By: Rebecca Indianer
This year is the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion organization, yet the American Legion is now in danger of falling into history.
The WW2 veterans and Korean War veterans were big into the American Legion at its start, and thru the 80’s. However, with the loss of these war Veterans, membership has dropped rapidly. Retired Army Sgt. Bill Burgess shares, “The younger generation from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are busy raising kids and supporting their families. The American Legion is something that’s more participated in once retired so we aren’t getting many new members, which is how we sustain our organization.”
Thank you Retired USAF Colonel Bob Turelli for the following:
The American Legion national organization was founded in 1919. It is the nation's largest and most influential veterans’ service organization. It is made up of 2 million veterans who promote patriotism and national security, support youth and community programs, and advocate for veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families.
Dexter American Legion Post 557 has been an active member of the American Legion national organization for the past 60 years. The group first gathered just after World War II, and on the evening of January 18, 1946, one hundred recently discharged veterans of the Dexter area formed an organization known as the Dexter Ex-GI Club. During the first few months of their existence, they met at the Knights of Columbus and in rooms over stores in the downtown Dexter area. In 1948 they purchased the historic 6 ½ acre Steinbach property adjacent to the village and this is the site of their current location. On December 17, 1948 the EX-GI Club was granted a charter from the American Legion national organization and became Dexter American Legion Post 557. Shortly thereafter on April 28, 1949 the Dexter American Legion Auxiliary was chartered. In 1962 a Sons of the American Legion Squadron was also formed.
Today, the Dexter American Legion is a full-service facility with a lounge, banquet facility, meeting rooms, kitchen, a large outdoor covered pavilion, and ample space on its property for recreational activities. The Dexter American Legion offers a variety of social activities such as dinners, parties, and holiday celebrations. These events are open to Legion members, their guests, and the public. Its banquet facility and outdoor covered pavilion are also available for private use.
Diversified in its activities, the Dexter American Legion supports both veterans and community activities. Support comes in the form of personal assistance, cash grants, donated goods, disaster relief, labor, networking, volunteerism and advocacy. For example, the Dexter American Legion supports activities at the local VA Hospital; provides charitable donations to Veteran and community organizations; supports Michigan Boys State and local Boy Scout Troop 442 (; participates in City of Dexter Community events; places and maintains flags at veteran’s grave sites in Dexter; and awards annual scholarships to local Dexter High School students. Not only does American Legion post 557 support Boy Scout Troop 442, the scouts are additionally headquartered in the basement of post 557. It also has an Honor Guard and Rifle Squad to ensure that all Dexter American Legion members receive a proper military burial. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the community in which it thrives.
Dexter American Legion Post 557 Membership Drive
The American Legion national organization has recently changed and expanded its membership criteria. Anyone who has served federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces since December 7, 1941 and has been honorably discharged or is still serving is eligible for membership in the American Legion. Those who join the American Legion Family will find it to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
For Dexter American Legion Post 557 membership details, please contact Mr. Larry Stalker 734-426-8499, firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Dexter American Legion at 8225 Dexter-Chelsea Road, Dexter.
If you’d like to show your support for our American Legion Post 557, there are several events coming up that are open to the public. For instance:
-Every Thursday there’s Burger with Fries Night, from 4:00-6:30pm, and only $5.00.
- Karaoke every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month 8:00PM
-Monthly Dinners like:
-October 11, 2019: Stuffed Cabbage Roll dinner. 4:30-7:00pm, $10/person
-October 18, 2019 Meat Raffle. Tickets go on sale at 6:15pm and raffle begins at 7:00pm (The raffle operates like a bingo and is super fun!)