WORLD’S LARGEST VETERANS’ ORGANIZATION VOLUME 33, NO. 3 New Jersey LEGIONNAIRE Official Publication of THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF NEW JERSEY Index Dept. Service Officer Column Centennial Celebration Tom Lowe Adjutant’s Column Page 3 2 4 5 8 8 American Legion Baseball Legislative Report Dates to Remember TRENTON, NEW JERSEY SEPTEMBER 2017 11 COMMANDER’S MESSAGE I would like to start off by thanking everyone who attended this year’s convention in Wildwood and the warm greetings my wife and I received during my reception. I truly hope you all enjoyed yourselves. Congratulations to President Debra Free, and S.A.L. Commander Dave Paige. We have a great selection of officers this year and I am looking forward to working with them serving our veterans. Since my election I have been quite busy. It’s, only been a month and I have driven over two thousand miles attending different Post functions and activities beginning with a flag retirement at Post 346 in Neptune, the Annual High Point Service, in Montague, Sussex County, The Grunin Foundation dedication in Toms River, where they unveiled a monument called the “Protectors of Freedom” DARRYL J. REID depicting 100 years of American Military History. I also attended Boys State and I truly had a wonderful experience attending this year’s event. I met so many of the candidates and their families. The staff of volunteers are so dedicated in making this program the best Boys State Program in the country, in this Commanders opinion. I am looking forward to kicking off my Project “Priority to Veterans Now and Forever.” Doug Herrin, my Project Chairman, will be requesting a visit to attend county meetings before my official visits to your county. I know that I can count on you to support this project for our veterans. The project will include the three Memorial Homes, Vineland, Menlo Park and Paramus. Just briefly, Vineland is in need of two walk-in showers, Menlo Park, six lower beds, recreational therapy supplies and equipment, Paramus, six bed scales, chairs in residence units, and a Children and Youth Program “Hear Today Learn Tomorrow.” I also would like to thank the American Legion Auxiliary and S.A.L. for coming on board with my project. Well, it’s that time again: “Membership.” I know that all the membership Chairmen have picked up their Membership Cards and are ready to go! We had about 45,000 paid last year. I don’t have to tell you how important it is to our organization to increase our membership. Membership is down nationally by 102,702 members from last year. We need to carry the legacy forward! Every member, sign up a new member, we all know someone who has served. All we have to do is ask! Rick Godfrey and I are looking forward to our annual meeting at headquarters with the membership team. We are looking forward to our 100th Anniversary. NEC Robbins and his team are working hard to make our department’s 100th Anniversary the best celebration we can have. We all have done some great things for our veterans and our community. It’s time to tell your story. As a reminder please post your Post History on the Legion centennial page at: http://centennial.legion.org/histories%20. In closing, thank you once again for this opportunity to serve as your Commander for 2017-2018. I want to thank PDC Gengaro for his guidance and the countless others who have made this transition easy for me. God bless The American Legion, all veterans, our troops and you, my fellow Legionnaires and veterans. n Post 54 Receives Town’s Recognition By Carl Beams, Post 54 At the Freehold Mayor’s Recognition Reception, held on May 12, 2017, Freehold American Legion Monmouth Post 54 was presented a proclamation signed by the mayor and members of the Freehold Borough town council. Members and guests of Post 54 were invited to attend the reception which recognized Post 54 for “...their countless hours of devotion to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of our town.” This was the second annual Mayor’s Recognition Reception, which is held each year to honor those dedicated individuals and organizations whose efforts make Freehold Borough a better place in which to live. The event was attended by over 120 community leaders and local townspeople. The reception featured light refreshments and musical entertainment by local musician, Alex English, who opened the ceremony with a beautiful rendition of God Bless America . Present at the reception were several members and officers of Post 54, including Commander Patrick Lawler, who accepted the award on behalf of the post. Before presenting the award, Freehold Mayor Nolan Higgins read a list of Freehold community activities and events which are supported by Post 54. Mayor Higgins noted that American Legion Monmouth Post 54 has been an active part of the Freehold community since 1919, almost one hundred years. n L-R: Posing with the Freehold Borough proclamation are Post 54 members, Lester Preston, Pat Lawler (Commander), Dan Kelly, Ken Pulchlopek, and Jim Rice.