The Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg wanted to do something special for the 200 veterans who live there. They knew The American Legion was celebrating its 100th year and wanted to bring the celebration to their home. While Legionnaires celebrated at their posts, around the state and across the country, our veterans - many of whom who are lifetime members - didn't get to attend. Latisha Koetting, supervisor of volunteer services, reached out to the Department of Missouri to set a plan into motion. Not only did she include the Legion, but also the entire Legion Family.
On Sept. 14, National Commander Bill Oxford came to the Home. While on his tour, Latisha was able to introduce him to five veterans who had been Legionnaires for over 70 years. This visit reinforced the importance of bringing the Legion Family into the home.
On Oct. 5, over 20 posts from across the state traveled to Warrensburg for a day of fun and fellowship. Sheridan Mires, department historian of the American Legion Auxiliary, drove down from the Missouri-Iowa border to teach the veterans how to fold pocket flags. Before it was done, Legionnaires, Riders and Sons were giving it a try. The day included a bike show with the Riders, and a carry-in luncheon which featured a 100th anniversary cake.
One of the highlights was having a Legion Family photo taken. Legionnaires, Auxiliary members, Sons, Riders and some veterans from the home came together to form the #100. National Vice Commander Rich Heigert took the point position on one of the zeroes, while National Executive Committeeman Kenny Goth took on the second zero. A fun time was had by all.
The day concluded with a formal program. Joe Cochran, Zone II commander, started the program with an all-department color guard. Members included Larry Griffin of Stockton; Darlene Coats of St. Louis; Kenny Ollison of Green Ridge; and Shane Cowgill of Sedalia. Legion Family speakers included Gary Grigsby, senior vice commander; Marsha Mooney, department Auxiliary president; Bob Worthley, commander of SAL Squadron 624; and Don Gerspach, ALR director. Then other speakers highlighted some of the American Legion Family programs. They included Bob Jordan, Cadet Patrol; Alex Slocum, ROTC; Mike Plunkett, Boys State; and Macae Mickens, Girls State. NVC Heigert closed the program.
The Missouri Veterans Home is so grateful to the Legion Family for allowing us to be a part of your celebration.