Article by Ted Barber
Our American Legion Post has been active in Lake Butler, Florida according to Mr. Billy McGill since 1926. Over the years we have had as many as 50 active members attending the Post Meetings on a regular basis as I learned from Quinton Bloodsworth at our April 20, 2017 meeting. Quinton said at one point the Post was about to acquire property and build a Post Building. The money was raised and then for some reason the progress stopped. My guess is that America has put the major wars on the shelf. With North Korea and the Iran deal we may be heading toward another time when our military will allow deterrence or have to fight. For many years now Lake Butler Lodge No. 52, Free and Accepted Masons, has allowed the American Legion Post to hold its quarterly meetings at 325 West Main Street across from the TD Bank on Main Street where our quarterly meetings mustering between 15 and 25 members and guests.
Each year our American Legion Post has presented medals to the Union County High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at the annual Awards Ceremony to tell the students and community that we appreciate the services the JROTC provide our community. On Veteran’s Day the UCHS JROTC members are very active in providing Drill and Ceremony demonstrations, Flag Details and Parade Units. This group of young men and women are active in competing against other JROTC Units throughout the state, and they handle the posting of Colors and parking duties at our athletic competitions like football games. On Memorial Day held on the last Monday in May, the JROTC Students that assist in honoring the men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice are volunteers since the school is in summer recess. This year the Union County Memorial Day Ceremony is Monday, May 29, 2017 and begins at 9:30 AM.
“I am very proud of the UCHS JROTC Unit and believe all members are to be congratulated for the work that they do”, says Ted Barber.
JROTC Military Excellence Medal– It is awarded for outstanding cadet performance, demonstrated qualities of dependability and good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership ability; as well as a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of JROTC training. This award goes to Cadet Jayde Langkau.
JROTC Scholarship Excellence Medal with Rebar– is normally recommended by the senior JROTC Instructor and is awarded for superior academic performance and/or achieving a Scholarship “A” in JROTC. The cadet should rank in the upper 10% of the academic class, demonstrate outstanding qualities in military leadership, and actively participate in constructive student activities to include sports and other student activities. This Award goes to Cadet Noah Mattox.
The American Legion Post 153 Award– The Post 153 award is a $100 monetary award for achievement with the recommendation of the Senior JROTC Instructor. The award this year goes to Cadet Ian Bly. (Note- Cadet Ian Bly won the American Legion Post 153 Award for Achievement ($100) but was not available to receive same at the Awards Assembly.)
The American Legion Post 153 Florida Gateway College Scholarship– Allows the recipient to use $1,300 toward full-time tuition and books in the Fall Semester at Florida gateway college. As a backup this year, the American Legion Post 153 has Cadet Taylor Lilliston in the event the primary recipient fails to register for the FGC Fall Semester. The American Legion Post 153 winner of the $1300 scholarship goes to Cadet Brittany Liston.