By Jackie Nappo - Journal Inquirer - Apr 19, 2019
Close to 70 people packed the Town Hall auditorium Thursday to celebrate The American Legion’s 100th anniversary and to reflect on the contributions the Buck-Dubiel Post 101 has made to the community.
Though the American Legion organization has been helping war veterans and spreading patriotism for a century, the Somers post is in its 86th year of operation.
Guest speakers, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., national American Legion executives, Rep. Kurt Vail, R-Stafford, and members of the Board of Selectmen, sang the praises of the Buck-Dubiel Post 101.
“For me, it’s especially exciting to be here today celebrating this occasion with one of my absolute favorite posts,” said Robert Murray, alternate national executive committeeman.
“They are the backbone of America,” Blumenthal said of the post members.
In his speech, he said he had rearranged his schedule that day to attend the celebration. “Any time I can express my gratitude to them, I do it,” the senator said.
While the local post presently has about 350 members, it was not always as large and active in the community as it is today. Post Commander David McCaffrey said at one point in 2012 the post only had seven members, and he was asked to take over and revive it.
“Several years ago I would have found it hard to ever imagine being here today,” Murray said. “But thanks to a new breadth of strong leadership and positive enthusiasm, Post 101 has become successful and committed, truly fulfilling the mission we envision for each of our posts.”
McCaffrey said that at the first meeting he ran, he only ordered half a dozen sandwiches because he didn’t anticipate a big turnout. Ninety people attended the meeting. The average turnout for post meetings across the country is 15-20 people, but the average turnout for a Buck-Dubiel post meeting is 80-100, according to McCaffrey.
“I’m very proud,” he said, adding that he gets choked up when he hears people talk about things the post has done for the community.
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