Say Hello to the Oldest Veterans’ Organization in Bristol, CT
Written By Russ Trudel ---Junior Vice Commander Post 2---Current Commander 2015-2016
Printed in Bristol Press January 2015
For those of you who may not know, Bristol has a long history of being a very large Veterans’ community. One just needs to take a stroll down Veterans Memorial Boulevard to get a taste of the rich history displayed through the many monuments and walkways dotting this green, tree lined park. At night, there is a stillness of solitude lost like a whisper amongst the many names inscribed on those monuments of brick and marble, bronze and granite. A fitting place of remembrance dedicated to all the sacrifice made through the years, by countless sons and daughters of Bristol who all selflessly stepped up to trade in their civilian outfits for the uniform of our great nation, whenever the tragedy of war reared its ugly head here at home or abroad. This tradition continues on to this very day, with the men and women of the younger generations stepping up year after year to stand firm in our defense, taking their place beside the brave generations before them.
In the military, we are taught to take the high ground and hold it, and just up the hill from this beautiful place, there is a building originally built by the great grandson of Thomas Hooker, founder of the State of Connecticut, which holds that ground like a watchful sentinel or command post, quietly keeping watch down upon the sacred ground of the valley-like boulevard of memorials below. This place, historical in its own right, is the old ( more than 200 years old) Hooker family farm house, which since the early part of the last century has been the home of the American Legion Post 2, Bristol’s oldest veterans’ facility as well as one of the state’s first posts. If the walls and floorboards could ever talk, they could tell you stories of businessmen, politicians, civil servants, farmers, doctors, factory workers, or simply put the everyday men and women of this our humble little town, who took pride in calling themselves a Legionnaire of Post 2.
Besides the Officers and Veteran members of this post, who have dedicated years of unselfish service to the veterans and families of our beloved community of Bristol and its neighboring towns, there have also been untold numbers of sons and daughters, men and women alike that have answered the call of service to their community through their devotion to the Legion. Though they never served in the military formally, they have had family members who have, and in their desire to give back in the honor of their loved one’s service, have stepped up to help our post contribute to this community with just as much fortitude and honor themselves year after year. In short, the American Legion Post 2 in Bristol, CT is, and always has been a family standing strong and doing their part to make our community shine.
If there is one common belief that continues to strengthen the bond our members one and all, it is that devotion to give back to our community, young and old alike. Year after year this post has given scholarships to promote the further education of its area youth, instilled teamwork, through drive and fortitude to its youth through baseball, scouting, and mentorship. It continues to promote patriotism and national spirit as well, all the while reaching out to those not so fortunate putting out meals to make their holidays shine throughout the year. Our Legion Post does not discriminate against anyone in any manner, be it for social standing, ethnic ancestry, or religious or political beliefs as we believe we are all one in the same, Americans---period! This Post has a Rifle Honor Guard which attends and performs a rifle send off and ceremony at the funerals of those veterans across the state, who sadly pass from this world almost daily. If motorcycles are your forte, we have our own Legion Riders who hold benefit rides and functions for support of charity and outreach programs and food kitchens. We also have members put together packages and donations over the course of the year to send all around the world in support of our troops and disaster victims alike, as well as hats, scarves and jackets for those in need when the chill of winter sets in. This Post in short has and always will be ready to lend a helping hand going above and beyond when a helping hand is needed, and will always continue to recognize, and remember those moments and persons in history that have made this nation stand strong amidst terrible tragedy and challenge.
In this day in age, we are all faced with challenges of every shape and size, and when an organization can rise to the meet those challenges with compassion and determination and overcome those trials as a unified team while never losing stride, this is a team that can’t be beat. This is American Legion Post 2. So if you feel this could be a great fit for the type of person you are, and you would like to get involved, come on down. We meet on the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm in our Legion Hall at our Legion Home at 22 Hooker Court Bristol, CT. We meet in a smoke free hall, and take care of all pertinent Legion business in this hall, but if you would like to come down and relax amongst friends, we also have a tavern, pavilion and fire pit, horseshoe pits, pool table, game room, library and lounge, and beautiful screened sun porch during warmer months to sit back with friends for cribbage, cards or just a few laughs and good conversation. We put together camping trips and dances and social gatherings like no other and always try and bring some life into whatever we do. So on behalf of all our Officers and Legion Family, come on down, we’d love to meet you and welcome you in. Our doors are always open!