MEMBERSHIP

One of the main principles of the American Legion is to imagesfulfill the needs of veterans and their families. We strive to do this at both the Post and National levels. The individual Post programs provide aid to local vets and families while the National Organization actively lobbies with Congress to maintain funding for veterans’ benefits.

All these programs are not cheap and are funded through membership dues. That is why, even though our 2014 membership is 2,400,000, we must strive for new members. There are thousands of eligible younger veterans out there we don’t seem to be reaching. It’s your we are striving to preserve not just our own. We can’t fight this battle for you, we need your help to make our voices heard.

Visit local Posts and get to know the people, see what programs are available, then decide on which one to join and how you can help. We are constantly seeking new ideas, your ideas for activities to get new people involved in the Post. Let us know what you would like to see. We can only learn something new if someone shows it to us, and the only bad ideas are the ones you haven’t told us.

You are our future and without a future we will no longer exist. Help us help you, consider joining now. Stop by our Post, the post of your choice, or sign up at the National Post now.

A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. We received it by email from several different people.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.
Continue reading

BLOOD and GUTS

George Smith Patton Jr. was born in San Gabriel, California on

Patton at VMI

Patton at VMI

November 11, 1885. Although his father, a graduate of VMI, pursued a career in law rather than the military his families military background goes back to the American Revolutionary War.

As a child he was a devoted horseback rider and became an avid reader. He paid particular attention to the exploits of Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Scipio Africanus as well as family friend John Singleton Mosby.

Patton never considered a career other than the military and in 1902 wrote a letter to Sen. Bard for a recommendation to the United States Military Academy. Afraid he would do poorly on the entrance exam, he decided to apply to universities with Reserve Officer’s Training Corps programs. He attended Virginia Military Institute from 1903 to 1904. He excelled in uniform appearance inspection and military drill. In 1904 he passed the entrance exam and Sen. Bard recommended him for West Point.

He fit right into the routine and continued to show exceptional

West Point Fencing

West Point Fencing

prowess in military drill. His academic skills were not as well honed however and he had to repeat his first year. He would overcome this and become cadet sergeant major his junior year and cadet adjutant his senior year. He was also a member of the fencing and track and field teams. He graduated ranking 46 of 103 and was commissioned second lieutenant in the cavalry on June 11, 1909. Continue reading

“THE BATTLE of the BULGE” 70th ANNIVERSARY

The 16th of December will mark the 70th anniversary of “The Battle of the Bulge”. This look back is dedicated to the veterans still alive who fought in the battle and those who have passed on, including my father who served in an artillery unit in Patton’s 3rd Army. We salute you all and thank you for your service.

The “Battle of the Bulge” was coined by the press to refer to the Allied

6TH armored Division in Belgium

6TH armored Division in Belgium

line bulged inward on wartime maps. It was also known as “Operation Watch on the Rhine”, “Battle of the Ardennes”, and the “Ardennes Counteroffensive”.

Since it was felt that Germany’s defensive stature to this point only offered a delay to defeat, it was decided to mount an offensive attack. Two plans were presented to Hitler. The first considered the retaking of Antwerp as too ambitious and did not involve the crossing of the Meuse River. The second involved a blitzkrieg attack through the Ardennes Mountains. This was the plan Hitler decided to use, despite the objection of many German generals. He felt the Americans weren’t capable of fighting effectively and the home front would collapse on hearing of such a decisive loss. Continue reading

“A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY”

After the invasion of French Indochina by Japanese Imperial Forces in 1940 the United States halted all shipments to Japan of airplane parts, machine tools, and aviation gas in hopes of curbing any further advancement in Indochina. With this having no effect on the Japanese intentions of advancement, in 1941 president Roosevelt issued an embargo of oil shipment to Japan and moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in hopes of discouraging further incursions. Instead the Japanese considered it a severe provocation.

220px-PearlHarborCarrierChart

Course taken by Japanese Task Force

At 6:00 AM Wednesday November 26, 1941 Hittokapu Bay was a bustle as a Japanese task force of six aircraft carriers set sail to rendezvous with their escort of destroyers, cruisers, tankers, and submarines. Under the leadership of Admiral Yamamoto, their destination was a point north of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Their purpose, if they remained undetected and a peace pact with the United States hadn’t been reached, attack Pearl Harbor and cripple the Pacific Fleet. Continue reading