for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
Although I missed the big Veteran’s Day Parade and activities in Fairfax last Saturday, I heard wonderful reports from my Legionnaire buddies Monday. A team of eight hearty souls represented Hominy American Legion Post #142: Jack Cross, Dick Pope, Babe Long, Steve Swinford, Jim Frazier, Charlie O’Leary, Eli Prater, and Jerry Sebert took their place near the front of the parade along with other veteran groups. I was told there was a very large crowd and lots of activities. Interesting to note that all but one member won some prize or another at the various merchant prize drawings. The missing man had other duties and responsibilities to attend but all deserve our thanks for taking the time to reflect the Hominy community’s patriotism. All this while my toes were in the sandy beaches of Mexico. You know the saying “It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it”.
I write this week’s article having just returned from quite an afternoon. It started with the changing of the colors at the Post. We retired the flag that had become worn and slightly tattered and posted the new colors with pomp and circumstance. Our Sgt.-at-Arms Jim Hale retired the old glory to the hands of Jerry Sebert and hoisted the new flag with the assistance of Babo Carter. The formation included Steve Swinford, Babe Long, Jack Cross, Eli Prater, Dick Pope, and your humble correspondent. The formation was led by Commander Charlie “Doc” O’Leary. For those who are curious the retired flag will be discharged to the local Boy Scout troop for final disposition in a traditional ceremony they famously perform.
From this memorable time at the Post we traveled over to the Hominy High School for an event they present each year to honor local veteran’s past and present. This included middle school and elementary choirs as well as the high school choir and band. They began with a great BBQ lunch for veterans and family members and then followed with the formal presentation. It is difficult to list all the things presented but I found the most memorable was the recognition of currently serving Hominy folks and past veterans. I saw pictures of these guys in their young days that made me grin, until my picture came up. I didn’t recognize me! Funny how thirty five less pounds in a photo can affect your memory!
I also really enjoyed the recognition of the Veterans of the Year both Legion members; John Fields and Rudy Rogers. Rudy could not be present but the biography they shared was quite remarkable for this WWII veteran. This recognition led to a Blanket Presentation that was very well done by Anthony Kemble and Molly Williams with the American Indian Student Association. John was presented his blanket while the meaning of the blanket was so eloquently expressed by these two impressive students.
It was great seeing a strong showing from the Auxiliary as they do so much for the Post and community as well. Silvia Rhodes, Nancy O’Leary, Carla McKenzie, Mary Connelly, and Linda Cross were front and center. A special salute to Jack Cross and his effort to raise funds to assist the lunch. I heard a rumor that he met the price plus! Great job Jack. I could go on and on telling you about meeting “Lt. Dan” Whitten in his original WWII U.S. Army uniform or Doc O’Leary in his Class A uniform and the distressing fact that they both still fit in the uniform (I’m still depressed). But suffice to say kudos and hats off to the staff at the high school who made this day possible. Debbie Perrin, Vicki Williams, Heath Selcer (and his History Class), Mike Bobbitt, Beth Phelps, and of course the principal Doyle Edwards who made it clear the students made it happen.
Also keep reading to capture details on the upcoming on the Hominy Christmas Day Parade on December 7th. We will have our Christmas dinner December 12th with the Auxiliary in lieu of our December 19th meeting with more details in the future. All veterans are welcome.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM). This coming Thursday meeting will not be the usual meal meeting but will include a DVD of John Fields recent Honor Flight trip to DC. Our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings are run by Post Adjutant Eli Prater and Jerry Sebert. Over biscuits and gravy (or waffles) we will keep up on each other’s mischievous doings. It runs generally from 7 am to 9 am. If you are a veteran come join us. And if you have a good story it may end up in print.