CHARLES S. HATCH POST#79

 

BERWICK NEWS

BERWICK NONAGENERIAN CELEBRATES 96 YEARS & COUNTING

Well, what do you know! Young at heart Roger Couture recently celebrated his 96th birthday.  But this is just one of many milestones reached by this proud New Englander, a longtime Legionnaire and Army veteran of the Korean War.

An active member of the American Legion for over 50 years, Roger has quite the resume. As a young man, he started working in the shoe business in Somersworth, New Hampshire where he remained for 20 years before moving on as a foreman for the Alton Shoe Company in Farmington, New Hampshire for another 22 years.

Roger retired from the shoe business in 1962 but he did not stop working! Teaming up with his wife Ruth, the couple decided to buy three acres of land behind their house and together they built and operated an eighteen hole “Pitch and Putt” golf course that took them two years to complete.

Describing himself as “just a man living his dream,” Roger hit the “big Leagues” on his 80th birthday. A lifelong fan of the Television Show “The Price is Right,” Roger’s children got him tickets to a taping of the show in Los Angeles where, lo and behold, he was chosen as a contestant! Of course, the fact that he wore a white T-Shirt with host Drew Carey’s face across the front and the words “Get Ready Because I’m 80” must have had a little something to do with his selection! (along with his Maine ball cap!),

No, Roger did not win the showcase, but the experience was the thrill of a lifetime and if you are lucky enough to know Roger you know that he lives life to the fullest. Very much a “family” man known for his years of dedication in support of his church parish, Roger is truly one in a million! Congratulations! Happy Birthday and Happy Father’s Day Roger. We salute you!

Photo:  Roger Couture (seated) with daughter Carol. Photo Credit: Maurice Cote

CONGRATULATIONS TO ANDY BUCKMAN - SELECTED LEGIONNAIRE OF THE YEAR FOR THE STATE OF MAINE!!

 

Andy Buckman, Berwick’s 2022 Citizen of the Year now has another “feather” in his cap! This active and involved veteran and member of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 has been named Legionnaire of the Year for the state of Maine.

Through business contacts with area car dealerships, Andy connected the post with Tri-City Cars in nearby Somersworth, New Hampshire, and secured Post involvement in the Tri-City 5KRun/Walk, now entering its third year. Andy also helped nurture the Veteran’s Golf Tournament, sponsored by The Links at Outlook Golf Course in South Berwick, Maine, also entering its third year.

Back in 2013, Andy had the idea to host a car show. June 2nd, 2024 marks the 11th year that Andy oversees the Berwick Car show, now a town sponsored event with over 180 entrants and dozens of area business sponsors. Together, these three major events generate the revenue that allows Post #79 to assist veterans not only in Berwick, but in surrounding communities.

Andy is also heavily involved in the Post’s Direct Aid to Veterans initiative which to date has provided much needed assistance totaling thousands of dollars to local veterans and their families, ranging from food vouchers, to hearing aid purchases, rent/moving assistance, medical supplies, wheelchairs, home repair and fuel assistance.

As if this was not enough, for almost ten years now, Andy and fellow Post Member Ron Vigue have joined forces to construct and present personalized, hand crafted memorial flag display cases to the families of deceased veterans at no cost to the recipients.

Andy embodies the Legion motto of "Veterans Strengthening America" by his daily devotion to helping our local veterans, their families, the military, and our community. He upholds the Legion’s time-honored values and fights to provide needed assistance whenever and wherever possible and is truly deserving of the designation Maine’s 2024 Legionnaire of the Year!

PHOTO CREDIT:  TODD OZBUN, OUR POST HISTORIAN

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO LIZ THAYER OF SANFORD, SHE WON THE LEGION RIDERS PATRIOTIC THROW DRAWING:

 

THANKS TO BOY SCOUT TROOP 313

FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF BERWICK'S CITIZENSHIP  RECOGNITION DINNER!

Assisting Mainely Local Yolks Restaurant with serving buffet meal: From left to right:  Brayden Luedke, Thomas Wintle and Nolan Simao. Photo Credit: Leanna Simao

Troop 313 Volunteers taking a short break before serving the 140+ guests: Back row, left to right: Matthew Durocher, Gavin Golet, Patrick McPeek, Brayden Luedke, Dylan Brown and Garrett Edwards.  Front row left to right: Nolan Simao, Thomas Wintle. Photo Credit: Leanna Simao

POST 79 LEGIONNAIRE ACHIEVES CONTINUOUS MEMBERSHIP MILESTONE

Berwick resident and longtime Legionnaire Ron Vigue usually does his best to avoid the spotlight, but this time, the spotlight found Ron! A past Post Commander and Berwick Citizen of the Year, Ron was recently recognized for being a member of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 in good standing continuously for 50 years. Post Commander Bryan English presented Ron’s Continuous Membership Certificate, signed by National Commander Daniel J. Seehafer and National Adjutant Daniel Wheeler.

Throughout the years. Ron has been involved in every aspect of post activities and currently serves on multiple committees, including the Veterans Assistance Fund, Budget, and Citizenship committees. For almost ten years now, Ron and fellow Post Member Andy Buckman have joined forces to construct and present personalized, hand crafted memorial flag display cases to the families of comrades who heeded the call of the Great Commander at no cost to the recipients. A talented craftsman, Ron also donates his time and talent to build benches, stools, birdhouses and cutting boards that he gives to organizations such as the post Auxiliary for fundraising raffles.

A particular point of pride for Ron is his support and involvement in the Post’s Direct Aid to Veteran’s initiative which to date has provided much needed assistance totaling thousands of dollars to local veterans and their families, ranging the gamut from food vouchers, to hearing aid purchases, rent/moving assistance, medical supplies, wheelchairs, home repair and fuel assistance.

Ron is, without a doubt, one of the reasons the people of Berwick hold The American Legion in such high regard and his contributions to post events and community activities continue to reflect a dedication to the good of the American Legion and service well beyond the call.

Photo Caption: Commander Bryan English (left) presents Continuous Membership Certificate to Ron Vigue (Photo Credit: Todd Ozbun, Post Historian)

American Legion Post #79 Reaches Out to
Veterans through Buddy Checks

 
BERWICK (Maine), 15 March 2024– Charles S. Hatch Post #79 in Berwick is conducting Buddy Checks for veterans and their families to assist them and provide a friendly voice during potentially difficult times. Post #79 now has a well-established team of volunteer members who perform such outreach.

“Veterans need to know they are not alone,” Post #79 Commander Bryan English said. “American Legion Buddy Checks have been used in communities large and small throughout the country to help more than 1 million veterans get groceries, medication, transportation and fulfill other needs since the program launched in 2019. Veterans who receive Buddy Check calls often say the most important thing about them is a friendly voice at a time when friends and family are unavailable to them. Buddy Checks can help veterans facing mental health and well-being struggles, no matter the reason.”

Those who know of veterans who would appreciate a Buddy Check from American Legion Post #79 are encouraged to send an email to the following address: post79buddycheck@gmail.com The in-box is checked frequently, and our members will get back to you either via return e-mail or phone call if you prefer.

American Legion Post #79, founded in 1920 and named after the first Berwick resident to die for his country, has abided by the organization’s national motto – “Veterans Strengthening America” – for over a decade through programs and services that support veterans, military personnel, youth and patriotic activities.

 

 

Post Volunteers Needed:

UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF SCOTT BICKFORD, OUR POST IS STARTING A COLOR GUARD TO SHOW THE COLORS AT LOCAL PARADES (MEMORIAL DAY & CHRISTMAS) & SPECIAL EVENTS.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT SCOTT OR FRANK AT:

bickfordscott@gmail.com   scpop@aol.com

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WHITE HOUSE VA HOTLINE: 

1-855-948-2311 

EXISTING VA CUSTOMER SERVICES: 

HEALTH CARE: 1-877-222-8387

BENEFITS: 1-800-827-1000

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: `1-800-273-8255

MYVA311 (OTHER): 1-844-698-2311 

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