Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Charlat takes command at American Legion

Express Staff Writer

The David Ketchum American Legion Post 115 welcomed a new leader with the election of Korean War veteran Maurice Charlat as post commander.

Charlat, who replaces Tom Johnson, was installed April 13.

More than a venue to exchange war stories, the American Legion is active in civic affairs, especially youth programs, Charlat said.

"The American Legion is dedicated and devoted to veterans' affairs," Charlat said. "From a social standpoint, there's some commonality of backgrounds and purpose."

Charlat headed the gift committee last year but says he will leave the bulk of those duties to others.

"The gift committee will continue to operate without interference from the post commander," he said.

A broad range of civic organizations in the community benefit from American Legion donations, Charlat said.

"There is sufficient money to help veterans and sufficient money to help youth," he said.

Among youth programs supported by the American Legion are Boys State, Girls State and American Legion baseball.

Post officers installed this month are: Frank Lawson as first vice commander; Sam Kory and Rod Koleno, second vice commanders; Jeanne Koleno, adjutant; Leon Ellis as finance officer; Reginald Reeves, service officer; Bill Cassell, chaplain; and Jim Hitson, as sergeant at arms.

The ladies' auxiliary also elected a leader. Elaine Charlat will serve a second term as president.

Approximately 184 members make up the David Ketchum Post, Charlat said, with half of those actively participating in activities.

Members of the American Legion must have spent time in the military during a time that the government designated as a period of conflict.

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