Memorial Day Chapel Hill Post 6

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Veterans Health and Benefits Fair – Yanceyville

This news item came to us from Yanceyville.  It’s a Veterans Health and Benefits Fair and an Agent Orange Class.  It is tomorrow!  If you live in the north county area, this may be something for you to consider.  Don’t forget your neighboring vets.  There is no better way to serve our community than to help veterans and their families.  That is what we do in the American Legion.

VETERANS HEALTH AND BENEFITS FAIR

AND AGENT ORANGE CLASS

WEDNESDAY APRIL 18, 2018

CASWELL COUNTY SENIOR CENTER

649 FIRE TOWER ROAD, YANCEYVILLE, NC 27379

10 AM UNTIL NOON

(AGENT ORANGE CLASS 1 PM UNTIL 3 PM)

“ALL VETERANS INVITED AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND”

REPRESENTATIVES FROM U.S. SENATOR BURR AND TILLIS ALONG WITH A REPRESENTATIVE FROM U.S. CONGRESSMAN MARK WALKER WILL ATTEND. ALSO THE DURHAM VA, AND A VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER WILL BE THERE TO DISCUSS AND ACCEPT CLAIMS FOR VETERANS BENEFITS. THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS, THE AMERICAN LEGION, WILL BE THERE.

HEALTH CHECKS ALSO FROM CASWELL FAMILY MEDICAL AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT

ANY QUESTIONS OF A VETERANS BENEFITS WILL AND CAN BE ANSWERED THAT DAY.

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General Pershing Visits Post 6

Chapel Hill Post No. 6  kicked off their Centennial celebrations by joining with their local Army ROTC Unit at UNC Chapel Hill to sponsor David Shuey, who portrays General John J. Pershing.  Mr. Shuey is a professional actor, “History teller,” and historic person re-enactor. He spoke in the persona of General John Joseph Pershing. 

It was a a delightful journey shared with us as a young John Pershing described his youth, education, West Point Cadet days, his early Army career and other events that led to his command of the 10th Cavalry in October 1895.  The 10th Cavalry was one of the several “Buffalo Soldier” regiments serving in the West.  He also commanded them in Cuba where they fought gallantly on the Kettle and San Juan Hills in Cuba.  General Pershing also led his 10th Cavalry in a “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico in search of “Pancho” Villa.

“General Pershing’s” story continued through to World War I and the mobilization of 2,000,000 men and women for the American Expeditionary Force, battles in Europe, and continued service to his country.  His story was not only entertaining, but very historically  insightful.  

General Pershing was key to the formation of the American Legion when on March 15, 1919, members of the American Expeditionary Force convened in Paris for the first American Legion caucus.

Pershing, a celebrated war hero who shared his six-star general ranking with only George Washington, seemed more comfortable as a common soldier. He pushed hard for the creation of the American Legion at the Paris caucus in 1919, but resisted every effort to make him commander. He was content to remain a member of George Washington Post 1 in Washington, D.C.

This event was open to the community and about 100 people attended.  As an event memento, Mr. Shuey was presented with a post flag flown over the post the day of the event.  

Post 6 is now building a new post home to serve as it “hut” for its second hundred years and future and current area veterans.  Completion and dedication is planned for their 100th birthday in October 28, 2019.  Learn more about Chapel Hill Post No. 6.

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Veteran Symposium and Workshop – Mar 26

The Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy Veteran Symposium and Workshop is now open to all veterans, and to those in the community, who are interested in veteran issues. The details are below. Those interested in attending can RSVP at the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/nN7xILP1jvuVbNW83 

 Additional information on the subject matter experts presenting at the workshop is as follows:

  • Kimberly R. Williams—Executive Director, NC4ME (Military Employment)
    Mitchell G. Hardy – Director of Onboarding, Recruiting, and Employee Relations
  • Pike Corporation (Why this company hires veterans). 
  • Dean Bundschu—Executive Director, Bunker RDU (Veteran Entrepreneurship)
  • Paul Berry, SGM, USMC (Ret.) Network Director/Programs Director, NC Serves— (Umbrella Agency for Social Service Organizations Serving Veterans)
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A Tribute to Our Women in Uniform

It is Women’s History Month.  We have spent some time taking a look at some of the contributions of the women who have served their country.  Their contributions during World War II are simply amazing, especially in aviation.  Enough said, take a look for yourself…with Women on the Wing.

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March – Women’s History Month

Let us not forget the many, many women of Chapel Hill Post No. 6 who served their country in uniform.  March is Women’s History Month!

Women have served in uniform since before the American Legion was formed.  They served as early as World War I!  And, during World War II, over 400,000 women served.

Today, women are serving everywhere and at all levels of command and operations.

Here is a story about our American Fighting Women from the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, narrated by Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Retired).

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American Legion History – Chapel Hill

We have been reading some interesting things about the American Legion in Chapel Hill over the past several years.  We have heard stories about our aged facilities, dying veterans, folding up (our tents) and heading out, or even leaving Chapel Hill.   It is like some of our neighbors are writing and talking about the veterans of Chapel Hill without reading their “book”–their history. Worse yet, few have spent time with our veterans asking questions, offering assistance, or inquiring about the American Legion.

The Post members continued their Post revitalization program quietly and purposefully.  That is what we are about and who we are. 

We are not about “me.”  We are about “them”–the veterans of our community, their families, our youth, and giving back to our Country–Your Country–in grateful thanks for surviving service to our Country. 

We are here, yet many of our friends from our youth and our time in service, died serving their country and did not make it home.  They are the “them” in our stories.  Those who did make it home and found their way to Chapel Hill, made a difference.

Be it World War I, when over 2,000,000 doughboys and nurses headed to Europe as the American Expeditionary Forces, or World War II and Korea when just about every “able bodied” man enlisted or was drafted.  We served. 

No, not everyone went overseas.  There was a lot to do between here and “over there.”  Thousands of people built Army Training Camps like Camp Butner, Camp Drum (NY), Fort Dix (NJ), and hundreds more almost overnight.  They did the same for the Navy, the Army Air Corps, and the Marines.  At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill they formed the V-12 Program.  The V-12 Program provided pre-midshipman for training in naval aviation and combat service world-wide.

Industry converted from building for industry to defense.  We built planes, tanks, guns, bombs and ammo on manufacturing lines that made cars, sewing machines, typewriters, and fabric.  Even Carrboro made munitions across from Fitch Lumber in the then Durham Hosiery Mill No. 7.

Through the last one hundred years, Chapel Hill Post No. 6 membership rolls included generals and privates. They served as combat riflemen, mail clerks, ship drivers and heavy equipment operators.  They were served as Seabees, Marines, sailors, nurses, medics, and aviators.  Then they returned home.

Under the GI Bill, a program made possible through the efforts of the American Legion, they attended schools and colleges.  They trained to be commercial pilots, leaders, computer engineers, and scientists.  Some became U.S. Congressmen, Judges, doctors, and lawyers.  Others became shop keepers, auto mechanics, farmers, teachers, builders, bakers, restaurant owners, carpenters, writers, educators, dentists, and more.  Many owned and operated shops and businesses in Eastgate, Rams Plaza, downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  Others built housing, factories, roadways, and more.

Our World War I members built our first Post Hut on Rosemary St. by cutting down trees by hand, splitting logs, and then building a log cabin.  Thirty years later they built our Legion Road Home.  Local veterans built and maintained both, helped local veterans, and at the same time raised their families. 

Today, less than one half of one percent of our population serves their Country in the Armed Services.  Picture it. 

Picture a lecture room or church seating 100 people.  Soon maybe only one of them will stand alone to be recognized as a veteran!  

Yes, we have been busy during our first one hundred years, but we believe that the best is yet to come. 

There are well over 500 veterans attending UNC Chapel Hill.  There are many more in and around us in Orange County.  If you are one of them, come on home to Chapel Hill Post No. 6.  Be part of our continuing legacy of serving our local veterans and our community.

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Let’s Join the Army ROTC for a Military Ball

American Legionnaires have been invited to attend the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps of UNC Chapel Hill’s Military Ball.  This is a very formal event and well worth attending.  Now, before you start worrying about how one works, at the bottom this email are links to the “how to” and what to wear.  We have even included a link to a Long Island American Legion Post’s  Military Ball.

The event is on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Carolina Inn.  The ball includes a meal of Grilled Angus Strip Steak, Salmon with skewered shrimp, or Wild Mushroom Ravioli.

This is a tuxedo event (told you it was formal), but Robert Medred has spoken to the Unit  and they said a business suit is appropriate (dark suit). You can wear you American Legion Blue Cap.  Look at the Nassau, NY, story for a picture of what other Legionnaires (without a tux) wear at a formal military ball.

If you have a tuxedo, dust it off and wear it.  If you have miniature military ribbons or medals, wear them on your lapel.  You can place your Legion miniature pin on your lapel.

If you still fit in your military formal attire, “Wow!”  Wear it.  Be proud of your military service.  Your service etiquette applies for medals.  Wear your service cap.

Robert Medred provided this information on R.S.V.P.’s, “The AROTC POC for their military ball told me yesterday that we have until 12 Mar (rather than the 2 Mar on their invitation) to RSVP.  Please send out a Post email with attached invitation to ask for RSVPs (with payment) to us by 12:00 PM 12 Mar.  I and Nick will attend.  We’d like to be joined by other members.” 

I recommend you also personally call the point of contact, Cadet Emma Neely, at 919-962-5546.  Let her know you have mailed your check to the American Legion WITH YOUR MEAL SELECTION.  Then:

  1. Make your check out to Army ROTC Unit UNC-Chapel Hill. 
  2. Mail your check and meal selection to the Post at PO Box 2323, Chapel Hill, NC 27515.  

Make your decision soon as it will take a day or two for the mail to reach our Post PO Box.  It might be a good idea to let us know you are coming, too.  Send a note to Vice Commander Medred at: chemguy@earthlink.net 

A copy of the invitation is attached.

Click on the links to view additional information.

  • View Military Ball Invitation with event details:  Click Here
  • View American Legion Post’s Military Ball at: Click here
  • View photos of Army ROTC Military Balls:  Click here
  • Learn more about military ball etiquette at:   Click here

Have additional questions?  Email Robert Medred  at: chemguy@earthlink.net

 

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VA Benefit Programs Help Families

Here is information from the VA that should be shared with not only your fellow members, but to non-member veterans in your neighborhood.

“VA benefit programs can help Veterans with life after service. But did you know spouses, children and even parents of Veterans may also be eligible for certain benefits?

Marie knows. She is the widow of an Air Force Veteran killed in the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist bombing. Through the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program, she was able to go back to school full time.

“The education benefits are incredible. I’m grateful because it truly was a lifesaver at getting me going in the right direction,” she says. “There is some comfort in knowing you can utilize your benefits and be taken care of.”

Spouses, children and parents of Veterans may be eligible to receive benefits for:

Visit Explore.VA.gov  to find more information about all VA benefits. 

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Finding a Home for our At-Large Members

Post No. 6 members are gathering today at the Post to work together in a project to invite Department of North Carolina at-large post member (members of Post 1981) to affiliate with Chapel Hill.  

The membership team will contact each Post 1981 member (and there are many) that is living in our area and in and around our new post home on NC Hwy 54.  Most of the candidates are paid members for 2018.  They have paid their dues and receive materials from the Department and National, but they do not have the opportunity to visit a nearby post that they call home.

At the same time, part of our team will contact members that have not yet renewed their membership.  It is time to “bring everyone home” for our Post’s Centennial Year.

Each American Legion post is unique and offers much to their local members.  Programs and projects at a post are only limited to the imagination and creativity of post members.  There are, of course, the core programs supporting the Four Pillars of the American Legion, but we can provide them with a place to go for camaraderie.

Our new post home is their home, too.  Our members decided to build it for this reason and we look forward to increasing our membership and ability to serve more veterans, their families, and our community.

Want to learn more?  Here is a story from a post in Montana.  It reflects the efforts of posts everywhere across the country.  

“The way Department of Montana Legionnaire Elmer Palmer sees it, transferring department headquarters post members into local posts is one of the keys to keeping them in The American Legion.

Making a Legionnaire feel needed and giving he or she something to do at the post is more likely to result in a member renewing their membership and staying with the organization for years to come. That’s the effect it’s had on Palmer.”

(continue reading the story.  Click here)

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