‘New enthusiasm’ for an old service and tradition

American Legion Post 112 opens with renewed commitment

The American Legion, nearing its 100-year anniversary, is one of the oldest and largest veteran organizations. According to the Legion information website, it was created for “mutual helpfulness” and is “committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.”

The individual, locally established American legion groups are called posts, and each post serves in the community of its origin.

Post 112 of the American Legion is unique in that it incorporates three different counties: Anderson, Morgan and Roane.

Its location in Oliver Springs is nearly on a crossroads where the three counties meet, and the Legion’s mission is to maintain an organization that serves the members in the tri-county area.

The American Legion Post 112 was established during the 1930’s. Its original location was near Harvey’s Furniture store in Oliver Springs, but they have since relocated to a different part of Oliver Springs, right across from the Morgan county line.

For several years, Post 112 was shut down, but has since reopened with a renewed determination to fulfill the purpose of the American Legion.

The current Commander of Post 112 is James B. Drewery of Oliver Springs. A commander’s role is primarily to direct the affairs of the post and to oversee its activities. He has been commander for a short time, but has embraced the role. Recounting his first contact with Post 112, Drewery said, “I happened upon it by accident, and I never knew this place existed.... When I got out of the service, my brother-in-law asked me if I would go to the Legion with him, and I said sure. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I met some good people there. They asked me if I’d be interested in joining them, and I just saw it as a donation. Then they asked me to get more involved, but I wasn’t really interested in it. But they needed some help, so I decided to help, and then I got in deeper. Three or four months ago, they asked me to take the commander position and I did.”

Post 112 is working diligently to “not just be there for the veterans, but also for the community.” Recently, the Legion held a school supply drive and donated ten backpacks to three different area elementary schools: Coalfield, Norwood, and Dyllis Springs. The Legion’s building was used for the Miss United States Morgan County pageant. Miss Tennessee and Miss Junior Tennessee attended, and the event was a great success.

In the upcoming months, Post 112 plans to have a veterans dinner, and additionally provide service to the veterans at the Ben Atchley State Veteran’s Home in Knoxville during the Christmas season. The Legion also hosts a regular Karaoke Night with free food cooked at the Legion building. Drewery says of the mission of the Legion, “We’re trying to give everyone in the community what they want. A place to go... I want a place that’s family friendly, and I want everyone to be able to come in.”

In addition, the Post is seeking to improve their premises. “We are building a new foundation,” said Drewery. As part of the new foundation, they hope to replace the roof. By planning fundraisers and working for donations, the Legion can continue to make improvements.

The Legion invites all members of the tri-county area to participate in their events and gatherings.

“You don’t have to be a member or a veteran to come,” says Drewery, “We’re all family here.” Karaoke Night at the Legion is every Tuesday at 6:30 pm and includes a $6 cover charge. For more information on the Legion’s upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.