American Legion supports veterans and their familiesJul 08, 2021 01:41PM ● By Jackie Kartchner
The American flag is displayed from the ladder of a fire engine. American Legion Post 27 teaches flag etiquette and how to pay respect and honor the flag. Photo courtesy of American Legion Post 27
FARMINGTON—The American Legion is a service organization for all the veterans in the area. “We have thousands of posts across the United States,” said Robert Anderson, 1st Vice Commander of Post 27. “On the national level, we have a lot of political things we put through.”
The Legion was first organized in 1919. “Throughout history, we were one of the main organizations to create the GI Bill,” Anderson said. “We wrote and put that through Congress back in the 1920s.”
Post 27 is very active. “We do a lot of different things,” said Anderson. “We’re also very active in supporting veterans and their families, both those who are currently deployed, as well as those who are survivors of those who have died,” said William Huber, former commander of the post.
They have a program called Gold Star. “It is for families that have had a member from their family that died in serving their country,” Huber said. They also have a blue star program. “We have a banner that is presented to families who currently have someone serving,” he said. They put on a blue star for each serving family member.
“We’ve put on a number of programs recognizing people in our own community,” said Huber.
Every year the Legion does Boys State and Girls State, which is held at Weber State University in June and July. It is open to high school juniors.“Boys State is where they form a government and go through the governmental process, so they get a better understanding of how the government works.” said Paul Hubenthal, 2nd vice commander. “A lot of our national leaders have been groomed and influenced by their experience in Boys State,” he said.
“The reports and briefings we receive afterwards have always been positive,” Huber said. “Morale is high and they maintain connections long after Boys State has concluded.”
Those who are interested can apply. “The qualifications are not arduous,” Huber said. “Basically, they have to show interest and apply.” They look at citizenship and leadership opportunities they have had in their community.
“The boys can qualify for a lot of scholarship money,” Huber said. “In our locale, that’s mostly given out through Weber State University.” The Samsung company also gives out a scholarship that is open anywhere in the country.
In August, they do Pro-Americanism. They teach flag etiquette and make a visual show in the community on how to pay respect and honor the flag. “We try to promote that – how and when your flag is tattered and worn and no longer presentable, we want to be able to properly retire those flags in a respectful and reverent manner,” said Hubenthal.
In August, they do a Retirement of the Colors at the Davis County Fair with 200 to 400 flags from the four communities they support, which are Kaysville, Fruit Heights, Farmington, and Centerville. “We have the inside of an arena, in which we have a large pit dug,” said Anderson. “We have a rifle team that fires seven blanks.” They also have a live bugler play “Taps.”
Another program is military funeral honors. “We have an established relationship in the area with the funeral homes,” said Huber. The families have to provide a document of the deceased individual, and then the funeral homes provide a flag to put over the coffin. The branch of the military the person served in is contacted, and they come out and do a tribute, with the rifle salute and “Taps.” “After which the flag is folded reverently and presented to the family.” Huber said.
On Memorial Day they put flags on the veterans’ graves at the Kaysville Cemetery and the Farmington Cemetery. A ceremony is done of the 13-fold. That is how the flag taken off the coffin is ceremoniously folded. “Each fold has a reason for it,” said Anderson, “or a statement behind it.”
During the Farmington Festival Days, they lead out in the parade, which they have done since about 2005.
The current officers are Jon Rue, commander; Bob Anderson, 1st Vice and Paul Hubenthal, 2nd vice.
They invite people to come join them. They currently have 122 members and would like to double that. “For those who are veterans themselves, as well as those who are sons of veterans,” said Huber, “they qualify as Sons of the American Legion.” There is no set time frame, they just have had to serve at one point. Women and men who have a spouse that has served can join the auxiliary as well.
Contact Robert Anderson for more information: