February 4, 2018
Even after a veteran has died, a claim effort can continue and a widow may be helped. “Some guys just want to give up,” Hughes said. “We try to convince them not to.”
Just outside Stanwood’s American Legion Post 92 Thursday, Navy veteran and Post Chaplain Phil Lewis, 85, talks about major work needed on the building, which is only a few years younger than he is. Post Cmdr. Gina Seegert might appear to be suffering from a little sticker shock, considering they need to raise $90,000. (Dan Bates / The Herald)The distinct Spanish mission-style building has a past. It was built in 1939, by the Works Progress Administration, as East Stanwood City Hall. More than a piece of history — a place with a past — today it serves a vital purpose. As Stanwood American Legion Post No. 92, it helps veterans in need.
With its volunteer Veteran Service Officers, the post guides people who have served in the military through the paperwork tangle to obtain veterans benefits. The Legion hall hosts monthly prime-rib dinners, and offers bingo and other social opportunities. Members send care packages to local men and women now in the armed forces.
A lifeline for veterans, Stanwood’s Post 92 now has a need of its own.
When it was built, an 80-foot beam made by flattening an old-growth tree was used as a main support. Under a saggy part of the hall’s floor, that beam is rotting. In 2014, the group replaced about 30 feet of it.
Phil Lewis, the 85-year-old chaplain of Post 92, is leading a “Replace the Beam” fundraising project. The goal is $90,000. The money would be used to jack up the building, cut out the existing 2-foot-by-2 foot beam, put a form in place, add rebar, and pour cement to create a new 50-foot concrete beam. Project plans include replacing part of the floor.
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