Archive for Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Vets hope to revive Legion post

June 5, 2002

Jim Rogers wants to see the Tonganoxie American Legion chapter grow.

A Vietnam veteran who lost both legs when he stepped on a land mine, Rogers has lived in Tonganoxie since 1980. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7026, Kansas City, Kan., American Legion Post 188, Armourdale, and the Disabled American Veterans Post 1.

Rogers said he and his wife, Mary, had noticed that the state's American Legion newsletter mentioned there was an American Legion Chapter in Tonganoxie the Lester Hamel Post 41.

Rogers contacted the state and learned there are 14 members in the local chapter. And Rogers said he's located four members of other chapters, including himself, who said they would be willing to transfer membership to the Tonganoxie chapter, and one veteran who does not belong to the Legion who said he would join.

Pat Sparks, a 34-year member of the local chapter, in recent years has served as the chapter's adjutant.

Sparks, who served nine months in Vietnam in 1968, said, "I think it would be a very good possibility that they could become more active again if they could get some post officers who have time to devote to some activity."

In recent years, Sparks said, the local chapter has not been active, other than to sponsor American Legion baseball.

Before that, he said, Bill Stephenson oversaw the post.

"Bill Stephenson was post commander and adjutant the whole nine yards simply because there wasn't an active post and he took care of everything," Sparks said.

Sparks, a lieutenant with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, said he would plan on being a part of the revived post. And, he added, when he retires he thinks he'll probably have more time to devote to it.

The next meeting of the Tonganoxie American Legion chapter is set for 7:30 p.m. June 19 in the basement of the Masonic Lodge, 311 S. Delaware.

To learn more about participating in the Tonganoxie American Legion post, contact Jim Rogers at (913) 369-2193.

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