CHAZY - As members of the American Legion get older, additional help is needed to keep their mission alive.
Currently, the Russell B. Childs Post 769 American Legion of Chazy is working to begin a Sons of the American Legion Squadron, which will be the seventh of its kind in the county.
"Our particular Legion post in Chazy is a small post and our members are getting older and we don't have the hands capable of doing the fundraising and stuff like that that we need," explained Steve Bowman, a 17-year member of the Chazy American Legion, and the Fourth District Commander of the American Legion.
"We want to stay around for a long time," he added. "So, we need to start looking at spreading our wings a little bit and having more capability."
Bowman explained the Sons of the American Legion are made up of sons, grandsons, stepsons and even great-grandsons of an American Legion member, an American military member, or an American military war veteran.
"If you have ... a World War II vet that had passed away, any of his sons, or grandsons are eligible to be a member of the Sons of the American Legion," he said.
Currently, Bowman, a veteran of Desert Storm, is considered a "dual hatter" as he is eligible to be a member of both organizations, because his grandfather was a World War II veteran.
Both organizations focus on raising funds for various programs and doing community work.
"Right now we're running a program in the county to collect socks for soldiers over in Afghanistan," Bowman explained. "We raise money for the American Legion baseball. We also raise money for the ... American Legion Emergency Fund, which helps American Legion families and posts that have had disaster-type issues."
One disaster Bowman explained was Hurricane Katrina which "destroyed large communities in a vast area where there was a lot of Legion members."
"There's also a national scholarship fund that can be used for the children of troops that were killed overseas and for the children of those that were killed in 9/11," he added.
Bowman said the Sons of the American Legion are "typically some of the bigger contributors nationally." Bowman said there are currently about five or six men who have shown interest thus far, including his son, Eric Bowman, and grandson, Isaac Bowman. There is a minimum requirement of 10 men for a squadron to get started.
"It's just a good way to get the community involved," said Bowman. "And to get back a little bit patriotically. That's kind of what we're looking for."
For more information, contact Bowman at 565-4720 or 846-8263.