The Rockton American Legion Post 332 family donated a total of $6,104 to support Vets Roll. A check was presented to Vets Roll Representative John Schroeder in early May. Pictured are: VFW Commander, Billy Graves, Vets Roll Representative, John Schroeder, Legion Auxiliary President, Sandee Merten, Legion Bar Manager, Keith West and Legion Post Commander, Ruben Hernandez.

Rockton American Legion donates to Vets Roll

By Marianne Mueller

Established on Oct. 13, 1932 The Rockton American Legions mission is stated as “The nation’s largest wartime Veterans service organization. The Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in communities while advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security and continued devotion to fellow service members and veterans.”
Prior to the 10th annual Vets Roll in 2019 different branches of the Walter Graham Post 332 American Legion family tree teamed up in support of a highly revered organization. Together all branches donated a total of $6,104 which was presented to Vets Roll Representative, John Schroeder in early May.
Post members, and American Legion patrons contributed $2,504 after completing the purchase of bus tags. Each tag was hung from the ceiling at the American Legion. The Rockton American Legion Auxiliary donated $1,800 plus another $1,800 from the Legion Rifle Squad.
Vets Roll began when Mark and John Finnegan sought a unique way to honor their father CY’s memory. Cy Finnegan served in World War II. Finnegan’s mother has honored our nation as a Rosie the Riveter.
Over the years Vet’s Roll continues to grow and expand while continuing to honor our nation’s veteran’s on a four day honor trip to see and to visit various war Memorials, and monuments representing Veterans from specific wars including WW11, Korean Era Vets, Rosie-The Riveters, and Veterans through 1963. Sites include the AFB Air Museum, Vietnam Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Korean Memorial, Pacific WW11 Memorial and a Lincoln Memorial.
Thousands of Veterans and Rosie-the Riveters from different states have made this amazing and memorable trip. Vet’s Roll Inc.’s mission is to provide Closure, Gratitude and Respect to our nations Veterans.
Vet’s Roll is a nonprofit origination that relies on donations. Money donated by the Rockton American Legion Riders mainly was earned from past spaghetti dinners. Other uses of money made from Legion Riders fundraisers include buying turkeys and hams for the Old Stone Church Food Pantry. The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary gave from funds earned at the second Annual Little Black Dress party. This year the Auxiliary was able to send three local Veterans on the Vets Roll journey. The Rife Squad donated out of money made at the Rifle Squad corn boil. Every fourth week a meat raffle is held by each family of the Legion.
Rockton Village President Dale Adams read a Poppy Proclamation into a recent Village Board of Trustee meeting. Every year the Legion Auxiliary distributes poppies in the Rockton community. This year’s poppy distribution was led by the Auxiliary who were joined by Legion Rider, John Floyd; Logan Merten- a son of the American Legion, Jr. ALA member- Autumn Merten, and Legionnaires who have also helped in past years. Every red poppy has a special significance as hospitalized Veteran’s at the LaSalle- Peru Veterans Home make the flowers. This enables them to make a small wage, helping supplement incomes and to feel more self-sufficient. Donations collected out of Poppy Days are used exclusively in support and assistance of Veteran’s and their families. Poppy’s also serve as a reminder of past sacrifices made. The history of the Poppy begins in World War I in the battlefields of Belgium where poppies grew amid rabid landscapes. The overturned soils of battle allowed poppy seeds to be covered, growing forever. They served as a reminder of blood shed during that and future wars. The poppy movement grew out of inspiration from the poem; “In Flanders Fields,” which is written by Lt. Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1915, before the United States entered into World War I. Poppies are a symbol of honor of Armed forces (Armistice Day).
The American Legion is always open to the public. Stop by to meet the different people who make up each branch of the American Legion family; serving and honoring Veteran’s in many different ways year round!

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