American Legion Shirley-Holloway Post 131 revives

(L-R) Front row: Chaplain Charlie Boyd, Sgt. at Arms Dennis Ratliff, Commander Mike Northcutt, Vice Commander Bill Ackley, and Finance Officer Les Jordan. Back row: Rev. Vincent Turner, Tim Haney, Archie Haynes, VSO Harry Moon, Ron Jefferson, State Scouting Chair Mike Welborn and Charles Rutledge. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

The American Legion is back in Columbiana!

“The Shirley-Holloway Post 131 of the American Legion, a non-profit 501 (c) (19) organization, was first chartered in Columbiana on April 24, 1931, as a patriotic organization devoted to mutual helpfulness,” said Commander Mike Northcutt. “The American Legion is the nation’s largest veteran’s service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

“Membership is open to anyone currently serving on active duty in the US military or honorably discharged veterans who served during any recognized period of war,” Northcutt said. Membership is also open to members of the National Guard and Reserves, and the Post is actively seeking new members.

Post 131 is named for WWI veterans Edward and Winfred Shirley (Chelsea), brothers who were killed in action one day apart, and Willie Holloway (Shelby).

First Post Commanders were: A.A. Lauderdale (1931-1932); S.A. Lokey (1933); T.H. Reinhardt (1934, 1939); Frank Head (1936-1937, 1940); and Thomas A. Mims (1939). Current member Archie Haynes is a WWII Marine who served at the battle of Midway. Members Dennis Ratliff and Ron Jefferson served in Vietnam and Mayor Allen Lowe served in the Gulf War. The Post recently unanimously endorsed Rev. Vincent Turner (Helena) for the candidacy of the office of Chaplain, American Legion Department of Alabama.

The Legion will be celebrating its 80th anniversary on May 1 at 3 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial, donated by the Legion in 1954, and is located next to the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana. There will be a formal flag retirement ceremony, open to the public, where the Legion will properly give honor to American flags that have become old and tattered. It is a solemn, patriotic and inspirational ceremony.

Legion member Harry Moon is the Veteran Service Officer (VSO) for Shelby County. The VSO office is in the John Jones Building next to the SC Exhibition Hall. Moon is the go between the veteran or his widow to guide them on receiving their benefits from the Veterans Administration. Moon helps with the proper paper work and this service is free of charge.

The Post meets at 7 p.m. every second Thursday in the Columbiana Recreation Building across from SCHS. For more information visit the Post website at Alpost131.org, call 205-913-0105 or email bamavaman@msn.com.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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