“News from the Hut”: 26 January 2014

for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham

As stated last week I had the opportunity to stop by the Chicken Noodle Feast Fund Raiser January 18th. I only had time for a quick terrific meal but was curious to see how it turned out. Word came it that it was huge success and funds received exceeded expectations. Once again the Hominy community proved that it is unique and incredible in its support of her veterans. Thanks also to all members who came out to support the effort but especially Jerry Sebert our Chef extraordinaire. All proceeds support the local American Legion Chapter and all the things we do in the local community.

Last week I mentioned that it was suggested to install central heating and air at the Hut. I thought that was a great idea. Well, I got word that we are moving forward with that plan so it looks like a cool summer is ahead as well as a warm winter. Thanks to John Doudna for his offer that had plenty of flexibility both in implementation, scope, and cost.

As the Hut’s Historian I enjoy looking to the past to pull up interesting things that occurred in history that still has impact today. It was this week in 1968 on the first day of the Tet holiday truce that the Tet Offensive began. Viet Cong forces launched the largest and best coordinated offensive of the war, driving into the center of South Vietnam’s seven largest cities and attacking 30 provincial capitals.

Many cities were overrun during the early few days of the offensive like Hue, Dalat, Kontum, and Quang Tri; in the north, all five provincial capitals were overrun. At the same time, enemy forces shelled numerous Allied airfields and bases. In Saigon, a Viet Cong suicide squad seized the U.S. Embassy and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed by helicopter on the building’s roof and routed them. Nearly 1,000 Viet Cong were believed to have infiltrated Saigon, and it took a week of intense fighting by an estimated 11,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops to dislodge them.

By February 10, the offensive was largely crushed, but with heavy casualties on both sides. On February 2, President Johnson announced that the Viet Cong had suffered complete military defeat. General Westmoreland echoed that appraisal four days later in a statement declaring that Allied forces had eliminated more enemy troops in the previous seven days than the entire war. Militarily, Tet was decidedly an Allied victory, but psychologically and politically, it took a toll. Many in our Post served in Vietnam and served well. I write with a feeling of deep respect for their sacrifice.

As a reminder the Hut will now be available for occasions and events. The facility has an audio visual system, kitchen, rest room and can host up to thirty five participants. Currently for community events the cost is $25 for private events $50 plus a refundable $50 deposit. Everything else is negotiable. If you have a need for an upcoming anniversary, birthday, or any other important fund raiser contact Gary Lanham at 918-510-0032 for more details.

Our regular meetings are the first and third Thursdays at 7:00 PM (Feb 6 & 20th) 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!

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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