Barbecue rekindles service bonds

Grambling’s Ludley-McCall-Williams American Legion Post 593 recently hosted a barbecue in Grambling park. The post was established in the late 1940s. Members are wartime veterans.”Each member of this organization has fought in a war for the United States, not just joined the military,” said Mack Williams.

Williams helped reactivate the chapter in 2004 after it was closed in 1969. He said the barbecue was a recruiting event and social activity for members and their guests.

“This is one of our social events, a time for us to get together and socialize without doing the business we attend to during meetings,” said Williams who fought in the Vietnam War as a member of the United States Army.

The post is composed of members from all four military branches. Also, there were members who were a Buffalo Solider, Tuskegee Airman and Red Ball Express.

They are Larry Winzer, a master chief in the Navy, Area B Commander Robert Talton, and Ronnie Lyons of the District Executive Committee.

Ewing Collier, a former lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, said he joined and helped to reinstate the post because of its history.

He said that posts beginning with the number “5” are African American posts, which is why the group decided to keep its original number – 593.

However, there are men of other races in the post. One such member is E. Glenn Lewis.
Collier, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force, has been a member of the American Legion for 14 years. He says he enjoys being able to assist other veterans.

“We assist other members with issues such as their benefits and pay,” he said.

“Overall, we love what we did in the military.

“Today, our country is showing our military personnel more appreciation than we received,” he said.

One of the youngest members, Gulf War veteran Eric Rogers, said it is a great organization composed of a group of men trying to serve the community. He served in the Air Force.

“The members are a group of former military guys who have formed a bond.
“They look out for each other. Once I saw what they were about, I wanted to become a member,” said Rogers, who served in the Air Force.

Rogers said that when people are in the military, no matter where they have been, they have an understanding of each other because the military teaches team work.
He said, “No matter what war you fought in, it was all the same.”

He said one of his most enjoyable moments was listening to Dr. Lamar Carter, a World War II veteran.

The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month. The post will host its annual Veteran’s Day program on November 11.

Stephanie Finley will serve as guest speaker.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. It is the nation’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to fellow service members and veterans.