American Legion post may come to Pelham

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Pelham may soon join thousands of communities across the world in gaining its own American Legion post.

The American Legion was founded by Congress in 1919, and according to the group’s website, it is “the nation’s largest wartime veterans services organization.”

“Our main objective is to give back,” Commander Sergeant Major Barry Blount said. “We as a post will try to open doors for our youth in Pelham to show their abilities.”

The American Legion sponsors numerous youth activities, including baseball, speaking contests and government education programs, Blount said.

“There’s scholarship money in all of this,” Blount added, stressing the American Legion looks to create opportunities for the youth. “I’m just excited that we have this talent, especially here locally. I’d like to see our youth put on the map.”

In addition to working with the youth, the American Legion supports current members of the military, veterans and their families.

“We get them information, support them… help them understand their benefits,” Blount explained. “We do a lot of volunteering, it’s just giving back to our neighbors and fellow soldiers.”

As a national organization, the American Legion also works in Washington to “get benefits” and “get laws changed to protect our veterans,” Blount said.

Any honorably discharged veteran is welcome to join the American Legion, and an informational meeting will be held at Pelham’s Senior Center on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m.

At least 15 people are needed to form a new post and membership in the post is not limited to Pelham residents, residents of neighboring cities are welcome to join, Blount said.

“There is a lot of potential here (in Pelham),” Blount said. “We (the American Legion) have a lot to offer.”