State wants new Legion in Pikeville area
By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on December 24, 2010 1:46 PM
James Moore, state membership chairman with the American Legion of North Carolina, is looking for a few good men and women to help start a new chapter in Pikeville.
"There are a lot of veterans that live in the area, and I can't see them going all the way to Goldsboro just to go to a post," Moore said.
Currently there is one Legion post in Fremont, which shares its space with the Boys and Girls Club, and two in Goldsboro, one, Post 215, on Patrick Street, and the other, Post 11, on U.S. 117 South.
To start a post, Moore, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Army, explained that he needs at least 15 veterans to sign up. An initial meeting to gauge interest will be held on Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Community Center, 101 School St., between Hill and Railroad streets.
Interested veterans are asked to bring their DD-214 forms.
"Then I can go forward with the process of starting the post," Moore said, including selecting officers, setting meeting times and setting the yearly dues, as well as eventually starting a new Legion Auxiliary unit and a new Sons of the Legion unit.
Moore also is making a special effort to find younger veterans as well as female veterans.
In most Legion posts, he said, the average age of the members is 60 to 65.
"I've sent out 40 to 50 letters to people who are veterans, and I'm just waiting to get some responses back. We're looking for younger veterans. People have said this is an old man's group. This is not an old man's group," he said. "I'm also looking for female veterans. There are a lot of them out there. We can only grow with new people and new ideas."
He also said that younger and female veterans should be interested in the Legion because of its ability to lobby the federal government for better veterans' benefits, and the more members it has, the more influence it has.
"The Legion is the reason the VA now is taking a lot better care of veterans than they did before," Moore said.
But, he said, the Legion, founded in 1919, does more than just lobby for veterans' benefits, it also is involved in supporting current troops, as well as multiple youth and children activities, such as Legion baseball, Children's Miracle Network, Ronald McDonald House, Boy Scouts, Boys State and other academic oriented programs.
For more information about the American Legion and the starting of a post in Pikeville, contact Moore at 242-6065, 1-252-521-0491 or jmooreJr7@nc.rr.com.