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2019

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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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2018

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Holiday Cards and Letters to the Troops