Travis Post 76 Newsletters 2004


January 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

What a great time was had by all on the 15th of December thanks to the hard work of Will Brown, Joe Trochta, Gene Vocik and Jim West. Thanks to these gentlemen we had the families of six men who are currently serving our country overseas as our guests. We also signed their sons or husbands up as members of our Post.
A special "Thank You" goes out to: John Staurulakis,Inc, Danny and Regina Bridges, Bill and Sue McCormack and Jim and Wanette West. Because of their generous gift to our Post we were able to provide funds to three families whose husbands are serving in Iraq.
Our speaker that night was the one and only Jody Conradt who scored a slam-dunk with our members and guest.
December 23rd your Chaplain, Jim West, his wife, father and mother along with Bill Stramler, Gene Volcik and myself visited the VA Hospital in Temple. There we had the pleasure of meeting many veterans who did not make it home for Christmas and presented them with a small gift to brighten their day. One of our very own (William R. Zurrow) is a patient there.
Is Joe Trochta the only member of Post 76 who cares about the building and grounds? Joe spends a good many hours working there seeing that things are repaired or cleaned up. He has had the rain gutters cleaned and screens placed over them. Three down spouts had to be replaced because of the leaves that had set in them for years causing their demise and the others cleaned out before they too needed replacement.
On the 26th of December, he was at the Post cleaning up the area where the air-conditioners are located and discovered that there are some stones laid under a down spout that cover an area 3'X3'. He removed twelve 33-gallon bags of leaves plus several buckets of organic matter that he used around the trees at the Post. I know this because I loaded the twelve bags plus three he brought from home onto my trailer and brought them to my farm to use in our garden and around our trees,etc. Why purchase chemicals when nature provides the best fertilizer?
There are other projects that need to be done at the Post. Can any of the other members check with Joe and give him a hand in completing them?

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

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

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

Our speaker on January 19th will be Ollie Pope, Chief Travis County Veterans Service Officer. He will speak about veterans benefits. The entree will be Meat and Vegetable Lasgna.
On February 16th our speaker will be Rebecca Klein, Public Utility Commisioner and we will have our annual Chili Cookoff at this dinner meeting.

Our speaker for December, Jody Conradt, was everything we expected plus some. We did appreciate her taking our time out of her busy schedule to speak to us. It was great to have some visitors plus several new members and their wives. We enjoyed having you and do come again.
Our January speaker, Ollie Pope, is an outstanding speaker who knows the needs and serves in helping our veterans in need. Come hear him explain and answer any questions about veterans benefits.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. let's all help to keep our American Legion Post over 100% in membership and have good attendance at all meetings.

February 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

We are off and running into the new year and I know that there are still many that have not paid their dues. I am at a loss as to explain why someone would not want to continue to be a member of the American Legion. If you are one of those that have yet to pay your dues, please send them in right away; there is no fun in dropping members from the rolls for non-payment of dues.
While I am on this business of paying dues, maybe there are those that you know who should be a member but has not yet applied. This would be a good time for you to let them know that they would be welcome in Travis Post No. 76. Ask them to join, you'll be glad you did!
Travis Post 76 is fortunate to have good neighbors like the three Walgreens Drug Stores that donated United States flags to our Post that will be used on the graves of our Vets and some that will be given to schools for their classrooms. We will also be giving some to other Posts for their use. Our thanks to the Walgreens Drug Stores for their donation.
I hope that you will be able to make one of our meetings. 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... March 1st,April 5th,May 3rd

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday... February 16th, March 15th,April 19th

Our speaker at the February 16th dinner meeting will be Rebecca Klein, Former Commissioner of the Public Utility Commission.
We will hold our annual Chili CookOff at this meeting.

At our January dinner meeting, we were treated to an informative talk by Ollie Pope Jr.,who spoke about our Veterans rights. He will make a return trip at a later date with more information.
We can still use chili cookers and prizes will be awarded for the best chili.

Chaplains Column

Jim West

During February our Nation recognizes the birth of two of our most prominent presidents-George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The following tells us a lot about these men:

From a prayer by George Washington-
Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection: that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.Amen.

From a statement made by Abraham Lincoln-
It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

As we pause this month to remember these two great leaders let us not forget those who, through countless wars, have made the ultimate sacrifice. At the dawn of an election year, let us pray that our future National leaders will have the same moral integrity and trust in God as those whose birthdays that we are now celebrating.

Please continue to pray for our troops and their families.

SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW DISRESPECTFUL BUT LEGAL

INDIANAPOLIS,February 02,2004-Responding to e-mail messages from members of The American Legion and the general public the National Commander of The American Legion, John Brieden, issued the following statement concerning the desecration of the American flag during halftime entertainment for a national television audience on CBS.
"Disrespect shown the American flag by singer Kid Rock, however distasteful to the vast majority of viewers, was regrettably legal. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that flag desecration is a protected form of free speech."
"Kid Rocks wearing of an American flag cut for a poncho and then tossing it on stage next to the drummer did not demonstrate the same respect for "Old Glory" that was evident in the pre-game ceremonies of the Super Bowl on CBS."
"The only way to curb this type of conduct is to return to the American people the right to protect the flag under the law. The 2.7 million members of the American Legion are appalled when the symbol of our nation is treated with disrespect. However, we alone can do little about it. The American people need to aim their outrage at the people on Capitol Hill with particular attention to all members of the U.S. Senate in whose hands the fate of a flag protection amendment rests in this, the 108th Congress."
"Further, the citizens should let the National Football League and CBS know of their feelings."

Statement by NFL Executive Vice President Joe Browne regarding the Super Bowl halftime show:
"We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV produced Halftime show. They were totally inconsistent with the assurances our office was given about the show. It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime."

Honor and Remember Our WWII Vets

In a little over three months the WWII Memorial will be dedicated in Washington D.C. Please remember to honor and recognize these heroes by having their names listed in the WWII Registry of Remembrances. Should you wish to honor someone or have any questions, please call Jim West.

"A GRATEFUL NATION REMEMBERS"

On May 29,2004-Memorial Day Weekend-the United States will dedicate the National WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. honoring the 16 million American servicemen and servicewomen who served and fought to secure democracy, preserve freedom, liberate the oppressed, and rid the world of the scourge of tyranny. Many made the ultimate sacrifice.
The American Legion salutes these brave patriots, knowing that they fought not for their countrymen and themselves alone, but for their families and for future generations.
Today, men and women from this "greatest generation" are living in every community across this nation who will be unable to participate in the celebration in Washington D.C., yet are equally deserving of recognition and honor as those who are able to attend.
It is altogether fitting and proper that every World War II veteran have an opportunity to receive all accolades accorded him or her from a grateful nation.

March 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

We are fast approaching another year of awards for the ROTC cadets of the Army,Navy and Air Force at UT Austin. If any of you out there would like to make the presentation for one of these, let me know soon.
We are also looking for help in sending high school students to Boy's State this year. In the past,we had financial help from another organization who this year is not able to supply the additional funds needed for all the boys who are qualified to attend.
If you can part with a few extra dollars, (it takes $275.00 per boy) or if you would like to sponsor a boy yourself, please call Joe Trochta or send your check to our Post. All donations will be appreciated. If you did not meet the young man your Post sent to National last year, you missed meeting someone who will one day be one of our better public officials. We have his photo and a shirt he presented to the Post in the display case located in the meeting room.
I am concerned about the membership of our Post. What I see happening here is what I saw happen at another Post in our District. The bulk of the membership is sitting at home and allowing a few of the membership to take on the responsibilities of the Post year after year. This is not good. It leads to the Post becoming inactive along with the loss of support for the needs of its members and their families.
We are here to provide you and yours with the help when needed but it takes more than the 8 to 12 people who show up for a meeting on the first Monday of the month. Congress will turn its back on us if we cannot show them that we have large numbers of support from our membership.
What is it you expect from your Post? What are we not doing that you want us to do? If you do not serve as an officer, how can the Post survive with the same people in office year after year? We are now looking for people to serve for the coming year starting in July. Come be one of us in fact and show us the path you want the Post to take.
If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there. May God bless each and every one of you, now and forever.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... April 5th,May 3rd,June 7th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday... March 15th,April 19th,May 17th

Our speaker for the March 15th dinner meeting will be Shannon Baker of the Better Business Bureau who will tell us about "Area Schemes and Scams". Our dinner entree will be fried fish.
See you at our dinner meeting at 7:00 p.m. and we know that you will be glad you came because Ms.Baker will tell us the things that we need to be aware of that can cost us dearly. Ya'll come!

April 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

On May 3,2004, Post 76 will elect their officers for the coming year. Those selected will serve from August 2004 to August 2005 and if you do NOT want to be one of those selected, then you had better be at that meeting. It is time some of you out there who have not contributed your time as an officer in this Post do so now and I will submit some of your names to be officers for the coming year.
No organization can survive when only a handful of members are actively running it. You have heard the statement that "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, it takes all the members of an organization working together, just as we did when we were members of our respective military groups, to keep the Post running in an orderly fashion. Will you be the one to let your comrades down?
If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there.
May God bless each and every one of you.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... May 3rd,June 7th,July 12th

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

Our speaker for the April 19th dinner meeting will be Sue Ronnenkamp, Founder and Owner of "Living Transitions". Sue will tell us "It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built the Ark".The entree will be baked ham.See you at our dinner meeting at 7:00 p.m. Ya'll come!

The Nominees for Offices for 2004-2005 are:

Commander.....Charles Matheson,Sr.
1st Vice Commander....................
2nd Vice Commander.....Joe Trochta
Adjutant......................Jim West
Finance Officer............Will Ivie
Service Officer...........Will Brown
Chaplain.....................Al Banzer
Judge Advocate.........Joseph Cook
Sergeant-at-Arms........Arthur Day
Historian...............Alan Denman

Chaplains Column

Jim West

I recently came across the following poem that I felt each of you would enjoy. It was written by CMSgt Robert Hinshaw (USAF Ret.).

Veterans

We have so much to be thankful for,
The Constitution, liberty and so much more;
The flag of our union proudly displayed;
For all this a most terrible price was paid.

God gave us the magnificence of this land;
So many gave life our liberties to defend;
From the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm;
Veterans with valor and courage to perform.

The precious tenets and privileges we hold;
Were won and preserved by patriots so bold;
Many paid the price on beach and rampart;
Many brave men honored with the Purple Heart.

Some soared the firmament in airplane;
Others sailed on and under the ocean main;
Still others stormed shores in faraway land;
Serving bravely our democracy to defend.

Buglers intone Taps sounding so funeral;
The grand old flag over coffin for burial;
Old soldier at end of his honorable quest;
is laid to his well deserved eternal rest.

As veterans let us not forget those who are presently serving and sacrificing in order that we may continue to live in the great "free" land. Please continue to pray for our troops and their families.
Thank you Sgt Hinshaw for this truly great poem.

God Bless,
Jim West

Commander Matheson Recognizes Walgreens
Commander Matheson presented a plaque to the Assistant Managers of the Walgreens Drug Store in Capitol Plaza. They gave our Post a large number of boxes of American Flags. Those flags will be given to other Posts in the District this coming Saturday at the District Convention in Elgin. We also have flags from five other Walgreens stores that will be given out at the same time. Each Walgreens Drug Store was given a plaque and a letter thanking them for their donation. You can thank your local Walgreens Drug Store for their help.

May 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

It is getting harder and harder to write this column as it seems that no matter what I say, I get the feeling that I'm not reaching you. We need your attendance at the meetings so that we can do the things that will help each one of you and our fellow veterans through out the nation. This is particularly true when the military is forefront in the daily news. The current activities in Iraq require that we be ever vigilant at home and as former members of the Armed Forces, it is imperative that we "band" together. We can only do that by meeting each month and discussing current events and participating. It is our patriotic duty.
We also need everyone to come out and vote for the officers for the coming year. We have not had one call from any member regarding my request last month about your activities and what you would like to see accomplished through the Post, Department or Nation.
Don't forget that this organization was formed for your benefit and to make the Congress live up to the promises they have made to us throughout the years. The old saying, "Use it or lose it" applies in our ability to place pressure on the Congress as well, and that can only be done by being active in the Legion.
We are offering free rides to anyone not able to drive - all you have to do is call one of the officers. I hope to see you at our dinner meeting on Monday May 17,2004,the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... June 7th,July 12th,August 2nd

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday... May 17th,June 21st,July 19th

The speaker for our May 17th dinner meeting is Retired Air Force Chaplain William H. "Bill" Jacobs. His topic will be "Patriotic Volunteers". The entree will be meat and vegetable lasagna.

We hope to have a large crowd to hear our speaker who will travel from Canyon Lake that night. Chaplain Jacobs is an inspirational speaker and author and I am sure you will enjoy his presentation.
At our last meeting, the attendance was embarrassing because our speaker was very good and deserved better. So make an extra effort to come and bring a friend with you so we can have a large crowd. If anyone need a ride, contact one of the officers so we can make arrangements to get you to the meeting. See you at our dinner meeting at 7:00 p.m. Ya'll come!

The Nominees for Offices for 2004-2005 are:

Commander.....Charles Matheson,Sr.
1st Vice Commander...Gene Volcik
2nd Vice Commander.....Joe Trochta
Adjutant......................Jim West
Finance Officer............Will Ivie
Service Officer...........Will Brown
Chaplain.....................Al Banzer
Judge Advocate.........Joseph Cook
Sergeant-at-Arms........Arthur Day
Historian...............Alan Denman

Chaplains Column

Jim West

Memorial Day has always held a special meaning for veterans - a time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Memorial Day 2004 will not only be a day to remember, but also a day to honor and say Thank You to our World War II vets. On May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial will be dedicated in Washington D.C.-some 50 years after the fact.
The challenges faced and sacrifices made by this group of soldiers, sailors and airmen are to us today incomprehensible. They honorably accepted the call-trained,fought,sacrificed and succeeded. General Dwight D. Eisenhower summed it up on June 6, 1944 in his statement (which is inscribed on the Memorial)"I have full confidence in your courage devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing but full victory". This group of veterans set the standard and taught us the true meaning of the words COURAGE, DUTY and HONOR. They recognized their mission-trusted, perservered and prayed. On one of the last missions of the war Chaplain, Captain William Downey of the 509th Composite Group prayed the following with the crew of the Enola Gay "Almighty Father, who wilt hear the prayer of them that love Thee, we pray Thee to be with those who brave the heights of Thy Heaven and who carry the battle to our enemies. Guard and protect them we pray Thee, as they fly their appointed rounds. May they,as well as we,know Thy strength and power and armed with Thy might may they bring this war to a rapid end. We pray Thee that the end of the war may come soon, and that once more we may know peace on earth. May the men who fly this night be kept safe in Thy care, and may they be returned safely to us. We shall go forward trusting in Thee, knowing that we are in Thy care now and forever. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." As we know part of that prayer was answered when the crew reurned safely and a few days later Japan surrendered and World War II came to an end. As far as "peace"- it's been 59 years and that struggle continues.
My father, TSgt James E. West (USAF Ret.) a WWII veteran gave me a book a few years ago entitled "Flight of the Enola Gay" authored by Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets. On the inside cover Dad inscribed the following-"May God forbid this kind of world hate to ever happen again". I truly believe these words reflect the hopes and prayers of all thise from "The Greatest Generation". Thank You All For What You Did!
God Bless and remember to Pray For Our Troops and Their Families.
Jim West

MEMORIAL DAY

May 31,2004

Time to remember our comrades who have gone on before us

and

Members of our Armed Forces

June 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

We not only lost a great president in Ronald Reagan, we lost a member of our Post, not because of death, but because he was not happy with the actions of The American Legion National Officers.
Jim West, who served as our Chaplain and was to become our Adjutant in 2004-2005, resigned from the Legion because Hillary Cinton received an award from National that was headed,"Unsung Hero".
Now, I agree, Clinton is no "Hero" but what does it accomplish for any of us to remove ourselves from a position where we can have an effect on our leaders in the Legion in addition to those in Congress? Plus, Clinton did push through the Senate a bill granting medical care for ALL veterans and is expected to back the flag bill, which will bring on the other needed two votes for passage, which will send it to the president for signing. For every action,there is a reaction.
We are in need of an Adjutant for the coming year. Are you willing to help your Post?
If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there.
May God bless each of you and our nation.

Charles Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... July 12th,August 2nd,September 13th

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

Our speaker for the June 21st dinner meeting will be a staff member of Goodwill Industries who will tell us of the Mission of Goodwill in Community. The Entree will be salads.
Be sure to bring salads of any kind plus desserts:our dalad dinner was a great sucess last year so let us repeat with another great salad dinner.
Our speaker for our dinner meeting on July 19th will be Rebecca Klein, candidate of the 10th Congressional District. She will give us "Her Position in Politics". The entree will be chicken tenders.
In addition to our speaker we will have a Flag Retirement Ceremony. Bring you old and worn flags to be retired in a proper manner.
Our attendance for Bill Jacobs in May was wonderful. We had a large crowd who thoroughly enjoyed our speaker. So now continue this trend because it is always neat to show our speaker the respect they deserve.

The Nominating Committee Report shows the following Officers for 2004-2005

Commander.....Charles Matheson,Sr.
1st Vice Commander...Gene Volcik
2nd Vice Commander.....Joe Trochta
Adjutant................Clayton Griffis
Finance Officer............Will Ivie
Service Officer...........Will Brown
Chaplain.....................Al Banzer
Judge Advocate.........Joseph Cook
Sergeant-at-Arms........Arthur Day
Historian...............Alan Denman

July 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

We are about to start a new year in our Post along with some new members. Joe Trochta has signed up two new members and has a third lined up for membership. How about you? Do you know someone who is now serving our nation in the Armed Forces and is not now a member of The American Legion? Talk to them and sign them up, if they are currently deployed overseas. Our Post will pay their first years dues.
On Sunday, July 11,2004 in Beaumont, Texas, I took the oath of office as the Commander of the 10th District of Texas. I did not seek this high office and have no desire to seek a higher office in the Legion. However, I will endeavor to bring honor to your Post and to The American Legion in general as long as I am in office.
Before and during the convention in Beaumont, there was a power play by some people who have been trying to control the Legion here in Texas. These persons persuaded someone to run against Joe Trochta for Department Treasurer and another to run against Buddy Sparks for Vice Commander of the Department. Those persons did not like Joe asking questions about how and why money was being spent and they did not want Sparks among their ranks for reasons I do not know. I am happy to report that they were defeated in their efforts as both Trochta and Sparks won their office.
Come to the meeting on the 19th as we are having a flag retirement ceremony and then a meal. If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you there.
May God bless each of you and our Nation.
Charles Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... August 2nd,September 13th, October 4th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday... July 19th.August 16th.September 20th

Our program for the July 19th dinner meeting will be a discussion of flag ethics. Bring your old and worn flags for proper disposal. We will have our Flag Retirement Ceremony before our regular dinner meeting. At our dinner meeting we wil have a question and answer session about flag ethics.
The entree for the dinner will be Chicken Tenders.

At our August 16th dinner meeting we will have the installation of officers for the coming year. The entree will be BBQ. Attend and show your support to the outgoing and incoming officers.

The Nominating Committee Report shows the following Officers for 2004-2005

Commander.....Charles Matheson,Sr.
1st Vice Commander...Gene Volcik
2nd Vice Commander.....Joe Trochta
Adjutant................Clayton Griffis
Finance Officer............Will Ivie
Service Officer...........Will Brown
Chaplain.....................Al Banzer
Judge Advocate.........Joseph Cook
Sergeant-at-Arms........Arthur Day
Historian...............Alan Denman

August 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

The Legion is in urgent need for the members to renew their membership right away as the money is needed to pay the bills. Those who work at the Department work for you and if there is not enough money to pay them and the bills, then people must be laid off and then it becomes harder for those remaining to care for your needs as they arise. So, if you have received your renewal notice from National and have not yet sent in your renewal, would you please do so today. Thank You.
On Monday, the 16th, we honor those who have served as your leaders for the past year and install the new officers for this year. Please show your support and come to the meeting and bring your loved ones with you as this is a family affair. There will be recognition of all who helped in the maintaining of this Post and its membership.
Charles
May God bless each of you and our Nation.
Charles E. Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... September 13th, October 4th,November 1st

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday... August 16th,September 20th,October 16th

Our program for the August 16th dinner meeting will the the Installation of Officers for the coming year. The Installing Officer and Speaker will be Donna Swopes,Past Commander of District 10. The Entree will be Bar-B-Que.
Please make every effort to attend this meeting because our new officers need to know they have your support in all of their efforts. Also you can show your appreciation for our outgoing officers. See you there.

The following officers will be installed for 2004-2005:

Commander.....Charles Matheson,Sr.
1st Vice Commander...Gene Volcik
2nd Vice Commander.....Joe Trochta
Adjutant................Clayton Griffis
Finance Officer............Will Ivie
Service Officer...........Will Brown
Chaplain.....................Al Banzer
Judge Advocate.........Joseph Cook
Sergeant-at-Arms........Arthur Day
Historian...............Alan Denman

September 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

If any member is in need of a wheelchair please call the Commander as we now have two wheelchairs stored at my farm and I will deliver one to you.
For those who do not know, I resigned my position as the Commander of District 10 due to problems with my knees. In the sort time I held the position I visited several Posts in the District and was finding it harder and harder to get out of the car and walk. The further I traveled the harder it was on my knees. I had also offered to resign as Commander of the Post but was talked out of that by other members. If the doctor orders knee replacement, one of the Vice Commanders will fill in for me while I am recovering and I shall remain as your Commander as long as you desire.
On the 20th of this month, we are having a dinner to honor those boys and girls who represented our Post at Boys and Girls State. You can show them you support their endeavors by attending this meeting. Please come and if you need a ride, call one of the officers.
Now is the time to make plans to attend Muster Day at Camp Mabry on Oct 2nd or 3rd. This is the 30th year for this event and for those of you who would like to have your photo taken in the cockpit of an F-16 this is your opportunity as the camp is offering this on Saturday Oct 2.
May God bless each and every one of you.
Charles E. Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

Executive and Business Meeting...1st Monday... October 4th,November 1st,December 6th

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...September 20th,October 18th,November 15th

Our Program for the September 20th meeting will be the recognition of our Boys and Girls Staters. The entree will be fried chicken. We will again meet some very special young people-Boys and Girls Staters. They can become our future leaders of our nation; so we honor them each year. Make every effort to attend. You will not regret it because they have very interesting stories to tell.
Also, we need everyone to bring a food dish because we do expect a larger crowd.

2nd Vice Commanders Comments

by Joe Trochta

BOYS & GIRLS STATE DINNER

Have you ever attended a Post 76 Boys State and Girls State Dinner? As a member of the American Legion Post 76 you should be proud of this program and the participation of these young people. They attended either Boys State or Girls State during this past summer. They were graduated Juniors in High School, going into their senior year this fall. They were selected because of their outstanding academic records and extracurricular activities. They are the cream of the crop.
For example, a boy from McCallum High School was selected as one of the two boys to represent Texas at the Boys Nation program in Washington,D.C. Last year another boy from McCallum was also selected to attend Boys Nation.
A must-attend this ONE dinner meeting if you do not attend any other meeting all year long. Come meet these outstanding young people and their parents as they tell of their experiences and thank the American Legion for this opportunity to attend this citizenship program.
See you on Monday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Joe Trochta
Boys State Committee

Historians Column

by Alan Denman

Travis Post 76 has a lot of great history behind it.There are some notebooks with pictures and papers in some boxes in the storeroom next to the bar.If anyone would like to see them,let me know and I will get them down at a meeting for you to view. Our Post Web Page has sections containing the texts of past newsletters and some photos and other information about the Post. I would greatly appreciate it if some of you could look at our Web Pages and let me know if there is anything I should change or improve. I would like to add pages about all our Post activities such as Boy Scouts, Baseball, visits to veterans in the VA Hospital,etc. You can also send in photos we could add to the Web Page.
See you at the next meeting.
Alan Denman

Post Historian

ADJUTANTS COLUMN

by Clayton Griffis

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Clayton Griffis and I am your Post Adjutant. As Adjutant, I am responsible for maintaining the Post membership records and publications, processing membership renewals, and keeping Post members informed about issues affecting them. In a nutshell, I am here to serve you. We currently have over 270 members, meaning that from time to time there may be errors in some member records. My goal is to limit these errors as much as possible. If you notice that any of your membership information needs to be corrected or updated, including your name, address, war era,or number of continuous years of membership in the American Legion, please contact me as soon as possible so I can make the necessary changes.
Travis Post 76 recently voted to honor our members who have been in the Ameican Legion for 50 or more years. At the regualar business meeting held August 2nd, the Post voted to designate these members as Honorary Life Members. By being designated an Honorary Life Member, the Post recognizes these Legionnaires for their long-term commitment and support of the American Legion by paying their annual dues for as long as they remain members of our Post. I had the privilege of sending letters to six of our members notifying them of this decision.
If you believe that you have 50 or more years of continuous membership in the American Legion and did not receive a letter of notification, please contact me.
If you have not already done so, please be sure to renew your American Legion membership. So far, 196 members have renewed their membership for 2005. Each of you should have already received your renewal form from the national office.
I look forward to serving as your Adjutant and visiting with you at the Post.
Sincerely,
Clayton Griffis

October 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

If any member is in need of a wheelchair please call the Commander as we now have two wheelchairs stored at my farm and I will deliver one to you.
For those who did not attend the meeting honoring the young men and women who our Post sponsored for Boys and Girls State, you missed the chance to meet some outstanding citizens. We had a good turnout of those young people and their parents.
Muster Day at Camp Mabry was a little wet during the early hours on Saturday but our Post was able to set up a table inside of the building containing the Museum. The event was covered by Clayton Griffis, Will Ivie, Al Banzer and I. We each spoke with a number of persons about membership in the Legion and several indicated they will attend a meeting to check us out.
Do you know a man or woman currently serving in the Armed Forces of the U.S.A.? If so, ask them about joining the Legion and thus helping us in our effort to improve their benefits and those of the veterans of which they will one day become a part of. The American Legion is the largest and loudest voice that the members of the armed forces and veterans have in Washington and the more members we have the louder we speak to those who have control of the money in Congress.
Are you tired of seeing the same names as officers of your Post year after year? If so, you are not alone. I would like to instigate a program that is in use in the business world where each officer has an assistant,and trains them to step into the office when it is time for them to move on. In order to do this, we need your support. This will give you the opportunity to present any programs that you would like to see your Post undertaking. Some of the current members are asking about having a domino game on the night we have our meal meeting instead of having a speaker, what do you think about this?
Speak up, this is your Post and you have a say in how and what we undertake.
May God bless each of you,
Charles E. Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

Planning Schedule
by Gene Volcik, 1st Vice-Commander

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

Dinner Meeting...3rd Monday...October 18th,November 15th,December 20th

Our speakers for our October 18th meeting will be Penny Cedel,RN,Hospice Care and Roy Cates,Pallative Care.
The entree will be Sausage and Chicken Gumbo.

Special Note: Our Post will celebrate its 80th birthday with a short history of the Post and a birthday cake. Don't miss this meeting.

Our program will be outstanding because we will be informed about care that we may need or be involved with in future years. So for this meeting we are requesting that you only bring french bread or salads because we will have cake as a dessert.
We are on a drive to increase our attendance at our dinner meetings plus increasing our membership. A successful organization needs everyone to participate, so ask any eligible friend to join us, because we are a great bunch of folks.
November will have several activities besides our regular speaker. We will recognize our 50-year members, and we hope we will have several of them in attendance. If any transportation is needed, call an officer and we will get you a ride.
Also, remember our Veterans Day Parade. Be a part of the parade by showing your pride of being in the American Legion and in particular, Travis Post 76.

Historians Column

by Alan Denman

This month marks the 80th year that American Legion Travis Post 76 has been located in our Post Home here on the banks of the Colorado. This building was originally a farmhouse built by stonemason Charles Johnson in the 1850's. In 1924 it was sold to our Post which had been meeting in various rooms downtown. Some extensive remodeling was done before meetings could be held here. There have been a few other renovations through the years. In the late 50's the condition of the building had declined to such a point that some members proposed moving the Post to another location. But others liked the grounds and location and argued for fixing up the old place. Fortunately, they prevailed and we have this fine old Post Home today.
The renovation of the 60's was so extensive that meetings had to be held downtown for a while. There were more renovations done in the 80's.
The cost of the purchase and first remodeling of the Home was paid for through the hard work of Legionnaires and Auxillary members. The ladies of the Auxillary made and sold box lunches at the courthouse to people on jury duty. For a number of years members of the Post operated a ski ball concession on Congress Avenue. For several years the Post also put on a 3-day Fourth of July picnic in Zilker Park.
Before MOPAC and Veterans Drive were put in the area looked quite different than it does today. At one time there was a parade ground in front of the building where the Drum and Bugle Corps practiced and neighborhood kids could play.
There was a large BBQ trench near the Post where the Montessori School is today. In the early 50's the Merci Boxcar was moved here from Camp Mabry.

ADJUTANTS COLUMN

by Clayton Griffis

I am pleased to welcome the following new members to Travis Post 76:

R.D.Brown     Salvador Hernandez     Ryan M.Graff     Sergio Villerreal

I know we will all look forward to visiting with our newest members at the Post.
In going over our Post membership roster, I have noticed that there is some information missing on several members records, including their war era and number of continuous years of membership in the American Legion. I am working with the Department to bring these records up to date. In addition, I will be mailing letters to some members asking for information to help me make any needed corrections.
If you use email, please consider sending me your email address. I will only use your email address to inform you about Post-related events or your membership - no solicitation, junk emails,etc. There are times when we would like to pass along information to the members quickly, and email is a great way to do that.
Last month I reported that several of our members had been designated as Honorary Life Memebrs of the Post. Specifically, these individuals have been members of the American Legion, continuously, for 50 or more years. At the November 15th dinner meeting, we will present these members with Honorary Life Member Certificates. Please come join us in recognizing our fellow Post members for their long-term support of veterans through their membership in the American Legion.

POST EVERLASTING

It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of the following Post members:

Warren Dixon   Peter Ezba   Eric Frank

Joseph Kennedy   Bill Kerr   Leonard L.Wynn

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of these members.

"Because of them our lives are free; because of them our nation lives; because of them the world is blessed."

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

The following is a letter of appreciation from the girl who attended Girls State from Westlake High:

"I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to go and participate in Texas Girls State. I had the most amazing time meeting new girls and learning so many new things. Thank you for all your help with my scholarship check and keeping my hopes up for the waiting list. It was an experience I will never forget. Thanks again for everything, and especially for having me tonight."

Sincerely,
Kathleen Casanova

November 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

By the time you receive this letter, I will be in the hospital recovering from the replacement of my right knee. This will leave me out of pocket for a few weeks, however, if my nurse (my wife is a RN) decrees that I am well enough, she might drive me to a meeting or two if I am a good boy and do as she tells me. Actually, I will have three (3) nurses looking after me as my mother-in-law plus my daughter-in-law are RNs also, so I have no choice but to do as I am told. If things go as I expect, I will have the left knee replaced about six months after I am back on my feet from the first replacement.
Your Officers have gotten together and laid out some plans for the rest of the Post year and we hope you will take advantage of the programs we have laid out. On November 11 th we will have breakfast, served at 7:30 a.m., for the Past Commanders of the Post to which all members are invited. It will be held at the Post and after the breakfast, many of us will ride in the Veterans Day parade in Austin. I regret that I will be unable to attend but please, come fill my place and honor your comrades who are still here and those who are watching from that Heavenly Post above. This is for and about you, for what you did for your God, your country, and family.
As a Post, we are planning on accepting monetary contributions to be presented to the VA Hospital in Temple to be given to those who are confined there during the Christmas period. Last year, several of our members went there and passed out the gifts and we met a member of our Post who we did not know was in the hospital. We will do the same this year. Will you help us to make it a merry Christmas for some not able to be with their family or friends during this time of the year? If so, you may send a check for what ever amount you can afford made out to American Legion Post 76 and send it to: P O Box 1214, Austin, Texas 78767.
May God bless each of you.
Charles E. Matheson, Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Gene Volcik
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting .....1st Monday December 6th , January 3rd , February 7th
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m.........3rd Monday November 15th , December 20th , January 17th

November 15 ............... Ed Colinsky, VP of a large firm representing more than 200 corporations in the United States
Topic ........................... Toll Roads in Austin
Entree . . Fried Turkey which will be furnished by the Post; Bring covered dishes such as dressing, vegetables, salads and desserts.
ALSO, WE WILL HONOR OUR 50-YEAR MEMBERS.
December 20 .......... Christmas Party - Carol Singing and sharing Christmas stories during military service.
Entree ............. Finger Foods furnished by the Post but additional finger foods and desserts are welcome.

2ND VICE COMMANDER
by Joe Trochta

HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS FOR VETERANS

Post 76 is collecting food products and/or cash during Thanksgiving and Christmas for veterans and those in need. Food will be given to food distribution agencies that provide for needy families in the Austin area.
On Saturday, December 4, Post 76 members will go to the Veterans Hospital in Temple. Money will be used to purchase Christmas gifts and necessities for the veterans in the hospital.
To send money, make checks out to American Legion Post 76 and mail to American Legion Post 76, P.O. Box 1214,Austin, TX 78767. Send by December 1, 2004.
Food products can be dropped off at the Post during the day if you call Dallas Calhoun, the Post caretaker at the Post 76 phone 472-3344 and leave a message including your phone number if no one is there. The ideal time to drop off food products is on the first and third Mondays evening after 6:00 p.m. when members are there.
Thank you for helping our fellow veterans.

HISTORIAN’S COLUMN
by Alan Denman

Our first dinner meeting as described by the local paper of August 3, 1919.
The universe was turned back fully a year when the Women’s Auxiliary of the Travis Post American Legion entertained returned soldiers and sailors at Deep Eddy with war-time hospitality Saturday afternoon and night. Misses, hospitable matrons and soldier boys filed by long tables laden with ice cream, cake sandwiches and delicacies. Hundreds took advantage of the first social event of the pioneer women’s organization of its kind in Austin. All returned service men were invited to be on hand at 6:00 o'clock to take part in the swim that preceded the picnic. At 8:00 o’clock the picnic supper was served. Army life was brought home to the returned soldiers when they "lined up" to "come and get it".
The picnic was served cafeteria style; the soldiers and their girlfriends filing past the tables getting first a fibre plate, a napkin and then sandwiches, eggs, ice cream and cake in turn.
On the "firing line" were the Ladies of the Women’s Auxiliary representing the charter members of the first organization of its kind that has been organized in the United States. Conversation among the young women and men was all in the past tense in that the soldiers could talk only of what happened to them in the past. Each soldier had his idea of the "worst hole in creati on". Some told of the way they "gold bricked" at various times. Several soldiers got down "toot sweet" to tell of the"vinegar buck" and the "Oofs and petap de ump de tare"they consumed while eating in "frog restaurants". After the "chow" was served and consumed-during which time appreciative young women listened to the oft-repeated little stories of bravery and disappointments, "side slips", "brushes","props" and other facts of various kinds of war business.
When the "shades of night" fell sufficiently to enable the movie operator to get to work the men and girls gathered in front of the screen as they had on many occasions during the war for the regular YMCA shows, lectures and concerts. Besserers band furnished the music for the dance given in Deep Eddy skating rink.
The women of the Auxiliary were well pleased with the success of the event and they expressed great interest in the large celebration for returning soldiers to be given in Austin in early September for returned soldiers of all Travis County. R. M. Currie, general secretary of the Travis Post of the American Legion took advantage of the occasion to add new members to Travis Post and invite more of them to come out to the meetings and social affairs that are planned."

ADJUTANT’S COLUMN
by Clayton Griffis

I am pleased to welcome the following new members to Travis Post 76:
Richard Brown

Martin Crowder

Richard Merchant

William Litton

I know we all look forward to visiting with our newest members at the Post.

The holidays are coming up soon and as we know there are many veterans who will be spending them at the VA hospital in Temple. Each year we try to make the holidays brighter for our hospitalized veterans by going to Temple to help hand out gifts.
This year we have been asked by the VA’s Voluntary Services representative to come on December 23 rd to help prepare fruit baskets and to distribute gifts. We will meet at the Post early on the morning of the 23rd to car/van pool to Temple.
In addition, the American Legion Auxiliary’s VA representative has asked for volunteers to assist in setting up and staffing their annual gift shop at the VA hospital in Temple. This gift shop is made available each year by the American Legion Auxiliary for hospital-bound veterans to purchase Christmas gifts for their families. The Auxiliary has asked for help setting up the gift shop on December 6th, and for help staffing the gift shop on December 7th and 8th . Call me if you have any questions about how you can help veterans this holiday season.

POST EVERLASTING

It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of the following Post member:
John Sauls

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Legionnaire Sauls’ family.
“Because of them our lives are free; because of them our nation lives; because of them the world is blessed.”
Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

December 2004

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

I begin by thanking each of you for your kind thoughts and prayers, they have helped more than you know. The expressions you all put in writing at the last meeting were sent to me by Joe and I enjoyed reading each of them. Thank You.
And if not for your prayers, I would not be doing as well as I am because my secondary insurance has not been too swift about approving procedures. As of the 28th, I have not had any outpatient therapy nor even had any scheduled and my surgery took place on the 3rd of November.
Because of all the prayers I have received, I spent only 4 days in the surgical hospital. Rehab was fun. I went there on the Saturday following my surgery and was to begin my treatments on that day. However, the first doctor I was assigned to did not show up at my room until after 6pm even though I had arrived about 1 pm. She did not get any orders in to different departments as required and she even cancelled my pool treatments which is one of the reasons I wanted to use their hospital in the first place.
Come Sunday and I still did not receive any therapy treatments all day long and when I inquired as to why I was not allowed to go to the pool, that is when I was informed about my hospital doctors orders that I could not have such treatment.
That is when I blew up. I informed the staff that I wanted a different doctor or I was checking out of the hospital. I got a real doctor this time and one who had gone through knee replacement on both of his knees so he knew what needed to be done. The next two days I received not only the pool treatments but also the ones that really let you know something changed in your leg.
Because I have the worlds best nurse for a wife, I am doing better than most who go through this procedure as she made sure I did my exercises every day, twice a day here at home and when I am finally allowed to OPT, I will be able to handle whatever they throw at me. I hope to be able to attend our Christmas Party meeting and express my thanks in person.
Now, as for the Post membership, we need less than 75 persons to send in their renewal of membership in oder to be at 100%. Will you do me and yourself the favor of sending your renewal today if you have not already done so, we would not like to lose you from our ranks.
Thank you and may God bless each of you.
Charles E. Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Gene Volcik
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting .....1st Monday January 3rd , February 7th
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m.........3rd Monday December 20th , January 17th

December 20 .......... Christmas Party - Carol Singing and sharing Christmas stories during military service.
Entree ............. Finger Foods furnished by the Post but additional finger foods and desserts are welcome.Our holiday should be an exciting event plus getting to share the holiday with fellow Legion members and their wives.

2ND VICE COMMANDER
by Joe Trochta

HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS FOR VETERANS

We did collect a small amount of food products for Thanksgiving. Thank you for your contribution. Now Post 76 will collect food product for Christmas. We will collect them on the third Monday, December 20, at our Dinner meeting or earlier.
On December 23, Post 76 members will travel to the VA Hospital in Temple. We will assist with Christmas preparations for the many veterans spending the holidays in the hospital. You can participate by sending a check made out to American Legion Post 76,P.O.Box 1214, Austin TX 78767. Money will be used to purcahse Christmas gifts and necessities for the veterans. Remember, we travel to Temple on December 23. Have a happy and safe holidays.

THE EVERLASTING GIFT

As an unfortunate consequence of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Americas war on terror, many children of our active-duty military personnel are now members of single parent familes. In most cases, this also means their chances to attend college have greatly diminished. Children of military personnel killed on active duty are entitled to receive money toward a college education, but it's not enough. The American Legion is raising funds to ensure that higher education is a powerful way to show our thanks. That is why The American Legion has established the American Legacy Scholarship Fund. Your gift is a tax-deductible contribution.
More and complete information can be found on the National American Legion web site www.legion.org, then click on the Blue Star Service banner, American Legion Scholarship. Also, for more information you can contact either Joe Trochta or Adjutant Clayton Griffis. Donate to the American Legacy Scholarship Fund and get a limited edition "Ruptured Duck" Lapel Button for a donation of $10.00 or more.

ADJUTANT’S COLUMN
by Clayton Griffis

I would like to welcome Oscar Segura to Travis Post 76. Mr.Segura joined The American Legion and the Post at our dinner meeting on November 15th. I know we all look forward to visiting with him at the Post.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to present certificates to several of our Honorary Life Members at our dinner meeting on November 15th. I met some outstanding Legionnaires that evening. Our thoughts were also with those Honorary Life Members who were not able to attend. For those members, I mailed their framed certificates to their homes.
I would like to thank our members who have generously donated money to assist veterans during the holidays. The money will help brighten the lives of those who will be spending their holidays in the VA Hospital in Temple.
If any of you Paid Up For Life (PUFL) members would like to have a sew-on "PUFL" patch for your cap, I have several. If you would like one, just contact me and I would be glad to send one to you. For the rest of you, have you considered becoming a PUFL? By making one payment, you'll no longer have to pay your dues annually. The cost of a Paid-Up-For-Life membership is based on your age at the time of application and the current annual dues of the Post. If youe are interested in the convenience of the PUFL program, please contact me.
As always, please be sure to contact me if you have any questions regarding your Legion membership.
Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

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