American Legion Post 125 works to revive its history and help veterans
A Springfield American Legion Post has a rich history, but no building. However, Post members are perfectly fine with that.
American Legion Post 125 has been popping up with various projects around the Springfield area. All the while working to revive its history and help current and future veterans in the process.
It was first chartered in 1928-- as an African American post when blacks weren't allowed to join other Legions in the area. Decades went by, members passed away, and some aged out, which put Post 125 in danger of dissolving. Years passed, and Commander Bill Roark decided to reboot it.
"What we tried to do is resurrect that and protect the black heritage, and everything that has happened," said Commander Roark.
Alongside Roark, a group of veterans has been working tirelessly to revive the post with various fundraisers like the popcorn project. Money raised goes toward projects like placing a lighted flag pole at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. The newly revived post doesn't have a home building that can eat up resources on maintenance, taxes, or rental fees. Roark said because of that, all proceeds can go directly into helping veterans and not other unnecessary costs.
"We collect in donations, and everything that we do is strictly to support veterans and enhance veterans' rights and their resources," further explained Roark.
Vice Commander Mike Cook has been offering to host the legion's fundraisers and meetings at his store, Mikes Unique Collectibles, and Flea Market.
He said the opportunity to help the community and the veterans is one that hits close to home.
"A lot of veterans have suffered, especially the ones coming back form the middle east," said Cook. "They come with a lot more injuries, and they survive, fortunately."
In addition to no building, these days, Post 125 doesn't have as many black members as it uses to. However, Roark said the African American sacrifices wouldn't be forgotten.
"There's a lot of black heritage here in Springfield, and we're trying to do our best to continue to support that," said Roark.
That's why Roark said the mission is to support all veterans through simple gestures should keep the American Legion Post 125 around for years to come.
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