EVERY MILITARY HEADSTONE HAS A STORY
The American Legion Magazine May 2022
May 2022 - National Commander's Message
In an Instagram photo that captured hearts the moment she posted it, Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, cradled an Afghan baby in her arms. "I love my job." she wrote. Six days later, on Aug. 26, 2021, Gee and 12 other U.S. servicemembers were killed in a suicide bombing outside Kabul Airport during a chaotic withdrawal of American Forces.
This Memorial Day, we remember them, and more than 1 million men and women who have died in U.S. military service. We dedicate the Last Monday in May to their memory, while acknowledging that for our Gold Star families, the mourning is not limited to 24 hours a year.
We benefit from fallen Americans' sacrifices every time we exercise our constitutional rights. We are able to speak freely, possess a firearm, and peaceably assemble and vote. Public officials don't secure these rights. Rather, they have been paid for in blood by those who willingly risked their lives to protect ours, from the founding of our nation to today. As the saying goes, "All gave some, some gave all."
They are not numbers, but names and faces. One whose story has only recently been told is Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor last December. On Oct. 17, 2005, his Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while on patrol near Samarra, Iraq. his uniform drenched in fuel and on fire, Cashe pulled six soldiers and an interpreter from the wreck, suffering burns to three-quarters of his body. When two helicopters arrived to evacuate the wounded, he insisted on walking off the battlefield himself. During the medevac flight to Balad Air Base, Cashe repeatedly asked after his men: "How are my guys? What's going on with them? Where are they at?" Three weeks later, on Nov. 8, he died from his injuries.
From the world wars to Korea, from Vietnam to the Middle East, every U.S. military headstone has a story, and every one is inspirational in its own way. Together, they bear witness to the selflessness described in John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Paul E. Dillard
Message from the Post Commander, Jeff Meurer, CSM, US Army (Ret)
March 2022 is jam-packed with national, state, and local patriotic events supported by your American Legion. Our website opening slideshow features comments from the national commander about Medal of Honor Day celebrated this year on March 25th. National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29th…which we are actually celebrating on March 26th with a Welcome Home Vietnam War Veterans Day ceremony at the Angelo State University LeGrand Alumni & Visitors Center. America celebrates Women’s History Month all month long with special attention to women veterans on March 29th as well. Our March 26th ceremony will include a special Vietnam War Commemoration video featuring the eight U.S. Servicewomen killed and listed on the Vietnam Wall. We will also pay respects to renowned journalist Joe Galloway who died on August 18, 2021. Mr. Galloway was a prominent advisor to the Vietnam War Commemoration as it launched the first nationwide Commemorative Partner Program Welcome Home program guidance in 2014. Local veterans may remember seeing the promotional videos that featured Joe Galloway personally and the most familiar voice of Sam Elliott. RIP Mr. Galloway.
There is much more to talk about this month, but I encourage our members to focus on…and get involved personally with the American Legion 3rd Annual Vietnam War Veterans Day celebration. There will be banners and flag ceremonies, the usual presentation of service flags during the playing of the Armed Forces Medley of songs…this year including U.S. Space Force. Angelo State University will again assist with the flag tribute to the U.S. allies. The highlight will be the Welcome Home and presentation of veteran commemorative lapel pins and certificates as well as presentations to deceased Vietnam veteran surviving spouses. It is indeed a special ceremony…this year followed by a burger cook-out provided free by Elks Lodge 1880. If you haven’t already registered to attend, please do so now using the online registration form also linked to the event slideshow flyer. Let’s have a huge showing of Post 572 Legionnaires in attendance. Wear your Legion caps too!
Remember, we are Veterans Strengthening America.
The website content will be continually updated with specific local and community information as accurately and quickly as possible. Please check back often for website updates and new information about Post 572 ongoing and new initiatives.