A Story of The American Legion and the Government Shutdown

January 30, 2019
Members of Bedford’s Post 221 (back row, L-R) Arthur Conrad, CFO; Debbie Howard, President ALA; John Mici, VP ALR; Mark Hoben, Treasurer ALR; John Cooper, Adjutant; OC OConnor, Cmdr. The wonderful ladies who delivered the diapers and wipes to the Chaplain at Hanscom Air Force Base. Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved.

Submitted by Jon OC O’Connor, Commander, American Legion Post 221

MISSION: Help Stop the Leaks and Discomfort

RATIONALE: The Government Shutdown affected many across our country. We found out that over 75 USCG and other Veteran families were affected right here in our own community, at Hanscom AFB. How could The American Legion offer assistance?

JAN 14, 2019 – The phone started ringing at Department headquarters in Boston in mid-January. Obviously, something needed to be done.

JAN 19, 2019 – By the end of the Department Executive Committee meeting, plans were set in motion.

JAN 21, 2019 – Initial guidance obtained through consultations with Command Sergeant Major Hayes of Hanscom Air Force Base (HAFB) sharpened our focus. These discussions were held after the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast in Bedford – what a great event that was!

JAN 22, 2019 – Communication with HAFB Chaplain’s Office channeled our extended American Legion Family’s efforts to move passionately and purposefully

JAN 26, 2019 – By the end of the week, from all across the state, members and concerned citizens donated several mounds of diapers and wipes to the United States Coast Guard and other affected families at HAFB.

CONCLUSION: While plenty of ugly clouds of discomfort swirled around the Government Shutdown, many rays of sunshine shone through as well. When called to help Veterans in our community, people of all walks of life answered the call. To see the bright smiles on the two ladies’ faces when they first saw the pile of collected items — Priceless!

IN APPRECIATION: Multiple Posts in Massachusetts participated. Department Vice Commander Sandra Kee; District 5 Commander Rebekah Spencer; ALA District 5 President  Sofia Blake, District 5’s contributions from their emergency fund;, Nabnasset Post 437, Westford Denise Dube & Rachel Segaloff of Lexington, The Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association for all their hard work, and as always the members of Post 221’s ALA, SAL & ALR showed their true Red, White, and Blue American Legion Family colors.

This all happened in the early afternoon of our 100th Anniversary Celebration at Post 221 – what a way to start the day !!!

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