Travis Post 76 Newsletters 1998

JANUARY 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Burrill, Post Commander

Happy New Year!

As we start a new year, it is well to reflect on the year just past. Our Post has been doing very well, with excellent meetings, great speakers and good companionship. The historic Post building is in fine shape, having been well maintained and renovated. The Post has sponsored Boys State and Girls State summer sessions and a number of softball teams, and participated in Memorial Day and Veterans Day activities.
During the year we have learned about FBI activities from Byron Sage, about the deprivations of prisoners of war in Burma from Kyle Thompson; about "Life and the Living of it" from Willie Kocurek; about youth activities and Montessori Child Development Center, which adjoins our Post, from Charlene Trochta; about development of the Hobby-Eberly telescope from John Booth; about the Texas National Guard from MGEN Darrel Baker; and about progress on the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from Holland Young.

Planning Schedule

Executive/Business meetings at the Post home on the first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

February 2nd
March 2nd
April 6th

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.




Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

Each year many of us make New year resolutions, most of which are materialistic in nature. By the middle of February, we've probably forgotten what they were unless we wrote them down.
God would not object to our resolutions, but I believe he would want us to make some that pertain to being a better person.
Our great resolution for 1998 and every year would be to stay happy and spread happiness among others. This would add more meaning to our lives.
Psalms 16:11-You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; In your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Even though we live in an age of plenty, we still have a great amount of unhappiness and poverty. Even though we also live in a time of trouble, there is an increasing number of happy people-why not you?
Happiness depends on how we think-you can think ourself into misery or into happiness. The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts-ones that are positive, creative, and optimistic. When you are happy it will transmit to others.
The greatest happiness comes from winning over your difficulties and also out of pain, struggles, and storm come happiness.
Some people say "Christianity subtracts all the pleasures of life". This is not so, it adds to them and not for a short time but forevermore. take God into our heart and you will sing a song of joy always.
Happiness is a great resolution with a real meaning. So each morning when we awake let's remember that, "This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it".

Treasurer Bio
John E. Pacheco

The service was very very kind to me. I went in as a private E-1 right out of high school in 1981 and left as a first-lieutenant shortly after Desert Storm with a college degree in hand.
In between I managed to earn sergeant stripes,and get a variety of diverse assignments which included a year in the Joint Security Area at Pan Mun Jom Korea, two years with the 12th Special Forces Group and I even got to look pretty for six months as driver for General Stan Hoey when he ran the Air Defense School at Ft. Bliss.
Out of all my assignments in the military, my year at Pan Mun Jom was my favorite. I have never seen a group of finer men. The job itself of intimidating soldiers at the 38th parallel was endlessly entertaining.
As a commisioned officer during Desert Storm, I served as the platoon leader for the Regimental Supply Platoon of the 3rd Armored Cavalry, If you can name it, I supplied it to a regiment of 6,000 people and 400 tanks. I did this through the use of three mobile supply depots my men and I created in the desert from nothing and would move about at the whim of our superiors
Shortly after coming back, I resigned my commission (much to my wifes relief) and spent my last six months on active duty as an operations officer for an international student battalion. This last assignment was very difficult as it involved going on ski trips and other fun recreational outings with foreign officers and their dependents at the Armys expense. It was a very nice final assignment for my wife and me. In hindsight, it also provided invaluable training for my present business career.

Mid-Winter Leadership Conference

This years conference will be January 29 to February 1 at the Omni SouthPark Hotel, IH-35 at Ben White. Registration is $10.00 per person. Details and a registration form are in the December issue of The Legion Times.

American Legion Extension Institute

We highly recommend to all members of the Legion a course that covers the history, programs, policies, and future goals of our organization. Graduates receive a cap patch and a certificate.The course material also serves as a handy reference on the workings of the Legion. The divisions of the course are: Introduction, History, Service Divisions and Sections, Americanism,Children and Youth, Public Relations,Legislative,,Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Economics,National Security and Foreign Relations.
Each course set costs ten dollars with a price break when four or more sets are ordered-orders are from National Emblem Sales. Historian Alan Denman and Vice Commander Loman Wheeler are both graduates (the quizzes are open book) and can give details about the course.

Sick Call
Emmett Shelton,Sr. is on crutches.

FEBRUARY 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Burrill, Post Commander

At our last meeting we learned about the Post sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 415 from Scoutmaster Gene Colabro. We are fortunate to be able to help contribute to the development of young men.
Our February 18th dinner meeting will feature our annual chili cook-off, along with a program by Gene Volcik on the subject of Americanism. This is timely because that date is to be celebrated as Presidents Day. We are a patriotic organization which cherishes each individual contribution to the preservation of the American way of life through military service
There is a perception among many American Legion members that activities at a typical post involve a bar and bingo games. Our Post 76 has neither. We concentrate on good food, informative programs and fine fellowship. Don't hesitate to join us in our regular meetings.

Planning Schedule

Executive/Business meetings at the Post home on the first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
March 2nd
April 6th
May 4th

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.




Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

Valentines Day is the day set aside for lovers but really every day needs to be a day with love not just for our loved ones but all others including our Lord and Savior.
The best foundation on which to build a home is love which provides the best chance for survival and not destruction.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient;love is kind;love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love is dynamic in its meaning and feelings. Actually it defies defintion but it can be expressed.
Love is the one thing that will last no matter what happens and when everything else is gone.
Love never gives up.
Love envieth not. It is not jealous or possessive.
Love means acceptance-which means belonging.
Love is the greatest because it is available to everyone. No person is too small for Gods love.
Love does not die easily. It is a living thing.
Love offers a positive solution to many problems.

Mother Theresa was asked many times where she gets the love for the unloved. Her answer was always the same-"from Jesus".
Love is not love until you give it away and when you do, it will return to you more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

Distribution of Membership

The question came up recently about the make-up of the current Post 76 membership. A count of the roster from National Headquarters shows the following distribution by war era.

World War 2....49%
Korea..............18%
Vietnam...........26%
Lebanon............2%
Panama............1%
Gulf War............3%

Many of us have friends that we know are veterans of one of these eras. Plan now to contact them and use your influence to add them to the membership.

Sergeant-At-Arms Bio
by
Bill Stramler

My military career (totaling nearly 23 years) began in December 1950 when I joined Headquarters Company, 36th Division, of the Texas Army National Guard. My first job was as chauffer to the Chief of Staff, a position I held for four years.
I was discharged in 1956 but decided to re-enlist in the Guard again in 1960; for a three year hitch; this time with a different Unit, the 36th Administration Company, where I was assigned to the Finance Unit. I re-joined the ARNG in 1977 in another Finance Unit. I concluded my career as a Control Chief working with the 15th Finance Support Unit at Fort Hood.

MARCH 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Burrill, Post Commander

Our staff of officers and other executive committee members have strived to maintain an attractive meeting place at the Post, both within the building and throughout the surrounding grounds. This effort is spearheaded by Larry Miller, our 2nd Vice Commander, and the Building and Grounds committee. The results have been remarkable, as we have a magnificent place for our members to meet and for the accomodation of other groups who also meet at the post.
Our March dinner meeting should be of great interest and all members are cordially invited to attend.

Planning Schedule

Executive/Business meetings at the Post home on the first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

April 6th
May 4th
June 1st

New Department Commander will speak

Due to an extended period of recovery from heart bypass surgery, Commander William "Huey" Long has been forced to step aside as Department Commander. Former Vice Commander Ron Cherry has graciously agreed to speak at our dinner meeting on March 16th. Come out and meet our Department Commander on this occasion.

Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

When something drastic happens to us, the most common question we ask is, "Why me, Lord?" We are Christians living according to your doctrines- so "why me?" we are always told that God will not burden us with more than we can handle and that everything that happens in our lives is for a purpose.
Then can this suffering make us more educated? Cure our faults and make us better people? Many theologians have tried to explain suffering by telling us that it could expand our horizons and repair ones personality. We are Gods children and He is our loving parent who controls what happens to us. When we discipline our children by punishing them, they cannot understand why a loving parent can treat them this way. Of course, we know the child will understand the wisdom and necessity of it when he or she grows up.
Sometimes, because our souls yearn for justice because we so desperately want to believe God will be fair to us, we fasten our hopes and faith on the hereafter where the innocent are compensated for the unfairness in life on earth.
But there is also another approach to this question of "why me". Maybe God does not cause our suffering. Maybe it just happens for some other reason other than that of the will of God.
God does stand ready to help us cope with our tragedies and gets us beyond this feeling of guilt and anger.
So instead of asking, "why me, Lord?" when tragedy strikes- let's all read Psalms 121- 1 and 2.
I lift up my eyes to the hills-from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth.

Chaplain Bio

My hitch in the Navy started at the age of 17 and ended 22 months, 8 days, 5 hours and 37 minutes later at the age of 19. I was transferred from San Diego to Philadelphia on a troop train, a ride of five days and we were a stinky bunch that boarded the U.S.S. Huntington, a light cruiser.
Our ship was a part of the occupational forces in the Mediterranean Sea. We traveled from port to port and I was very fortunate to see such sights as the Isle of Capri, Pompei, Venice, Rome including the Vatican, Florence, Genoa and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We were in Trieste during all the rioting and once we tried to pick up some American hostages in Greece but our ship was unable to travel in the shallow port.
I made two seperate trips to the Mediterranean, once for 13 months and the other for three months. After returning to the States I was transferred to the USS Albany, a heavy cruiser which made a goodwill trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jaun and Eva Peron came aboard our ship as guests.
Even though my enlistment was short, I was very fortunate to have traveled to several countries, had a wonderful experience and gained much maturity.


APRIL 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Burrill, Post Commander

Our March dinner meeting was enhanced by the presence of Ron Cherry, Interim Department of Texas Commander; and Tom Tvrkik, 10th District Commander; and his wife. At that dinner meeting, Ron Cherry issued a challenge for our post to meet its quota in regard to membership. We have a long way to go to meet the deadline by April 17. Our total membership is made up by the renewal of former and present members and the addition of new veterans to the rolls. Please assist by encouraging past members to renew and new eligible members to renew and new eligible members to join.
At the April 6th business meeting, the Executive Committee wil be asked to approve a nominationg committee for the selection of officers to lead our post for the year beginning in August. Elections will be held at the June 1st business meeting. The nominating committee will most likely consist of past commanders. Anyone wishing to seek a Post office should make this fact known to the nominating committee.

Planning Schedule

Executive/Business meetings at the Post home on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

May 4th
June 1st
July 6th

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.




Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

How do we grade each other in society-by our monetary value,social status, or spiritualism? Probably not spiritualism too often.
We receive the greatest reward when we forget about our monetary compensation and do each job as though we are working directly for God. Instead of remembering others ingratitude and seeming disinterest in our welfare, we concentrate our thinking on the talents that God gave us to use and we devote our attention to using these abilities in our work for God.
When my partner and I were in business, we realized we were not the greatest business people since we gave away medication to needy people because of our compassion and responsibility to our fellow person. Now that we are older we realize in our unselfishness that we may have saved ones life or at least hospitilization. The more we gave, the more we received in spiritual feelings.
In Luke 6:38 Jesus states it this way: Give, and it will be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your laps. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
It does not matter whom benefits from the service we give, whether that person seems worthy or unworthy, but it does matter what kind of service we give and how we give it. But the greatest reward is the inner reward that comes from a job well done for God.

Editors Note:The following is a compilation of articles from both the American Legion and Auxillary Headquarters regarding the "Show Your Colors,America" campaign.

As you know, the goal of the Citizens Flag Alliance is to give people the right to protect our countrys flag from the dishonor of malicious desecration by adding a flag protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One important step has been gained with the amendments passage by the U.S. House of Representatives-but there remains an important battle in the U.S Senate. We must continue to demonstrate to legislators that our precious flag is important to us, thus we (the American Legion & Auxillary) join in the CFA campaign, "Show Your Colors, America!"
For nearly nine years, Legionnaires have waged a campaign to restore to Americans the right to protect the flag from physical desecration through passage of a constitutional amendment. Members of the Legion family have shown their pride and support of this issue in many ways.Now we want you to enlist all of the nation in the campaign.
"I'm calling on all American Legion family members to bear Old Glory and charge into their communities to enlist their neighbors in the Show Your Colors, America! campaign," challenges National Commander Anthony G. Jordan. "The strategy is to simply blanket your hometowns with American flags and other displays of patriotism to demonstrate to members of the U.S. Senate that their constituents believe Old Glory is more than just a piece of cloth."
"I want every member of your family, your Post, your friends and neighbors and your community to hoist the U.S. Flag proudly on Memorial Day (May 25) weekend and display it every day until Veterans Day 1998," Jordan says.
Lastly, inform your U.S.Senator of your support of the U.S. House constitutional amendment.

TAPS
Dr. David Hines passed away recently.

June 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Burrill, Post Commander

The officers for the coming fiscal year were elected by the Executive Board at the June 1st business meeting and will be installed during the August 17th dinner meeting. They are as follows:

Commander...............................C. Loman Wheeler
1st Vice Commander.................Lawrence W. Miller
2nd Vice Commander.......................Eugene Volcik
Adjutant.................................................Guy Davis
Finance Officer..................................John Pacheco
Service Officer.................................Bill G. Stramler
Judge Advocate...........................Ralph W. Vertrees
Sergeant-at-Arms...............Charles W. Sponberg, Jr.
Historian.............................................Alan Denman
Chaplain.............................................Stanley Juba
Past Commander.............................James T. Burrill

Executive Committee 1998-2000...William K. Brown, W.G. "Bill" Cobb, Joseph F. Trochta

The May 20th dinner meeting featured a most interesting presentation by Mr. Jack Lowry of the Texas Highways magazine. He emphasized the growth of the magazine and showed slides of the beautiful Texas wildflowers which were mainly featured in the Spring editions.

Planning Schedule
Executive/Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

Philemon: 4-7 When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.
Each year many of us attend some kind of reunion whether it be family, military or just an annual gathering of friends with a mutual interest. These reunions are full of precious memories and how often we use them to pull us through some painful times. When adversities knock us down, our strength so sapped that we feel that we will never be able to get back to our feet, but quite mysteriously, we recall memories of good times. Memories too often are considered merely sentimental but they are what have made us and make us mindful of the happenings within our universe.
Our spirit of thankfulness has a lot to do with our memories. First, we need to bring to our mind the human aspects of these people we have known-their hopes and dreams, faith and devotion, courage and strength.
Second, we need to give thanks always for our memories of these people. We remember them, not just because they are close to us and important to us, but because they are part of Gods creative work. We give thanks always for them because they are a sign that God is working still to recreate and reform the world.
With Memorial Day still fresh in our memory, we need to always remember our departed comrades and give thanks for their sacrifices.
Oh, such precious memories we have.

June Dinner Meeting
Our speaker for the June dinner meeting will be Jesse Stallings. Jesse was born in Terrell, Texas, in 1915. He participated in his first rodeo at the age of seven in Navasota, Texas. During his rodeo career, he started stunt riding and later expanded to general stunt work. At age 14, he joined the Texas National Guard, received his 2nd Lieutenant commission in 1938, and went on active duty in 1940. He has worked and trained in many diversified fields. He learned to fly light planes and was a member of a three-plane barn-storming group.
He attended the Officers Refresher Course at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was instructed (and became an instructor) in horsemanship, horse mastership, and military subjects. Home stations in the U.S. Cavalry were Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Clark at Bracketville. In the Pacific he served with the 112th Cavalry Special Combat Team and received two Philippine government medals, combat infantry badge, bronze star and purple heart.
In 1945 he returned to the United States and was assigned to Cavalry school at Fort Riley, Kansas. In that year he married Toinette Marie Heffington. They have four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Jesse has continued his education and worked in many other fields. He has been an art editor and in public relations for Southwestern Square Dancing Magazine. He established his own photography business and managed a photographic laboratory for Myers Associates. He is a member of several Veterans organizations including the American Legion. He is currently president of the Texas Military Forces Museum. One of his hobbies is raising exotic sheep.
Jesse Daniel Stallings is listed in many biographical reference books.

TAPS
We note with regret the death of Warren Tomlinson. Warren and his wife were regulars at our meetings.

July 1998

Commanders Comments

Loman Wheeler, 1st Vice Commander

Boys States for 1998 was the usual success with a total of 957 boys from the 254 counties of Texas participating. Paul Barker coordinated interviews conducted at area high schools by Post 76 members and the 13 boys were selected from these schools. Tuesday night was "Legion Night" with speeches by the Department Commander and Auxillary President. Post 76 member Dr. Firman Haynie took part in this 50th Boys State, and Past Commander Ivie presented him with the certificate from the National Commander recognizing his 50 years continuous membership in the American Legion. On Friday morning, Boys State marched to the Capitol from Jester dorm. The route had detours due to construction, but ended at the South entrance to the Capitol. The parade was led by the Boys State band, and to say that almost one thousand boys marching 8 abreast is impressive would be a gross understatement. Our thanks to all who spent time on this program.

Planning Schedule Executive/Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

Colossians 1:10-Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
II Peter 3:18-Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we travel down lifes road, we may ask ourselves: Who am I? Where do I fit into this world? How do others see me? What do I believe and why? Where am I going?

I have learned that the really important question is not-who am I or what am I doing or how much do I make? These are things that I have very little control over and is of very little significance. Rather what is necessary for me, as a Christian, is to ask, "Whose am I?" To center ones self on Christ and to pursue Him rather than wealth and position is to find value in this life and salvation in the next.

When all of were young, getting established in a job or career was the highest challenge of our young adult years. It was a challenge fraught with excitement, frustration, sucess, and disappointing failures. It was a task that was made easier if we remembered a few basic rules:
(1) Life is not easy-"how true this is."
(2) Remember that life is not always fair.
(3) Realize there is limited room at the top.
(4) Everyone can be sucessful to some degree.

Would you agree that everyone can be sucessful? Much depends on how we define sucess. In our society prestige and possessions are the major mark of sucess and the life goals of a lot of people. If you want to be great, Jesus told his disciples, you should seek to serve others. Jesus himself had one purpose in life and that was to do his Fathers will. He never became rich, but he was successful because his main goal in life was obedience to God.

July Dinner Meeting

We will be trying something different at our July Dinner Meeting. Our guests will be both Boys Staters and Girls Staters. We are combining the two groups instead of inviting them seperately. We are looking forward to their reports that are always entertaining. Come join us July 20 for fried chicken and an enjoyable evening.

The following is an exerpt from a letter to Col. Harry Smith, Past Post Commander regarding a recent award by our Post.
Dear Colonel Smith (and Post 76):
Thank you for choosing me as the recipient of the American Legion Military Excellence Award. Please extend my thanks to Mr. Marvin Beck for presenting the award to me. I wish you to know I will continue to carry on the excellence I have already started. I will push myself to excel not only in school, but in the military and spiritually as well. I will give my heart to this nation and do my best to carry on the tradition that the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces have set before me. I will continue to embody the values that have given me a chance to be given this great honor. I wish to thank you again for choosing me for your award. I will not let you, my unit, or my country down as I will push to become the best officer in the United States Air Force that I can be.
Michael Griffin
Boerne, Texas

TAPS
We regret the passing of long time member and Past Commander of Post 76 and District 10 Donald O'Connor. Don was a Legionnaire for 52 years. He was a candidate for Department Commander in 1970.
Also we regret the passing of Legionnaires Ralph Cunningham and Henry Munson.
Please remember thse families in your prayers.

August 1998

Commanders Comments

Jim Buriill, Post Commander

During the past year it has been my privilege to be designated as the commander of our American Legion Travis Post 76. We have had a fine group of officers and have been honored by entertaining speakers and programs as well as good dinners. The Post has successfully supported Boy Scout Troop 415 under the leadership of Scoutmaster Gene Colabro, a large number of high school baseball teams under the coordination of Larry Miller, and attendees at Boys State under the guidance of Paul Barker. Our Post building has been kept in fine shape due to the efforts of the Building committee. All the daily maintenance and supervision of Linda Rogers in a great manner. It has been a fine year in all repects and I have appreciated the constant support of all our members who regularly attend.
At our August 17th dinner meeting, the newly elected officers will be installed with the new Department of Texas commander, Don Whalen, as the installing officer. At that time, our new commander, C. Loman Wheeler, will take over for the coming year. He will be assisted by an enthusiastic team of supporting officers. I am sure that Loman and the other officers will carry on the activities of the Post in an outstanding manner.

Planning Schedule Executive/Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

Chaplains Corner

Eugene Volcik

Instead of scripture, I want to share a portion of a poem that has such great meaning, "Always have a dream".

Forget about the times you've been defeated,
But don't forget the victories you've won...
Forget about the mistakes that you can't change now,
But don't forget the lessons that you've learned...
Forget about the days when you've been lonely,
But don't forget the friendly smiles you've seen...
Always have a dream...

Always have a dream-sometimes dreams or visions are necessary for our survival. When the American Legion was founded in 1919, there was this dream of it being around forever-so you and I need to keep this dream alive.
Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream", yes, a dream he did not see fulfilled but it did produce results. Sometimes a dream is like a ship with no visible coastline in front or behind-with the bow of the ship charting a course through the sea on an unscheduled course-a course that must put God as its pilot showing you the way regardless of night or rough sea.
Some people dare not venture out into the world because they are afraid of the mysteries of life-many times we drift aimlessly through life without a vision. Without a course at sea, it may be a lonely voyage. Life without a dream or vision could be very empty or shallow.
From the very beginning God had a vision for us. Jesus was the answer to that dream-his crucifixion on the cross for our sins so we could be saved and given everlasting life. Some say your dreams will not be fulfilled but we must make faith in God the deepest movement within our lives.
Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has a low point. Our lives are made of mountains and valleys, just remember not to dwell in the valleys.
Lift yourself out of the valleys and always, always have a dream.

History of Milam County War Dead is Being Written
Houston, Texas- Two hundred sixty stories. All tragic and each ending with the death of a father, son, brother or other oved one far from home. Lynna Kay Shuffield who lives in Houston is working on a project entitled "Milam County, Texas: List of Honor-Individuals Who Have Given Their Lives in the Defense of their Country from World War I through Vietnam".
Shuffield wants these war heroes to be remembered. She is researching the U.S. military and naval records on each soldier and sailor from Milam County who died while serving his country in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Her goal is to uncover everything she can about Milam Countys war dead before it's too late.
This research project is a key to a motherlode of genealogical data and should grow in significance as our need for 20th Century military information increases. Right now, this project is the only one of its kind in the State of Texas and represents a whole new path in genealogical research, with fresh possibilities and discoveries.
Anyone knowing family members or is interested in the project is asked to contact Shuffield at (713) 692-4511. Her mailing address is P.O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222.
There is an Internet web page devoted to the project at: http://www.geocities.com/milamco/War-Dead/WD-001.htm.

TAPS
We were saddened to learn that another of our members has gone to Post Everlasting.Our sympathy goes out to the family of Douglas Nichols upon his recent death.

September 1998

Commanders Comments

Loman Wheeler, Post Commander

The Vietnam Veteran: Myth vs Fact

The Military Service Coalition Newsletter recently paraphrased and adapted material from a soon-to-be published book to be called Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and History, by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley (Verity Press Inc.). I found the information enlightening and worth repeating.

Myth:Vietnam veterans were reluctant draftees.
Fact:Seven million men voluteered for the military; only two million were drafted. Research indicates that 75% of those who served in Vietnam itself were volunteers.

Myth:Vietnam veterans were poorly educated.
Fact:Almost 80% of those who enlisted had high school diplomas compared to 45% who served in WWII. Proportionately, three times as many college graduates served in Vietnam than in WWII.

Myth:Youngsters were sent to Vietnam as cannon fodder. Fact:Analysis of DOD data shows that the average age of more than 58,000 men killed in Vietnam was almost 23 years old.

Myth:Those who died in Vietnam were disproportionately black and hispanic. Fact:About 5% of those killed in action were identified as hispanic and 12.5% were black.

Myth:Soldiers in Vietnam smoked pot and shot up with heroin to dull the horrors of combat. Fact:Except for the last couple of years of the war, drug usage among American troops in Vietnam was lower than American troops stationed outside the war zone. At the time drug abuse rates started to rise, 90% of the men who fought in Vietnam had already come and gone.

Contrary to some perceptions, Vietnam veterans as a group have higher achievment levels than their peers who did not serve in the military. Those who remained in uniform reshaped the American military and mobilized it to win the Gulf War with lightning speed. Stereotypes may persist, but real Vietnam veterans are helping to run the country.

Planning Schedule

Executive/Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.

  • September 21st...Speaker: Dr. Diane Everman, archeologist recently returned from a "dig" near the site of ancient Caesarea
    ENTREE-Grilled Pork Chops
  • October 19-Bill McLemore will discuss Veterans benefits and concerns.
    ENTREE-HAM
  • November 16-Speaker Joanna Hollingsworth, 911 information,
    ENTREE-Turkey and Dressing
  • December 21-Christmas Program, A time of good cheer with singing of carols,
    ENTREE-Chips, dips, Cookies, Finger Foods

    National POW/MIA Recognition Day
    The Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee of the the Texas Legislature is hosting a special ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day on the south steps of the Capitol at 12 NOON on Friday, September 18, 1998. This event is being held to recognize not only those American service personnel still unaccounted for overseas, but the family members of those men and women left behind. Your presence will send a strong message to POW/MIA families of your support for their concerns. Plan to attend if you can.

    Chaplains Corner

    Stanley Juba

    At each meeting of every American Legion Post, in our Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion, we state the reason for joining and remaining active in this organization. These reasons are both noble and challenging to every Legionnaire.
    Shortly, we will have the honor and privilege of voting for our representative in local, state and federal elections. Those of you members who read this need no encouragement to make yourselves knowledgeable of the issues to be voted upon or the character or morals of the individuals to be elected. However, as veterans who have given much and continue to give, we must"...inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation:..." by encouraging our friends and neighbors to vote. Remind them that many VA medical services will be curtailed or eliminated entirely by the presidents diversion of funds to highway repair and construction. It will be too late when illness or accident occurs, to show up at a VA Medical Center to find it closed. And it is not sufficient to mention voting to our friends and relations; we must discuss the issues and candidates with acquaintances we meet in stores, chuches and supermarkets, with people who telephone during meals, door-to-door salesmen, neighbors.
    Decide in the next few weeks the candidate who best sees your views and write him a letter expressing your support and views of issues relating to Veterans benefits, Social Welfare, Environmental Problems, and other issues affecting you as a citizen of this great country. Also, write a letter to one candidate you do not support. Explain the reasons in a cool, logical manner, and he may change his platform, or at least, consider your point of view.
    Too few people communicate with their elected representatives, and too many complain about high taxes, loss of benefits and poor representation. When your ox is gored it may be too late to complain!

    Membership Drive
    Vice Commander Gene Volcik
    In the last few years our attendance at the dinner meetings has dwindled plus our membership has decreased. Let's do something about it.
    To increase attendance:
    (1) Bring those who are unable to drive at night or lack transportation.
    (2) Call a member who has not attended lately and remind them.
    (3) Bring or invite a potential member.
    To increase membership, we need to recruit more Korean, Viet Nam and Desert Storm veterans. Tell them about Post 76 and our participation in Boys and Girls State, American Legion Baseball, and that we have some of the finest fellowship in the American Legion.

    Auxillary News
    Greetings to all members

    1998-1999 has gotten off to a sucessful start. we fell short of our membership goal of 100% but did achieve 90%. All other goals were met. We are looking forward to a new hope of serving people for God and Country in the next 12 months. This is friendly reminder to all members to pay your membership dues and help us build up our membership by inviting your friends and acquaintances to join our auxillary. Bring them to the joint dinner meetings and to our business meetings. I realize everyone is busy with other activities in their life style, but our auxillary is an important function, to give support to the Legion and to do our part in helping the veterans who made great sacrifices to secure our safety and freedom from many terrible things.
    Please consider putting our meeting at the top of your priority list. Our business meeting are first Monday night of each month beginning at 7 pm and last about one hour. Our joint dinner meeting with Post 76 is the third Monday night with fellowship at 6:30 pm and diner at 7pm, with outstanding speakers and programs following the delicious meal. Everyone is welcome to the business meeting where we have helpful decisions to make with fellowship and cookies served with coffee and light drinks on the side. This is your meeting where you decide how and what you want to do for the American Legion and our veterans. Please attend.
    Sincerely,
    Merle Wheeler, President

    TAPS
    With regret, we must report the passing of another proud member of Travis Post 76, Jose A. Sanchez. Our sympathy goes out to the family.

    October 1998

    Commanders Comments

    Loman Wheeler, Post Commander

    The Military Service Coalition

    From time to time we pass on information from the Military Service Coalition. This is a coalition of over one hundred veteran and auxillary organizations in the Austin area. These organizations represent over 65,000 veterans and their families in the Austin area, which increase to over 103,000 members when you count the area immediately surrounding Austin. The stated mission of the Military Service Coalition is to be a coalition of communicators, not lobbyists and not a political activist organization. The Coalition does not officially endorse any elected official or candidate, but tries to provide members with information that will give them an opportunity to support, on an individual basis, elected officials and candidates that support the issues that reflect the interests and needs of our military community.
    One of the things that the Coalition does is conduct forums in election years for candidates to express their views on matters of concern for veterans. As we receive information on these forums, we will publicize it among Post members.

    Exclusivity is the Key Word

    It was recently brought to our attention that the IRS has been auditing the records of American Legion Posts, in other states so far, and one of the things they have been looking at was the eligibility status of members. Membership is exclusive to veterans who served during periods of hostilities, and the IRS looks for documentation on file at each Post in the form of a DD Form 214, DD Form 217, DD Form 256 or DD Form 257. The Post must maintain these files to keep its Tax Exempt status.
    We realize that to comply with this request will, at the very least, be a nuisance to many members, but ask that each member bring or send a copy of the appropriate form to the Post to be filed or copies for filing. A person can obtain the necessary document by writing to:
    NPRC/NCPMF, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5000. The request must be signed and will require your full name, grade or rank at time of separation, and social security number or service number.

    Planning Schedule

    Executive/Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
    November 2nd, December 7th, January 4th.

    Dinner meetings at the Post on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
    October 19-Bill McLemore will discuss Veterans benefits and concerns.
    ENTREE-HAM
    November 16-Speaker Joanna Hollingsworth, 911 information,
    ENTREE-Turkey and Dressing
    December 21-Christmas Program, A time of good cheer with singing of carols,
    ENTREE-Chips, dips, Cookies, Finger Foods

    Auxillary News

    Merle Wheeler

    Greetings to all members! This is to inform you about our business meeting on Monday evening, September 14, 1998. Our meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. We had four members present and two guests(well, we had one real person and one animated guest).
    Our "Special Guest" was Sandra Wagner, Vice-President of the 21st District. She is an ambassador for Spinoza Bear-the Teddy Bear Who Speaks from the Heart. Spinoza Bear himself was our special guest. Husband Howard Wagner was with them and he was a guest of Post 76. They drove in from Priddy, Texas, to tell us about two small children, a brother and sister, that have lost their parents: the father by death from cancer and the mother can't be found. The children are in the care of the Hospice Foundation here in Austin. They came to give us the opportunity to help these children by giving a Spinoza Bear to them, and so we did. Happinesss comes when we serve other people. We also sent $25.00 to Channel 24 for their school supply drive in late August.
    Our Unit theme this year is the Family Circle, helping the families and especially helping children.
    We hold Girls State close to our hearts and hope to keep everyone informed about its activities and progress. We apologize to our Girls State worker, Avadne Montandon, for all of us on our lack of information about their activities. We have ordered the new 1998 Girls State video which is about 30 minutes long and we hope to have it available for viewing at one of our dinner meetings in the near future. We commend Avadne Montandon for all her years of devotion to the Girls State program. We are willing to assist her with this program in any way we can. We hope she will continue to keep us informed about the program. A heart-felt "Thank You" to Avadne for your love and devotion to this program.
    A membership drive is on and we have 1999 target dates:
    Target # 1 : 50% due by October 1, 1998. So far we are right on track. Good going! Let's stay on target this year and make our 100% or better yet, 101% or 103%.
    The Presidents Theme: We are Angels devoted to God and Country-a reach for success.
    The Membership Theme: H.U.G.S. Across Texas-A Race for the Roses. (H.U.G.S.: Help Urge Growth and Service)
    When we reach our target dates we will earn our "Wings". At 100% we will awarded our "Halo".
    With all we had on our agenda we were busy, but got everything done within an hours time, and had time for coffee and cookies.
    You all come join in our meetings. It's a good feeling to serve others.

    Chaplains Corner

    Stanley Juba

    You've had a whole month to act on my suggestions previously given in this bulletin. How have you fared? Have you attended any of the hearings on the proposed city or school taxes? The bill for paying for government and schools falls on you, and you have much wisdom and experience to offer at these public hearings. As we all know, in most organizations, whether it's the PTA, the Red Cross, VFW or the Legion, 94% of the work is accomplished by 10% of the membership. We have seen what a small group of gayrights activists can accomplish with changes in the laws regarding housing, and the difficulties of the pro-life activists in passing laws restricting abortion.
    When the United States Supreme Court said that desecration of the flag was an expression of free speech and protected by the Constitution, they were wrong in my view.
    But who today will take up the sword of justice in defense of the flag? In my travels overseas, I knew it was time to go home when I would see an American flag over some embassy or consulate, and the tears would well up in my eyes. If the Supreme Court says we must have a constitutional amendment, then we had best see to its passage out the Congress.

    TAPS
    We regret the recent death of Kenneth G. Shaw, a long-time Post supporter and Past Historian. We extend our sympathy to his family.

    November 1998

    Commanders Comments

    Loman Wheeler, Post Commander

    Veterans Day Activities
    Past Commanders Breakfast
    Travis Post 76 is planning for the Past Commanders Breakfast on Veterans Day as in years past. We recognize our Past Commanders at this breakfast, but it is open to all members. the breakfast is prepared by volunteers under the direction of Junior Past Commander Jim Burill. The breakfast will be served at about 7:00 a.m on November 11 and finish in time for the members to participate in the parade and memorial activities with other veterans organizations. You will find that we have some good cooks in our Post.

    Veterans Day Parade
    The parade is set to form at Third and Congress Avenue and lead off at 9:30 a.m. to proceed up Congress to arrive at Eleventh and Congress at aproximately 10:45 a.m.
    Veterans Day Memorial Program
    The program will be held on the south steps of the State Capitol building and will begin at 11:00 a.m. "sharp" with a fly-over of helicopters assigned to local units of the Texas Army Reserve and National Guard. At approximately 11:03 a.m., Veterans Day Committee chairman Jim Liles is expected to introduce the program Master of Ceremonies Bill McLemore, a member of Post 76 and the Travis County Veterans Service Officer.

    The program will include:
    Presentation of the colors by local units of the Texas National Guard.
    Invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem
    Introduction of local, city, county and state elected officials.
    Presentation of the proclamations in recognition of Veterans Day.

    McLemore will lead a roll-call to honor our dead and this will be followed by the Wreath Laying Ceremony, tolling of the bells, and a twenty-one gun salute by Texas military units. The ceremony will close with TAPS played by a bugler from Del Valle High School, the singing of God Bless America, and the benediction.
    The event is expected to be completed by noon.

    Planning Schedule
    Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1
    Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
    November 16-Speaker Joanna Hollingsworth, 911 information,
    ENTREE-Turkey and Dressing
    December 21-Christmas Program, A time of good cheer with singing of carols,
    ENTREE-Chips, dips, Cookies, Finger Foods

    Auxillary News

    by Merle Wheeler
    "Greetings to all members" All members of American Legion Auxillary Unit 76 will observe Veterans Day, November 11, along with our Post Legionnaires. We will be active in all the programs for that day. We hope all members of our Auxillary will be able to join us to honor the men and women who served our country in uniform.
    The American Legion Auxillary is a patriotic womens organization of nearly one million members founded in 1919 to support the work of the American Laegion and all veterans. One way for us to serve and support the veterans in to make available the Memorial Poppy to all Americans. The Memorial Poppy of the American Legion Auxillary is made by hospitalized veterans and distributed to the public on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. All donations received are used only to benefit American veterans.
    There are other items available to support the poppy program. These items can be obtained from the American Legion Auxillary National Headquarters.
    The more successful our poppy program, the more successful our help for veterans will be. There is no better way to honor our veterans, whether living or dead, than show that "we remember".

    Welcome New Member
    Lawrence Cummings

    TAPS
    Travis Post 76 has lost another World War II veteran with the recent death of David Rainey. Our condolences go to his family upon this sad occasion.

    Call to World War II Veterans
    Two history teachers at Leander High School are planning a World War II history unit for their classes in which veterans will tell their experience in person or via video. They are looking for volunteers for the project. If you would like to take part or know someone you can recommend, contact the Post Commander.


    Chaplains Corner
    Stanly Juba
    Stewardship is accepting the moral responsibility for those material goods, resources and people entrusted to us by God. We have all heard the story of the good Samaritan and how he helped a traveler who had been beaten and robbed.
    Well, it is our time to be stewards. We have been entrusted with a fair country, a pleasant community, an abundance of material goods and the comradeship of persons with like circumstance.
    It is time to give back to help our fellow man, emulating the good Samaritan. almost every church now has outreach programs staffed by volunteers. More important than money, your help is needed in the form of time, to meet and assist in the outreach programs available.
    Most have Social Ministries, which provide help and support to those experiencing a life-altering transistion or crisis. Food pantries all over Travis County need volunteers. Christmas is coming and the Salvation Army could use your help.
    Remember all the free donuts and coffee they used to provide when you wore the uniform? Now it is your turn to repay the favor with a few hours of your time.

    Post Historian Column
    by Alan Denman

    In 1949 France sent 49 boxcars filled with gifts to the U.S.A. Our Post is privileged to have the car given to Texas just outside our front door. Where are the other 48 boxcars today?
    The following information is from an article in the October 1994 "Forty and Eighter".

    Photos available on a website at http://www.mercitrain.org.

    Arkansas American Legion Post Helena,
    Delaware American Legion Post Seaford,
    Kansas American Legion Post Hays,
    South Carolina American Legion Post 6 Columbia,
    Wyoming American Legion Post 6 Cheyenne,
    Georgia Chateau Voiture 217 Atlanta,
    Iowa Voiture 82 Black Hawk County,
    Michigan Voiture 946 Lansing,
    Indiana Veterans Memorial Shrine Fort Wayne,
    Utah Veterans Memorial Grove Salt Lake,
    Virginia War Memorial Museum Newport News,
    Montana Pioneers & Veterans Bldg Helena,
    Minnesota Military Museum Camp Ripley,
    Ohio Camp Perry,
    Louisiana Old State Capitol Grounds Baton Rouge,
    Mississippi Capitol Bldg parking lot Jackson,
    North Dakota Capitol grounds Bismark,
    Missouri State Fairground Sedalia,
    New Mexico State Fairgrounds Albequerque,
    South Dakota State Fairground Huron,
    Idaho State Penitentiary Boise,
    Alabama Huntsville Depot Transportation Museum,
    Kentucky Railway Muesum New Haven,
    Maine Boothbay Railway Museum Route 27,
    Maryland Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum Baltimore,
    North Carolina Railroad Museum Spencer,
    Nevada State Railroad Museum Carson City,
    Wisconsin Mid-Continent Railway Museum North Freedom,
    Hawaii Ewe Railroad Yard,
    Arizona Pioneer Park Phoenix,
    California Roedin Park Fresno,
    Florida Hollyhill City Hall,
    New Hampshire Manchester,
    Oklahoma Norman,
    New York Whitestown,
    Oregon Astoria,
    Pennsylvania Fort Indiantown Gap,
    Tennessee Briston,
    Vermont Downtown on railroad tracks St. Albans,
    Washington Moxee,
    West Virginia Union Carbide property S. Charleston,
    Colorado mysteriously disappeared,
    Illinois mysteriously disappeared,
    Massachusetts mysteriously disappeared,
    Connecticut destroyed by fire,
    New Jersey destroyed by fire,
    Nebraska sold for junk,
    Rhode Island was lost but now being restored

    December 1998

    Commanders Comments

    Loman Wheeler, Post Commander

    We had a good Veterans Day. The weather cooperated this year, and we were especially aware of this after our experiences in some years. The day started with a great Past Commanders Breakfast at the Post home prepared by volunteers who rose very early in order to serve breakfast before we reported for the parade. The Kiwinis of Cedar Park followed the tradition started by Dave Dietzen and brought their train for us to ride in the parade. This brought back fond memories of Dave, who was a valued member of Post 76, who took part in Boys State activities, as well as helping each year with the parade.
    The ceremony at the Capitol was very moving. Post 76 member Bill McLemore has done an outstanding job as Master of Ceremonies each year.
    A happy sight at the parade was the large crowd of small children that lined the parade route and cheered for the veterans. It is heartening to know that the children are being made aware of the place of veterans in the history and well being of our country. A, touching, unexpected tribute was received when a little girl ran from the crowd and handed one of us a folded letter. It read:
    Dear Veterans, Thank you so much for fighting for our country and giving us happiness. If you would have not fought for our country, we would be like the other countries who cannot vote, also they can't say things about the ones that are running for president, so they cannot be punished. The liberty that I have is that I can read, listen to the kind of music I like, and go to the shops that I want. Sincerely, Gaby Cruz, Grade 5,Metz Elementary School.

    Planning Schedule
    Business meetings at the Post on first Mondays at 7:00 p.m.,Jan 4,Feb 1, Mar 1.
    Dinner meetings at the Post home on third Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
    December 21-Christmas Program-A time of good cheer with singing of carols,
    ENTREE-Chips,Dips, Cookies, Finger Foods.
    January 18,1999...Frank Hejl, President,Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary-Medicare and You
    ENTREE.Chicken Tenders

    The November issue of Southern Living magazine has articles about veterans and Veterans Day. We especially recommend and article on the last page,My Country Tis of Thee. You will be moved.

    Chaplains Corner
    Stanley Juba
    Merry Christmas! The season of good cheer is upon us. We should all appreciate the blessings that our God has bestowed on us in the form of family, friends and material goods. Those of us who experienced combat also recognize the value of just living.
    Last month, I spoke of Stewardship, of giving back to our community by volunteering a few hours a week to one of the many community services. Many worthy charities try to raise operating funds at this time of year.
    This is a season to be of good cheer, and with God's help, it will continue through the next year.
    God Bless you and yours for the holidays.

    TAPS
    Roy Benevidez

    For some time now, Roy Benevidez, had suffered from major health problems and was, in fact, in ICU a few weeks ago when we contacted the hospital in San Antonio where he was a patient. Roy died Sunday, November 29, 1998, at Brooke Army Medical Center. Roy received the Congressional Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam in 1968. Our records show thirty years of continuous membership in the American Legion and we were proud to have him a a Life Member of Travis Post 76.

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