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Gladbrook Legion 100th Birthday

March 28, 2019
Northern-Sun Print

A "100 Years of Memories" was celebrated at the Gladbrook Legion Birthday Party on March 18th. The Gladbrook Auxiliary Unit hosted a ham dinner for this very special centennial birthday. A crowd of 130 veterans, ALA, SAL, Jrs. and community members attended. The tables were decorated with birthday balloons, eagles, and poppies. The Junior Auxiliary members served the meal and everyone enjoyed birthday cake for dessert.

Jeanne Paustian, Gladbrook Unit President, emceed the event. After the welcome, she introduced four very special World War II veterans, Dale Osten, John Buskohl, Ray Landt, and Robert Mohr. They are the last surviving WW II veterans from the Gladbrook Post. Guests present were Dept. Commander Scott Moline, Dept. Vice-President Kelly Elliott, 3rd District Commander Bob Daniels, and National Vice-President Nicole Clapp. Gladbrook Mayor Keith Sash brought greetings and recognized the accomplishments of the American Legion since being founded in 1919.

After the meal, Unit Commander Ron Busch introduced Dept. Commander Scott Moline, who stated you have to appreciate home town values. The values so many veterans defended over the course of many wars and conflicts. He reminded everyone of the passage of the Legion sponsored GI Bill, Veterans Health Care and promoting the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He ended his speech with "the Legion couldn't do it without the Auxiliary"!!!!

Article Photos

Pictured are some of the veterans at the March Birthday Party: Front Row (l-r) Post Commander Ron Busch, John Buskohl, Ray Landt, Robert Mohr, Dale Osten, Chuck Wickersham, and Robert Knaack. Middle Row: Dennis Haack, Roger Sievers, Russ Rosenberger, 3rd District Commander Bob Daniels, Loren Frericks, Leo Lohse, Robert Herink, and Terry Schmitz. Back Row: Jerry Sonksen, Jared Bauch, John Clausen, Joe Stanley, Jim Gethmann, Russ Payne, Rich Raum, Rodney Lorenz,and Larry Pieper.

Commander Moline and Daniels passed out new Gladbrook Post caps to the four WW II veterans.

Commander Ron presented a 50 year membership certificate & pin to John Clausen.

Gladbrook graduate and Post member Dr. Jerry Sonksen, Salt Lake City, Utah, spoke about several of his relatives including John Ehrig, WW I veteran who died of pneumonia. He and another WWI veteran, who also died of pneumonia, Wm. McTurk, are the two veterans the Post is named after, Ehrig-McTurk Post 127.

Rev. Mark Keefer led the singing of the theme songs of the five branches of the Armed Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The veterans really enjoyed standing for their song.

Gladbrook Unit member, National Vice-President Nicole Clapp, also paid tribute to the American Legion. She stated, " Following the armistice in 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces had time to think about what life after the war would be like and what they might do in support of their wounded comrades, to help surviving spouses and orphans in honor of the fallen, to protect the democracy they pledged their lives to defend and to chart a new course for future generations of Americans.

These soldiers envisioned a different kind of veterans' organization. Wouldn't you have wanted to be fly on the wall at the Paris Caucus back on March 15-17, 1919 when The American Legion was created.

The American Legion would be the public conscience for our country not serving themselves but through volunteer work of the primary four pillars of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Children and Youth, and Americanism.

Collectively, American Legion posts have proven to be timeless over this first century. Each of you have helped built a legacy like no other in the history of the United States as the nation's largest and most respected Veterans Organization.

I am very proud to stand here representing the American Legion Auxiliary. Since the very beginning, the missions of The American Legion and Auxiliary have been aligned to support veterans, military and their families.

Here, in my hometown of Gladbrook, as we prepare for a very exciting year ahead, we must reflect on how we arrived at this moment. So Legionnaires, I want to congratulate you and say HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY!"

Jolene Denbow, Nicole Clapp and Jeanne Paustian created a video of highlights of the Gladbrook Post since 1919. They went through old scrapbooks, minutes, clippings, and pictures. They tried to find an example of projects from the past and those that the Legion still do today. Unit member Terri Luehring put the video together, added the music and played it. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the video entitled "100 Years of Memories".

Jolene Denbow set up a memorabilia table and a bulletin board with the list of the post commanders, current roster, roster from the 50th anniversary in 1969, WW II veterans from a memorial dedication in 2004, and a poster of the history of the Post beginning in 1919 and the Charter members.

President Jeanne presented a beautifully decorated birthday cake to Commander Ron. Everyone sung "Happy Birthday to the American Legion". The program ended with all standing and singing "God Bless America".



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