East Fishkill Living Pays Tribute to Veterans
East Fishkill, N.Y.—The November 2020 edition of East Fishkill Living salutes our military Veteran heroes. Just in time for Veterans Day, the federal holiday when we all pause to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces, this edition features photos and interviews with members and officers of our local American Legion “Manny Bacon” Post 1758.
The American Legion, chartered in 1919 to serve Veterans, Servicemembers and communities, has nearly 2 million members, men and women, in 13,000 posts worldwide, 15 of them in Dutchess County. Post 1758 was created in 1949 and named in honor of Manny Bacon, the first East Fishkill resident killed in WWII. Today, Post 1758 has 115 members and welcomes more. The Post identifies new national members within a radius of Hopewell Junction and invites them to join. Currently, less than 1% of the U.S. population has served or is serving in the military. “With fewer Veterans getting out of the Service these days, it’s harder to identify local, young Veterans and let them know help is available,” Commander James Reynolds points out.
That help, in addition to the Vet-to-Vet comradery, includes connecting Veterans to resources, including the Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services, Hudson Valley Veterans Alliance and VA Service Officers, who can help write and submit benefits claims. In East Fishkill, in addition to military Servicemember funerals—for which the Legion arranges buglers, provides a color guard, and folds and presents the American flag to next of kin—its members also:
- Coordinate East Fishkill’s Memorial Day ceremony and parade, plus Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies at John Jay High School.
- Line Route 82 in Hopewell with over 800 18-inch American flags on Veterans Day, funded with donations received during the distribution of handmade crepe-paper poppies on Memorial Day.
- Honorably retire, every Flag Day, worn American flags with a ceremony at the burn pit behind the East Fishkill Community Library.
- Teach American flag etiquette to area elementary school children and Cub Scout troops and present citizenship awards to local Eagle Scouts.
- Host an oratorical competition for local high-school students to help develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution.
- Pay to send students to Boys State or Girls State to a highly selective, week-long educational program for high-schoolers about citizenship, leadership and state and local government.
- Sponsor a local junior shooting sports team, ages 14 to 21, teaching basic safety and marksmanship using air rifles.
For these efforts and more, East Fishkill is fortunate—and grateful for the brave men and women who put service before self and continue to give back locally. The community is encouraged to support the Legion, and Veterans are urged to join. To learn more about membership or ways to help our local Veterans, visit https://al-ny1758.org
or contact Commander Jim Reynolds, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-221-7273.
Photo Caption: Members of Hopewell Junction’s American Legion—Commander James Reynolds (U.S. Army 1965-68), Finance Officer John Call (U.S. Navy 1961-65), Adjutant Lance Ashworth (U.S. Army 1991-95, Army Reserves 1995-96) and Norm Dauerer (U.S. Army 1962-65)—are pictured with Norm’s fully restored 1942 Ford GPW jeep from WWII. Norm also restores muskets and other firearms.