In 2015, Sons of The American Legion Squadron 509 Commander John Martinez found a 4' tall eagle statue and thought, "that would look great in the Post 509 front yard." After several months of visits to this statuary, he was able to get the owner to give him a "super-discounted" rate, considering that its future home would be to honor veterans.
In bringing the idea home to the squadron, Adjutant/Finance Officer Matthew Avilez began designing the "Post 509 Memorial Garden." In February 2016, the 509 Eagle and Memorial Garden design were presented to the post at their monthly general meeting, where the Legionnaires agreed that it was a great idea and told the squadron they could proceed. The 509 Eagle mascot was moved into the clubroom and fundraising plans by the Sons began.
After several years, regime changes, the COVID pandemic and more, the eagle remains in the clubroom, and the project was jump-started by a new squadron executive board. With the project funds earmarked over the last few years and new fundraisers planned, the project design was updated and enhanced to include personalized memorial bricks as well as a soldier's cross and POW/MIA monuments.
The Post 509 Family Memorial Garden will be dedicated on Veterans Day 2022, following the renowned Fresno Veterans Day Parade and before the traditional free veterans luncheon at the post.