Post 33 Commander Mark Keiser presents the Post Service Award to 102-year-old post member and WWII veteran Bette McAleenan.


Celebrating 102 years

Lander , WY

2021 marked the 102nd birthday of The American Legion. Legion posts across the nation gather together to celebrate the occasion. Don Stough Post 33 is no different. We normally plan our post dinner and awards dinner in March, but this year local COVID concerns forced the dinner to be postponed. Instead a summer outdoor picnic was organized to mark the occasion. The picnic would be held at the Museum of the American West on July 17. The activities committee had arranged for burgers, hot dogs and all the fixings. In addition to the meal, service awards and recognition of members would be part of the program. The date was not anything special, just an open date for the facility. But it was special for one of our members. World War II veteran and post member Bette McAleenan was there to receive her service award and to celebrate her birthday - her 102nd birthday. Born on July 17, 1919, the same year The American Legion was founded, Bette currently resides at the Westward Heights Care Center, but with the help of family and staff she still attends post functions when she can. Bette served in the U.S. Army during WWII. Her husband served in the Army Air Corps and was shot down over Papua New Guinea and reported missing in action. His remains were not located and identified until recently, when they were repatriated. Her daughter, Mary, is a retired U.S. Navy commander. While celebrating the Legion birthday was important, celebrating it with Bette made it an incredibly special day.


PDC Ken Persson Sr., Wyoming Veterans Commission vice chairman, presents Bette with the Chairman’s Award of Excellence. Her daughter and post member, Mary, looks on.
« Previous story
Next story »