Travis Post 76 Newsletters 2006


January 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

This year was another great Christmas party and I was allowed to attend by my doctor and my nurse. I beleive the attendance was over 50 this year with the only child being my youngest granddauhter, Gabby Matheson. We also welcomed Santa Claus in the form of Dallas. You missed a good party if you were not there.
We had no guest speaker this night, we all joined together to sing the songs of the season with my son Brian helping to lead the singing. Some members think I needed the help.
Once again this year Jim West, his father, mother and his granddaughter (had me fooled, I thought it was his daughter) along with Bill Stramler, Gene Volcik, Guy Davis, myself and someone I cannot think of his name at this time, 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.
Well, we did not reach our goal of 100% membership renewal, we fell short by 80 and therefore, we will not receive any money from the Department. Thanks to those of you who did renew on time.
We have lost several of our members to the Post Everlasting commanded by the Supreme Commander of the Universe. We will miss them here on Earth but will rejoice with them when the Commander calls us to that Post Everlasting to serve with all those who have gone before us.
May He that gives life to all things living bless and keep all of you close to Him.

Charles Matheson,Sr.
Commander

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting ........ 1st Monday February 6th, March 6th, April 3rd
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. .......... 3rd Monday January 16th, February 20th, March 20th

Entree for January Meeting...Fried Chicken
The annual Chili Cook-Off will be in February. In order to be better prepared, our Fish Fry has been scheduled for the March dinner meeting.
Hope everyone had a joyous Holiday. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Roy Cates. We will miss him and his active participation in the Post. This month's speaker was recommended by Roy and has benefitted from his promotion and financial support.. The program will center around a documentary film of a true story of an allied soldier's escape and the bravery and courage of the Belgian underground during the Second World War. The soldier's name was 1st Lt. William (Bill) D. Grosvenor and the speaker will be his son David Grosvenor along with Ramona Kelly. The program supports and encourages contributions to the Austin Film Society.

In addition to this outstanding program, we can look forward to another great meal with the entree being fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Bring your favorite side dish or dessert. We look forward to seeing everyone. Continue to support our troops and leaders with your thoughts and prayers. See you at the Post.

ADJUTANT’S COLUMN
by Clayton Griffis

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

James Crabtree...New Legionnaire

Jason Denny...Transferred from Post 83

I know we all look forward to visiting with these new members at the Post soon.
Again this year, members from Travis Post 76 went to the VA Hospital in Temple to distribute gifts and bring a little cheer to veterans spending the holidays in the hospital. The veterans we spoke with were very appreciative that we took the time to visit with them and let them know that they were not forgotten.
There were not that many volunteers this year, so I was proud that Travis Post 76 was so well represented. The members who attended were: Charles Matheson, Gene Volcik, Guy Davis, Horace Johnson, Jason Denny, and myself.

It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of the following Travis Post 76 members:

Gaylord Pearson, Leo Brockman, Roy Cates, William Hastings

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

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

February 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

On the 14th of this month, Valentines Day, I and other members of your Post will be in Temple, Texas, at the VA Hospital where we will assist the volunteer services in passing out gifts to those who cannot leave the hospital for one reason or another. In addition, I am proud to announce that Post 76 is presenting the Volunteer Service office with a check in the amount of $300.00 to help cover the cost for some to call home, etc. Will you tell you more about the visit in the next newsletter.
This year the National Office of The American Legion is awarding a Certificate of Continuous Membership of 60 years to the following members of Post 76 and I hope they can attend a meeting at the Post so that we may honor them in the right manner. The members are: George L. Dacy;Willie C. Garcia; John H. Mason; Mashall C. Nichols and Roy J. Stoll. If you know any of these members, please contact them and encourage them to attend out next meeting on the 20th of this month.
May Gof bless each of you one and all.

Charles E. Matheson,Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting ........ 1st Monday March 6th, April 3rd, May 1st
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. .......... 3rd Monday February 20th, March 20th, April 17th

Entree for February Dinner Meeting...Chili Cook-Off

Those of you who were not able to attend the January social missed a great program. However, we have asked Romona Kelly and David Grosvenor to present the full the full length version of the program at a date to be announced. This promotional film is a true story of Davids father and his dramatic escape in Belgium during World War II and certainly will be presented by Derrick Wright, a primary instructor for The Terrain Association, which specializes in survival techniques for people of all ages both in everyday life and in the wild. You nover know when we could use prior training to confront thsoe unwanted situations that can suddenly appear.

This is that time of year when we have our annual Chili Cook-Off. Remember guys, this is a Legionnaires chili, not your brides cooking. I think we have had some false representations of late. Come and strut your stuff for our February social. Everyone else can bring your favorite side dish. March will bring "fried fish" supervised and directed by yours truly if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise. We are looking for cooks and cheerleaders while we work and have fellowship together.

As always keep our troops and their families along with our National Leaders in your thoughts and prayers. See you at the Post!

2ND VICE COMMANDER
by Joe Trochta

To assist Jarrell Post 317 in their recovery after losing their Post home to a fire, we donated 10 of our 3 by 6 feet tables. Since our tables are used frequently by our renters, we had replaced those heavier tables with the lighter plastic types. One of our big problems is a lack of sufficient air conditioning in the upstairs during the hot weather. Presently, we are getting bids to correct this problem by installing larger units which will make the environment more comfortable for our renters and us.
While at it, we are working with Austin Energy to upgrade our lighting systems to make them more efficient and less costly.
Post 76 has the Merci Boxcar which was donated by France after World War II. Every State in the Union received one. The Forty and Eight organization has the maintenance responsibility for the Boxcar. To assist, we have obtained bids to repair the deteriorating shed.

ADJUTANT’S COLUMN
by Clayton Griffis

Next month, March, is not only the 87th birthday of The American Legion, but it is also Community Service Month. If you have an idea for a community service project, please be sure to pass it along to one of the Post officers. Travis Post 76 has along tradition of providing dedicated service to our community and we want to continue to live up to the Legion motto of Still Serving America.
A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC)is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans. President John F. Kennedy initiated this program in 1962. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA> administers the PMC program by preparing the certificates, which bear the Presidents signature, expressing the countrys grateful recognition of the veterans service in the United States Armed Forces. Family memebers, or someone acting on their behalf, can apply for a PMC by contacting any VA regional office, either in person or by mail. There is no form to use when requesting a PMC, but be sure to provide a return mailing address and a copy of the veterans discharge documents.

It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of Post members Harley White and Guy Longo.

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

As always, if you have any questions regarding payment of your dues or if you need to update or correct your membership information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

Spread the Word!
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April 22nd*8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
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March 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED?

I was sitting at a table at the last Dinner Meeting and wondering about a lot of things. Sometimes my mind does wander and gets me to wondering. I was wondering why we don’t have more attend our dinner meetings. I was wondering if there is anything I could do to make it happen, other than to chastise everyone by reminding them that they missed a great opportunity to mingle with like comrades who have "carried the flag to the front" and enjoy each other’s company. I wondered why you were absent. Could it have been sickness? An untimely death in the family? A good old fashioned "ox in the ditch"? Or were you just not interested? We get your dues each year, but not your attendance. Is there anything I, or the officers can do to make it happen?
You missed an excellent dinner meeting with the Chili Cook-Off – I wonder if your chili would have won first place. We had an excellent speaker in Derrick Wright, who taught us survival techniques – you should have been there.
I wonder where our next officer line is coming from – we have so few who are willing to serve, but we need more. I wonder if you are the person we need to maintain the Post’s activities. Needless to say, my wondering only produces dreams and wishes, but you could be the answer. Why don’t you let me know you are willing to participate in the Post activities by calling one of the officers or me? May God continue to bless each of you; and don’t forget to wonder about it all.

Charles E. Matheson, Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting ........ 1st Monday April 3rd, May 1st, June 5th
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. .......... 3rd Monday March 20th, April 17th, May 15th

Entree for March Dinner Meeting . . . . Fried Catfish

A big thanks goes out to all of the members who slaved over the stove to provide homemade chili for the February dinner meeting. Yours truly did not place this year which means the winners were really good. Just kidding! You missed some great recipes if you were not there.
This month is "Fried Catfish" provided by the Post and COOKED by our members. Come and be a part of the festivities. We need cooks and cheerleaders to come around 4:00 p.m. or just come and enjoy the dinner.
Our speaker last month did a good job on giving us advice on some great survival techniques for all occasions. This month we are honored to have Beth McDonald as our Speaker. Beth is President of Texans For State Parks. This organization has been formed to protect our Texas treasures by preserving and enhancing the state park system. She will present some interesting and alarming statistics on the status of our current and future state parks. We also look forward to meeting her husband Bill, who is a member of our Post.
As always, our thoughts and prayers go out to our troops and their families along with the leaders of our country.
See you at the Post!

2ND VICE COMMANDER
by Joe Trochta

Editor’s Note: Our prayers go out to Joe who sent me the following email message:"I just got out of the hospital. Had another bout with a staph infection. This one in my upper lip. Really makes breathing and eating difficult. Just got home .... Still don’t feel very good." Please put Joe on your prayer list.

ADJUTANT’S COLUMN
by Clayton Griffis

When you meet a veteran, please be sure to tell them about The American Legion. One of the strengths of the Legion lies in its sheer numbers – it’s the largest veterans organization in the world. When you’re big, you command attention, and that’s what veterans of all ages need, a loud voice in Washington. When you’re big enough, Congress is more willing to listen, and that benefits us all.
Korean War Service Medal – U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal. To qualify for the medal, the veteran must have:
Served between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953 ! Been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days
Performed their duty within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent to, or in aerial flight over Korea participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations.

The U.S. Air Force is the lead agency to distribute the medals from each branch of the Service. The Air Force will provide the medal at no cost, and on a first come first served basis, based upon availability, to veterans who meet the above criteria and provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD-214). Contact the U.S. Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base at 1-800-616-3775, or see their web page at http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil/and type "korea award" in the search box in the upper left of the page.
Please let me know if you would like to order a Legion cap or any other Legion item (see on-line catalog at emblem.legion.org.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

Spread the Word!!

Shred Day 2006

Sponsored by ARMA Austin

April 22nd • 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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If you have any questions, please contact Jannette Goodall at 974-9045.

April 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

Members and Friends of Post 76, My “column” this month is actually copies of “Letters to the Editor” that I encourage you to write. They are self-explanatory. Also in this newsletter is a copy of a “Mobilization Speech” concerning the passage of “The Public Expression of Religion Act” - H.R. 2679.
The copies of the “Letters to the Editor” follow:
Dear Editor:
I am a veteran and a member of The American Legion, Travis Post 76 in Austin, Texas. I write to express my opinion that it is an outrage that judges are giving the ACLU thousands of dollars in attorney fees that taxpayers have to pay in lawsuits the ACLU brings against the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of our American religious heritage, including at veterans’ memorials.
I have read about such lawsuits, but had no idea that I and other taxpayers were actually paying the ACLU to bring them through these attorney fee awards given by judges.
The American Legion has called on Congress to amend Title 42 U.S. Code, to withdraw the authority of judges to award attorney fees to the ACLU, or anyone else, in such lawsuits under the Establishment Clause.
The Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679, does just that.
I urge Congressman ________________ [your district] and all members of our community to support this reform. We need every tax dollar we can get for our community; police, fire, health, public transit and other needs. Judges are awarding thousands of dollars in attorney fees to the ACLU, at a reported $350 per hour, without any proof that the ACLU has any actual attorney fees. If the ACLU must bring these lawsuits to destroy the Boy Scouts, Crosses and Stars of David, Christmas displays, it should at least have the decency to pay for it themselves and not stick it to the taxpayers.
Name, City, Daytime Phone Number.
Dear Editor:
I recently learned that judges have been granting the ACLU millions of dollars annually, at taxpayer expense, in lawsuits under the Establishment Clause attacking the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of our American heritage, even at veterans’ memorials for the first time. As an American, a veteran, and a member of the American Legion, I believe this is nothing more than “taxation without representation.” Very few people I have talked to in our community even knew that this was happening.
The American Legion has called on Congress to amend the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Act, 42 U.S. Code Section 1988, to withdraw the authority of judges to award attorney fees to the ACLU, or anyone else, in such lawsuits, especially when the ACLU offers no proof that in fact it has any actual attorney fees. The Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679, does just that.
I urge Congressman ________________ [your district] and all members of our community to support this reform.
If the ACLU must bring these lawsuits to destroy the Boy Scouts, Crosses and Stars of David, Christmas displays, it should at least have the decency to pay for it themselves and not stick it to the taxpayers.
Name, City, Daytime Phone Number
Dear Editor:
The Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679 (PERA), is pending before the House Judiciary Committee. PERA is a necessary reform: It would withdraw the authority of judges to award attorney fees, at taxpayer-expense, to the ACLU, or anyone else, in Establishment Clause cases against the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments or other symbols of our American religious history and heritage, including at veterans memorials.
The American Legion is strongly supporting this reform. The Legion points out that the ACLU is being granted attorney fees at about $350 per hour, when in fact it has no actual attorney fees as its lawsuits are done by staff or volunteer attorneys.
As a member of the American Legion family and of this community, I urge the [name of newspaper] and all members of the community to support PERA, and to contact our representatives in the House and Senate to urge them to sponsor PERA or to explain why they support judges in effect taxing us to pay the ACLU to bring these lawsuits. This is “taxation without representation,” and we should put an end to it through passage of PERA, H.R. 2679.
Name, City, Daytime Telephone Number
Charles E. Matheson, Sr., Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Monday May 1st, June 5th, July 3rd
Dinner Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3rd Monday April 17th, May 15th, June 19th
Entree for April Dinner Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pasta

All reports indicate that the Fish Fry was a success. As for the cooking committee, the Cheerleaders became Cooks and the Cooks became Cheerleaders at some point in the preparation. I wonder why? By the last batch we had learned what not to do and were well on our way to frying perfection. All agreed that this will become an annual affair.
This month we will take a breather and have pasta as the main course. However, the challenge continues with May being a POT ROAST COOKOFF. OK guys, it's time to show off again. We will have judges and please fellows, no help from the Ladies. The secret will be in the presentation. (I have been watching TV too!) Our speaker this month (thanks to Gene) will be Nancy Gresham from the Office of the Attorney General. Her subject will deal with FRAUD, SCAMS AND CON GAMES - FACTS AND FICTION. We will hope to learn more about the"lines and signs" of the numerous scams and fraud that can destroy our life and financial security. Now if the Pasta doesn't encourage you to come, this talk surely will.
Please keep our troops, their families and our national leaders in your thoughts and prayers. We look forward to seeing you at the Post.
P.S. I think the Post is turning out to be a Chef's school.

2ND VICE COMMANDER
by Joe Trochta

BOYS STATE

Presently, Paul Barker, James Crabtree and myself are interviewing Junior High School boys for American Legion Boys State, a citizenship program, held on the University of Texas Austin campus, June 3 - 9, 2006. American Legion Boys State, began in 1935, is an activity of high educational value, born out of a need for youth training in practical citizenship. It is a leadership action program in which highly qualified male high school juniors develop a working knowledge of the structure of government. They learn by doing.
Post 76 recruits boys from Anderson, Austin, Lanier,, McCallum, Westlake, Hyde Park, Hill Country Christian, Lago Vista, Lake Travis, St. Michael's and St. Stephen’s. The application fee is $275 per student. The Northwest Kiwanis Club contributes $1100 [four boys] and Lago Vista Lions Club $275 [one boy]. Some school activity funds provide some assistance.
You or your organization can also sponsor a boy.

Mobilization Speech

The American Legion is spearheading a nationwide effort to develop a grass roots groundswell to ensure passage of legislation in the 109th Congress: The Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679. Legionnaires, Members of The American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion are combating the secular cleansing of our American heritage through fanatical Establishment Clause lawsuits.
We are doing this for the same reason that George Washington and the first American soldiers, and Founding Fathers, were involved in combating the tyranny of their times – to safeguard and transmit to posterity America’s freedom, and American values, for without those values of the Founding Fathers, the America they created will be no more. All across America we see fanatical litigation being brought by lawyers of the ACLU and other special interests attacking the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of our American religious history and heritage.
Now, for the first time in history, an attack was made against a religious symbol at a veteran’s memorial in the precedent-setting Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Case (Buono vs. Norton).
The values and religious symbols the Founding Fathers revered, lived by, and proclaimed as the very foundation of the American republic are being outlawed by modern lawyers and judges – under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution which the Founding Fathers wrote.
We are witnessing the rewriting of the Constitution, and the remaking of America, by judicial fiat, not by amending the Constitution as provided for by the Founding Fathers, or by elected bodies in the representative democratic processes of our republic.
Today, the lawyers of an increasingly tyrannical judiciary issue orders in Establishment Clause cases banning the Boy Scouts, banning the Ten Commandments, banning religious symbols at veterans’ memorials, banning the Pledge of Allegiance, banning historical religious symbols in the official seals of counties and cities, banning the Department of Defense from assisting the Boy Scouts, and then awarding millions of dollars to the ACLU and others in “attorney fees” in Establishment Clause cases to be paid by taxpayers. They do this even though the ACLU in fact has no attorney fees, and “mascot” plaintiffs have no attorney fees, and have no real injury but are only “offended” at the sight of a religious symbol that is, in fact, a symbol of our American history and heritage.
Our republic was founded on the principle that “We, the People,” are sovereign, acting through democratically elected representatives. That representative democracy is being distorted, crippled, and rendered impotent by lawyers exploiting our Civil Rights laws for a profit. Cities, counties, other governmental entities surrender to the ACLU and remove or destroy religious symbols our American history and heritage from the public square for fear of imposition of massive attorney fee awards by court order, to be paid by taxpayers, should the ACLU prevail. Our representative democracy is imperiled by threat of these judge-ordered attorney fees. The lawyers of the modern judiciary have taken unto themselves a veto power over both the Legislative and Executive branches. They have usurped all authority to decide the most fundamental questions of life, and death, who we are and what kind of nation we are. “We, the People,” has been replaced by “We, the Lawyers.” A “nation under the rule of law” has become “a nation under “rule of lawyers.”
Thomas Jefferson, father of the Declaration of Independence, warned us against a judicial tyranny more than 200 years ago, when he wrote:
“It is a dangerous doctrine, indeed, to consider the judges to be the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions. It will lead to a despotic oligarchy.” Jefferson further warned: “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in our federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing in its noiseless step like a thief over the filed of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.”
Jefferson’s prophecy has been realized in our times.
When the question was raised as to who, if not the lawyers, i.e., judges, would decide the ultimate constitutional questions of who we are and what kind of nation we are, the Founding Fathers were quick to answer, in the words of James Madison, Father of the Constitution: “The People, themselves.” We Americans take seriously the words of the Founding Fathers of our nation.
We American Legionnaires take seriously the oaths we took when we entered the military service in defense of the America the Founding Fathers created “…to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
We take seriously also the words of the Founders of our American Legion, ordinary GI’s of WW I who created the American Legion in Paris in 1919 as they awaited repatriation back home.
“For God and Country” is the credo those GI’s gave us at our founding.
“For God and Country” our credo today, it will be tomorrow, and forever.
At every meeting, we reaffirm our pledge to defend “God and Country.”
We pledge again to live the ten precepts of the Preamble to our Constitution, including:
“To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism “(3rd Precept);
“To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation” (5th Precept); and
“To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy.”
Simply stated, we Legionnaires – we Americans – cannot “safeguard and transmit to posterity” our American values and the America the Founding Fathers created if we stand back and allow the symbols of our American history and heritage, including the religious, to be banned from the public square and effectively wiped out of our history, our national consciousness, and, thus, our national character.
We, as individual Legionnaires, as Posts, Districts, States, and at the National Level through our highest officers, combat the ACLU and other special interests and like-minded lawyers sitting as judges, and support the Public Expression of Religion Act, pursuant to the policies mandated by the 2.7-million members of the American Legion through their elected delegates voting in National Convention.
Resolution 326, Preserve Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, was adopted unanimously at the 2004 National Convention.
The Department of California sponsored Resolution 326 after a federal judge in Riverside, California, in an unprecedented lawsuit filed by the ACLU (Norton vs. Buono, note above) ordered a solitary cross honoring WWI veterans in the remote Mojave Desert to be destroyed, and then awarded the ACLU some $63,000 in attorney fees for destroying that cross, even though the ACLU had no actual attorney fees.
American Legion Resolution 326 calls on Congress to eliminate the authority of judges to award attorney fees under the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Act, 42 U.S. Code Section 1988, in cases under the Establishment Clause.
The Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005, H.R. 2679, does just that.
Most Americans are totally unaware that, as taxpayers, they have been paying millions of dollars in “attorney fee awards” annually to the ACLU in Establishment Clause lawsuits against the Boy Scouts, the Ten Commandments, and other Establishment Clause lawsuits, including against religious symbols at veterans memorials. The Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S. Code Section 1988 was intended to help poor people obtain legal counsel in claims of real, tangible violation of Civil Rights. It has been despicably exploited by the ACLU to enrich itself with millions of dollars in court-awarded, taxpayer-paid attorney fees when in fact ACLU has no actual attorney fees.
The Mojave Desert WWI Veterans Memorial Case in California (Buono vs. Norton) is a very dangerous precedent: There are 9,000 Crosses and Stars of David at Normandy Beach. There are 22 National Cemeteries with veterans at rest beneath religious symbols. There is nothing in the law to prevent the ACLU, or others, including Islamist fanatics in our midst, from filing Establishment Clause lawsuits against those sacred grounds, and then seeking and receiving taxpayer-paid attorney fees by order of judges for desecrating those places of honor reserved for veterans who defended the America the Founding Fathers created. There is simply no reasonable basis to support the ACLU, or anyone else, profiting by attorney fee awards ordered by judges in Establishment Clause cases. The very threat of those fees has made local elected bodies surrender to the ACLU’s demands to secularly cleanse the public square, denuding it of any display of our American religious history and heritage.
Therefore, we believe this issue crosses all ideological, religious, and party lines. It is an American issue that all Americans should support. Further, veterans’ memorials should be sacrosanct. Period.
Congress should exercise its authority under the Constitution to deny jurisdiction to the judicial branch over lawsuits against veterans’ memorials under the Establishment Clause. The American Legion does not intend to surrender to the ACLU, or anyone else, in defense of veterans’ memorials, the Boy Scouts, or the public display of our American religious history and heritage.
We are involved, therefore, because we are veterans, because we are Legionnaires who served the nation when our country called, but most of all because we are Americans.
“For God And Country” is our credo, and both are in peril today. In order to win the battle to safeguard and transmit to posterity the America the Founding Fathers created, it is clear what we must do: We must walk in the footsteps of the founders. Being involved in making the Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679, the law of the land, is one small, but extremely important step that must be taken. Indeed, this is a crusade which we can, we should, and must win, if we are to walk in the footsteps of the Founders and safeguard and transmit to posterity the America they gave us by pledge and sacrifice of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. We Americans of this generation can do no less for America then what the Founding Fathers created and gifted upon us.

May 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

In order for flowers to bloom they need tender care, watering and food to make them grow into the things of beauty we love to see and smell. Like those flowers your Post needs caretakers who will provide the things needed to make it grow into a thing of beauty. and when your end of time in office is at an end you can look back and be proud of what YOU have created.
It is time to not just stop and smell the roses; it is time for some new gardeners' to tend the roses. Like many gardeners in this Post, we have cultivated the flower bed for many years ands we are tired, we need to rest.
The American Legion is out there fighting Congress for your rights and benefits. Do not let them down because you will lose what you have and will not gain what you need. We need a strong membership. The American Legion speaks for you.
May God place His tender hand on each of you and give you peace, joy and health.

Charled E. Matheson,Sr.
Comander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday June 5th, July 3rd, August 7th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday May 15th, June 19th, July 17th
Entree for May Dinner Meeting Your Favorite Pot Roast

We know how to avoid identity theft. SHRED IT,SHRED IT,SHRED IT. Those of you who could not make it, missed out on some good advice as the Assistant DA advised us of the most frequent scams being used to take advantage of honest people like us. We can be awful foolish at times believing in opportunities too good to be true.
How about this for our next speaker. Mr. Manish Punjabi, who is a certified Hypnotist at the Health and Wellness Center in Austin. His specialty is using hypnotism in treating Stress Disorders along with many other physical conditions and characteristics. Who wants to volunteer for a public treatment?
As we requested at our last dinner, we need members and wives to bring a pot roast of their choosing and this will be the entree. There is a prize in the offering for the best roast. As usual bring a favorite side dish instead.
We certainly need prayers for those that are ill or suffering from the setbacks of life. Continued thoughts and prayers for our service man and women; especially those in harms way.
SEE YOU AT THE POST!

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS
by Joe Trochta

AMERICAN LEGION BOYS STATE

Post 76 is sponsoring 18 graduating High School Junior boys to the 2006 American Legion Boys State program. At the Post September 18th dinner meeting the boys and their parents are invited. The boys tell about their experiences and we can all get acquainted with these outstanding young citizens.

POST AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM

The old inadequate air conditioning system in the Hall of Fame Room and the upstairs ball room is being replaced. The larger and more efficient system will correct and enhance the comfort condition. Am Tech Mechanical is the contractor and proposed modifications to the system with new/larger distribution ducting will provide increased air flow.

NOTE: When you rent the Post for your reunion or anniversary party, it will be much cooler or warmer, depending on the time of year.

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

BLUE STAR SERVICE BANNER

A Blue Star Service Banner displayed in the window of a home is an American tradition. The banner lets others know that someone in the home is proudly serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. As Americans do their best to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and the ongoing war on terror, the Blue Star Service Service Banner tradition reminds us all that war touches every neighborhood in our land.
The American Legion also has available a Blue Star Banner Corporate Flag for government and corporate America to show support for employees called to active duty with their Reserve or National Guard Units. It should be noted that this is different from the 1926 War Mothers Flag hoisted every Veterans Day at 11 minutes after 11 0'clock, and which flies until sundown beneath the U.S. Flag to honor the millions of Americans killed in action during World War I and World War II.


ALL FORMER SCOUTS, SCOUT LEADERS AND PARENTS

The American Legion Post 76 has been a proud charter partner with the Boy Scouts of America with Troop 415 for over 30 years. At the present time, we are identifying youth members, family members and individuals in the community who have or want to benefit from hiking, canoeing, camping, fishing, or any of the Values of the Scouting Program such as citizenship and character.
The Troop is for boys age 11 to 18 and has a set program of monthly outdoor activities. A program called Venturing was started nation-wide several years ago. Post 76 has the opportunity to expand its role as a charter partner of a coed Venture Crew. A Venture Crew is for high school age youth until they reach age 21. Venture Crews are focused on high adventure, hobbies, sports, religious life and the outdoors.
Please send your list to the Longhorn District, 7540 Ed Bluestein Blvd, Austin, Texas 78723, or Contact Bob Oatman at 944-7726 or email at boatman@bsamail.org or Amber Mancuso at 944-7728 or email at amancuso@bsamail.org.

Thanks,

Robert "Bob" Oatman
Longhorn District Director
512-926-6363 ext 34
512-944-7726 cell
P.S. To Donate to friends of Scouting go to:www.givetoscouting.org.

NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS-2006-2007

CommanderLarry Miller
1st Vice CommanderAl Banzer
2nd Vice CommanderJoe Trochta
AdjutantClayton Griffis
Finance OfficerWill Ivie
Service OfficerGeorge Ruiz
ChaplainJason Denny
Judge AdvocateGuy Davis
Sergeant-at-ArmsJames Crabtree
HistorianJoseph Cook
Executive Director-One YearBill Stramler
Executive Director-One YearWill Brown
Executive Director-One YearStanley Juba
Executive Director-Two YearR.D.Brown
Executive Director-Two YearRick Travalini
Executive Director-Two YearGene Volcik

This letter speaks for itself but you might want to consider attending this ceremony at Assumption Cemetery.

Catholic War Veterans of the U.S.A.
Post 1805, INC
4913 South Congress
Austin, Texas 78745
(512) 440-1533

SUBJECT: Invitation to attend our Memorial Day Ceremony

TO: Commander, American Legion Post 76
P.O.Box 1214
Austin, Texas 78767

FROM: Augustine Aguerro
First Vice Commander
Post 1805

The Commander, Officers, members and Auxillary of the Catholic War Veterans,INC Austin,Texas, request the honor of your presence at our Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Assumption Cemetery, 3650 S. IH 35, Austin, texas, on Monday, May 29th at 10:00 a.m.

Please call Felipe Soliz at 601-1884 or you may write to him at 85 River Garden Trail,Dale Texas 78616 to confirm the invitation.

Thank you in advance,

Yours in Christ and the CWV's

Felipe Soliz
Coordinator
Memorial Day Ceremony

June 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

By now you know that we did not hold this year's reunion on Memorial Day as planned last year. It will be held at a later date when the weather is a little cooler, so watch the newsletter for the date.
Be sure that you make plans to attend the dinner meeting this month as the Post will be honoring the U.S. Air Force with a few decorations and who knows what else so we expect to see all you flyboys there.
For those of you who enjoy watching the fireworks on Lake Austin on the 4th of July you cannot find a better seat than at your Post. If you come please wear your Legion cap or some other form of identification connecting you to the Post so the police will allow you into our parking lot. And if you come, arrive early and make use of the barbecue equipment the Post owns in order to cook up a good meal for your family. Dallas will be on hand to help all who attend to have a good time.
Another year for the Post is almost to a close and we will be installing the recycled and new officers in August that were voted on tonight. If you did not get to vote it is because you did not attend the meeting on 5 June which was posted in the last newsletter. Look for the list of officers in another section of this newsletter.
I honor my God and thank him every day that I am allowed to live for Him and give honor to those who serve with me and to those who have gone to join that Post Everlasting, that Post that we all shall one day become a member of. What a day of rejoicing that will be when God at last I see.

Charles E. Matheson, Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday July 10th, August 7th, September 11th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday June 19th, July 17th, August 21st
Entree for June Dinner Meeting Fried Chicken

For the last few months our speakers have ranged far and wide with topics
Now it is time to come back to earth and deal with one of our obligations as Legionnaires. We have been inundated with worn out flags and it is time for a flag retirement ceremony. That's right, our program will consist of the proper method of flag disposal. Please come and support this event and we will reward you with FRIED CHICKEN. As usual, bring your favorite side-preferably vegetables or desserts. Thanks to all those who slaved over the stove to provide pot roast dinners last month. We did have a winner. Way to go Gene! Or was it your better half?
We are hoping for a return visit in July from Ramona Kelly and David Grosvenor as they present the full length feature of the film documenting the life and escape during WWII of Davids father, Bill Grosvenor. This will be like going to the movies with popcorn, etc., as an entree. More to come as we organize this social event.
Our prayers go out to our leaders, service men and women and their families as we continue in the fight for freedom in the Middle East. May God help us to find solutions to this conflict.
SEE YOU AT THE POST!

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS
by Joe Trochta

GOOD PEACHES STILL AVAILABLE
The Northwest Kiwanis Club has sponsored four [4] boys to the American Legion Boys State from Post 76 for many years. Application fees for Boys State are $275 per boys or $1100 for for four[4] boys.
Their main fundraiser is the sale of native Texas peaches. The Loring and Red Globes are the best freestone and largest peaches from Fredricksburg, but erratic weather this spring ruined the crop. The same varieties are available from Northeast Texas.
Get a 22 pound box for $29.00 or a $1.29 per pound. You can pre-order from Legionnaire 2nd Vice-Commander Joe Trochta. Need orders by June 24. Pick up peaches on Saturday, July 1, or Saturday July 8, in the parking lot of Chase Bank at 7600 Burnet Road [across Burnet Road from St Louis Catholic Church]. If 22 pounds of peaches are too much, share a box with family or friends. If you can't use them all for preserves or cobblers, you will get instructions to freeze. They also make wonderful gifts. Support the organization that supports our Boys State program and get the best peaches available.

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

I'm always seeking new and better ways to communicate with our Post members. If you would like to receive information about Post activities by email, please send me your email address. I promise I will only send Post/Legion related information, no junk emails. If you have any other ideas about how we can outreach to our members or the community, please let me know that too.
As always, if you have any questions about your membership dues or your Legion benefits, just call or email me.

Request Copies of your Military Records Online

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is making it easier for veterans with computers and internet access to obtain copies of their military documents. Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents, including DD-214s. Such access is particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy for employment purposes. Other individuals needing documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, whcih can be downloaded online. Because requestors must supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new Web-based application is designed to provide better service by eliminating mailroom process time. To request copies of your military records online go to www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html.

NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS-2006-2007

CommanderLarry Miller
1st Vice CommanderAl Banzer
2nd Vice CommanderJoe Trochta
AdjutantClayton Griffis
Finance OfficerWill Ivie
Service OfficerGeorge Ruiz
ChaplainJason Denny
Judge AdvocateGuy Davis
Sergeant-at-ArmsJames Crabtree
HistorianJoseph Cook
Executive Director-One YearBill Stramler
Executive Director-One YearWill Brown
Executive Director-One YearStanley Juba
Executive Director-Two YearR.D.Brown
Executive Director-Two YearRick Travalini
Executive Director-Two YearGene Volcik

July 2006

Commanders Comments

Charles Matheson,Sr., Post Commander

Once again we are about to start a new year in our Post with the installation of officers to be held on the 3rd Monday of August. Come and join with us at this dinner meeting and bring your family with you.
I would like to give you a good example of what a few members can accomplish when they work together.
The Elgin Post started out just four years ago with a membership of eleven and has since grown to a membership of 56. These members under the direction and leadership of Kurt Nilsson now have a building they can call their own and are in the process of fixing it to where they can hold their meetings there but need some help. The members came together with the funds to purchase the building free and clear leaving themselves short of funds to purchase tables and chairs. They are also funding the paint, plumbing, electrical and leveling work needed in order for them to occupy the building.
We, Post 76, have a membership of almost 400 with only about 15 members shouldering the load; yet we have deep pockets thanks to the efforts of a few. Could we help the Elgin Post by purchasing the new chairs and tables we need for the upstairs and the chairs for the downstairs then donate our old ones to the Elgin Post? They would gladly refinish the chairs and tables as they have an active Ladies Auxillary who works hand in hand with the Post and they are endeavoring to form a "Sons of the American Legion" Squadron as well.
Please give your Officers a call and tell them how you feel about helping the Elgin Post. Thank you. If you need a ride, call one of the officers and we will see about getting you here.
May the blessing of the Great Architect of the Universe be with you throughout your days and may they be long in numbers.

Charles E. Matheson, Sr.
Commander Post 76

PLANNING SCHEDULE
by Larry Miller
1st Vice Commander

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday August 7th, September 11th, October 2nd
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday July 17th, August 21st, September 18th
Entree for July Dinner Meeting Hot Dogs

Well it is time for the "grand finale" of programs for this year. As previously mentioned, we are going to the movies with the continuation of the documentary of Bill Grosvenors real life story of escape and evasion in Belgium during World War II. This is a hour and one half film that will be presented from 7:00 p.m. until. We will dine while watching the movie and presentation. It will be shown in two sessions to allow for a break for dessert etc. We encourage everyone to attend and invite guests including adult children. The Post will provide popcorn and refreshments along with cooking the hotdogs> Please bring your favorite desserts.
Our August meeting will be centered around the installation of new officers and honoring the current officers and executive committee members. The entree is to be announced. Please come and join us as we continue the great fellowship at the Post. Keep in mind that our second annual Reunion social and dinner will take place in the Fall. More to come on that event.
It is my understanding that we had some brave souls who endured the inclement weather on the 4th of July to eat and watch the fireworks from the front lawn at the Post. Good for you!
As usual, we ask for prayers for our troops and their families along with the leaders of this country.

SEE YOU AT THE POST!

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS
by Joe Trochta

POST 76 UPDATE

POST AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM

The upstairs Hall of Honor air conditioning system has been upgraded. Then after adding more insulation in the attic, the room is more comfortable. This should enhance the ability to reent all year round. Have you scheduled you activity?.

HALL OF HONOR FLOOR REFINISHING

The maple flooring in the Fame needs to be refinished. We are looking for bidders. Do you know of any good floor refinishers? Call Joe Trochta.

HISTORY OF THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The original Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy. It was first given wide publicity through the official program of the National Public Schools Celebration of Columbus Day which was printed in The Youts Companion of September 8, 1892, and at the same time sent out in leaflet form to schools throughout the country. School children first recited the Pledge of Allegiance this way:
"I pledge alligance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
"The flag of the United States" replaced the words "my Flag" in 1923 because some foreign-born people might have in mind the flag of the country of their birth instead of the United States flag. A year later, "of America" was added after "United States".
No form of the pledge recieved official recognition by Congress until June 22, 1942, when the Pledge was formally included in the U.S. Flag Code. The official name of the Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day 1954, when Congress passed a law, which added the words "under God" after "one nation".
Originally, the pledge was said with the right hand in the so-called "Bellamy Salute", with the right hand resting first outward from the chest, then the arm extending out from the body. Once Hitler came to power in Europe, some Americans were concerned that his position of the arm and hand resembled the Nazi or Facist salute. In 1942 Congress also established the current practice of rendering the pledge with the right hand over the heart.
The Flag Code specifies that any future changes to the pledge would have to be with the consent of the President.

Officers 2006-2007
CommanderLarry Miller
1st Vice CommanderAl Banzer
2nd Vice CommanderJoe Trochta
AdjutantClayton Griffis
Finance OfficerWill Ivie
Service OfficerGeorge Ruiz
ChaplainJason Denny
Judge AdvocateGuy Davis
Sergeant-at-ArmsJames Crabtree
HistorianJoseph Cook
Executive Director-One YearBill Stramler
Executive Director-One YearWill Brown
Executive Director-One YearStanley Juba
Executive Director-Two YearR.D.Brown
Executive Director-Two YearRick Travalini
Executive Director-Two YearGene Volcik

August 2006

Commanders Comments

Larry Miller, 1st Vice Commander

For those of you who could not make our July social, the popcorn popped, the hotdogs were hot and the program was great. Sorry you missed the evening. However, for your information, the documentary will be shown in its entirety on PBS, October 30th from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. Central time. You do not want to miss it, if at all possible. Our Post made the decision to give a substantial donation to the foundation as the result of the film presentation. Individuals are also encouraged to donate if desired. It is a good cause and benefits the Austin Film Society.
Our program this month will be centered around the Installation of Officers for the coming year, 2006-2007. Please come and support your Post by thanking the out going Officers and welcoming in the new slate of Officers. We certainly want to thank those who have agreed to serve. My duties will be those of the New Commander and I look forward to the challenge and pleasure to serve in that capacity once again.
Our entree this month will be chicken tenders and mashed potatoes. Please bring your favorite side and dessert. As always, let us pray for our troops and leaders as this is a crucial time for theMiddle East.
See you at the Post!

Planning Schedule

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday September 11th, October 2nd, November 6th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday August 21st, September 18th, October 16th
Entree for August Dinner Meeting Chicken Tenders

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Joe Trochta

NEW LIGHTS

New in-ground light fixtures were installed to light the flag and the porch columns. These in-ground fixtures should not be broken causing constant repair expenses.

SEWER SYSTEM REPLACEMENT

The Foster Avenue [“The Alley”] sewer system was replaced by the City of Austin. The old clay pipe system was stopping up and causing problems. The new PVC system should correct all problems for Post 76 and other users along “The Alley”. [I bet this is something you really wanted to know about???]

AREA CLEANED

The land area behind the boxcar and along Veterans Drive belongs to the City of Austin. We have problems with the people using it at night and catching litter from joggers passing by. The COA cleaned the area and now looks a lot better.

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

I am pleased to welcome the following new members to Travis Post 76:
• Brian Garlock (Ph. 301-0608) – Army - transfer from Dept.
• Knox Nunnally (Ph. (443-822-8813) - Marines - transfer from Dept.

I know we all look forward to visiting with these new members at the Post soon.
Each of you should have received a membership renewal notice in the mail by now from the National Office. So far, 189 Post 76 members have renewed their membership for the 2007 membership year. Your annual membership dues help support many important American Legion programs, including representation before Congress on issues affecting veterans, youth and community service programs such as the Boys/Girls State and Baseball programs; Plus, you get a great magazine each month. Quite a bargain for only $25 a year!
If you have any questions regarding payment of your dues, please don’t hesitate to call me.

It is with sadness that I report the recent passing of Travis Post 76 members James W. “Bill” Ficklin and Leslie T. “Les” Chapman. “Because of them our lives are free; because of them our nation lives; because of them the world is blessed.”

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

September 2006

Commanders Comments

Larry Miller, Commander

We really had a great installation banquet and a special thanks to all who participated. It appears that we have a eager crop of new Officers and Directors. My personal thanks goes out to each person who has volunteered to serve this year. Our past Commander, Charles Matheson Sr., certainly earned a well deserved rest after serving for the past several years without a break in service. I hope to continue the programs started under his watch and will strive to continue the emphasis on fellowship and membership in the Post.
This month's social will highlight the Boys and Girl State programs that took place this summer. It is always a joy to hear the students tell of their experiences and future plans as the result of participating in their respective events. As is the case with the baseball program, this is another great program that supports our youth. Your Post has had a lot of success over the years in helping develop positive character traits in our participating youth.
Please be looking for our second annual reunion that will take place in the next couple of months. Although it is in the planning stages, we hope to pattern it after last year's gathering.
As always, keep our Troops and Leaders in your thoughts and prayers. See you at the Post!

Planning Schedule

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday October 2nd, November 6th, December 4th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday September 18th, October 16th, November 20th
Entree for September Dinner Meeting Fried Chicken

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Joe Trochta

BOYS and 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 extra curricular activities. They are the “cream of the crop.”
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 18th at 7:00 p.m.

Joe Trochta
Boys State Committee

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

I look forward to serving Travis Post 76 for another year as Adjutant. While my hours are quite crowded at times with family and work, I do enjoy my time spent in fellowship with my friends at the Post and serving the community and veterans through my involvement with The American Legion. I know the coming year will prove to be a great success for our Post.
As always, if you have any questions regarding your membership, or if you need to change or update your mailing address or phone number, please be sure to contact me so I can submit the changes “through channels”. That way, your information gets updated at all levels—the Post, Department, and national.
If you know of a Post member who is ill or hospitalized, please be sure to notify the Chaplain, Jason Denny, or myself so we can contact them or their family to offer our support and “get well” wishes from the Post.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

LEGISLATIVE ALERT!

Contact Congress Now!
Urge support and quick passage for S. 3696 and H.R. 2679. National Commander Thomas L. Bock asks that as you and your family continue to celebrate summer this month, please take a moment to contact your senators and urge support and quick passage for S. 3696, the "Veterans' Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals, and Other Public Expressions of Religion protection Act of 2006" and contact your representatives and urge support and quick passage for its House companion bill, H.R. 2679, the "Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA)". Please encourage others to contact their senators and representative as well.
These bills would amend all federal laws with fee-shifting provisions, including the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Act, 42 U.S. Code 1988, and the Equal Access to Justice Act. They would eliminate the authority of judges to award taxpayer-paid attorney fees to the ACLU, or any other organization, in lawsuits brought under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution against veterans' memorials, the Boy Scouts, or the public display of the Ten Commandments or other symbols of American history and religious heritage.
The American Legion has fought for passage of this reform legislation since the ACLU sued the Mojave Desert WWI Veterans Memorial and obtained a federal judge's order to destroy the solitary cross at that veterans' memorial. The ACLU then sought, and received, $63,000 from that same judge as an attorney fee award-- although neither the ACLU nor its mascot plaintiff, Frank Buono, retired former Assistant Superintendent of the Mojave Desert Preserve, had any actual attorney fees. The $63,000 went directly into ACLU coffers as profit.
Most Americans remain unaware the ACLU and other organizations have been reaping millions of dollars in taxpayer-paid profits from lawsuits against veterans memorials, the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of our American heritage. In recent testimony to the Senate Rees Lloyd, former ACLU attorney and Department of California District 21 Commander, provided these examples of ACLU awards of taxpayer money.
Approximately $950,000 in attorney fees was awarded to the ACLU in a settlement with the City of San Diego in its lawsuit to drive the Boy Scouts out of Balboa Park. In the Judge Roy Moore Ten Commandments case, the ACLU received $500,000. In a recent "Intelligent Design" case against a school board, the ACLU received $2,000,000 in attorney fees by order of a judge-- although the law firm that represented the ACLU informed the court and public that it had acted pro bono and waived any attorney fees; these fees was pure profit to the ACLU.
Commander Bock has said the ACLU's threat of the imposition of taxpayer-paid attorney fees to force local elected bodies--city and county councils and school boards--into surrendering to the ACLU's demands to secularly cleanse the public square of any evidence of America's religious heritage is "judicial blackmail, plain and simple".
Of particular concern to most veterans are the legal attacks on veterans' memorials. Passage of S. 3696 and H.R. 2679 would end the abuse by the ACLU and other organizations of well-intended laws. Commander Bock has said, "This reform of the law should be supported by all Americans across all party, ideological, philosophical, and religious lines. The ACLU's profiteering at taxpayer expense by exploitation of benevolently intended civil rights laws designed to benefit poor people is a disgrace."
The American Legion publication, “In the Footsteps of the Founders - A Guide to Defending American Values”, provides detailed information and is available free on request to pr@legion.org. We would like to note that our Legislative Action Center has e-mail capability that you can use in writing to Congress. We encourage those who can to use this feature.
PLEASE NOTE: Visit the American Legion web page at http://www.legion.org for further information of interest to Legionnaires.

October 2006

Commanders Comments

Larry Miller, Commander

Please review the information enclosed in this newsletter concerning an opportunity to lock in the current dues rate by paying up for life by the end of this year. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have concerning this matter.
Our September dinner was a succesful example of the positive effect the Boys and Girls State programs are having on our Youth. It is always heart warming to hear what those who attend have learned through these great youth programs.
We are looking forward to Veterans Day and our participation this year in the parade downtown. Come and enjoy our breakfast at the Post and join us in riding in the event. We are trying to get a military vehicle or vehicles to aid us in making it up Congress Ave. If we are not successful we always have access to the miniature train. This is a good chance to meet active members and have fellowship with one another.
The Fall 10th District Convention will be held on October 14th at the Giddens Post 276. We have five members scheduled to go and represent our Post. We will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Post to car pool and would like to encourage anyone who would like to attend to show up and join us.
There seems to be a lot of positive energy around the Post and we hope to see old and new members come and start being a part of the enjoyable activities that are available to everyone. More information is to come on our Spring Reunion which is in the planning stages. My goal this year is to promote more membership and participation. Please join us at the Post.

Planning Schedule

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday November 6th, December 4th, January 8th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday October 16th, November 20th, December 18th
Entree for October Dinner Meeting Ham
Entree for November Dinner Meeting Turkey

1st VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Al Banzer

I am settling in to my new position if 1st Vice Commander, learning as I go along. We have a lot of good people in the Post and I am looking forward to working with them. I will, from time to time, be asking for assistance from the members, hope y'all don't mind. I am looking for topic sugestions for our dinner meetings-something you would like to hear about, things that interest you, perhaps a speaker you have heard and think the Post membership would find interesting and/or enjoyable. Sky's the limit. Just let me know and I'll se what I can do.
For our dinner meeting on October 16th, the Post will provide ham. What we need from you, the members, are side dishes that go with ham. We could use potatoes (potato salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes,etc.), some vegetables (green beans, peas,etc.), baked beans (they go well with ham) bread and/or rolls, and of course, desserts.
Our speaker for the meeting will be Brent Bullock. Brent is one of three directors of a nonprofit Christian Education organization, America Bless God Campaign of Texas. You have all heard and sang the song, God Bless America. Brent speaks on turning that around to America Bless God and the importance of biblical morality in our democratic form of government and the blessings that flow from honoring God. Given the most current mess in our government, i.e. involvement of the Congressional Representative from Florida with underage Congressional Pages, this will be a timely and interesting talk.
Hope to see y'all at the dinner meeting. One further comment, the November dinner meeting will see the Post providing the turkey, so be thinking about what goes good with turkey!

Message from the Chaplain

by Jason Denny

To serve as Chaplain for the American Legion Post 76 in Austin Texas is truly an honor and a privilege. At one and the same time to be a minister of the Lord and to be a member of this post responds to a two-fold call to serve others and offer prayer which unites heaven and earth.
With over 400 members in this post, plus all the wonderful people who serve here with committee work or through the school on the grounds; my effort is to meet the needs of this working community on a personal level. The concerns that weigh on their hearts and the problems that block their clarity of thinking at times become the concerns of the Chaplain.
The formal prayer before each meeting or dinner awakens faith and calls forth a post to stand with its leaders and say in unison: "In God we Trust." But daily prayer for the members of the post cannot end there.
I ask people across this great community to join me in praying for ther members of this post. Know the members of this post by name and raise his/her name before God each day with me in prayer.
Pray for the Chaplain also that I may be always rooted in prayer and a good instrument for accomplishing Gods holy will here. Only by being free in the Spirit could the Chaplain serve all the people here regardless of the their faith persuasion or denomination. Only by listening to each person in depth could cousel be offered, encouragemment be readily given or correction be artfully applied.
Thank you for your membership in American Legion Post 76.

Blessings

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

As some of you may have recently read in the Legion magazine or Dispatch newspaper, a resolution was approved at this years 88th National Convention to raise the National dues rate. In addition, the Department approved a coinciding dues increase at this years Department Convention held in Plano. These increases will become effective January 10, 2007.
Travis Post 76 officers and members discussed these recent dues increases at our regular business meeting held on September 11th, 2006. Following the discusssion a motion was passed to keep our dues rate at its current level of $25.00 for another year, at which time we will re-evaluate the need for a Post dues increase.
The recent National and Department dues increases add further incentive for Post members to consider becoming a Paid Up For Life (PUFL) member. Below is a table showing the cost for becoming a PUFL member based upon your Post dues rate and your age:

Age Group
DUES 24 & Under 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 85 & Over
$25
$871
$829 $782 $731 $676 $616 $552 $485 $418 $352 $290 $232 $181
$147
$26
$906
$862 $813 $761 $703 $640 $574 $504 $434 $366 $302 $241 $188
$153

After December 31,2006, the dues rate used to calculate your PUFL payment would increase to $26.00 (National and Department portion). If you're considering becoming a PUFL, you should submit your application before the end of the year to lock in your dues rate at the curent $25.00 level.
Please let me know if you you have any questions about your dues or becoming a PUFL.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

November 2006

Commanders Comments

Larry Miller, Commander

There will be a lot of information in this month's newsletter about the Veteran's day activities around the Post. Thanks to everyone who showed up for the Saturday annual breakfast. In the past, we normally served between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., but this year we had a large group participating in the parade so we started serving around 6:30 a.m. in order to leave by 8:00 a.m. for the parade. We had the opportunity to ride in a WW2 truck (2½ Ton) this year and it was the last vehicle in a special convoy of vintage vehicles from Camp Mabry.
Hope everyone had a chance to get out and vote on Election Day. Regardless of the outcome, you had a say in things if you voted. This is a right that we all fought for. We continue to pray and support those in harms way and their families. Also, with the new leadership in our State and Nation, we pray for guidance to be given them as they deal with the issues of our times.
Come and be with us this month as we celebrate the holiday season. The Post activities are a lot of fun and the fellowship can't be better. See you at the Post!

Planning Schedule

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday December 4th, January 8th, February 5th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday November 20th, December 18th, January 15th
Entree for November Dinner Meeting Turkey
Entree for December Dinner Meeting Finger Foods

1st VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Al Banzer

November is here and we are fast closing in on the end of another year. November brings Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving which provides two opportunities, or good excuses if you will, for all of us to get together.
On Saturday, November 11, we participated in the City of Austin's Veterans' Day Parade. The parade began at the Congress Avenue Bridge with our lineup at 8:00 a.m. We had a military vehicle lined up, complements of the Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans, that we rode in up Congress Avenue. We also participated in the wreath ceremony at the Capitol at the end of the parade. Thanks to all who came out for this annual event honoring all of us who served our country. For our November Dinner Meeting, Monday, November 20th, we will have turkey, which the Post will provide, but we need everything else that goes with it. Potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, dressing, string beans, corn, bread, rolls, cranberry sauce, and anything else y'all think goes good with turkey. Don't forget the pumpkin pie for dessert! This will be our Thanksgiving celebration.
Our speaker at the November meeting will be Danny Kaiser from the Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans. He was at our October dinner meeting and some of you may have met him. He will tell us about the military vehicles his group has (we rode in one at the parade), some history, keeping the vehicles running, etc. It will be interesting, entertaining and informative. Will be a good meeting with good food!
In December, we will again be volunteering to help out at the VA Hospital in Temple. Contact any of your current Post Officer's to see how you can help. We will have a short discussion on our participation at the November Dinner Meeting so if you can, please plan on joining us for our Thanksgiving celebration on Monday, November 20 and participate!

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Joe Trochta

Post 76 Renovation Update

For the past 15 years, the only maintenance performed on our Legion home has been primarily preventative, i.e., replacing rotting wood, roof repairs, etc.

Exterior Window Frames and Screens: The outside window screens and frames are in immediate need of being replaced. The cost of exterior repairs is partially funded by the City of Austin Historical Society as our building has both State and City Historical Designations. Necessary requests have been submitted; this work is awaiting approval from the City.

Air Conditioning Units: A second major maintenance item involved replacement of the air conditioning units, installation of larger ducting and additional insulation, and bringing electrical wiring up to city code. One of the old units was inoperable, the other was needing costly repairs. The result of this work will be efficient cooling and heating both upstairs and downstairs, and lower utility costs.

Wood Floors: The wood floors in the Hall of Honor [upstairs ballroom] are in need of refinishing. A contract has been awarded for this work, set to be done during the second and third weeks of January 2007.

Interior Decor: The major source of income for Post 76 is from rentals for weddings, church services and other special events. Over time, these rentals have caused major wear and tear on the interior. An attractive, clean interior is a major factor in order to appeal to a high level of clientele. It is to our advantage to upgrade the interior of our building. Not only will this repair the wear and tear, the increased rental income will eventually pay for the redecoration and renovations.
We have retained the services of an Interior Designer who has extensive experience in restoring and renovating historical facilities used for similar functions as is our Post Home. She will provide decorating ideas such as paint color schemes, window coverings, fixtures, etc. For now, improvements will be limited to the Hall of Honor upstairs and the restrooms. The designer, a Legion Auxiliary member in another post, is giving us a special discount for her services.
These projects, when completed, will make our Post Home something of which we can be very proud. We are very fortunate to have this beautiful, historical building for our Post Home.

Message from the Chaplain

by Jason Denny

Each year on Thanksgiving, we gather with family and friends to thank God for the many blessings He has given us, and we ask God to continue to guide and watch over our country.
Almost 400 years ago, after surviving their first winter at Plymouth , the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to give thanks. George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War. Since that time, our citizens have paused to express thanks for the bounty of blessings we enjoy and to spend time with family and friends. In want or in plenty, in times of challenge or times of calm, we always have reasons to be thankful.
America is a land of abundance, prosperity, and hope. We must never take for granted the things that make our country great: a firm foundation of freedom, justice, and equality; a belief in democracy and the rule of law; and our fundamental rights to gather, speak, and worship freely.
These liberties do not come without cost. Throughout history, many have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms and to defend peace around the world. Today, the brave men and women of our military continue this noble tradition. These heroes and their loved ones have the gratitude of our Nation.
On this day, we also remember those less fortunate among us. They are our neighbors and our fellow citizens, and we are committed to reaching out to them and to all of those in need in our communities.
This Thanksgiving, we again give thanks for all of our blessings and for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Our Founders thanked the Almighty and humbly sought His wisdom and blessing. May we always live by that same trust, and may God continue to watch over and bless the United States of America .

A THANKSGIVING DAY PRAYER

"Faith of our Fathers" renew us again
And make us a nation of God-fearing men
Seeking Thy guidance, Thy love and Thy will,
For we are but Pilgrims in need of Thee still --
And, gathered together on Thanksgiving Day,
May we lift up our hearts and our hands as we pray
To thank you for blessings we so little merit
And grant us Thy love and teach us to SHARE IT.

Jason R. Denny
Chaplain

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

I am pleased to welcome the following new members to Travis Post 76:
Cynthia Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Army
Derek Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Army

I know we all look forward to visiting with our newest members at the Post. If you would like to receive information about Post activities by email, please send me your email address. I promise I will only send Post/Legion-related information, no junk emails.
As always, if you have any questions about your membership dues or your Legion benefits, please call or email me.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

December 2006

Commanders Comments

Larry Miller, Commander

What a great turn out we had for the November Social. Mr. Danny Kaiser, a Viet Nam veteran, gave a very interesting talk on the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. The photos of restored vehicles were inviting. As a child, I always longed to order a WWII jeep that came in parts and pieces and assemble it myself. Unfortunately, I busted too many knuckles working on my 1956 Chevy and lost interest in being a mechanic. It was nice to dream. We really thank Danny for providing vehicles for us to ride in during the recent Veterans Day parade
Speaking of turn out, we have a lot of new faces around the Post as our membership has taken a growth spurt. Most are young and energetic veterans returning from the Middle East conflict. They have inspired us old folks and now we have a "giddy-up" in our step. This is just what the doctor ordered so to speak. Please come and join the activities.
This is the time of year for being with family and strengthening our faith. We have so much to be thankful for and need to share our bounty with those who are without. As always, our prayers and thoughts go out to the troops and their families especially at this time of the year. If you have the opportunity to purchase the calling cards through the many avenues available, please do so. This is a great gift for the troops.
God bless and have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. See you at the Post!

Planning Schedule

Executive & Business Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday January 2nd, February 5th, March 5th
Dinner Meeting & Speaker @ 7:00 p.m 3rd Monday December 18th, January 15th, February 19th
Speaker for December MeetingGeorge Ruiz
TopicVeterans Benefits
Entree for December Dinner Meeting Finger Foods
Entree for January Dinner Meeting Chili Cook-Off

1st VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Al Banzer

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! Monday December 18 we will have our annual Christmas Party. It will just be a social get-together where we can all mix and mingle, talk, etc. We will have a sing along of Christmas songs although I do not know who will lead. I am sure we can find someone. Like last year we will have the words to the songs so don't worry about singing off key! You will, no doubt, be in the majority. The Post will supply some finger foods (paid for by your contributions to the kitty) but that shouldn't stop y'all from adding your favorite finger food to the table for all to enjoy. By all means, don't forget about the desserts! Come on out and enjoy the company of fellow veterans and their families and celebrate Christmas at the Post.
In January our business meeting will be moved to Tuesday, January 2, at 7:00 p.m. Please take note of that. The Dinner Meeting in January will be the annual Chili Cook-Off. Get ready. Spicy or not so spicy, we are taking all and every entry so don't be shy! Also, those non-chili cookers, be prepared to bring side dishes that go with chili. Our speaker this month will be our own George Ruiz (and guest) who will talk to us about veterans benefits, what's available, what's changed and what's blowing in the wind.
Will Ivey and I answered the call for help from a soldier stationed in Iraq. He, his wife and four month old baby had just moved to Austin when he got sent to Iraq. He nover got the chance to repair the back yard fence to contain the family's dogs. Since he is now overseas, it became even more critical that the dogs be maintained at home for security as well as company for his family. His wife bought all the supplies and had them delivered. Will and I and a couple of my friends tore down the old fence and put up the new. Although Will will get two Purple hearts (he wounded himself twice) it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Plus it felt good to help.

2ND VICE COMMANDERS COMMENTS

by Joe Trochta

New Air Conditioner and Heater Units

This project is completed and conditions within the Post building should be more comfortable. Also, the circuit breaker box and related wiring have been brought up to COA code.

Building Window Screens

Being designated as an historical building by both the State of Texas and the City of Austin, there are some associated entitlements. We applied for and received approval to replace 38 window screens and paint the wooden frames in order to preserve and enhance their appearance. We will receive compensation of $5,031 for the project.[This helps with the exterior maintenance of the Post building.]

New Sign to Advertise

A new sign attached to the Post sign, advertises for rentals, our livelihood.

ADJUTANT’S COMMENTS
by Clayton Griffis

I am pleased to welcome the following new members to Travis Post 76:
Lorenzo Sein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Navy
Robert Cash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Air Force
William (Bill) Miller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Navy

I know we all look forward to visiting with our newest members at the Post. If you would like to find out about the American Legion's Paid Up For Life (PUFL) program, which allows you to "lock in" your dues amount at today's rate, please give me a call. Being a PUFL member assures you of all the benefits of American Legion membership for life, with no additional future payment-no matter how much the cost of benefits may go up.

Clayton Griffis
Adjutant

Message from the Chaplain
by Jason Denny

When I was young and too little to know
I thought "Merry Christmas" meant presents and snow
just a big tree with tinsel and lights all aglow!
I didn't understand nor do I think that I cared
the "true" message of Christmas
was the love that God shared!
I'd heard about the King who was born in a manger
but what's the fuss about some baby who to me was a stranger?
It wasn't until last year I would know on my own
and the void became known
I learned the most important thing about life is to love
and Jesus, my Savior, was sent from above
His life an example of true love and devotion
the lights, sounds and hustle...
nothing more than commotion
His life pure and precious freely given for me
was so hard to believe yet so simple to see
Oh, I still sing and buy gifts to thnak those I love
but I'll never forget God's great gift from above
So make no mistake of this "Truth" I partake
His birth is the reason to bring Joy to this season!

Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 2:1-20

Merry Christmas

Jason R. Denny
American Legion Post 76

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