November 1, 2018By: Owen Wiese
After a very excellent meal featuring meat loaf, baked potatoes and salad prepared and served by Don and Mary Dorsman assisted by Jim and Ethel Kurtz, Commander Lyngen opened the meeting. Routine financial reports were presented and bills to be paid were approved. Membership Chairman Rob Meyer reported that about 70% of the quota has been reached. He urged Go-Getters to complete the membership drive as soon as possible. There were no reports from the Service Officer or the Athletic Officer.
Next Sunday, November 11 marks the observance of Veterans Day, a very important day for the American Legion and indeed the whole Nation. It marks the day that the Armistice was signed ending World War I on November 11, 1918 and because of the many wars that the U.S. has been involved in since that date, all the veterans of those wars are to be remembered and honored. The activities associated with Veterans Day begin with Lunch with the students at the Garretson School. Those veterans who sign up will have lunch with various age groups of classes on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of next week. It is an activity that is fun and interesting for the veterans and for the students. The Students are interested in hearing of some of the experiences of the veterans. Because of the possibility that the School might be playing in the Football Championship, the School Veterans Day program will take place on Monday, November 12. A program is planned to which all veterans in the community are invited.
The Veterans Day program sponsored by Post 23 will take place on November 11 at the Dugout. Commander Lyngen is still working on some of the details because some of the people who were to be involved decided to not be there. Commander Lyngen has arranged for Post member Randy Megard, who will be dressed in a World War I uniform, to present a program about World War I using a video and a speaking part. Randy is an enthusiactive historian and enactor. The program will be very interesting and entertaining.
There will be a social hour beginning at 5:00 PM and followed by an excellent meal catered by the Garretson Food Center and follow by the program. Everyone is invited to the activities honoring and remembering the veterans of all our wars.
In other business considered at the meeting, there will now not be any repairs to the sidewalk on the south side of the Dugout. The repairs were to be made in conjunction with the on-going street project. Because of weather delays that project is behind schedule and will be completed next year. The sidewalk will be repaired at that time. Also, the Post has been invited to take part in the Garretson Christmas activities with possibly marching in the parade. Steve Warren will coordinate this.
The Garretson Food Bank is a very important entity in the community which serves people in need. There are probably more of these persons than is commonly known. The Food Bank is currently in need of help to serve the community so the Post approved a donation of $500 to the Food Bank. Individuals are also urged to support with donations of money. The Food Bank also gladly accepts food donations.
There was discussion about ways to publish news on the many ways the American Legion and the Post serve the community. With the widespread use of the social media there are many methods of conveying the news about the Post which probably are not being used now. Post Adjutant Siemonsma will coordinated the activity and formulate and inform the Post of ways to improve.
National Commander Brett P. Reistad was elected to his post at 100th Convention of the American Legion in Minneapolis in August. He is making a visit to SD on November 5 and will have a breakfast meeting at Post 15 in Sioux Falls. All National Commanders sponsor a special Foundation. Since 1921the Foundation was called Soldiers and Veterans , but Commander Reistad is changing the designation to Children and Veterans and hopes to raise several millions of dollars, 40% of which will go children’s programs and 60% to training of veterans. This Post authorized a donation of $200 which Paul Evenson will present at the breakfast in Sioux Falls. Commander Reistad will be in SD for a week and has a very full schedule of visits in the state.
Paul was Department Commander in 1992 and was given a cap from the 50th Anniversary of Boys State which was that same year. Paul will place the cap in the Post Display case.
The next Legion Sunday Breakfast will be December 2 and the next regular Post Meeting will December 6 with supper at 7:00 PM and meeting at 8:00 PM
The drawing for the $150 weekly prizes was held: winners were;Jeff Benson, Gene Murphy, Dean Roeman, Steve Moberg, Sid Pederson. In November one $500 prize is awarded. The winner of that was Troy Schnetter
October 4, 2018
By: Owen Wiese
Twenty Eight Legion members, Auxiliary members and guests enjoyed a very good dinner at 7:00 PM. Dinner was prepared and served by Sid Williamson, Ron Rekstad, Jim Hoefert and others. Thank you very much to that group.
A special guest at the meeting was Jacob Schmidt who was accompanied by his parents, Jon and Denise Schmidt and his sister Elizabeth. Jacob achieved the Boy Scout Award of Eagle Scout which is a very prestigious award received after a long period of study and work. An Eagle Scout Certificate had been sent to Commander Lyngen who had the honor of awarding it to Jacob. Jacob followed with a talk about his history in scouting, the many very interesting camps he attended and what it took to achieve the Eagle Scout Award.
Jake began his Scouting career as a member of the Cub Scout Pack in Garretson for five years. After that time there was no Boy Scout Troop in Garretson, so he joined a Boy Scout Troop in Sioux Falls sponsored by the Zion Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. He has been in that Troop for five years and has reached the Eagle Scout rating with much dedicated effort and has had many interesting experiences and achievements. He earned 31 Merit Badges covering a wide variety of subjects, all of which required much work and study. The 31 Merit Badges are attached to the sash which is worn as a part of the Scout uniform.
Jake is a Junior at Garretson High School where he has also been involved in FHA and other school activities. During the past construction season he had a part time job with Haarsma Construction Co. which is doing the street reconstruction in Garretson.
Commander Lyngen opened the Post business meeting with the prescribed protocol followed by routine reports and approval to pay bills. Social Chairman Steve Warren said that the Dugout has recently been used for several receptions and meetings. He requested that more people volunteer to help with the bar as there some more receptions and meetings are scheduled.
A thank you was received from the Paralyzed Veterans for the donation received from this Post. They used it to sponsor a shoot for veterans which was very successful.
Three new Post members were introduced, Francis Ruml, Jon Schmidt, and Charles Agnew. They were welcomed and encouraged to become active members.
Service Officer Dennis Hoven announced that Barbara Erickson, wife of Past Post Commander Larry Erickson, has died. Services for her will October 13 at the Palisades Funeral Home.
Americanism Officer Bennett has been meeting with School Staff, Principal Long, and teachers to encourage participation in Legion programs, particularly the Oratory Competition. The school will be observing Veterans Day with a program on Nov. 12, the Monday after Veterans Day. There will be Meals for Veterans with the students on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Veterans Day. Forms were distributed to Post members so that they can choose the day and time and student group with whom they want to have a meal. Sign up! It is a fun experience and the students really like it. Bennett also said that this year some awards will be given to older members of the community to recognize their service to the community.
Legislative Officer Paul Evenson said that South Dakota is number one in line to have a new Veterans Cemetery established which will be northeast of the junction of I-90 and I-229. The City of Sioux Falls will donate the land, with construction to begin 2019. Evenson also urged everyone to vote in the up-coming election. It is everyones privilege and obligation to vote.
Athletic Officer Konechne said that plans are underway for the 2019 season. The 15-16 year olds will need all new equipment and there is an unanswered decision as to what type of bats will be used by the 13-14 year olds. If equipment is bought now there will be a 50% discount.
At the District 7 Fall Meeting in Hudson September 30 information was received that a Legion float will be available for use by Posts. It could be used in this Posts 100th Year Observance in July. One other item to be considered with the Observance is to combine it with the 4th of July Observance. With that in mind, a motion was approved to increase the fireworks purchase to $3000.
Building Superintendent Dean Roeman has moved from Garretson. Steve Kirton has volunteered to take those duties, at least on a temporary basis.
Frank Koens was on the recent Honor flight to Washington, DC and he spoke about some of the happenings on the Flight. He said it was wonderful and unforgettable. There are Flights being planned for the future and Frank urged that anyone interested should get their name on the list to go because there is a big demand. Contact Frank for particulars.
Post member Jim Hoefert and Linda Johnson were married last week and had their reception in the Dugout. Because of the street construction, there was a premium on parking places. Jim contacted City Maintenance Officer Craig Nussbaum and he made sure that there places blocked off for families and other invited guests to park. Jim and Linda were very appreciative.
Commander Lyngen spoke about the necessity for those members who are in charge of a committee or activity to have someone trained or willing to take over the job. That is great idea and there are lots of members who will help if they are asked. Also, there are some officers who have been in an office for a long period of time. The elected officers are not supposed to be in those jobs forever.
Sunday, November 11 is Veterans Day. The Post will have an observance on that day. Commander Lyngen has a program planned which will not have a speaker, but will have a group of people who will make a presentation. It will be very interesting and entertaining and all community members are invited to attend. Do something different on your Sunday! Come to the Dugout and honor the veterans!
At the conclusion of the meeting the drawing for the $150 weekly prizes was held. The winners were: Rose Nedved, Art Jones, Steve Howe, Missy Lyngen.
September 6, 2018
By: Owen Wiese
The September meeting of Henry G. Fix Post 23 was preceded by a very excellent pot luck dinner served by the Auxiliary. Served was a selection of hot dishes, salads, breads and desserts. The excellent meal was enjoyed by the Auxiliary, twenty seven Legion members and guests. Thank you very much to the ladies for the meal.
Commander Lyngen called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM. He introduced Charlie Agnew who lives in Brandon and was attending the meeting with the thought of joining the Legion. It is hoped that he will do that.
The Commander then welcomed Kris Frerk who was representing the Blue Dragon Foundation which is in planning to build a Day Care Center for Garretson. There is a great need for a new day care center. There have been instances when people have considered moving to Garretson, but have not done so because of the lack of adequate day care facilities. At present there are two day care centers operating in town, both of which are filled to capacity of forty children in each one. The Dragon Land Daycare west of the School has been in operation for several years. The building is in very poor condition and is beyond repair, but will have to be used until a new day care can be built. The other operating day care is in the old Methodist Church on Main Street and it too is filled to capacity of forty children. Both facilities are managed by Heidi Fink.
The Blue Dragon Foundation plans to use the area on Center street previously occupied by the School bus barn and owned by the School. The plan is to trade that property owned by the school for the area occupied by the Dragon Land day care which would be torn down and the space would be used for School purposes. The Blue Dragon Foundation Board of Directors plans to build a day care facility with the capacity of 102 children and with room for expansion if needed. Fund raising efforts have been on-going for some time. A ten year $300,000 no interest loan will be secured from Alliance Communication to begin construction. There have been several very generous donations from community members and Kevin and Robin Baum have offered to provide a zero interest loan if more funds are needed after construction is underway. Fund raising efforts are still underway and donations are still needed for this very vital community facility.
The Blue Dragon Foundation Board of Directors met on September 7 to meet with the contractor and make a final decision on starting construction. The hope is to break ground soon and have the Day Care finished in the spring.
After discussion by Post members, a decision was made to donate $2000 to the very important community asset.
Commander Lyngen opened the business portion of the meeting and routine reports were given and approval for paying bills given. The membership drive or 2019 is underway and Membership Chairman Rob Meyer urged Go Getters to sign up members as soon as possible and before the District 7 Fall Meeting in Hudson September 30.
Americanism Officer Bob Bennett has been meeting with Principal Long and speech teacher Chelse Bucholz about getting more and earlier participation in the Legion Oratory Contest. There have been participants past years, but they had a tendency to start to prepare their orations too late and not have time to be adequately prepared and become discouraged and quit the contest. The Contest requires study of the Constitution and strong effort to prepare an oration and to practice giving it. The Contest does require more study and work than some programs, but the rewards can be substantial. There is a prize given to winner of the local contest and if the contestant advances to the District Contest and wins there a larger prize is awarded. If the contestant then wins the regional contest and goes to the State Contest there is larger prize in the form of a scholarship. The winner of the National Contest is awarded a $16,000 scholarship with lesser scholarships to the second and third place winners. Any student can enter the contest as a freshman and can enter every year after that as they become more experienced and proficient. If they don’t win the experience is still very valuable because public speaking is used many times in later jobs. To give some incentive to enter the Contest every student who does enter will be given a stipend of $20 for their effort. Bennett and the School Administration will be introducing the Contest early in the school year and helping each student to reach a successful goal.
The Firing Squad rifles are in need of a cleaning and a date and time will set for some Legion volunteers to take care of the cleaning. Tom Willems has been in charge of the flags and grave markers as well as sale of flags. Gale Larson has assumed that job, so if anyone needs a grave marker or flag for a grave or for home display please contact Gale.
The Post maintains a safe deposit box at the Bank. Persons who have been authorized signers were Jim Kurtz, Reid Christopherson, and Jerome Johnson. Jim requested that Bob Bennett be placed on that list. That request was approved.
Future Post activities include the Region 7 Fall Meeting in Hudson on September 30, the Post monthly meeting October 4 and the Legion Sunday Breakfast October 7.
The winners of the drawing for the weekly $150 prizes were; Michael Coburn, Michelle Jacobson, Arden Sorenson and Kris Frerk
June 7, 2018 Meeting:
By: Owen Wiese
Twenty-five members enjoyed a light supper before the Post meeting at 8:00 PM. Commander Lyngen was unable to be at the meeting so Past Commander Warren was in charge. The meeting was opened with the prescribed protocol and was followed by the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting. The financial reports were given and bills to be paid were presented and approved. Service Officer Hoven reported that Post members Norm Benson and Darwin Sievert are recovering at home from their health problems. Hoven has been sending greetings from the Post to inform the recuperating members that they are not forgotten. Hoven also spoke about Richard L. Nelson who was a veteran and was a member of the Garretson community. Richard was not a member a member of this Post but was remembered for his service in the Army. Word has been received that Post member John Steffen who lives in Rapid City has cancer and is receiving treatment.
The Legion Sunday Breakfast, June 3 was successful and netted a profit of $372. The Post appreciates very much having so many people attend the Breakfast and enjoy a good meal and a pleasant social morning. Later in the meeting some suggestions were made for some more methods of advertising the Breakfast that haven't been used before.
Building Manager Roeman discussed the need for some more drainage on the east side of the Dugout. Improvements will be made when the City replaces the sidewalks on the south side of the Dugout. Roeman also said that there is a need for a new dehumidifier and some kitchen equipment. He was given approval to buy the items that are needed.
The Memorial Day program on May 28 featured a talk by retired Army Col. Nancy Gandy who is a native of Garretson. She gave an excellent presentation about her service and the honor it had been to serve the country. Veterans graves in the several community cemeteries had been decorated with American flags. At the conclusion of the program in the Dugout a program of remembrance was conducted on the lawn honoring veterans from all wars. The Post appreciates the attendance by so many community members.
Future activities for the Post is for the Color Guard to lead the parade at the start of the Jesse James Days activities. Also Commander Lyngen has completed plans for Fireworks Display July 4. additional product was ordered and the Display will afford great viewing for the community. The Department Convention is being held in Spearfish June 15-17 and a group of Post members will be attending and report at the next Post meeting.
A program which the Post sponsored in the past, but not for a period of years, is the bicyle safety checkup. There is some interest from the community in having it again and an effort may be be made to have it again. Steve Kirton was in charge of it in the past.
Post member Norb Ponto recently died and a donation in his memory of $75 was received to be given to the GCSF for scholarships.
At the conclusion of the meeting names were drawn for the $150 weekly prizes. The winners were: Linda Johnson, Ron Eitreim, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Todd Fink.
May 3 , 2018 Meeting:
By: Owen Wiese
The May 3 Legion Meeting was opened with prescribed protocol by Commander Lyngen following a light supper enjoyed by the twenty-five members present. Routine financial reports were heard and bills to be paid were approved. Final membership for 2018 is 221.
Service Officer Dennis Hoven had a lengthy report. Post member Ron Bly is at the Good Samaritan Nursing home on Minnesota Ave, Perry Ellefson is at the Good Samaritan Home on 49th St, Willard Moe is in assisted living at the Dow Rummel Village, Norm Benson and Darwin Sievert are recovering at their homes. Past Commander Doris Nedved is recovering at her home from a very serious brain injury received in Wichita, KS. She had been transferred to the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls and then to her home. Her recovery from a very serious injury borders on the miraculous. The Post lost three members who have died. Merle Lamp died in North Dakota and services were held at St. Rose Church on April 23. Merle was a long time Post member and Past Commander. He also commanded the Honor Guard for many years. He was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. Services were held April 29 for World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Ordell Winterton. Services for Korean War veteran Norb Ponto were held in Worthington, MN on May 5. Norb was the Post Chaplain for several years and was active in the Garretson Senior Citizens.
For those veterans who die, the Post Honor Guard renders Honors at their services and does so in an exemplary manner. The Post and community are extremely fortunate such a well trained Honor Guard which performs an important duty. The Honor Guard is led by Randy Megard. They are always in need of additional members so any Legion members who are so inclined should join the Squad.
American Officer Officer Bob Bennett said that there will be four boys from the Garretson School who will be going to Boys State in June. Their orientation is soon for this very important Legion sponsored activity. The recipients of the Legion Citizenship Awards have not yet been named.
Since 1992 Bob and Liz Bennett have guided a group of students, chaperons, and other interested people on a trip to places of historical and educational importance. In previous years they gone to Washington DC, Boston, New York City, Williamsburg,and Philadelphia. This year they are making a return trip to Washing DC. The trips are not specifically sponsored by the School or the Legion, although Bob who is the Post Americanism Officer says that the trips help to fulfill the Legions obligation to teach Americanism. The Bennetts’ work with a travel agency that helps to make arrangements for lodging, food, entertainment, tour guides and transportation to places of interest. Visits to places such as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Arlington Cemetery and other functions such as the White House and Capital tours have to be made by Bob.
This years trip to Washington by group of forty five people will include a visit to Arlington National Cemetery where four students will have the honor of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Those four students are; Malia Johnson, Aliah Lymon, Justin Stoterau, and Peyton Hove. In addition to that Aliah will sing the National Anthem at Tobys Dinner Theater where the group will have a dinner theater experience.
The 2019 trip will include Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, Monticello, a plantation, a battlefield, and other historical sites in the area.
The Bennetts are to be commended and thanked for organizing such interesting and educational trips that will always be remembered and treasured by those who go on them.
Athletic Officer Jeff Konechke reported that all teams now have coaches. The 13-14 year olds are coached by Cody Linneweber and Jesse Brockhouse, the 15-16 year olds by Scott Abraham and Craig Fitzgerald, the 17-18 year olds by Scott and Brady Schleuter. Jeff is commended for assembling a full slate of coaches. The 13-14 year old team begins its season May 13 and the 15-16 olds May 20.
There was an exciting bit of baseball news last week. Lucas Fitzgerald pitched a perfect game against Sioux Falls Christian. Eighty six pitches, 21 up, 21 out. According to Konechke there is no record this ever happening before in a Legion ball game in South Dakota.
Commander Lyngen announced that the 50th Anniversary of the FFA in Garretson banquet was to be held May 8th at 7 PM at the School. Jerome Johnson was the first President of the FFA Chapter when it was begun in Garretson.
At the recent County Meeting County Commander Hunter said that every veteran can and should get a VA Card by applying at the VA Center. It is not necessary to be receiving any VA services to get a card. He also said that it is very important that everyone have their DD 214 and it is correct. The DD214 is a very key to have in order to receive any kinds of benefit, including a flag for your casket.
The Post received a thank you from the Garretson Community Scholarship Foundation (GCSF) for sponsoring a $1500 scholarship with money received after the death of Jerome Johnson. It is a very worthy cause.
Post member AF 5 Sean McPadden has returned from a six month deployment to Qatar. He is currently stationed in Charleston SC. He is the son of Mike and Jean McPadden of Garretson.
Future activities for the Post include the regular Post meeting June 1 with a light supper at 7:00 PM and the meeting at 8:00, the Sunday Breakfast on June 3 with omelets and scrambled prepared and served by Chef Jim Kurtz and his crew. The Department Convention is in Spearfish June 14-16 for which delegates will be named soon. Commander Lyngen said that plans for the Memorial Day Observance May 28 are not yet complete. Plans for the Legion participation in the Jesse James Days also are not complete.
At the close of the meeting Raffle Chairman Don Doorman conducted the drawing for two months prizes, nine $150 prizes in all. The winners were: Ruth Hoiland, Kathy Evenson, Paula Nussbaum, Alliance Comm., Post 23, Alliance Comm, Baby girl Petersek, Sharon Warren, Ben Johnson. A word of explanation for the winner Baby girl Petersek. A ticket for her was sold early in the campaign when her sex was known but she was not yet born. On the night of the drawing her number was drawn and two hours later Raya Leigh Petersek was born. Her parents are Reed and Erin Petersek of Kennebec, SD. Grandparents are Mike and Jean McPadden of Garretson and Great grandparents are Owen and Lois Wiese. It is almost a guarantee that Raya is the youngest person to win in the eight year history of the Raffle
The $150 Weekly Raffle has been the primary fund raising program for the Post for eight years. It has been run very efficiently for all those years by Don Dorsman with help from his wife Mary. Of course, Super Salesman Mark Williamson has led the sales for all those years. A great thank you to Don and Mary and thank you to all who sold tickets and to all who bought them. All of you who had a part in the success made it possible for Henry G. Fix Post 23 to fulfill its obligations to the Community, State and Nation.
April 5, 2018 Meeting:
By: Owen Wiese
Approximately forty five Post Members, members of the Auxillary, and guests were present to enjoy the annual steak dinner. The dinner was ably prepared by Dave Sorenson, Jim Hoefert, Tom Larson, and Gale Larson. Appreciation was expressed to all of them for the excellent meal. The steaks were furnished by the Garretson Food Center and were the excellent quality always provided by the Food Center.
Commander Warren introduced the several dignitaries present. They were, Department Commander Hugh Holmes, Dept. NEC Jim Huls, Dept. Vice Commander Dennis Brenden, and Dept. Historian Fred Lee. Also introduced were new members of the Post who were present as guests. The were, new member Randall Rueland and his wife Deb, new member Robert Rueland and his wife Stacy and new member Josie Houghton and her daughter Kennedy. Also mentioned was new member John Houg who signed up when he was home on leave from the
USAF recently. He serves at Dover AF Base in Maryland. We all welcome these Legion new members and hope that they will be active members of Henry G. Fix Post.
Routine financial reports and account payable read and approved.
Adjutant Siemonsma recently mailed a survey to all Post members asking questions about their thoughts about the Legion and Post and about their interest in taking part in Post activities. Many members have not returned the survey and are asked to do so. The survey is something that has not been done before and took a lot of work and effort on Brians’ part. He was thanked for doing the work.
Service Officer Dennis Hoven reported that Post members Norm Benson and Darwin Sievert are recovering at home. Post member Willard Moe is at Prince of Peace receiving therapy after a long hospitalization and is hoped that he will be able be to moved to Dow Rummel for assisted living. On the day of the meeting word was received that Past Post Commander Doris Nedved had received serious head injuries in a fall while in Wichita, KS. Further information about her condition has not been received at this writing. In a related matter Roger Moe, brother of Willard Moe recently died in Esterville, IA. Roger grew up in Garretson, was a Marine veteran and known by many in Garretson. Condolences are extended to his family.
Current membership is at 221 which exceeds the quota. The Post Go Getter Plaque was received and will be hung with all the previous ones on the wall.
On April 11 a performance of the program about World War I soldier Martin Haugse will be given at the Garretson School. It is intended to be a learning experience for the students about an incident from the very earliest days of Henry G. Fix Post. Post members and others will give the performance.
Awards Night at the School will be April 30 at which the American Legion Citizenship Awards will be awarded and the selections for Educator of the Year and Firefighter of the Year will be announced. The names of the boys who will attend Boys State will also be read.
Commander Warren presented the Go Getter Awards to those who worked on the membership drive and the award pin to those who signed up new members. Dept. Historian Fred Lee was present and intended to present the District Legionnaire of the Year Certificate to Gary Lyngen who could not be present. The award to Gary was made at the Legion Breakfast April 8 by then Past Commander Warren.
Athletic Officer Jeff Konechke said that the start of the Legion baseball season will be May 13. Jeff is also searching for one coach and working to make other arrangements for a successful season.
Legislative Officer Paul Evenson spoke about the bill which recently was passed by the SD Legislature authorizing the building of a Veterans Cemetery in Eastern South Dakota. Paul said that it is the first time ever that a bill has passed unanimously in both committees of the House and Senate, passed unanimously by the full House and full Senate and was signed by the Governor. That has never happened before! No opposition! Paul credits the full support of all the veterans organizations in South Dakota and the hard lobbying by many individual veterans.
Each year the Post distributes flags and Post members place them on veterans graves throughout the community. In previous years Jerome Johnson took responsibility that task. Just one example of the many things Jerome did for the Legion and one example of the need for someone to assume those duties. At the meeting Tom Willems volunteered to do the job this year, but since he is a very senior Post member, he asks that a younger member take the job in the future.
The Post has received substantial donations from the Veterans Appreciation Night at the School and in memory of Jerome Johnson. The Executive Committee met before the meeting to discuss ways of using that money for specific and meaningful purposes. Several ideas were discussed and before any decisions are made the ideas will be presented to the membership for approval. Also discussed were the means to get more participation in the Legion Oratory Contest which is an extremely important and rewarding program, but takes hard work and dedication for a student to be successful. Americanism Officer Bob Bennett will work with the school and Post members to find ways to increase participation. Dept. Historian Fred Lee, who was present at the meeting, offered some thoughts about how the Contest has been promoted and rewarded at West Central School which has been very successful.
Sanford Hospital at 10:00 AM on April 8 opened a US Veterans Club and Lounge at the Hospital. It is for veterans who are patients and for their families.
USAF Staff Sgt. Meg McPadden, who is a member of this Post, recently completed the training at the Airmans Leadership School at Ellsworth AFB. She was the top graduate from the training which develops airman to be qualified to be successful front line supervisors. For her success she was awarded the John Levitor Award. The award is named after Airman John Levitor who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Staff Sgt. McPadden is the daughter of Mike and Jean McPadden of rural Garretson.
The nominating committee selected the following persons to lead the Post during 2018-19. Cmd: Andy Lyngen: 1st Vice Cmd, Rob Meyer; 2nd Vice Cmd, vacant: Adjutant, Brian Siemonsma; Finance Officer, Jim Kurtz; Service Off. Dennis Hoven; Chaplain, Ed Van Emmerick; Historian, Owen Wiese; Sgt at Arms, Mark Williamson. The selection was approved by the membership. Department Commander Hugh Holmes installed them in their offices with the admonishment to carry out the tenets of the American Legion. Commander Andy Lyngen took charge of the meeting and now Past Commander Steve Warren was thanked for his innovative and active term as Commander.
Raffle Chairman Don Dorsman announced that there would not be a raffle drawing because not all tickets had been turned in. There will be a drawing at the May meeting for two months of prizes.
At the close of the meeting Dept. Commander Holmes asked “is there anyone under the age of 21 at the meeting” knowing full well that Kennedy Houghton, daughter of new member Josie Houghton was 14. Commander Holmes called her forward and presented her with a Commanders Award pin and thanked her for attending a Legion meeting.
March 1, 2018 Meeting:
By: Owen Wiese
Post Commander Steve Warren opened the March 1 meeting of Henry G. Fix Post 23 with the prescribed protocol followed with introduction of guests Department Historian Fred Lee and District Commander Ed Stringer. The finance reports and bills to be paid were presented and approved by the membership. The service officers report disclosed that Post member Norm Benson is having a slow recovery from back surgery in the hospital, Willard Moe is in Palisades Manor, and Darwin Sievert is recovering from cancer treatment at home. Rose Tyrrell donated a book which has the names of all the South Dakota people who served in the Korean War. The book may be referenced at the Dugout.
Membership Chairman Dean Roeman said that with memberships just turned in the goal of 220 has been exceeded with the total memberships are 223. A 100% Post!
Americanism Officer Bob Bennett said that four boys have applied to go to Boys State with the deadline for application being April 1. The Educator of the Year selection is Kelsy Buchotz and the Firefighter of the year is Jake Tyrrell. The recipients of the Citizenship Awards have not been selected yet.
Legislative Officer Paul Evenson and Mark Williamson both attended Legislative committee meetings in Pierre where the proposed Veterans Cemetery for Eastern South Dakota were discussed. The proposal passed in the Appropriations Committee 17-0 and passed in the Senate and must pass in he House. Governor Daugard has indicated that he will sign the bill so everything looks favorable that the long sought after goal will be reached.
The trophy case which was built by Ron Nelson and the one which he repaired are finished. Ron did a very outstanding job on both of them and some items have been placed in them. The Post has trophies which have accumulated for many years and there is not room to display all of them. If there is anyone who has an interest in any sport trophy for any year he may have them. To get them contact Building Superintendent Dean Roeman.
Two months ago Adjutant Brian Siemonsma sent out surveys to all Legion members asking for opinions about the Post, what they would like to have the Post do and their willingness to take part in Post activities. The results of that survey will be reported on at the April meeting. Along the same line, the Nominating Committee to choose candidates for Post officers has met and filled all offices except for Second Vice Commander. If there is anyone who would be willing to take that office, please contact Marty Luebke or Commander Warren.
After the death of Post member Jerome Johnson several donations were made to the Post and a donation of $500 was received from the School after the basketball Military Recognition Game. The Post wants use these donations for special and significant purposes, but has not yet chosen any. The Post each year does make a donation of $500 to the Garretson Community Scholarship Foundation, (GCSF). That donation was approved at the meeting.
Jim Kurtz announced the Museum Board will use the Dugout on March 18 for the performance of the program remembering World War I veteran Martin Haugse. The program was first given on Veterans Day November 11and there has been enough interest in it that they will present it again. The Museum will also have its Annual Meeting April 15 in the Dugout. Further publicity about both these events will be furnished by the Museum.
One student from the Garretson School has expressed an interest in taking part in the South Dakota Highway Patrol Academy. The Legion has some role in this and this is a first time happening for the Post. Americanism Officer Bennett will be the coordinator for it.
Gary Lyngen was selected to be the Post Legionnaire of the Year in recognition of his many responsibilities and active participation in Post activities. It is a very appropriate selection . He will represent the Post at the District 7 Spring Meeting March 17 in Sioux Falls.
The American Legion was formed in 1919 and there will be year long observance and celebration of that very important happening. The Legion is the number one veterans organization and served the community, state and nation for almost 100 years. Commander Warren will be in charge of planning events and activities that celebrate the 100 Years of the American Legion.
Before having the $150 Weekly Raffle, Raffle Chairman Doorman said that sales of the tickets for 2018 have been a little slow and he urged all members sell as many tickets as possible before April 1. The winners of the drawing at the meeting were: Gary Lyngen, Jana Jacobson, Jen Zweep, Karl Liester, and Post 23.
Commander Warren closed the business portion of the meeting with the standard protocol. After which the Historian presented the Past Commanders and History Observance. It has been presented on Past Commanders and History Night every year since 1934. The Preface to the Last Mans History was read. It was written by L. C. (Zipp) Schafer, a World War I veteran. It is written as an analogy between a bucolic country setting and the reality and horrors of a terrible war. After the war ends it results in the formation of the American Legion. After the Preface was read, the History of 2017 was read. Henry G.Fix Post 23 had a very successful and productive year serving the Community, State and Nation in 2017 and every member should be proud of the accomplishments and their part in them. Those Past Commanders who were present were called upon to give short recollections and thoughts about their year as Commander and the importance of the American Legion to them. Department Historian Fred Lee who was present said that no other Post in South Dakota has anything like it
February 1, 2018 Meeting:
By: Owen Wiese
On February 1,twenty three Post members enjoyed a good meal served by Paul and Kathy Evenson and Jim Liester which was followed by the meeting at 8:00 PM. Past Commander Chad Harris conducted the meeting in the absence of Commander Warren. The meeting was opened with the prescribed protocol and followed with routine financial reports and approval of payment of bills. Commander Harris reported that $1170 in donations had been received in memory of Jerome Johnson. Those very welcome funds will be used for some special purpose. The death of Jerome Johnson marked the loss of a real leader who was involved in many activities of the Post and the community. He will be greatly missed. Every Post member is important and another one who died in the past month was longtime member Duane Rogness from the Crooks area who died after a long battle with cancer. Duane graduated from Garretson H.S. in 1947, served in the Army and was a very successful farmer and very active in his community and a leader of farm organizations. The Post Honor Guard rendered Honors at services for both these men. The performance of the Honor Guard is very professional and is appreciated very much by the families. The communities is very fortunate to have such a vital group serving the veterans. Service Officer Dennis Hoven also said that Post members Norm Benson, Willard Moe, Darwin Sievert and Mark Westover are receiving treatment. Westover was very seriously injured in a fall and faces a long recuperation. Benson is in the hospital recovering from a back operation. Moe is recovering in Palisades Manor after being hospitalized for a respiratory problem and Sievert is recovering at home from cancer treatment.
Post membership is very close to reaching the goal 219 and Adjutant Siemonsma expects it to be reached soon.
Americanism Officer Bennett said that only Emily Molsom participated in the Legion Oratory Contest and did not advance. She was given a $50 stipend in appreciation for her work. Bennett is going to work with the School administration and speech teachers to generate more interest and participation in the Oratory Contest. It is an activity that requires much study and effort, but the rewards are great with scholarships and prizes awarded at the various levels of participation. Students can enter when they are freshmen in High School and can enter each year of school as they become more proficient. Bennett also said that selections for Boys State will be made soon. Last year a record ten boys attended. The Post will sponsor as many boys as want go if they are sincere and want to follow the precepts of Americanism and recognize its importance. Bennett and Jeff Konechke were tasked with making the selections for Boys State.
There are plans to establish a Veterans Cemetery in Eastern South Dakota. Mark Williamson representing the Military Order of the Purple Heart and representatives from all other veterans organizations in South Dakota met in Pierre with the five members of the Veterans Council. Two of the members were in favor of the Cemetery, two were not and one was neutral. Several people who support the Cemetery appeared unannounced at the meeting, including members of the Joint Appropriations Committee of the Legislature. Their attendance convinced the Vets Council to pursue the establishment of the Cemetery. The City of Sioux Falls has offered to donate the land. If the Legislature will appropriate $600,000 to get it started and a $300,000 endowment can be founded for perpetual maintenance, the Cemetery can be built. It is estimated that the total cost will be $6,000,000 which the Federal Government will pay and reimburse the State for the $600,000 which it contributed for startup funds. Statistics show that there will be 237 burials per year at an individual cost of $750 per burial which will make the Cemetery self sustaining.
Several other items of business were discussed at the meeting the accounts of which follow. The Fire Department recently had their annual dance and party in the Dugout which was very successful and produced good sales at the bar. They also had a raffle and the Legion won $50 which was presented by Jeff Konechke. For 26 years Don Doorman has been tasked with the job of determining how much sales tax has to be paid on beer sales. Don wishes to be relieved from the job so Commander Warren will appoint someone to take Dons place. Also a donation of $100 has been received from the Eitreim family to show appreciation for the many things the Post has done for the family. For many years there have been members of the Eitreim family who were Post members and contributed to its success. Finally, in other news, Paul Evenson will be attending a Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. where the National Legion will confer with Congress persons to inform them of the Legion viewpoints.
Adjutant Siemonsma has sent to each Post member a very important survey which will have an influence on the activities of the Post now and in the future as the Post begins it service to the community for the next 100 years of its presence. There are questions about the members willingness to attend meetings, help with activities, and your ideas to improve the Post. Please do not ignore the survey, give it thorough thought and return it in the envelope provided. The Post has been very successful for 100 and wants to be for another 100 years. Every Post members’ thoughts and feelings are important! Complete the survey!
Each year the Post selects a member who has very active in Legion activities, helped the Post accomplish it goals and serve the community. This year Gary Lyngen has been selected to be Post Legionnaire of the Year and will represent the Post at the District 7 Spring Meeting.
On February 8 the basketball game between Garretson and Beresford has been designated as Military Day and members of the Legion and of the Military who are present will be recognized. Heidi Fink is the contact person for the event and she will have some T-shirts available that recognize the veterans.
The next regular Post meeting will be March1. It will be the Past Commanders and History Night at which the traditional Preface to the Last Mans History will be read followed by the History for 2017. Past Commanders present will make brief remarks and the traditional meal will be served. The Post business meeting will convene at 7:30 PM and the History will follow.
At the conclusion of the meeting the drawing for the Weekly $150 Raffle was conducted. The winners were: Paul Shellum, Lois Myre, Fay Jandreu, Mike Ebbing. Be sure to buy your tickets for the 2018 raffle which are on sale now! Only $50 each! A great buy! Only on sale until April 1.
January 4, 2018
By: Owen Wiese
Before the Meeting of Post 23 twenty members enjoyed a supper of oyster stew and chili prepared and served by Brian Siemonsma and Sharon Warren. Commander Warren opened the meeting at 8:00 PM with prescribed protocol and followed by routine reports and approval of payment of bills. The report of by the Service Officer was quite lengthy. Post member Lionel Froseth had died. He was long time very successful educator in Harrisburg, S.D. and in Ponca, Nebraska and was always interested in education efforts in Garretson. Hennrietta Fix Brebner died. She was a niece of Henry G. Fix for whom this Post is named. Former member Walt Bauman from Jasper died. He was the long time proprietor of Walts Place (now the Sports Cabin) and was well known in Garretson. He had maintained his Legion membership in Jasper. Post member Don Dorsman had knee replacement surgery, and Norb Ponto and Norm Benson have not been well. At the time of this writing Post member Jerome Johnson is in Hospice Care in Luverne.
Membership Chairman Dean Roeman reported that membership is 206 out of a goal of 219. He asked that dues collection be completed by the end of January. Americanism Officer Bob Bennett said that there are two participants in the Legion Oratory and they will present their orations before the local judges soon and the District contest will be January 15.
Paul Evenson said that the Legion reception for State Legislators will by January 7 at the Legion Post in Pierre followed by a banquet in their honor. They will be presented with information about Legislative items of interested to the Legion and all veterans. At the December Post meeting there was a discussion about the establishment of a Veterans Cemetery in Eastern South Dakota. A recent article published in the Argus Leader about the cemetery was not completely accurate and some of the funding needs for the cemetery have not been settled. A little known fact is that there are three National Cemeteries for Native Americans in South Dakota. The National Cemetery in the Black Hills recently received a 200 acre addition from the Bureau of Land Management which will give it capacity for graves for a very long time.
The American Legion is planning an Observance of its 100th Year Of Service with a year long program of activities. There are some questions about when the observance should start and other questions. Hopefully all the questions will be answered with guidance received at the Mid Winter Conference in February. Commander Warren has made some preliminary plans and more will be forthcoming.
The Old Fashioned Christmas Breakfast sponsored by the Commercial Club was successful (they ran out of food). Gary and Cheryl Lyngen and Richard Erickson from the Post helped the service. The member survey sent out by Adjutant Siemonsma has received some responses. More people are urged to respond and make suggestions and also come to meetings. You will not be given a job just because you are there. Your opinions and thoughts are needed.
Warren Aas who has been a full time employee at Legion Headquarters for 14 years is retiring. A decision has not been made whether another full time employee will be hired because the Department Headquarter is trying to cut expenses. The Legion paper is no longer published each month and most information is dispensed by electronic means.
Jim Kurtz is the Chairman of the Legion Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation is sponsoring a fund raising effort by selling raffle tickets for a beautifully engraved .45 Caliber Pistol which will be awarded at the Department Convention in June. A very limited number of these pistols were made and only 600 tickets will be sold. Kurtz has tickets available for $20 each.
A donation of $100 to the Fire Department was approved and approval was given to purchase from the school the projector which was used at the Veterans Day Program.
The Garretson Historical Society will have its Annual Meeting at the Museum January 22. They plan to present a reenactment of the program featuring World War I casualty Martin Haugse which was presented at the Legion Veterans Day program. More information about the program will be published.
Future Post activities include the regular monthly meeting February 1 with dinner at 7:00 PM and the meeting at 8:00, Legion Breakfast February 4 with serving from 9:00AM to 1:00PM, and the District 7 Spring Meeting March 5 in Sioux Falls. The Department Mid Winter Conference will be February 15-16 in Chamberlain.
The drawing for the $150 Weekly prizes had the following winners; Ashley Harris, Steve Tobin, Shirley Flanagan, Harlow Sundem. Be sure to get your tickets for the 2018 Raffle. Sales continue until April 1. Only $50 per ticket. A great buy!