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Calling all veterans

Nationally, the American Legion remains strong.

It has nearly 2 million members in more than 12,000 posts throughout the United States.

But, as many Legionnaires in our area are aware, it has become more and more difficult to bring new members into the organization. Small local posts are struggling to maintain sufficient numbers of members. This has proven true in several communities across our region in recent years.

Earlier this month, we reported that American Legion Post 312 in Belmont is in danger of dissolving. It has just 21 members; the national organization requires at least 25 for a post.

Actually, the number of members does not seem so small when you look at the community itself. It’s not that the village hasn’t sent its fair share of men and women to military service or even to war. It is simply that the community itself is quite small.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 440 people lived there as of 2018. Home to an early chapter of the American Legion, it is remarkable that such a small village has been able to maintain a post for a century.

Belmont Legionnaires plan a membership drive in July. They will be on the lookout for any and all qualified veterans from Belmont and the surrounding area. Persuading at least a few of them to sign on as members is key to the organization’s survival.

If you are interested in joining Post 312 or assisting it in some other way, call Adjutant Ed Blon at 740-484-1053 or attend a meeting.

They are held at 6 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Tri-State Military Veterans Museum, 101 E. Barrister St., Belmont.

The museum shares the longtime legion building, with the two groups helping one another. Its displays and collections will make attending an initial meeting worth the trip.

The American Legion provides important services to veterans, as well as being a source of fellowship for them. We encourage veterans, wherever they live in the area, to look into what the the organization has to offer.

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