AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS
The Riders had their first meeting of 2018 on February 6th
and started the year off right by donating
$5,000 to the Friends of the Pittsburgh Fisher House. On-hand
representing the FoPFH was Post 712’s own, Mr. Jim Bruder.
Also present were Bill Melilli and his son, BJ. Bill and BJ
own, The Gun Rack, in Belle Vernon, PA and partnered with the Riders
to sponsor a gun raffle to raise money for the Pittsburgh Fisher
House. The Riders and The Gun Rack each donated a gun, both
Springfield .45 caliber, Model 1911 pistols, to be raffled off, with
all proceeds being donated to the Fisher House. Thank you to Bill
and BJ for your partnership and thank you Jim for the great work you
do. And in keeping with Rider traditions of good food, good friends
and camaraderie, the donation ceremony and meeting were followed by
a catered meal presented by Joe and Dee from the Soldier’s Place
Restaurant. Joe and Dee prepared homemade meatball hoagies that were
simply delicious and were very reasonably priced. It was a great
As of the writing of this article the first two days of Lent at
the Legion have been completed. The Riders volunteered to support
Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent by working at the Post to
help with the odd jobs of cleaning tables, taking out the trash,
serving as the host/hostess and just generally being there to help.
The reason we do this is that Post 712 and the Soldier’s Place
Restaurant share the profits from Lent at the Legion, which aids
greatly in the financial support of Post 712. A tremendous Thank you
goes out to the Riders and friends who came out to support Lent
at the Legion: Bill Allan, Donna Allan, Tom Bodner, John Caligiure,
Loren Contreras, John Dillon, Susan Dillon, Mike Dudenas, Ron Dulak,
Ed Harmon, Dave Harris, Kevin Jackson, Larry Jageman, Ken Lancaster,
Rob Mansberry, Ann McCullough, Larry Murin, Lee Phillips, Margie
Phillips, Melissa Stefanic, Bill Weikel and Beverly Weikel. And
of course, having worked up an appetite with all of that
volunteering, each night the Riders ended the evening by sitting
down and enjoying a meal of fish or shrimp together. The meal was
scrumptious and the camaraderie of doing our good deed of the day
and being with friends is always great.
The Country lost another member of, The Greatest Generation, when
on February 12th
Mr. Thomas Oeler passed away. Mr. Oeler was the
father of Riders Air Force Veteran Dan Oeler and the grandfather of
Riders Active Duty Air Force Airman Tim Oeler. During WWII Mr. Oeler
was assigned to the 826th
Amphibian Tractor Battalion which saw action
in the Pacific Theater including at the invasion and battle of Leyte
and the Luzon battles and campaign under General Douglas McArthur.
Something I did not know was that the invasion and battle of Luzon
was the largest US campaign of the Pacific War and involved more US
troops than any other invasion during WWII except of course for
D-Day itself. Rest in Peace Sir.
I sometimes hear people mistakenly refer to the American Legion
as a bar, a club or a restaurant. These people are wrong. The
American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic
Veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the
Nation’s largest wartime Veterans service organization, committed to
mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our
communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong
national security and continued devotion to our fellow service
members and veterans.
The ten clauses of the American Legion Preamble clearly define
what the American Legion is and our belief’s. As one might expect
from a 99-year old document, the wording is dated, though the
mission is clear.
For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the
1. To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of
2. To maintain Law and Order.
3. To Foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism
(Americanism is the ideals of freedom, justice, individual rights
and unfenced-in opportunities).
4. To preserve the memories and incidents of our Associations in
the Great Wars (in all wars).
5. To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community,
state and nation (To give back, to be an active member and to aid
those Veterans and persons in our communities who are less
6. To combat the autocracy of the classes and masses (in defense
7. To make right the master of might (Our Veterans must be the
masters of might as they have already stood in opposition to
dictators and despots who have wanted to make their might the master
8. To promote peace and good will on earth.
9. To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of
justice, freedom and democracy.
10. To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to
mutual helpfulness (to join together with our fellow Veterans, our
Brothers and Sisters and celebrate our service to Nation and support
one another in times of hardship, to be a Band of Brothers).
The wording is a little awkward for 2018, but the message is
clear; make a difference in your community, be part of the solution
and not part of the problem.
The Riders will conduct another gun raffle to be drawn on May 19th;
Armed Forces Day. We will donate $1,000 of the proceeds to the Post
712 Veterans Fund. It is important that all groups within Post 712
and all individuals give back to Post 712 to ensure the Post remains
an active and vibrant place for Veterans and Patriots to meet, greet
and enjoy life.
You can check us out on our Facebook page, American Legion
Riders Post 712.
The next Riders meeting
is at 1900 hours,
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
See you there
Wreaths Across America Cleanup 1/20/18
President: John Dillon
Sr Vice President: Kevin Jackson
Vice President: Bill Allan
Secretary: Susan Dillon
Adjutant: LLoyd Ray
Treasurer: Beverly Weikel
Deputy Treasurer: Bill Weikel
Sr Sgt. of Arms: Tom
Sgt. of Arms: Ed
Sr Road Captain: Dan Oehler
Road Captain: Ken Lancaster
Road Captain: Bob Stefanic
Road Captain: Dan Tillery
Anyone interested in becoming
an American Legion Rider should talk to any member for sponsorship.
To join the Legion Riders you must meet a few basic requirements:
and subsequently voted into the ALRs
You must already
be a member in good standing with the American Legion, the Sons
or the ALA (members from Posts that do not have their own Legion
Riders program are welcomed to join the Legion Riders of Post
And finally, you
must pay your 2014 dues of $12. Mail check written out to
"American Legion Riders Post 712" to the Post.