What's Happening @ the 35th

Christmas Baskets - 2020

People left to right – Front Row: Ken Marston, Guy Linscott, Mary Ann Neal, Betty Splettstoesser
People left to right – Back Row: Doug Kohnke, Tony Batchelor,Ed Seymourian, Wes Splettstoesser

Yesterday a hardy group of volunteers led by Post Finance Officer, Ken Marston, packed 20 Christmas Baskets. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas the members of the Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 in South Portland pack up 40 baskets, actually Banana Boxes, to give to needy Vets. The Post budgets $500.00 each year to defray the cost of this project. Since this is a budget item the funds are designated to that cause. As you well know because of COVID – 19 the Post has seen a drastic reduction in its rental income. However thru the generosity of fellow Vets and the people of the Greater Portland area we were able to collect $1,100.00 in donations. That will allow us to divert that budgeted amount to help other Vets at a time other than Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This annual event started well over 20 years ago and each year it has expanded. This year we gave out 41 baskets. The local Coast Guard Sector gets the majority of the baskets with the balance going to the Portland Vet Service Center in Portland. At Thanksgiving we provide a basket for an 87 year old Veteran and his family and just today we gave a basket to a 89 year old Veteran. It is so nice to be able to help out even this little bit to support the Vets that helped make this country what it is today.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant

 

Pearl Harbor Rememberance Day

Seventy nine years ago “A Day that will live in infamy” as quoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt is remembered each year on this day. Few of us were alive and those who were will never forget that day. My uncle had graduated from High School in June 39’ and signed up with the Marines. My father had to wait until he graduated in 41’ but went right in. Uncle Vergil was wounded on Iwo Jima and spent the rest of the war in the hospital with a head wound. Dad was a mechanic on B-24 Bombers and never left the States.

Every one of them has a story but few of those old vets are still around to tell theirs. We consider them all heroes but they will to the last man and woman say otherwise.

So as we the children and grandchildren of these soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, coast guardsman and merchant marines look back we honor them all.

Today the members and guests of the South Portland War Veteran’s Memorial Association honor their memory with a wreath provided by the Worcester Wreath Company of Columbia Falls Maine for their donation of the wonderful wreath. The wreath is part of their Wreaths across America program and was sent to Jennifer Kirk a member of the South Portland School Board. Jennifer brought the wreath to the attention of the Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 in South Portland. The Post Commander Guy Linscott organized a short ceremony on this special day. City Councilwoman Sue Henderson spoke on behalf of the City of south Portland.

If you are ever Down East stop in at Columbia Fall and visit the small Military Museum there. I have been there and it is well worth the drive. The Museum, started by the Worcester Wreath Company and, is free but they accepts donations.

Michael R. Pock – Secretary SPWVMA

 

Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 Thanksgiving Baskets

Once again the members of Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 are preparing to pack Thanksgiving Baskets. Actually they are Banana Boxes collected over the past few months from the local grocery stores. Each basket is the equivalent of a Turkey dinner for a family of five or six. The contents have not varied over the years but the number of recipients has. Originally it was a few baskets, no one really know what that number was. However the number is now 20 at Thanks giving and 20 at Christmas. Each box includes a 10 to 12 pound Turkey, Potatoes, Squash, Celery, Onions, Apples, Oranges, Canned Pumpkin, Jell-O, Pudding Mix, Cake Mix, Frosting, Soup, and Gravy. More than enough for a good meal with leftover.

The baskets have gone different places over the years. Recently there have been more going to the Vets Center in Portland. With COVID -19 going on there are more people in need.

The cost of the supplies are a budget item for Post 35, but many of the members have traditionally given a certain item like canned pumpkin or gravy. They always get a funny look as they go thru the cashier with 20 jars of gravy 20 pounds of apples or oranges. When we tell them where they are going people really respond differently. This year we will be picking up 40 frozen Turkeys and start packing. It is really quite and assembly line process and a lot of fun for a good cause.

Michael R. Pock - Adjutant 

 

Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 Celebrates Veterans Day

South Portland War Veterans Memorial Association, which mostly consists of the members of Stewart P. Morrill American Legion members and a few local VFW members, celebrate Veterans Day despite COVID – 19.

Even though the regular parade, put on by the SPWVMA , consisting of various community organization, school bands, DAV members, Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard and Police and Fire Color Guards and a sprinkling of Boys and Girls Scouts and Antique Cars was not held on Memorial Day or Veterans Day the day still exist.

SPWVMA planted flag on veteran’s graves in the many South Portland cemeteries on Memorial Day and held a short ceremony at the Monument in Mill Creek Park on Veterans Day. The Commander of Post 35 spoke about remembering the men and women who gave their lives during our past wars or died from injuries because of those wars that have passed away. Councilwoman Sue Henderson spoke on behalf of the City of South Portland and mentioned all the nurses she worked with that were veterans of Viet Nam and the Gulf Wars. Post Chaplain closed with a short prayer

We all have brothers, sisters, fathers, mother, aunts, uncles and who knows how many members from our family trees who gave their all to allow us the freedom we all enjoy every day of the week. 

Freedom isn’t Free