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Lakewood American Legion
Lakewood American Legion is hosting their first annual Poker Run on Saturday, August 26th, starting at 2p.m. A Chicken BBQ and live band will follow the end of the ride. Poker Runs are held for all sorts of reasons. They could be for a memorial or raise money for a particular charity. Ours is a bit different. We are hosting it to bring attention to the American Legion and what we are for.
“What does the American Legion mean to you?” It’s a question I ask both veterans and non- veterans. The number one answer I get? It’s a “bar.” Know the sound of nails scraping across a chalkboard makes? That’s the feeling I get when I hear that answer. As a Legion member, I feel like we have let our community and our veterans down allowing this mentality to grow into fruition.
What is the American Legion? We were formed at the close of World War I when many veterans were about to return home without any idea of who they were or how they would fit back into society. A certain Lt. Colonel by the name of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., gathered together a group of like-minded veterans and formed the idea that would form the American Legion. They envisioned an organization that would work to help veterans transitioning back to the civilian world along with representing our interest in Washington. Congressionally chartered in 1919 as a veteran’s organization the group set out to protect the interests of veterans and help our community.
The American Legion has four pillars: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism and Children and Youth. Many know our children and youth contributions with the Boy Scouts and American Legion Baseball. In national security, we also support local law enforcement and fire departments. Americanism is the idea of teaching the next generation what it means to be an American and the rights and responsibilities that come with it. We teach flag etiquette. We foster a team environment, letting vets they are not alone.
In 2019, we celebrate our 100th anniversary. This is our chance to re-introduce our organization and re-energize the next generation of veterans to take up the torch of community involvement and support. Our Poker Run is open to the public and a welcome opportunity to see the post and get a better understanding of who we are and what we represent.