A timely visit to the Legion

Published 11:56 am Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nobody understands the special challenges veterans face and the special needs they have better than other veterans. That’s part of the mission of the American Legion, which, according to the organization’s website was chartered by Congress in 1919 “as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.”

Members of the American Legion know they can lean on one another, that they can share the experience of serving their nation’s armed forces with others who understand just what it cost to do so and that they can work together to teach a new generation the importance of patriotism and service.

American Legion Nansemond Post 88 has a far briefer history, having been founded just five years ago, but its members have been active ever since the post’s establishment doing the work of the Legion — within the headquarters it shares with VFW Post 9382 and outside in the community.

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The post was honored this week to receive its first visit from a national commander, as Dan Dellinger joined members for doughnuts and coffee. Dellinger is on the road for about 330 days this year, visiting American Legion posts around the country, and he said he had made a special priority of visiting the relatively new post on Pughsville Road during his tour.

Dellinger and the Suffolk-area veterans talked about the effects of sequestration, about downsizing in the military — and especially about the worries folks have regarding downsizing in Hampton Roads — and about health care for veterans. All of those topics are important to members of the Nansemond post and their families, and it was likely comforting to them to hear their national commander describe the ways the American Legion is working to serve them.

“They have established themselves in the community and are doing a great job,” Delligner said of the Nansemond post. “I just want to continue to see them grow.” With the support of the community and the dedicated service of members locally and at the national level, the post is likely to do just that. And that’s a great thing for the military community in the North Suffolk area.