The Foxhole: Post 86 serves entire community
American Legion Post 86 held its annual Flag Retirement Ceremony/picnic, Sunday, Sept. 9. It was a huge success, thanks in large part to some Wilton youth organizations. Boy Scout Troop 20, Webelos Pack 22, Brownie Troop 50734 and players from our own Legion baseball team all contributed not only to the successful set-up and preparation of the ceremony and picnic, but their respectful participation in the flag burning portion of the ceremony helped Post 86 complete a somber task in a meaningful way.
Our partnership with the youth organizations is one of Post 86’s specific missions as a part of the American Legion. We are chartered by Congress to perform various missions. Each year, our national commander must testify before Congress as to our accomplishments as a whole. We at Post 86 make up a small part of that total organization. As we are a small post, we focus our attention on what we consider to be our strength and knowledge to pass on to our local communities. Obviously, veterans and active duty military and their families are at the top of the list; however, children and youth are next in line.
From relating our various experiences in history, to teaching proper etiquette for the American flag, Post 86 members have a sense of accomplishment when interacting with local youth. Our reward is merely the appreciation of these young people. It also comes when we see the results of our teaching. The best example is when people attending parades stand and remove their hats/place their hands over their hearts as the American flag passes by them. This is a basic element of respect for our flag that these same youth take home and tell their families.
We also enjoy going into the schools for various events. Whether it is Veterans Day programs or school award presentations, the veterans of Post 86 continually marvel at what these young men and women, boys and girls all accomplish in varying fields. I am continually amazed at just how much these young people are able to positively contribute to their community. This is why we continue to partner with scouts, schools and baseball players, the sense that we are passing the world to a smarter, more aware generation of young people.
So, please remember that James B. Whipple American Legion Post 86 in Wilton is available to everyone in the local communities, young and old. We are here to assist veterans and their families in any way possible. We invite Boy and Girl Scouts of all levels to contact us for flag etiquette or other learning experiences. For the schools, we offer school awards for outstanding and patriotic students, as well as a high school scholarship. We are also available to come to the schools to relate our military experiences.