NEWSLETTER April – June 2019

COMMANDERS CORNER

Congratulations, we made it through winter and I hope spring is coming and  we can start doing summer activities.  We have several important events approaching and your participation will be appreciated.  First, the color guard will start doing more outdoor events and hopefully fewer wake services.  The Memorial Day ceremonies will include our annual participation at the St. Josephs Park Mass in the morning then the Crest Hill Memorial Day program in the afternoon.  We will also plan on doing the Willow Falls program in the afternoon.  We are always looking for new volunteers for the color guard and these events would be a great way to start your color guard experience.  If you are interested in being in the color guard, the Post provides the summer uniform shirt, braids and ascot plus our Legion cap in your size.  All you have to do is ask to join.

With summer coming, the Post is in need of volunteers who have green thumbs to help with the upkeep of the exterior of our beautiful Post.  We have two riding mowers and the tools needed to keep the post looking great.  Please help this year as you are needed.

The May meeting is extremely  important because we nominate our next year officers at this meeting.  All positions are open to you and you are asked to put your name on the ballot for the position you desire.  you can bring your ideas and leadership to continue the success of your Post.  You should anticipate all positions to be open for this years elections.  All positions except Trustee are one year positions.

The Officer positions fall into two categories.  First is the appointed positions which are the Post Service Officer and the Post Adjutant.  The Service Officer should plan on working with veterans to help them with their needs and work to keep the Post up to date with what is happening at the VA and other veterans service organizations to affect our member veterans.  The Post Adjutant directs the paper direction within the Post.  The Adjutant will handle new, renewal  and transfers to assure the members are correctly processed within the Legion.  Should you choose one of these positions, you will receive complete training so you can relax, do your job and enjoy the experience.  Both positions are fulfilling and interesting positions.

Next, we have the elected Officer positions and they include:  Commander, Sr. Vice Commander, Finance Officer, Post Historian, Post Chaplain, Post Sergeant-At-Arms and finally our Trustees.  Following you will find the brief job description of each position.

Commander:  Duties include presiding over all meetings, wakes and other post activities.  The Commander is active in outside civic activities that require post involvement.  The Commander is the Chief Executive Officer of the Post and will supervise over all post business activities.

Sr. Vice Commander:  Will assume the responsibilities of the Commander while the Commander is unable or unavailable.  The Sr. Vice will assist the Commander where needed in running the Post.  The main responsibility of the Sr. Vice is membership.  The Sr. Vice is in charge of helping maintain the members we have now and strive to get new members and transfers into the Post.

Jr. Vice Commander:  This important position also assists the Commander in Post operations.  The main responsibility of this position is to plan and direct entertainment activities at the Post and, if necessary, off site.

Finance Officer:  Duties include being in charge of all financial activities of the Post.  This includes taxes, insurance, payrolls, etc.  He/she will provide a written monthly report to the members at the General meetings.  He/she will make recommendations on the use of and raising of funds for the post.  This is an extremely interesting position as this Officer gets involved in all financial activities that affect the Post.

Post Historian:  Duties include photographing Post events and recording events of the Post.  He/she shall also perform other duties that pertain to this office as directed by the Post.

Post Chaplain:  The Post chaplain is charged with the spiritual welfare of members by providing divine, but nonsectarian service and dedications, funerals and post meetings.  He/she will follow ceremonial guides as recommended by the National or Department American Legion.  He/she is the chairman of the sick member committee.

Sergeant-At-Arms:  Duties include security and preserve at all meetings and perform other duties as assigned to him/her by the Post Executive Board.

Trustee:  Duties include conducting inventories as required and maintain internal control of the Post operations.  This is a three year position unlike the others which are one year positions.

Please let your Post Officers or Georganne, our office manager, know if you have interest in being an officer.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE AS YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

May God Bless America and our Post

Gary Stieg, Commander

POPPY DAYS:

Our annual Poppy Drive will soon be here and this year’s program will be an enlarged version of last year.  Stores and street corners have been selected as collection sites but if you have a site you want to add, please let us know so we can get the authorization form signed for you.  Your continued help is again needed and a sign-up sheet and collection site information will be on the bulletin board in our lounge.  The sign-up sheet will be posted on May 1st.  Our collection dates are Friday, May 24th and Saturday, May 25th mornings and early afternoon.  If you wish to collect at other hours, please let us know so we can make arrangements.  One, two or MANY hours of collection will be appreciated.  As in the past years, donuts and coffee in the mornings and sandwiches for lunch will be provided.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL MONEY GOES TO NEEDY VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.  Thank you and we hope you have a fun and successful year selling this years Poppies.

Your Poppy Committee

SCHOLARSHIP UPDATES:

The AMERICAN LEGION ORATORICAL CONTEST successfully completed it’s 82nd annual contest on March 1 and 2 in Springfield, IL.  This contest requires the contestants to speak on some aspect of the U.S. constitution and the speeches are excellent and interesting.  You can volunteer to help with future contests and enjoy these wonderful speakers.  Post 1080 is fortunate to be able to sponsor another great speaker.  His name is  Caleb Maue and he finished 1st in the District contest, 3rd in the Division contest and 1st in the Department contest.  Caleb will now represent the State of Illinois  at the National Contest April 5-7 in Indianapolis where he can win scholarships up to $18,000 for 1st place.  Combined with the $2,000 plus money at the District and Division levels, Caleb has the opportunity to win over $20,000 to use at the University or school of his choice.  Students in any year of High School are eligible to compete in the Oratorical Contest (speech contest).  UPDATE!  Caleb placed second in Nationals!! Congrats Caleb!!!!

Next scholarship opportunity is Premier Boys State and Illini Girls State.  These are each week long programs being held at Eastern Illinois University.  To be eligible, students must have completed their Junior year in High School.  The participants are required to form the 51st state and will form the government by campaigning and running for offices and actually forming all levels of community and state governments.  Two students from each program will go on to compete at the National level running for National offices.  They will also have a sit down with our President.  Scholarships are available up to $10,000.  If you know someone you think will enjoy this experience, please let the Post know so we can provide sponsorship.

Let’s help our your people enjoy the programs and win scholarships for college and trade schools.

Gary Stieg, Post Program Coordinator

SR. VICE COMMANDER

We all want the American Legion to grow and remain strong in leadership and membership.  Our National Commander can point to the two million members and talk to the President and members of Congress about what the members want and have the strength of membership behind him.  Membership is power.  The regular monthly meeting is the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. and we discuss Legion news, committee reports, finances and donation requests.  After the meeting the winner of the 50/50 is announced and each person gets two tickets for free drinks.  It is a great way to meet friends and talk about your favorite military memories.  The post is currently at 95.5 percent and we have 28 member to go to reach 100%.  My thanks go out to all the members who have renewed and to those that are joining or rejoining us this year.

Spring is finally here and it would be a great time to visit the post and enjoy the great meals served at the post with daily specials.  Post 1080 is designed to be family friendly and purse friendly with lower cost meals and drinks served.

Tony Arellano, Sr. Vice Commander

JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER

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SERVICE OFFICER

Your chaplain and I have been busy visiting with members who have asked to have a visit because they are no longer able to get out much.  We do not forget any of our members.  I also have worked with several members who want to file a claim for a service-connected disability.  Congress is on the verge of passing an act that would include the Blue Water Navy veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam.  Even though they did not set foot on land, they were exposed to agent orange, a cancer causing chemical used to defoliate the jungles.  This is long overdue and your letters and the input of the National Commander is making this possible.

Tony Arellano, Service Officer

  CHAPLAIN

Recently, I returned from Kentucky where I visited the Noah’s Ark Encounter and also the Creation Museum. On the way back, we stopped at the Passion Shrine in St. John, Indiana. I would recommend all 3 as places to visit. The first two really emphasize the importance of the first eleven chapters of Genesis in the Bible. People of faith have not defended properly (in my opinion) these chapters which discuss the beginnings of earth and mankind. Evolution and atheism are, I believe, religions also which our nation has traded in for God and the Biblical view of creation. While there are mountains of evidence supporting the Biblical chain of events in creation, such evidence has not been presented as it should be and our nation appears to me to be turning away from God and the Bible. Of course, this is probably just exactly what you’d expect your chaplain to say. But let me give you just one scenario. In South Dakota there is a mountain called Mt. Rushmore. On it are carved out the faces of 4 of our most famous presidents. Suppose I were to tell you that after millions of years of weathering, rain, wind, ice, cracking rocks, etc., that just by accident these faces appeared on the side of this mountain. Would you believe me? Now suppose I were to tell you that only 70 or 80 years ago, intelligent life climbed up there with a few sticks of dynamite and a hammer and chisel and carved it out. Which scenario would you be most likely inclined to believe? Well, there you are! And that’s just one example of how far fetched evolution can be. Millions of years have been added to creation to mathematically give evolution even a possibility to have happened that way. Additionally, you should know that Darwin taught that the black race was closest to monkey and that the white race was the most evolved. Needless to say, Darwin was a white guy. The Bible has always taught that there is only one race, the human race, which is now backed up by DNA science. If creation was just an accident, then God doesn’t have a plan for our lives, there is no standard for mortality and we have no real purpose in life. Jeremiah 29.11 and 10.23 assure us that God has a plan for us and the ten commandments (Deut. Ch 5 and Exodus ch 20) provide us with a solid standard for mortality. And yes, we have a purpose in life; to serve Him and glorify His kingdom. The Bible is under a great deal of attack but it’s not the first time in history. Nor will it be the last. Currently in at least 51 countries around the world it is illegal to own or even possess a Bible and in some countries the penalty for possession is death. Thanks to our veterans we still have some religious freedoms in our country which we must cherish. And yes, that includes the freedom not to believe the Bible. But let’s not give up these freedoms so easily.

Chaplain Marvin “Buck” Balsley

AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS

Wishing all a warm and sunny Spring.  After one of the coldest winters in recent memories, I started thinking about the men and women who serve in some of the worst conditions imaginable.  God only knows what our way of life would be like without our brave military protecting our country.  Thank you Veterans and active military personnel.

The American Legion Riders are holding our annual beef with freezer raffle this spring.  All proceeds go back into our community to help the veterans who need a little assistance.

As always, may God Bless the men and women who serve and have served.

American Legion Riders

S.A.L.

In January, we lost 2 of our members:  Gary Lawhun & William (Hawk) Pauls.  Keep them in your prayers.

This summer, the S.A.L. will be having a couple cook-outs.

June 23rd  –  Beef Brisket Sandwiches    July 21st  –  Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Come out and support a good cause!

Our pig roast will be Sept. 22nd.  More details to follow.

Ray Ebner  –  Chaplain/1st Vice

AUXILIARY PRESIDENT

Things have been somewhat quiet with the auxiliary since the beginning of the year but we did do one project last month that was really special!!!  We made 10 buddy baskets for 10 struggling veterans who had been homeless and now in their own apartments.  Buddy Baskets are either a plastic tote or a clothes basket that all the essentials.  It has laundry soap, bath towels, wash clothes, body soap, dish soap, dish clothes, dish towels, 2 place settings of dishes and utensils, cooking utensils, pots and pans, foil, sandwich bags, paper products, etc…anything you can think of when you start housekeeping.  The receiver is always so grateful to receive them and we have been told we think of everything.  We also supplied VAC with McDonald gift cards so they can share with veterans coming through their program so they may get a hot meal.

March 29th is National Vietnam War Veterans Day and some auxiliary members will be going to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery for their wreath laying ceremony and will be passing out Vietnam Veteran hats showing our appreciation for their service.  April is going to be a busy month as April 6th, Mary Stacel and helpers will be passing out potica and strudels to all those who supported our spring sale.  Later that afternoon, Post 1080 will be hosting our annual pie & ice cream social at Manteno.  This is always a highlight for not only the veterans but all of us who go.  Everyone is welcome!  If you plan on attending, please be at Veterans Hall by 1:45 to start bringing the veterans down to the hall.  We will be serving Baker Square Pie, ice cream and juice and entertainment.  April 13, 1 to 3 p.m. is our Kids Easter Party and not only will we have the Easter Bunny, but Mrs. Bunny too.  Don’t forget to sign up.  If it is for a child under two, please give the age in months as the ones under two get a special basket.  Easter week we plan on going to visit the veterans at Rosewood, Sunny Hill, Rock Run and Villa Franciscan and give them an Easter card with $5.00.  We also hope to visit the veterans and families at Hope Manor/Joliet.

I am really proud of the auxiliary and all we do for our veterans and the community that we live.

In the past you may have seen the branch link bracelet at the post and many of you may be wearing one as you read this.  Something new this year is the same concept but poppies are alternated between the military branches logo.  The auxiliary will be selling these for $5.00 for an auxiliary fundraiser and you can see me for more information.  I think you will really like them.

Through the “Healing Vets” program they have donated to the auxiliary craft kits such as models, woodwork, leather work and painting kits with various levels of skill.  These are for veterans who are rehabbing after a stroke, fall, surgery, lengthy illness or to alleviate boredom for mental health.  If anyone knows a veteran who may be interested or could benefit from this, please let the office know.

Thank you to everyone who donates items.  Everything is greatly appreciated and all items go where you specify (VAC, Operation Care Package, Manteno, Hope Manor).  One request was made by Manteno and that they will only take new puzzles that have never been opened.  They said nothing more frustrating and disappointing as when they put a puzzle together and a few pieces are missing.  Please also make sure coupons aren’t expired.

We will be having a guest night on Thursday, May 2nd starting with a light dinner at 6 p.m.  We will have the State, 2nd Division and 11th District Presidents at this meeting.  We will also have poppy arrangements, favors and decorations on display that our members made.  Many of us only think poppies on Memorial Day Weekend but they should be visible all year round.  All are invited to come have fun.

May is National Military Appreciation month.  It honors the current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  I will be challenging my auxiliary members to see how many they can thank the month of May.  (Visit the vets in nursing homes, write a letter to Honor Flight Veteran, bake cookies, shake their hand and say “Thank You!!)

In closing, I wish you all a Happy Spring and thank you to all those who support the auxiliary.

Sue Bustin, Auxiliary President


AUXILIARY MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN

It has been a brutally cold winter, but hopefully Spring will come early.

Thank you to all the Auxiliary members who have paid their 2018-2019 dues.  We still have many members who owe for this year’s dues.

There are still members who have not paid their 2017-2018 membership dues.  After 2 years of not paying your dues you will no longer remain on the membership roster.  Please send in your payment of $25.00 so we can keep you with our American Legion Family.  You can pay your dues at American Legion Post 1080 or mail your dues to me at:  16244 Tomahawk Lake, Crest Hill, IL 60403.  If you have any questions regarding payment of your dues, please call me.  My phone # is 815-556-8676.

Have a wonderful Easter and thank you for all you do to support our Veterans and Active Military families.

God Bless all of you and the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.

Terry Stieg, Membership Chairman

AUXILIARY CHAPLAIN

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UPCOMING EVENTS

April 13  –  Children’s Easter Party 1 to 3

April 19  –  Half Baked Potatoes  8 p.m.

First Thursday of Every month starting May 2nd  –  Cruise Night

May 3  –  In The Pocket  8 p.m.

May 17  –  Half Baked Potatoes  8 p .m.

May 24 & May 25  –  POPPY DAYS