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Since 1920, the Chrisman American Legion’s motto has been ‘Veterans Strengthening America’. Post #477 was organized under a temporary charter with J.F. Jennings as Post Commander and Roger R. Schnitker, Adjutant.
At that time, the post only had thirty members. In 2021, Rob Roman is now the Commander of the Legion.
“When I moved to town many years ago, I became acquainted with some of the local SAL (Sons of the American Legion) and Legion members who invited me to join the organization,” Roman said.
The American Legion consists of three branches: The American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary.
The American Legion is made up of veterans from all armed forces. Their duty is to enhance the well-being of American’s veterans, their families, our military and our communities by their devotion to mutual helpfulness.
Their value principals are ‘A Veteran is a Veteran’, meaning the American Legion embraces all current and former members of the military and endeavors to help them transition into their communities; ‘Selfless Service’, meaning the American Legion celebrates all who contribute to something larger than themselves and inspires others to serve and strengthen America; ‘American Values & Patriotism’, which means the American Legion advocates for upholding and defending the Unites States Constitution, equal justice and opportunity for everyone and discrimination against no one, youth education, responsible citizenship and honoring military service by observing and participating in memorial events; ‘Family & Community Engagement’, meaning the American Legion meets the unique needs of local communities; ‘Advancing the Vision’, which means the American Legion educates, mentors and leads new generations of Americans; ‘Honor Those Who Came Before Us’, meaning the American Legion pays perpetual respect for all past military sacrifices to ensure they are never forgotten by new generations.
Sons of the American Legion exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. Members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. Military and were eligible for American Legion membership.
The American Legion Auxiliary’s motto is ‘Service Not Self’. The Auxiliary consists of male and female spouses, grandmothers, sisters, and direct and adopted female descendants of members of the American Legion. Some of the members are veterans themselves.
In the spirit of service, not self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support the American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God & Country, the Auxiliary advocates for veterans, education of the citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.
The Auxiliary’s vision statement is to support the American Legion while becoming the premier service organization and foundation of every community providing support for our veterans, our military and their families by shaping a positive future in an atmosphere of fellowship, patriotism, peace and security.
Since it’s permanent charter, Post #477 has been very active in the community.
Each of the branches awards an annual scholarship of $250 to a high school senior from Chrisman. This scholarship continues for four years provided the student receives satisfactory grades.
In addition, they make awards to the outstanding boy or girl in the senior class and eighth grade.
The Legion also has an Honor Guard for fallen military and past military funerals as well as support the local VA hospitals. They have also sponsored local youth baseball and softball teams and support local events.
Veterans are also supported for employment, housing, grave markers, healthcare, etc. Members also support local events such as the high school play, music programs, field trips and Christmas events. The Legion has supported Chrisman’s Veterans Memorial and takes care of flag displays for the holidays throughout town as well as blood drives.
The Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion work together to flag every grave of a veteran in Northern Edgar County cemeteries for Memorial Day, including Revolutionary War Veterans.
During the pandemic, the Legion also provided a meeting place for government and volunteer organizations along with many other initiatives to support local veterans and youth in the community.
“We are always open to providing support to the initiatives that would benefit our community, create opportunities for our youth and support our military and veterans,” Roman said.
In the future, the Legion hopes to bring back BINGO on a regular basis, but this all depends on state mandates for COVID restrictions.
For Chrisman Days, BINGO and a beer tent will take place on Saturday.
“We also hope to begin a Queen of Hearts raffle soon, pending ordinance adoption by the Chrisman City Council.”
If you have served federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces since December 7th, 1941 and have been honorable discharged or are still serving, you are eligible for membership in the American Legion.
Because eligibility dates remain open, all active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to join the American Legion at this time, until the date of the end of hostilities as determined by the U.S. government. U.S. Merchant Marines are eligible only from December 7th, 1941 to December 31st, 1946 (World War II).