Andrea Myers Mannix
During the Opening Ceremonies of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show in September at Catoctin High School, Veterans representing the Thurmont American Legion and the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post No. 121 in Emmitsburg were honored in recognition of the American Legion’s 100th Anniversary in 2019.
The American Legion organization was founded in 1919 by Veterans returning from Europe after World War I. It was later chartered as an official American patriotic society and carries on the tradition to support Veterans, families, and their community. The Legion continues to volunteer in patriotic service of mutual help to our country’s Veterans and has touched virtually every facet of American life. Even to this day, American Legion members carry on their objective to serve their community, state, and nation.
Veterans honorees of the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post No. 121 of Emmitsburg were:
Kevin entered the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1979 and was assigned to Construction Battalion Unit 416 and then Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, proudly serving until his honorable discharge in 1986.
Kevin now serves as the commander of the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post No. 121 in Emmitsburg.
Thomas E. Hoke
Thomas served as a Combat Medic during World War II in the European Theater, and his Division was part of Patton’s Third Army. He fought in the Hurchin Forest, Siegfried Line, and the Battle of the Bulge.
On April 11, 1945, the Division which Thomas was part of, liberated the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and then were the first Division home after the War. His Division was to get a furlough and then be the first wave to hit the Japanese Mainland.
Thomas was home on August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped. After that, Thomas was sent to the 95th Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and was discharged on January 9, 1946, as a staff sergeant.
Edward E. “Gene” Lingg
Gene served as a Gunner with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam from July 1966 through August 1967, as a corporal. He was stationed in northern South Vietnam near the DMZ – The De-Militarized Zone.
Gene was re-assigned about halfway through his 13-month tour to Headquarters Battalion S-3, Intelligence, which planned and carried out field operations.
Sanford “Mac” McGuire
Mac joined the U.S. Air Force in January 1959 and served our country until his honorable discharge in November 1962 as Airman First Class. He then entered into Federal service—as a civilian—for 43 years.
Mac has continued his service and support through memberships in different Veteran organizations and appointments that he has held in these organizations. He is currently the finance officer of the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post No. 121 in Emmitsburg.
Paul J. Sutton
Paul served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as an aviation mechanic and has been a life-long resident of the Emmitsburg/Thurmont area.
Legion leadership positions include Past Post Commander and the Western Maryland District Adjuvant.
Martin R. Williams
Martin served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1969 through 1971 and was part of the 5/2 Artillery 2nd Field Force, 25th Infantry. Martin is also a life member of American Legion Post 121, and an active member of AMVETS Post No. 7. He is presently serving in his eighth year as commander of VFW Post 6658, where he is also a life member.
TheEdwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion Post No. 168 of Thurmont honorees were:
The Late Kenneth Allen
Kenneth served in the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel and was a personnel service clerk from 1970 through 1973 and—in both active and reserve duty—was a Judge Advocate from 1976 through 2002. He was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; the Judge Advocate General School in Charlottesville, Virginia; the Court of Military Review in Northern Virginia; and various reserve units in both Pennsylvania and Germany.
Kenneth was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, and came to the Thurmont area after being hired as a contract lawyer at Fort Ritchie. His leadership position at the Legion was as judge advocate.
Kenneth passed away in May of this year. His contributions to the American Legion, the members, and the families it serves are too numerous to list. He was a man of integrity, honor, and service, and is greatly missed.
Robert H. Brennan
Bob served in the Army from 1960 through 1964. For 50 years, he has lived in Thurmont with his wife, Marie, and been a member of Post 168.
Bob’s leadership positions have included being adjutant for 30 years. He is also adjutant of Frederick County and at the department level.
Lee Fisher was a great teacher and mentor for Bob, and between them, they know so much about Post 168. Bob is a very dedicated Legion member and loves helping all Veterans.
Edward served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 through 1969 in Vietnam, working in the Air Police with Base Gym-Photographic Systems Repair. He is originally from Wilmington, Delaware, and his wife’s family is from Thurmont.
Edward has been a member for 12 years. His leadership positions have included post commander, second and first vice commander, and the post executive committee.
His Legion memorable moments were renovating the kitchen, Legion College at the Convention, Wounded Warrior Fishing, the Community Show, and the Catoctin Colorfest.
Rick L. Hall
Rick served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam from 1970 through 1973 as a gunner aboard the USS San Bernardino, USS Alamo, and Patrol Boat Riverine. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he came to Frederick County in 1965, when his father was transferred with State Farm Insurance Company. Rick enlisted on July 15, 1970—just 24 days after his 17th birthday. Rick joined the American Legion in Clear Spring, Maryland, and then transferred to Thurmont. He was also involved with the Sons of the American Legion at the Woodsboro American Legion under his father, E. J. Hall.
Rick has been a Legion member for 23 years, and his leadership positions have included first vice commander, commander, and the post executive committee. His Legion memorable moments are the Ocean City Department meetings.
Rick stays as a member for all the important things the Legion does for our Veterans, families, scouts, scholarships for high school students, baseball teams, and the great friends he has made. The American Legion is a place for healing for some and a place of remembrance for others.
Alvin L. Hatcher
Alvin served in the U.S. Navy from 1984-1996 as hospital corpsman and was involved in Grenada and Desert Storm.
Alvin is from Mansfield, Ohio, and his wife is from Thurmont. His wife’s grandfather, Charles Downs, Sr. was a founding member of Post 168.
His leadership positions have included sergeant at arms, first vice commander, second vice commander, commander, post commander, county commander, and district commander.
Memorable moments at the Legion include becoming commander at Post 168 and his First Legion Convention in Ocean City. Alvin has enjoyed meeting many great memorable Legionnaires over the years.
Raymond A. Long
Raymond served in the Army from 1954 through 1956 and was a Morse Code interceptor during the Korean Conflict. He is a lifetime Thurmont resident, and joined the Legion so he could volunteer for his community.
Leadership positions in the Legion have included post commander, county commander, and district commander. While a member of the Veterans Affairs Department, Raymond was able to get funding for the Martinsburg, West Virginia, Veterans Affairs Center.
His most memorable moments were being installed as commander of Post 168 and going to play bingo with Veterans at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Center.
James “Buzz” Mackley
Buzz served as a sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard from 1962 through 1968, with Light Weapons Infantry and Heavy Weapon Infantry. He was stateside for Vietnam and involved in riot duties while being stationed in Baltimore in 1968. He was also stationed twice in Cambridge, Maryland.
James is originally from Thurmont and has been a Legion member for over 50 years. His grandfather, Lloyd Mackley, was a previous commander. Leadership positions have included commander, vice-commander, and board chairman of the post executive committee.
Cooking for the Wounded Warrior Fishing Day at Camp Airy Ponds, sponsored by the Brotherhood of the Junglecock, was one of his best Legion memories.
Sidney A. Wolf
Sidney served in the U.S. Marines, and also served as the Legion’s Post Commander.
He also served on the House Corporation and Colorfest committee and helps to play bingo at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Center.
Pictured from left are: (front row) Paige Riley; Emmitsburg’s Francis X. Elder American Legion Post #121 Honorees: Martin Williams, Sanford “Mac” McGuire, Paul Sutton, Thomas Hoke, Edward “Gene” Lingg, Kevin Cogan; (back row) Andrea Mannix; Amy Poffenberger; Daniel Myers; C. Rodman Myers; Cathy Little; Jennifer Martin; Frederick County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Alban; Jennifer Clements; Barry Burch; Dave Harman; and Cheryl Lenhart.
Pictured from left are: (front row) Paige Riley; Thurmont’s Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion Post #168 Honorees: Alvin L. Hatcher, Raymond A. Long, Robert L. Brennan, Edward Gravatt, James “Buzz” Mackley, Rick L. Hall, and (not pictured) Sidney A. Wolf. Also honored was deceased member Kenneth Allen; (back row) Andrea Mannix; Amy Poffenberger; Daniel Myers; C. Rodman Myers; Cathy Little; Jennifer Martin; Frederick County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Alban; Jennifer Clements; Barry Burch; Dave Harman; and Cheryl Lenhart.