Veteran’s Day - Local military veterans will be holding services and other events this week to commemorate Veterans Day. The holiday, originally called Armistice Day, was created to honor veterans of World War I. The armistice effectively ending the war was signed on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1954, Congress passed legislation setting Nov. 11 as a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
While in college I wrote my senior class project on my grandfather Albert Louis Vercammen who fought in WWI against the German army with the Belgian Army. I wrote how he single handedly defeated the Germans to make the world safe for democracy.
Decades later, the Red Chinese stormed into North Korea in the Korean War and threatened Communism throughout Asia. The Army summoned my dad, Albert P. Vercammen, to go over and fight the invaders. He was on the Battleship New Jersey crossing the Pacific when the North Koreans and Chinese heard about the fierce Vercammen fighting spirit. The North Koreans started to retreat and wanted to surrender. The cowardly United Nations let them call it a truce. Again, the world was safe for democracy.
While in Korea, Al Vercammen was promoted to Sergeant. I recall him saying Korea was the coldest place in the world. Also, unlike the TV show MASH that had hot nurses, the ones in Korea were all ugly. The black and white photos taken in Korea my Dad has show barren hills near their Spartan tents. It looked cold. I am glad I did not have to go over there. So as Americans, we thank our Dads and other vets that got the call to duty [draft] and helped turn the tide against the Communists.
My father in law John Bachenski served in WWII in the Army Air Corp, the forerunner of the Air Force. He help start the sonar radar program for the Army. He successfully helped defend the air base at Boca Raton, Florida from the invading Italian navy. He is a long time member of the American Legion.
2 Veterans and Sons of Veterans should Join the American Legion
To honor my dad and other veterans I recently joined the Sons of American Legion. I am now am an Member, Sons of American Legion, Edison Father & Son Post 435, which is located on 43 Oakland Ave, Edison, NJ 08817 near Plainfield Ave and Wick Plaza.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as an organization for wartime veterans. Membership is open only to men and women who served active duty in the US Armed Forces during specific periods designated as “war time” by the US Congress, and who have received an honorable discharge, or are still serving honorably. Eligible veterans would be able to provide a Form DD214 (or similar) to verify their eligibility. If you don’t meet these requirements, you can still support the USA and Posts of the American Legion.
It’s possible that you may be able to join one of the other organizations in the “Legion Family.” The Sons of The American Legion (SAL) is comprised of male descendants, adopted sons and stepsons of American Legion members. (There are no age limitations.) Many posts have an active SAL program and you can contact one near you to learn more. (Visit www.legion.org/sons for more information.)
Their sister organization is the American Legion Auxiliary. Eligibility is open to mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, great grand daughters, or grandmothers of members of The American Legion, or of deceased veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces during the listed war eras.
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. The Operation Comfort Warriors program supports recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing them with "comfort items" and the kind of support that makes a hospital feel a little bit more like home. The Legion also raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need and to provide college scholarship opportunities.
To contact the American Legion, Edison Father & Son Post 435 Call (732) 985-9768. Hall Rental also available for events
More details at http://www.legion.org/membership/faq