There will be a VA Mobile Clinic held on Thursday, August 13, from 10-4 p.m. at the Orestimba Presbyterian Church in Newman. The address is 1107 Kern St.
Post 168 won three awards in this year’s CALPA contest:
Category 6C (Websites) – 2nd Place
Category 8B (Social Media) – 3rd Place
Category 9A (Photography) – 2nd Place
View all winners at this link: http://www.calpaonline.com/contest/calpas-last-year-winners/
Please join us for any or all of the following upcoming events:
Monday, May 25
Memorial Day, Patterson Cemetery
This year, in honor of the 40 years since the Vietnam cease-fire, we will be remembering the many Vietnam veterans who we have lost over the years due to injury and illness. Please bring an umbrella or other form of shade, as none will be available.
Saturday, May 30
Apricot Fiesta parade, downtown Patterson
Meet at the corner of 9th and Las Palmas if you’re willing to walk in the parade with us (we can arrange for you to ride if desired). We will be carrying the U.S. flag, the POW/MIA flag, and our post colors.
Sunday, June 14
Flag Day ceremony and flag retirement, behind Fire Station 1
We will be assisted by the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts in retiring unserviceable U.S. and California flags.
Tuesday, June 16
City Council presentation for School Awards recipients, City Hall
Come and celebrate with student award recipients and their families from Creekside Middle School, Walnut Grove School, Apricot Valley Elementary, Grayson School, and Las Palmas Elementary.
Saturday, July 4
9 am to 1 pm
Old Fashioned Fourth of July
North Park, downtown Patterson
Join the various nonprofit organizations of Patterson as we gather to present old-fashioned games and activities to the community.
The results of the May 11 election are in.
Commander – Keith Hussar
First Vice Commander – Mike Anderson
Appointed officers are:
Adjutant – Amy Hussar
Finance Officer – Eric Lohmann
We still have an opening for Second Vice Commander (programs – this is an elected office) and the following appointed offices: chaplain, historian, judge advocate, sergeant-at-arms, and service officer. We also need chairpersons for Boys State and our annual Christmas dinner.
If you are interested in serving the veterans of Patterson – there are currently over 1,000 – please let us know.
We’d like to thank outgoing Commander Amy Hussar for her two years as Commander of our post, and we wish her well in her new position as District 12 Commander.
We are pleased to report that our current membership rate stands at about 75% of our goal of 70 for the year. That may not seem very good, but please note this: our goal for many years was between 50-55 per year.
In member year 2013, we had a big jump in membership to around 70 members, but in that same year, several passed away. Rather than follow its tradition of using the prior year’s goal plus one, our Department decided to use the higher number.
We are fortunate that we’ve had several members transfer in from Post 1000 in recent months, but they do not count on our rolls until member year 2016.
The meaning of membership
With that being said, what does being a member of the American Legion mean to you?
For posts that have a physical location, veterans have a place to go, where they can have their meetings and help with ongoing events and activities like social nights and monthly breakfasts and/or dinners.
Our post does not have a building, so we have to be creative in our efforts. We host annual ceremonies for Memorial Day, Patriot Day (9/11), and Veterans Day at the downtown park. We sponsor a boy for Boys State every spring. These are things we’ve done for years. We are starting to branch out and do new things as well, like School Awards, Environmental Youth Leadership Camp, VA Mobile Medical Clinics for local veterans, and care packages for deployed troops, to name a few. We’d like to have more social functions, besides our annual Christmas dinner in December, but it takes an interested population to be able to put these on.
Perhaps the most important part of Legion membership, I believe, is that portion of our dues which goes to support lobbying efforts at our state and national levels. It was the American Legion that fought for and won additional compensation for World War I veterans in 1924, strongly advocated for the creation of the Veterans’ Bureau (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) in 1930, and campaigned for the passage of the GI Bill of Rights, which was signed in June 1944. There have been many other efforts over the years that I can’t name off the top of my head.
As a younger veteran who is disabled from military service, I worry about the erosion of benefits that may occur over time if I don’t have someone fighting on my behalf. This is what I tell anyone contemplating membership, as well as anyone else who wants to know more about what we do and why.
We need to go into this with the understanding that membership is not about meetings; in fact, meeting attendance is not a condition of membership. We need to understand that there may be personality conflicts, as we have members of all eras who experienced very different situations that affect them in very different ways. What we have to remember is that for the common good, we have to put all that aside. We are losing veterans every day at an alarming rate, particularly among the Vietnam generation. The more people we lose, the weaker our collective voice becomes.
In the end, it’s up to individual veterans to determine if the goals of the American Legion match with theirs. And remember this, especially for the men and women who served outside of our periods of eligibility: the American Legion serves all veterans. You are still a comrade, no matter when you served, and you are welcome at all of our events.
As of September 11, we are 57.14% of the way towards meeting our 2015 membership goal! Thank you to everyone who has sent their dues in already.
Did you know that you can renew online? All you need is a credit or debit card and your member number. Enter your information in this online form at the national Legion web site, and you will be all set for this year. You can even set your account up for automatic renewal every year. Of course, checks and cash are still good if you’re local. Whatever method you choose, you should receive your 2015 membership card shortly thereafter.
You can also register for mylegion.org, the members-only portal.
-Posted by Amy Hussar
Upcoming events for our post are as follows:
May 27-29: School Awards presentations for Apricot Valley (5th grade), Grayson Charter (5th grade), Walnut Grove (8th grade), Creekside Middle (8th grade), and Las Palmas (5th grade)
May 31: Apricot Fiesta parade, 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Las Palmas and 9th Street – please wear black and white if you have it
June 1: Meet the Candidates forum, 6 p.m. at the Hammon Senior Center
June 3: School Awards presentation to City Council, 7 p.m. at City Hall
June 11: Kickoff BBQ, Installation, and Continuous Membership Ceremony, 6 p.m. at Father Connors Hall
June 19-22: Annual convention, Santa Clara
We are pleased to announce a new joint fundraiser with the Patterson FFA.
Place your order by May 14 for delivery on Memorial Day!
September 11 – Patriot Day ceremony, 8:30 a.m., Veterans (South) Park
September 11 – Regular meeting, 7 p.m., Father Connors Hall
September 19 – Social night, 6-9 p.m., Father Connors Hall
September 20 – POW/MIA Remembrance, 11 a.m., Veterans (South) Park