Free Transportation Within Washtenaw County For Veterans
Washtenaw County Veterans Affairs is sponsoring free rides for veterans to any destination within Washtenaw County for essential services. Accommodations can be made for the handicapped, and those with service animals, walkers, and canes. Services such as doctor's appointments, auto repair shops if your vehicle is in for repairs, visits to the VA and its outbuildings, etc. Call (734) 973-4540 to book a ride, preferably a couple of days in advance. One of their personnel will answer the call and book a ride for you.
It takes a lot of funding to host these events. Please consider making a donation.
Call Dave Draper at 734-417-8021 or click HERE to make an online donation.
If you plan on attending please scan the QR code above or click on the flyer so we know how much food to provide.
Camp Liberty Holds A Season Kickoff Meeting
Camp Liberty recently held a kickoff meeting at its facility in Brooklyn, Michigan. President Allan Lutes listed the camp's accomplishments over the last few years, and his vision for the next few years, and spoke of the need for volunteers and donations. After the speech and comments from other board members, awards were presented to volunteers and directors who had provided great service over the past few years. After a short recess, there were three breakout sessions provided for the attendees to get more information on three specific areas of interest. The camp is looking for volunteers to help with the various hunts that go on during the year, and various other events, help with ongoing maintenance of the facility, and, of course, donations to keep the facility and events up and running. Free breakfast and lunch were provided along with tours of the grounds.
You can find more information by going to CampLibertyMichigan.org to see more about them. If you would like to volunteer time or finances please contact them at 734-997-9777 ext. 107 or by sending an email to
Cub Scout Pinewood Derby
On Sunday, February 4 Post 46 hosted Cub Scout Pack 131's annual Pinewood Derby. The kids enjoyed a few minutes of playtime as they played on the military equipment and playground equipment. Then they got down to business making last-minute adjustments to their car entries. The Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light Dens each raced within their respective group against each other. The winners of each Den then competed against each other to see who was the best of all. The Pack has a pretty sophisticated system for tracking the cars. They had lasers at the beginning and end of the track. This allows the computer to track which racing lane won which position. The computer can also compute the speed of each car, over 200 miles an hour being the fastest! Everyone attending had a really great time watching the event.
UM SVA Benefit Dinner
Recently the University of Michigan's Student Veterans of America hosted a benefit dinner at the UM's Michigan Union. It was a fun evening with several speakers and great food. The keynote speaker was Michigan's own Medal of Honor Recipient James McCloughan. He spoke about his time in Vietnam as an Army medic and also about patriotism. Another highlight of the evening was a live auction for a UM football helmet signed by former head coach Jim Harbaugh and current head coach Sherrone Moore (pending appointments, I believe). Our own Eric Fretz started the bidding process and it was off to the races. Soon after it started there began a bidding war between Fisher House Michigan President Bill Holmes and the Outreach Coordinator (and Post 46 member) Steven Rose. Mr. Holmes eventually had the winning bid at $7,000. That wasn't the end of it though as Mr. Holmes gifted the helmet to Steven. Steven emotionally accepted the helmet and announced that he would add another $2,000 to the donation. The final icing on the cake was that by the end of the event the SVA had collected over $35,000. More will be coming through the SVA's silent auction. What a great night! To see more pictures click HERE.
Bingo At The Ann Arbor VA
Post 46 hosts bingo night once a month at the LTC Charles S Kettles VA Medical Center. Patients gather in the CLC (Community Living Center) to play several rounds of the game. Our post awards winners with crisp $2 bills: 3 for first prize, 2 for second prize, and 1 for third prize. The last game played is a cover-all. Whatever money is left from the previous rounds is given to the winner of the cover-all. Sometimes that could be as high as $50. Shown left is Adjutant Glen Johnston calling the numbers and to the right is member Melanie Nau presenting winnings to a patient.
Wreaths Across America
Our Post continued its annual tradition of laying wreaths on Wreaths Across America national wreath day. A few of us made the trip up to the Great Lakes National Cemetery to pay honors to our fallen members and relatives of those members. The weather was great compared to previous years which made the turnout of wreath layers very large. Pictured left is Post 46 Vice Cmdr Draper and Executive Board member Chris Campbell paying honors to Campbell's wife's dad. Pictured right is Post 46 Cmdr Scott Nichols. Word has it that over 16,000 wreaths were placed at the event which took place December 16.
Donating To A Great Cause
Member Tony Keezer and his wife Karen recently donated knitted scarves and mini stress balls to the Ann Arbor Fisher House. Karen knits these items in her spare time and while traveling and donates them to the VA and Fisher House. Great job!
Thanksgiving Day Parade
One of our members, Tony Keezer, was able to participate in the 97th annual Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. Tony is the gentleman wearing beads in the front of the flag. The picture to the left is a picture taken from a TV.
Veterans Day At The Post
Veterans Day at our Post started with a flag-raising ceremony at around 0720 hours at the Ann Arbor Veterans Memorial Park. Several of the participants then rucked the 4.5 miles back to our Post on Wagner Road. While that ceremony was taking place, several members were preparing breakfast for members and guests. Special thanks to Bob Kurtz for leading the cooking crew that consisted of Bruce Lowry and Eric Downie. They cooked up pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Coffee and orange juice were also available. It's reported that there were around thirty attending the event. Shown in the picture is recently deceased Post 46 member and former Washtenaw County Sheriff Douglas Harvey. Doug had a helper in cleanup by Mark Lindke's grandson Luca.
Fisher House Detroit Fundraiser
On Thursday, October 26, Fisher House Michigan hosted a fundraiser at The Colony Club in Detroit, Michigan. It was a fun night with great food, great speakers, and a fun time during the auction. The results are not in yet but it looks like the fundraiser was a great success. Our Legion Department Commander Brian Molhman presented a donation of over $107,000.Their guest speaker was Retired Air Force Colonel Laurel "Buff" Burkel, who told her story of being in a helicopter crash, losing two of her fellow crewmembers, and her struggle to recover from the crash. The auctioneer made the auction fun and upbeat.
New Member Receives Legion Service Cap
New member Ron receives his new Legion service cap. At our post, we present a new cap to any member who attends at least three meetings over a six-month period. These can be by in-person, via Zoom, or a combination of both.
POST 46 CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF SERVICE
On August 30 the Ann Arbor American Legion Post 46 celebrated 100 years of service to veterans and the local community. The event took place at the Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence Building. The evening started with member Horace Frazier playing guitar and Hors D'Oeuvres being served at 1700 hrs. All twenty-five tables were sponsored by various organizations and individuals. At 1800 hrs opening remarks were made by our Judge Advocate Beverly List. Commander Scott Nichols made introductions followed by the Posting of Colors by the Navy Sea Cadets, and opening prayer by our Chaplain Bob Bull. Vice Commander Dave Draper then read the Missing Man Table Ceremony which was followed by Taps being played via a video on the overhead screen. Our meals were then served. The culinary staff at the college prepared great meals with choices of steak, salmon, chicken, and vegetarian. The food was plated well and was delicious.
Rebecca Spencer was our guest speaker who delivered an emotional speech. Afterward, U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, State of Michigan Representative Jason Morgan, and American Legion Department Chaplain Norman Soli presented certificates of acknowledgment of our 100-year anniversary. Then a table Legion trivia game was played, awards were presented by Cmdr Nichols, and two 50/50 drawings were made. Multiple positive comments were made after the ceremony ended as guests packed up to leave. This was certainly a very memorable event.
September 11 Remembrance
Post 46 Presented its annual 9/11 Remembrance event again this year at the Ann Arbor Veterans Memorial Park. Several members were present to help remember the victims of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. Cmdr Nichols presented a speech and two of our members placed a wreath while a bagpiper played Amazing Grace. The event closed with personal testimonies of several of our members of where they were when the towers were hit.
Stuff The Bus
Commander Scott Nichols presents a donation to Kari Dorr, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office, and Stuff The Bus Volunteer Coordinator for the United Way of Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor Schools provided a bus at two locations near Target Stores, and the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation provided tents, tables, chairs, and water for the volunteers.
The supplies were delivered to area schools who applied to be part of the program. Those schools are Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ypsilanti Community Schools, Milan Schools, Whitmore Lake Schools, and Lincoln Consolidated Schools.
Post 46 was proud to receive the Membership Award from the Department of Michigan at the Winter Conference that was held at the Crown Plaza in Lansing, Michigan. Department Commander Marilyn Britton and 1st Vice Brian Mohlman presented the award to Post 46 Commander Dave Draper. The award is for the post attaining the 100% membership goal that was set by Legion National. Thanks to the Post 46 membership team we actually reached 108%. Nice going team!! Keep up the great work.
Lifetime Service Award
At our January member meeting, we were proud to honor one of our members, Mark Lindke. We presented him with a Lifetime Service Award (R) and American Legion Medal of Merit- gold level (L). The medal is the highest award available from the American Legion. Linke served during the Vietnam era in the U.S. Army. He is a 42 member of the American Legion, Director Emeritus of Fisher House Michigan, and a volunteer with Buddy to Buddy for seven years. Many attended our meeting to support Lindke including Executive Director of Fisher House Michigan Kate Melcher, President of Fisher House Michigan Mark Palmucci, Fisher House Ann Arbor Manager April LaRock, Lindke's wife and children, and others.
As worn, tattered American flags need to be replaced, or as American Legion posts need flags to place on veterans' graves for Memorial Day, Emblem Sales advises to order early and please be patient with the time of delivery. Emblem Sales is shipping flag orders as soon, and quickly, as production is received.
The purchase of gravesite flags, as well as other outdoor American, military, POW/MIA, and state flags, flagpoles, and accessories can be made through American Legion Emblem Sales at americanlegionflags.com.
When you purchase your flag(s) and designate Post 46 at checkout, our post earns rewards that allow us to offset part of the cost of future purchases that we make.
Ann Arbor VA Medical Center Food Distribution
Partnering with Food Gatherers, the VAMC started a food distribution bi-monthly event where veterans in need of food can drive up to the front of the VAMC and pick up boxes of food items. You will have to show some sort of proof that you are a veteran. The food will be available every month on the first and third Thursdays from 10 am to 12 pm. At their first event, they passed out around 40 boxes of food. More recently they loaded up 52 vehicles.
Veterans Memorial Park Bench
One of the two benches at the Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan now has a new plaque memorializing its namesake (and former Legion Post 46 member) Cpl Erwin Prieskorn. Cpl Prieskorn was Ann Arbor, Michigan's first WWI casualty.
Guitars For Vets
The Ann Arbor Guitars for Vets is a national organization that helps veterans with PTSD cope through music. Students meet once a week for ten weeks to learn the art of playing a guitar. At the end of the ten weeks, the students receive a free acoustic guitar. The organization normally meets at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center but because of COVID, they are currently meeting at the Ann Arbor VFW Post 423. Click on the logo at the left to see more pictures.
Space Force veterans and the active-duty military now welcome in the American Legion
When the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act was signed by the president in 2019 and became Public Law 116-92, the Space Force was added to Section 101(a)(4) of Title 10, which now reads: "(4) The term 'armed forces' means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard. "Since Section 21703 stipulates only "Armed Forces" and U.S. Code now includes the Space Force in its definition, no actions are required by The American Legion to accept Space Force servicemembers into the organization.
(From The American Legion Magazine)
Check out a unique look at Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Here is presented a "birdseye" view of the flag and flagpole that was installed last year. The project was financed by American Legion Post 46, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 423, and the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Department.
Need food in these trying times. No one should go hungry. Click HERE to see a list of food pantries in Washtenaw County. This list is provided by Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor.
Landmark Presidential Signing of the POW-MIA Flag Act
Law now requires the POW/MIA flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties, including the White House, U.S. Capitol, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, Office of the Director of the Selective Service System, each major military installation, each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and each U.S. Postal Service post office.
Read more here POW/MIA Flag Act
Congress Approves LEGION Act
7/23: The U.S. House passed the bipartisan LEGION Act on Tuesday, extending the recognized wartime era back to Dec. 7, 1941.
The LEGION Act — Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act — fills in the gaps of war eras and redefines The American Legion’s membership eligibility dates, beginning with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and continuing until it is determined the United States is no longer in a state of war.
President Trump is expected to sign Senate bill S.504 into law later this week. When it becomes law, the legislation opens the door for hundreds of thousands of veterans to access American Legion programs and benefits for which they previously had not been eligible.