The Exeter American Legion Post 218 celebrated the Legion’s birthday on Monday, March 14th with Legion members, Auxiliary members and the newly chartered Sons of the American Legion members present.
After a social hour Commander Alan Songster welcomed the guests and introduced Legion Auxiliary President Marsha Jorgensen. Jorgensen gave a brief history of the Auxiliary service and dedication to support the Legion and its mission.
Jorgensen also gave a brief presentation on the purpose of the Quilts of Valor program. Their mission, according to their website is “to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”
Jorgensen recently pieced a quilt top and Diane Henke assembled and quilted the labor of love. The ladies presented the Quilt of Valor to World War II veteran, Alva Smith. They wrapped him in the quilt during the program. They also presented him with a coordinating pillow. Smith, in his 90’s, received the Bronze Star during the war. He served as an airplane mechanic and had a record number of flights in his plane with no return for mechanical failure.
Songster returned to the podium to speak about recently deceased 70 year Legion member, Frank Tauriella. Songster presented the 70 year member pin to Frank’s son, John Tauriella, who gave a brief history of his father’s arrival in Fillmore County from Brooklyn, New York.
The younger Tauriella presented a memorial donation to the Legion in his father’s name.
Alva Smith also presented a generous donation to the Legion.
Sons of the American Legion commander, Mitch Schlegelmilch was introduced and in turn presented the members of the Sons of the American Legion unit and their positions. He noted that they have already had 50 accepted as members of their unit. Schlegelmilch reported that they will have their first fundraiser in April.
Songster closed the meeting and thanked those attending.
Commander Alan Songster, left, presents a 70 year member pin for Frank Tauriella to his son John Tauriella.