The Hoosier Legionnaire Live, a live webcast from The American Legion, Department of Indiana. Topics covered include; Legion Day a family-oriented, patriotic day of remembrance and celebration scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at Department Headquarters in Indianapolis; Scholarship programs including Hoosier Boys State, Flag Etiquette and Education, Americanism and Government Testing, and the Legacy Run; and Post 510, leading the nation in membership and presenting the colors at the KISS concert recently in Fort Wayne, Ind., stay tuned for more next month.
Twenty-five Vietnam War veterans from Monroe County paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Of those who died, three were 25 years old or older. Some were as young as 18.
“These are the children of our county,” Monroe County Veterans Service Officer Mary Elftman said to the crowd gathered on the courthouse lawn for the Vietnam War veterans commemoration ceremony on Friday. To the veterans among them, she said: “You gentlemen were children when you left, and you came home men.”
Recognizing those who served in the Vietnam War, living, dead or still missing in action, was the purpose of the commemoration ceremony.
For some, the event was a long overdue “welcome home” to surviving Vietnam War veterans who, unlike those who served in previous and following campaigns, were met with jeers rather than applause after returning from a war that was not popular with the American public.
“I think it is great they are finally doing a commemoration for the Vietnam War veterans,” American Legion Post Commander Richard Dunbar said. “They have just now started to be proud of what they did and hear ‘Welcome home.’”
FOX59 Jillian Deam Reports
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- American Legion motorcycle riders are traveling more than 1,300 miles for their 11th annual Legacy Run.
The group took-off Sunday morning from the organization’s national headquarters in Indianapolis. This year, more than 600 riders total will meet-up along the trip, traveling for five days and through seven states. It's one of the largest events of its kind in the United States.
Together, organizers say they’re raising scholarship funds and awareness for the children of service members who’ve been killed or severely disabled.
“It’s a scholarship that helps students who have lost a parent in the global War on Terrorism or a person who's been disabled," said Dale Barnett, The American Legion's National Commander.
“All money donated goes to the fund. We have no overhead, our membership dues pay the overhead, all these people you see out here today probably took their vacation, they pay their own way, pay their own gas, and we ride for the kids," said Bob Sussan Chairman of The American Legion Riders National Advisory Committee
Last year, organizers say the ride alone raised more than $1.2 million. This year, they hope to top that number with a goal of $1.5 million.
If you’d like to donate or learn more, click here.
By Marda Johnson | Times Sentinel Writer
Zionsville American Legion Post 79 and the community found many ways to thank those who provide public safety on Sunday afternoon.
During the Legion's Zionsville Police Appreciation Day, some were obvious: a speech, the presentation of a plaque, and a cookout. But there were more subtle expressions of thanks too: handshakes, pats on the back and hugs during an afternoon of celebration.
James May, the Indiana Department Commander for the American Legion, during the program explained why it was natural for the legion to pay homage to local law enforcement.
"Military service and police service go hand-in-hand," May said. "Both require a sense of duty to something greater than yourself. Both require an unwavering dedication to your country, your state, your county, your city, your homeland. And both require sacrifices from our families and loved ones to support us in our service."
May thanked the Zionsville officers personally.
"We Legionnaires understand, perhaps better than most, your sacrifice. I know none of you wish to be called heroes, but that is exactly what you are. You know the dangers you face and yet you don't falter from your duty our to our communities. And for that we all truly thank you for your service."
By Indianapolis WTHR Channel 13 NBC Reporter Emily Longnecker
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Two months ago, three men from different parts of the state were complete strangers. Wednesday, they walked around the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis.
They hadn't met until this past June, but now they share a bond, an understanding some their age may not yet realize - that life can change in an instant.
"I'm thankful that I get to wake up everyday and go see my friends and go to school," said 18-year-old Cole Walker from Greentown in Howard County.
That might not even be the case, though, if Cole had never met 17-year-old Josh Walston and and 17-year-old Sean Bacha.
"Without them, I wouldn't be sitting here today," said Cole of the other teens.
Nothing about their meeting at Hoosier Boys State, a weeklong American Legion conference this past June to study government, seemed out of the ordinary.
That all changed during a softball game on the third day of the conference.
"We were coming into the dugout and I told my counselor that I felt dizzy and I just collapsed," said Cole, who said he doesn't even remember the moments before he lost consciousness.
"I honestly just thought he was passing out because he was dehydrated because it was hot, but in a few seconds it was pretty evident that wasn't the case," said Josh Walston, who was standing behind Cole when he went down.
They didn't know it at the time, but Cole was in sudden cardiac arrest, a condition he would later learn from doctor 90 percent of people don't survive.
"I thought if we don't do anything, this kids going to die," said 17-year-old Sean Bacha, who was also standing there and saw Cole collapse.
"I just told everybody to stand back and Sean said he was a lifeguard, so I just asked for his help," said Josh.
Sean, who has worked as a lifeguard for the past two years, made sure there was nothing in Cole's mouth or throat blocking his airway.
Both teens tried to check for a pulse on Cole.
"He started to turn blue," said Sean.
Josh, who is a cadet on his local fire department in Versailles, started CPR.
"Your hands work faster than your mind. You just do what you're trained to do," said Josh.
When EMTs got there, Josh and Sean had been working on Cole to try and revive him.
"They were surprised that Cole was in as good as shape that he was in for the severity of his condition," said Scott Weyler, the associate director for Hoosier Boys State. "Most folks don't survive this.
By Steve B. Brooks
Rockport, Ind., Post 254 got off to slow starts in its first two American Legion World Series pool play games and still managed to pull out victories. But on Saturday night the Indiana squad showed how dangerous it can be when it starts fast.
Bolting out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and 6-0 by the end of the third, Rockport topped Omaha, Neb., Post 1 8-3 Saturday night to clinch a spot in Monday’s semifinals. Rockport finished pool play 3-0 and improved to 35-1 overall.
Rockport had fallen behind 3-0 in its first pool game and didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning of its second one. There were no similar issues Saturday night.
“We just came out and swung the bats early,” said Rockport first baseman Jakob Shuler, who was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and two RBIs. “I think the nerves of the whole thing were gone. After the first game I said we’re going to be a tough team to beat when our bats come alive, and they came alive tonight.”
Indiana got started with a textbook first inning. Kobe Stephens opened with a walk, Trever Zink singled and Spencer Deom bunted both runners over.
Shuler followed with a two-run double down the left-field line and then moved to third on Sammy Rowan’s single. Shuler came home on a wild pitch, and suddenly Post 254 led 3-0 just six at-bats into the game.
Two innings later Indiana was back in business. Two walks and a fielder’s choice put runners on first and second with one out. Caleb Helms singled to score Rowan, Zach Hopewell followed with an RBI single to score Gant Miller, and Matthew Embry’s double brought home Helms, extending Post 254’s lead to 6-0.
Post 254 added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Zink singled, moved to third on a walk and hit, and then came home on Rowan’s sacrifice fly.
After being shut out by Indiana’s Hunter Rowe through the first six innings, Omaha (59-5, 1-2 pool play) finally broke through in the top of the seventh. A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases, and two wild pitches brought home Bobby Morgensen and Craig Petrich.
After a sacrifice fly by Evan Bergman scored Andrew Morrow to bring Omaha within 7-3, Brett Vosick and Brandon Bena each singled. Rowe was replaced by Brenden Lewis, who got a groundout to end the threat.
Indiana answered with a security run in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of three Omaha errors and a wild pitch to bring Deom around for an 8-3 lead.
Omaha put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the ninth before Lewis got two fly balls to end the game.
Rowe (1-0) wound up pitching 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs while striking out four.
Now Indiana will get to relax while pool play finishes up, knowing it has one of the top seeds in the semifinals.
“Coming into (Saturday), we were like, ‘If we lose, if this, if that,’” Shuler said. “We got the team together, and we were like, ‘let’s just win it and put all the worries out the window. That’s exactly what happened.”
By Steve B. Brooks
Down 3-0 after just one inning of play, Rockport, Ind., Post 254 didn’t get off to the start it wanted. Its finish was an entirely different matter.
Post 254 (33-1) rallied in the sixth and seventh inning, pushing across five runs to overtake Post 342 6-3 in The American Legion World Series opener for both teams. The Indiana squad combined four hits with three Rowan County errors during the rally, and held the North Carolina team scoreless over the final eight innings.
“I think (nerves) probably played a little bit into it,” Post 254 Coach James Haaff said of his team’s start. “We’ve kind of been cooped up two or three days traveling and in hotel rooms. It just took a little bit to get into the swing of things. I thought our last seven to eight innings were pretty solid.”
In the first inning, Post 342’s Chandler Blackwelder reached on an error to lead off, and Dalton Lankford followed with a walk. The pair pulled off a double steal, and Hunter Shepherd then smacked a shot into center field that brought home both runners.
After an out, Shepherd moved to third on Brandon Walton’s single and then came home on an RBI sacrifice fly by Jake Pritchard for a 3-0 lead.
Post 254 came back with a run in the top of the fifth. Hunter Rowe led off with a single and moved to second on Gant Miller’s groundout. One out later, Kobe Stephens singled into center field to bring home Rowe.
Rockport was right back at it in the top of the sixth, combining three hits with two Post 342 errors for a three-run rally. Spencer Deom doubled and Jacob Shuler singled to put runners on the corner; an error put Sammy Rowan on first and brought Deom home.
A single from Andrew Hayden loaded the bases, and following a pop out to third base, Gant Miller’s RBI fielder’s choice scored Shuler. Another error one batter later brought Rowan home for a 4-3 lead.
Post 254 added to the lead in the top of the seventh when Deom walked and then took third on Shuler’s single. Both runners scored on a throwing error on Rowan’s groundout.
Rowan County (38-12) put runners on base in each of the final three innings, including loading the bases with one out in the seventh. But Post 254 starting pitcher Andrew Hayden got Shepherd to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat, and Post 342 couldn’t convert in either the eighth or ninth.
After the rough start, Hayden (2-0) held Post 342 scoreless over the next six innings. Corey Ebelhar pitched two scoreless innings to preserve the win, getting Lee Poteat to fly out with runners on second and third to end the game.
“He did a nice job,” Haaff said of Hayden. “I’ve seen him when he’s had more velocity, but maybe he threw just under the radar enough that they popped a few balls up. He obviously got a little better as he went along and probably gained some confidence to pitch his way on through.”
“Best of the best” and “cream of the crop” are among the top phrases used to describe the more than 400 rising high school seniors that attend American Legion Hoosier Boys State at Trine University in Angola, Ind., every year. As the Department of Indiana's premier youth leadership program, Boys State is widely regarded for attracting some of the finest young leaders throughout Indiana to simulate the state’s political process. Never has the quality and caliber of attendees been more apparent than on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Hoosier Boys State delegate Cole Walker of Greentown approached a staff member and mentioned he was having difficulty breathing during a traditional softball game. Without warning, Walker's legs gave out from under him and he stopped breathing. As the staff on the scene quickly and calmly assessed the situation, delegate Josh Walston of Versailles rushed in and said, “If you need me, I’m a trained EMS.”
Working together as a team in these precious moments, staff members Wyatt Vukobratovich and Robert Kelley worked with Walston and another delegate, Sean Bacha of Edinburgh, to keep Walker alive.
Discovery Channel is launching a three-part miniseries about the creation of the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle company. In advance of the series, Discovery is hosting a special preview in celebration of The American Legion’s 2016 Legacy Run kickoff.
A screening of Discovery Channel’s original “Harley and the Davidsons” will be shown Aug. 20 outdoors on a big screen at Post 64 in Indianapolis. Hundreds of motorcyclists are expected to attend the free public event, which includes the nearly 500 Legion Riders participating in the 11th annual motorcycle ride benefiting the Legion’s Legacy Scholarship Fund.
Upon arrival at the post, all Riders and motorcycle enthusiasts will be invited to roll across a Discovery Channel themed blue carpet on their motorcycles for a photo opportunity. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The event is from 6:30-8:45 p.m. at Post 64, 601 S. Holt Road. Motorcycles will be parked in order of arrival; special parking will be available for trikes. Car parking and limited seating will be available nearby for individuals wishing to attend. View and download a flyer for the event here.
“Harley and the Davidsons” will premiere at 9 p.m. Sept. 5 on the Discovery Channel.
The Legacy Run kicks off Aug. 21 from Post 64 and ends in Cincinnati for the Legion’s 98th national convention. Over the course of five days, the Riders will travel 1,300 miles through seven states to raise money and awareness for the fund, which provides college scholarships for the children of parents who died while on active-duty military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and for the children of post-9/11 veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or higher.
Story by John Raughter, Photos by Clay Lomneth
The motto for American Legion George D. Vickery Post 608 in Pendleton, Ind., is “Veterans striving to preserve honor once lost.”
The motto isn’t referring to all veterans. It refers to veterans that are incarcerated. Post 608 is located inside the maximum security wing of the Pendleton Correctional Facility. Legionnaires and Sons of The American Legion members hosted National Commander Dale Barnett during his visit to the facility on July 31.
The commander’s delegation, which included Indiana Department Commander James May, first stopped for an official welcome and program at the Andrew J. Cummins Post 503,held in the chapel of the facility’s minimum security section.
“Many of these veterans would not be here if they received treatment for post traumatic stress before they made their mistakes,” May said. “They try to give back to society. They do an outstanding job of supporting American Legion programs and raising funds.”
The support provided also benefits the self-esteem of post members. “It motivates us to get out of our negative atmosphere and leave the past in the past,” said Post 503 Commander James Clements, a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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