Post 178 Color Guard (L-R) Delbert Parsons, Larry Marshall, John Ricca, Ted Ruybal, Larry Wilhelm (Color Guard Captain), Terry Gilbert.
The American Legion Post 178 Color Guard presented the nation’s colors on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the GENSEYS 300 NTT INDY CAR SERIES at Texas Motor Speedway. The evening open wheel racing event was wheel-to-wheel racing at speeds over 200 mph.
The American Legion is sponsoring the No. 48 Honda in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES represented by a combination of Seven-Time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and former Indianapolis 500 Winner and Series Champion Tony Kanaan. “We’re excited about partnering with The American Legion because it represents a very important relationship with an organization dedicated to supporting veterans,” said Chip Ganassi, team owner of Chip Ganassi Racing.
The American Legion, the nation’s largest and most powerful organization of wartime veterans and their families, is using its presence in Indy car to elevate awareness and introduce a new modern brand expression. The new logo will not replace the historic American Legion emblem, but rather complement it by honoring the history, heritage, and symbols which Legionnaires hold dear.
The American Legion hopes to bring attention to some of the most important issues facing today’s veterans, including veteran suicide, and honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms.
Texas Boy State delegate interviews were recently completed over a three-week period by an eight-member veteran committee. Larry Wilhelm, the Program Committee Chairman, said, “We had a very strong group of twenty-nine candidates from Frisco ISD and private high schools this year.” The high school principals, counselors, and teachers nominated high school junior students from each of their respective schools.
Because of COVID-19 and the winter storm of February 15, virtual interviews and evaluations were conducted over an extended three-week period. Twenty high school juniors were ultimately selected to attend the 2021 Texas Boys State virtual program from June 27 through July 2, 2021.
The American Legion Boys State, an 85 years-old program, is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instructions for high school students. It is a participatory program where each delegate becomes part of the process of his local, county, and state government. Using the highly effective experiential learning process, delegates are exposed to the rights and privileges, duties, and responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county, and state governments operated by the delegates elected to various offices.
Since June 2014 and including the 2021 selected young men, Post 178 has sponsored 141 Texas Boys State delegates. The highly competitive Texas Boys State program supports mentoring youth, which is one of the Four Pillars of The American Legion.
Every year since its charter in 2014, Post 178 has gathered and delivered Christmas gifts to the veterans at the Clyde W. Cosper Veteran’s Home in Bonham, Texas (53 miles northeast of Frisco). As in past years, The Legion and Auxiliary provided gifts, cookies, and donations to the more than 100 women and men veterans for their 2020 Christmas.
Seventeen boxes of items such as food, blankets, hygiene items, games, puzzles, and candy were donated by students at Oak Point Elementary in Little Elm, Texas, which was organized by Jill Harrer, the Special Education teacher to kindergarten and 4th grade students. Post 178 and its members also donated more than $2,400 to assist in purchasing items that the veterans themselves identified. Staff members were also remembered with homemade cookies. All donations were delivered on December 11 by veteran members Tim Schmidt and Marty Martel.
Nancy Levraga, Activity Director, recently emailed Post 178 saying, “We are trying to be good stewards of the blessing the American Legion Post 178 has bestowed on us.”. She shared that the residents voted to buy next year subscriptions to the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Times magazines. Also purchased was an indoor/outdoor fourteen-foot movie screen to watch movies and a Netflix subscription for both their memory care and activity rooms. The veterans also voted to purchase a basketball goal, basketballs, and footballs. Nancy closed by saying, “Thank you for choosing our Clyde W. Cosper veterans . As you have not forgotten us, we will never forget your generosity and thoughtfulness.”
Earlier in 2020, Post 178 also donated three iPads so residents could facetime their families and play games. Post 178 and Auxiliary-Unit 178 are honored to have made Christmas a little brighter for the veterans at the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home.
Post 178 recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership to Frisco resident Mr. Burnett L. Sutter, an US Army World War II veteran. Mr. Sutter was a soldier in the ”Tough Hombres”, 90th Division, 358 Regiment, M Company that landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, in June 1944. For his military service in France, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2018.
Mr. Sutter will reach a birthday milestone when he celebrates his 100th birthday on April 7. To help him celebrate his family has asked he be sent birthday cards to Mr. Burnie Sutter, 6098 Osage Place, Frisco, TX 75034. Additionally, a drive-by birthday car parade is planned for Saturday, April 10 at 10:30 – 11:15am at the Saddle Brook Memory Care Community at 9966 Legacy Dr, Frisco, TX 75034.
Mr. Sutter becomes the most senior of the six World War II veterans in the more than 600- member American Legion Post 178. Post 178 is proud to have Mr. Sutter in its ranks!
Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, which was signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It is not an official holiday. Most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 29 or 30 of each year. Though there is some debate, March 29 is generally viewed as a more appropriate date. On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil.
Lasting from 1955 to 1975, the Vietnam war engulfed the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam, as well as its neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos. It resulted in several million deaths, most of whom were Vietnamese civilians. The conflict began during the 1950s when the struggle between the country’s communist northern part and the anti-communist south escalated. The United States began its military involvement to back the South’s effort to quell the communist onslaught, which, at the height of the Cold War, was feared to promote the spread of communist ideology and influence worldwide. During the war, about 500,000 US troops were dispatched to Southeast Asia, about 58,000 of whom were killed. The conflict ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon and the victory of North Vietnam.
More than 350 members of American Legion Post 178 are Vietnam veterans.
The proclamation honored the service and sacrifices of US Armed Forces personnel who were on active duty regardless of location from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. More than 9 million Americans served during that time, as well as, 2.7 million in Vietnam. More than 58,000 names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital. 304,000 were wounded. 1,253 are Missing In Action (MIA), and 2,500 were Prisoners of War (POW).
Mayor Cheney declared that those who served their country deserve the heartfelt acknowledgment and profound gratitude of their countrymen. He urged all citizens to thank and honor each Vietnam veterans and their families who served their country faithfully and courageously and to show a generation of veterans the respect and support of a grateful nation.
More than 300 of the 600 members of American Legion Post 178 are Vietnam Era veterans.