Commander Amy Muse is finishing out her first year as District Commander and gearing up for her last year as 2022-2023 District Commander. She offers, “My first year as District Commander, I was very fortunate to have so many past District Commanders and leaders, mentors, and Post leadership and members that were welcoming and would answer my questions.”
“I was very overwhelmed with so many dying Posts! There is a lack of Post contact information, a general lack of interest in anything but Funeral Detail, and general disregard for today’s veterans in these Posts that are struggling. I am reminded of how Vietnam vets say they were treated by Korean and WWI and WWII vets, and guess what…little has changed. The very veterans I am so thankful for and feel indebted to for paving the way for today’s military and today’s veterans are the very veterans that are tuning out and turning away today’s veterans.”
Commander Muse has set her sights on revitalizing two Posts in SW Iowa: Rainbow Post 2 in Council Bluffs and Ourcq Post 117 in Corning. “Council Bluffs has an estimated veteran population of 4,416 veterans with membership numbers currently at 366 (94.86% of goal 2022), with 27 transfers and 4 new members in the 2022 membership year.” Pott Co. alone has 7,526 veterans receiving some type of VA benefit. (https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/council-bluffs-ia-population). She states, “It is well known more than half of veterans on average do not claim any VA benefits they have earned.”
Corning is the County Seat of Adams Co. and had been managed by the same Adjutant since 1938 according to IRS records. “No member in this Post has been given, nor taken responsibility. There is zero accountability. A veteran in the community realized the Legion Post’s Office, right beside the former Post Commander’s home, had military weapons unsecured. He ensured the weapons were turned over to the Sheriff’s Department for storage until the Post could get back on it’s feet. “Many of Corning’s members have simply transferred to Williamson Post 719 located amongst cornfields near what was Nevinville, IA,” Commander Muse explains, “This Post now has 72 members (96%) and there isn’t even a town to support its efforts. Corning does have an uphill battle appearing to have only 97 veterans in town (https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/corning-ia-population). “Only 298 veterans are known to receive any type of VA benefit in Adams Co. according to the VA GDX. Still, if the veterans in town are motivated, the community has so much to offer.”
Below excerpt was taken from the Adams County Free Press, Thursday, May 1, 1941 ahead of Iowa Seventh District Convention scheduled for Monday, May 5, 1941 estimating 1,100 Legion and Legion Auxiliary members would be in attendance!
“Corning Post 117 of the American Legion was named after the Ourcq River in France, along which Company K of Corning fought one of the battles in the beginning of the end of World War I, the application was approved and issuance of a charter to the post recommended July 28th, 1919. C. M. Stanley was the first Commander. Charter members, in addition to Stanley, were:
Ben Gibson, William Stahl, O. R. Mitchell, Leighton Cummings, I. L. Hinton, Merle L. Woods, Mark L. J. Mack, F. Paul Gray, William G. Angus, Willard Archie, James F. Carter, Chester Gibson, Charles Parrott, Edwin Williams, Edwin Andrews, Eugene Cruise, Charles Reese, William Darrah, Carlos Garner, Harry Wilson, Kenneth Keef, Robert McKee, H. B. Whitlock, Arthur Keef, Merrick Twining, Howard Stanley, R. N. Archie, J. G. Coulter, J. E. Hatton, J. W. Biggar, A. B. Gladson, J. L. Moore, J. R. Anderson, R. E. Odell, G. E. McConkey, and O. F. Anderson
Most of these charter members served in Company K, 168 Infantry which was part of the Third Battalion in the 42nd Division and commanded by Major Guy S. Brewer.
In this organization, the Second Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel O. M. Stanley of Corning and Major Emery Worthington. The Battle of the Ourcq was a part of the First Battalion commanded by the decisive victory for the Allies at Chateau Thierry after which followed the battles of St. Michael of the Atgonne and the final drive to Sergy.”
“It is a shame that one of the Posts, over 100 years old, in SW Iowa could permanently close,” Commander Muse remarked. However, no veteran wins when a Post is not active in its community.