American Legion Post 323: Who we are
By PAT WHITEHALL
On the corner of Ashlar and Taylor Lane in Lehigh Acres, there sits a building with a very patriotic looking exterior. This is the home of the American Legion, Post 323. Many people incorrectly assume that to enter, one must be a member, a fallacy which will be corrected by the end of this article.
We have Sunday breakfast, Monday through Friday lunches, Thursday night burgers, Fridays, it’s fish, shrimp and one other entre and Saturday is always a special menu item. Our meals are not only very tasty, they’re decently priced. We have Bingo on Tuesday afternoons, bowling & Euchre Tuesday evenings, pool leagues on Wednesday evenings, live entertainment twice a month on Thursday evenings, plus more live music or Karaoke each Friday and Saturday night. There are horseshoe tourneys, our Riders do a Burgers & Brats afternoon along with many special holiday events and our SAL hosts many different kinds of entertainments as do our Auxiliary and Post. The public is welcome at all of these events. We have a big hall which can be rented for weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, Bar and Bat Mitzvas, graduations, business seminars, baby or wedding showers and memorial services.
We’re not just about parties, though. Our main function is to support Veterans and their families. We do this in many special ways with a lot of help. The help comes from within our house where we have four organizations; The Post, The Sons of the American Legion (SAL), the Auxiliary and the Riders. Each sector has special chairmanships in which the support for all veterans and families is our main agenda.
Our District & Department members do incredible work. Each year, they average close to 5 million hours serving veterans, contribute $22 million to support youth, scholarships and communities. Members also volunteer 6 million hours working for mission outreach. Serving awards nationally to honor outstanding accomplishments to our veterans, the military and their families is something we take special pride in doing.
We recently held our installation of Officers and they are all eager to get this coming year off to a good start. Some of the offerings of this Unit are Americanism, Children and Youth, Community Service, Education, Leadership, National Security, Poppy Distribution, Aid to Veterans, Salutes to homecoming veterans, respect for our country, our military and our flag, Chaplains to offer comfort, mental support for veterans families and the comradery of the veterans to each other, as only those who have “been there” can understand and appreciate what these veterans and their families go through as they begin the reentry into civilian life once again.
Even if you’re not a member, you would be welcome to participate in any of our many events. The only thing a non-member can’t do is buy alcoholic drinks, but there is so much going on that it wouldn’t be missed anyway. If you’re a veteran or related to one, we would be pleased to have you join us. For information on joining, and the criteria necessary, just call us at 239-369-3178. Don’t be shy, stop in and see WHO WE ARE. You’ll be glad you did!