Post 347 Veterans and Community Outreach
VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER
We are fortunate to have two American Legion state certified Service Officers (John Trenkle and T C Biddle) at our Post. The mission of our American Legion Service Officers is to inform veterans of the VA benefits they have earned by serving in the armed forces; and to assist the development, preperation and submittal of VA claims.
Both of our Service Officers are annually certified by the American Legion. John Tenkle was awarded the Florida State Department Service Officer of the year for 2008 - 2009.
For help all you need to do is make an appointment. All service work is confidential. A veteran does not have to be a member of the American Legion to get Service Officer assistance.
?HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A POST SERVICE OFFICER?
The Service Officers have office hours each Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. They are there to assist all veterans and the veteran's family (surviving spouse and dependents) to obtain the benefits they are entitled to. Call the Post at 352 - 750 - 2099 any weekday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM and ask for a Service Officer's telephone number. Call the Service Officer to get an appointment scheduled.
POST 347 HONOR GUARD
The Honor Guard’s mission is to provide Military honors at funerals of deceased members of our Post’s Legionnaires, Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion, who are veterans, when requested by members of the family. There is no charge for this service but most families make a donation .
The Post Commander has authorized additional assignments for the Honor Guard to provide Military Honors for funerals at various churches, Funeral Homes and even at the end of a street.
The Honor Guard also does Flag presentations for the opening days of the Lady Lake Little League and Soccer. Also important days are Memorial Day and Flag Day each year with multiple events at each. The Honor Guard also opens and closes each of the Legionnaires’ meetings. In the recent past they were on national television at the Capitol One Bowl game in Orlando and a Tampa Rays baseball game in Tampa.
Currently the Honor Guard has 65 members but it has openings for more Legionnaires who wish to join.
Our Honor Guard is a very busy group of veterans and ones the Post can be proud of.
For more details and whom to contact click here
SONS OF THE LEGION
Several of the Sons go to Homewood Nursing home at Freedom Point every other Saturday to entertain Veterans who are residents of Homewood. The hour plus program that is presented each visit may consist of a speaker of interest such as a surviving Tuskegee airman, a veteran that has an interesting story to tell or musical entertainment.
The Sons pitch in and help with the organization and behind the scenes work for the Legion Golf Tournament. Proceeds go to help those in the community who are in need. They help with the Legion Auxiliary with Poppy Sales and the Salvation Army with bell ringers.
The Sons are the people who put on Italian Night food specialties every Thursday and serve food during the football season on Sundays.
The Sons help financially support the Legion with the funds they raise such as Boys’ State.
Donation to the community include Childrens’ Welfare Network, Make a Wish Foundation and Special Olympics. They are entertaining this year to donate to The Legion Legacy Building fund and also fund a scholarship for a deserving high school senior.
For more information on the Sons of the Americal Legion
Post 347 is fortunate to have a Post Chaplain that has been through training at The Department of Florida. He bring skills and talents to our members and their families.The Chaplain’s primary focus is on visiting those members who are in hospitals and nursing homes or (private homes if asked to?). Our Chaplain sends cards to those who are ill and a letter of condolence from the Post to the surviving family of the deceased which contains the Post’s offer of any help that we can render.He is also available for burial service at Bushnell in the company of the Honor Guard.Chaplain Lon Hertel would like to have an assistant who could help him in his duties for our 3000 members.
Post 347 has been very active in committee outreach with many activities focused on the youth of our area.
Each year for the past 6 years this Post has sent 10 high school Juniors from The Villages Charter School, Leesburg High School and Forest Hill High School to the state Capital for a week, with all expenses paid by The Post, where they stay in college dormitory rooms. They will take seats in the Legislature where they will learn the duties and responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by elected and appointed officials placed in office by the citizens of Boys State. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentation, assemblies, band, glee clubs and recreational programs. A 4 year college scholarship is presented to the top participator as selected be judges. All the participants return from their week at Tallahassee proud of their accomplishments and confidence gained during this week. We continue to hear back from past participants and are happy to be a strong supporter of this program.
For several years we have financed and held the American Legion High School Oratorical contest which included students from Leesburg High School and The Villages Charter School. The contest was developed primarily to instill a greater understanding and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States among high school students. There are several levels of competition with scholarships for the top orators at each level.
SCHOOL MEDALS PROGRAM
The Post working in conjunction teachers from The Villages Elementary School and The Villages Charter School supplies military style medals to each of the graduating classrooms based on their showing attributes throughout the year that the Legion believes is important to young people.
We give financial support Cub Pack 244 and let them use our facilities for meetings as well financing a spaghetti dinner for them as a fund raiser for the pack.