Commander’s Message – Oct 2019

The first thing I want to do is invite all of you to our meeting on October 8, 2019.  I know many of our Legionnaires have made the trek out to the new Post…but many have not and have no idea of the scope of this project.  At the next meeting, our IT specialist (Dave Hawkins) will present a special photographic montage of the building and site and you will actually watch our new Post rise from the ground. In addition to our building presentation, we will be joined by 4-7 AFROTC members from UNC…please meet and greet them and welcome them to the U.S. military.  This will be a very informative evening, so plan to attend.

This Post is blessed with so many talented individuals.  Take for example Bruce Runberg, who is skillfully guiding the building committee in their oversight of the building process.  When I visit the site, I almost always see Jim Parise there critically evaluating the electrical, plumbing and heating demands of the new Post…and it’s not uncommon for him to catch something that was overlooked.  In addition, we have been blessed to have Al Meyers (a Post member and overall project manager for CT Wilson) overseeing every aspect of the construction of the new Post. He has done a superb job!  I also want to give out one more kudo.  That goes to Regina Merritt who is the lead on the Grand Opening Committee.  After talking with her, I feel like our Grand Opening will be spectacular and a smashing success. 

I could go on and on about what everyone is doing, but we have 13 different committees working to ensure the transition to the new facility is as smooth as possible.  In my mind, I feel like everyone is rowing in the same direction…as your Post Commander, I am grateful for everyone’s help.  I am confident this will be the most veteran-oriented American Legion building ever built and it will serve our members and future generations with the distinction they and their families deserve.

There is one question that keeps popping-up since we purchased the property.  That is, “Can we shoot on the property?”  This is a big concern and I don’t think there is a simple answer to the question.  Based on that, I am going to convene another Committee, the “Gun Use Committee.”   I am looking for 5-7 members and I’d like to stand-up this committee immediately.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please let me know via email ([email protected]).   I would like a short explanation of why you should be selected to this committee…please include any credentials like “Range Specialist” or “Range Master”, etc.  In the absence of any guidance, please refrain from shooting on the property until we have general rules for gun use on the property.

I have attached an invitation (provided by Dave Chandler) from David Price for Veterans and their families to attend a “Veteran’s Briefing” on November 7, 2019 at 0930 in Raleigh.  The location is 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh NC 27606.  We can discuss this at the October meeting and maybe we can establish a “carpool” to attend the event.  This is your opportunity to find out what is happening legislatively and voice our concerns…if any.  View invitation

The final topic I’d like to discuss with you is the Sponsorship Program.  One of the major reasons for this program is to ensure the Post has as much money left over at the end of the project as possible.  I will tell you up-front, I am the worst fundraiser in history…I am tight with my money and I hate asking for other people to contribute money to any cause.  However, as the Post Commander, I feel like I should take the lead in this effort.  To date, we have off-set $20,000 dollars that will defray some of our building costs, but the more we can defray, the more we will have for future structures like our storage barn and pavilion. 

You can take pride in your new post home… just like the members in 1955 had in building our Post Hut on Legion Road.  My friend Frank Horner (of the five generations of Post 6 Horner’s) sometimes chastises me for not recognizing what the “old boys” did.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We honor the contributions of the thousands of Post 6 Legionnaires and their legacy.  Without it, we would not be building this Post for current and future military members. 

In the United States Navy, from the birth of our Nation, sailors who built a ship and were present at its commissioning were called Plankowners.  By their hard work they converted roughhewn timbers into the hull and deck.  By tradition they “owned” rights to the deck planks, hence the term “Plankowners.”  They wore the name proudly on their sailing caps and when they left the ship for the last time they were ceremoniously recognized with a piping over the side, forever a Plankowner of that ship.  You, too, are a Plankowner of Chapel Hill Post No. 6’s new post home.  You have earned it and can be very, very proud of your accomplishments.  The American Legion is, in turn, very proud of you—dare I say humbled– by your work for others.

My point is, I want all our members to think of the new Post Home as theirs.  And, as we embrace the many opportunities it affords us and other veterans, we are mindful of the historical significance of what we have and are doing with it.   

Some of you have especially felt this unique camaraderie with Post 6 rebirth at 3700 Highway 54 West, Chapel Hill, and have sponsored the construction or outfitting of part of the new post. For that, I am deeply grateful.  It is not too late for you, too, can participate in the Sponsor Program.  Just let John Cocowitch know of your interest and he can share with you details about future opportunities for sponsorship.

So, in closing, my best to all of you!!  You are a special group of ladies and gentlemen and I continue to be extremely proud to serve you as your Post Commander.


Bill Munsee, Post Commander

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