Volume XXI Issue I THE POST Jan 27th, 2021
Jr. Vice Commander’s Call
The new year is starting with some good news. We are booked for our Post picnic, Saturday, September 11th at the Live Steamers Railroad Park in Homer Glenn. I wonder who enjoys riding the trains more, the kids or the adults.
I will be going to the locations for the Poppy Drives for permission to be in front of their stores. The permission letters have or are being drafted for the store managers to sign. The COVID19 positivity rate numbers are dropping which should help us get permission. I will be monitoring the situation. Let’s hope by May life will be back close too normal.
I will also be looking for alternative locations in the event that the stores we normally depend on will not help us for our fundraiser. Should anyone have some thoughts for other locations let me know.
Bob Reger, Junior Vice Commander
Senior Vice Commander’s Call
I hope everyone was able to enjoy this past holiday season the best that their individual circumstances dictated.
The state has set our goal for membership at 155. In their metrics that is what we need to be at 100%. However, in the reality of the moment and in military parlance that is simply "a bridge too far". A better barometer is this. We have currently 137 members on the duty roster. Thanks to your dedication to duty and love of post we have 137 members paid and accounted for. I want to express my gratitude to the membership for this. Thank you to those who responded by my outreach either by e-mail, letter, phone or in some instance by all 3 to allow us to achieve this accomplishment.
I especially want to express my appreciation to legionnaire Gregory Raclaw "the caravan man and pride of Mt Carmel H.S." for his personal letter, words of encouragement and reflection, Thank you Greg. It meant a lot to me.
Our military organization is one of predominately older members. Men and women who have proudly served their country and contributed to the community. However, one of the basic facts we know is that "the sands of time stop for no one". Thus, the last year and a half we have lost our fair share of members. We cannot in all candor replace these veterans in spirit and service.
One of the sadder parts of my responsibility is moving the DD214's from the active service portfolio to the dead and deceased file. I am not embarrassed to say I always have a little tear in my eye when doing this. Some members I know better than others. Sadly, far too many have had to be removed during these past few years.
Someone asked me about the security measures concerning the DD214's. They are kept under lock and key and only 2 people, the Commander and I have access to them. That said, it is very important that your family is kept in the loop where your personal documents are kept. One of our members sadly suddenly passed. His desire was to be buried in the VA cemetery in Elwood. Without your DD214 you cannot be buried in VA consecrated ground. His wife could not find his DD214 among his personal records. Fortunately, we had his and we were able to facilitate his burial and final military salute with the funeral home and powers that be.
Lastly, Hines VA hospital is currently administering the COVID vaccine to those of us enrolled in the VA healthcare program. It is my understanding that in order to qualify you have to be 65 or older or have a significant underlying health condition. Most of us would qualify under those guidelines. The phone number to call is 708-202-7000 to see if you qualify and to schedule an appointment for your first of 2 shots. Once again, you have to be enrolled in the VA healthcare system to receive the vaccine from them.
Our own executive board member and proud Army veteran Tom Testolin recently received his first shot. To those worried about possible side effects Tom says he is doing good. The only thing he noticed is that for whatever reason he wants to listen to the Village People song "In the Navy" every day. I told him I kind of like that song myself but to keep me in the loop with any further developments. Tom is an ardent Packers fan. If he tells me he wants to wear a Bears jersey then I will know something is not right.