American Legion Post 67 to host Memorial Day program May 30

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

VALLEY — Members of American Legion Post 67 met Tuesday evening at Sunny’s Restaurant to make plans for this year’s Memorial Day service at Veterans’ Park and to pack two care packages for a local soldier who is presently stationed abroad.

This year’s Memorial Day program will be taking place at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 30.

“We will be honoring everyone who served in the U.S. military, and especially the men whose names are on the four memorials in Veterans Memorial Park,” said Post Commander Lanny Bledsoe. “We’d like for anyone related to those men and anyone who knew them at the Memorial Day program. That would put a human face on the sacrifices that were made.”

There are 72 names on the World War II memorial in Veterans Park. Listed along with their name is their age, branch of service, the date they died and where. Many died in faraway places such as the South Pacific, The Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Italy, Normandy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

The other markers with multiple names list local soldiers who died in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. There’s one name on the Afghanistan/Iraq marker. Brandon Hadaway was the crew chief on a Chinook helicopter when it was shot down by the Taliban in 2007. He was 25 years old at the time.

The two care packages will be going to a lance corporal who is presently serving in Japan with the First Infantry Brigade. The two boxes are packed with such personal care items as toothpaste and toothbrushes, washcloths, soap, body wash, deodorant, razors, baby wipes, combs, brushes and the like. Items in aerosol cans, such as shaving cream, were held out for safety reasons.

The items were previously gathered by members of the Chambers County Education Retirees Association (CCERA) to be sent to the troops. The Legion took on the responsibility of shipping the items in the mail because they were given the name of a local soldier who is currently serving overseas.

Local Legion members will send similar items to other local soldiers who are on active duty if their names and addresses are provided. Contact Post Commander Bledsoe or Adjutant Sammy Newton for details.

“The lance corporal we are sending the items to has parents and grandparents living in the Valley,” Bledsoe said. “We are sending a lot of items that can be used, and he’s free to share them with his fellow soldiers if he wants to.”

The two boxes were mailed Wednesday morning. Other items will be sent to the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City, where some Chambers County retired veterans are currently residing.

“We’d like to get people back to doing things like sending care packages to our soldiers,” Bledsoe said. “Our country is in a mess right now. Many of our current members served in difficult times like Korea and Vietnam, and some of our members served in those wars. We don’t want anyone who served our country in any era to be forgotten.”