Puerto Vallarta June Newsletter from American Legion Post 14
American Legion Centennial Celebration - 100 Years!
The American Legion is going all out to make its 100th Anniversary something special. One of their efforts is getting as many Posts as possible to put together a local history - and then submit it to the folks at the American Legion for posting online. There are already several Posts that have done this. I am in the process of doing it for our Post. However, I need some help. Here at some things I need help with:
1. Timeline. Any and all information about the date our Post started and any significant dates along the way - more dates are better than fewer dates - we can always edit down.
2. People. A list of officers year-by-year.
3. Photos. From the beginning to now. Officers, members, events, meetings, projects, and whatever else. Digital photos are preferred - but I can also digitalize paper photos (they just aren't quite as crisp).
4. Stories. Any story about anything.
NO RUSH. I've started and would like to get it wrapped up early this Fall. Please send them to J. R. Wilson at email@example.com. Thanks.
Department of Mexico
What in the heck is the Department of Mexico? It's the overseeing body for all of the American Legion Posts in Mexico, Central America, and South America. It was started in 1921…. More in upcoming Newsletters. BTW - The current Commander of the Department of Mexico is our own Ron Abbe!
MEET A VET From Post 14 - Dennis Jansen
• Name: Dennis Michael Janson
• Birth date: 4/9/42
• Hometown: Albany, California
• Current location of your home (in MX): Amapas, Colonia Buenos Aires, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX. 48370
• Current location of your home (in the US) if you have a home there? None
• Are you a Full-Timer in Mexico? Yes
• How many years in Mexico? 13 in September
• Why are you living in Mexico? The Lord requested our presence. Couldn't refuse nor would want to as it is a privilege.
• Where did you attend High School? Oakland, California
• Spouse name and years married: Faye Joy Janson, almost 28 yrs.
• Branch of the Service: US Navy (active)
• Dates of Service: 1960 to 1963
• Specialty in the Service: Signalman & Master Helmsman
• What did you actually do? Signalman and Master Helmsman, in charge of all semaphore and flag and signal light communication and the only Helmsman allowed to pilot the USS Kawishiwi a super tanker in and out of Pearl Harbor and also during refueling of the carriers and fleet we were assigned.
• Assignments w/approximate dates: 1960 to 1963 U.S.S Kawishiwi AO-146 and the last two months on the U.S.S Reclaimer ARS 42
• Favorite war story: Off the Aleutian Island about 60 miles from Russia we were buzzed by two Russian Badger Bombers just like what you are seeing in the news now. ALSO, we were always docked directly across from the sunken USS Arizona battleship a graphic reminder of WWll and the loss of the brave sailors who didn't stand a chance.
• American Legion - Have you been a member of any other Post if so, where? No
• What positions have you held in the Legion? Chaplain and member of the Executive Committee.
• Hobbies or interests: Retired from Scuba Diving professionally and also gave up my pilot's license and also no longer teach martial arts or CPR and First Aid. Now love teaching English to the poor children in an orphanage, a Boys Home, and a large Spanish Church in the hills of PV.
• Any words of wisdom for fellow Legionnaires. You are special and a wonderful creation of our Lord. Don't waste your gifts but instead share them as you're not through even though retired.
• Anything else you'd like to have included in the article? Love God and Love People. Count your blessings as you could have been born a Muslim or blind etc.
• Telephone Numbers: Home 113-0205 / cell 322-182-0129
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial Day Celebration
On Monday, May 30th the Post held its first annual Memorial Day Celebration. The turnout was great - especially considering the time of year. All of the "regulars" were there, several local Legionnaires who don't come to many meetings were present, and several passersby stopped in too! Carla and her gang set up a free hot dog "stand" at the back of Steve's and all Veterans were given a couple of drink tickets. At 3 PM a moment of silence took place - after which, J. R. read a Memorial Day message to the group. This was a successful event and one we hope to do every year!
Chaplain's Corner - Dennis Janson
Hi Warriors, I know that most of us still think sometimes in childish ways. I remember well those times when I felt I was indestructible especially when I was about 18 years old. But guess what? Ask me now. In high school I ran the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds and at that time was only beat by Jimmy Hines the world champion at 9.6 seconds. Then I joined the USN and sailed the world proudly protecting my country. Then joined the California Highway Patrol and protected the citizens. Studied and became a martial art instructor to many police departments. But guess what? The speed and strength have disappeared along with the muscle tone. I am now a senor citizen. But the big questions are…
Are we prepared? Are we ready for what is next? I will let you sleep or mull over that until next month when I will go into more detail.
Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point.
MORE…from our friend Pam Thompson
Many of you know (and many don't!) that I moved my office to San Javier Hospital. I have begun many new projects there, one of them being setting up our new Pharmacy Program for veterans who have been paying out of pocket for their medications. This is the first "step" as we attempt to move forward and be able to accept veterans benefits (via direct payment) for not only medications, but regular physician consults, diagnostic studies (such as lab, radiology) and hopefully for inpatient services.
In order to proceed and to see who qualifies, I need some specific information on each veteran. If you could please contact me at email@example.com we can either do it via email OR we can set up a time to meet in my office. As you know, benefits vary from veteran to veteran and can be via the Foreign Medical Program (for those with disabilities), Tricare, Tricare for Life, straight VA - it's complicated. We want to be able to assist you as much as possible - and in order to do this, I need your information!
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards, Pamela Thompson
"(Sittin on) The Dock of The Bay"
Vessels that have recently been at our "Dock" here in PV or of vessels that are coming in the near future.
USCGC Vessel ACTIVEwas in Puerto Vallarta arriving mid-May. A COMREL was done on the 20th at the Food Bank.
No Vessels expected in June or July at this time.
Community Service Projects - May 2016
In all of its activities in the community, Post 14 acknowledges significant ongoing financial support from the Jay Sadler Project.
We are constantly searching for Members (and others) to assist with our projects. If you would like to help or know of someone who would like to help - please contact Brian Topolniski at brian.edward.topolniski@gmailcom (Brian is the lead guy for projects). He will be happy to add your name to the list of volunteers that are so crucial to completing our many projects.
C.A.D.I. Nursery/Day Care Center- painting and cement work - our helpers are working there 2 days a week until completed. May be some help needed from members. Almost wrapped up.
Col. Las Palmas Community Center - painting and more in the future.
Col. Volcanus Community Center - painting, plumbing, electrical, and masonry and more.
Coapinole La Lagina Playground.New playground equipment was delivered on Friday the 13th of May. Actual construction over the weekend with locals. Perimeter wall around basketball court is done - cement work done and painted - LOOKS GREAT!
Col. Magisterio Playground - Installation of new equipment and major repairs. July 2016
Playgrounds at San Vicente del Mar and El Guamúchil-Restoration, repairs, and follow up on previous work completed two years ago. Pending.
Weblinks of interest
"Open the Books" - watching the VA - this site is worth spending a few minutes browsing - if you are interested in the VA being accountable. It covers all sorts of government waste - besides the VA.
This is from the PV Angels Newsletter - VERY IMPORTANT - Current Highway 200 Improvements & What Do They Mean for Vallarta?
"A Soldier Died Today"…A good reminder.
Operation Heal our Patriots! From Samaritan's Purse
GREAT commercial honoring vets from a few years ago - You Tube.
If you've read the article from the PV Angels link above (original at MLS Vallarta) you might be wondering where all the cars are going to go, where are they going to park, and how are you and me going to get from point A to point B in Banderas Bay area in the future? Let me ask you to think about something else. How are Puerto Vallarta and all of the surrounding communities going to keep up with the demands on electricity, water, sewer, telecommunications (especially internet), and more? These are very serious concerns and questions that nobody seems to be talking about. The highway article talked about lack of funds for PV projects…if highways can't be improved, diverted, and maintained - how do they expect to pay for other projects. It seems as though the Mass Exodus during the big hurricane scare last Fall went fairly well. What happens next time - especially if one or both of the bridges from Jalisco to Nayarit fails. Just food for thought. J. R. Wilson, Editor
Our friend and fellow Legionnaire - Jeff Dana just got married. Lots of friends showed up for the wedding on the beach and the celebration later at Capt. Don's. CONGRATS JEFF!
On Friday, the 3rd of June, Dennis R. and J. R. stopped by the Food Bank (where the A.L. had done a lot of work a few months ago) and picked up a truckload of food to deliver to various charities. They delivered a sack of potatoes (40 kg) and a stalk of bananas (20 kg) each to the SEVERAL locations listed below:
The Majisterio - Rotary -- Children of the dump feeding program.
Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo Quiroz -- Orphanage near the Airport.
DIF New Life Home for Boys - Home for young boys with a troubled past.
Horizonte de Paz -- This is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic.
Corazon de Nina -- Orphanage for young Boys and Girls.
Projecto Busca Amigo -- Day care for children with disabilities.
Banderas Bay Women's Shelter -- Home for abused women and mothers.
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