for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
When you pick up the Hominy News – Progress this week it should be on a memorable date. February 6th, 1911 Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico Illinois. Most folks know him as an actor and President. Many do not know he was governor of California (where I grew up) and that he served in what was then Air Force (Army Air Corp) during WWII.
Ronald Reagan’s acting career included many motion pictures and television episodes. Apart from his absence during World War II, he would make most of his movies with Warner Bros. With the studio he starred in such films as Dark Victory, Knute Rockne, All American, and Kings Row, which was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1942.
During World War II, Reagan served in the Army Air Force, assigned to the Film Production Department. He acted and narrated military training films. He returned to acting after the war. In 1952 he married fellow actress Nancy Davis.
As film roles began to dwindle in the late 1950s, he turned to television, where he hosted and acted in a number of programs, most notably the General Electric Theater. His acting career came to an end in 1965, and he became active in politics, being elected to two terms as Governor of California, and then serving two terms as President of the United States.
My memories of Reagan as a boy growing into a young man in California was of a congenial man dealing in a leadership role with the chaos of the anti-Vietnam War uproar. He led with a strong hand. Later he was my Commander in Chief. I was off active duty and in the Guard. The military was in a malaise from the post-Vietnam experience. Under the previous leadership drill weekend was a boring waste of time, no funding, and no mission. Everything changed when the Gipper came into the office. We were infused with purpose and direction. That was when I knew I would end up being a lifer (to retirement). Reagan was not perfect but I credit him and Margaret Thatcher, along with many other influences converging, to bring down the Berlin Wall, and end the U.S.S.R. We lost the great patriot June 2004.
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!