26 AUGUST 2023 – CHARLOTTE, NC – Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Squadron 105 of Belleville, N.J., received three awards this year at the 51st Sons of the American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. This year, as part of the New Jersey delegation to the convention, SAL 105 Adjutant Rusty Myers accepted the award on the squadron’s behalf.
SAL 105 brought home national recognition by receiving first and second place in two different categories of the “Snapshots of Service” award, in the categories of Veterans Affairs and Americanism respectively, and also won first place in the “Videos of Service” competition in the Membership and Recruitment category.
“Snapshots of Service” is a competition held by the national SAL organization wherein “Sons of The American Legion squadrons are encouraged to enter the annual Snapshots of Service photo contest to promote the Sons’ programs".
The first place in Veterans Affairs award given to Squadron 105 was for a photo of members on-site at the Fisher House in the Bronx presenting “the big check” with a $3,000 donation made earlier in 2023. The second place in Americanism award was for a picture snapped of SAL 105 Vice Commanders Vinnie Ferriole and Ricky Vlasakakis at a flag retirement ceremony. These pictures were shown on the big monitors at the convention hall to the 1,000 attendees present, as well as a number of other submissions from Belleville.
The other award the squadron received was the “Videos of Service” award, which was in its inaugural year. The website explains that ”video submissions must contain an SAL member or members wearing SAL covers or SAL-branded clothing participating in an activity or event that falls under one of three categories: program support; community engagement; or membership and recruitment.”
This first-place award was presented to Belleville for the FOX and Friends First segment they appeared on in late May, on the FOX News Channel. Myers, a Squadron 105 member who also works for FOX News, directed a segment where members from the state-level American Legion Family organizations spoke about National Poppy Day. Over 20 members of the Post 105 Family appeared on the five-minute segment in the background, with members of the Passaic County American Legion Ritual Team reading the poem “In Flanders Field” following an interview with NJ commanders Larry Bishop and Mark Natale, and Department Auxiliary President Colleen Brean-Lopez.