BY SHERI TRUSTY
Last June, one of the most active American Legion posts in Ottawa County elected a young veteran, Ben Knauss, to serve as the post’s commander. Knauss was chosen to head American Legion Post 114 in Oak Harbor not only because he is well-qualified to lead the post, but also because his youth has the potential to attract a new generation of veteran families.
“I want to try to bring more activities for families to the post,” Knauss said.
Those activities can help expose more veterans to the many services offered by the post. The American Legion in Oak Harbor is more than just a social club. Post 114 is very active in community service as it supports individual veterans and hosts public events.
“We help veterans with anything they need. We can help them pay their bills or their rent,” said American Legion Auxiliary President Dawn Sherman. “Last year, the Auxiliary donated $2,000 to Ottawa County Veterans Service.”
The post has a variety of events scheduled for November, beginning with the Auxiliary Poppy Sale the weekend of Nov. 10-11 at Community Market, 279 W. Water St., Oak Harbor. All proceeds help support local veterans.
The post at 221 Park St. Oak Harbor, will host a Veterans Day Stew Feed on Saturday, Nov. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. The dinner is free for all veterans and their families and for families of deceased veterans. Eat-in and carryout are available. Donations are accepted.
A free Veterans Breakfast for veterans and their families will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 8-11 a.m.
The Post 114 annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held at the post on Thursday, Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is welcome, and eat-in and carryout are available.
The November events highlight the mission of the post, which is to connect with, support, and show appreciation for as many local veterans as possible. The post’s members range from seven-year-old Colt Forman to 95-year-old Roger Carpenter.
At Post 114, there is a place for everyone, whether they are a veteran or a family member – or even a motorcyclist. The post has four entities. The Legion is for veterans. The Sons of the American Legion is for sons. The third entity, the Auxiliary, underwent a recent change to create a place for husbands of veterans.
“It used to be just for wives and daughters. Now, we welcome husbands, too,” Sherman said. “It used to be that husbands had no place here. Now they can join the Auxiliary.”
The fourth entity, the Riders of the American Legion, is open to anyone who rides motorcycles and is a member of one of the other three entities. The group gathers for recreational rides and charity rides, and it provides escort for funerals and fallen soldiers returning from overseas.
For more information, call American Legion Post 114 at 419- 898-5888.