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2019

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Welcome

At the October 2nd Canteen Commander Frank installed new Legionnaire David Inki Cho.  David served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Germany. He was recruited to the Post by George DeRosa during our Poppy Drive at Foodtown in Washington TWP.

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Hillsdale's New Veterans Memorial

 

The Memorial has taken shape.  All concrete work is done.  Next comes the placement of the new Memorials, return of the WWI Memorial and Landscaping.  Everything looks great so far.

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Hillsdale Emergency Services 9 11 Ceremony

We participated in the morning ceremoney in Hillsdale to "Never Forget."

 

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Welcome  New Members

 

At our September 4th meeting we installed three new members into Post 162.  We also have three more new members who were not able to make the meeting for the installation.  We are fortunate that the changes in membership requirements, which were long overdue, have allowed all those who have served honorably in the military since December 7, 1941 join the Legion.  These men and women who served during what is known as the "Cold War", are now getting the recognition they deserve.  The Legion National Commander reported that over 1600 members of the military lost their lives during this period.  Pictured below are  Richie Bendix, U.S. Navy and Robert Lavner, U.S. Army, both Cold War veterans, and Andrew Elbert, U.S. Navy, War on Terror veteran.  If you know of anyone who served during the Cold War, ask them to join our Post.  They will be most welcome.

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Blue Star Banner Presentation

On Thursday Sept 5th, the Post presented a Blue Star Banner to Amy Gunther, mother of James Gunther, who enlisted in the United States Navy.  James received a Blue Start Certificate.  James, a resident of Hillsdale was referred to us by Rich Curran.  He is leaving for Boot Camp at Great Lakes the second week of September. He will then go on to Hospital Corpsman training in Texas.  Commander Frank presented the banner and certificate.  Pictured with James are his brother Jack, his mother Amy and his sister.

 

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Platinum Sponsor of New Veterans Memorial

At the September 4th General Meeting, Commander Frank presented a Plaque to Legionnaire Garry Pinke. The Plaque was in appreciation of the $1,000 donation that Garry made to the New Veterans Memorial Fund. Garry, who grew up in Hillsdale, served in the United States Navy.

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Blue Star Banner for New Marine's Mom

Zoltan Horvath III, a newly minted Marine and son of Past Commaner Zoltan Horvath II, graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina on August 16, 2019. He came home on a short leave before returning to training.

Zoltan III had the special honor of being sworn in and inducted into the American Legion by his father.

Pictured above is Zoltan III, along with his  mother Maria, who was  presented with a Blue Star Banner by Past Commander George DeRosa and Past Commander Phil Langner.

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Hillsdale Police Department Supports New Veterans Memorial

When the project to create a new Veterans Memorial in Hillsdale was announced in the fall of 2018, Hillsdale Police Chief Robert Francaviglia and Captain Sean Smith immediately made a commitment to help fund the project. The Police Dept. were the first to make a Platinum level donation which was the start of a successful campaign.  Their early support was important for the project, and led to many in the community stepping up to help make the new Memorial a reality.  The Project is now moving forward with construction scheduled to start in September.  American Legion Post 162 is still accepting donations from residents and local businesses to help offset the cost of the project.  A dedication is being planned for some time before Veterans Day.  Pictured presenting a Plaque acknowledging the Post's appreciation are from left to right.  Past Commander Phil Langner,  Chief Robert Francaviglia, Captain Sean Smith and Commander Doug Frank.

 


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Thank you

Vice Commander Mike Gela presented Certificates of Appreciation to the store managers who supported our Poppy Drive in May.There support is critical to our prgoram's success.  Pictured with Mike are ockwise from top left,  Mike Winsehuch of Acme in Woodcliff Lake, Matt Cavanaugh of Foodtown Washington Twp.,  Melissa Franco of Kings in Hillsdale,  and Ted Strangfeld of Bottle King in Hillsdale.  We thank them for their support.

 

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Welcome

At the July 9th Regular Meeting, Commander Doug Frank administered the oath of initiation to Owen Peacock.  Owen served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Owen was recruited by George DeRosa.  He is a long time resident of Hillsdale and was greeted with a "Hearty Welcome"by all members in atttendence. Pictured is Owen and Commander Frank.

 

 

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Blue Start Banner Presentation

On July 9th, 2019 Mr & Mrs Robert Saul, parents of Robert C. Saul along with proud family members, including grandfather and Post 162 member Gordon Hampton, were presented a Blue Star Banner and a Certificate Of Honor in recognition of Robert's joining the United States Army and becoming a member of the American Legion Post 162 Of Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake and Old Tappan N.J. Pictured are Robert and Kim Saul with Robert C. Saul's brother.

The presentation was made by Post Commander Doug Frank and Past Commander George DeRosa

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Post 162 Officers for 2019

From Left to Right

 

The Following Officers were installed by  Bergen County Legion Officers at the June 5th regular meeting.  Sgt at Arms Bud Heymann, Commander Doug Frank, County Vice Commander Ray Stitz, Finance Officer/Trustee Phil Langner, Past County Commander Mickey Burhart, Judge Advocate Kathy Maalouf, 1st Vice Commander Mike Gela, Service Officer Fred Grimaldi, Chaplain Ray Matz, Historian Jim Gerbig, Vice Commander Joe Sgroi

Absent: Trustee Demme Healy Jr., Trustee Thomas Ivancich, Adjutant Phil Fonde

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Pascack Valley  High School Visit to Normandy

Leah Jerome, Social Studies Teacher at the HS led a trip to visit the battlefields and museums of Normandy this spring. To recognize the trip, the Post presented her with a Certificate of Commendation. We believe that the new generations need to learn more about the history of our Military as it is an intergral part of the history of our Country.  Pictured below are Vice Commander Joe Sgroi, Past Commander George DeRosa, Principal Tom DeMaio and Leah Jerome, along with students who took the trip.

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"New" Legionnaire

At the June 5th Canteen, Commander Langner installed our newest member.  He is 98 year old Guido Borella, a WWII combat veteran who served with the 12th Armored Division's Engineers.You can see Guido's interview and learn about his service at :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-MM4ir5nSs

 

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Recognition

At the June 5th Canteen,  Commander Langner recognized the 100th Birthday of Legionnaire Robert Benden.  Bob is a WWII veteran who served in North Africa and Italy in the Medical field. Pictured with Bob are his daughters Bonnie and Kitty. Bob was born the same year that the American Legion was founded.

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Memorial Day 2019

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Respectful Retirement of US Flags

 

On May 7th the Post retired a large number of flags collected over the last year.  We get a permit from the Borough and permission to burn the flags at the back of the DPW yard.

From left to right below are:

Bob Karlson, Rich Curran, Mike Gela, Ray Matz, Joe Sgroi, Sean Smith and Lou Amorati

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Hillsdale Mayor and Council Recognize 100th Anniversary of the

American Legion's Founding


The American Legion’s 100th birthday was recognized at the Hillsdale Mayor and Council Meeting on April 9th. The Legion, which is the oldest and largest veterans organization in the United States was founded in  1919 in Paris, France at the end of World War I.   A group of U.S Army officers came together to form the Legion while waiting to be transferred back home. The Legion is a  National non-profit service organization that promotes Americanism and supports veterans and their families. Mayor John Ruocco presented a proclamation recognizing the anniversary to Hillsdale Post 162 Vice Commander Mike Gela . Also attending were members of the Bergen County American Legion. Pictured from left to right  are Tom Kelley, Past Commander George DeRosa, Jim Gerbig,  District Vice Commander Mike Burhart,  Mayor Ruocco,  Incoming Bergen County Commander Francis Carrascois, Gela,  and County Vice Commander Raymond Stilz.  Also in attendance were Past Commander and Hillsdale Councilman  Zoltan Horvath, County Vice Commander  Patrick McCarthy and Legion auxiliary member Margaret Fontera.


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Recognition of Gold Level Sponsors to New Veterans Memorial

At the March 29th Social, Vice Commander Doug Frank, Chair of the Veterans Memorial Commitee, presented Certificates of Appreciation to Commander Phil Langner and SAL Commander Rich Correri.  This was in recognition of their generous contributions to our new Memorial project.  Other Gold Level Sponsors are TD Bank, Kings Supermarkets, Suez N.A. Water, and the Park Ridge Elks.

We still need the support of the public to reach our goal. Help if you can.

 

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Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017

 

American Legion Post 162 of Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake and Old Tappan held their monthly social meeting on Friday March 29 th. At the meeting Commander Langner and Legionnaire Tom Ivancich provided a cake to mark the day. The Post has 69 members who are Vietnam Veterans.   Vietnam veterans pictured are Garry Pinke, Kurt Wolckenhauer, Ray Jean, Ivancich and Langner.

Presidential Proclamation Regarding Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017

“To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million heroes who served during this difficult chapter of our country’s history are remembered for generations to come, I signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Throughout this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and every March 29 thereafter, we will honor all those who answered our Nation’s call to duty.” President Trump

National Vietnam War Veterans Day will be observed on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Who does Vietnam War Commemoration Honor?

U.S. Armed Forces personnel with active duty service between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location of service which includes:

  • Nine million Americans serving during that time
  • 6.4 million Americans living today
  • 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam
  • 58,000 whose names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital
  • 304,000 who were wounded
  • 1,253 Missing in Action (MIA) heroes who have not yet returned to American soil

The commemoration makes no distinction between veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.

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American Legion Post 162 Names 2019 Grand Marshal and Deputy

 

American Legion Post 162 has named Nat Lucarello as grand marshal of Hillsdale’s Memorial Day Parade, May 27, with Mike Gela as his deputy. The parade starts at 9:45 a.m. The ceremony follows at Veterans Park at
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Nat Lucarello has served in the American Legion for 40 years and is a longtime resident of Hillsdale. He enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War and went to  radioman school. He was assigned to the USS Witek (DD-848), a  Geary-class destroyer, which had been converted to an experimental  anti-submarine warfare ship deployed in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

Nat was promoted to petty officer 3rd class and stayed on the Witek for his full enlistment. After leaving the Navy, Lucarello and his family settled in Hillsdale. He has been an active member of Post 162, often providing entertainment at social gatherings with his wit and his accordion.
       

Gela, a U.S. Army veteran and post vice commander, will be grand marshal in 2020.
 

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Becker Funeral Home Donates $5,000 to the New Veterans Memorial

 

Mr. Martin Seitz, Manager of Becker Funeral Home, presents a check for $5,000 for the new Memorial Fund.  Mr. Seitz and Becker have long supported the Veterans in the Pascack Valley area.

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Blue Star Family

The Post invited Tom and Dina Dolson back to the Post to change out their one blue star banner for a two blue star banner.  In addition to their son Joe serving, their daugher Gina is also serving the in the U.S. Army.

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Sons of the Legion "USO Night"

Saturday night February 16th was a big success for the Squadron.  The Hut was filled to capacity to hear the music of Sinatra, Bennet and others.  Everyone was also entertained by the "Sandt Sisters", who wowed the audience with their acappella singing. Commander Langner thanked the officers and men of the SAL for the effrort they put into making such a special night.

 

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Valentines Day Bingo at the Veterans Home

At the February 14th Bingo Night at the Paramus Veterans Home, the Post handed out Valentine Cards that were prepared by the Hillsdale 50 Plus Club. The Valentines were  received by the residents, who appreciated being remembered.

Pictured from Left to Right.  John McGoldrick, Paul and Lynne, Kim (Langner) Gardner, Ray and Cheryl Matz, Joe Sgroi, Ed Dell, Mike Gela, Rich Curran and Commander Phil Langner

 

 

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Blue Star Banner Presentation

 

On January 29th, Comnmander Langner and Past Commander DeRosa presented a blue star banner to Dina Dolson, mother of 2nd Lt Joseph Dolson, U. S. Army.  Joe is a recent graduate of Seton Hall and got his commission through ROTC.  He will be deploying to a critical base in Africa and will lead a platoon providing mechanical support to security services.  Joe is a graduate of St. Johns Academy in Hillsdale and Don Bosco High School.  While the single banner was presented to Mrs. Dolson, her husband Tom mentioned that their daughter Gina is currently serving as an MP in the U. S. Army and just returned from a tour in Germany.  We will shortly replace the one star banner with a two star banner for the family.  Joe was brought to our attention by Legionnaire Harvey Heller.

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Donations to the Veterans Memorial Fund

After being contacted by George DeRosa, the Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce invited American Legion Post 162 Officers to their meeting on January 8th to present the project for a new Veterans Memorial in Hillsdale's Veterans Park. Commander Langner, VC Mike Gela and George  made a presentation on the need for donations. As a result, the Chamber made a donation of $1,000 to the fund for the new Memorial, which will be educational and have five new monuments added to the existing WWI monument.  In addition, Sandra McLeod, mother of Michael McLeod USMC serving overseas, and VP of Johl Inc. Insurance Agents added a $300 donation from Johl.  The American Legion is very grateful for the generous donation to this project. Pictured left to right.  George DeRosa, VC Frank, Sandra McLeod, Commander Langner and VC  Gela.

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Post 162 Continues to Supoprt the Bergen County  Veterans Backpack Program

January 15, 2019 - In the ongoing pledge and effort to support veterans in need, the Post, along with the always generous support of the Park Ridge Elks, and the Rockland Rodders Club, participated in the annual winter drive donation project organized by the Bergen County Veterans Services and Tracers Group, who collect and distribute items to veterans in need. The post donated much needed hats, gloves, thermals, underwear, and other essential items valued at several thousand dollars.  This is the second time in the last 12 months that Commander Langner and George DeRosa organized a donation.

 

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