Royal Canadian Legion Western Zone, USA

The Royal Canadian Legion in the Western Zone of the USA

Generosity

As many workplaces do, our neonatal intensive care unit in Calgary, Alberta, gathers together a Christmas box to donate to a charitable organization, and for the last few years, our choice has been the Veterans’ Food Bank, which is a great decision in my opinion, though I am appalled that those who risked their lives for our blessed country have to resort to a food bank, but that is another discussion. So last Sunday morning, I was at a Safeway’s, picking up things from tea and coffee to polident to stew to pasta, and ended up pushing my laden cart to one of the only two stations open.  As I was unloading, the line behind me got longer and longer, and I could see a few eye rolls, as people realized this was going to take a while.  Then I asked the cashier if there were boxes available, as this was going to a food bank, and boxes would be easier to handle.  There weren’t any boxes, but the question did get me some attention from those in line.

 

“This is all for a food bank?”  “Yes, the VETERANS’ FOOD BANK.”  “Oh.”  “But there’s pet food in there!”  “Yes, some veterans have pets, and they have to feed them.”  (I didn’t mention that sometimes their pets are their only companions.) “Oh.”

 

Then the tall gentleman next to me in line, who had only three small items in his hand, said quietly, “I’d like to pay for this.”  I was a little startled, but thought about it, thanked him, and said he could make any contribution he would like.  

 

“No Ma’am, I mean I want to pay for all of it.”  “Oh, that’s very generous of you, but I couldn’t let you do that.”  “Please Ma’am, I’m from Texas, visiting your country, and I really want you to let me do this for your Canadian veterans.  Please.”  

 

What could I do but shake his hand, thank him, and wish him a safe trip home.  The bill he paid for me was $457.57.  I don’t know what his own three small items cost.  The cashier was openly weeping, many in the line were sniffling, and I could only give thanks for the generosity of a stranger.

 

A truly wonderful experience, epitomizing the Christmas season.  Please share this if you wish.  I would love my generous Texas stranger/neighbour to know that many many people appreciate his quiet donation to our veterans.

 

Merry Christmas.  Heather Nelson

Unmarked Veteran Graves

Scottish Festival in Costa Mesa

The Royal Canadian Legion plans to have a booth at the Scottish Festival in Costa Mesa on May 23rd and 24th, 2015.

Stop by our booth and pick up a traditional poppy. Check out the Scottish Festival activities at their website: http://www.scottishfest.com/

Activities in the USA

Some may wonder what activities the Royal Canadian Legion does in California since we are so far from Canada. 

Our main activities include:

1. On Remembrance Day a service to honor “the fallen” is held at a local American Legion hall, then on Memorial Day we hold a memorial service at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood to honor “the fallen”.

2. Our various Branches and the Zone make donations to many different charities in the communities where funds have been raised.

3. The Inglewood Park Cemetery is the final resting place of many British Commonwealth veterans, many of these men and women fought in WWI and WWII.  It was recently discovered that approximately 160 of the graves are unmarked so our Zone is working with Veterans Affairs Canada to have a headstone placed on each veteran’s grave.

4. Many of the headstones that are in place have become damaged over the years so we are working with the cemetery to have them replaced.

5. Our San Francisco Branch is deeply involved with supporting the Sea Cadets, Arkansas Division in their area.

5. We keep in touch with, and are a resource to, many living and aging veterans and their spouses that live in the Western US.

6. It takes people to do all of the above so we are always looking for new members – please consider joining us.

We Will Remember Them.

June 2013 Issue of Zone Newsletter

The June 2013 issue of our US Western Zone Newsletter has just been mailed out to each of our members.  The newsletter contains stories on several of our members that I know you will find very interesting.  To have an early look at the issue, or to download a copy, select here: Western_Summer2013a

 

Jan 2013 Zone Newsletter

The January 2013 issue of the US Western Zone Newsletter has just been mailed out to each member. It is packed with photos from our new Branch in Mexico, photos from Charles Brechin’s recent Palm Leaf award as well as some interesting historical RCL photos.  To have an early look at the issue or to download a copy select here: RCL 4th qtrR1web

Charles Brechin Palm Leaf

50 year member Charles Brechin (on the right) received a much deserved Palm Leaf to MSM Award from Zone Commander Robert Edmonds, MBE at a ceremony in Manhattan Beach on December 15th. The Palm Leaf is the highest award that a Legion member can receive. Brechin AwardCharlie has held many posts at the Zone as well as the Branch level over the years and has been active in building the membership and charity projects within the community. Congratulations to Charlie!