by Bob Ravenscraft

Boots-Dickson Post 174 American Legion

Finally, after all these years, the National American Legion has opened its eligibility dates to all veterans who have served honorably in America’s military service. Previously membership in the American Legion was restricted to service relating to certain dates of service. Now anyone who has served since Dec. 7, 1941 and up to the present time may join. Our local post has supported this move for years.

The American Legion Post 174 in Palmyra is vital part of our community. Its many programs benefit young people of the area through its scholarships for deserving senior class students at both Palmyra High School and Marion County R-II in Philadelphia. Its oratorical contests help students learn about our Constitution while developing public speaking abilities.

The Cadet Patrol Academy has helped give students interested in law enforcement career to get a start in that vocation.

Post 174’s school awards program recognizes fine character of deserving students, while sponsorship of Boy Scouts keeps that program continuous.

Boots-Dickson Post 174 participates in our local parades, bringing ‘Old Glory’ down Main Street. Donations to various causes and other programs also benefit our community. Post 174 provides graveside services at funeral for all veterans, with a 21 gun salute, whether members of our post or not.

However, the post always is in need of attracting new members to sustain all of our programs. With the demise of so many WWII and Korean War veterans, membership has fallen over the past decade.

If you are a veteran, regardless of dates of service, Post 174 of the American Legion asks that you consider joining us. We will welcome you with open arms.

On another subject, Post Commander Robert Dodd will be retiring as commander in a few weeks after eight years, longer than any commander of the past 100 years. He also has served as district commander of an 11 county area of northeast Missouri over the past two years, in addition to continuing as Post 174 commander.

During his tenure, Commander Dodd has attracted great participation in our post. He has brought in numerous new members who are now participating in our programs. However, bringing in new people does not always keep up with the passing of older members. Sustaining a strong, robust membership base is essential to the success we have had in our community over the past century.

If you are interested in joining our ranks, contact any of our many active members, or simply show up at our monthly meeting which are held every first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at our post home.