ShareThis Page

American Legion recognizes veterans for the holidays

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:19 p.m.

The Byers-Tosh American Legion Post 267 will present gifts to local veterans who have served in the past and those who are currently serving in the U.S. military, Every year for the last decade, veterans in the community are sought out during the Christmas season to receive a gift from Post 267, the Sons of the American Legion and the America Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

“We try to do the best we can for the local veterans and their families,” said Roy Hutchinson, commander of the American Legion in Ligonier.

Donated money is collected, usually about $15 or $20 per member, and a gift is purchased for each local veteran, or a check is given to the facility where the vet resides, allowing them to choose a gift for themselves, said Hutchinson.

This year, approximately 30 local veterans living in Bethlen Home and Ligonier Gardens - both part of the Bethlen Communities in Ligonier - and Nedrow's Personal Care Home in Stahlstown, will be given a Christmas gift from the organization.

Usually the week before Christmas, several of the Legion's members will visit the retirement facilities and meet with the veterans in an activity area, or go room to room to visit with them and drop off gifts, Hutchinson said.

Previous year's gifts have been shaving kits for the men and perfume and lotion baskets for the women. This year the suggestion has been made to get the residents cardigan sweaters.

“It's very nice of the American Legion,” said Sherry Humbertson, of Derry, the activities director of Bethlen Communities, “They've always been supportive of our veterans, not just at Christmastime.”

For the past five years, the ladies auxiliary also put together boxes of comfort items to send to local active service members deployed overseas.

“Normally when boxes are sent abroad, it's a first-come, first-serve basis. We want to be sure the men and women who are from our area receive gifts, so every year we try to round up as many names as we can,” said the auxiliary's president Janet Carns of Laughlintown.

Carns urges anyone with a family member or friend currently serving overseas to contact the post to add their loved one's name to the list of local veterans.

Items such as cocoa, unopened razors, over-the-counter medicine, snacks, hand warmers and batteries are sent to those who are currently abroad, said Carns.

Legion members also celebrate with the families of veterans during the annual Christmas Party. This year's party is Dec. 18 at the Ligonier Legion.

“We have a tree up and Santa will be there to visit with the kids,” said Hutchinson. All American Legion members are asked, in lieu of gifts to each other, to bring a new T-shirt or package of socks to be donated to the Union Mission in Latrobe.

Any excess of gift items collected for the comfort boxes will also be given to the Union Mission, which is a temporary shelter that helps men over 18, a large portion of which are veterans, in Westmoreland County.

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to help local veterans, or anyone who would like to add a veteran's name to the list of those to be honored, should contact the post located on Kelly Street in Ligonier, or call 724-238-5525.

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.