RECENT Events

MARCH

We were honored to have B. Gen. Harrison as well as LTC Newdigate, the General’s aid, and the Burlington Army Recruiting contingent visit us during our March meeting.

Colonel Newdigate spoke for a couple minutes, mostly about how much the Army is in need of new recruits, then he introduced the General. 

General Harrison then spoke without notes for about 25 minutes.  He covered several topics.  A little about his home town in North Carolina that’s still so small that it only has one traffic light, to entering service as an enlisted person so that he would have experience in the enlisted ranks before he joined the officer’s corps.  He most enjoys Battalion Command at Bragg and now in Oklahoma where his “pen” enables him to reward his men for the work they do.  He also spent some time talking about how much the services need new recruits, the enlistment benefits that are being offered for new recruits, and the pay and other benefits that are now available in the services.

When he finished talking he asked for questions.  Richard asked about the suicide rate and the General mentioned a lengthy set of things that the services are doing to try to reduce suicides in the military and of Veterans after their military service.  Rodney asked which of his postings was his favorite.  That was Hawaii.  He had lots of family visitors while he was in Hawaii.

General Harrison
Commander Beckley presenting an Eagle Plaque to the General

FEBRUARY

At our February meeting Rodney Smith (Chef de Gare of 40&8 Honor Society) presented “Certificates of Appreciation” and “Americanism” pins to all the Post members present that had participated in the Flags for First Graders Program. 

Flag Volunteers 2022 L to R Rodney Smith, Carl Sichi, Dave Beckley, Ron Allred, Tony Carter, Lou Popowsky, Gene Johnson, Tom Byrne, Richard Johnson, Bill Ford, Tommy Harris, Jerry Shannon

NOVEMBER

The Alamance County Veteran’s Parade is held in Graham every year.  Nearly 100 Veterans and other organizations take part in the parade.  Our Post always takes part in the parade.  This year we had three pickups with guys riding in the trucks.  It was a light spectator turn out because of COVID and the cold weather, but those who attended enjoyed the parade and showed their support for our Veterans.

Ron Allred showing off his patriotic glasses
Rodney Standing at his truck
Bill Ford with his truck
Donnie’s Truck

10 November the Veteran’s Overlook at Willow Brook Park in Burlington was dedicated.  This is the park that was developed on the site of our original Post Home here in Burlington.

Rett Davis, President of the New Leaf Society, presides over the dedication with the Marine Honor Guard in attendance.
Commander Beckley presents a donation to Mr. Davis in honor of the dedication.
Paving bricks around the Eagle Center Piece can be engraved in rememberance of veterans who wish to have one.  Commander Beckley has purchased one for himself.

6 November – The HOGS motorcycle club, have their monthly meetings at our Post.  Held a benefit ride to and picnic in the Pavilion at our Post and donated the proceeds to show their appreciation and support for our Post.

The Flags program is progressing nicely.  We’ve made presentations at 12 schools and have been very well received.  We have a presentation scheduled at a school in a couple days that will be held at their flag pole.  This year we were only able to schedule 22 of the 27 schools because of some of the school’s COVID restrictions

3 November we held our meeting and the raffle drawing.

The winners are:  $50 – Eric P.,  $75 – Mike W.,  $100 – Linda J.,  $200 – Gerald D.  Congratulations to you all.

6 November the Post hosted the District 12 meeting.  District Commander Lewis Atwater presided with his First Vice Commander Regina Merritt also attending as well as Commanders from 8 other District Posts.  Penny Haigler and Dave VanWormer provided a nice light snack for all the attendees.

Commander Beckley welcoming everyone to our Post for the meeting.
Commander Atwater during the meeting
During the meeting.
We received a certificate for 100% renewals for FY2021
Pins for our Commander and Adjutant were included with the certificate

SEPTEMBER

We have started a raffle that will end in a drawing at our November meeting.  The prizes are four gift cards. One each for $50, $75, $100, and $200.  We have only printed 600 tickets, so we’re hoping to sell all of them.

Our First Vice Commander Rodney Smith started getting organized for the Flags for First Graders Program as soon as school started.  The program is actually a 40&8 program, but both of our organizations participate equally in the presentations.  There are 27 elementary schools in Alamance County, including the public and parochial schools and we travel to each one and give about a 45 minute talk covering history and proper handling of our flag.  Most of the schools are letting us give our talks to both 1st and 2nd graders this year, since we could not do the presentations last year.  These talks are always enjoyed by the students and teachers, and for that matter, the presenters also.  We like to have 4 presenters when possible.  .

The following pictures are from some of the presentations;

Andrews elementary School 1st and 2nd Graders.
Presenters (L-R) Tony Carter, Rodney Smith, Lou Popowsky, Tom Harris
Alamance Christian School 1st and 2nd Graders
Bradford Academy 1st Graders
Ron Alred, Kathy Yax, Rodney Smith, Tom Harris presenting
Burlington Christian School 1st and 2nd Graders
Tony Carter, Ron Alred and Rodney Smith did the presentation at the school’s flag pole
EM Yoder 1st Graders
Kathy Yax, Ron Alred, Rodney Smith and Tom Harris Presenting

26 June

The Post held a birthday party for Elmo Hatley a Post member who turns 100 years old on Monday 28 June.  Lots of Elmo’s family (including a Great Grand Daughter) turned out as well as several Post members.  Post members brought lots of food and Tom cooked the burgers and hot dogs.

Elmo Telling a Story 3

When Elmo first arrived someone asked him to tell us a story about his time in the service.  As he tells it, he was already a trumpet player before entering the service, so when the service found that out, he ended up playing in a band for his entire service during WWII.

Our Commander Dave Beckley presenting a Certificate to Elmo In honor of his service during the war.

JUNE

At our June meeting we had a swearing in ceremony for our FY2022 officers.  District 12 Commander Lewis Atwater presided for the ceremony.

After the ceremony we had a nice social gathering with a snack buffet prepared by Penny Haigler and Dave VanWormer and deserts prepared by Diana Beckley.

Our FY 2022 Officers.

L to R:  Lewis Atwater, Dave Beckley, Rodney Lewis, Chuck Gantos, Dave VanWormer, Tom Harris, Lou Popowsky, Donnie Williams, Kathy Yax, Roy Duffer, Richard Johnson,

Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for us.

We honor our deceased veterans in the North Lawn and Burlington Cemeteries by placing flags on their grave stones.  We also participate in the county’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Memorial Wall in Graham.

The following pictures were taken in the North Lawn Cemetery.

20210528_083639

DSC_0209

DSC_0205

Front Row:  Dave Beckley, Robert Hubbard, Lou Popowsky, Bob Pare,

Rodney Smith

Back Row:   Bill Ford                   and Larry Love

The following pictures are of the Pine Hill Cemetery.

DSC_0232

DSC_0230

DSC_0220

Placing flags around Walter B. Ellis’ family plot.

2021 Pine Hill

Pine Hill (front L to R):  Larry Love, Ron Allred, Dave Beckley, Roy Duffer,

Bob Pare

Back row (L to R):  Donnie Williams, Rodney Smith, Tom Harris, Chuck Gantos, Bill Ford.

On Memorial Day there is a Ceremony to honor our veterans at the Alamance County Memorial Wall.  The County Sheriff’s presented the colors,  The names of 577 Alamance County veterans, who passed away since the last ceremony in 2019, were called out.  20 Veterans organizations presented wreaths.  Three rifle volleys were presented by the Marine Corp League’s Honor Guard, Taps were played by a member of “Bugles Across America”.

Before the ceremony

Before the ceremony began

Memorial Day Color guard

Wreath1

First Vice Commander Rodney Smith presents the wreath for Post 63

40&8 2

40 & 8 Chef de Gare  Rodney Smith presents a wreath for Voiture 1237

The Wall

DSC_0254

The Honor Guard “Presents Arms” during the reading of the names of the 577 veterans who passed away.

DSC_0256

One of the rifle volleys

DSC_0261

Taps

 

MAY

We had our first and only Flags for First Graders presentation this school year.  We went to the Grace Christian School in Haw River and gave our presentation to their first and second graders. 

Grace Christian 1st Graders (3)

First Grade c;lass

Grace Christian 2nd Graders (2)

Second Grade Class

Presenters are (L to R) Robert Hubbard, Lou Popowsky Richard Johnson,

Ron Allred and Rodney Smith

 

At our May membership meeting, Nominating Committee Chairman, Chuck Gantos, presented the following slate of officers for the 2022 fiscal year:

Post Commander                     Dave Beckley 

1st Vice Commander                Rodney Smith                                  

Post Adjutant                          Chuck Gantos                                  

Finance Officer                        Dave Van Wormer                         

Service Officer                         Tom Harris                                       

Historian                                 Lou Popowsky                              

Chaplin                                   Robert Hubbard                             

Sergeant at Arms                     Donnie Williams                             

Judge Advocate                       Kathleen Yax                                    

Director #1                              Tom Byrne                                     

Director #2                              Richard Johnson                             

Director #3                              Roy Duffer           

The slate was elected by acclamation.

Installation will be at Next month’s meeting (2 June).

District 12 Commander Lewis Attwater was at the meeting.  He gave a brief talk thanking the Post members for renewing their membership, and invited us to the District meeting this coming Saturday at Post 6 at 11 AM. 

December

Not much new to report.  The lock downs due to COVID-19 are still in effect, and many seniors are unwilling to go to outside venues for entertainment.  Our attendance at Bingo is holding in the 30s.

Participation in the Lounge has also been light, but some of our members are getting out and taking the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of other members.

October 

The sound absorbing panels are now completed and installed.  There are 31 in all and the sound in the main hall is noticeably better.

 Our Bingo games are doing very well.  Our attendance has been in the high 30s and everyone seems to be having a great time.

The latest relaxation of restrictions have allowed us to have membership meetings again, and to open our Lounge for membership attendance.  Our first meeting in months will be October 7. 

We have decided to open from Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 PM.  Our drinks will be on donation only, and we will not serve food, except some snacks.

We have also started our “Buddy Check Program” again.  This is a program where we call all of our members just to find out how they are doing.  Similar to when we were in the service we would always look out for our buddy.  Quite a bit more extensive now that we have more members, but also very nice to talk to our members and see how they are doing. 

September

The Governor is putting North Carolina on Phase 3 starting Friday, and we have heard from our Bingo vendor that we are now allowed to have Bingo.

Bingo will begin on Tuesday (October 6)

Our schedule is:  Doors Open at 5 PM

                               Early Bird Games start at 6 PM

                               Regular Games start about 7 PM

For the safety of all persons in the room we will be taking the following precautions:

1.  Our Tables have been moved to accomplish “Social Distancing”.  Please do not move the tables.  However, families may add chairs to tables so they can sit together.

2.  We will be taking everyone’s temperature as they enter.  Persons with temperatures above 100.4 will be asked to go home.

3.  We ask that everyone wear a mask at all times.

The snack bar will be open, however there will be no prepared food.  Only drinks and packaged food (i.e. chips) will be sold.

The sound absorbing panels are now completed and installed.  There are 31 in all and the sound in the main hall is noticeably better.

We drew the raffle ticket for the grill during our September 2nd board meeting. The winning ticket number is #1147. The name on the ticket is Ledley S.  Ledley happens to be the brother in law of Donnie so Donnie will contact him and figure out how to get it to his home in Tennessee.

June

One of our handy Post members has been at work making sound absorbing panels for our main meeting hall.  He has mounted 10 panels on the wall, and plans to make and mount several more.  We’re hoping this will reduce the echo and make it much easier to hear at meetings and other events.

One of our home town youths (Jameson Hodges) wanted to do a good deed for our veterans in town, and he decided that he wanted to plant a tree in their honor.  It was decided that the best place to do that was on our Post home grounds, where many veterans could enjoy it rather than just one veteran.  Jameson and his family and several Post members met on the 8th at the Post and we had a tree planting, as well as a small ceremony afterward where Commander Beckley presented a certificate to Jameson and refreshments were enjoyed by all.

tree6

Jameson and his Dad and Mom digging the hole

tree7

tree3

Commander Beckley presents a certificate to Jameson