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Legionnaires Log: July 23, 2010

Farewell Comrades

It is our sad duty to report our comrade, Michael Tisdell, has passed. Legionnaires gathered at Wagner’s Funeral Home on Monday, July 12 for a Memorial Service for Michael Tisdell.

Post 421 Commander Greg Bennett and Post Chaplain Herbert Grimmer led the American Legion Memorial Service. Other Legionnaires in attendance were Past County Commander Richard Hockbrueckner, Past Post Commanders Charlie Rockwood and John Mauro along with John Geier, Pete Johnson, Chester Lech, Ben Klimkowski, Lloyd Harmon, Harold Deegan, Richard Grand, Michael Grella, Fred Hoehing and others.

Michael Tisdell also was a distinguished member of the William M. Grouse, Jr. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3211 of Hicksville, whose members also conducted a Memorial Service. We will remember our departed comrades on Memorial Day and every day.

Retired U.S. Navy Lt. John Finn, the first American to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II for heroism “above and beyond the call of duty” during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 has passed away. Lt. Finn, an ordinance chief for an air squadron, manned a .50-caliber machine gun in an exposed position and continued to fire despite a head wound and other injuries during enemy bombing and strafing of the Naval Air Station at Kaneihe Bay on Oahu. Despite his wounds he supervised the arming of returning American planes. Finn was 100 years old when he passed in Chula Vista, Calif..

Legion Flag Raisers

On July 4, the following Legionnaires decorated downtown Hicksville with our national colors: Past County Commanders Richard Hochbrueckner and Anthony Paternostro, Commander Greg Bennett, Past Post Commanders John Mauro and Frank Rybak, Fred Hoehing, Ben Klimkowski, Lloyd Harmon, Richard Grand and others. The flags are put in their parking meter holders with respect and taken down during the evening.

Post 421 thanks Legionnaire Fred Hoehing, a Marine Corps veteran, and his family for years of supporting the Post 421 flag detail. Fred’s son Gary Hoehing, a retired New York City firefighter, has been doing the flag detail since he was 7 years old. Also assisting were Fred’s grandchildren Zachery, Connor and Brittney. Zachery Hoehing, an athlete-scholar from Hicksville High School, was awarded the Charles Wagner Post scholarship for 2010.

Veterans Stand Down

 The Nassau County Veterans Summer Stand Down will be held on Monday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hempstead American Legion Post, 160 Marvin Ave. Charles Wagner Legionnaires will be volunteering there to assist needy and homeless veterans and Post 421 has made a donation to support this event.

Veterans Affairs

The American Legion Department of New York reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs is offering bronze medallions to attach to existing privately purchased headstones for veterans buried in private cemeteries. The marker will signify the deceased’s status as a veteran. For more information visit: www.cem.va.gov/ hm/hmtype.asp.

The VA has announced a new telephone hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless veterans. Counselors, community workers and family members can also call to get resource information. The hotline is 1-877-4AIDVET, or go to the National Center for Homeless Veterans webpage.

University of Washington and VA researchers have determined veterans suffer significant brain damage from explosions and bomb blasts. Brain injuries could be undiagnosed in thousands of veterans and veterans will suffer a higher rate of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia according to researchers. For more information go to the Defense and Veterans Brian Injury Center’s website at www.dvbic.org.

Senator Jim Webb, of Virginia, has won Senate approval for a 60-day halt to the proposed Department of Veterans Affairs ruling to compensate Vietnam veterans for three new illnesses linked to Agent Orange exposure. The illnesses are Parkinson’s disease, B-cell leukemia and ischemic heart disease. During the 60-day period Congress will study VA research that linked Agent Orange to these illnesses. The VA and the American Legion is urging veterans to file claims pronto so these presumptive illness claims can be fast-tracked.

Membership and Support

All eligible veterans are invited to join American Legion Post 421. We meet the first and third Mondays of the month at the Hicksville VFW Post at 8 pm. Our Auxiliary is also seeking new members. Donations to assist veterans and our troops can be sent to American Legion Post 421, P.O. Box 925. Hicksville, NY 11802. For information call Commander Greg Bennett at 338-6995.