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Nothing Beats A BBQ On The 4th

A little thunder and lightning couldn’t prevent American Legion Post #1711 in Levittown from throwing its annual Forth of July barbecue. Instead, Legion headquarters was transformed into a dining hall for members and their families out to celebrate Independence Day. 


Bill Miller, a WWII veteran who has served with the Legion for the past 43 years, said Post #1711 has been holding its Independence Day barbecue for as long as he can remember.


“This is our birthday party,” said 2nd Vice President Frank Marcinek, as he thanked all the veterans and their loved ones for coming out to celebrate. Because of the weather, all of the food and drinks were brought inside for the festivities.


Post Commander Joe Simpson said celebrating the Forth of July with the Legion is always a big deal. 


“It’s a holiday we look forward to every year,” Simpson said, “[because] it is a way for us to give back to the members... and it’s always a good time.” 


According to Simpson, each year members of the Legion, the Sons of the Legion — which is an extension of the legion for male family members — and the self-sufficient Ladies Auxiliary lend a hand in preparing the barbecue. In addition, the American Legion holds a food drive once a year for needy families, visits the schools to teach students how to properly retire the flag, hires drivers to provide rides to the VA hospital, arranges two annual parades (Memorial Day and Veterans Day) and assists with the funeral arrangements for members who have passed. 


“All the members help setup,” Herb Tracy emphasized, “cooking, cleaning... it’s all volunteer.”


Behind the bar, Herb Tracy and Adam Jankowski were doing their part by helping serve drinks. 


By 1 p.m. — or thirteen-hundred hours in military time — the food was ready to be served. Volunteers with the American Legion pitched in, strapping on rubber gloves and helping dish out food to nearly 100 hungry veterans and their families.


If you are interested in volunteering, visit the American Legion Post #1711 on their Facebook page or call 516-731-9114 for more information.


This week’s installment of our Veteran Spotlight will be on hiatus. However, stay tuned to the July 18, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune for the next installment.