American Legion fosters community programs, youth mentoring

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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The American Legion Post 24, led by Commander Liza Berrey, stands as a beacon of fellowship and community service in Greenville. Known as the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, the American Legion is deeply committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome programs within the community.

Berrey, in her efforts to promote camaraderie among members, has introduced various opportunities for fellowship.

“We meet every month on the first Thursday of the month,” Berrey stated. “And I’ve been trying every other month to do a ‘Commander’s Call’ breakfast…where they just have coffee and a light breakfast…just kind of a chit chat thing.”

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The monthly meetings not only offer a platform for fellowship but also feature a delicious meal and a guest speaker. This month, Col. Alan Hester, the Senior Army Instructor of the Greenville High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, addressed the members. Hester, who served in the military for 27 years before retiring in 2015, shared insights into the JROTC program and its impact.

“In a lot of ways, we organize and seek to pattern ourselves like the military,” Hester said. “We have a battalion called the Tiger Battalion. We have 25-30 Cadets. Each class is a company. Each company is divided into platoons with a platoon leader and a platoon Sergeant.”

Cadet Major Anne Elise Shealy, the Battalion Deputy Commander, expressed gratitude for her JROTC experience, noting its profound influence on her personal development. 

“As I’m drawing very close to the end of school, I’m realizing just how important JROTC has been these last 4 years,” Shealy shared. “I have JROTC to thank for shaping me into the person I am today.”

Junior Cadet Captain Eva Shealy, Anne Elise’s sister, echoed similar sentiments, acknowledging the opportunities JROTC has provided and expressing a desire to continue her sister’s legacy.

“As the incoming Academic team captain, it is quite a legacy to live up to,” Eva remarked. “She set the example for me as the captain of this team and in JROTC as a whole.”

American Legion Post 24 meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at 100 Legion Road in Greenville. All veterans are welcome to attend. To contact the legion call Liza Berrey at 334-437-0132.