Why I Belong to the American Legion

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a message from American Legion Post 6 Commander, Lee Heavlin

As this writer completes another set of stories about our Post’s activities in Chapel Hill, I am reminded of the value of an active, vibrant post in our community.  No, not just in our community, but in towns, villages, cities and counties throughout our nation.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What would our town be like without an American Legion post?”  ”Do we make a difference?”  For us, I need only point to our recent successes with youth.  Our youth are our future.  They are the future of our country.

We have given support to a Boy Scout Troop and Boy Scout Venture group when others closed their doors to them.  We have hosted numerous programs for the benefit of our area youth, including multiple Cub and Boy Scout Camporees and fishing rodeos.

We have sponsored Oratorical contests that gave local youth a chance to hone their skills and compete against other students in District and Division competition.

Our charter Boy Scout Troop 505 was selected as the American Legion North Carolina Boy Scout Troop of the Year for 2011-12 and was presented with the award at the 2012 North Carolina Convention in Raleigh, NC. These young men are growing fast and learning solid citizenship skills and high honors.  Many have earned Eagle Scout since partnering with our Post.

One Life Scout, Harrison Czajkowski, Troop 505, was selected as the Department of North Carolina winner of the Boy Scout High Adventure Award, which was presented at this year’s North Carolina State

Convention.  Master Czajkowski is an Eagle Scout candidate and should advance to Eagle Scout this summer.

The list goes on, but two more are worthy of special note and they just happened.  Both involve the American Legion North Carolina Boys’ State.

Two young men in our town took top honors at Tarheel Boys State.  Nick Clemens, Carrboro High School, was elected the 74th Tarheel Boys’ State Governor and William Wang, Chapel Hill High School, was elected State Supreme Court Justice.  But, “Wait, that’s not all… There’s more to come!”  Young MasterWang took the state bar examination and not only passed it, but he got the highest score in Tarheel Boys’ State History.

Now the question.  ”Would these young men and women been able to achieve these accomplishments, if the American Legion, your American Legion, was not here in Chapel Hill?

That’s why I belong to the American Legion.  I can join with other veterans who care and who do make a difference in our town.  We join together, share our skills, share our wealth, and continue a long 94-year tradition of “We Care!”  We are here to continue our service to  our country.

Want to learn more about the programs of the American Legion?  Read “Why You Should  Belong.”  When you are done, fill out the application for membership on the last page.  Already a member?  Share the message and encourage your neighbor to get involved with the American Legion.