Friday, March 24th was the start of an eventful weekend for Indiana’s Legion Family. That’s the day the celebration started for the Homecoming of National SAL Commander Chris Carlton from Indiana.
Commander Carlton was not only joined by friends, family and Indiana Legion Family Members but National officers from all entities including American Legion National Commander “Jim” Trioloa from New York and Auxiliary President Vickie Koutz, who is also from Indiana.
The kickoff of the weekend was at Carlton’s home post of Leo F. Welch Post 495 on the east side of Indianapolis. There, amid a buffet dinner and band, members from his own post, the Department, other national officer's past and present and the current National leaders gathered to fete Commander Carlton for his accomplishments and to enjoy Legion Family fellowship.
Saturday was an early start with tours of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, lunch at Speedway Post 500 and a trip to the War Memorial downtown, just south of the American Legion National Headquarters.
Capping off the events was a dinner at Kenneth N. Dowden Wayne Post 64 in Indianapolis’ west side where Commander Carlton was honored by fellow SAL leaders as well Triola and Koutz and more than 300 Legion Family members. The evening concluded with dancing and band music.
The Legion Family Leadership gathered the following day for Post 64’s annual culmination of fundraising events for Operation Comfort Warriors. There, Commanders Trioloa and Carlton and President Koutz saw Post Commander Glen Hawkins and the post’s Legion Family, present checks totaling $111,200.00 to PNC Jim Koutz.
(Pictures and story from Department Historian Steve DeFeo)