February 10, 2017

February is American Legion Americanism Month By David Tanguay

The American Legion was founded in 1919 by WWI veterans with concerns for their fellow veterans, their community, and the youth of this great country.  They developed the Four Pillars of Service that continue to this day.  These Pillars are: Service to Veterans and their rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism and Community and Protection of our Youth.  Over the last 98 years, the American Legion has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans and, although they are non-partisan, they have initiated and supported legislation on their behalf. The Legion continues to support a strong National defense and supports our service personnel. 

The Americanism Pillar, highlighted this month, has many facets from, honoring the flag to youth development programs such as: Legion Baseball, Boys and Girls State and National Oratorical Programs, scholarship programs, support for scouting and much more.

Locally, American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 has supported several of these programs.  For the last 11 years, the Post has placed approximately 100 U.S. flags on utility poles on the highways and byways of Windham - to recognize the patriotic pulse of this community. The Post recognizes the Town’s fallen vets, by providing the manpower to the Town, in the placement of over 850 flags on the graves of our veterans in some 30 cemeteries in Windham.   Additionally, organizations desiring presentations on flag etiquette, may schedule this support through the local Legion.

February is a great opportunity to mention Boys and Girls State. The programs, open to High School Juniors, requires that interested students contact their guidance officer before the end of March. Interested juniors should talk to the guidance office and also to classmates who attended last year’s conventions for additional information.  Over the past several years the Post and Auxiliary have sent 4 to 6 students (collectively) to their respective conventions. That support will continue again this year.

The Field-Allen Post supports Legion Baseball as well. The local Junior Legion Baseball team carries the Field-Allen name and was most recently supported by the Post with a Bean Supper to help defray the team’s costs. 

Each year the Legion Post recognizes student leadership at the High Schools with a Leadership Recognition Awards and Scholarships. These awards are presented to one senior male and one senior female that the Legion feels best exemplifies the attributes of leadership and Americanism in their class.

Although the Post does not currently support a Boy Scout troop, several of its members are involved in local troops at the district level.

The Field-Allen Post is always looking to increase support levels for these programs. Funding is often a constraint. Last year the business community and individuals stepped up to revitalize the Post Flag Program with generous financial support. Additional support of this nature would allow the Post the ability to send more juniors to Convention and to increase scholarships for deserving students, or to provide more support for the baseball program. 

How might you support the concept of Americanism? Legion members live the Four Pillars and provide generous support in time and energy, as well as funding. The Field-Allen Post is a 501(c3) non-profit and as such, donations are tax deductible. Your support for the local Legion Post is a way to show your dedication to the concept of Americanism. 

You can support the Legion Post by doing simple things: Join the Post in the Memorial Day Parade as a participant or spectator/come to the Legion open house/come to a bean supper/support the Post food drive/show proper deference to the flag. These are but a few examples.  Better yet, if you are a qualified veteran, join the Field-Allen Post.  Need more information? Contact Dave at: 892-1306

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