September 05, 2013
American Legion Post on LEC Campus ApprovedA new American Legion Post will soon begin on the Lake Erie College campus. College President Michael Victor has approved the start of the post which will be located in the VETS suite on the third floor of College Hall.
Bob Mastronicola, coordinator of veteran support services and Ninth District American Legion commander, will spearhead this first new post in Ohio in approximately 30 years, one that he hopes will break the stereotype of posts started in the early 1900s.
"The younger veterans are feeling that they're not part of those (other posts) because they are made up of guys with whom they don't have a connection," Mastronicola said. "It's not just about building membership. The American Legion is the largest veterans association in the country, so it does have some weight in Congress to make sure veterans' rights are taken into account."
Mastronicola would like to name the post after two recently deceased veterans. Lance Cpl. Andrew W. Nowacki was a United States Marine from Painesville Township and a police officer in Grand River who was killed on Feb. 26, 2005 when he was riding as the gunner of the lead Humvee on a mission in Babil Province, Iraq. Also, Mastronicola is seeking permission from the Baker family about naming the post for Lance Cpl. David R. Baker, USMC from Painesville.
The proposed American Legion Post on campus will be made up of current and past LEC students as well as local veterans who may also choose to be members. The Legion serves the veteran with many support programs that no other organization can duplicate such as emergency financial aid, benefits support services, community education programs, education assistance, Americanism programs, claims services, transition assistance, Legion discounts and many more. The Legion's primary mission is to support veterans, family members and the community as a whole.
The creation of the post has been approved by the American Legion of Ohio and is being processed by the American Legion National headquarters in Indianapolis. It will become official when approved at National headquarters.
About The American Legion
The American Legion is a social and mutual-aid veterans' organization including members of the United States armed forces. The organization was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I and was later chartered as an official American patriotic society under Title 36 of the United States Code. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis and also has offices in Washington, D.C. The group has nearly 2.4 million members in over 14,000 posts worldwide.
In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer veteran support activities, the American Legion is active in issue-oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of the interests of veterans and service members, including support for veteran benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs Hospital System.