It is Day two of our 3-Day Department Drive-around, Operation: Convoy to Comradeship, featuring National and Department level leadership and showcasing American Legion Posts around the State of Indiana.
The official party woke up ready to go. We had breakfast in the parking lot for convenience purposes (Hotel wouldn't let us bring our bagels inside. Not that I am bitter or upset).
Our second day was definitely stacked. We traveled to Kokomo Post 6, Gaston Post 387, Bluffton Post 111 and then ended our evening with dinner at Speddway Post 500.
Kokomo Post 6
First up was Kokomo Post 6. This was a very interesting stop of the tour. Kokomo Post 6 is one of the few Legion Posts in the nation to have a fully functioning 18-hole golf course. Yes... I said a golf course. I was able to get the "Hoosier Drone" (the Department of Indiana drone) up in the air to stalk the official party as they toured the grounds in golf carts (video below). After a refill on “Go-Go Juice” (Coffee) it was back on the road to Gaston Post 387.
Gaston Post 387
The second stop of the day was Gaston Post 387. The Post couldn't be in a better spot. Located right in the middle of charming downtown Gaston, Indiana.
The traveling party was treated to a warm recemption followed by a delicious lunch served by Post Auxiliary. Good food and good company made for a great time with the Legion Family here at Gaston. After lunch, it was off to the next stop, Bluffton Post 111.
Bluffton Post 111
We arrived at Bluffton Post 111 and were welcomed to the with a wonderful reception. The Post 111 Honor Guard was "Dress Right, Dress" and looking sharp and a line of 4th District representatives were front and center to greet the official party. This is a very neat Post to visit if you never have. They proudly display both Post and county history throughout the building.
While we were on ground, Bluffton Post 111 was honored for reaching 100% Membership. Post 111 is one of the first in the Hoosier state to receive the Department Membership Ribbon. Next stop, Speedway Post 500. Stay Tuned!!!
Speedway Post 500
Its always extremely cool to drive out to Speedway Post 500 (Conveniently located next door to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway). The Legion Family here at 500 is wonderful and welcomed us with open arms. Auxiliary members served up a delicious dinner for the traveling party.
First stop of day three will be the Ernie Pyle Museum in Dana. This just so happens to be CMDR. Strong’s project this year.
Story and Photos by Tim Sproles
Welcome aboard the The American Legion, Department of Indiana Operation Convoy to Comradeship from Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28.
The Mission of this three-day, statewide tour featuring National and Department level leadership is to raise community awareness of The American Legion Mission; to provide an opportunity for National and State level leadership to visit with local Post and District level leaders and volunteers; to celebrate 100 years of American Legion history.
The Department is honored to have National Vice Commander Jim Wallace making the trip with us.
Columbus Post 24
After leaving the Fort Benn Inn, the official parted headed over to the Department Headquarters, where NVC Wallace and wife Linda received a tour of the facilities and received a "battle brief" from Adjutant John Crosby to get the group ready for our first day. From there, it was back into the vans and off to Columbus Post 24. The official party took the one-hour drive like champions, so smiles met smiles as members of the post greeted the official party.
Floyds Knobs Post 42
After the official party left Columbus Post 24, the group headed to the second Post of the day, Floyds Knobs Post 42. It was a full house to greet us. The post welcomed local lawmakers and fist-responders for the visit which featured State Senator Ron Grooms, Shelly Watkins from Congressman Trey Hollingsworth's Office, State Representative Ed Clere and firefighters from Lafayette Township Fire Department.
Bloomington Post 18
Our last Post visit for Day one Bloomington Post 18. The Legion Family of Post 18 set up a very warm welcome with a pathway into the post lined with our Nation’s colors. After the official party spent time enjoying this beautiful Post and grabbing some chow, then it was back to the Fort Ben Inn for some much needed sleep. Back at it in the morning for DAY TWO!!!!
By: Kathleen Curthoys - ArmyTimes
Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, from Richmond, Kentucky, died Saturday in Iraq, the Defense Department announced on Sunday.
Riley died in Nineveh province in a non-combat related incident, according to the DoD announcement.
He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Riley was a 13J fire control specialist on his first deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, spokesman for the 101st Airborne, said on Sunday.
Riley enlisted in the service in October 2016. He was promoted to the rank of specialist in October 2018 and arrived in Iraq in December, O’Donnell said.
The incident is under investigation.
“We are deeply saddened by Ryan’s passing," Col. Derek Thomson, commander of 1st BCT, 101st Airborne, said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to his family as together we mourn the loss of our brother-in-arms. As we grieve this tragic loss, we will also draw strength from his memory as his mates continue to build the capacity of the Iraqi Army and enable the defeat of ISIS.”
Riley’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.
To view story on original source, Click Here.
The American Legion
American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad expressed his condolences to the people of France in a statement issued today following the recent fire at Notre Dame cathedral.
“On behalf of the entire American Legion Family, I offer condolences to the people of France for the tragic fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral,” Reistad said. “The American Legion was founded in Paris. We still maintain an American Legion presence there. We will always have a strong connection to the nation that aided us during our revolution and has been a strong ally ever since.
"For eight centuries Notre Dame has been France’s gift to humanity. We are grateful for the brave firefighters who prevented this precious landmark from becoming a total loss. In June, I will visit France to participate in D-Day observances. I plan to personally convey my condolences to the many French officials and citizens that I will meet during my visit to that great country. Let there be no doubt that this nation that has seen so much destruction over two world wars will rebuild this magnificent structure.”
DAVID MACANALLY - WTHR Channel 13
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Walter Murphy survived the Battle of the Bulge and other bloody engagements of World War II. And, as an Army medic he helped other soldiers survive too.
He didn’t do it for the medals. He never bragged.
Saturday morning Walter Murphy told Eyewitness News, “you don’t talk much about anything like that, you know what I mean.”
But a grandson, school teacher William Anders, did get his 93-year-old grandfather to open up about World War II experiences he hadn’t shared before.
Anders said, being an Army medic under fire meant “retrieving wounded men from the battlefield.“
He says his grandfather told him about the time “there were Germans in boats or ships and they were shooting grenades at the men including my granddad. That was I’m sure a very tense time.“
“He talked about how he would drive an ambulance and the groans from the men who were wounded. How they were shot. Or they were stabbed," Anders said.
Anders says his grandfather was made a medic when a commanding officer noticed how he provided first aid to other soldiers with non-combat injuries. He had a knack for it.
But his wartime humanity extended to civilians on the other side of the conflict. His grandson says, after the war, with the U.S. occupation force in Japan, his grandfather shared his own rations with starving Japanese citizens.
Later, as Anders looked for a Christmas gift for his granddad he noticed that he didn’t have a World War II hat.
He searched online for the right hat, looking for one with his grandfather’s Army unit insignia.
That’s when he discovered something. Walter Murphy, who held the Combat Medical Badge, should have also received the Bronze Star. But never did.
“Well it means a lot because I wasn’t looking for anything like this you know," said Murphy.
The star is one of the military’s highest honors for heroism in a combat zone.
Congresswoman Susan Brooks took up the cause and at the Indiana American Legion conference Saturday morning, Walter Murphy made history.
Brooks pinned the Bronze Star to the retired soldier’s lapel.
“It is my high honor to present to Mr. Walter Murphy the bronze star,” Brooks told the packed auditorium.
The veterans and their family members jumped to their feet and applauded. They knew they were seeing something special - recognition 75 years late.
Standing straight and tall, the father of eight, part of that greatest generation was also reissued all of his service medals that were lost over the years.
Walter Murphy told the crowd there were “hard times back then but it all come out.”
He thanked his family for helping him through everything.
“I’m going to give it back to my son over there,” he said, passing the shadow box frame displaying seven medals and numerous other military ribbons.
His grandson, Hamilton Southeastern elementary school teacher William Anders, said this is the time for young people to ask their grandparents for their stories before that resource slips away.
A Saturday for remembering a duty not forgotten.
To view this story on the original source, Click Here.
By Dusty Simmons, Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame
The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame (IMVHOF) is calling for nominations for its sixth class of veteran honorees. The not-for-profit organization honors Hoosier veterans for service during and after active duty. To date, the IMVHOF has recognized 83 men and women for their outstanding military and civilian service.
Up to fifteen veterans will be honored for military service achievements and/or community contributions. To be eligible, a nominee must meet any one of these criteria:
Additionally, each nominee must have been honorably discharged and must be free of felony conviction.
All branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, all ages, living or deceased, and males and females will be considered equally.
The complete nomination packet and criteria can be found at imvhof.com/nominate/. Nominations will be accepted through end of day, August 1, 2019.
Nominees will be honored at the annual induction ceremony and dinner to be held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at the Garrison on Old Fort Harrison at 6002 North Post Road in Lawrence, IN. Tickets will be available for purchase for this public event at imvhof.com.
Inductees in the IMVHOF are honored at the organization’s memorial building at 5360 Herbert Lord Road in Lawrence, Indiana. The free-standing building is the only known memorial of its kind in the nation and is open Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the IMVHOF, you can do so by mailing a check or money order made payable to IMVHOF to P.O. Box 269098, Indianapolis, IN 46226. Online donations can also be made at www.imvhof.com.
About the IMVHOF: The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 2013. Formed by representatives from government, business, and retired military. The organization strives to publically emphasize the honor brought to the state of Indiana and the nation by the sacrifice of Indiana military veterans and their families. Indiana follows a few other states who have established similar organizations. To learn more visit, www.imvhof.com.
Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star
Jim Robinson knows he'll never repair the damage, never heal the pain he caused 18 years ago in the parking lot of a Frankfort apartment complex.
But the U.S. Army veteran also believes a man is more than his worst deed.
That's one reason he joined American Legion Post 608.
"(The American Legion has) actually helped me be a better person," Robinson said. "It's allowed me to know that I am the person that I’ve always been."
Robinson is a proud member of the post in Pendleton, which meets in a legion hall decorated with hand-painted patriotic murals of flags and combat scenes.
You won't find beer or mixed drinks in 608's Legion Hall, but there are bars — the black steel kind — on this campus compound guarded by towers and razor wire fences.
Post 608 is inside the maximum-security Pendleton Correctional Center.
This is one of seven posts operating inside Indiana prisons, said John Raughter, a spokesman for the American Legion's national headquarters. The organization knows of nine other states with posts in a prison.
There could be more. The Legion treats these like any other post, Raughter said, noting there may be others operating inside prisons that they just don't know about.
The Legion, members say, offers offenders another way to find in themselves the men they once were.
Robinson, 56, served in the U.S. Army. He spent time in Iraq. He was home in April 2001 when he threatened his wife with a gun. Days later, he found her in an apartment parking lot and fatally shot her with a .22-caliber handgun.
A Clinton County judge handed Robinson a 60-year sentence. He's projected to be released in about 8 1/2 years.
A family suffering such carnage doesn't heal.
Robinson said he's watched from afar as his sons have grown. He's rebuilt his relationship with them as best he could through prison visits. But he said they pulled away after they had children of their own.
"It got to a point it was hard to explain to (his grandchildren) why they don’t have a grandma and why grandpa's in here by himself," Robinson said. "I understood it, so I let them have their distance."
The Legion, he said, helps him keep his mind right. It reminds him he's still worth something.
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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