Green River Star -

By Jennie Melvin
URA and Main Street 

Notes from Town Square: The American Legion in GR

 


Have you ever wondered exactly who are the American Legion and what do they do?

I spoke to Tom Niemiec, Adjutant of the American Legion Tom Whitmore Post 28 in Green River to get some insight.

Tom told me that the American Legion has always been around in Green River, but in 2014 they revitalized a building at 38 North Center Street in downtown Green River. Their goal was to re-energize their presence and impact in the community. They were able to remodel the building using money raised by donations, raffles and other activities. They also received a grant from Home Depot for building materials and the work was done by volunteers.

The American Legion Tom Whitmore Post 28 currently has 207 members. These Legionnaires are veterans that have served during wartime. Currently, anyone that has served or is still serving in the armed forces since the 9-11 incident is eligible to become a Legionnaire. There is also an Auxiliary membership which is made up of female descendants of members, and the Sons of the American Legion membership, which is made up of the male descendants of Legionnaires. The American Legion Riders is another group made up of members from all three organizations.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness.

The Heroes to Hometowns program connects local Legionnaires with recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing a variety of support activities. The Legion raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families and to provide college scholarship opportunities.

Locally, the American Legion sponsors a Town Welfare Fund, available to assist veterans and their families in times of need. The Sons of the American Legion are the biggest fundraisers for this cause. If children are involved, there is also support available from the National American Legion organization. They have also adopted a local Boy Scout Troop and of course they sponsor the Green River Knights, the American Legion baseball team for young men ages 15-19.

The American Legion does open its doors to the public for special events. The upcoming Poker Crawl will be hosted at the Tom Whitmore Post 28 March 17, in partnership with the Green River URA andMain Street Agency. They have also hosted events like Bowls of Sharing, Downtown Rhythms and Rhymes, and a variety of concerts that bring people together. Giving back to the community is a priority to the American Legion.

The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives. If you’d like more information about their organization and upcoming events, please visit the American Legion Tom Whitmore Post 28 Facebook page.

 

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