathing portrayal of budget mismanagement and flawed processes at the highest levels inside the
nation’s immigration enforcement agency.
The report can be found here:
4. POW/MIA Update
1st Lts. William D. Bernier and Bryant E. Poulsen, U.S. Army Air Forces, 321st Bombardment Squadron, 90th
Bombardment Group, 5th Army Air Forces, was lost April 10, 1944, in Papua New Guinea. They were accounted for July
18, 2014, and July 16, 2014, respectively. They will be buried with full military honors.
Master Sgt. Lawrence O. Jock, Battery A, 955th Field Artillery, 8th U.S. Army, was lost July 14, 1953, in North Korea.
He was accounted for June 25, 2014. He was buried with full military honors Aug. 1, 2014, in Malone, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Gerald V. Atkinson, U.S. Army Air Forces, 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force, was
lost April 10, 1945, north of Berlin. He was accounted for June 20, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors Aug.
16, 2014, in Chattahoochee, Fla.
National commander joins ceremony that will provide emergency funds for veterans trying to get medical appointments.
WASHINGTON (Aug. 7, 2014) – American Legion
National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger was at Fort
Belvoir, Va., today where President Obama signed a
$16.3 billion emergency spending measure that
provides greater veteran access to non-VA health-care
providers, among other reforms in the system.
“Today, another step is taken in the journey to
restore trust in VA among our nation’s veterans,”
Dellinger said after the bill was signed this morning.
“We all understand it’s going to be a long
journey. Those veterans who have been waiting a
month or longer for medical appointments do not have
time to wait for the entire journey to end. They need to
see doctors and caregivers now, and that’s what this
funding is expected to provide, on a temporary basis.
The long-term solution is not to voucher out VA health
The reform package, which provides additional
VA medical staff and allows VA greater authority to
dismiss directors who fail to meet expectations, was
introduced after VA whistleblowers came forward last
spring to announce that they had allegedly been
directed to falsify appointment records leaving some
veterans on secret lists with no appointments scheduled
at all.
Since then, The American Legion has
conducted seven town hall meetings and has provided
support by conducting Veterans Crisis Command
Centers in seven communities, with more scheduled in
the coming months.
So far, the American Legion command centers
have personally helped more than 2,000 veterans gain
access to the VA system, apply for benefits and receive
other forms of help.
100 years on, buried WWI shells pose threat in French fields
Verdun the fields and woods around Verdun, site of
one of the most devastating and protracted battles
of World War One, may now appear tranquil. But
remnants of the war - unexploded ordnance - still
pose a threat 100 years on.
mushroom-picking, I see a hundred shells," Dabit
told Reuters.
The 10-month Battle of Verdun ranks among the
bloodiest encounters in the Great War, its
unrelenting hailstorm of ammunition killing
hundreds of thousands French and German soldiers
from February to December 1916.
"It is a bit scary sometimes because when you are in
the middle of the field you don't feel like touching
it," Doyen said. "It's better not to leave them in the
middle so I try to move them to the side."
French and German Presidents Francois Hollande
and Joachim Gauck both attended commemoration
ceremonies in Alsace and Liege on Sunday and
Monday to mark the war's start and pledge FrancoGerman solidarity.
But in this area of northeastern France, and across
the border into Belgium, the fallout from the
fighting still lingers.
Farmers and hikers around Verdun say they
regularly find discarded artillery shells and
grenades, vestiges of the war that are still
potentially lethal.
Crosses are seen at the cemetery outside the WWI
Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, northeastern
France, …
Farmer Alain Doyen says that after tilling the earth
in his fields, he often finds old German shells.
The bomb clearance unit from the nearby city of
Metz has its hands full responding to the numerous
calls from residents and collects some 40 tonnes of
ammunition each year.
Craters from shelling during WWI are seen in the
village of Bezonvaux, near Verdun, northeastern
Fra …
Every day a two-person team patrols the Verdun
sector looking for shells, some 1 million of which
were fired by the Germans in one of the first salvos
of the conflict alone.
That heavy shelling works out to an average of six
shells that fell on each square meter of earth in the
area during the battle.
"I can't tell you how many I find sometimes," said
Roland Dabit, a resident of the nearby hamlet of
"If you have a million shells falling - besides all
those that fell after - the turnover of the soil
inevitably buried a large number of those that didn't
explode," said Guy Momper, one of the 10 specialists
in the unit.
"Even in the forest. How many are there in the
forest? How many? Believe me, when we go
The construction of new houses regularly reveals
large quantities of shells during excavation, a delay
often taken into consideration when building a new
house in the sector.
that the bomb clearance unit be notified and the
dangerous work be carried out by professionals.
"Today we need more space, we build new houses,
and what happens? We stir up the earth. When you
stir up the earth, you keep the legacy of this war
which are the shells, the grenades and the mortars,"
Momper said.
Precise figures on the number of deaths due to
exploded shells are hard to come by, but two
experts from the Metz unit were killed in 2007 after
a shell they were transporting detonated.
"So in this sense, the war is not over," he added.
"And I think, in the area where we are now, it will
continue for 100 or 200 years."
Although reckless inhabitants sometimes try to
destroy the ammunition themselves - one local man
used improvised means last month to explode a
155mm shell in the forest - Momper recommends
Momper said that given the number of munitions
that remain in the area and are yet to be discovered,
"it's almost impossible that nothing will happen."
"Someone said once, 'the bomb does its own thing'.
In normal conditions if it's in a certain position, you
can carry it around taking a number of precautions,"
he said. "You might be able to carry a million of
them but the next one might explode."
More than 270 motorcycles travel from Indianapolis to Charlotte, N.C., on American Legion Legacy Run
CHARLOTTE (Aug. 21, 2014) -- More than 270
motorcycles and their 56 passengers rolled into the
Charlotte, N.C., area this afternoon, bringing with
them $420,000 for the children of fallen U.S.
“This says, ‘We have your back,’ whether our
servicemembers are living or dead,” said
American Legion National Commander Daniel M.
Dellinger, who rode on a motorcycle the entire
length of the Legacy Run. “It’s our charge to take
care of their children. It’s what we need to do.”
The American Legion Legacy Run, sponsored by
USAA, left Indianapolis, Aug. 17, and crossed
eight states, traveling more than 1,300 miles
before ending up at Legion Post 155 in Kings
Mountain, N.C. American Legion Riders
participating in the ride raised money for The
American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which
provides college scholarships for the children of
U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or
after Sept. 11, 2001.
The Legacy Run traveled through Ohio, Kentucky,
West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia and South
Carolina before finishing up near Charlotte. Along
the way, the participants battled heavy rains the
first two days before sunshine and rising
temperatures that hit 100 degrees this afternoon.
More donations to the fund are expected during
The American Legion’s 96th National Convention
in Charlotte next week. Eight previous Legacy
Runs have raised more than $4 million for the
“I am amazed by the dedication and commitment
these men and women have,” Dellinger said. “To
take the time out of their lives to raise money for
the Legacy Fund, it’s awesome. I have so much
respect for The American Legion Riders.”
Obama to Legion: VA making progress, but work remains
Addressing the 96th Annual National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the president
pledges to “do right” by veterans, their families.
CHARLOTTE (Aug. 26, 2014) -- Speaking to thousands of
veterans attending The American Legion’s 96th Annual
National Convention, President Barack Obama said progress
has been made in correcting issues that became a scandal
that has rocked the Department of Veterans Affairs since late
servicemembers and veterans. The president gave a brief
overview of some of the initiatives, which include expanding
suicide prevention training, improving access to care, and
making it easier for servicemembers being treated for mental
health conditions to continue their care as they transition to
the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But the president told a packed hall in the Charlotte, N.C.,
Convention Center that much more work remains to restore
veterans’ trust in their health-care system.
“We all know we need to do more,” Obama said. “Veterans
called for it; we heard you. We’re going to keep saying loud
and clear to anyone out there who’s hurting: it’s not a sign of
weakness to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength.”
“The misconduct we've seen at too many facilities – with
long wait times, veterans denied care, and folks cooking the
books – is outrageous and inexcusable,” Obama said. “As
soon as it was disclosed, I got before the American people,
and I said we would not tolerate it. And we will not. And I
know the Legion has been on the frontlines, fanning out
across the country, helping veterans who've been affected.
“But what I want you to know, directly from me, is that
we're focused on this at the highest levels. We are going to
get to the bottom of these problems. We're going to fix what
is wrong. We're going to do right by you, and we are going
to do right by your families, and that is a solemn pledge and
commitment that I’m making to you here.”
Obama said that steps have been taken to make sure that
those manipulating or falsifying records are held
accountable, as well as to get veterans off wait lists and into
clinics to receive health care. “And to help get that done, you
supported, and Congress passed, and I signed into law the
Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which
means more resources to help the VA hire more doctors and
nurses and staff,” he said. “It means if you live more than 40
miles from a VA facility, or your VA doctors can't see you
fast enough, we'll help you go to a doctor outside the VA.”
Along with that, Obama said, is a new culture of
accountability within VA. “If you engage in unethical
practices, or cover up a serious problem, you should be and
will be fired,” he said. “And by the way: If you blow the
whistle on higher-ups because you’ve identified a legitimate
problem, you shouldn't be punished. You should be
But, Obama said, despite the positive quality of VA health
care and the progress the health-care system has made, “We
are very clear-eyed about the problems that are still there.
And those problems require us to regain the trust of our
veterans, and live up to our vision of a VA that is more
effective and more efficient, and that truly puts veterans first.
And I will not be satisfied until that happens.”
Earlier in the day, the White House announced 19 new
executive actions to improve mental health care for
Obama said VA will continue to work toward reduce its
benefits claims backlog, but “we need to make sure (claims)
get processed right,” he said. Eliminating veterans
homelessness remains a priority for the president, as does
making sure military personnel and veterans have an
opportunity to purchase a home. He said a new partnership
with some of America’s biggest banks and financial
institutions “will simplify the process, proactively notify
servicemembers who qualify for lower rates and make it
easier to enroll
Touching on national security issues, the president also
pledged that although he has authorized targeted air strikes
against ISIS, that will be the extent of the U.S. military role
in Iraq. “Let me say it again: American combat troops will
not be returning to fight in Iraq,” he said. “I will not allow
the United States to be dragged back into another ground war
in Iraq. Because ultimately, it is up to the Iraqis to bridge
their differences and secure themselves. The limited strikes
we're conducting have been necessary to protect our people
and have helped Iraqi forces begin to push back these
terrorists. We’ve also been able to rescue thousands of men
and women and children who were trapped on a mountain.
And our airdrops of food and water and medicine show
American leadership at our best.
“And more broadly, the crisis in Iraq underscores how we
have to meet today's evolving terrorist threat. The answer is
not to send in large-scale military deployments that
overstretch our military, and lead for us occupying countries
for a long period of time, and end up feeding extremism.
Rather, our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader
strategy to protect our people and support our partners to
take the fight to ISIL.”
Obama also said that as U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the
Afghan government needs to take responsibility for
transitioning into the next step in the nation’s path. “Afghan
leaders need to make the hard compromises that are
necessary to give the Afghan people a future of security and
progress,” he said. “As we go forward, we'll continue to
partner with Afghans so their country can never again be
used to launch attacks against the United States.”
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