VETERANS CORNER

We had the monthly meeting at Houston’s American Legion Post 41 on Thursday, Jan. 11.

Discussion at the meeting revolved around the potential sale of the Legion building (on U.S. 63 next to Pizza Hut), declining membership and a general lack of participation among members.

The post has another raffle going on that will end in February. It is for a primitive cook set including Lodge brand cast iron.

Post Sergeant at Arms Robert DeMitry has proposed a Veterans Fair to be held on Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 19). Some of the activities would include a 50-50 raffle and a cook out. I intend to share more information about the proposed event over the next couple of months.

To mention a bit of history, Georgia was the fifth state to secede from the union prior to the Civil War.

And in May 1943, the U.S. Army operation began to recapture the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese.

A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches and equipment that failed to operate due to frigid weather caused great hardship for the American soldiers.

The Japanese forces didn’t contest the U.S. landings on the island, but instead dug in on high ground away from the shore.

The result was a bloody battle ending with 580 Americans and more than 2,000 Japanese killed.

Attu Island was the site of the only World War II land battle fought in an incorporated U.S. territory, and its battlefield area is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

There used to be a handful of residents on the remote island (which is about 1,100 miles from the Alaskan mainland and about 750 miles from the Kurile Islands of Russia), but it became uninhabited in 2010.

With the arctic weather we are (not) enjoying, there’s not a lot happening locally with the Legion this month or the next.

So stay warm, and remember that from 9 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday, the Legion building in Houston is open to the public. Generally there is coffee, hot tea and donuts, and everyone is welcome to stop in and visit.

Houston resident Keith Ford is a retired infantryman and an amateur writer whose work has appeared in publications around the world. Email kf4tap@yahoo.com.

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