NEWS FROM THE HUT by John Hamilton
Membership renewal is important to uphold our commitment to No Veteran Left Behind and to remain at the forefront of veteran advocacy efforts. There is strength in numbers. When I testified before Congress earlier this month, the representatives understand that I speak for our 1.8 million members, a figure unmatched by any other veterans service organization.
This is why membership renewal is a priority of mine. As such, I have challenged all American Legion departments to reach a 90% renewal goal. Many departments are poised to hit that very achievable and critical mark, as well as reach or exceed their traditional membership goal.
The key to membership renewal is engagement. This can be achieved through Buddy Checks or monthly training sessions on subjects related to membership and our programs. I am asking each member of your department leadership team, your districts, counties, and posts to get those renewals. Hold events, ask members to help, get them engaged, and they will stay.
We simply cannot let the challenges of COVID make us complacent. Our veterans, youth, and communities need us. How would our members maintain shelter or posts recover from severe damage caused by a natural disaster if we didn’t have programs and assistance like the National Emergency Fund or the Temporary Financial Assistance program? When wildfires ravaged the west and tornadoes struck the south, we were there providing vital assistance to our members and our communities. And the only way we were able to do this is through a strong and committed membership.
We must ensure there are No Veterans Left Behind and that means growing our numbers in every department. Our country needs a Legion of forces to serve our veterans and communities.
So, let’s renew our commitment, renew our efforts, and renew our members to make 2022 a very prosperous year.
BOB HOUGH, USMC
It has been an incredibly sad time at the Hut since January 21, 2021, when Bob Hough passed away at home in his bed, surrounded by family members. Bob had just turned 100 years old on September 23, 2020,
On September 23, 1920, Bob Hough was born in Coalgate, Oklahoma but was raised in the hill country near Kerrville, TX. Bob was born out in the countryside but the closest town to where he was born in Coalgate, OK. Bob had eight siblings, five brothers, and three sisters. The only surviving sibling is his 83-year-old brother, Jack, who lives in Owasso, OK. Bob has five children: two daughters and three sons.
For many years, Bob Hough has been an active member of The American Legion, Post 142, Hominy, Department of Oklahoma. Bob has been a faithful attendee at the bi-monthly meetings and the weekly Monday Morning Coffee Klatch, although it has been put on hold recently due to the COVID-19 various. Bob loved to spin a yarn about the good old days in Hominy and his time in the United States Marine Corps.
Bob joined the United States Marine Corps in May of 1942 for the duration of the war plus six months. Bob spent much of his service time in Guadalcanal and Tarawa in the Pacific during WWII. Upon returning to the United States, Bob was stationed at Camp Pendleton putting on demonstrations to the recruits of what went on in Guadalcanal and Tarawa. Before Bob’s discharge in September, he got orders to go to Japan as part of the occupation there. While waiting for his ship to come in that was to take them to Japan, Bob was hanging out in the barracks for about two weeks when someone passed the word throughout the barracks that the war had ended. It was all over for Bob. A couple of days later, on Thursday, an old boy stuck his head in the barracks and told Bob that the captain wanted to see him. When Bob saw the captain, he asked Bob if he wanted to be discharged there or in San Antonio, TX where he was inducted. Bob told him, “Wherever is easiest for you.” Bob was discharged on Monday.
When asked where he had the most fun during the war, Bob had to confess it was when he met his wife. Bob had been hitchhiking from Camp Pendleton near Seal Beach in California on his way to Long Beach to the Carnival there when a car stopped to pick him up. An older man was driving with a young girl in the passenger seat. The man told Bob to hop in the back seat and introduced the young girl as his niece, Louella, and they were headed to the hospital to pick up New’s sister who had just had a baby. On the drive before picking up Bob and during the trip, Louella’s uncle kept kidding her about picking up a Marine. After they retrieved Louella’s sister from the hospital, Louella decided to go along to the Carnival with Bob. That was the start of their 74-year romance. Six weeks later they were married on May 1st. When asked if it was love at first sight, Bob replied without hesitation, “As far as I was concerned it was!”
Our regular Legion meeting will be on the first and third Thursday of each month. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, April 7th at 7:00 PM. The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings are at 8:00 AM. The second Monday each month the Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings will be held at an offsite destination that will change month to month. If you are a veteran, come by for our monthly meeting, and if you have a good story, it may end up in print. Also, keep up with us at the Post 142 website “americanlegion142.org” and Hominy Legion on Facebook.