Chatham Amvets Post 61 <>


Upcoming meetings:

Oct 11, 2018 at 6 PM at Chatham Cafe

Nov 14, 2018 at 6 PM at Chatham Cafe

John Haines mentioned George Moss of our post on the cover of the cover of the Bugle at the Quincy Veterans Home.

On Sep 13, 2017, Illinois State AmVets Commander Hicks was a guest at our Post Meeting.

On Feb 8, 2017, Illinois State AmVets Commander was a guest at our Post Meeting.

Jim Shaner held our post flag in the Chatham Veterans Day Ceremony 2017

Happy Birthday to our post chaplain ~ Jim Shaner ~ as published in the SJR.

I Was A Soldier, I Am A Veteran

By Colonel Daniel K. Cedusky, USA, Retired

I was a Soldier or I am a Veteran: That's the way it is, that's what we were...ARE.  


We put it, simply, without any swagger, without any brag, in those four plain words.

We speak them softly, just to ourselves. Others may have forgotten
They are a manifesto to mankind; speak those four words anywhere in the world -- yes, anywhere -- and many who hear will recognize their meaning.

They are a pledge. A pledge that stems from a document which said: "I solemnly Swear”, “to protect and defend” and goes on from there,

and from a Flag called "Old Glory".

Listen, and you can hear the voices echoing through them, words that sprang white-hot from bloody lips, shouts of “medic”, whispers of “Oh God!”, forceful words of “Follow Me”. If you can’t hear them, you weren’t, if you can you were.

"Don't give up the ship!  Fight her till she dies... Damn the torpedoes!  Go ahead! . . . Do you want to live forever? . . . Don't cheer, boys; the poor devils are dying."
Laughing words, and words cold as January ice, words that when spoken, were meant, .. "Wait till you see the whites of their eyes". The echo's of I was a Soldier.

You can hear the slow cadences at Gettysburg, or Arlington honoring not a man, but a Soldier, perhaps forgotten by his nation...Oh! Those Broken Promises.
You can hear those echoes as you have a beer at the "Post", walk in a parade, go to The Wall, visit a VA hospital, hear the mournful sounds of Taps,

or gaze upon the white crosses, or tall white stones, row upon row.
But they aren't just words; they're a way of life, a pattern of living, or a way of dying.

They made the evening, with another day's work done; supper with the wife and kids. A Beer with friends;

and no Gestapo snooping at the door and threatening to kick your teeth in.
They gave you the right to choose who shall run our government for us, the right to a secret vote that counts just as much as the next fellow's in the final tally;

and the obligation to use that right, and guard it and keep it clean.
They prove the right to hope, to dream, to pray, and the obligation to serve.
These are some of the meanings of those four words, meanings we don't often stop to tally up or even list.

Only in the stillness of a moonless night, or in the quiet of a Sunday afternoon, or in the thin dawn of a new day, when our world is close about us,

do they rise up in our memories and stir in our sentient hearts.
And we are remembering family & buddies, who were at Iwo Jima, Wake Island, and Bataan, Inchon, and Chu Lai, Knox and Benning,

Great Lakes and Paris Island, Travis and Chanute, Bagdad, Kabul, Kuwait City, and many other places long forgotten by our civilian friends.

They are plain words, those four. Simple words.
You could carve them on stone; you could carve them on the mountain ranges.
You could sing them, to the tune of "Yankee Doodle."
But you needn't. You needn't do any of those things, for those words are graven in the hearts of Veterans, they are familiar to 24,000,000 tongues,

every sound and every syllable. If you must write them, put them on my Stone.

But when you speak them, speak them softly, proudly, I will hear you, for I too,
I was a Soldier, I AM A VETERAN.
Inspired By “Creed” I am an American by Hal Borland


From: Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL, Col, USA, Ret,

Life member: Am Legion, DAV, AMVETS, MOAA, NGAUS, IL SAL, NGAIL

NAUS, IL State Director USDR

Our Post members


AmVets Post 61 sponsored a memorial brick on the Spaulding, IL Veterans Memorial Dedicated

on Sept 29, 2012







 Our post is the proud home of a former State Amvet Commander

Congratulations to Bill Mackiney on his Land of Lincoln Honor Flight.

Congratulations to our Post Commander who went on the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight


Post 61's AmVet of the year for 2017 is Anne Hofferkamp

Post 61's AmVet of the year, Dale Bergman, awarded on Aug 10, 2016

 Post 61's AmVet of the year, Don Butler,  Awarded July 8, 2015

 Post 61's AmVet of the year, Sean Connolly,  Awarded in 2011



 Post 61's AmVet of the year, Rose Connolly,  Awarded on 7/8/09



Post 61's AmVet of the year, Jim Shaner,  Awarded on 7/9/08





Chatham AmVets presenting calling cards to the deploying 1844TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY—


Amvets Post 61 Says farewell to

John Haines

August 10, 1924 - September 20, 2018

Dennis L. Leach

March 18, 1945 - September 2, 2018

Robert Paul "Bob" Langdon

July 21, 1940 - February 12, 2018

Maurice "Tip" Tippet

Retired Brigadier General Robert Adams

Robert Lindsay Adams, 88, of Land O' Lakes, FL, formerly of Springfield, IL and Naples, FL, died at 5:03 a.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at his home.


David Innis

David L. Innis, Sr., 86 of Thayer passed away Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 at Mosaic of Springfield.

He was born Aug. 12, 1930 in Virden, the son of Robert and Pauline Hopper Innis.

David married Marion Green on June 29, 1951 in Thayer and she preceded him in death on Oct. 2, 2007.  Also preceded in death by one son, David L. Innis, Jr.; one grandson, Zachary T. Innis; sister, Pauline Wilson and brother, Robert Innis; son in law, John B. Milano, Jr.

He served as ammo corporal on a 155 howitzer gun crew with the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Surviving are two sons, Brian and Frank (Vickie) Innis both of Thayer; three daughters, Mary Milano of Pawnee, Sherry (Rick) Lester of Indiana and Patricia (Mike, Sr.) Curry of Dawson; special daughter, Susan Griffin and special daughter “out” law, Peggy Johnson both Springfield; 18 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; two sisters in law, Virginia Allison of Winchester, TN and Sarah Innis of Bethalto; numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 from 9am till 10am at Bramley Funeral Home, Auburn.  Procession will follow to Camp Butler National Cemetery for military honors with Auburn VFW and American Legion and committal service with Rev. Terry Turner officiating.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Auburn American Legion or VFW.

Don Speaks

Donald Speaks passed away on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Burdette Thompson

Burdette Thompson passed away on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Burdette was a resident of Spearfish, South Dakota at the time of his passing.

He was married to Evelyn.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 PM on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at the United Methodist Church in Spearfish. Burial, with full military honors, will be at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 2, at Black Hills National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to Hospice of the Northern Hills.

Earl Sweet

Earl W. “Pete” Sweet, 89, of Pawnee died peacefully, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Sunrise Manor, Virden, after a brief illness.
Earl was born November 8, 1926 in Springfield, IL, the son of the late Iva Abney Sweet. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Twanette Turley Sweet, and a brother, Paul Sweet, of Lawrence, KS.
He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. After returning home Earl drove a truck for Smith (Smitty) Trucking picking up milk at local farms. He purchased a tavern in Pawnee, Pete’s Frontier Lounge, and sold it after 26 years. Being semi-retired he cleaned the Pawnee Post Office until full retirement. Earl was a former Fire Chief in Pawnee and was a member of the Pawnee American Legion and V.F.W.
Surviving are two children from a previous marriage, Fred (Bee) Sweet of Essex, IL and Debbie Sweet Dillon of Virden; a grandson, Jeff (Gini) Jenkins of Virden; granddaughters, Dana Sweet McGary of Thayer, IL and Keri (Ryan) Lechtenberg of Essex, IL; six great grandchildren; one great grandson; and his companion, Ginger List, of Pawnee, IL.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 at Bramley Funeral Home in Auburn. Services will be Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Charles Kurfman officiating. Burial will be in Horse Creek Cemetery with the Auburn American Legion and V.F.W. conducting military honors.
Memorials may be made to the Pawnee Food Pantry, P.O. Box 304, Pawnee, IL 62558.

Earl Morrow

Earl Morrow, age 90, of Springfield, passed away on Friday, July 11, 2015 at Memorial Medical Center. 

Norris Gene Hendricks

Norris Gene Hendricks.  OBIT:  WAVERLY, IL - Norris Gene Hendricks, 79, formerly of Auburn, Ill., passed away Sept. 21, 2014, at his residence with his wife by his side. Staab Polk Memorial Home, 8855 State Rt. 4, Chatham, IL is serving the Hendricks family.

Edgar "Jeff" Barnes

Amvets Post 61 (Past Commander)

Born: September 26, 1937
Died: June 21, 2014

Harold "Gabby" Cloyd

  Harold  "Gabby" Cloyd

Richard L Cary


October 28, 1937 - October 13, 2008
He was a U.S. Navy Veteran, lifetime member AMVETS and Calvary Temple Christian Center.

Clifford N Kevern

CHATHAM - Clifford Norman Kevern, 75, of Chatham died Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, at St. John's Hospital. His family will greet friends from 11 a.m. until time of services at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, 2008, at Staab Polk Memorial Home, 201 S. Main St., Chatham. Deacon Candidate Frank Maynerich will officiate. Burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery, where the Interveterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County will conduct military honors. For those who wish memorial contributions may be made to the Vita Dialysis Unit and Chatham VFW Post 4763.

Craig F. Bilyeu

DIVERNON — Craig F. Bilyeu, 57, of Divernon died Sunday,  Feb. 11, 2007, in an automobile accident near Glenarm.   He was born Oct. 2, 1949, in Springfield, the  on of Earl and Mary Harney Bilyeu.  Mr. Bilyeu was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and attained  the rank of sergeant. He was a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Springfield. He was a member of Chatham American Legion Post 759, Springfield Squadron 32, Sons of the American Legion, Voiture 344 of 40&8,  Veterans of Foreign Wars in Chatham and National Letter Carrier Association. Survivors: mother, Mary of Curran;  three sisters, Pam (husband, Terry) Eberhardt and Melissa Bilyeu, both of Springfield, and Lisa Hill of Curran; four brothers, Terry (wife, Ruth Ann) Bilyeu of Springfield, Bruce (wife, Leta) Bilyeu of Loami, Kevin (wife, Mary) Bilyeu of Curran and Rodney (wife, Aida) Bilyeu of Bartlett; five nieces; eight nephews; and several aunts and uncles. Services: 1 p.m. Friday, Sangamon Prairie Reception Center, Chatham, the Rev. Charles Duggins officiating. Burial: Chatham Memorial Cemetery. Staab Polk Memorial Home in Chatham is in charge of arrangements.