American Legion Open House Saturday

BERLIN — With Berlin officially recognizing the efforts of two local American Legion Posts, Boggs-Disharoon Post 123 and Duncan-Showell Post 231, the agencies are gearing up for a big open house event this Saturday, from 3-6 p.m.

Organizers hope the event will rekindle a faded spark of interest in the legion, especially in younger veterans.

Currently, Post 123 has about 270 members, most of which are inactive, according to Commander Vince Holloway. However, Holloway explained few members are veterans of more recent wars and admitted that, at 63, he is probably one of the youngest. The average age of a member, he added, is “60 and above.”

“Our ultimate goal is new members,” said member Ray Smith.

To qualify for acceptance in the American Legion, one must serve actively in the military during years that are considered wartime. The most recent qualification period stretches from 1990 to today, and encompasses the United States’ ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Smith confirmed that the legion is especially interested in attracting veterans from this period. However, he stressed his organization is happy to induct anyone who qualifies, no matter of age.

The open house will include a brief history of the legion, which will play on a loop in the background during the event. Smith encourages prospective members to watch the video to learn about what exactly the legion is and what it represents in the community. However, he stressed there will be no arm twisting during the event and guests only need to be as involved as they would like. Current members and veterans representatives will also be on hand to answer specific questions from individuals.

“Whatever it is, it will be one on one,” said Smith.

Holloway agreed, but expressed a hope that guests will at least develop a general sense of how the legion operates during their visit.

“We want to make people aware we’re not just a place to get a cold drink,” he said.

Holloway pointed out the community service aspects of the legion, and its commitment to veterans and their families. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams acknowledged that service this week when he presented plaques of recognition to Holloway and Post 231 former Commander Kenny Morris.

“We are grateful for your service to our nation and your ongoing commitment to Berlin,” said Williams. “We sincerely trust that your recruitment day will ensure your continued success and service for generations to come.”

One comment on “American Legion Open House Saturday

  1. I don’t need 11-11-11 to remind me that America will always be number one in my heart…the land and the people that I love. Problem is, America used to work. The people had work. The system worked. Hey, EVEN the Congress used to work…(sometimes). God knows, it was far, far, far from perfect – but at least we all had some share in the struggles AND the rewards. But somewhere along the way, we lost our way. And now we seem to have an economy and a political system that works only for the rich. What they call “trickle down economics”… just leaves most of us out in the cold cold rain. We need to get back to what America was, and what it should be, and what it can be. Occupy Wall Street is no longer just a place called Zuccotti Park – Zuccotti Park is everywhere. You can try to pen us in, you can beat us and arrest us, you can mace and tear-gas us , and you can try to “permit” us to death….but you can’t kill an idea. You can’t keep down a people’s hopes and dreams for a better life…..a life with dignity and freedom….for us… for our kids. More power to Occupy Wall Street, as it spreads to every town and city – because OWS is us, and for us, and by us. It comes up from the grassroots, and it lifts us up in turn. With OWS America has found it’s voice, and that voice demands fairness and justice. This land IS our land! AND WE WANT IT BACK! We want our lives back! We want our future back! So why not take some time, find a quiet place somewhere, and consider this: Each of us has only one brief life…one chance…and many choices. It’s time to choose…and to act. If not now…then when? If not you, then… who? You DO have the power my friend….and the choice is yours.

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