Legion celebrates recovery amid leadership changes

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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On June 6, American Legion Post 24 held its monthly speaker meeting. Ricky Crysell with Celebrate Recovery, a nationwide recovery group that deals with issues from anger and codependency to alcoholism and gambling addiction, was keynote speaker and during his address, Crysell recognized the trauma and mental health issues that sometimes arise from military service and implored members to attend a meeting and share their burdens. 

“…The Bible says, confess your sins one to another that you may be healed,” Crysell said. “I did not know that I would be 43 years old sitting in a room of guys that I don’t even know, telling them about my problems, but I’m going to tell you something. There is a healing that takes place when we do this.”

Crysell told the group that Celebrate Recovery is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The group meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Family Life Center of the First Assembly of God Church in Greenville. 

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“It doesn’t matter where you are in life or who you are…we’ve all got problems that we need to deal with. We’ve all got issues,” Crysell said. 

In closing out the meeting, Legion 24 Commander Liza Berrey announced that effective immediately, she will be stepping down from her position as Commander for personal reasons. Berrey has held the position for two years and during her tenure has implemented several popular programs such as the Commander’s Breakfast, an informal gathering allowing members a chance for a meal and fellowship. 

During the announcement, Berrey gave an emotional statement, thanking members for their unwavering support. 

“…So I will be turning the helm over to somebody else,” Berrey said. “I appreciate y’all having the confidence in me to do this in the first place.  I learned a lot and a lot about myself.  I didn’t know I had the strength and the knowledge to pull some of this stuff off.

“It has been my honor to be up here. Not knowing what I’m doing but trying to figure it out. And you guys were amazing.”

Legion member Sarah Smith has worked closely with Berrey and says that it will be difficult to fill her shoes. 

“As the Commander of the American Legion for the past two years, she has built upon the foundations and principles of our earlier leaders,” Smith said. “She works hard and doesn’t mess around. She’s shown me how graceful a tough woman can really be and I have been honored to meet her,” Smith said.