Legion Post 131 gets new building

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Post 131 of the American Legion will host their first meeting in their own building on Sept. 9.

They had previously been meeting at the Shops of Columbiana on Main Street in Columbiana.

To make sure they get the best use out of the new building from the first meeting, they are hosting Veterans Administration Outreach Coordinator John Pinion.
Pinion will be available to speak to any veteran about medical benefits available to them through the VA.

New Post Commander Sam Horton is hoping that getting the word out about this particular meeting will attract some new members both young and old.
Sam Horton, newly elected commander of Post 131, wants potential Legion recruits to know that thanks to the previously approved Legion Act, all service members previously unable to join the American Legion may do so no matter what time period they served, as long as they have an honorable discharge from the branch of military in which they served.
Horton shared with us that his friend Ray Payne, a 78-year-old veteran, has finally been able to join the post thanks to Legion Act.

Payne had not served during a conflict and previously had not been able to participate.

“This new law affects a lot of men who served honorably but weren’t being recognized for their service. I’m glad to see that Trump signed it into law,” Horton said. “They deserve to be members, too.”

Post 131 is passionate about helping those who have served.

They welcome all vets that meet the criteria, and they are particularly interested in bringing in younger vets.

Most of the current veterans in Post 131 are Vietnam veterans.

Horton and other members want to ensure there are people continuing to reach out to the next generation of veterans, so they recognize that bringing in Gulf War vets and vets from other conflicts since the Gulf War will make a difference for the men and women that serve in future generations.
The men and women of the Columbiana American Legion are making big plans when it comes to ways they can serve going forward.

The September meeting will also include a ceremony to remember soldiers who are MIA and POW.

They will also be out in force for the annual Monster Walk on Main Street in Columbiana. “There will be something for us to do in the community every single month,” Horton said.

If you are interested in finding out more about the American Legion or Post 131, contact Post Commander Sam Horton at (205) 572-2115 or come to the next meeting at the new American Legion building on Mildred Street in Columbiana next to the senior center. Meetings are on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.