We had a nice picnic in the pavilion on Labor Day weekend. We invited the local Harley Rider’s club to join us for the Picnic. The Harley riders use our meeting room for their monthly meetings and have supported us with fund raisers in the past.
We needed more people to eat all the food that was brought. Nobody went home hungry.
This year Elmo Hatley was 101 years old. We didn’t have the big party we had last year, but we still sprung a small surprise party for him with a very special cake made by the wife of one of the Post members.
Left – Right: Roy, Elmo, Bing
The Post held elections of Officers for FY-2022. Election Committee Chair Chuck Gantos presented a full slate of officers for the election. All slate members were elected by acclamation. The following are the officers for FY-2022:
Commander Dave Beckley
First Vice Commander Claude Campbell
Adjutant Chuck Gantos
Finance Officer Dave Van Wormer
Service Officer Tom Harris
Historian Lou Popowsky
Chaplain Richard Johnson
Sergeant of Arms Donnie Williams
Judge Advocate Kathleen Yax
Director #1 Tom Byrne
Director #2 Richard Johnson
Director #3 William Ford
Swearing In CeremonyCommander Atwater presided at the ceremony
FY-2022 New Officers
Memorial Day weekend is very busy for us. We place flags at the grave sites of fallen Veterans in the North Lawn and Pine Hill Cemeteries and we assist Boy Scout Troop 144 place flags on veteran’s graves at the Bellemont Church Cemetery. There are several ceremonies commemorating Memorial Day. We normally lay a wreath at the Memorial Wall in Graham during Alamance County’s ceremony on Memorial Day .
The following are some pictures taken during those events.
North Lawn Cemetery
North Lawn Cemetery. L-R Tommy White, Robert Hubbard, Larry Love, Bob Pare, Jim Abbott, Dave Beckley, Tony Carter, Gene Johnson
Pine Hill Cemetery
Walter B. Ellis Monument in the Ellis family plot, Pine Hill Cemetery
Bellemont Methodist Church
Bellemont Methodist Church. L-R Rodney Smith, Alex, Toby, Hayden, Bobby, Kent, Brody, Jonas – Boy scout Troop 144 Bellemont.
Rodney Smith presenting a wreath at the Memorial Wall in Graham
Marine Corp. League Rifle Tribute
The Memorial Wall after the Wreath Presentations
Taps at the conclusion of the ceremony
For our April meeting we were visited by Clay Worrell PhD and LTC Mark
Teachey both of the “Epic Life Veteran’s University”. This is a faith based rehabilitation program for veterans with PTSD, chemical abuse or other psychological issues. The program is 91 days, but has additional follow up activities for a year and is touted as being exceptionally successful.
We were also visited by District 12 Commander Lewis Atwater. Mr. Atwater presented a ribbon to Commander Beckley and Post 63 for 100% membership renewal in FY-2021.
District Commander Atwater presenting the 100% membership ribbon
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;