The Rapidian

American Legion Post 459

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Our Post

Our Post

The date was January 1946.  America was just coming out of World War II.  The young men and women called to serve our country were either recently home or on their way back to see their loved ones.  The Northeast side of Grand Rapids was no exception as discharged members of the Armed Forces returned to their mothers, fathers, and perhaps just as important, the friends they grew up with.  It was no coincidence that many of these young servicemen, full of youth and optimism, decided to form their own veterans service organization.  In short order, they decided that the name of this club was to be the "Northeastern American Legion Post"; the Post number 459 was also quickly assigned by the state level authorities.

These young men, with names like Rusilowski, Lewakowski, Stalec, and Potapowicz also reflected the strong Polish-American heritage of the Northeast side of Grand Rapids.  These well-motivated veterans quickly turned to the streets and families of their youth to fill the roster of the Northeastern Post.  After several meetings at Diamond Avenue Hall in 1947, the fledgling Post was officially chartered, elected officers, and found a home at 700 Michigan Street N.E.  Ever true to their heritage and ties to the community our Post membership grew quickly and moved across the street to our current home at 658 Michigan Street N.E.  In 1953 the Post added the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, and in 1963 they chartered a group named the Sons of The American Legion.

Today's Northeastern Post is surely different than the group of spirited young veterans of 1946, but our roots will forever be a part of our sense of pride and obligation.  Our members come from a variety of ethnic, social, and political backgrounds.  All three of our organizations are both non-sectarian and non-political.  Simply put, we believe our diversity is our strength.

Post 459 is currently home to approximately 315 Legion veteran members, 220 members of the Ladies Auxiliary, and 160 members of the Sons of The American Legion.  Our three organizations operate independently, but we always remain true to our mission of helping veterans, veterans' causes, and our community.

The members of our Legion Family currently contribute time and other resources to charities such as Childrens' Miracle Network, Special Olympics, and the American Cancer Society, just to name a few.  Locally, our Post contributes to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, gives scholarships to local high school graduates, and participates with a large variety of other local civic and religious organizations.

Currently, Post 459 members serve our Legion Family at the Post, District and State levels.  Our sense of patriotism can also be seen when we march on Memorial and Veterans Days, when we bow our heads in prayer during the service of the Four Chaplains, and when we flag veterans' graves at local cemeteries.

If you served in the US military, or are related to someone who did, you may be eligible for membership.  Currently serving military members, to include servicemembers in the National Guard and Reserves, receive a FREE one year membership.  For more information, please visit us at http://north-eastern459.org

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