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American Legion post to celebrate birthday

Posted: March 6, 2013 - 12:00am

Columbia County’s only American Legion post on Saturday will celebrate its 44th year of serving veterans.

American Legion Post 192, located at 275 Legion Drive off Owens Road in Evans, will hold a free open house and birthday ceremony, complete with cake and ice cream, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 6.

The Legion post wants its guests to experience patriotic events such as a Prisoners of War Table Ceremony, American flag retirements and performances from JROTC groups from local high schools, said Barbara Jacobs, membership chairman for the American Legion Auxiliary.

The event will also be a way for the community to get to know the Legion Post.

“It’s a way to open to the community,” she said. “We want to do community service projects. We want to open it to the community.”

Events will include a Horseshoe tournament, and the Legion Riders motorcycle group will conduct a patriotic ride-in at noon, which will be followed by a youth-led Pledge of Allegiance. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be available for a donation.

Jacobs said the open house will allow community members to get acquainted with the Legion Post’s activities, which has consisted of supporting America’s veterans as well as various community members and organizations.

“It’s one of the most active posts in the district,” she said. “There’s a lot of good deeds done.”

In the past, Jacobs said Legion Post members have spent time with veterans in the area and provided hospitalized veterans with care packages.

“The mission of the American Legion is... to honor the sacrifices of those who have served: our veterans, military and their families both home and abroad,” she said. “For God and Country, we advocate for veteran’s education, our citizens, mentor youth, promote patriotism and good citizenship, peace and security.”

In addition to educating the community about the Legion Post’s mission and its activities, Jacobs said this event will also recruit potential members.

In her five years as a member of the Auxiliary, Jacobs said the Auxiliary has added about 100 new members, creating a total of 200 members. She said there are probably 1,000 members between what she called the “Legion family,” which consists of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxilary, Sons of the American Legion and the Legion Riders.

Oral Venable, adjutant of the Legion Post, said the post alone has 660 members, seeing a growth of at least 400 members in his 23 years with the post.

Venable attributed the post’s rapid growth to the number of service members who have served during recent wars and are eligible to join.

This celebration will be the third time the Legion Post has held a community birthday party, Jacobs said. Each year, the event has been packed, hosting about 150 visitors.

“There’s been a lot of cake and ice cream,” she said.

Call (706) 863-8728 or go to www.legionpost192.org.

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