American Legion Post 133 elects new officers

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 26, 2013
Immediate past commander Jim Anastasio congratulates the new American Legion Post 133 commander, Art Sladyk. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Immediate past commander Jim Anastasio congratulates the new American Legion Post 133 commander, Art Sladyk. Photos by Lisa Stone.

American Legion Post 133 welcomed its new officers for 2013-2014 at the South Windsor Town Hall on Sept. 17.  The regular business was put on hold while the Post celebrated its new appointments.

Newly-installed were commander Art Sladyk, senior vice commander Leigh Lovering, junior vice commander Joe Pepin, finance officer Kent Carlson, adjutant Roger Anderson, service officer Ken Lewis, assistant service officer Bill Dopirak, post chaplain Bruce Daugherty, sergeant-at-arms Bob Hornish and historian Brien Lamkins. The ceremony was brief, but the celebration lingered.

The immediate past commander, Jim Anastasio, has been with Post 133 for nine years.  He served as senior vice commander for three years and commander for another three years.  “We are a wonderful organization,” said Anastasio.  “We do many different projects.  This is the largest veteran organization in the world.  Anyone that has been active in the military during a time of crisis can join.  Even if they did not participate in the fighting, they are eligible to join the American Legion.  We welcome men and women, they just have to be enlisted during the time of a crisis.”

According to the American Legion’s official website, http://www.legion.org/mission, “The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness." The website also says that, "Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation’s veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by the volunteer leadership.”

The American Legion Baseball League has the reputation of being successful and full of tradition. To date, there are more than 5,400 teams in the 50 American states as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. The goal of this division of the American Legion is to instill the sense of good sportsmanship and team effort.

The Legion Riders is yet another division of the American Legion. These Legionnaires ride their motorcycles to any public event that honors veterans or any part of the United States traditions, such as flag dedications. They have formed barriers around events such as funerals or any activity that may provoke anti-war demonstrators and allowed the ceremonies to proceed without interruption. Their goal is to make the returning vets feel honored and respected for their time serving our country and protecting all of the U.S. citizens.

A new project that the Legion has taken on is the "Suicide Prevention Web Center."  This site is dedicated to helping vets cope with their transition back to civilization.  According to the website http://www.legion.org/suicideprevention, an estimated 20 veterans commit suicide each day.  The Legion wants to do all it can to help stop this needless loss of life.  The web center is prepared with specialists that can help veterans as well as their family members.  The site also features events and programs that are held nationwide to recognize September as suicide prevention month.

For more information on the American Legion suicide web center, go to http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/gochat/ for an online chat, or text 838255 for help.  The phone number for the veteran’s crisis line is 800-273-8255, then press 1.


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