The Grout family has been involved with Eugene M. Connor Post 193 in Winchendon, Mass., for more than 80 years. My father, Charles E. Grout, joined The American Legion upon his return home from World War II. He was greeted by a Legionnaire who handed him an application as he arrived in town. He was involved with Post 193 until his death in 2003. He served as commander twice and also served as service officer for nearly 50 years and a stint as finance officer. In addition, he served as District IV commander in 1956-1957. He cared so very dearly about veterans that he visited towns and cities throughout Massachusetts to garner support for the development of the Massachusetts State Veterans Cemetery in Winchendon. The initiative passed, and Winchendon was selected. He was one of the individuals who cut the ribbon to the cemetery weeks before his death.
His wife, Rachel, has been a member for 81 years of the unit. She has served as president and spent 50 years as treasurer. In addition, she served as District IV director in 1984-1985. This included a term on the Department of Massachusetts Executive Committee. Rachel's mother, Odile Laplante, also belonged to the Auxiliary for many years until her death in 2000. She served two terms as unit president.
Daughter Dr. Coral May Grout, a member for 65 years, has served as Unit 193 president. She has been the membership chairman for 14 years and also served for several years as secretary. She is the present membership chairman and unit historian. Coral continued up the ladder to District IV director in 1985-1986. For the Department of Massachusetts, she has served two terms as historian, and a term as chaplain, third vice president, second vice president and department president (1991-1992). She served two terms as a member of the National Executive Committee, one term as the elected national historian, and a national chairman of nine committees. She has been selected as a member of the board of directors of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, commencing in 2018. And she has been elected department first vice president for the Department of Massachusetts for the coming year.