Travis Post 76 Newsletters 2003

January 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

I would like to wish all of our members a Happy New Year. We are now up to 383 paid members as we start a new year. Let us make a resolution to attend our meetings. I know that some of you are unable to attend because you cannot drive at night or not able to drive at all. If you would like to attend, pick up the phone and call any of the officers. We will be glad to come by and pick you up.
Some time in the the near future we are going to hold an open house for all our members on a Sunday afternoon; details will be printed in our newsletter. Some of the things that might ineterest you are our speakers on the third Monday of each month. We had a fine speaker in November, Willie Kocurek, who has been a successful business man and lawyer. The information that some of the speakers pass on to us can be an asset to you in your everyday living or help you in other ways.
You know that you are never too old to stop learning. Just like the retired service member who volunteers. As the motto goes-"still serving". Join us in our meeting. Hope to see you soon.

Planning Schedule

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...February 3rd,March 3rd,April 7th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...January 20th,February 17th,March 17th

The speaker for our January 20th program will be Douglas Oldmixon the Deputy Commissioner,of the Texas Veterans Land Board who will speak about Veterans Loans, Rest Homes and Cemetaries. The entree will be Chicken Fried Steak.

Our speaker is outstanding and will give us a good insight into the benefits available to us as veterans. We had fun at our Christmas party telling our favorite or unusual service Christmas stories and also singing Christmas carols. We really sounded good and we're getting better with age.
In February we will have our chili cook-off.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

My apologies for missing the last two newsletters, but the holiday season was demanding with extensive travel.
We have lost several members during the last several months and certainly want to keep those family and friends in our continuous prayers. It is especially hard at this time of year to deal with the loss of family and close friends. Thanks for keeping the Post and myself informed of illnesses and deaths to our membership family.
As we look to this new year, we pray God's blessings on our Nation, State and County leaders to direct us in a prosperous and safe way so that our lives be free of suffering economic and health related problems. In light of the probable military conflict in the Middle East, we especially pray for those leaders that have control over the circumstances and decisions that can lead to war.
Our Prayer for this month:

Almighty God,we pray Thee. Speak to the hearts of men. Thou has words which search and shake the heart,enlighten the mind,soften anger and drive out hatred and revenge. Say the word that can still the storms and grant us a just and lasting peace.Amen

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

Editors note;The following two resolutions were passed at the EIGHTY-FOURTH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION,CHARLOTTE,NORTH CAROLINA,August 27,28,29,2002. These and all the resolutiions can bee seen on the American Legion web-page at www.legion.org. I know these are of interest to all Legionnaires as well as others listed. Check them all out.

Resolution No. 295: Return Patriotic Holidays To Traditional Dates Submitted by: Americanism WHEREAS, The dates of certain patriotic holidays have been changed from their original dates to create "three-day weekends"; and WHEREAS, The time-honored traditional observances of these holidays has been eroded; and WHEREAS, The majority of Americans view Memorial Day as a time for relaxation and leisure recreation rather than as a solemn occasion and a time to reflect and pay tribute to the American servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in defense of our Nation; and WHEREAS, By urging the ringing of bells in our communities for one minute on traditional Memorial Day, May 30, it will help Americans to realize that the true purpose of this day is to pay tribute to those who have given so much for their country; and WHEREAS, Our hope for the future has been made possible because our servicemen and women have made sacrifices in order to secure freedom for America and the ringing of community bells is a fitting way to observe traditional Memorial Day in the years to come; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Charlotte, North Carolina, August 27, 28, 29, 2002, That The American Legion calls upon the Congress of the United States to restore the official observance of Lincoln’s Birthday to February 12, Washington’s Birthday to February 22, Memorial Day to May 30 and Columbus Day to October 12 each year; and be it finally RESOLVED, That The American Legion urge the passage of federal legislation that would result in an annual Presidential proclamation calling on all American institutions, public and private, to toll their bells for one minute, beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the traditional Memorial Day, May 30, in remembrance of the servicemen and women who died defending our Nation and our freedom.

Resolution No. 299: School Prayer Submitted by: Americanism

WHEREAS, Americans have historically believed in seeking God's protection and guidance through prayer; and WHEREAS, The value of expressing spiritual convictions through public prayer has been recognized as a firm basis on which to conduct public proceedings; and WHEREAS, Supreme Court decisions during the early 1960's have had the effect of severely restricting the practice of any manner of public prayer even though these decisions simply addressed prescribed or compulsory prayer; and WHEREAS, This restriction is most evident in our nation's public schools where a concurrent moral and spiritual decline is clearly manifested; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Charlotte, North Carolina, August 27, 28, 29, 2002, That The American Legion reaffirm its support for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would permit voluntary prayer in public buildings, including public schools and at other public gatherings; and be it finally RESOLVED, That Congress pass legislation to promote the concept of school prayer in order to ensure that our Nation's public school children have a daily opportunity to pray.

February 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

At our last business meeting we discussed printing a new directory of our members. Most of the list that our Adjutant has from state headquarters is up-to-date except for phone numbers. If you would like your phone number included, please contact on of the officers.
Just in case you missed the article in the paper about the meeting at the Burger Center last week about people standing up to what the government is doing, I think that freedom of speech is great, but what is disturbing is the picture of the person waving the American flag with the peace sign replacing the stars.
I want you to know that we sent a letter to the editor of the newspaper protesting this.
If you would like to sample some good chili, join us at our meeting on the 17th of this month;you won't be disappointed.

Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...March 3rd,April 7th, May5th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...February 17th,March 17th,April 21st

The speaker for the February17th meeting will be Dr. Nancy Lamb of the Samaritan Center for Counseling who will speak on "Aging Gracefully",a topic that should be of interest to us all. The entree will be our annual Chili Cook-off. We still need a few chili cookers, so why not try to win one of the prizes with your favorite recipe.
For those who do not drive at night-we are trying to provide transportation, so please contact me.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

In our last newsletter, I mentioned that we have lost several members of late. During the last year the following members were called to POST EVERLASTING:
W.E.Campbell, Harold Hartman, Charles E. Homer, Samuel Huser, Roy Miller,
Douglas Nichols, Emil Pierson, Russell P. Roberson, C.L.Wheeler

Please let us know if there are others, since it is difficult to know about inactive members unless the families notify the Post. We certainly want to pray for and support membership in time of sickness and death,
Many have expressed concern about the path our Nation seems to be taking as to initiating a war in the Middle East. Our continued prayers go out to our leaders as they try to make the right decisions in this regard.
Our prayer for this month:

Bless with Thy continued presence the men and women of our Armed Forces;give them the spirit of fortitude, that they may be faithful to their country and true to Thee; shield them from all dangers both of soul and body; and give them the assurance of Thy guidance and strength that they may serve according to Thy will.Amen!

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

The following article appeared in the Austin-American Statesman on February 7,2003.

Disgrace to Old Glory

We who have served in the armed forces of this nation resent the treatment of the U.S. Flag by the named Democrats and their followers in the February 3rd issue of the Austin-American Statesman ("A Raucus Caucus").
We have no problem with those who have no love for this nation of ours expressing their hatred. However, we do have a problem with their degrading of our flag, for which our comrades gave many years to protect, and many gave their lives to defend. These comrades include those who served at the birth of this great nation and must surely be looking down on us with disdain for the actions of those who bring disgrace to the political party they represent.
When it comes time for the officials named in the article to run for re-election, we shall remember their actions and words on February 2.

Bill Stramler
Commander
American Legion Post 76
Charles Matheson,SR.
Adjutant
American Legion Post 76

Commanders Letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

During a recent Department press briefing, you responded to a question regarding Rep. Charles Rangel's intentions to introduce a bill that would require national service of young Americans, in effect instituting a draft for both military and domestic service to the nation.
I and the 2.8 million members of The American Legion are very disappointed in your choice of words. You said, "Big categories were exempted - people that were in college, people that were teaching, people that were married. It varied from time to time, but there were all kinds of exemptions. And what was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, and then went out, adding NO VALUE, NO ADVANTAGE, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time, because with the churning that took place, it took (an) enormous amount of effort in terms of training, and then they were gone."
Mr. Secretary, every service member who sacrificed during the Vietnam War - volunteer and draftee alike - was a precious national asset. Viet Cong and North Vietnamese mortars and bullets did not discriminate between volunteer or conscripted American fighting men and women. There are 58,229 names inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Both draftees and volunteers alike are listed among the wall's honored dead. Their sacrifice was, indeed, valuable.
I know it is not easy to always field questions with absolute accuracy and intent, but I hope you will reconsider your response with a retraction and an apology to the families of those "draftees" who served America with honor and gave their very lives for their country.

Sincerely,
Ronald F. Conley
National Commander
Cc: President George W. Bush

Editors Note:
The above article as well as many others are available on the American Legion web-site at www.legion.org

A Poem dedicated to the Columbia Space Shuttle Astronauts

God Bless the "Magnificent Seven"

When I must leave you for a little while
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never,never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

March 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

Where does our time go? I thought that when I retired I would have time to do things that I wanted to do, but I find that it does not work that way. Our work at the Post goes on and we are gaining a few more members.
There are a few things that have come to my attention. First, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony J. Principi announced on January 17,2003, a record increase in the budget for Department of Veterans Affairs medical care, the new plan between the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services, that will allow eligible veterans to use their medicare benefits for VA care.
Second,at this time we are at the crossroads of what to do about the deadline that President Bush has placed on Iraq. If once again, America goes to war, I can only hope and pray the war will not last as long as World War I or II.
Thirdly,I finally hope that the nations that hate us will get the message that we will not put up with acts of terorism or making weapons of mas destruction to be used on peaceful countries.
At our April meeting, we will honor our 50-Year members.Please call any of the officers if you would like to attend.

Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...April 7th, May5th, June 2nd

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...March 17th,April 21st,May 19th

Our speaker at the March 17th dinner meeting will be Major Bruce Ferrell,Chief of Texas Active Guard Force Integration. He will speak on the Texas National Guard Role in Home Defense.
The dinner entree will be fried fish.
For our dinner meeting we are going to recognize our Fifty-Year Members. Since many of them do not drive at night, we need volunteers to furnish rides for these folks.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

Once again our country finds itself at the brink of war. As past members of the Armed Forces, we all know so well the importance of putting our trust in the hands of those officials and commanders who have the obligation to protect and preserve our way of life. Prayerful support is a must at this time. I urge all of you and your friends and family to do just that as we join together to uphold our patriotic duty to our country.
We cannot overlook the immediate concerns of our extended family here at Post 76. Our best wishes and prayers go to those who are experiencing illness. In particular, we raise up Charlene Trochta, Ginny Smith and Bill Montandon.
As an officer of the Post, I would encourage you to make every effort to participate in the activities available at the Post. We can use all the support we can get, as this Post is very active in the many programs sponsored by the American Legion on a Local, State and National level.
Our active members are more than willing to assist those who have transportation problems that prevent you from attending the Post events. Just pick up the phone and call. We will be there to help. If nothing else, keep us informed of what is taking place in your life. We,as a concerned Post,want to be available as an extended member of your family.
Our prayer for this month:

O God, guard our homes,churches and schools,our entire land and all therein from harm ans destruction. Preserve the integrity of this Nation founded on religious principles by protecting it from all enemies from within and without. Amen.

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

April 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

During the next few months we will be honoring our 50-Year members at our dinner meetings on the 3rd Monday of each month. If you would like to attend but are unable to drive,please give any of the officers a call. We will come by and pick you up.
At our business meeting we decided to support the families of the service men who are serving in the war with Iraq. If you know of a family that needs support, please give the Post a call or any of the officers.
If you have not been to the Post recently, you will find a few improvements on the grounds- a concrete drain in the back of the building, sign fixed and the rock wall repaired. I wish to thank Joe Trochta for all his hard work.
As Iraq falls, I pray that the United States will set up a government that will involve all the people of Iraq, not just a few; and most certainly will not let a dictator rule the country again.
Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...May5th, June 2nd, July 7th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...April 21st,May 19th,June 16th

Our April speaker, Chuck McCormick, is a 30-year FBI agent and an outstanding speaker. He will speak on "The FBI Role in Terrorism".His comments should be of great interest to all of us;so let's have a great crowd to hear him.
The entree will be Baked Ham.

At our May 19th dinner meeting we will have a special program recognizing members of the Police,EMS, Sheriff and Fire Departments. The entree will be chicken tenders.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

Who will forget the image on TV recently of an American tank commander yelling "For God and Country,Baby". Sound familiar? As we follow the war in a manner never before captured, you can't help having a sense of pride and confidence in those brave soldiers doing what they do best. As we pray for their protection and safety, we can be assured that all of the members of the Armed Forces are making us proud.
Our Post needs to constantly be aware of those around us who have loved ones and friends who are participating in this conflict. Prayers and support of any kind are always welcome and should be the concern of our members. Please be sensitve to those needs as they become evident and do your part in helping.

Our prayer for this month:
Almighty God, we pray Thee, speak to the hearts of men. Thou has words which search and shake the heart, enlighten the mind, soften anger and drive out hatred and revenge. Say the word that can still the storms and grant us a just and lasting peace.
Amen!

May 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

I have received two letters from the Department Commander and National Commander. They are asking the American Legion Posts to support our troops.
We do offer many ways to demonstrate that support from asking our neighbors to "show their colors" by flying the flag of the United States to a simple e-mail to a soldier in one of the camps.
Several other ways we can show our support are:

If any of our members have someone in the family on active duty, please let me know.
Keep in mind Memorial Day on May 30th and then September 11th. By the time you receive this letter I will have gone to Camp Mabry to visit some of the Guard Units to show that our Post supports them.
Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...June 2nd, July 7th,August 4th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...May 19th,June 16th,July 21

For the dinner meeting on May 19 our program will be the recognition of those who have performed above and beyond the call of duty in the Austin Police,EMS, Fire and Travis County Sheriff Departments. The entree will be chicken tenders.
Our speaker at the June 16th meeting will be Karen Evans,RN,BSN,CLNC from Girling Health Care. Her subject will be "Hospice-What's It All About". The entree will be fried chicken.
Remember-our dinner meetings start at 7 pm.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

Now that the war has come to an end, we still need to pray for those service members who are left to police action in the region. It was heartwarming to see the reunion of the men and women with their families as many of the armed forces were sent back home. We can certainly be proud of the way our armed forces personnel conducted themselves both in the military role and their personal lives. For those of you that actively supported our troops by giving blood, e-mailing, sending packages of goodies,etc., we thank you.
Remeber to fly the flag whenever you have the opportunity. I can't think of a better way to support our country and troops and show our patriotism.
In a more local note, we have lost several members to the ultimate sacrifice during the last two months. The following members: George C. Murray, Tell Matlock and William George Ross Jr. have passed away recently. We need to keep their families as well as those members who are experiencing illness in our thoughts and prayers.

Our prayer for this month:

O God, let us go forth in peace with good courage, holding fast that which is good, rendering to no man evil for evil but strengthening the faint hearted, supporting the weak, helping the afflicted and honoring all men and loving and serving Thee, O God.Amen

SEE YOU AT THE POST!


POST EVERLASTING


Please remember the families of the following comrades who have gone on the the Post Everlasting:
Tell E. Matlock Jr.
George C. Murray
William George Ross Jr.

June 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

The American Legion lost a good comrade on May 26. Comrade Charles Jones was a 50-year member of our Post and I remember his comments at our dinner metings that he and his wife attended.All of us will miss him dearly.
This month, at our June dinner meeting on the 16th, we will honor our 50-year members.
If any of you need a ride to our meeting, please feel free to call any of the officers. We will gladly come by and pick you up.
The Northwest Kiwanis Club has graciously made a donation to our Post. We are going to use the money for Boys State program. We appreciate this money, and we ask that any time they have a fund raising project, that our members support it.
Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...July 7th,August 4th,September 8th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...June 16th,July 21,August 18th

Our speaker at the June 16 dinner meeting will be Karen Evans,RN,BSN CLNC from Girling Health Care. She will talk about "Hospice, What's It All About". The entree will be fried chicken.
Remember that our dinner meetings start at 7:00 p.m. At this meeting we will recognize our 50-Year members. Remember that many of them will need transportation since most of them do not like to drive at night. So be a volunteer and call one or two of them and bring them to the meeting. Let's make it a night that we will always remember. Remember that a good deed never goes without reward or being un-noticed.

Chaplains Corner

Larry Miller

Now that the War has come to an end, we still need to pray for those service members who are left to police action in the region. Reports indicate that the fighting is on going and many of our service men and women are subject to a terrorist environment. We pray that our leaders and those of the coalition will make the right decisions in the months to come with regards to stabilizing the region.
Our Post has lost several members to the ultimate sacrifice during the last two months. The following members: Clinton P.Rippy and Charles E. Jones (a 50-year member) have passed away recently. We need to keep their families as well as those members who are experiencing illness in our thoughts and prayers.
This is the time when the Post elects new Officers and Executive Committee members for the next year. We certainly want to thank those who have agreed to serve in the various capacities required by our Charter. Please keep everyone in your prayers.

Our prayer for this month:

Our Heavenly Father, grant us we pray, wisdom and strength to serve day after day. Amen

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

July 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

As I sit here writing my next to last column for our newsletter, I think about my term of office as your commander. How time flies when you are busy with projects and with the officers that do most of the work. I wish to thank all of the officers that do most of the work. I wish to thank all of the officers that have served this year.
Just a reminder to you 50-year members who are not Members-for-Life. The Post will pay your annual dues for you, so disregard the notice that you receive from state or national headquarters.
The officers for the coming year that will be installed by Donna Swope, District Commander, are as follows:

Charles Matheson Sr....Commander
Eugene Volcik...1st Vice Commander
Joe Trochta...2nd Vice Commander
Guy Davis...Adjutant
Will Brown...Service Officer
Will Ivie...Finance Officer
Larry Miller...Judge Advocate
Jim West...Chaplain
Alan Denman...Historian
Bill Stramler...Sergeant-at-Arms

Let's give these Legionnaires lots of support by attending both meetings each month.
We need you!
Thanks,
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...August 4th,September 8th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...July 21,August 18th

Our speaker for the July dinner meeting will be Tom Madison. His topic will be
"Hanoi Hotel with Roy Cates as Moderator"

Please note:There is no entree this month because we are trying somthing new by having everyone bring a salad-all varieties will be needed. Of course,we will also need desserts. Everyone needs to participate for this endeavor to be successful.

At our August 18th dinner meeting we will have the installation of officers by District Commander Donna Swope. The entree will be BBQ.
Being a member is great but being in attendance is even greater!

Chaplains Report

Larry Miller

Congratulations to all those members who were recently honored by the Post for being a member of the American Legion for 50 or more years.This is an impressive accomplishment by each of them. Our Post has a long and heralded tradition that we can all be proud of. The one thing we can improve on in my mind is more active participation in Post events and meetings. We, as officers certainly want to encourage everyone to join us at the Post. Those who need assistance in travel just have to make it known to the Post and our active members will be happy to help in that capacity.
Our continued prayers go out to the active service members of the Legion who have problems and illnesses that prevent a better quality of life. Another member, Gene Plenti, passed away on June 12,2003. Please offer your thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
We sincerely hope that everyone had a meaningful and safe July 4th. This is a special time of the year when we remember the cost of freedom.
A special prayer for Independence Day is as follows:

Almighty God, we pray to You to help us have faith in God and our country. To keep the freedom we have cherished for over 200 years and that with this freedom we may continue to grow in all our undertakings. Also, help us with the friendships we have to learn to love one another so that harmony and love may be with us always in this great land of ours. We ask this in Your name.
Amen.

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

August 2003

Commanders Comments

Bill Stramler, Post Commander

Where has the year gone? It only seems like yesterday that I was writing for the first newsletter as your commander. It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as your commander. We have accomplished a lot due to the hard work of our officers. I cannot put in words my appreciation.
As the new officers are installed, lets show them that we support them by attending both of our meetings on the first and third Mondays of each month, unless otherwise notified. Our installation of new officers will take place at our dinner meeting on August 18th.
The officers for the coming year that will be installed by Donna Swope, District Commander, are as follows:

Charles Matheson Sr. .....Commander
Eugene Volcik ...1st Vice Commander
Joe Trochta .....2nd Vice Commander
Will Brown .................Service Officer
Will Ivie ....................Finance Officer
Larry Miller .............Judge Advocate
Jim West ............................Chaplain
Alan Denman ......................Historian
Bill Stramler ............Sergeant-at-Arms

The September executive and business meeting will be postponed one week to September 8th since Labor Day is on the first Monday. Our dinner meeting will be on the following Monday.
Thanks for a wonderful year.
Bill Stramler
Commander

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...September 8th,October 6th,November 3rd

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...August 18th,September 15th,Ocober 20th

At our August 18th dinner meeting we will have the Installation of Officers by 10th District Commander Donna Swope. The Entree will be BBQ Chicken and Beef. Show your appreciation for our outgoing and incoming officers. They all do a very special service to our Post.
At our September 15th Dinner meeting we will honor our delegates to Boys State and Girls State. The Entree will be Fried Chicken. Show our young men and women who are our Boy and Girl State selections that we are behind them 100% and know they will be our future leaders.

Editors Notes


by Steve Rye

From time to time it is necessary to remind everyone that this is your newsletter and you can submit articles for inclusion. If there are those times where you wonder why such and such news items or subjects are not included, drop me a line.
I would love to see more articles submitted. The deadline for submission of articles is the Tuesday following the business meeting on the first Monday of each month; this month it would have been August 5th.
Also, if you have internet access, I think you will find it very informative to visit the Amercan Legion website at www.legion.org for the latest news. It is very current and a place you can get information on the latest events in Washington,D.C.
Thanks for your help. God Bless America!

September 2003

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

I wish to thank the members of Post 76 for electing me your Commander for 2003-2004. I will endeavor to give you a 150% of my efforts on your behalf.
Do you remember your time in service? You were part of a team and you each did your part to see the job through. The American Legion is also a team and it takes each member to accomplish what the Post has set out to do. I, as an individual, can only do a small part of our undertaking but, with your help we can achieve anything and everything set before us.
Because of the efforts of a great majority of the membership, we are close to having all our members renewed for 2004 with only 189 who have not yet sent in their dues and I am proud of the members attainment. If you have not sent in your dues for 2004, will you please do so now? It will make things a little easier on me as I am taking care of the renewals.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...October 6th,November 3rd,December 1st

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...September 15th,October 20th,November 17th

At our dinner on September 15th we will honor our Boy and Girl Staters. They will relate their experiences and the joy of being at Boys and Girls State. These are our future leaders of our country, so let's all attend and hear their stories---which always expresses their desires in being a part of our democratic system.
The entree for the dinner will be fried chicken.

POST HOME

by Seldon Graham Jr.

Our Post Home was built in 1858, this date according to the Post letterhead. This was three years before the start of the Civil War. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Texas was occupied by 39,000 U.S. Army troops. The 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, was at Camp Sanders which was located in the vicinity of what is now Austin High School. This was one of the Cavalry regiments in the Cavalry Division commanded by Major General George Armstrong Custer, whose headquarters was in what is now the Arno Nowotny Building in the Little Campus at the south west corner of Interstate 35 and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Since the Post home appears to have been not only the only permanent structure at Camp Sanders, but the best house within miles, it is quite probable that General Sturgis used our Post home as his regimental headquarters. Thus it is probable that General Custer and General Sturgis both spent time in the Post home in 1865.
We all know what happened to Custer and elements of the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in 1876, at Little Big Horn River,Montana. But did you know that Custer was Second-in-Command of the Regiment and Sturgis was the Regimental Commander?
Seldon B. Graham, Jr.
Post Member

Chaplains Report

Jim West

First of all I want to thank each of you for allowing me to serve as Post Chaplain for the upcoming year. It is indeed an honor and I will do my best to meet the duties of this position.
As the son of a veteran of both World War II and Korea, I have a very deep respect for our senior veterans. As such I want to do whatever I can to assure that these very deserving individuals remain active in our Post and have the opportunity to attend meetings. If you ever need a ride, or if you know of someone who needs a ride, please contact me.
I also wnat to be prompt in responding to those in need. Here, I need your help. If anyone is aware of any member who is ill, in need or has a death in the family, please let me know.
Again, I want to assure you that with the help of our Lord, I will do my best this next year to fulfill the duties of Post Chaplain.
God Bless!

October 2003

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

How long has it been since you visited your Post? That's too long! Vice Commander Joe Trochta has done a great job with the building and grounds. The trees have been trimmed and the mistletoe removed from their branches. It appears that the problem with water enetering the meeting room when it rains has been solved with the work completed at the back of the building. The front parking lot was graded and additional stone added. There are other improvements but you need to come to see them to appreciate all the work Joe has put into our home.
If you have ever considered becoming a paid-up-for-life member, you need to start the paper work before 31 Dec as the rates are going up 15% as of 1 Jan 2004. You can pay 10% down and take 10 months to pay the balance or pay the whole amount at once, your choice. If you have not sent in your dues for 2004, will you please do so today? We still have more than 150 members who have not renewed their membership for 2004.
Have you asked a veteran to join The American Legion lately? Maybe you have a son, daughter or grandchild who has or is serving in the armed forces today and they are not aware they are eligible to be a member.Ask and it shall be given to you...

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...November 3rd,December 1st,January 5th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...October 20th,November 17th,December 15th

At our dinner meeting on October 20th Will Davis will speak about "Public School Finances" and the entree will be Chicken Fried Steak.
For our November meeting we plan to have a program on "Disaster Readiness in Austin" by the Austin Police, Civil Defense and Office of Emergency Management.
The speaker at our December Meeting will be Jody Conradt who will tell us all about "Texas Womens Basketball". The entree will be Party Trays.
Our dinner meetings are interesting and they are definitely worth attending. Because of the possibility of an unusually large attendance for our December meeting and if you have not attended a meeting within the last two months-please contact Commander Matheson so we can plan for our crowd size.
Be sure to remember November 11th-our breakfast and our participation in the parade on Congress Avenue.

Chaplains Report

Jim West

As we enter the month of November, I am sure that all of us in some fashion have marked the eleventh day on our calendars. No doubt Veterans Day holds a special place in all our hearts. On this day set aside to honor all veterans I am sure that personal memories will touch each of us.Though our times and places of service all differ, we still share many of the same memories and feelings. We have all been homesick,lonely,and downright bored. Some have felt fear, terror, grief and physical pain. These experiences changed us-we were matured, made stronger, and became better Americans. It inspired us to take more pride in our country and instilled in us the characteristics of Honor and Duty. Job 23:10 says it this way. "The Lord knows the way I take, and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."On this Veterans Day of 2003 I want to tell each of you what an honor it is to be associated with individuals like you-who have answered the call and honorably served our great Nation.
During this time let us remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, our POWs and MIAs and of course continue to pray for those who are now on active duty and for the families who have been left behind.
Let us also pray for the Lord to comfort and support Joe Trochta and Larry Miller in this time of personal loss in their lives.
May God Bless each of you!

Jim West
Chaplain

Editors Note:The following article is also from Chaplain West

On a recent business trip I had the honor and privilege of meeting and listening to the story of Keni Thomas. In 1993, Sergeant Keni Thomas was a member of Task Force Ranger. Their exploits in Mogadishu,Somalia, were dramatized in the book and later movie, "Blackhawk Down". For over an hour Keni shared with us the amazing story of some true American heroes. At the close of his message he recited an attachment to the Ranger Creed-"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I;send me." These words are from the book of Isaiah 6:8.
During this time of the year I am sure that we are all reflecting on what happened to our country on September 11,2001. In response to that incident a new generation of young Americans have stepped forward and proudly said-"Here am I; send me". Let us never forget what happened to our country on that day and let us never forget to give thanks to each generation who has accepted the call to serve our God and our Country.
Please remember to pray for those on active duty and their families. may God bless each of you.

November 2003

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

Last Month I asked the question,"How long has it been since you visited your Post?" and for our business meeting this month the only members to show were, Joe Trochta, Will Ivie, Bill Stramler, Horace Johnson and myself. This is not enough members to hold a meting and so the work of the Post was left undone.
I do not know about you, but when I joined The American Legion it was not just so that I could say I was a member of the organization, it was because I felt it is a group of men and women who had served this great nation in their younger days when they were needed and now they had joined together to serve their fellow comrades and family who are in need of help not available elsewhere.
Did you know or care that it was The American Legion who obtained the benefits we all know as the GI Bill for the veterans? True, the Congress of the United Satates has over the years stripped us of many of those rights but how many of you banned together with The American Legion and let your voice be heard in Washington concerning those losses?
It takes more than paying annual dues, it takes your coming to meetings, supporting your elected officers at the local, state and national level in the Legion by writing letters to those in Congress who are hired to represent you. I don't care what the politicians claim, they may be elected but they are still your employees and they should be representing you, not just those who can afford to give them large sums of money to keep them in office.
The American Legion is in the midst of a fight right now with Congress trying to reestablish disability pay for those who have earned it and to keep what little is left of the health benefits along with keeping the VA Hospitals open. Do you think a few members on each level of the Legion can accomplish all of this?
Where is that man or woman who once stood proud in the uniforms of our country? Have we indeed become the weak American who is afraid to stand and fight when the going gets tough? Are we going to tuck our tails between our legs and run as those we are fighting in Iraq expect our current soldiers to do? I do not believe they will shirk their duties-how about you? Will you stand with the Legion and fight for what is right? Or are you going to continue to stay away from the Post and the fight?
You can start supporting the Legion by attending the next business meeting on Monday, Decmber 1st at 7:00 p.m. We will be planning Post activities and youth programs for 2004.
The one dinner meeting you do not want to miss is on December 15th at 7:00 p.m. Jody Conradt, the coach of the UT Lady Longhorns, will be our speaker. If you have followed the Lady Longhorns over the years as my wife and I have, you will enjoy the opportunity to ask her the questions you posed to yourself and others but never to Jody. I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with this lady many times and can tell you she is one fine lady.
See you at Post 76. If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...December 1st,January 5th, February 2nd

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...November 17th,December 15th, January 19th.

At our dinner program on November 17th, First Vice-Commander Gene Volcik will talk about his adventures and mis-adventures in the Czech Republic and Italy. Also we would like you to tell us about your favorite Thanksgiving while in service. The entree will be turkey.
Please note: Let's remember the needy during this Thankgiving season by bringing canned goods to be donated to a food bank or a needy family.
At our December 15th dinner meeting our speaker will be Jody Conradt who will tell us all about Texas Womens Basketball. The entree will be Party Christmas Trays and Finger Foods.
We will also sing at least a few Christmas Carols during the regular Christmas program.
Since we will probably have a larger than usual crowd, we are asking you to call our Commander,Charles Matheson or First Vice-Commander Gene Volcik if you have not attended a meeting within the last two months, so we can anticipate the crowd size.
We do so hope to have a large crowd to show her our appreciation for taking time from her busy schedule to speak to us. She is an outstanding speaker.

Chaplains Column

Jim West

As the holiday season approaches I want to encourage each of you to take a few moments to pray for our fellow veterans who will be spending this season in veterans hospitals and nursing homes around the country. I would specifically encourage you to consider lending a helping hand to our veterans in the VA Hospital in Temple. The staff at the hospital tells me that they are accepting donations for their annual Christmas fund. Monies received will be used to purchase Christmas gifts for the patients. In addition, they are also seeking volunteers to help distribute the gifts.
If you are interested in making a donation, or wish to volunteer, please call me. i wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and please remember top pray for our troops and their families.
God Bless,
Jim West

December 2003

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

To those who could not attend the meeting on the 17th of November, you missed a good one. Our own Gene Volcik was the speaker at this meeting and he proved that he is as good a speaker as any he has recruited for our meetings.
Gene's subject was about his return to the land from which his family came many years ago. during his visit he found relatives and learned more about his family tree and the land where they were born. For this presentation he wore the costume of his homeland and if you want to know where this was, you should have been at the Post. Otherwise, call Gene and maybe he will let you in on the secret.
The membership present voted to send a gift of $200.00 to the Veterans Hospital in Temple.
Be sure to let us know if you are attending the December 15th meeting, as we want to be sure of having enough food for everyone who comes to hear Jody speak.
As Christmas draws near let us not forget whose birth date we celebrate, When you or members of your family celebrate their birth date, who receives the gift? One way we can give a gift to Christ is to bring can goods or packaged food goods to be donated to the Food Bank and if you wish you could bring a toy for a child.
The Elgin Post with only 37 members is providing for 14 veterans who are living in the Family Care Center in Elgin.
Post 76 has more than 400 members;surely we can help at least one family with children have a Christmas that they would otherwise not have. I am sure that the Travis County Veterans Service Office can provide us with the name and address of such a family.
May you all receive a blessing this Christmas and in the years to come.
See you next year. If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik,1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday...January 5th, February 2nd,March 1st

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...December 15th, January 19th, February 16th

Our speaker for the December dinner meeting will be Jody Conradt who will talk about Texas Womens Basketball. The entree will be Christmas Party Trays. We need our members to bring finger foods, salads and desserts.
Out of respect for such a successful and remarkable lady, let's show our appreciation with a large crowd to hear her. We know how many attend regularly but since we expect some extra guests, plus some who are non-regular attendees, we would appreciate you calling Commander Charles Matheson or Gene Volcik to let us know who will be attending. This will help us in anticipating the size of the crowd.
Some of our members do not drive at night, so let's make every effort to help them to attend by going by for them. If some one needs a ride, call either Charles or Gene.
Included in our program will be the singing of two or three Christmas carols. During this holiday season let us remember the less fortunate by bringing some canned goods so we can distribute them to a food bank or a church of our choice. Join us for this special program!

Chaplains Column

Jim West

STOP AND PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS
Just a few miles South of Waxahachie,Texas,on Interstate 35 is a small prayer chapel. Outside the chapel is a sign that reads STOP AND PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS. I am certain that each day thousands of cars, trucks and busses speed past that little chapel. Based on the messages left in the sign-in book only five or six a day ever stop. As we hurry through this holiday season, let us as veterans not forget what it is like to be away from home this time of year. Let us not forget what it is like for families to be separated. Let us not forget why we served and why there are those proudly serving today. And let us not forget to STOP AND PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS.
I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
God Bless!

A Gesture of Thanks and Appreciation

At our December 1,2003, Business Meeting, the Post voted to recognize three families of active duty service personnel currently serving in Iraq. These families will be our special guests at the December 15 dinner meeting. In addition to recognizing them and expressing our sincere appreciation the Post will also be presenting them with a monetary gift. Along with what the Post is donating, several have also volunteered to make financial contributions to this effort.
If you would like to help and make a donation to this very worthwhile cause, Please contact Charles Matheson, Will Brown, Joe Trochta or Jim West.

***DUES ARE DUE***

It's time to renew your membership. 35 members is all that is lacking to meet the Post goal of 367 as set by the Department. Are you one of the 35? If so, please send in your dues to Commander Charles Matheson at your earliest convenience.

***NOTICE! NOTICE! NOTICE!***
Help make someone's Christmas special! You can help by bringing canned goods to the December 15th Dinner Meeting that will be passed on to the needy. You can also bring packaged food or even a childs toy. See you at the Post!

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