for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
Finally warmer weather! Looks like we will be okay for the foreseeable future from the forecast so time to prepare for the next cold wave those things overlooked last time. Before you know it we will be enjoying spring again. So many activities were canceled or postponed due to the cold and rough weather. I am sure our activities calendar will reflect an increase soon to make up for the time the crew and families have missed getting together.
Last week marked an important date in history for veterans. On January 10th 1944, seventy years ago, Congress passed the G.I. Bill of Rights. It happened to have begun with a proposal by the American Legion. Following the end of World War II, millions of veterans took advantage of education benefits and home loans provided by the new legislation. This created a big change that had impact that many are not aware of today. Although these benefits have modified through the years based on changing factors, college attendance was now in reach of many who could not afford it before. Likewise a housing boom fueled our economy with many able to buy homes that were out of their reach before. These staple benefits also became valuable recruiting incentives when the military had need for more robust numbers later through the years.
I used both of these benefits though my career and appreciated it. I did not know the American Legion initiated the effort for legislation. What I did realize that many former Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and enlisted returned to the active service, Guard, or Reserves with degrees and became officers. The cultural impact of having former enlisted in officer and command positions had un measurable influence since those that led were now leading from a higher level. I personally had younger soldiers in the Guard that received their degrees while still severing and four years into their enlisted service, earned the college degree, returned from OCS (Officer Candidate School) as an officer in the same unit they had been enlisted in. Of course military protocol prevented too much fraternization or friendliness between former enlisted buddies. It did created a “been there done” that mentality that fostered smarter and more efficient leadership in most cases.
Also note we will be hosting a Chicken Noodle Feast Fund Raiser January 18th. The time will be 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM at the Hut. I hope you marked your calendars to attend. For adults it will be $6.00 and kids 12 and under $3.00. All proceeds support the local American Legion Chapter and all the things we do in the local community.
Our regular meetings are the first and third Thursdays if weather does not present a challenge. Our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for January is up and running again as normal starting around 0700 till about 0900. Eli and Jerry usually have things set up where we can catch up on each others mischief and story telling. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story, it may end up in print!