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The American Legion in Review Seventy-five years ago, on July 23, 1941, American Legion Post 154 was formed with 31 founding members. On May 15, 1946, the City of Savannah Beach (now Tybee Island) and Councilmen, signed a deed to the Post for $1 for the building’s use to serve until perpetuity. National American Legion background The American Legion was founded at an American Expeditionary Forces Caucus in Paris, France on March 15- 17, 1919, as a patriotic veteran’s organization. In addition to the Preamble, the American Legion subscribes to four pillars (goals) of Service: Pillar One: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Pillar Two: National Service Pillar Three: Americanism Pillar Four: Children and Youth Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Membership swiftly grew to over 1 million and local posts sprang up across the country. Today, membership stands at over 2.5 million in 14,000 posts throughout the United States and 17 countries worldwide. The American Legion is quite simply, “Veterans helping Veterans.” Current Day Charles ‘Chuck’ Bolen is serving his fifth year as Commander. Through the years many things have changed, including moving into the current building at 10 Veterans Drive (built in 1914), that formerly served as an Army barracks and YMCA along with many other uses. Under the hall carpet, you can still see the basketball markings and where many of the current members used to play basketball when they were younger. For years, the canteen was called the ‘Little Bar’ for good reason (this was one of the first White Elephant Christmas parties in 2002 – we are a happy bunch!). Some of the gifts that were exchanged that evening were true white elephant items including VHS movies (anyone still own a player?), ‘stolen’ water shoes from someone’s porch, and a snowball from Wisconsin. 8 TYBEE BEACHCOMBER | DEC 2016 By Jerris A. Bryant In 2004, under Commander Gene Kindrick, construction began on the current bar. After several months of construction, the grand opening was held on St. Patrick’s weekend in 2005, with Theodore Solomon, former commander of six years, as the guest of honor. Legion Hall Over the years many functions have been held in the hall from weddings, memorials, City of Tybee inaugural balls, New Year’s Eve parties, Christmas parties, fundraisers, and about any event you could think of. For over forty years, one of our biggest fundraisers throughout the year has been Friday Night Bingo. Before there was a furnace or air conditioner in the hall (finally installed in 2004), when it was cold, the wives would bring in the playpens and place them near the old stove to keep the babies warm. Before the Legion began using paper card packets with ink dobbers, pre-numbered 6 x 6 bingo boards with small doors were used; when your number was called, you simply slid the door to cover the number. Prizes were $5 per game and the jackpot was $25! The Legion sends a huge thank you to our dedicated players that are there every Friday night! At times the players get very creative with their non-winning cards. Color Guard First Tybee Heritage Parade in 2003 with WWI Doughboy uniforms. If you have ever watched a parade on Tybee, you have seen the Color Guard. They participate in parades, post colors for the Tybee Island City Council meetings, flag retirement ceremonies, funerals, and various ceremonies. Color Guard


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