The American Legion will observe its 93rd anniversary, March 15-17, and Legionnaires of Jackson and Swain counties will celebrate that milestone at the regular 7 pm monthly meeting of William E. Dillard Post 104, Sylva, on Monday, March 12.
The local observance will join those held at over 16,000 American Legion posts, located across the United States and the free world, whose members are proud to be “Veterans Still Serving America.”
Founded March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, at the close of World War I, the federally-chartered non-profit, non-partisan organization now includes men and women veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Lebanon/Grenada periods, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Desert Storm, Iraq, and the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The nation’s largest veterans service organization, The American Legion led the drive at the end of World War II that resulted in the creation of the GI Bill of Rights, used since that time by millions of veterans to get college educations, technical training, and assistance in becoming home owners. It also fought for passage of legislation that created a Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and for passage of the Veterans Reassurance Act, designed to correct inequities in veterans claims procedures. The American Legion continues to be a strong advocate and friend for all veterans, their dependents, and their fellow citizens, sponsoring an array of programs. (For details, visit http://www.legion.org/ .)
Post Commander Roy Burnette extends an invitation to all wartime veterans in Jackson and Swain counties to join Post 104, stating that “Our Post members, men and women from all service branches, are glad to be part of The American Legion, supporting its efforts on major issues facing America's veterans. Of particular concern is the well-being of armed forces personnel serving in the current conflicts, and of their families.”
“At the same time, we are an organization deeply rooted in the fundamentals of service to the community. Post 104 is proud to continue sponsoring outstanding rising high school seniors to attend Tarheel Boys State for a week each summer to learn the fundamentals of responsible citizenship. (Post 104’s Ladies Auxiliary provides a similar opportunity, for young women to attend Tarheel Girls State.) We support youth athletics programs, and also regularly provide free honor guards for funerals of area veterans, as well as color guards for civic functions such as parades, and for Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs and celebrations."
American Legion Post 104 meets at 7 pm on the second Monday of each month at the Dillsboro Masonic Lodge in Sylva. Military veterans in Jackson and Swain County interested in joining Post 104 are invited to attend the March 12 meeting or to contact Membership Chair Clyde Bumgarner at (828) 586-6676.