February/March News

The American Legion recognizes the first week of February as “Four Chaplains” week with Sunday being “Four Chaplains” Sunday. We honor four chaplains who gave their lives so others could live.

I reference the book “Sea of Glory” by Ken Whales and David Poling. It tells the true story of four brave men and the ship they served, the U.S.AT. Dorchester in WW II. The ship was a converted passenger ship being used as a troop transport. The four men were chaplains of different faiths. The ship had 900 men and 2 women aboard and were attacked by a Nazi submarine, the U-223, and in the end 230 survived the attack.

The four chaplains were George Fox, a Methodist from Altoona, Pa., Alexander Goode, a Jewish Rabbi from Brooklyn, Ny, Clark Poling, Dutch Reformed, from Columbus, Ohio and George Washington, Catholic Priest from Newark, NJ. All four were Lieutenant Chaplains and assigned to a troop transport called the Dorchester that wasn’t built to travel the North Atlantic. They were headed to St. Johns, Newfoundland and then ordered to Cape Farewell, Greenland. Before they get to their final destination, they encountered the U-223 U - boat looking for a kill.

The last time the four chaplains were seen, they were standing on the exposed ship hull near the fantail in the dim light. They had their coats on but none of them had a life jacket. They locked arms in a circle and lifted their heads up to the dark sky and started singing – “Eternal Father, strong to save whose arm doth bind the restless wave”. They had given up their life jackets so others could live.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Important dates in March: 03/03/69 Cpl. David Johnston is KIA. 03/07/45 US troops invade Germany over Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen. 03/15 designated birthday of the American Legion, on that date in 1919 the first American Legion Caucus, held by members of the American Expeditionary Force, convened in Paris. March 15, is the date when the American Legion came to life. Happy 100th Birthday! 03/19/03, Operation Iraqi Freedom begins.

For God and Country; Commander Dave

More from the Commander

For the few of you that have answered my call for more “butts in the seats” I thank you. For those of you that haven’t had the time to attend our meeting (1st Thursday of the month) or visited our lounge I extend that call. We need your support.

Another 7 of you have notified us that you have access to a computer and can receive our newsletter on our website (alpost283.org). Please notify us by e-mail djohnstonpost283@gmail.com so that we can discontinue mailing a printed copy if you have the ability to receive it by our website.

We would like to start a wall of honor for our active duty son’s and daughter’s but we need information and pictures to do that. If you are interested please send those profiles and pictures to 7725 Refugee Rd. Pickerington, Ohio 43147.

The Post will be hosting the District 8 meeting on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

On a personal note, as a member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, I worked with Rep Tim Schaffer to get July 16th recognized as National Atomic Veterans Day in Ohio. HB414 passed the Ohio House 88 to zero on 06/07/18 and the Ohio Senate 30 to zero on 11/28/18. It was signed into law by Gov. Kasich 12/12/18. We also introduced a resolution ( HCR21) supporting Federal legislation, Mark Takai Atomic Veteran Healthcare Parity Act. It passed the House and sits in an Ohio Senate Committee.

For God and Country

Commander Dave