for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>>by Gary Lanham
Working out of town this week, I was disappointed to miss the third
Thursday evening meeting at the Hut (Post #142). It always promises a
good evening patriotic pride, community pride, and joking at each
other’s expense that only a veteran who has served can appreciate. I
always count on Post Commander Jim Frazier to provide me with details
of the meeting.
Roll call was noted with Jim Frazier, Dick Pope, Jack Cross
(Treasurer), Babe Long, Steve Swinford, Rex Mantooth (Chaplin), Charles
O’ Leary, Stan Muller, and Babo Carter (Sgt at Arms). Jim Frazier
discussed the upcoming District meeting (details below).
Charles O’Leary shared his experiences from his trip to Arizona where
he participated in an Ira Hayes Memorial celebration with his Marine
comrades in Arizona last month. He has the privilege of being an
honorary member of their Cadre. Most in my generation and back remember
Ira Hayes as the Native American who was part of the vicious battle
against the Japanese during WWII at Iwo Jima. Ira Hayes became famous
for lifting the American Flag on Mount Suribachi with four other
Marines and a Sailor. That scene was immortalized by AP photographer
Joe Rosenthal and is now a monument in Washington D.C.
This past week marks an anniversary many are unaware of. I remember
driving with my wife to Corpus Christi, TX for a weekend off to enjoy
ourselves and relax. Listening to the radio we discovered that “Shock
and Awe” had begun. We could not change the channel. On the trip I knew
our time would be brief as I would have to get back to my Guard unit to
prepare for what was surely to come. Over the next few years all of my
men deployed many times in support of “Iraq Freedom”.
Operation Iraqi Freedom began on 20 March 2003. President Bush declared
an end to major combat operations in Iraq on 01 May 2003. The single
worst day of Major Combat Operations was 23 March 2003, on which 30
American soldiers were lost. A total of 116 service members were lost
in action during major combat operations, and another 25 died due to
non-hostile causes such as accidents. Although Gen. Franks would not
acknowledge any official numbers of enemy deaths stating “We don’t do
body counts”, an independent web-site that compiles media reports of
the deaths there, says as many as 18,000 Iraqis may have died.
War is a terrible thing, all soldiers recognize this. Many in our Post
have experienced this first hand. Most will also recognize that a weak
military is an invitation for future troubles. We are proud of those
that have and still serve, even still at Post #142. We pray for those
who suffered loss in our community.
Our Post Commander Jim Frazier wants to remind everyone that the
American Legion District Convention for District 1A and 1B (NE
Oklahoma) this year will be held April 27th in Pryor Oklahoma. He
emphasized that a good showing goes along way when voting takes place.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at
1900 hours (7:00 PM) and our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings over
biscuits and gravy (or waffles) where we keep up on each other’s
mischievous doings run generally from 7 am to 9:30 am if it “ain’t”