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American Legion Post #539 Holds Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet

The annual Veterans Day Dinner was held at American Legion Post #539 last Saturday evening, November 8. The theme was “Celebrating 91 Years of Honoring Post 539 Veterans”.

VeteransDinner SamBretz
Post Commander Sam Bretz

The veterans and guests were welcomed to the event by Post Commander, Samuel Bretz, Jr.

After the Posting of Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and an invocation led by Post Chaplain Al Bretz, dinner was served.  The Ladies of the Legion Auxiliary prepared the meal, which was served to the guests, by members of the NBHS Junior class.

Members of the NBHS Junior Class stand at the rear of the room, waiting to serve dinner at the American Legion
Members of the NBHS Junior Class stand at the rear of the room, waiting to serve dinner at the American Legion

Following the dinner hour, Legionnaire John Cheney introduced the recipients of the three scholarships presented annually by Post 539.Winner of the Blackall  $1000 Award: Jacob Pelton; the Larsen $1000 Award: Rachel Peters; the American Legion $1000 Award: Makayla Rein. All three students are Seniors at North Baltimore High School. Mr. Cheney stated the Legion has now distributed $25,000 in scholarship dollars. The first scholarship was awarded in 2001, with the second being added in 2008, and the third in 2011.

John Cheney with Rachel Peters, Jacob Pelton, Makayla Rein
John Cheney with Rachel Peters, Jacob Pelton, Makayla Rein

The evening continued with recognition of students who attended Buckeye Boys State and Buckeye Girls State, during the Summer of 2014. The girls attending were: Mariah Leonard, Madison Ray, Allison Beaupry, and Leslie Busch. The boys attending were: AJ Hotaling, Jacob Pelton, and Jamison Jacobs.

Jacob Pelton, Jamison Jacobs, AJ Hotaling represented Post 539 at Buckeyes Boys State
Jacob Pelton, Jamison Jacobs, AJ Hotaling represented Post 539 at Buckeyes Boys State

Years of Legion membership awards were presented to those who have been members for 20 plus years, with every five year increment being recognized. Receiving recognition for being members for 60 years were Reginald August and William Smith.

Next Commander Bretz introduced Legionnaire Eric Vandemark, who shared memories of his period of service to his country. (Note: His words of wisdom are shared in a separate story here on theNBXpress)

Dr. J Eric Vandemark on "Answering the Call to Serve"
Dr. J Eric Vandemark on “Answering the Call to Serve”

Following Dr. Vandemark’s remarks, a Memorial Service was held, to honor the 24 deceased members of Post 539, who have passed since last year’s service. Legionnaire George Reddin led an honor guard ceremony, followed by the playing of taps by Legionnaire Pam Cheney.

Post Commander Bretz thanked everyone for attending, and also those who helped make the event possible.

2014-2015 Officers of Legion Post 539 include:

Post Commander-Samuel Bretz, Jr.

Past Commander-Jim Wymer

1st Vice Commander-Rick Schwab

2nd Vice Commander-frank Brooks

Adjutant-Pam Cheney

Finance Officer-Mike Julien

Chaplain-Al Bretz

Service Officer-Pam Cheney

Sergeant-at-Arms-David Phillips

Historian-Terry Howard

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