Volume 05 - Issue 08 | August 2020
The American Legion Newsletter - Ira Weaver Post 121
Celebration of the Post’s 100 th Anniversary
PO Box 247, Blairsville GA 30512
COMMANDER'S CALL - Dan Wickersham, Cdr.

A month or so in this role as commander of American Legion Post 121, I am searching for my feelings about the organization as to where we are and what is next. It is a challenge and frankly, frustrating to decide what should be done. Those of you who are so valiantly making a sacrifice of time and talent to the betterment of this Post and this Country, you are to be saluted. It is a tough time in the world with the hardship and imposition placed on us through the real and fake requirements of this epidemic. The efforts to make things better from a leadership role during this crisis, real or made up, vividly shows the character and mental make-up of who we are. I struggle on how to get more people involved.  

It is a tough time for this Post in terms of doing charitable events and raising money in support of our community. Beyond fighting the virus, I ask those of you to continue with your outreach within the community as you are our greatest strength.  Get out there and tell the story and discuss the core values of the American Legion for which it stands. The cohesion of this Post is not unlike your own military experience where you adopted a team culture based on trust and dependability. That culture you experienced was done by focusing on the positive aspects of your group. In this instance, it is the American Legion that is your team who are doing and thinking of things greater than themselves.  The reason why the SEALs and other Special Forces units have such notable success is the trust, cohesive teamwork, training and dependence on other members for their own well-being.

The Army has an initiative appropriately named “This is My Squad” which is focused on taking care of each other as a group. It builds on the strengths of the unit’s core values and culminates into a collective culture where the group is prioritized over the individual. The individual is engaged in team activities together. When you think of something positive and your loyalty to the American Legion, does it include taking care of each other? I would like to see a committed organization that’s founded in a cohesive team built in trust. We are obligated to do things together in order to follow the pillars of the American Legion.

During the July membership meeting, it was a pleasure to thank Mike Ayers, Past Commander, Dan Navin, Junior Vice and our Chaplin, Phil Gatlin for their commitment to veterans and this community.  I watched Mike the past couple of years selling the American Legion values to veterans and soliciting new members.  It is impossible to fill his shoes but we can strive to maintain his legacy. Dan selfishly published our newsletter while bringing social media of the Post into the 21 st Century. He brought a such a pleasing personality to his work along with strong interpersonal skills to communicate ideas and technology throughout our membership. Phil’s performance as Chaplin is the “gold standard” for what a Chaplin can do. His daily work in the community with struggling veterans, bringing faith and hope, is immeasurable. The countless lives he has affected we will never know.

Each of these Legionnaires has a talent to communicate with those in need and by reaching out they taught me “you’re going to find something about a person sitting next to you that you never knew”.  

I urge each of us to think about the Post as “our squad”! Talk with each other and find out what we can do better, build cohesion and recognize our member’s hidden strengths. Knowing each other builds mutual trust and respect. So, what are we doing every day to take care of each other and veterans? Our emphasis should be on a collectivist culture, a culture where the group is prioritized over the individual. Our goal is to know and understand each other.
Hey, soldier ! You're out of uniform !

For each of you are members of the prestigious American Legion, what you wear is a privilege granted by your individual constitutional right for which you fought. I am proud to wear the suggested clothing that distinguishes each of us, that 1% of all Americans, who sacrificed as military service members and now as American Legionnaires.  

We are fortunate to have Coosa Creek as a local vendor who has the American Legion shirts and ball caps at a very competitive price.  

- Red Shirts/Blouse with logos    men's shirt prices are approximately $21 with tax 
- Brushed Cotton Hook-and Loop Embroidery ball caps    either $13 or $16 depending on extra wording

Phone: 706-745-5535.....ask for Nancy    nancy@coosacreek.com    
Located off of Old Factory Rd and Beasley Street , ear the road to the Sheriff's Office

  • The American Legion was founded in March 1919 in Paris, France, by U.S. World War I military personnel stationed there who were dedicated to four pillars of service and advocacy: veterans, military personnel, youth and patriotic values.
  • The American Legion today consists of 55 “departments” in each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, France, Mexico, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. There are approximately 13,000 local posts worldwide.
  • Current national membership is about 2 million. Combined with the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, membership in what is known as the American Legion Family exceeds 3 million.
  • American Legion membership eligibility has recently been expanded to include all military personnel and veterans who have served their nation on active duty.
  • The Legion has been instrumental in the creation of a number of major institutions of American society, including formation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, creation of U.S. Flag Code, passage of the GI Bill and more.


Every Year the American Legion Posts:

  • Donate more than 3.7 million hours of volunteer service in their communities
  • Provide assistance on more than 181,000 VA benefits claims and cases
  • Donate more than 80,000 pints of blood to collection centers nationwide, which makes the Legion the nation’s single largest blood donor
  • Awards more than 8,000 medals to Junior ROTC students
  • Sponsors more than 2,500 Scouting units serving more than 64,000 young people
  • Awards more than $4 million in college scholarships The American Legion is marking its 100th anniversary with a 15-month celebration running from the national convention in August 2018 through Veterans Day 2019.
Sr. Vice commander's Note - Jim Reed

Membership Renewal !

The Legion Booth at the Mountain Heritage Festival in Blairsville, GA. J W Preston and Glen Cousins. My Brother-in-law, Dave Fredrickson at his home in Le Center, MN. What do all these places and people have in common? I am not sure but they all did one thing in common, each one talked to me about the American Legion and what it does for the Veteran, the Veteran’s families, the local communities, and the American Legion!

I joined the American Legion shortly after I was Honorably Discharged from the US Marines in 1974. While I was attending college, I decided to join my Local American Legion Post 108 in my hometown of Le Center, MN. If memory serves me correctly, I attended a few meetings that year and then never went back for many-many years perhaps as many as 25 years. I just lost all touch with the Legion and did not fully understand the importance of the American Legion organizations.

While visiting my family in Le Center my brother-in-law, Dave, asked me if I was a Legion member, I told him I was not and did not see the importance of being a member. He is the type of person that has dedicated his life to the Army and the Army National Guard. As a result of that dedication he served a combat tour in Iraq at the age of 56! He looked at me and asked me a couple simple question, “As a veteran what organization best represents and champions the causes / needs of the American Veteran”? Who lobbies on behalf of the Vets in Washington D.C. and at the state level as well as the VA Hospital”? I did not have a legitimate response to his two questions.

However, I knew I had something I needed and wanted to change. I had a clear understand of the importance of being a member of the American Legion. That was 21 years ago, I just wish I had stayed a member all those missed years, cannot go back just move forward.

While Mr. J W Preston and Mr. Glen Cousins were representing Post 121 at The Mountain Heritage Festival last year we begin talking about Veteran issues, Veterans in general and during that conversation they asked me if I was a Legion member, I said I was but in Minnesota, they asked me if I wanted to join Post 121! Sometimes all it takes is that one simple question. As a result of having a causal conversation with J W and Glen I am now a member of Post 121 and look forward to serving Post 121, Veterans, their families, and the Communities.  
While you go about your normal day / life please talk to other Veterans and share with them what our Post stands for and always ask them to join Post 121. We never know what type of an impact we can have on our fellow Vets! We are in the season of renewing our memberships so please renew online, we need the Legion’s voice and membership to support the Veterans and all our causes!

Please go on line to renew: ( It's so simple)
Click on renew - Enter your membership number in Legion ID box – Enter you name - Press continue
Follow the instructions and make sure your information is correct, if need make corrections as needed.  
Jr. Vice Commander's Note - Dick Cataldo

Part Six - Please read below

Golf Tournament set for September 12, 2020 at Old Union Course. Assistance is still needed.
2nd Jr. Vice commander's Notes - Ryan Rogers

No submissions
Finance Officer's Notes - Ron Tanner (Temporary)

No submissions
Judge Advocate/Adjutant Notes - Roy Bateman



Commander Wickersham called the meeting to order at 18:30 hours with the posting of the colors and placing of the POW flag on the empty chair.
Recognition of past officers, Commander Mike Ayers, V-Commander Dan Navin, and Chaplain Phil Gatlin for their faithful service to veterans.
Prayer by Janice Taylor and Pledge to the Flag with the recitation of the American Legion Preamble.
In the absence of the Finance Officer , report is unavailable.
Sr. Vice Commander Jim Reed Report: Reported on name badges, Raffle for the Sorghum Festival – Rifle and Tank Town. Reported on how easy it was to renew membership on line. Listed other events for 2020.
Adjutant Roy Bateman: Reported 73 members have renewed, 10 WWII, 14 PUFL, 11 Paid on Line, 38 renewed by mail. New cards are available.
Service Officer Robert Spaulding: Reported the local clinic is still operating by virtual appointments and will have limited in person appointments on Wednesday only. You may call the service office for assistance. Dr. John Quigley has replaced Dr. Sorrell who retired.
V- Commander Dick Cataldo: Reported on the Golf Tournament set for September 12, 2020 at Old Union Course. Assistance is still needed. Also reported on flags that are retired and new flags that are for sale for $20.00.
Chaplain Phil Gatlin: Reported on not being able to visit the Nursing Home.
Public Relations Jim Yohe: Reported on the new membership flyers and news paper articles.
No other reports were given.
Other Business: Commander Wickersham reported that shirts and hats are available at Coosa Creek for purchase.
No further business to come before the post, the colors were retired and prayer offered by Jim Reed. Adjourned at 19:30 hours.
Chaplain's Corner - Phil Gatlin (Temporary)

As many of you know I am retiring from the Post 121 Chaplain's position as soon as we can identify a member who would serve in that role. i will continue to serve as a back-up to the new chaplain and will assist in any training that might be required for my replacement. I also will continue to participate as part of the team in monthly visitation to our fellow veterans in the Union County Nursing Home and Stonehenge Assisted Living facilities. I will be glad to work with my replacement until he or she is comfortable with the Post 121 duties.

If you are interested in filling this important and satisfying role, call Dan Wickersham or I if you have any questions. My phone number is 678-232-1771. You will not be left alone to figure out what the Chaplain does by yourself. It's a great opportunity to serve your fellow veterans and meet some wonderful people with great stories of their military experiences.

Please consider this opportunity and give us a call. Say "YES"
Post Services Officer's Notes - Robert Spaulding

Outpatient clinics and Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are open for telehealth visits. Only limited, time-sensitive face to face visits are being conducted. These visits require approval in advance and Veterans who present without an appointment will be encouraged to schedule telehealth visits via MyHealtheVet. 

Veterans are encouraged to contact their primary care (PACT) team for non-emergent medical needs using either the MyHealtheVet website or by calling 404-329-2222.
Public Relations Officer's Notes - Jim and Judy Yohe

Dan Wickersham (far right), Commander, Blairsville American Legion Ira Weaver Post 121 presented recognition plaques to outgoing officers (left to right) Dan Navin, Junior Vice cCmmander; Phil Gatlin, Chaplain; and Mike Ayers, Past Commander at the July monthly meeting. Junior Vice Dick Cataldo, Jr, Junior Vice Commander looks on in the background.

Blairsville American Legion Ira Weaver Post 121 recognized the outgoing officers, including Past Commander Mike Ayers at its July meeting. Others recognized were Dan Navin, Junior Vice Commander and newsletter editor, Phil Gatlin, Chaplain. Ron Tanner, Finance Officer was unable to attend.

The meeting also covered various events and activities still being planned. The annual golf tournament has been rescheduled for Sept. 12 at the Old Union Golf Course. Additional fund-raising efforts to support the annual scholarship program are being arranged and will hopefully be available at Blairsville events this fall. Post events such as the “Turning of the Leaves” boat excursion on Lake Nottely is awaiting confirmation and veterans’ appreciation events are being discussed in light of the health issues being faced.

It was noted that July is the beginning for Post membership renewals . The availability to renew online was presented and application brochures for new members were available for distribution. All present were encouraged to promote memberships for each organization of American Legion including The AL Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and American Legion Riders (ALR).

The American Legion Auxiliary joined opening ceremonies with the post before holding its own meeting. The Auxiliary continues to organize and plan activities during the challenging events occurring nationally.
All members are encouraged to attend the American Legion and The AL Auxiliary monthly meetings the third Tuesday beginning at 6:30 pm. SAL & ALR meetings are the second Thursday at 6 pm. All are held in the Major Leon Davenport Veteran's Center at 78 Blue Ridge St.

The American Legion is the largest and one of the oldest and most inclusive of all veterans’ organizations worldwide and devotes itself to mutual helpfulness, mentoring youth, advocating patriotic honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to fellow service members and veterans. For more information contact the Post at ALPOST 121@gmail.com . The website is LEGIONPOST121.org.
Historian's Notes - Jack Payne

No submissions
Event Coordinator's Notes - JW Preston

No submissions
Flag Program Chairman's Notes - Don Sullivan
No submissions - New flags are for sale for $20.00.


Between these flags that proudly fly, Let no man dare to stand.
For here our fallen comrades lie, A symbol yes, but mark it well.
Here let us ever humbly pause In memory of the lads who fell
In fighting for our sacred cause.

On sea or land these buddies died. Some lie beneath a foreign soil
In graves caressed by winds and tide. In spots unknown to all but God.
And so this place is hallowed ground And shall be forever blessed.
And though it were a grassy mound Beneath which gallant heroes rest.

Be ever watchful, legionnaire Of those flags which signify
That we should guard this spot with care Where our departed comrades lie.
And if a man should dare to tread This spot where lie our gallant brave.
He desecrates those noble dead As though he walked upon their grave.

In its ten-year history, the Missing in America Project volunteers have visited over 2,000 funeral homes, locating over 15,000 unclaimed cremated remains of which nearly 3,500 were Veterans and eligible dependents.

Without these hard-working volunteers, the Veterans cremains would languish on shelves in funeral homes and crematoriums for who knows how long. For more information, please check the Website: MIAP.US

Missing In America Project
The purpose of the MIA Project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations. To provide honor and respect to those who have served this country by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes.

The Missing in America Veterans Recovery Program (MIAP) (EIN: 20-8408832) is a Federal recognized Non-Profit Veterans Organization for the identification, location, verification, and movement of Veterans and their Dependents.
This is the SIXTH in a 10 part series on interpretation of the Preamble.
The Series will appear here as part of the POST 121 Centennial Celebration.

The American Legion has a main Mission Statement called the American Legion Constitution. The Preamble to that Constitution is what we recite before every meeting to remind us that the family of U.S. Military Veterans and Service Members have always supported and defended the United States Constitution. September, 1942 is the one and only time The American Legion preamble has been altered since 1919. The word “War” was changed to “Wars”. This was donein recognition that the First World War was not the only time our freedom would be threatened
and need to be defended. The Preamble has an Introduction followed by 10 Patriotic Statements.

1.To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America;
2.To maintain law and order;
3.To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;
4.To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars;
5.To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation;
6.To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses;
7.To make right the master of might;
8.To promote peace and goodwill on earth;
9.To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy;
10.To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

Statement No. 6: “To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses”
This clause places the Legionnaire on the side of right in opposing autocracy by either class or mass when this threatens. In a democracy such as ours, composed as it is of all nationalities, races, creeds and economic groups, they are bound to be both classes and masses. Indeed, the masses are composed of classes, but all groups within the mass must feel assured that in this nation, reason and fairness will prevail in all human activities and relations. There must be no hyphenated Americans - just Americans all.

Part 7 coming next month.
American Legion Auxiliary

The Auxiliary now joins the Legion for opening ceremonies, prayer led by Auxiliary Chaplain Janice Walters-Taylor (706.897.3378, niquimarie@yahoo.com)

The Auxiliary is slated to attend the Mountain Heritage Festival during the Labor Day Weekend, and the Sorghum Festival in October. They will be having raffle items and craft items for sale. If you have any items you would like to contribute to their sale table, please contact Janice, info provided above.

Requesting input on the Nov 1 Veterans meal sponsored by the participating military groups that meet here in Union County. Looking at an evening meal, 4-7 pm, Menu Italian. Looking for venue - perhaps the civic center. Got any ideas or comments - let's hear it niquimarie@yahoo.com


“Till me meet again, let us remember that our obligation to our Country can be fulfilled only by the faithful performance of all duties of citizenship. Let service to the community, state and nation be ever a main objective of The American Legion and its members. Let us be ever watchful of the honor of our Country, our organization and ourselves, that nothing shall swerve us from the path of Justice, Freedom and Democracy."

As we ponder the Commander's Charge, we are called to do more than just renew our membership from year to year and show up for an hour attending the monthly meeting. If not now, when? should be the answer when there is an opportunity to serve. So, the next time there is a chance to contribute, even in the smallest way, when asked, say YES . It's what you signed on to do.

  1. You get the opportunity to make an impact. Many who have served say that one thing they enjoyed was being part of something greater than themselves. VSOs can give you that, too.
  2. It’s where your battle buddies hang out. At its heart, a VSO is a military alumni network. They are places where those who don the uniform can come together and enjoy one of the things they enjoyed most about serving: the people.
  3. You have access to resources and information. One of the advantages of an alumni network is that those who have gone before are willing to reach back and assist the next generation. VSOs are no different: Philanthropy and service are key tenets of VSOs and they offer a variety of different kinds of programs and assistance, often for the both the veteran and his/her family, to include surviving dependents.
American Legion Riders
Ride to Clemson SC to the Smokin Pig on Saturday, August 8th. KSU at 9:00 leaving Hiawassee Macedonia Baptist Church, 1675 US Hwy 76, parking lot across from it.

Ride on September 5th, a fund raiser for Post 82 Ellijay KSU 10:45 meet at post 121 Blairsville. 

Sons of the American Legion
No submissions
North Georgia Honor Guard

Volunteers Needed - Please contact
Bill Stodgill, Cdr, Western Division -

Wayne Roshaven, Cdr, Eastern Division -


In a military hospital an army major visits the sick soldiers, goes up to one private and asks: "What's your problem, Soldier?" "Chronic syphilis, Sir" "What treatment are you getting?" "Five minutes with the wire brush each day." "What's your ambition?" "To get back to the front, Sir." "Good man." says the Major.

He goes to the next bed. "What's your problem, Soldier?" "Chronic piles, Sir" "What treatment are you getting?" "Five minutes with the wire brush each day." "What's your ambition?" "To get back to the front, Sir." "Good man." says the Major.

He goes to the next bed. "What's your problem, Soldier?" "Chronic gum disease, Sir" "What treatment are you getting?" "Five minutes with the wire brush each day." "What's your ambition?" "To get the wire brush before the other two, Sir"


What do you call children in the military? Infantry.


During a deployment on the Aircraft Carrier Midway, there was an inspection by a visiting Admiral. All personnel lined up in formation for the Admiral. While walking past several Sailors asking questions and receiving appropriate answers the Admiral stopped in front of one and asked "What's the first thing you do after hearing "Man Overboard?" Without hesitation the soldier asked "Officer or Enlisted?'


An Army Wife and a Navy wife were at the annual Army/Navy football game where they had 50 yard seats! After the game, The Army wife asked the Navy wife how she liked the game? The Navy wife replied, it was OK, but kinda rough over a coin. Puzzled, the Army wife asked, "Coin"? "Yeah" said the Navy Wife, "you know, they had a coin toss before the game got started, and all during the game all you heard was GET THE QUARTER BACK!!!"
01 - Thomas Sweet
03 - Patrick Spillane
05 - Freeman Bowen
05 - Richard Proffitt
07 - John Veldhuizen
13 - William Sampson
15 - Robert McTureous
24 - Bruce Dell
28 - James Gorman
30 - James Buckman

Notify Adjutant of changes or missing information.

01 - Francis Scott Key Birthday (Star Spangled Banner)
01 - 1:00 PM “HUEY: Helicopter Display/Open House, Fannin Veterans Memorial Park
02 - 1776 in Philadelphia, most of the 55 members of the Continental Congress signed the parchment copy of the  Declaration of Independence .
03 - War correspondent Ernie Pyle Born in 1900 in Dana, Indiana
04 - Coast Guard Birthday
06 - 1945 - The first Atomic Bomb was dropped over the center of Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m., by the American B-29 bomber  Enola Gay
06 - 1965 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was  signed into law  by President  Lyndon B. Johnson
07 - Purple Heart Day
09 - Marine Forces Reserve Birthday
12 - AL and ALA Leadership Meeting - 10am - Vet Bldg
13 - SAL and ALR Meeting at Vet Center
13 - 1961 - The Berlin Wall came into existence after the East German government closed the border between east and west sectors of Berlin
14 - August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the  surrender document  was signed, officially ending World War II.
14 - 1935 - President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act establishing the system which guarantees pensions to those who retire at age 65
17 - Branch Commander's Meeting 9:00 - Vet Center Bldg
18 - ALA Chat and Chew - 8-10 am - Vet Med Center
18 - AL and ALA Regular meeting - 6:30 pm - Vet Center
18 - 1920 - The 19th  Amendment  to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.
21 - 1959 - President  Eisenhower  signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union as the 50th state.
23 - 1861 - First black man to fight for the Union during the Civil War enlists
29 - Soviet Community Party Ended
Name, Position

Dan Wickersham, Cdr
Mike Ayers, Past Cdr
Jim Reed, Sr Vice Cdr
Dick Cataldo, Jr Vice Cdr
Ryan Rogers, 2nd Jr Vice Cdr
Ron Tanner, Temp Finance Ofcr
Roy Bateman, Judge Advocate
Pjil Gatlin, Temp Chaplain
Robert Spaulding, Post Svc Ofcr
Jim & Judy Yohe, Public Relations
Jack Payne, Historian
JW Preston, Event Coordinator
Roger Harkins, Sgt at Arms
Don Sullivan, Flag Program Chair
Jared Ogden, SAR
David Cook, SAR
Janice Walters-Taylor - Newsletter



Dan Wickersham, Commander- dan.wickersham@gmail.com
Jim Reed, Sr Vice Cmdr – mfjlake1@bellsouth.net
Dick Cataldo Jr. Vice Cmdr., Scholarship Chairman – dick.cataldo@gmail.com
Ryan Rogers, 2nd Jr Vice Cmdr - rogersr142@gmail.com
Ron Tanner Temporary Finance Officer - ron.tanner@yahoo.com
Roy Bateman Judge Advocate, Adjutant - serenety216@gmail.com
Phil Gatlin, Temporary Chaplin 678-232-1771 - nasa428@windstream.net
Robert Spaulding Post Service Officer – rspaulding@VS.STATE.GA.US – 706-745-6341
Jim and Judy Yohe Public Relations - yohejamesa@gmail.com
Jack Payne Historian – jpayne@jpmedicalsales.com
J W Preston Event Coordinator  jwardpreston@gmail.com
Roger Harkins Sgt at Arms - butterbean052@windstream.net
Mike Ayers Past Commander - lmayers@brmemc.net
Don Sullivan Flag Program Chairman - dpslks@aol.com
Janice Walters-Taylor - Newsletter - niquimarie@yahoo.com - 706.745.1854
We thank these businesses for their support of The American Legion Post 121

For Advertising and Sponsorship Information please contact
US Vets Thrift Store
2810 Hwy 64 W
Murphy NC

Old Union Golf Course
78 Scores Point
Blairsville GA 30512

Alexander's Store
4482 Town Creek School Road
Blairsville GA 30512