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  • Monday, February 08, 2016

    Tank-Guarded Post in Livingston County Woods Greets Department Leaders

    The Department leaders’ four-day visitation to the 7th District wrapped up in Livingston County on Sunday, Feb. 7, with a mid-afternoon dinner at Conlon Mulvaney Post 1779 in rural Conesus.

    The Post Hall is nestled on a tiny hill in the woods. If it weren’t for the two canons and tank standing guard on the rolling, tree-spotted lawns, Department Commander James Yermas said he would have thought he was at one of his favorite hunting camps. (See photo gallery.)

    Some 100 people packed the hall to welcome the leaders, who spoke about Legion programs and encouraged the folks to be active in their communities and the Legion Family. Members of the Legion, the Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and the American Legion Riders were out in force.

    When Yermas asked if there were any Legion Riders in the room, he received a rousing chorus of “Yeahs!” in response.

    He described the Riders as the fastest growing and most highly visible program of the American Legion. “They’re moving billboards,” with roaring motorcyles and leather vests sporting the American eagle and the name of the group. They are some of the most generous people, raising money for scholarships of children left behind by war and many other charitable causes, all bonded by a love for riding motorcycles.

    Even though Post 1779 may be regarded as a smaller Post with 80 members, its SAL squadron and Auxiliary unit are quite active. A number of their members served and bussed tables, sporting white shirts and blouses, even bow ties.

    Post Commander Stephen Martucio praised the Auxiliary and SAL, pointing to their food-themed fundraising efforts – such as a monthly Sunday breakfast, a monthly all-you-can-eat Sunday lunch, and a Wednesday pizza night.

    The pizza, by the way, is homemade, with the commander’s wife, Auxiliary President Anita Martucio, spending two days preparing the dough. It’s so popular, she notes, that “a lot of people who don’t like pizza like ours.”

    The Auxiliary decided to put some of the money it raised to good use – with President Martucio presenting $1,000 to a shocked Department President Janet Mahoney for her special project helping veterans’ families harmed by Agent Orange (the wartime defoliant toxin).

    Department of New York SAL Detachment Commander Joseph SantaCroce touted another state-wide fundraising effort, the April Walkathon, jointly sponsored by the Auxiliary and SAL to purchase comfort items and equipment for VA medical facilities and homes. He encouraged the entire Legion Family to work together on the walkathon, slated for April 16.

    Dinner master of ceremonies was Tim Collmer, dean of American Legion College of New York – which, of course, he plugged as a great weekend immersion experience (June 17-19) for both Legion and SAL members. Livingston County Commander James Krause took the opportunity to present the Department commander with a gift – a handmade wooden nameplate to put on his desk.

    Post 1779 was established in 1952. Martucio has been commander for ten years – ever since he retired from the Army at the rank of sergeant first class. (That armored combat vehicle sitting on the front lawn? “I got us the tank from Fort Drum.”)

    The post hosts a dinner on Veterans Day and participates in ceremonies at the town hall and in the parade on Memorial Day. Even so, the Post needs more active members, he said. That’s one reason why he writes a monthly newspaper column about the Legion for Discover Conesus. If anyone in the area would like to get involved in a small-town rural Post, he said, just shoot him an email at