for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
What an amazing meeting we had June 6th. Here on the anniversary of
D-Day, when Hitler and his Nazis regime began its decline, freedom, at
great sacrifice won the day, I sat in awe of veterans from that war in
our midst, Babe Long, Dick Pope, and (though AWOL) John Field in our
community. I look into the eyes of these guys and they have no idea how
much they have given us. They are our greatest generation. As Charlie
“Doc” O’Leary said, “because of them we don’t speak Duetch (German).
June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of
heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches
of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation
a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”
More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion,
and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Normandy.
The D-Day cost was high; more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or
wounded, but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe
to defeat Hitler.
The Nazis are now in the history books thank goodness. And so we have
democracy which leads me to the next bit of information. Our election
was held and officers assigned. Starting off a big thanks and salute to
our past Post Commander Jim Frazier for his ten years of service to our
Post. He has accepted the Vice Commander position for District 1b in
Northeastern Oklahoma. I am excited that the same leadership
exemplified by Jim now will be working at a higher level and that our
Post represents higher leadership in the state. That reflects honor on
Jim and our humble Post 142.
When I first read my brother in arms Roy’s (now with our Eternal
Commander) newspaper articles, I got involved with Post 142. The second
person who I met was Jim. Although humble and non-self-serving I saw
leadership skills that inspired me to be more involved. I also saw a
great team with him and his wife Polly. Most officers volunteered to
remain at their post. Charlie “Doc” O’Leary was unanimously voted is to
take over Post Commander responsibilities in August with Adjunct Eli
Prather remaining in place. Rex Mantooth carries on as Chaplin, Steve
Swinford is our 1st Vice Commander and Babe Long is our 2nd Vice
Commander. Jim Hale volunteered to remain Sgt at Arms (you don’t mess
with the Cleveland Police). Jack Cross was kind enough to continue
carrying the load as Treasurer. Babo Carter agreed to continue as
Services Officer. Closing the roll call was Jerry Sebert (a fellow
former flyboy), and my favorite patriot Dick Pope.
So now as we move along to August change of command we have a strong
team. Most everyone has been stand up folks and continue to contribute
as in the past. The only shock for me was I was “volunteered” to be
Post Historian. It was fun seeing the pointing fingers and grins. I was
taken aback but deeply honored. I was trained and trained others in my
long career “never volunteer for anything”. Well there ya go, back into
the deep end of the pool.
For those that read my ramblings I have to say that hanging with these
guys are, for me, are moments of excellence. You get to experience
fellowship and the kind of kidding only we GIs understand. The one
thing I am inspired by is that these guys love their country and the
community. That is priceless.
Babo Carter (our Services Officer) reported that the flags have been
taken down from the holiday and was grateful for the outpouring of
support from the community. We only lost a few this year, much better
than last year. They collected 120 larger flags and 1,000 smaller ones.
Job well done!
Post Commander Jim Frazier announced that the State Convention is
coming up July 5th-7th in OKC at the Biltmore Hotel. Those interested
can check in with him at our meetings or contact me at 918-510-0032.
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 have
started back up thanks the Adjunct Eli Prather. Over biscuits and gravy
(or waffles) we will keep up on each other’s mischievous doings. It run
generally from 7 am to 9 am. I know I am going to be there! If you are
a veteran come join us. You will have a good time. And if you have a
good story it may end up in print.