American Legionnaires present 75 Year Pin

American Legion Teagarden

American Legionnaires present 75 Year Pin

By John Pacheco

It was an unusual request. Dripping Springs American Post 290 received a call from an American Legion Post in Orleans, Indiana. One of their members, COL (ret) James H. Teagarden, had retired to the Dripping Springs area, would the Dripping Springs Post be willing to present Teagarden with a 75 years of continued membership in the American Legion pin?

“You don’t often get to see one of these pins. I’ve seen plenty of 25 years and 30 year pins, but never a 75 year pin,” American Legionnaire Gary Hale said. “It’s an honor for us to be here.”

COL Teagarden first joined the military when the Air Force was still the Army Air Corps in 1943, served in World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam, finally retiring as a colonel in 1970. He flew T-33s, T-29s, B-25s, and flew 230 missions in Vietnam. He was also unusual in the sense that he was a qualified pilot in both fixed wing and rotor wing (helicopter) aircraft.

“I’m just happy to be here,” Teagarden said. “I’m happy my family is here.”

Among the family members who attended COL Teagarden’s presentation were his daughters Brenda Cox and Betti Bunce who live in the area. Family present also included extended family members, grandchildren, and family friends. His daughters brought a cake to mark the occasion and Teagarden visited with both family members and Dripping Spring veterans after the presentation.

COL Teagarden’s military decorations include: The Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, WW II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Teagarden is also a Longhorn. “In 1963, when I was 41 years old, the Air Force
Sent me to U.T. to earn a degree in Aerospace Engineering,” Teagarden said. “I wasn’t about to say no to that.”

Afterwards, Hale, who organized the event said, “On behalf of our Commander and all our members of American Legion Post 290, I want to thank each of you for your participation in a great event tonight! This was kind of a once in a lifetime event to give the awards to Mr. Teagarden for 75 years of service to the American Legion. What a wonderful serviceman and patriot and what a wonderful family that he has around him. A three-war vet and a very nice man was honored tonight. Thank you for being a part of it.”
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PHOTO A: COL (retired) James H. Teagarden surrounded by his family during the happy occasion.

PHOTO B: COL Teagarden’s daughters brought a cake to commemorate the presentation.

PHOTO C: Members of Dripping Springs American Legion Post 290 presented the 75 Year American Legion Pin, on behalf of COL Teagarden’s home Indiana post. From left to right: Ben Adair, Post Commander Roger Keats, Mike Glasscock, COL (retired) James H. Teagarden, Gary Hale, and Shorty Barnett

PHOTO D: COL Teagarden received a certificate and plaque from the American Legion with his 75-year pin.

PHOTO E: The 75 Year American Legion Pin. “You don’t often get to see this type of pin. I’ve seen 25 year and 30 years pin, but never a 75 year pin,” Dripping Spring American Legionnaire Gary Hale said.

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