HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Warriors who fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were out fighting an economic war Saturday hoping to sign up new members to save the financially stressed local American Legion Post 1195 in Hastings-on-Hudson.
"We don't have enough funds to really do the things the American Legion does in the community," said Post 1195 member James Pasanello, who served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. "We have about 28 members now and if we had more we could keep the post going. I really would like to see some of our younger people join and carry it on."
Those who served during a wartime era, and are not a member of the American Legion, are being asked to join what has become the world's largest and most Influential veterans service organization. Those currently serving also are eligible to join.
Post Commander Jose Rodriguez. a veteran of World War II, where he served in the Galapagos Islands and Panama, led the sign-up detail that included Lisa O'Reilly and Bryan Healy of the Hastings Recreation Department.
"We really need to get new members here to keep us going," Rodriguez said. "I've been a member since my days in Yonkers at Post 7. We welcome anyone in the area to join. It's a special part of the community."
Young twins sisters Kate and Grace O'Reilly sold soft drinks to help raise money for the struggling post. The pair of volunteers hailed passersby on Farragut Avenue.
"I know there are lots of younger veterans in the area who should come and join," O'Reilly said. "We're trying to help with a sign-up drive. We don't want to lose the American Legion because we have many serving now who are coming home."
Pasanello said he believed some may not know what the American Legion does. He said he would be at the Hall until 2 p.m. Saturday and urged vets to come by.
"The legion is not an organization, it's a tribute to those who serve and a place where we can join to contribute to the place we live," he said. "I'm really hoping people will support us."
If you are not eligible to join, but would still like to help out, the American Legion is accepting donations.
For information on joining the American Legion, contact Healy or Lisa O'Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 478-2380.
Make checks payable to Admiral Farragut Post 1195 and mail to: Recreation Dept., 7 Maple Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706.