Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Legion, VFW bring veterans together


While you will find veterans in every civic and charitable organization in Fayette County, the American Legion Post 105 in Fayetteville and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9949 in Peachtree City are made up entirely of veterans.

Both organizations have a long list of good causes they support through donations of time and money. Members also enjoy the companionship of those who have had similar experiences.

Men and women of all ages participate in the monthly meetings and outside activities. Many veterans are members of both organizations.

The American Legion Post 105 meets the second Monday evening of each month at the Log Cabin on Ga. Highway 85 in Fayetteville. The American Legion is the largest veterans organization in the United States.

Current commander John Dufresne invites veterans to "join the team that serves the local community and is a voice to Congress about issues important to activity duty servicemen, veterans and their families."

Some of the local programs and activities of the Legion include a high school oratory contest on the U.S. Constitution, Fayette firefighter and law enforcement recognition, academy appointees recognition, a quarterly visit to the VA hospital in Decatur, and Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies.

The group also sponsors a needy Fayette family each Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To become a member of the American Legion an individual must have served on active duty or in the Reserves during the Persian Gulf, Panama, Lebanon/Grenada, Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II or the Merchant Marines (Dec. 7, 1941 - 1945). Members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard are eligible.

Contact John Dufresne at (H) 770-631-2494 or (W) 770-486-9588 for more information about joining The American Legion Post 105. Contact Donna Barnett at 770-719-4743 for more information about joining the Ladies Auxiliary.

General information regarding the American Legion can be found at either or

The VFW meets at the Gathering Place in Peachtree City the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. The VFW is the oldest major veterans organization in America.

There are 9,500 posts with members from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and all the expeditionary campaigns through Bosnia.

There are four "cornerstones" of the VFW's foundation:

preserving veterans rights;

advocating a strong national defense;

promoting patriotism; and

offering community service.

The local VFW Post in Peachtree City is the proud recipient of many awards. This month a large group traveled to Macon for the state convention to accept awards in numerous categories. "We won all the honors!" said current commander Frank Hyde.

The group's next major project will be to find a permanent post "home." They are hoping to enlist the aid of local businesses, individuals and civic groups in obtaining an acre of land to build a post.

According to Hyde, "It doesn't need to be a prime piece of property."

If you would like to assist the group through a donation of land or money, please contact Hyde at 770-487-8304.

The post has 85 members. Some of them visit the 14 veterans of foreign wars at Southland Nursing Home each month, giving each a "goodie bag" filled with treats based on the needs of the individual veteran (some have special dietary needs).

The post donated a commemorative brick in each of the veteran's names and awarded them a free membership in the VFW. The veterans currently living at Southland are Gerrard Huddleston, Paul Lewis, T.K. Davis, Jack Smith, Col. Bernard O'Neal, Frank Stagnari, James Spear,


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