American Legion Post 36

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:15am

What a great start for the new year! The Auxiliary and the Sons put on a great New Year’s Day Brunch that was enjoyed by over 115 guests! It was really great to see so many volunteers come to prepare for the event. The table decorations were amazing and the food was great! Seeing so many folks from the community makes me anxious for the bi-weekly breakfasts to start.

It was also great to see the interest in the new “Veterans Emergency Trailer Shelter (V.E.T.S.)” for homeless veterans. Having Don Carrigan, Channel 6, do a story on the V.E.T.S. really got the word out. The V.E.T. S. is a project initiated by our Sons’ Commander Ed Harmon. Ed saw the need, having recently worked with a veteran who was living in his car waiting for the “system” to find him a shelter. With the assistance of our own Arthur Richardson, over the past two months, they turned a utility trailer into a very temporary shelter for homeless veterans who would otherwise be in their car, under a bridge, or in their sleeping bag along side the railroad tracks. Over the next couple of months, Ed and the Post 36 team will be working with the VA, state, and organizations who are actively involved with the homeless population in Maine, such as Preble Street, Volunteers of America, Tedford Housing, Vets Inc., Easter Seals and others to develop process for making this an asset for the those working homeless veteran issues. This first V.E.T. S. is a prototype. We are confident this is just a beginning as we know that on average there are over a dozen new homeless veterans each day in the state of Maine. So, well done Ed and Arthur!

Mark Saturday, Feb. 1 on your calendar! The Post will be conducting the Four Chaplain Ceremony for the first time in many years. On Feb. 3, 1943, the USAT ship Dorchester was torpedoed in the North Atlantic and 672 men lost their lives, including 39 Mainers and four chaplains. These four chaplains (Roman Catholic, Methodist, Dutch Reformed and Jewish), who had life jackets on, where assisting the men get off the ship. But there weren’t enough life jackets so they took theirs off and gave them to others. They were last seen, linked arms, heads in prayer as they went down with the ship. This moving ceremony is in honor of those men of God and their act of heroism. The whole community is invited.

Our next Legion meeting is Jan.13 with dinner at 5:30, meeting at 6. I have talked with many over the holidays who either are members but haven’t been to a meeting in a long time, or have expressed an interest in being part of our exciting Post, so I hope you start the new year off right and join us on Monday.