American Legion, Post 229 and Auxiliary choose leaders
MADISON – Looking to its new membership year, Madison American Legion, Post 229 has inducted its officers to guide the organization.
Post 229, along with Auxiliary Unit 229, began the 2024 Membership Year in July. Each year in June, new officers are elected or appointed to various leadership positions within the organization.
Commander Larry Vannoy is proud for Post 229 is proud to serve as Madison’s only veterans organization. “The American Legion is the only veterans organization that is open to all veterans, regardless of association with wars, length of time in service, rank or branch affiliation,” Vannoy said.
With this membership year’s start, Post 229 and Auxiliary Unit 229 have 350-plus members. “We also have two affiliated organizations, Sons of the American Legion and Junior Auxiliary. All affiliated organizations accept new members throughout the year,” Vannoy said.
Vannoy pointed out Post 229’s extremely involved membership in volunteer efforts in Madison. “The organizations support hundreds of local veterans, veterans’ spouses and military families,” he said.
The veterans also sponsor several youth organizations, including Bob Jones and James Clemens JROTC Units, Boy Scout Troop 201 and Girl Scout Troop 329. “Our partnership with local Girl Scouts led to placement of flag retirement collection boxes at several locations across Madison and the Harvest area,” Vannoy said. “Each of Madison’s fire stations has a collection box for (residents) to place flags for proper retirement by the post.”
American Legion also sponsors its annual Oratorical Contest, Boys State, Girls State, American Legion Baseball and Junior Shooters Program.
“As Madison’s only veterans organization, we engage the community in the annual placement of flags and wreaths for Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Christmas. During these events, we mark the graves of almost 600 veterans in all four of Madison’s cemeteries,” Vannoy said.
The post is happy to participate in various Veterans Day programs and parades for Madison City Schools and to host our city’s annual Memorial Day ceremony. “One of our key programs is working with our local senior living facilities to recognize and honor their resident veterans throughout the year with facility visits and gifts during holidays,” Vannoy said.
Surprisingly, Post 229 doesn’t have a permanent post home in Madison, although the unit has been active since 1967. “But the veteran-owned Black Patch Distilling Co. has been graciously providing us a great meeting location in the heart of our city. Black Patch is located on Lanier Road and provides not only a place for us to hold our monthly meetings but offers a place for our veterans to gather and enjoy fellowship and camaraderie,” Vannoy said.
“We’re very grateful to Gary Cooper at the Black Patch for allowing us to use his facility,” Vannoy said.
Leading up to Veterans Day and Memorial Day, members of Post 229 and Unit 229 are visible at several local businesses handing out Memoriam Poppies. American Legion Auxiliary’s Poppy program is one of the primary sources of income to provide support to local veterans.
Anyone who wants to wear a poppy to honor fallen veterans can receive a free poppy. However, people often give donations, which the post appreciates. If you see Legion members handing out poppies this Veterans Week, please stop by and thank them for their service, Vannoy said.
American Legion does have membership requirements. The individual must have served at least one day of active military duty since Dec. 7, 1941; was honorably discharged; or still serving active military duty honorably.
American Legion’s membership benefits include assistance with veterans benefits, national discount programs, camaraderie and the opportunity to continue service through support of local veterans programs.
The Auxiliary and Junior Auxiliary’s membership is open to the grandmothers, mothers, sisters, male or female spouse, and direct and adopted female descendants of members of American Legion.
Those same relatives can join, along with adopted female descendants of all men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces during one of these: April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918; any time after December 7, 1941; U.S. citizens when they entered service and served on active duty in the Armed Forces of any government associated with the United States during any of said periods, and died in the line of duty or after honorable discharge; and to those women who of their own right are eligible for membership in American Legion.
A woman who is eligible for American Legion membership is eligible to join the American Legion Auxiliary, regardless of whether she is a member of American Legion. However, eligibility of her female relatives (sister, mother, direct decedents) depends upon her membership in American Legion.
For membership in Sons of the American Legion, the individual must be a male descendant (son, grandson, stepson or adopted son) of an American Legion member; a veteran who died in service during World War I or since December 7, 1941; or a veteran who died after their honorable discharge from such service.
For more information about the Madison American Legion family, attend a meeting, which is held monthly on second Tuesdays. The Auxiliary meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., social time at 6:30 p.m. and the post meeting at 7 p.m. at Black Patch Distilling Co., 500 Lanier Road in Madison. Membership dues for American Legion are $45.
Individuals also can visit AmericanLegionPost229.org or Facebook/American Legion Post 229, Madison.