American Legion Post 853
FROM THE LEGION
Greetings to all in the Legion Family,
It is with mixed feelings that I write my last Commanders’ message. The last three years have been an honor and a challenge like none I have had or ever imagined. Our Post has experienced uniquely high times such as the saving and rededication of the O.W. Veterans Memorial and visit by the National Commander for the event. Also, we participated in the generous Christmas gift events for our local children, the Sunday fund raising breakfasts for various high school programs and many more than space allows.
My sincere thanks go to all branches of the Legion Family, for their support of all our successes. Also, I have deep gratitude for my cadre of officers and E-Board members whom have never ceased to lend their time and talents in support of the Post and myself. Special thanks to my Adjutant Harry Jones, who is this best ‘Wing Man’ I could have ever hoped for, and to Roger Ries, who is mainly responsible for the expansion of Post 853. Together we have all made our Post the success that it is today.
But as I come to the end of service as Commander, I have an uneasy feeling, that I may have failed to inspire enough members into being directly involved in Post operations and decisions. I leave this office without a full slate of officers duly elected or appointed, but there are a few who have stepped up to take on duties not previously held. They and returning Commander Lee Quarcelino, will need your support in order to fulfill their duties. Hopefully, all offices will eventually be filled by the start of the season.
I salute the Riders and the SALs, especially Alan Dickinson and Doc Pratt, for keeping the meals going during the pandemic recovery when so short handed. And many thanks to Mark Dedes for his valuable time and skills while improving the RV site grading, the Scout Car and Howitzer pads and general mechanized clean up of the Post grounds. A heartfelt thanks to Diana Fox for taking on the 2nd Vice position during unprecedented times and putting in countless hours of cleaning, organizing, preparing and serving many great meals. Many of these were filling slots in the calendar left open due to the pandemic which the ALA was not yet able to fill. Unfortunately, the 2nd Vice position is not determined at this time, so I hope the SAL, ALA and Riders can cover those meal times until the position can be filled.
The Auxiliary has a new slate of officers and I hope they can have a successful re-launch and return to being the asset our Veterans and our Post have enjoyed prior to the pandemic. President Marie Tarango, I believe will aspire to lead ALA away from the divisiveness and mendacity, which has driven away some former and future members. Marie will need unity of thought and deed from the ladies to accomplish this and entice new members to join in service to our Veterans. Mutual support of all Legion Family members is the key to our unified mission as a Veterans support entity.
Please keep our beloved Bob Juers in your prayers. Bob is fighting for his life at El Centro Regional Hospital due to cancer.
Finally, as I wrote three years ago in my first Commanders’ message that I would always try to do my best for our Post and our Veterans. I have tried to live up to this promise and to the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, “Always Faithful.”
Sgt. at Arms
FROM 1st VICE
We start a new year with new officers and new , old leaders. Most of the ‘new’ officers are men and women that have served in the past. In Rick Dobbin’s last message to the legion, he talked about the need for new people to serve in our ranks.
That didn’t change overnight , we still need people to help with the grill, in the kitchen, and quite a few other tasks. We ask that you make yourself known that you could help in some way.
Our membership lists over 300 men and women. A lot of them come to our dinners. Next time you come to Burger Night, find someone you don’t know and go up to them and just say “Howdy!” “Glad you could come tonight”. It’s amazing what a little greeting like that can do for someone to feel more welcome.
See someone sitting alone, ask them if you can join them or for them to join you. At the last Burger Night, I spoke to a table of guys and found out that one was there because we are a Legion post as he works for EOD and was in Ocotillo on a disposal job. With his buddies, he was enjoying a friendly place to relax. Will they come back? Maybe, but they were all having a great meal and friendly atmosphere.
You never know, that new person you just greeted might just ask how they could join our ranks!
I can tell you that working at the Bargain Barn, we always have a friendly word for those that shop there. We do go out of our way to be helpful and congenial. Yeah, you can’t make everyone smile, but why not try.
FROM OUR ALA
It has been my honor to serve as your President and I am thankful for the support you’ve given me, our Veterans and our Unit. I am thankful for our Officers and Chairman who supported our mission, our Unit and our members through all the unprecedented challenges of COVID19. Heartfelt thanks to all of you and condolences to those families who have lost loved ones this past year. ! I have served the past two years as District 22 Parliamentarian and Constitution and Bylaws Chairman. Going forward, I have been asked to serve our Veterans in the Office of Historian, District 22, and Education and Musician Chairman for 2021-2022.
Despite the challenges of our past year, we accomplished sending Christmas cards to La Jolla VA Medical Center, supporting our Poppy Programs, supporting Fischer House and Salvation Army, crocheted lap robes, our local food banks, and many ALA hours and goods donated to the Bargain Barn. As our year comes to a close, I am very proud to announce our Girls’ State Delegate for 2021, is Brianna Del Bono.
One of the greatest inspirations we can all focus on is the exceptional members of our Veteran community who continue to honor, sacrifice, and serve what it means to be a part of the American Legion Family.
Poppy Chairman, Leslie Rist, wants to express deepest gratitude to our members who have generously donated to our 2021 Poppy Drive for disabled Veterans. We are happy to report that in the Wave Clinic Poppy Program, San Diego, 8 disabled Veterans have secured full-time employment thanks to support through Poppy Programs. As of May 29th, we have received generous donations totaling $3105.00. Thank you Donors!
Congratulations to the newly elected ALA Officers for 2021-2022! Marie Tarango –President; ChrisAnn Wells – 1st VP. Rosa Sanchez 2nd VP. Leslie Rist – Secretary, Ann Shelton – Treasure, Danna Dempsey – Executive Chairperson.
The next ALA meeting is on June 14th, 1700 hours at the Post.
Have a safe and happy summer. :Look forward to continuing to serve you at our post.
Past President, Unit 853
FROM OUR ALR
I hope everyone is doing well!! We will have our last meeting of this season, Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8:00am at the Legion. Two of the topics that we will discuss are a possible poker run and which charities we’ll be donating to for 2021. We hope everyone can make it.