General Leonard E. Wood American Legion Post 162





American Legion Post 162 Donates Warm Clothing

to County Program


American Legion Post 162 of Hillsdale continued its support for the Bergen County Veterans Backpack program with a considerable donation of warm clothing on December 21st. Bergen County was recognized by the White House for virtually eliminating homelessness in its veterans population. The program was considered a model for the nation to follow. However, the need to support veterans continues. In coordination with Rugged Outfitters in Park Ridge, the Legion Post acquired a considerable supply of warm clothing. The donation included thick hoodies, sweat pants, tee shirts, sox, underwear, gloves and scarves. The Post also added knitted wool throws made by a local Prayer Shawl Ministry. According to the Director of Bergen County Veterans Services, A. J. Luna, as winter approaches these supplies are desperately needed by the population they serve. Post Trustee Phil Langner, who coordinated the project this year, stated "The strong bond that veterans share makes our participation in the program rewarding for our members, especially this year in the midst of the pandemic."


From L to Right   George DeRosa,  AJ Luna, Doug Frank, Phil Langner




Veterans Day

Thank you to all who participated or attended our ceremony.





Flag Retirement


In the last year we have collected a tremendous number of old flags at the Hut.  The Pandemic has made it difficult for us to schedule a retirment ceremony which includes burning the flags at the Hillsdale DPW. Fortunately the Legion Post from Bogota, along with the Bergen County Veterans Office arranged for collection and disposal of flags at the Bergen County Fire Acadmeny in Mahwah. On November 7th, Commander Frank, VC Mike Gela, Chaplain Matz and SAL Sgt at Arms Bob Karlson loaded up thousands of flags into Bob's pickup and transported them to Mahwah for disposal.  I think they were shocked when they saw how many flags we had collected, but they happily took them from us for proper disposal.




Finding Family Veterans

George DeRosa reports: "With the  advances of DNA technology I was able to locate extended family members.  One family member, John Petersen,  sent me this photo of his five sons and one grandson all who enlisted in the U.S.M.C. Post 162 presented him with a Five Star Blue Star Banner and five Blue Star Banner Honor certificates for his sons.  The bottom photo is of his grandson. " 


Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Herbert Heymann U.S. Air Force Bud was assigned to the 152 Combat Support Squad- ron in Suwon, Korea. He was a heavy duty vehicle operator. They were building a defensive perimeter wall around the base. He picked up the materials during the day and guarded it at night. Bud is the Sgt at Arms of Post 62 BUD HEYMANN BUDHEYMANN SGT.ATARMS ARMS'



Certificate of Appreciation for Ray Matz


Q. Who are these masked men? 

A. Commander Frank on left presenting a certificate to Legionnaire/Chaplain Werner "Ray" Matz. Ray has done a phenominal job in maintaining the Hut for the last few years.  The exterior landscaping of the Post looks great. Ray has fertilized and cut the lawn regularly. He also has done maintenance painting of the interior.  Whenever we have a project, Ray is one of the first to volunteer.  His efforts are greatly apprecicated.



Gabe Marra


We are sorry to report that Gabe Marra who has been a member of Post 162 for over 60 years, passed away recently.  Gabe's father Pasquale was one of the original members of our Post.  Gabe served as Finance Officer of the Post for many years. He will be missed.



Bud Heymann


We are sorry to report the passing of Bud Heymann, our Sgt at Arms.  The Post conducted a Post Everlasting ceremony at Beckers on September 9th.  Bud was a member of Post 162 for 30 years. He retired as Deputy Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department.




The 2020 Poppy Drive


We have just completed our salvaged 2020 Poppy Drive. Because of your efforts, we far exceeded what we expected to collect in donations. We greatly appreciate Kings, Bottle King and The Fresh Grocer for allowing us to solicit donations at their locations. Please remember these businesses who have supported us, by supporting them.  All monies raised will be used for our activities helping veterans and active duty military and  their families.

Thank you to the following members who braved the heat to accomplish our mission. Bob Abbadie,  Don Averna, John Barrett, Rich Bendix, Joe Carollo, Rich Curran, Anthony DeRosa, Leroy Endressen, Doug Frank, Mike Gela, Jim Gerbig, Zoltan, Bud Heymann, Ray Matz, John McGoldrick, Tom Robinson, Joe Sgroi, Fernando Toledo.

Special thanks to Mike Gela who set up the opportunity with the stores and led us all in the time spent and money collected.  Pictured with Vice Commander Mike Gela clockwise from top left is Ken Lowe, Manager of Kings Supermarket;  Ted Strangfeld, Manager of Bottle King and Bob Lenthe,  Director of Nicholas Markets which operates the Fresh Grocer in Washington Township.



Wendy's of Hillsdale Donates to Post 162


Officers of American Legion Post 162 of Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake and Old Tappan presented a  Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Antero Nunez, General Manager of Wendys in Hillsdale.  This was in recognition of the $5,000 donation that Wendys' parent company, Wendpar LLC, made to the Post. Wendpar operates a number of Wendys restaurants.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, Wendpar recognizes the importance of community support. Mr. Nunez, who has managed the Hillsdale restaurant for seven years  stated his commitment to the community. He stated that Wendys of Hillsdale also sponsors several sports teams in town. Post 162 will use the funds to continue their support of veterans, active duty military and their families, which has become more critical during the pandemic. Commander Doug Frank thanked Mr. Nunez for his generosity and community support.



Pictured from Left to right

Trustee Phil Langner, Commander Doug Frank, Vice Commander Mike Gela, Mr. Antero Nunez, Vice Commander Joe Sgroi.




Memorial Day in Hillsdale

Despite the Pandemic lock down in NJ, we were able to hold a brief ceremony in our new Veterans Memorial.  It was our first Memorial Day Ceremony at the new memorial.  The Borough of Hillsdale had canceled the annual parade and ceremonies.   With the help of our Mayor, we were able to hold the ceremony as long as it was private without public attendance, had limited personnel and we observed social distancing.  We cannot let something such as a Pandemic to hold us back from honoring those who made the Ultimate Sacrifice.

The Ceremony was conducted by the Officers of the Post.  Thank you to all who participated.
Commander Doug Frank
Vice Commander Mike Gela
Service Officer Fred Grimaldi
Trustee/Finance Officer Phil Langner
Post Judge Advocate Kathy Maalouf
Historian Jim Gerbig
Chaplain Ray Matz
Trustee Demm Healy
Past Commander Zoltan Horvath
Past Commander George D
Past Adjutant Rich Curran



Pascack Valley High School Poppy Project

In 2019, Cole Donnellan and Megan Viganola both students in Mr. Jeff Jasper's AP Government class at Pascack Valley High School, started a project to support veterans. They decided to incorporate the annual American Legion Poppy Drive into the high school just prior to Memorial Day. The program was a success as Post 162 veterans met with students as they entered the building on two days just prior to Memorial Day. All funds raised were donated to veteran support programs.

The Covid 19 virus that has closed Pascack Valley High School created an obstacle for current PV Seniors Jennifer Pulsiano and Angelina Giustra when they decided to continue the program as their AP Government project in 2020. After a brief discussion with Post 162 Commander Doug Frank they creatively developed a virtual Poppy Drive for the students and faculty at Pascack Valley. All donations would be used to buy supplies and equipment in support of the New Jersey State Veterans Home in Paramus which was hard hit by the pandemic.

Jenn and Angelina used their own social media accounts as well as their parents' group Facebook accounts to solicit donations through Venmo. Interim principal, Mr. John Puccio, sent an email to all students informing them of the project and asked for student support.

On June 1st, Jennifer and Angelina, accompanied by Mr. Jasper, presented a check for $670 to Commander Frank and members of the Post. The Post, in turn, presented them with Legion Certificates of Appreciation. The Post has committed to match their donation for the Veterans Home which is in need of supplies due to the horrible impact of the pandemic.

Each year in May around Memorial Day, veterans solicit donations in exchange for a poppy. All funds raised are used exclusively for the support of veterans and active duty military and their families. The funds raised are the Post's primary source of revenue for this important cause. Post Commander Frank thanked the young ladies for their effort and thanked all those who donated to this important cause.