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NY post using anniversary as 'teaching event'

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The 100-year anniversary of the death of Samuel Young American Legion Post 620’s namesake took place this week. But rather than honor the World War I casualty quietly with a small post ceremony, Post 620 is opening its doors to the public to share the story of Young, World War I and the 100 years of The American Legion.

Post 620 – located in the Bronx, N.Y., neighborhood of Pelham Bay – will host events Oct. 5-7 at its facility at 1530 Hutchinson River Parkway. Post 620 Commander Owen Mangan said the anniversary of Young’s death tied in well with an effort to commemorate the end of World War I and the establishment of The American Legion.

“We all thought that because history isn’t really taught any more, this would be an opportunity to tell the people in the neighborhood (and) the schools about what World War I was – especially as the post is named after a kid who went over there and died,” Mangan said. “We figured people should know about that. People should know about The American Legion. It’s more of a teaching event for us than anything else.”

On Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., the post will kick off the celebration with a screening of the World War I film “Johnny Got His Gun” as a way to celebrate the end of World War I in November 2018 and the ensuing founding of The American Legion by veterans of the war.

From 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 6 and 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 7, the post will host audio-visual exhibits that highlight different aspects of World War I and World War I reenactors. The post will screen what is considered by many to be the best film about World War I, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

And at 6 p.m. on Oct. 7, actor Alex Morf will read the letters Young wrote to his family and friends while training and then after being deployed to Europe.

Morf told the Bronx Times that he is preparing for his role by reviewing the letters, noting that Young’s New York roots were evident in his language and colloquialisms that were typical of someone from the city at that time. “You can hear New York in the way he writes,” said Morf.

Sunday will also include a rededication of the post named for Young, who was wounded and died in France on Oct. 3, 1918, making him the first and youngest neighborhood soldier to be killed in World War I.

Mangan said Post 620 serves an important purpose in its neighborhood, both for the veterans it represents and the community as a whole. He noted that the post just recently hosted local high school students participating in a mentoring program as an example of how the Legion opens its door to its neighbors.

“We’re always welcoming people,” he said. “We have other schools that use the place for various events such as award ceremonies and stuff like that. And anytime we do anything like a barbecue it’s open to the community.

“We do still have some people come in and say ‘I lived in the neighborhood my whole life and I never knew this place was here.’ And it turns out they were in the (military). There’s another member. It’s good publicity for us, and it’s good relations for us and the community.”


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Memorial to war on terror progressing

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For several years, the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation has been working on the initial stages of getting a national memorial to a conflict now in its 17th year built in Washington, D.C.

In 2017, the same year that Congress officially authorized the foundation’s efforts, the American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 16 supporting the memorial’s construction.

One important step was finding the right person to head the foundation, and that person is president/CEO Michael “Rod” Rodriguez. Rodriguez spent 21 years in the Army – including the Green Berets – in service that spanned the pre- and post-9/11 eras. He remembers that enlistment numbers “skyrocketed” in the wake of the attacks, and adds, “I think everyone was reminded of their patriotism.” During his military career, he “found that my passion was to serve others,” which led him to head the foundation.

In addition to Rodriguez, a leadership team, advisory board and set of ambassadors have been selected. The honorary chairman of the foundation is former President George W. Bush. Rodriguez has history with Bush, and comments, “It’s humbling to have him join the team …. I’ve always loved serving our commanders in chief.” The foundation sought out experts and thought leaders in various areas; “we wanted a diverse group of people who understand and support the mission,” Rodriguez says.

The 2017 congressional resolution passed the House of Representatives in a “pretty amazing” six months, according to Rodriguez. For war memorials, there is usually an embargo period, of sorts, of 10 years from the end of the conflict before construction can begin. But given the ongoing nature of the war, that requirement was waived after discussions with elected officials.

Now, the foundation is turning its attention to three factors: fundraising, site selection – they are hoping for a spot in Area 1, near the White House, National Mall and other war memorials – and beginning to think about design. When it comes to the latter, a high premium is being placed on input from all possible sources; Rodriguez says that focus groups are being conducted around the country with a “broad, diverse group … everyone.” The main goal is to “offer a space inviting to everyone.” Thus, social media is a big part of getting the word out.

Rodriguez envisions the memorial as a popular site for re-enlistment, retirement or other ceremonies. And time spans like that are entirely in keeping with the scale of this project. “This is not a 9/11 memorial,” he emphasizes. “It’s about what we did afterwards.”

Learn more about the memorial project at www.gwotmemorialfoundation.org.


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Mammograms recommended for early detection of breast cancer

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Naval Hospital Pensacola is taking the opportunity to educate patients about the dangers of breast cancer and the importance of getting checked.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making breast cancer the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. Yet breast cancer also has one of the highest survival rates, largely thanks to early detection services such as screening mammograms.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year approximately 268,000 women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 41,000 will lose their life from it.

“Breast Cancer affects one in eight women in a lifetime and one percent of men,” said Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman Naomi Perez, leading chief petty officer of Internal Medicine Clinic and certified mammogram technician. “Breast cancer does not discriminate. It does not care if you are thin or heavy, rich or poor. A lot of people refer to breast cancer as the silent killer because you can feel fine and have no symptoms, but may still have breast cancer. That is why it is so important to do the annual mammogram.”

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray procedure used to detect the early stages of breast cancer long before it can be felt and usually years before physical symptoms can manifest. If detected early, breast cancer treatment can be less invasive and more successful. Some warning signs of breast cancer include a lump in the breast or armpit, nipple discharge, any change in the size or shape of the breast or pain in the breast.

The American Cancer Society’s recommended screening guidelines allow women between 40 to 44 years of age the option for an annual mammography; 45 to 54 years of age should have an annual mammogram; and those 55 years of age and older may transition to biennial mammogram or maintain annual mammogram.

“Don’t be afraid of getting a mammogram because the 15 minutes of discomfort is well worth it to add years to your life,” said Perez. “Physical exams are not as thorough as a simple once a year mammogram exam. This 15 minute exam has saved many lives.

“Think of the mammogram as a photograph, and each year a picture is taken that can build a history to compare to previous images to the most recent,” said Perez. “This allows us to detect changes in the tissue over time.”

Michelle Wilkes, a certified breast cancer navigator at NHP, explained that women are never too old or too young to get breast cancer and the earlier the cancer is detected the more successful the patient will be with treatment.

If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, Wilkes is available to assist with the treatment and recovery process. She will ensure beneficiaries receive everything they need, both physically and emotionally.

“The purpose of my position is to navigate patients with breast cancers or even breast concerns through this emotional and medically challenging time in their life,” said Wilkes. “Patients diagnosed with cancer are overwhelmed and they need help to navigate the complex medical system.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.


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Canadian museum exhibit spotlights Vietnam War, its veterans

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A video now available on YouTube examines a Canadian war exhibit, with participation by an American Legion member.

“Tour of Duty: Canadians and the Vietnam War” will run through Jan. 13, 2019, at the Military Museums in Calgary, Alberta. According to the museum’s website, “This personality-based exhibit will relate a range of soldiers’ perspectives on the Vietnam War. Artifacts and oral histories from Canadians who were there will be presented. The central narrative will cover the estimated 40,000 Canadian citizens who enlisted in the U.S. military and fought overseas in the war. Other stories will be presented, including U.S. and South Vietnamese veterans who later moved to Canada.

“Importantly, Canada’s official connection with the war will also be presented – the story of the International Commission of Control and Supervision. This little-known peacekeeping mission was responsible for overseeing the American withdrawal, and enabling the repatriation of hundreds of American POWs. The veterans associated with the Vietnam War have received very little recognition in Canada, and we hope to help correct this oversight.”

The Calgary Herald ran a story, and accompanying video, on the exhibit. Featured in the latter part of that video is Jim Grosset. Grosset is a Vietnam War Army veteran who lives in Calgary – and is a member of American Legion Post CN20, also in Calgary. He is currently post adjutant, and has also served as post commander, district and department commander for Montana, as well as 2014-2015 president of FODPAL (Foreign and Outlying Departments and Posts of the American Legion). In the video, Grosset encourages people to visit the exhibit, stating, “It’s heartwarming … this whole thing. I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Grosset added to The American Legion, "I am so happy that we can show the citizens of Calgary and the area what we were about, and that we were not alone as some 40,000 other Canadians also served. My hopes are that we can find some of the U.S. vets who live in Calgary and do not know about The American Legion, and let them know what we are about and give help to those who need it."


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Get Out the Vote for Election Day

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Election Day for 2018 is Nov. 6. And The American Legion has several materials to help posts start planning “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) efforts now.

On The American Legion's voting web page at www.legion.org/vote, there are GOTV brochures for download, sample radio announcements and news press releases. The “Get Out the Vote” brochure provides ideas on how posts can participate in and promote the electoral process in an effort to motivate U.S. citizens of legal age to exercise their right to vote. Legionnaires can serve as poll volunteers, host or participate in nonpartisan candidate forums, place public service announcements in local media that promote registration and voting, distribute GOTV promotional materials and more.

During GOTV promotional efforts, it is imperative to remember that The American Legion is nonpartisan and will not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of any candidate or party. For example, when a Legion post hosts or sponsors a candidate forum or debate, it must be open to the public and all candidates must be invited. Any impression of endorsement or support must be avoided. Individual Legion members may support candidates of their choosing. However, Legionnaires engaged in partisan activities – such as attending a candidate’s rally – should do so without wearing the Legion cap or other Legion attire.

How is your post supporting GOTV efforts? Share on the Legion's website, www.legiontown.org.

Post 962 in Reading, Pa., is hosting a celebration Oct. 7 for newly registered and first-time voters. The post will conduct voter registration; a training session on voting machines; a two-part seminar for people who want to better understand the federal government and how the political system works; conversations on issues such as criminal-justice reform, immigration, the environment, education and health care; and more.


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